K-Pop is not only widespread in Asia, but Korean-language pop music now also enjoys great popularity in Germany. Whether at parties, on the radio, or on television – K-Pop has become an integral part of the music world. The wide-ranging music style is not only a mixture of pop and rock but also rap, hip-hop, reggae, R&B, dance, and electro are part of K-pop.
Korean songs are dominated by electronic beats.
Many K-Pop songs have English lyrics, so people from all over the world can sing along to them. With flashy outfits and funny music videos, Korean musicians captivate their fans. Family, friendship, and love are the main themes in the songs and appeal to a wide audience. But what are the best K-pop songs of all time?
The following list deals with the 100 most popular K-pop songs that every music fan should know.
(You can find a Spotify playlist at the end of the article.)
1. “Gangnam Style” by PSY (2012)
With “Gangnam Style” from the album “Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1” the South Korean musician PSY landed a world hit. Not only in South Korea the song reach the top of the charts, also in many other countries such as Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia “Gangnam Style” became number 1. Worldwide, the song sold more than 10 million copies and went platinum 38 times.
The song criticizes the lavish lifestyle of the people in the luxury district of Gangnam in the South Korean capital Seoul. The hilarious music video for “Gangnam Style” has been viewed more than 3.4 billion times on YouTube, making it the most successful K-pop song of all time.
2. “Sorry, Sorry” by Super Junior (2009)
After the members of Super Junior had been busy with other projects for some time, they managed to make a grandiose comeback with the single “Sorry, Sorry” from the album of the same name. The popular dance song is one of the biggest successes of the South Korean boy band and one of the best K-Pop songs of all time. In South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand the song reached the top of the charts and stayed there for several weeks.
In the Philippines, the single landed in the top 10. With the Japanese version of the song, the Boyband was also a great success in Japan.
In an entertaining way, “Sorry, Sorry” tells the story of a young man who falls madly in love. The mixture of American funk, R&B, and electronic beats became the Earworm and helped the song to international success.
3. “Fantastic Baby” by Big Bang (2012)
With “Fantastic Baby” from the album “Alive,” the boy band Big Bang landed one of the biggest K-pop hits of all time. The song has sold over seven million copies and is one of the best-selling digital singles in the world.
In South Korea, Japan and China, the song remained in the Top 10 for several weeks. In addition, the music video for “Fantastic Baby” broke all records and. It has won several awards for best dance video and is one of the most successful videos of all time, with over 400 million clicks on YouTube.
With “Fantastic Baby” the boys of Big Bang express their wish for freedom and tolerance. The song received international attention when it was played as part of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
4. “Boombayah” by Blackpink (2016)
With “Boombayah,” the South Korean girl group celebrated its debut girl group Blackpink their debut. The successful K-pop song was released together with the song “Whistle” on the album “Square One”.
In South Korea alone, the single sold more than 70 in its first week.000 times and stayed several weeks in the Top 10 of the South Korean charts. In the American Billboard charts, “Boombayah” even reached the top position. On Youtube, the video for the song has been viewed more than 700 million times so far.
With a mixture of hip-hop and electronic beats, “Boombayah” delights music fans. The song is about strong and independent women, Who don’t take no for an answer and go through life having fun.
5. “Gentleman” by PSY (2013)
The K-pop song “Gentleman” from the album “The Singles” is one of the most popular songs of the South Korean singer PSY. In South Korea, the single reached № 1 on the charts.
“Gentleman” also landed in the top 10 in the UK, Austria, and the U.S. In Germany, the song entered the charts at number 12.
The mix of hip-hop and electro gives the song a distinctive character. In an amusing way, “Gentleman” tells the story of a man who plays tricks on his fellow man. As the music video received more clicks within 24 hours than any other video ever before, it was entered into the Guinness Book of Records.
With more than 1.2 billion views on YouTube, it is one of the most successful songs in the K-pop genre.
6. “DNA” by BTS (2017)
The song “DNA” from the album “Love Yourself: Her” is one of the most popular hits of the South Korean boy band BTS. The song sold over three million copies and made it to the top of the charts in both South Korea and Japan.
In Japan, the single was so successful that it even received double-platinum status.
Although “DNA” is dominated by fast, electronic dance beats, the song is about deep feelings and love at first sight. In the first 24 hours after its release, the music video for “DNA” was viewed 21 million times. In total, the video has been viewed more than 800 million times on Youtube.
7. “TT” by Twice (2016)
The song “TT” from the album “Twicecoaster: Lane 1” is a famous K-pop song by the South Korean girl group Twice. The song became number 1 in South Korea. In Japan, the USA, and the Philippines, “TT” was in the top 10.
The single sold more than two million copies and on Youtube, the accompanying music video was viewed more than 400 million times.
The song title “TT” refers to an emoji that expresses sadness and tears, as the song is about a woman who is distraught because she can’t forget the love of her life.
8. “I Am The Best” by 2NE1 (2011)
With the single “I Am The Best” from the album “2NE1”, the girl group 2NE1 landed a big hit. The K-pop song was not only number 1 in South Korea, it also won the “Song Of The Year” music award. In 2014, “I Am The Best” became internationally famous, as the company Microsoft used the song for a commercial.
It was followed by the top position in the American Billboard charts. In Japan, the single reached gold status.
With a mixture of electro, dance, hip-hop, and pop, the girls of 2NE1 inspire music fans around the world and call with “I Am The Best” to go through life with confidence.
9. “Bubble Pop!” by Hyuna (2011)
Hyuna is one of the most successful K-pop solo artists of all time. With her song “Bubble Pop!” from the album of the same name, she stormed the South Korean charts and landed a top 10 hit.
The song also reached number 10 on the American Billboard charts. The popular song is also part of the video game “Just Dance 2018”. With more than 100 million views on YouTube, Hyuna was the first South Korean solo artist to reach this milestone.
In total, “Bubble Pop” sold more than two million copies!” more than one million times. In the song, Hyuna expresses that it is important to believe in yourself and stay true to yourself. She calls for people not to change or pretend themselves for other people.
10. “Lucifer” by SHINee (2010)
The K-pop song “Lucifer” from the album of the same name is one of the biggest successes of the South Korean boy band SHINee. The single was a top 10 hit in South Korea and the U.S.
The song remained on the American Billboard charts for 57 weeks. In total, the popular single sold more than two million copies.
The guys from SHINee express with “Lucifer” that it is important to give each other enough freedom in a relationship and not to restrict each other. After being featured in the popular TV series Lucifer in 2018, the song also made its international breakthrough.
11. “Step” by KARA (2011)
“Step” from the album of the same name is one of the biggest hits of the girl group KARA. The song reached number 2 on the charts in both South Korea and Japan and stayed in the top 10 in both countries for several weeks. According to the American music magazine “Spin”, the dance song is one of the 21 best K-pop songs of all time.
With “Step” the girls of KARA want to encourage them to leave the past behind and to dare a new beginning.
12. “Fire” by BTS (2016)
The song “Fire” from the album “The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever” is one of the masterpieces of the South Korean boy band BTS. The song reached № 1 in South Korea and on the American Billboard charts.
The single sold more than a million copies and the music video has received more than 600 million views on YouTube to date.
“Fire” is the perfect dance song at any party. While showing off their dancing skills in the music video, the boys of BTS sing about the problems and difficulties during adolescence and urge their fans not to be too hard on themselves.
13. “Daddy” by PSY feat. CL (2015)
For the song “Daddy” from the album “Chiljip PSY-Da”, South Korean solo artist PSY teamed up with South Korean singer CL from 2NE1. The successful duo managed to climb to the top of the charts in South Korea.
In the American Billboard Charts “Daddy” landed in the Top 10.
The more than 400 million clicks on Youtube speak for the success of the song. In a funny music video raps and PSY about good looks and is supported by singer CL.
14. “Palette” by IU feat. G-Dragon (2017)
The song “Palette” from the album of the same name is a joint project of South Korean singer IU and South Korean singer G-Dragon. In South Korea, the K-pop song reached the top of the charts.
The single also reached the top 10 in the American Billboard charts.
“Palette” is mainly an autobiographical work of the singer IU. In the song, the singer describes her development and explains how she has gained self-confidence over the years. The song with strong rhythms has sold more than 2.5 million copies.
15. “Run Devil Run” by Girls’ Generation (2010)
“Run Devil Run” is the title song of the album of the same name and is one of the most famous hits of the pop group Girls’ Generation. The song reached the top position in the South Korean charts and sold more than two million copies in Japan and South Korea. With more than 100 million clicks, the music video is also very successful on Youtube.
In “Run Devil Run,” the girls from Girls’ Generation settle the score with pickup artists who only play with women’s feelings. The extraordinary beats of the electropop song make its a catchy tune.
16. “Who You?” by G-Dragon (2013)
The single “Who You?” from G-Dragon’s album “Coup d’Etat” is one of the South Korean singer’s biggest hits. The song sold more than one million copies in South Korea, reaching the top of the South Korean charts.
The song was also in the top 10 on the American Billboard charts.
In the rap song, G-Dragon talks about a failed relationship, heartbreak, and hope for a second chance.
17. “Bad Boy” by Red Velvet (2017)
“Bad Boy” from the album “The Perfect Red Velvet” is among the most famous songs of the girl group Red Velvet. The song charted in the top 10 in South Korea, Singapore, and the U.S., and sold more than 500 copies worldwide.000 times. In addition, the music video has received more than 200 million clicks on YouTube so far.
The song is above all an R&B song, but also contains hip-hop and dance elements. In terms of content, Red Velvet describes in “Bad Boy” the complicated relationship between a pickup and an aloof woman.
18. “As If It’s Your Last” by Blackpink (2017)
The song “As If It’s Your Last” from the album “Blackpink In Your Area” by Blackpink is one of the biggest successes of the South Korean girl group. In addition to reaching #1 on the American Billboard charts, the song has also achieved top 10 rankings in South Korea, Malaysia, Finland, and New Zealand.
In South Korea alone, the song sold more than 2.5 million copies.
The girls of Blackpink tell of finding and losing love with “As If It’s Your Last”. The impressive music video has garnered more than 700 million views on YouTube so far.
19. “Alone” by Sistar (2012)
The song “Alone” from the album of the same name by Sistar was already the second big hit of the South Korean girl band. Not only did the girls of Sistar enjoy the top position in the South Korean charts, their song also sold more than one million copies worldwide.
Although the dance song is very popular at parties, the song has a deeper meaning. Sister sing about loneliness, heartbreak, and the thought of feeling lost after a failed relationship. On Youtube, the music video has been viewed more than 100 million times so far.
20. “Gee” by Girls’ Generation (2009)
The song “Gee” from the album of the same name is one of the best songs of the South Korean pop group Girls’ Generation. The song was not only a huge success in South Korea, it was also released in a Japanese version and reached the top of the charts there.
In Japan, the single sold more than one million copies and reached multiple platinum status.
With “Gee”, Girls’ Generation wants to express the feelings of women who have fallen in love.
The ranks 21-82 of the best K-Pop songs:
Each song is linked to its music video via the title.
K-Pop Songs Spotify playlist:
We hope you enjoyed these songs. Which K-Pop songs do you like to listen to the most?