2012 was a tough year for idols, because although many idols did debut that year, not many made it far in the industry. 2012 was also the year Psy’s “Gangnam Style” syndrome started, causing even more hardship for idols to get known during this period. Out of the many idol groups that debuted that year, let’s take a look at four idol groups that have overcome many obstacles and are still promoting today.


NU’EST had a bit of trouble in the beginning and the agency almost gave up on them. They stayed in the low light for awhile until they appeared on PRODUCE 101, stating that this would be their last chance. Baekho even revealed that if they didn’t make it this time he would go ahead and enlist in the military. Luckily, their song “Hello” started making its way back up on the charts and they began to appear in the lime light. It was the constant efforts of all the members that they were able to make it through the hard times and be where they are today. They recently made a comeback with “I’m In Trouble” as part of their The Nocturne album.



Although BTOB debuted in 2012, they didn’t hit the lime light until around 2015 with their song “It’s Okay.” They spent three years before this track out of the spotlight as they continued to strive to become a group that was known to the public. They’ve stated to fans that they are so thankful for them because they continued to hold onto them even when they felt like they had lost everything. This group had the skills and talent to be potentially one of the greatest groups and it’s through the members’ mindset and patience that allowed them to continue in this journey for the past eight years.



Unlike other SM artists that had big hit songs right after debut, EXO didn’t have a huge hit in the early days of their debut. They spent the first year of their careers being ridiculed as the ones that failed in SM as they performed on small stages at schools. They started to gain spotlight with “Wolf” and “Growl” but received criticism from the public along with several members leaving the group. It was through this hurt and pain that the members were able to become stronger and closer than ever. Currently, they remain one of the most popular groups in the K-Pop industry.



AOA first debuted as a group that was separated into dance and band units. They practiced so hard for these unit groups that member Jimin was diagnosed with carpal tunnel after practicing the guitar for so long. Due to her injury, the debut date was pushed back further. Even after debut, they didn’t receive the amount of attention they thought they would with the band unit. After a long one year hiatus, the members continued to come out to the agency and practice even more than the trainees at that time. They then came out with “Mini Skirt” which became an instant hit. They have continued to release other great songs after that and are still known as one of the greatest groups in the industry today.


While there were many other talented groups that debuted in 2012, this list is to just highlight a few of the long-running groups that are still actively promoting today.