Best Rookie Group of 2015 Picked by Industry Experts

It’s time to wrap up 2015 by finding out the Best Rookie Group of 2015, as chosen by leading K-pop experts.

The past 12 months have been filled with debuts. More than 50 idol groups entered the industry in 2015, but only a handful of them have managed to claim their spots in the competitive market.

Local news outlet Star News surveyed a total of 28 industry experts to find out who they would choose as the best new group to debut in 2015. The respondents include producers Shinsadong Tiger and Brave Brothers, as well as the CEOs of TS Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and Happy Face Entertainment, among other high-ranking agency representatives, composers, TV producers, and critics.

The survey was conducted without categorizing the rookies into girl or boy groups.



The clear winner of the title is GFRIEND, who received exactly half of the votes, 14 out of 28. The girl group first made a successful debut in January with their first mini album “Season of Glass,” and soon skyrocketed to fame with their second title track “Me Gustas Tu” after a video of the members repeatedly falling while performing on a wet stage went viral in September.

Some of the comments from the experts include, “They have managed to reach out to all age groups with their music, and it is nice that their image is appropriate and appealing for a large demographic,” and, “Their massive popularity could be felt during during music show recordings.”



Coming in second place is SEVENTEEN, who received five votes.

“They have sold 43,000 copies of their albums, which is impressive for a rookie group,” “They’re not from one of the Big 3 companies, but they have great confidence and performance skills as a result of rigorous training.”


3. iKON

With four votes, boy group iKON takes the third spot on the list.

One of the experts commented, “From ‘My Style’ and ‘Rhythm Ta’ to ‘Apology,’ their new songs have constantly ranked high on the charts. They have also demonstrated their appeal in ticket sales by holding a debut concert at one of Korea’s largest indoor stadiums, Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium, which is an extraordinary feat for a rookie group, as well as holding solo concerts again on January 30 and 31.”



The fourth spot is claimed by JYP Entertainment‘s new girl group TWICE with three votes. The music video of their debut single “Like OOH-AAH” was recently revealed to be the most watched rookie music video in 2015.

hyukoh band

5. Hyukoh Band

The only non-idol group to make the cut, Hyukoh Band ranks fifth with two votes. The group rose to stardom after joining the hugely popular music festival of “Infinite Challenge” and have since enjoyed chart success even with some of their older singles.

Do you agree with the experts? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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