Predecessors to BTS “Dynamite”

Credits to original channel. Official music video of “Dynamite”

“Dynamite”, released on 21st August, took “less than eight hours” to be viewed by “more than 45 million”. By now, that’s an unsurprising feat for BTS. The official music video has been watched by 148 million so far, and the number is expected to climb, fast.

Photo Credits

As someone who’s been an ARMY since their “Dope” era (that’s already 5 years ago….), I still can’t fully take in how they’ve gone from the first few years of their debut…

Photo Credits (Jungkook was only 16 at the time…and Jin 21…) The times they used to wear tee shirts with their names on them
Photo Credits The times BTS had 32 fans and had their fan meeting at a small shopping mall/commercial building.

to now:

Photo Credits This magazine cover is pretty self-explanatory… (and how do they take a picture at this ridiculous angle and still manage to look amazing)
Credits to official channel

They’ve truly fulfilled their goal of “surviving” in the industry. They’ve done more than survive.

To celebrate the wild success of BTS and its debut of its first English single, here’s a list of 5 Korean bands who came before BTS.

H.O.T. (1996-2001)

Photo Credits

“High-five of Teenagers”, or “H.O.T”, is the first K-pop idol group to be successful. Consisting of 5 members Moon Hee Joon (now an ex-emcee at “Immortal Songs”, also known as Jam jam’s daddy), Jang Woo Hyuk, Tony Ahn (ex boyfriend of Girls’ Day Hyeri), Kangta (actress Jung Yu Mi’s boyfriend) and Lee Jae-Won, the band enjoyed not only wild popularity in Korea, but also in China and Japan.

In 2011, H.O.T. disbanded due to a contract disagreement with SM Entertainment. Unsurprisingly, H.O.T. fans were furious at SM.

Photo Credits; Moon Hee Joon (at the time of H.O.T), born in 1978
Photo Credits; Jang Woo Hyuk (at the time of H.O.T), born in 1978
Photo Credits; Tony Ahn at the time of H.O.T., born in 1978
Photo Credits; Kangta at the time of H.O.T., born in 1979
Lee Jaewon at the time of H.O.T., born in 1980

All their concert tickets were sold out (10 minutes ~ 1 hour at a time when ticketing was not done online). Safe to say, K-POP might look very different if there was no H.O.T.

Song “Happiness”
Credits to official channel; song “Candy”
Song “Warrior’s Descendant”

Fin.K.L. (1998-2005)

Photo Credits

Formed by DSP Media, Fin.K.L. was one of the most popular girl groups in its era. It consisted of members Lee Hyori (most known to foreigners for starring in 2017 show “Hyori’s bed and breakfast” with IU), Ock Joo-Hyun (now a musical actress, known to be the relative of now-actor Park Hyung Sik) , Lee Jin (recently starred in the show “Camping Club”) and Sung Yuri (also working as an actress; she also starred in the 2006 drama “Snow queen” alongside Hyun Bin).

Sung Yuri, born in 1981
Photo Credits; Ock Joo Hyun, born in 1980
Photo Credits; Lee Jin, born in 1980
Photo Credits; Lee Hyo Ri, born in 1981
Credits to original channel. Song “Eternal love”
Song “Now”
Song “To my prince”

S.E.S. (1997-2002)

Photo Credits

Formed by SM Entertainment, SES was a record-breaking girl pop group consisting of three members: Bada (still working as a singer & vocal trainer), Yujin (turned actress; starred in popular dramas like “Bread, love and dreams”) and Yoo Soo-Young.

Photo Credits; Eugene, born in 1981
Photo Credits; Soo-young, born in 1981
Photo Credits; Bada, born in 1980
Song “I’m your girl”
Song “Love”
Song “Twilight zone”

g.o.d (1999-2005)

Photo Credits; g.o.d

“Groove over dose”, or “g.o.d”, was one of the most popular boy bands of the early 2000s in Korea. They are considered to be a legendary group alongside first-generation K-pop idol groups like H.O.T, Fin.K.L., S.E.S., Sechs Kies and Shinhwa.

The group consists of 5 members: Park Joon-Hyung (active on shows & YouTube), Yoon Kye-Sang (turned actor; starred in dramas like “Good Wife”) , Danny Ahn, Son Ho-Yung (some argue Kang Daniel resembles the younger version of Son Ho-Yung) and Kim Tae-Woo (stars in shows like “Immortal Singer”). This band is known to have a very high average height of 182cm, with the shortest member being 177cm and the others ranging from 181 to 190cm.

In 2018, g.o.d made a special appearance in IU’s “dlwlrma” concert.

Photo Credits; Yoon Kye-Sang, born in 1978
Photo Credits; to the left, actress Jun Ji Hyun; to the right, Danny Ahn, born in 1978
Photo Credits; Son Ho Yung, born in 1980
Photo Credits; Park Joon Hyung ( second from the right in the photo), born in 1969
Photo Credits; Kim Tae Woo, born in 1981
Song “Observation”
Song “0%”
Song “Road”

Shinhwa (1998-present)

“Shinhwa” (literally “legend” in Korean) was and is a six-member group launched by SM Entertainment. The longest lasting K-pop group in the history of K pop, Shinhwa consists of 6 members: Eric Mun (now an actor; starred in dramas like “Another Miss Oh” alongside Seo Hyun Jin), Lee Min Woo, Andy Lee, Jun Jin, Shin Hye-Sung (still an active singer) and Kim Dong-wan (turned actor; starred in dramas like “Cheer up Mr Kim”).

Photo Credits
Photo Credits; Eric Mun, born in 1979
Photo Credits; Lee Min Woo, born in 1979
Photo Credits; Andy, born in 1981
Photo Credits; Jun Jin, born in 1980
Photo credits; Shin Hye Seong, born in 1979
Photo Credits: Kim Dong Wan, born in 1979
Song “Sniper”
Song “Perfect man”
Song “Venus”

That’s it for the top 5 K-pop groups that came before BTS. Hope you found the post fun!

If you did, please give it a like/comment! It’ll be even better if you follow my blog “Han Style” 🙂

Cheers, Han Sol

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