Everyone has certainly heard at least one K-pop song in their life. May it be "Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry" or "E-e-e-e-e-e-e," this catchy genre has been a mainstay in the Philippine music scene for years—way back when we used to burn CDs with our idols' songs and Instagram wasn't even a thing yet.
It's evident that until now, K-pop remains to be on top. New, amazing groups have risen (and we certainly have stanned so hard), but we all know that the second-generation K-pop idols will always have a special place in our hearts. The mid-2000s marked as one of the best years in the Hallyu wave, where artists dominated charts and helped pave the way for K-pop to be known for what it is today. We know you're also missing our beloved idols (especially if you're part of the #TitasOfKpop) as much as we do, so here's an update on what they're up to now:
1. Brown Eyed Girls
Best known for that bold and mature concepts and for starting a trend with their hip dance in "Abracadabra" (which was also seen in Psy's "Gentleman"), the Brown Eyed Girls stand strong and have been active as a group even after 16 years. They had their much-anticipated comeback last year with a remake album RE_vive.
2. Girls' Generation
Debuting in 2007, Girls' Generation (or SNSD) is probably the biggest girl group not just in South Korea but also around the world. They successfully entered the Japanese music scene and became an influence on rising K-pop groups and other artists. While most of the members have gone solo, they reunited last year for Tiffany's birthday and assured SONEs that they still have each other's back.
3. Wonder Girls
The retro queens reached international fame especially in the US when they collaborated with various icons, performing their hit, "Nobody." This wonder of a K-pop girl group celebrated its 12th anniversary last year despite disbanding in 2017.
This group shied away from bubblegum and sexy concepts and brought their A-game to a whole new level with their edgy vibe and aesthetic. Recognized for their epic stage performances, the queens may have parted ways but always remained in touch. In fact, they celebrated their anniversary last year with a cake and went live on IG.
f(x) showed how they're not your average group because of their quirky and cool concepts. In 2019, everyone was saddened when Sulli passed away, with the members showing their grief and sharing their fond memories with her. Today, they continue on with their solo careers in acting, vlogging, and singing.
The sexy and fierce group was a hot issue in the Hallyu world (IYKWIM) and released powerful songs that empowered women. The group decided not to renew their contract in 2016, disbanded, and signed with their respective agencies as actresses and solo performers. A small party was held last year in time for their 10th anniversary, which warmed every 4Nias' heart.
7. After School
With striking visuals and equally striking talents, After School proved to be a game-changer especially with their choreography (poll dancing, anyone?). Their unwavering persistence and hard work sparkled all throughout their career. There was no formal disbandment for this group, but we're happy to see them reuniting in 2017 for Nana's birthday.
8. Miss A
This Korean-Chinese quartet introduced us to bold, feisty songs and dance steps with their single "Bad Girl Good Girl", which is being constantly covered by new K-pop idols in stage performances. Member Fei included this song, along with other hits, in a dance medley she uploaded on YouTube last year.
With sensual yet LSS-inducing tracks, everyone was head over heels with Sistar. Despite having disbanded in 2017, the group still shows Star1s that they still hang out together, like when they posted their photos on their IG for Hyolyn and Bora's birthdays.
Known for their captivating songs "Bo Peep" and "Roly Poly", T-Ara was immensely popular in China and even performed in private events in the country. In 2018, they left their agency without disbanding. Member Jiyeon hopes for a possible get-together: "We're like family. We have many happy memories. I miss it. It was my youth." They celebrated their decade-long anniversary last year.
11. Crayon Pop
The girl group behind "Bar Bar Bar" was so successful in their prime that they were the opening act for Lady Gaga's US tour in 2014. Although inactive, members Way, Choa, and Geunmi made an appearance on KBS' The Return Of Superman and set the bar high in friendship reunions when they met Soyul. They were even introduced to her baby girl, JamJam, with H.O.T's Moon Hee Jun!
Lee Ji Eun, more known as IU, continues to thrive in her acting and singing careers with the top-rated K-drama, Hotel De Luna, and her comeback album Love Poem. She also recently released her OST, "I Give You My Heart", for the hit drama Crash Landing On You, which achieved an all-kill in music charts. The blueming artist had a concert in Manila in December last year and even said "mahal kita" to Ma-aenas via her IG post.
13. Super Junior
The award-winning legends of K-pop remain to be strong, and started 2020 with a powerful comeback title track, "2YAYAO". Super Junior are long gone from their early days when they reached worldwide status with the iconic "Sorry Sorry", entered the Latin charts as the first K-pop group to do so, and held a special presentation at Oxford University. Currently, the members are busy as a group while also doing their solo activities. They also frequently connect with ELFs through various platforms.
With sold-out concerts in massive arenas around the world, BIGBANG set K-pop standards HIGH and was even hailed as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential of 2016 reader poll. The group's charisma is clearly evident in their tracks and all-out performances, along with hilarious TV guestings that made VIPs fall for them even more. This year, BIGBANG is set to perform in Coachella, a huge recognition for the Hallyu wave.
The boy group with the biggest fan club in the world (they actually have a Guinness World Record to prove it!) continues to soar high, especially in Japan. Together with fellow legends, Super Junior, TVXQ is a part of the Korean travel documentary, YouTube Premium's Analog Trip, where they shared good times with each other.
SHINee's distinct personalities continue to shine since their debut in 2008. Shawols wanted a replay of their hilarious videos, and in 2017, former US President Obama mentioned the group in one of his speeches. Member Jonghyun died in 2017, leaving his fans and fellow members in shock. As of now, the rest of SHINee is currently serving the army while maknae Taemin is part of SM Entertainment's supergroup, SuperM, and is preparing for a solo comeback soon.
Everyone put their hands up for 2PM when they started out in the K-pop scene in 2008. The group is currently inactive (with most members serving in the military), but has never failed to remember their fans, the HOTTESTs. Member Nickhun posted a heartfelt letter in September last year, saying how more than 11 years of his life was best spent with his members, who have become true friends and family.
Formerly known as BEAST, the boys rebranded as HIGHLIGHT (minus their former member, Hyunseung, and Junhyung, following a scandal in 2019) and continued to impress the public with their passion for music and performing after they left their agency in 2017. Just like other second-gen K-pop boy groups, the HIGHLIGHT members are currently serving in the military. The group made a huge donation to the Korean Food for the Hungry International during their 10th anniversary under their fandom's name last year.