Whether you’re a veteran K-pop fan or a new one, there’s a collection of classics we’ve all seen groups perform countless times on music shows. So, in no particular order, here are a few of those classic songs K-pop groups cover most often.
If you’re a boy group with nine or more members and you don’t cover Super Junior’s “Sorry Sorry,” did you really debut at all? After Super Junior dropped the smash hit in 2009, it’s basically law now for every large boy group to perform the song, too.
But “Sorry Sorry” covers don’t only come from SM Entertainment artists. SEVENTEEN put their spin on the hit as well, along with an acoustic cover from IU and Thunder (Park Sang Hyun) and a live performance from UP10TION last year.
A classic that defined a K-pop generation, “Gee” is an essential track for every K-pop fan’s playlist and an easy fave for girl groups to perform for special stages.
Several girl groups have taken to the stage to cover the hit, donning the legendary colorful jeans and white tees to match. AOA performed their version during Korean Music Wave just last year, while TWICE and GFRIEND famously linked up to cover the song together.
“Gee” has also been rearranged and performed by solo artists such as Younha and IU. And if you’re ever in the mood for a boy group cover of the tune, special stages featuring 2AM, 2PM, Super Junior, and SHINee members as “Boys’ Generation” are floating around the internet as well.
It takes boy groups years to hit their “grown and sexy” era, but this concept has always been a part of every song Rain releases — most notably, “Rainism.”
We’ll never truly know what a group’s mature era will be like until they actually reach it. So, special stages of “Rainism” give us a hint of what to expect. 2PM, GOT7, and BTS are just a few of the groups to tackle the hit.
MBLAQ even turned their cover into a collaboration, teaming up with IU for an unlikely (and highly entertaining) live stage.
Even if you had no idea what K-pop was or weren’t even born when this first came out, chances are you still know S.E.S’s “I’m Your Girl” from the loads of covers girl groups perform every year.
Wonder Girls covered the hit the same year they debuted in 2007 — back when HyunA was a member.
You can even find SMRookies, Apink, T-ara, and miss A performing the song, too. And when Girls’ Generation covered it years ago during a Valentine’s Day special, they turned it into a mini music video with Super Junior’s Siwon starring as the love interest.
The great thing about classics of any genre is that they’ll always hold a special feeling of nostalgia no matter which version you listen to. If you’re a first generation fan, that nostalgic feeling stems from the original song.
But if you’re a second generation fan, you’ll feel most endeared to Super Junior’s cover in 2007.
Or maybe you remember EXO’s cover during SMTOWN Week years ago, INFINITE and Teen Top’s special stage, or Apink’s 2014 performance at the Golden Disk Awards. It could even be more recently, with SEVENTEEN’s cover video featured below. No matter the artist or the era, “Happiness” definitely has a place in all of our hearts.
Let’s be honest. If you own suspenders and a pair of pants, you’ve tried to dance to “Mr.” about as often as K-pop groups perform it. It’s that legendary.
But the performances aren’t limited to girl groups. 2PM and BEAST members join in on the fun for their throwback cover below.
Every genre has a collection of timeless songs all fans know. For K-pop, one of those songs is “Mirotic.” We’ll never get sick of hearing Changmin hit those impressive high notes, and it’ll never get old watching newer idols take a stab at it in their own covers either.
Plus, VIXX, B.A.P, GOT7, and BTOB members gave a unique interpretation to the track with a vocal performance.
The moment the first three seconds of “Tell Me” start playing, you’re guaranteed to have the song stuck in your head all day. The addictive melody still has the same effect 10 years later.
And Oh My Girl brings the classic to a new generation of fans with their cover, too.
H.O.T’s “Candy” will always be just as sweet on the ears as the title suggests, and even more so when we get to hear idols of another generation perform the song, too.
BIGBANG even performed the song, too. We’ll likely never see them perform another adorable cover like this again, but at least we’ll always have this “Candy” special stage to look back on.
What songs do you think K-pop artists should cover more? Let us know in the comments!
brookenicole writes from YG’s basement until her (indefinitely) postponed debut. You can find her on Twitter.