These K-Pop Groups and Songs are Turning 10 This 2019!

If you got to know K-Pop in 2009, you might find it hard to believe that it’s been a 10 solid years since you became a fan.

Feel old yet? Here’s a little throwback post to help you get by.

(And if you weren’t a K-Pop fan back in 2009, feel free to join our trip down memory lane. Trust us, this year gave us legendary debuts and bops. You’re welcome.)

1. These idol groups made their debuts in 2009.


Following Big Bang’s success, YG Entertainment debuted girl group 2NE1 with hip-hop/reggae song “Fire,” which was a hit in all charts in Korea. Filipinos took notice of the group because of Dara, who boasted a singing and acting career in the country after appearing in reality show Star Circle Quest. Unfortunately, the group disbanded in 2017.


In 2009, Cube Entertainment announced that its then-new girl group would include Hyuna, formerly a member of Wonder Girls. After the announcement of four more members, 4Minute debuted with the song “Hot Issue” from their first mini-album For Muzik. The group, though, disbanded in 2016.

After School

Formed by Pledis Entertainment, After School uses an admissions and graduation concept, then popular in Japanese groups like Morning Musume and AKB48. The group’s original quintet has since graduated and are now pursuing solo careers. Since 2015, After School has halted group promotions while its current members took up solo projects.

Beast / Highlight

Following the departure of member Hyunseung from the group, Beast Cube Entertainment and went on to establish their own label called Around Us Entertainment. They are now known as Highlight.


Previously a five-member group, f(x) are currently inactive as a group. After the release of their album 4 Walls, the members have since embarked on solo careers—Victoria with her activities in China, Luna and Amber with solo singing careers, and Krystal with her modeling and acting gigs.


MBLAQ debuted with the song “Oh Yeah” from their debut EP Just BLAQ. In 2014, their agency announced the departure of members Joon and Thunder from the group. The remaining three members continued promotions afterward. However, MBLAQ has then become inactive after 2015.


T-ARA’s debut was a rough one, following member line-up changes. Current members Hyomin, Jiyeon, Eunjung, and Qri announced that they did not renew their contracts with their agency, MBK Entertainment. However, it is not clear whether the group has disbanded.

2. 2009 gave us these legendary bops.

Gee – Girls’ Generation

“Gee” was the best-selling single of 2009 in South Korea, winning Girls’ Generation awards such as Digital Daesang and Digital Bonsang at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards, Daesang at the 19th Seoul Music Awards, and the Song of the Year at the 7th Korean Music Awards, to name a few. It’s so popular that it became the signature song of the group and has been dubbed as a classic by Billboard.

Another special mention is Girls’ Generation equally successful single, “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” released in the same year.

Sorry Sorry – Super Junior

With its catchy tunes, it is no wonder that Sorry Sorry became popular not only in Korea but also overseas. The song also earned the group the Album of the Year Award at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards. The song became so popular in the Philippines that it dominated local music charts. The Cebu Dancing Inmates once performed this song, which was noticed by the Super Junior members themselves.

Again & Again – 2PM

2PM rose to prominence with “Again & Again”, earning them the Song of the Year award from KBS’ end-of-the-year music festival.

Mister – KARA

Despite being a B-side to the album Revolution, “Mister” proved to be more popular than the lead single “Wanna.” The “butt dance” proved to be a hit, and it is considered still to be one of K-Pop’s most memorable dance moves.

Heartbreaker – G-Dragon

“Heartbreaker” remains one of G-Dragon’s biggest hits, selling over 3 million digital downloads in 2009 alone. The song also won him Album of the Year at the 2009 Mnet Asia Music Awards and the Melon Music Awards.

Ring Ding Dong – SHINee

The song served as the lead track for the group’s album 2009, Year of Us, which earned the Bonsang Award at the 2010 Seoul Music Awards. Its catchy hooks and repetitive use of “Ring ding dong” caused it to be banned from being played before college entrance exams in South Korea. In 2018, its music video reached 100 million views, a first for the group.

Because of You – After School

“Because of You” is the group’s first release without member Soyoung and with new members Raina and Nana. Upon its release, the song achieved a daily and weekly “all-kill” status on various music stores. With a more mature concept and a new sound, After School scored their first win through this song.

Paradise – T.Max

Also called “Almost Paradise,” this is the theme song to the 2009 drama Boys Over Flowers, starring Lee Minho, Ku Hyesun, and Kim Bum. The drama received consistent high viewership during its run, and it catapulted its cast members into household name status.

Abracadabra – Brown Eyed Girls

This song marked the group’s change in image and style, which proved to be effective as it became one of the best-selling singles in Korea at the end of 2009. Best known for its “sexy hip dance”, Abracadabra would later go on to become a favorite song covered by both male and female idols. (In case you missed it, the dace was featured in PSY’s Gentleman)

3. These idols are turning 30 (31 in Korea) this year

  • Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, and Yuri
  • Former Girls’ Generation member Jessica Jung
  • Former After School members Raina and Bekah
  • Big Bang’s maknae, Daesung
  • INFINITE’s leader and main vocalist, Sungkyu
  • Ailee
  • 2AM’s Jo Kwon
  • SHINee’s Onew
  • BoA, who will celebrate her 19th debut anniversary this year

4. Meanwhile, these idols were only 10 years old in 2009!

Now, they’re part of a new generation of idol groups!

  • Cosmic Girls’ Yeoreum and Dayoung
  • MOMOLAND’s Daisy, JooE, and AhIn
  • NCT’s Lucas and Mark
  • LOONA’s Kim Lip and Chuu
  • SEVENTEEN’s Dino
  • ASTRO’s Rocky
  • Red Velvet’s Yeri
  • Twice’s Chaeyoung and Tzuyu
  • Former Wanna One members Park Jihoon and Park Woojin
  • IZ*ONE’s Hyewon and Yena
  • (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi
  • Weki Meki’s Yoojung and Doyeon

What was your favorite K-Pop moment in 2009? Let us know in the comments section!

Irish Valdez contributed to this article.

Bea Mandac
Bea was introduced to the world of Korean culture through Full House, Jewel in the Palace, BoA, and TVXQ. She is also a fan of J-Pop, figure skating, and tennis. When not in her day job, she likes to be alone in her room or in a café with her pen and paper, or a laptop. She co-runs a figure skating blog with fellow KStreet contributor Clara. You can reach her on Twitter.

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