K-Pop and Korean music in general have evolved greatly throughout the years. The artists that are popular today aren’t the same as those even less than a decade ago.

YouTube channel odg invited Koreans of different generations to name the most famous singers during their time and in their own perspectives. Check them out below!

1. 1950s

na ae sim

The grandfather interviewed by odg named singer Na Ae-Sim as the most successful celebrity at the time. She released the famous song “Don’t Ask About My Past” in 1958, a period when there was no television.

According to the interviewee, it was a fond memory from when he was in high school.

There we no TV’s. Instead there was a thing called Radio Tubes. It was huge. It came out when I was a freshman in high school.

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2. 1960s

cho young nam

Next up, Cho Young Nam‘s “Delilah” was released in 1969, and he was one of the most famous singers during that period.

Cho Young Nam was my favorite Korean singer.

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3. 1970s

nam jin

Nam Jin and Na Hoon-A were the two most popular artists named by an interviewee. The former had a particularly recognizable song called “With My Love” which was released in 1972.

Nam Jin was so famous, people would pretend they saw him in person!

Back then, some people saw the singer’s faces on TV. They told their friends in their home town that they saw Nam Jin in real life.

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Later in the decade, Lee Eun Ha also made her mark with the track “Night Train” (1978).

4. 1980s

koo chang mo
Koo Chang Mo singing in a KBS program

When the mid-nineteen eighties came by, Koo Chang Mo‘s “Wet Firewood” became a hit.

Lee Mun Se was another artist whom people couldn’t stop talking about when “Under the Shade of the Street Tree” was released.

I bought his tapes and listened to it on my Mymy or Walkman when I was studying. I always had my earphones on.

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5. 1990s

seo taiji and boys

1991 was when Kim Gwang Seok made his name known with the song “Those Days”. A year later, Seo Taiji and Boys—known for their influence on K-Pop—released their song “I Know” which made young men and women dance along.

Seo Taiji and Boys. It was quite a shock to all of us, because they came out with songs no one has ever heard of before. In high school, I also used to wear neon clothes under my uniform and wear clothes with their labels still on them.

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Following them, Deux and H.O.T also amassed legions of fans thanks to their songs “Looking Back on Myself” (1993) and “Candy” (1996) respectively.

6. 2000s

tvxq

The early 2000s introduced TVXQ to the public. They were known for having a strong fandom that people talked about often online.

[TVXQ and] Cassiopeia were a huge hit. It was the most common singer’s name among Budybudy (chat site). They were the most popular at the time, [nicknames like] Yunho’s wife and Jaejoong’s spouse, there were a lot of those.

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Later in 2007, BIGBANG‘s “Lies” became a huge hit among the public. It was said that “everyone remembered the choreography” and they even copied BIGBANG’s converse-wearing style.

7. Early 2010s

growl
EXO’s “Growl” was released in 2013 | SM Entertainment

In 2013, EXO‘s “Growl” received multiple music show wins, solidifying the group in everyone’s minds as one of the most famous K-Pop groups around the world.

8. Current

dynamite

Last but certainly not the least, the participants of odg‘s video unanimously recognized BTS as the top K-Pop act at the moment. They’re famous not only in Korea, but all around the world as well, representing them in foreign programs and award shows.

When their music is on, everyone goes, ‘Oh! This is BTS’.

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Check out the full video below!