Media outlet Sports Chosun recently released its “2014 Girl Group Ranking” on February 4. This follows after their ranking lists in 2012 and 2013, and is a reflection of industry representatives’ views of where girl groups stand in the competitive music industry.
The first tier is called the “Insurmountable Wall,” and consists of Girls’ Generation, SISTAR and 2NE1. Girls’ Generation has been in the top tier for three years running, enjoying large popularity in Korea as well as overseas, and is expected to make their comeback soon. Recent news that some of the group’s members are dating does not seem to have made a dent in their popularity.
Surmounting the insurmountable barrier is girl group SISTAR, which has risen quickly through the ranks with consecutive hits such as “Alone,” “Loving U” and “Gone, Not Around Any Longer.” It was “Give It to Me,” off their second album in 2013, which propelled them to the top tier. Music representatives deemed that their popularity put them shoulder to shoulder with Girls’ Generation, at least within Korea.
2NE1 released three new singles last year, “Falling in Love,” “Do You Love Me” and “Missing You,” and will embark on their second world tour in March, starting with their concert in Seoul. Industry insiders felt that 2NE1 should have promoted more actively last year to overcome Girls’ Generations’ popularity.
The second tier consists of girl groups with nationwide influence. Girl’s Day released “Expectation” last year, making a successful transformation into a sexy girl group. They solidified their new image with “Female President” and “Something,” which earned them number one on music programs and online music portals. They moved up two tiers on the ranking list, putting them in the same tier as f(x).
f(x) cemented their position in the second tier, after the release of “Rum Pum Pum Pum” in July 2013, which found more mainstream appeal than slightly more experimental tracks such as “NU ABO,” “Pinocchio” and “Electric Shock.”
The third and fourth tiers are the Socialite and Mania Level tiers respectively. Of notable mention is A Pink, a group which rose two tiers with their hit song “No No No.” While other girl groups have been quick to catch on to the sexy trend, A Pink has stuck to their innocent concept, and it has paid off for them. Other groups in the Socialite tier are miss A, 4Minute and Secret.
The Mania Level tier consists of Brown Eyed Girls, After School, Dal Shabet, Crayon Pop, Nine Muses and Kara. Nine Muses have been gaining popularity with tracks like “News,” and “Ticket” and their four releases in 2013, “Dolls,” “Wild,” “Gun” and “Glue” made sure they stayed in the public eye.
This is followed by popular groups in the “Popular Maginot Line” tier. T-ara and Wonder Girls have dropped two tiers, for various reasons. Wonder Girls’ leader Sunye gave birth to a baby girl in October 2013, while Sohee is no longer under JYP and will be pursuing her acting career.
T-ara had their own share of issues with the departure of Hwayoung and Ahreum, but found their way back with “No.9.” The other groups in this tier are Rainbow, AOA, Hello Venus and Ladies’ Code.
Finally, in the last tier is rookie girl group BESTie, which has been called “the second Sistar.” They debuted in 2013 with “Pitapat” and followed up quickly with “Love Options.”
What do you guys think of their rankings? What would you change?