K Pop has grown in worldwide popularity in a relatively short period of time. There are hundreds of K Pop songs to discover, but don’t worry, we’ve compiled a chronological list of the best K Pop songs of all time for you to peruse.
“Dreams Come True” – S.E.S. (1998)
We begin this list of the best K Pop songs of all time with a song by one of the original K Pop girl groups, S.E.S. This song, which is classified under the dance or electronic categories, has been covered by many K Pop girl groups and artists throughout the years. The remastered version released on YouTube in 2021 received 8,183,192 views as of Nov 11, 2021.
This song became even more popular with Aespa’s version, which reached more than 91 million views on YouTube.
“Into the New World” – Girls’ Generation (2007)
This song by Korea’s National Girl Group has been used many times in various protests due to its significant meaning. Its lyrics about unity are especially popular among Korean millennials. The remastered version of this song has over 61 million views on YouTube.
“Sorry, Sorry” – Super Junior (2009)
Super Junior, one of the boy groups that started the K Pop wave among an international audience, has various hits, with “Sorry, Sorry” being the most popular. It was Super Junior’s most successful single on the music charts, winning ten awards during the song’s promotional period.
“Sorry, Sorry” was the first K Pop song to spark a social media dance craze, with numerous covers appearing online. It has over 146 million views on YouTube.
“Nobody” – Wonder Girls (2010)
The English version of this song has over 130 million views on YouTube. It was a top search term in South Korea at the time of its release.
“I Am the Best” – 2NE1 (2011)
This fierce song is widely regarded as the prototype for the badass, self-assured “girl crush” song. It’s also one of the few non-English K Pop songs to have received radio play in the United States after being featured in a Microsoft commercial in 2014. This song received over 331 million views on YouTube.
“I Am the Best” was ranked third on Spin magazine’s list of the 21 Greatest K Pop Songs of All Time in June 2012.
“Fantastic Baby” – BIGBANG (2012)
BIGBANG’s EDM meets hip-hop track was a hit with K Pop fans all over the world. The music video was the first by a K Pop group to receive 200-300 million views on YouTube.
“Gangnam Style” by PSY (2012)
If you want to know which was the first K Pop song that captured the attention of people around the world, this is it. “Gangnam Style” by PSY literally turned the heads of people toward South Korea in 2012. Its YouTube video reached one billion views, with millions imitating the viral dance.
“Gangnam Style” topped the music charts in over 30 countries by the end of 2012. Guinness World Records awarded it as the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. Moreover, it won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards that same year.
The term “Gangnam Style” is a newly coined Korean expression that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District. The people here supposedly lead a trendy, hip, and classy lifestyle.
Because of its immense popularity, even world leaders participated in the dance. Its no wonder why this massively popular song is one of the best K Pop songs of all time.
Growl – EXO (2013)
EXO performed “Growl,” one of the most well-known and best K Pop songs, at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. “Growl” reached number two on the South Korean Gaon Digital Chart, as well as number three on the Billboard Korea K Pop Hot 100 and World Digital Songs charts.
With over two million downloads, the song is Exo’s best-selling single to date.
DDU-DU DDU-DU – BLACKPINK (2018)
BLACKPINK became the first K Pop group to reach one billion YouTube views with this comeback, thanks to the video’s stunning visuals and the members unbreakable confidence.
In South Korea, the single was a commercial success, peaking at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart for three weeks in a row, becoming the band’s second number-one single in the country. “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” also topped the national charts in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as the Billboard K Pop Hot 100 and World Digital Songs charts.
The song was certified platinum twice by the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) for digital sales and streaming, and it was also certified gold in the United States, Japan, and silver in the United Kingdom.
It was the most-viewed online video and the second-most-watched music video of all time at the time of its release. It is now the most-viewed K Pop group music video on YouTube, and it was the first and fastest to reach 1 billion views.
Boy with Luv – BTS featuring Halsey (2019)
With over 1.6 billion views, this song is the most-viewed song by the biggest boy band on YouTube, BTS. With over 74.6 million views on its first day of release, the song’s music video was the most viewed online music video in 24 hours at the time. “Boy with Luv” held the record for the most music show wins in South Korea after the 2000s with 21 awards.
Here are other K Pop songs that have also made it on various lists of the Best K Pop Songs of All Time.
“No. 1 – BoA (2002)
“Dynamite” – BTS (2020)
“Gee” – Girls’ Generation (2009)
“Abracadabra” – Brown Eyed Girls (2009)
“Tell Me” – Wonder Girls (2008)
“Sherlock” – SHINee’s (2012)
“Good Day” – IU (2010)
“Mister” – KARA (2009)
“Red Flavor” – Red Velvet (2017)
“Feel Special” – Twice (2019)
If you are new to K Pop, you would definitely want to check out these legendary hits, as they are among the best K Pop songs of all time.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!