Let’s go from the most popular girlband to perhaps the most popular boyband – BIGBANG (they love capitalisation in K-Pop). If they’re not the most popular they certainly have the most hardcore fanbase, known as the VIPS, who helped vote them into the position of Best Worldwide Act at last year’s MTV Europe Video Music Awards fending off competition from that little-known performer Britney Spears (and we know how crazy her fans can be – yes i’m looking at you Chris Crocker).
Like Girls’ Generation, they’ve experienced a change of style in recent years with their current incarnation (seen in the video for Fantastic Baby below) coming across like an anime punk version of Backstreet Boys’ Backstreet’s Back video with a whole lot of studs, coloured hair and bare chests. All five BIGBANG members have had successful solo careers on the side (each has had at least one number one single or album in South Korea) before recently coming back together with this new vision proving you can take a break successfully (Girls Aloud take note). Their most recent EP release Alive was the first K-Pop album sung in Korean to hit the Billboard 200 Albums chart recently as sees the guys try everything from the like-LMFAO-but-less-annoying Fantastic Baby to hip-hop inflected Bad Boy to some stood-on-a-rooftop boyband ballad-ness on Blue. If you’re looking for something a bit more aligned with chart music of the moment have a gander at Tonight which could have been any of the big electro dance pop hits of last year only sang in Korean. Each of the members have their own strengths (member G-Dragon being an extremely accomplished producer/songwriter always helps) which means they can adapt chameleon like to whatever genre they want – a bonus if they want to crack the big western charts.
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