In the K-Pop world, there’s a saying that if a group doesn’t make it within 3 years, they won’t ever make it. These 6 groups proved this saying wrong, however, by becoming popular well after the 3 year mark.

1. EXID

exid
| Banana Culture

Kicking off this list are the queens of the OG viral group, EXID. The girl group debuted back in 2012 and 2 years into their career, they weren’t seeing much success. The girl group’s songs struggled to make it onto music charts and eventually, they went through a member switch. This all changed in 2014 when they came out with their hit song, “Up & Down.” While the song didn’t see much initial success after its release, months later at almost exactly their 3 year anniversary, member Hani‘s fancam of the song went completely viral. This skyrocketed the girl group into complete and utter popularity, concreting their legacy.

2. NU’EST

nuest

Next up on our list, we have boy group NU’EST. On the complete flip side of EXID’s story, NU’EST became popular not because of a song, but because of their members. The boy group also debuted back in 2012, but they were unable to create much of an impact in the K-Pop scene. 6 years later, some of the members decided to compete on Mnet‘s Produce 101 and it was here that they started to gain a following. Member Minhyun made it all the way to the final project group, Wanna One where he promoted with the group for 2 years. After joining NU’EST again, the group’s popularity soared like they hadn’t experienced before.

3. Brave Girls

brave girls
| @BRAVEGIRLS_/Twitter

Would this list be complete without this girl group? The viral girl group, Brave Girls has been making headlines and topping charts for the past few weeks. While they’re just beginning to create a splash, this veteran girl group made their debut back in 2011 with completely different members. They originally garnered attention due to the fact that they were produced by Brave Brothers, but the girl group was unable to meet the public’s expectations. Fast forward 10 years and one YouTube video later, Brave Girls exploded in popularity with their song, “Rollin.” Since their video went viral, they have been winning first place on different music shows and breaking records.

4. Hyukoh

hyukoh
| HIGHGRND

Indie band, Hyukoh comes in hot at fourth on our list. While this band has a cult following in the underground indie band world, they were unknown in the mainstream music world. That is, until 2015 when they joined Infinite Challenge for their music festival special. Solo singer IU was also featured on the show along with Hyukoh and it was due to her love for the group that their popularity soared out of the blue. Their songs started to make their way onto music charts and eventually, they became more well-known all across the nation. They proved their popularity by signing with HIGHGRND, which is a subsidiary of YG Entertainment.

5. Teen Top

teen top
| TOP Media

Another boy group has found themselves on this list and this time, it is idol group Teen Top. This boy group is looking at their 11th anniversary this year, having made their debut back in 2010. While they have been in the industry for a long time, they have not been able to make the impact that they would have liked. It wasn’t until member Niel featured on an episode of YouTube channel, MMTG that the group started to see an increase in their popularity. The Teen Top member’s comedic talks, hilarious antics and blunt delivery garnered heavy, but positive attention for the group.

6. Lim Young Woong

im young woong

Last, but definitely not the least is solo trot singer Lim Young Woong. While he debuted back in 2016, the trot singer was unable to see the success that he was hoping for. As he struggled for 5 years, it wasn’t until his appearance on TV Chosun‘s Mister Trot that his fate changed forever. He went on to win the competition, placing first amongst the many talented competitors. After his victory, he immediately saw success overnight. Lim Young Woong has been busy juggling his numerous different schedules and promotions since his appearance on the show.