On April 23, Billboard released its list of 100 of the most memorable boy band songs in history, stretching as far back as The Beatles and the Jackson 5. The list spans decades of legendary boy bands, such as New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, and the more recent One Direction.
Check out the 10 K-pop songs that made it onto the list below!
16. BTS’s “Blood, Sweat & Tears”
BTS’s “Blood, Sweat & Tears” took No. 16 on the list, with Billboard describing the song as “the K-pop group’s most captivating sound to date.” Billboard praises the track for taking BTS’s signature angst to the next level, writing, “The 2016 hit embraces the sense of desperation that the septet had featured on previous singles, like ‘I Need U’ and ‘Save Me,’ and mixes those emotions with sparkling tropical house synths and moombahton beats.”
27. BIGBANG’s “Fantastic Baby”
Referring to the song as “one of the most infectious boy band songs ever released,” Billboard enthuses, “It would be incredibly difficult to imagine what K-pop would look like without BIGBANG’s game changing 2012 hit ‘Fantastic Baby.’ The anarchic hip-house track raised the bar for the genre, overflowing with vibrancy as it bounces between sonic styles.”
41. TVXQ’s “Mirotic”
Billboard describes “Mirotic,” which remains one of the songs most frequently covered by other K-pop artists, as “the magnificent epitome of what K-pop sounded and felt like in the late 2000s.” The list praises the “dark, sultry tune” for its “powerful vocals,” “layered harmonies,” and “offbeat production.”
44. Super Junior’s “It’s You”
According to Billboard, “Super Junior served up near-perfection with their rhythmic electro-pop track ‘It’s You.'” Billboard points out that the track is noteworthy for blending “dance and ballad elements,” writing, “It may not have seen the virality of its predecessor [their mega-hit ‘Sorry Sorry’], but ‘It’s You’ served up melodic glory from the boy band, and remains one of their finest moments.”
49. BTS’s “DNA”
The only K-pop group to appear twice on the list, BTS also claimed No. 49 with their recent hit “DNA.” Billboard praises “the earworm of a hook,” writing, “It’s fair to say that the global superstars behind ‘DNA’ have found their destiny as record-breakers who continue to destabilize Western assumptions about K-pop.”
58. EXO’s “Growl”
EXO’s iconic hit came in at No. 58 on the list, with Billboard declaring, “A brilliant example of finely produced pop, ‘Growl’ remains one of the most emblematic K-pop songs of all time.” Applauding the track’s “sweeping harmonies” and “commanding raps,” the list praises the songwriting for deftly “play[ing] up the group’s size and vocal diversity with its tempo changes and tonal shifts.”
62. Wanna One’s “Energetic”
Billboard enthuses that “‘Energetic’ is pop formula tweaked to such perfection that it transcends being generic.” Describing the song as a “propulsive dance track,” Billboard writes, “The temporary supergroup’s first foray outside of ‘Produce 101’ became a showcase for the newly formed synergy between the 11 handpicked members.”
67. SHINee’s “Lucifer”
Proclaiming that “the forceful charisma of ‘Lucifer’ still stands as one of the most dynamic pieces from SHINee,” Billboard writes, “Few boy bands do propulsive electro-pop as well as SHINee, and the quintet took things to a new level early on in their career. Strong vocals soar over this urban dance track, which overflows with ’80s-style digital quirks.”
78. SEVENTEEN’s “Adore U”
The list commends SEVENTEEN’s debut title track for being a perfect introduction to the group itself, with Billboard writing, “Few K-pop groups nail a perfect debut, but ‘Adore U’ is practically Seventeen’s mission statement: From the get-go, the 13-member ensemble established that their performances pair a theatrical playfulness with hooks to spare.” The list also playfully notes that “not many boy bands can lay claim to an accordion breakdown.”
87. VIXX’s “Dynamite”
VIXX’s “Dynamite” was the 10th K-pop song on the list, with Billboard raving that “this track represents K-pop at its peak, balancing commercial viability with experimental songwriting.” Praising the “playfulness of the funky tune” and the “dense layers of sonic textures,” Billboard writes, “‘Dynamite’ proves that when VIXX isn’t beckoning Starlights into the darkness with horror themes, they can pull off brighter concepts while maintaining their mystique.”
Congratulations to the nine groups that made the list!
Which songs would you have put on your own list of greatest boy band songs of all time? Leave your thoughts below!