The Rise Of K-Pop
Andrew Parker - August 29, 2019

Lester

By Shel Silverstein

Lester was given a magic wish
By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree,
And with his wish he wished for two more wishes-
So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.
And with each one of these
He simply wished for three more wishes,
Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.
And with each of these twelve
He slyly wished for three more wishes,
Which added up to forty-six -- or is it fifty-two?
Well anyway, he used each wish
To wish for wishes 'til he had
Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.
And then he spread them on the ground
And clapped his hands and danced around
And skipped and sang, and then sat down
And wished for more.
And more...and more...they multiplied
While other people smiled and cried
And loved and reached and touched and felt.
Lester sat amid his wealth
Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold,
Sat and counted -- and grew old.
And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead -- with his wishes piled around him.
And they counted the lot and found that not
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new -- here, take a few
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing.
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There’s a new movement happening in the music industry. It’s infectious, it’s artistic, and it’s taking over the world. K-Pop, also known as Korean pop music, combines expertly coordinated beats, lyrics, dance moves, fashion, and style to produce an audiovisual experience that is truly out of this world. Here’s some of our favorite K-Pop stars making waves in the international music industry.

 

Taeyeon

 

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Kim Tae-yeon, referred to in the industry as Taeyeon, rose to success with the girl group Girls’ Generation. She’s also a promeninte figure outside of K-Pop, and has lent her vocal talents to several television and movie productions. In 2015, she launched her own solo career and has sold over one million copies of her debut album.

 

 

HyunA

 

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Kim Hyun-ah goes by the stage name “HyunA”. She’s a fearless singer, dancer, songwriter and model from South Korea. Her breakthrough into the music business started when she joined K-Pop female group Wonder Girls, and has since gone on to become a well known solo artist. Check out her single “Change”, which hit #2 on the Korean music charts.

 

Hyoyeon

 

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Kim Hyo-yeon is best known as the DJ of Girls’ Generation, one of the best selling K-Pop groups to date. She is also the host of her own reality show called “Hyoyeon’s One Million Likes”. Prior to her success in K-Pop, she worked with major stars like Janet Jackson.

 

 

Hyolyn

 

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Hyolyn got her start in the K-Pop scene, but she has since gone on to much, much bigger things. As the former front-runner of the band Sistar, she is now in charge of her own self-started production company called Bridʒ.

 

Lee Hyori

 

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Lee is also referenced as “The Nation’s Fairy”. She has her hands in everything from acting, singing, dancing, producing, and has made quite an impact as an activist. Her K-Pop career was launched when she was added to the girl group Fin.K.L, and has since gone on to have a successful solo career.

 

 

Hyomin

 

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Park Sun-young aka Hyomin is best known as a member of the girls group T-ara. She’s an incredible singer, and has an impressive acting career as well. While she recently went on to try her hands at a solo career, fans are hopeful that she may rejoin the girls group in the future.

 

LE

 

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Ahn Hyo-jin aka LE or Elly is one of the fiercest rappers on the K-Pop scene. Before she got into the K-Pop world, she was known for her contributions to Korea’s underground hip hop scene and is best known now as a member of the girl group EXID.

 

 

Solji

 

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Solji has been on the scene since the mid-2000s, and in addition to her role in the girls group EXID, she also works as a vocal trainer for other rising stars.

 

Minah

 

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Bang Min-ah is a former member of Girl’s Day, and now enjoys success as a solo artist in South Korea. She also prides herself as an actress and has starred in a number of Korean dramas. You can check out her incredible solo album “I Am a Woman Too”. 

 

 

Hwasa

 

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This electric woman is the lead rapper and backup vocalist of the group Mamamoo. You may also know her from her various collaboration projects with other K-Pop artists.

 

Solar

 

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Kim Yong-sun aka Solar is a successful singer and actress. She is the lead vocalist of Mamamoo, and is known for incredible vocal performances.

 

 

Moonbyul

 

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As another member of Mamamoo, Moonbyul is as talented as they come. She’s the group’s lead rapper, and her incredible timing and rhythm catapult the group above their competition.

 

Sunmi

 

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Lee Sun-mi was a member of the girls group Wonder Girls. As a prominent singer, she rose to the highest levels of success. After taking a break to persue her academic career, she recent rejoined the music scene as a solo K-Pop artist with her hit single “24 Hours”.

 

 

Orange Caramel

 

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This trio is a sub-group of the girls group “After School”. The three went on to form their own group with a more colorful, flavorful sense of style and attitude. They are known best for their cute and eclectic music videos, and especially for their florescent fashion.

 

Heize

 

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As one of the coolest ladies on the scene, Jang Da-hye aka Heize has the talent and the moves to back it up. Her list of talents includes singing, rapping, songwriting, and composing. 

 

 

Chanmi

 

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Chanmi is the lead dancer of the group AOA and is known for her hypnotic moves and incredible style. She began dancing at a very young age and has gone on to see lots of success both at home and around the world.

 

IU

 

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Her full name is Lee Ji-eun and she’s best known for her “girl next door” image, in addition to her singing, songwriting, and acting skills. At the age of 15, she launched her first debut album titled “Lost and Found”, and has experienced growing success ever since.

 

 

Wonder Girls

 

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This rockin’ girls group has lost a few of its members along the way to solo careers, and Yubin, Yeeun, Sunmi and Hyerim make up the current four-person group. Their eclectic style has had a major impact on the fashion and culture of South Korea, and they have seen a lot of success internationally throughout the years. They even opened for the Jonas Brothers during their North American tour a few years back.

 

Sistar

 

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The former girl group saw a lot of success very early in their career. Their single “So Cool” debuted at number one on the Billboard Korea K-Pop hot 100. The ladies have all gone to explore various solo projects, but their presence in K-Pop had a major influence on the industry.

 

 

Red Velvet

 

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This fiery girl group debuted in 2014 with their single “Happiness”. Since then, they have had their fair share of hit songs and number one singles. The girls also enjoy their own solo work as hosts and judges on various Korean television programs.