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Vote for Popdust's 2019 Best K-Pop Group Award

Which K-Pop group is your favorite?

Unless you've been living without wifi, television, or any access to the world at large for the past several years, you probably have at least dabbled in the world of K-Pop by now.

K-Pop, simply put, is Korean pop music. But in reality, it's so much more than that. It's an art form, a spectacle, a phenomenon, and a multi-billion dollar industry. K-Pop groups eat, sleep, and breathe their craft, dancing more skillfully than just about any western group and releasing pop songs so catchy that you don't need to speak Korean to get the words stuck in your head. But with so many K-Pop groups out there, is it possible to say which group is the absolute best? Well, we'll leave that up to you. Vote below for your favorite K-Pop group!

EXO

EXO is made up of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. SM Entertainment formed EXO in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music is a mix of hip-hop, rap, EDM, and R&B, and they release music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese.

BLACKPINK

This incredible South Korean girl group was formed by YG Entertainment, debuting in 2016 with single album Square One, which included "Whistle," their first number one hit. The group is comprised of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.

BTS

Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook form perhaps the most popular K-Pop group: Bangtan Boys AKA BTS. This 7 member group formed in Seoul in 2013, and have since gone on to help popularize K-Pop across the world.

MONSTA X

MONSTA X is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney[2], and I.M.

From South Korea and assembled by Starship Entertainment, the boy band was formed through the 2015 reality show No.Mercy.

TWICE

This group of talented musicians was formed in South Korea by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. The nine members of the group are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted on October 20, 2015, with The Story Begins.

TVXQ (DBSK)

This duo, whose name stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, is comprised of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. They offer a wide multicultural appeal, releasing songs in many different languages. They are known as Tohoshinki for their Japanese releases, and are sometimes referred to as DBSK, an abbreviation of their Korean name Dong Bang Shin Ki which roughly translates to "Rising Gods of the East."

GOT7

Got7 is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment, composed of JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. They've been around since January 2014 when they released their first EP, Got It? They're known for their incredible stage performances which incorporate martial arts.

SEVENTEEN

Members of this boy band—which debuted in 2015 with Pledis Entertainment—are Woozi, Wonwoo, Vernon, Mingyu, Jun, Hoshi, The8, Joshua, Jeonghan, Dino, S.Coups, and Seungkwan. This group is known for self-producing, as many of the members are actively involved in songwriting, choreographing, and producing their own work.

TXT 

Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is a South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. The group consists of 5 members: Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai.

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Chart king, Instiz, has released several pie charts measuring album sales in Korea for 2012. Some of the results are no-brainers (Super Junior sells a billion copies of latest album!), but there's also a lot that will surprise K-pop fans, too.

For example, did anybody realize that Wooyoung was JYP Entertainment's best-selling artist of 2012? The 2PM star accounted for 36% of the label's album sales last year, followed by miss A with 19%, and Wonder Girls with 17%. Wooyoung's EP wasn't even hugely successful in the overall scheme of K-pop albums last year, which just goes to show how much JYP really relies on 2PM as a group when it comes to selling records.

Over at YG Entertainment,  BIGBANG accounted for 50% of the label's 2012 album sales, while the group's leader, G-Dragon, followed with 26%. That means that a whopping 3/4 of YG's yearly sales came out of just BIGBANG alone.

PSY ranked third with 12%, followed by 2NE1 with 4%, and Epik High with 3%. 2NE1's low percentage is understandable considering that the girls only released one song last year, but Epik High's showing is disappointing -- especially with their success on the singles chart.

Out of the "big three" companies in K-pop, it was SM Entertainment who had the most even amount of best-sellers. Super Junior made up 36% of the label's sales, followed by TVXQ at 22%, SHINee at 13%, EXO-K at 9%, and Girls' Generation-TTS, also at 9%. The regular Girls' Generation managed to account for 6% of SM's 2012 album sales despite not releasing an album that year, while f(x) trailed slightly behind at 5%.

When ranking by label, SM was the clear winner with 28%, followed by YG in second place, and surprisingly, Woolim Entertainment in third. Woolim had a big 2012 thanks to INFINITE's hugely-successful INFINITIZE EP, on top of Sunggyu's chart-topping solo debut and two new albums from popular rock group, Nell. Helping Woolim out further is the fact that all their releases last year were from male artists. (Male artists generally tend to sell more physical records, while the females excel in digital sales.)

Overall, the top five album-sellers in Korea last year were Super Junior, BIGBANG, TVXQ, INFINITE, and SHINee. All male, and all groups.

As for the ladies, T-ara was the highest selling female act of 2012, defeating the likes of Girls' Generation-TTS, IU, f(x), and KARA. It just goes to show how high the group's popularity was before their mid-year scandal, which has been so damaging to their reputation that they've had to go and promote in Japan instead of Korea for the time being.

B.A.P was the only rookie act to place on the pie chart, but considering that they had the most physical releases of any K-pop artist last year, their placement is hardly a shock.

Check out the pie charts in full, below.

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[Via Netizen Buzz]