K-pop in America was pretty much a men’s game until 2020, when a handful of female-only acts (along with Blackpink) finally started gaining the recognition and they’ve deserved for years now. . The most popular South Korean group is BTS, but they aren’t the only boy group in this part of the world to skyrocket. In fact, there are quite a few names that look set to shine in the United States very soon, maybe in the next few months.
Here are five South Korean boy bands that could break out in America in 2021.
In just two short years, Tomorrow X Together, or TXT for short, has shown that not only have they come to work hard, but that they could very well be the next big K-pop group to score hits and go. Land massive albums in the United States in 2020, they sent at least nine tracks to the global digital song sales charts, more than doubling their wins from the previous year.
On the Billboard 200, the band have now released titles in each of the past two years, and their upward trajectory is both clear and astonishing. In spring 2019, The chapter of dreams: star peaked at # 140. Last November, their last Minisode1: The blue hour drastically improved that, as it went all the way to # 25.
They are also one of only five South Korean groups to claim at least once the best-selling album in the United States, as Minisode1: The blue hour sold well enough when it arrived to beat every other title in this frame. They joined BTS, NCT 127, SuperM, and Blackpink in this feat.
Exo himself is somewhat on hiatus, as several members are busy with their compulsory military enlistment (which is a must for all men in South Korea), but the name lives on. A handful of subunits (separate, but related groups that feature artists from the main group) have been identified, and at least two have already found success as standalone acts.
The original group has already sent four albums to the Billboard 200, and while only one inactive subunit has joined this feat, 2021 could see others repeat this success. Exo-CBX has enjoyed some exciting placements, but it looks like the next Exo spin-off that may explode would be Exo-SC … although it’s unclear which outfit will stand out the most this year.
In the few years they spent together, Stray Kids released an incredible amount of music, almost all of them performing extremely well on both the World Albums and World Digital Song Sales charts, where they have racked up nearly 10 top 10s on both lists.
The group’s first feature film Go live didn’t quite make the Billboard 200, but it did enter the top 40 for best-selling albums, hitting No.26 and passing three frames on the tally. At the rate they are producing new collections, it is only a matter of time before they rise higher and higher, eventually joining the main roster.
Most South Korean musicians and bands are lucky enough to reach any non-specific genre Billboard chart at all, and only the biggest and most popular titles send the titles to Billboard 200 or Top Album Sales lists. Ateez not only placed one title in the Top Albums chart in 2020, they managed to do it twice, joining bands like BTS, Monsta X, TXT and a few others in this screening.
The relatively new boy group Verivery has just started making waves in America, but they’re rushing to the top of the pack right out of the gate. So far, the group has only seen one song (and no collection) arrive at the Billboard charts, but its immediate performance shows that there is real interest in them and their music. The hit “GBTB” (short for Go Beyond The Barrier) not only opened at No. 1 on the worldwide digital song sales chart, it also landed on the chart of all styles of digital song sales, reaching the # 44. It’s something the other names on this list still haven’t accomplished. They are now prepared and ready to do more amazing things in the United States, hopefully in 2021.