K-pop (an abbreviation of Korean pop or Korean popular music) is a musical genre consisting of electronic, hip hop, pop, rock, and R&B music originating in South Korea. In addition to music, K-pop has grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults around the world, resulting in widespread interest in the fashion and style of Korean idol groups and singers.
Through the presence of Facebook fan pages, availability on iTunes, Twitter profiles, and music videos on YouTube, the ability of K-Pop to reach a previously inaccessible audience via the Internet is driving a paradigm shift in the exposure and popularity of the genre.
1990s: Conception and industrialization
The debut of the group Seo Tai-ji & Boys in 1992 was a turning point for popular music in South Korea. Incorporating elements of rap rock and techno. Hip hop duos such as Deux also were popular in the early 1990s.
The founding of South Korea's largest talent agency, S.M. Entertainment, in 1995 by Korean entrepreneur Lee Soo Man led to the first K-pop girl groups and boy bands. By the late 1990s, YG Entertainment, DSP Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment had burst onto the scene and were producing talent as quickly as the public could consume it.
Groups such as, S.E.S., Fin.K.L, H.O.T, Sechs Kies, G.o.d. and Shinhwa had huge success in the 1990s. Also during this period was the emergence of hip hop and R&B music in Korea, leading to the success of artists including Drunken Tiger.
Today, apprenticeship is the universal strategy for nurturing girl groups, boy bands, and solo artists in the K-pop industry. To guarantee the high probability of success of new talent, talent agencies fully subsidize and oversee the professional lives and careers of trainees, often spending in excess of $400,000 to train and launch a new artist. Through this practice of apprenticeship, which often lasts two years or more, trainees hone their voices, learn professional choreography, sculpt and shape their bodies through exercise, and study multiple languages all the while attending school.
K-pop is steadily gaining influence in foreign markets outside of Asia, most notably in the United States , Canada, and Australia. In 2001,Kim Bum Soo became the first Korean singer to place on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with his single, "Hello Goodbye Hello".  In a push to further globalize the genre, K-pop artists are increasingly working with talent outside of Korea. In the United States, Korean artists are touring with groups such as the Jonas Brothers and collaborating with well-known producers including Kanye West, Teddy Riley, Diplo, Rodney Jerkins, and will.i.am.
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- Korean music
- South Korean music
- Korean wave
- Contemporary culture of South Korea
- List of South Korean bands
- List of Korea-related topics
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