The biggest K-pop entertainment companies behind the popular K-pop idols

The K-pop industry has gathered a huge fan base not only in Asia but all over the world and its popularity is here to stay. But behind the biggest K-pop idols are some of the best entertainment companies in South Korea that run them. These agencies have trained many ambitious talents and launched the careers of some of the best K-pop sensations, including BTS and BLACKPINK.

Korean pop, or K-pop, music underlies the ever-growing influence of the South Korean phenomenon around the world. With many K-pop bands already running the Billboard charts, several big names make it big in the global music industry with a winning recipe from the perfect combination of playful melodies, synchronized choreography, glamorous costumes and multi-layered audiovisual entertainment.

Starting with OG K-pop bands like BIGBANG in 2006 and Girls’ Generation in 2007, the K-pop music scene has exploded ever since. Bands such as BTS have solidified their cult favorites by topping the Billboard charts worldwide with megahits, including “Dynamite”, “Butter” and “Permission To Dance” from 2020.

The BLACKPINK girls also fly high and are recognized in the mass media. They have been chosen as ambassadors for many luxury brands, including Dior (Jisoo), Prada (Lisa), Saint Laurent (Rosé) and Chanel (Jennie).

Thanks to their great worldwide success, K-pop entertainment companies have achieved record revenues and profits, inspiring them to continue looking for new talent. They are gradually expanding beyond Korea and entering other Asian markets, North America and Europe.

Here are some of the biggest K-pop entertainment companies behind your favorite Korean stars

HYBE (Big Hit Entertainment)

Founded in February 2005 by renowned South Korean songwriter, composer, producer and recording executive, Bang Si-hyuk, HYBE started as a small label that entered the Korean entertainment industry and made it big, although it almost went bankrupt in 2007.

The company catapulted to success after forming the seven-member group BTS in June 2013. The group achieved great fame and became one of the largest boy bands of all time.

With Jungkook as lead vocalist, V and Jin as vocalists, Park Ji-min as lead vocalist, Suga as rapper, RM as rapper and band leader, and J-Hope as rapper and lead dancer, the band produced albums that garnered millions in sales. in the years after their conception. Some of the band’s live videos, including synchronized choreography and playful melodies, garnered over a billion views on YouTube.

Other famous artists featured by Big Hit Entertainment include Tomorrow x Together, Lee Hyun, Enhypen, Nana, Seventeen and Bumzu.

SM Entertainment

SM Entertainment, founded by Lee Su-man, played a pioneering role in the development of the Korean wave worldwide. After graduating with a degree in computer engineering from California State University, Northridge, USA, Lee returned to South Korea and founded SM Studio in Apgujong-dong, Gangnam, Seoul in 1989. Inspired by the MTV era, he began his a small entertainment company in order to manage the careers of artists, train them and even launch new talents. “SM” originally meant Soo-man, but is now an acronym for “Star Museum.”

Lee changed his company’s name to SM Entertainment in 1995 and named Jung Hae-ik CEO. SM developed the first-ever training and production center for artists and launched a series of successful K-pop groups, including the boys ‘group HOT (1996), the girls’ group SES (1997), Shinhwa (1998) and the R&B duo Fly to Heaven (1999). . The company was the first to have in-house training centers for ambitious K-pop performers who revolutionized the industry and paved the way for the K-pop phenomenon in the 1990s.

SM Entertainment currently represents artists including Aespa, NCT, EXO, Red Velvet, SM Town, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation and SHINee.

YG Entertainment

Founded by Yang Hyun-suk in 1996, YG Entertainment has launched big names in K-pop so far, including Big Bang, 2NE1 and BLACKPINK. Although the company was recently embroiled in controversy over Seungri by Big Bang and the alleged harassment of its performers, YG is still a remarkable agency that changed the course of K-pop from the 1990s.

In 2016, China’s Tencent invested $ 85 million in a record company, a talent agency, event management and a concert production company, which gave the social media giant ownership of 4.5 percent of YG. The investment brought huge success and business development opportunities to YG Entertainment.

Other popular talents supported by YG include Psy, Lee Jong-suk, iKon, Winner, TREASURE and G-Dragon

JYP Entertainment

Another leading K-pop entertainment company, JYP, was launched in 1997 by legendary musician Park Jin-Young. The founder has pursued the careers of his artists and has built a strong reputation for them in the industry by appearing in several K-pop auditions. The company is also hosting global auditions to discover new talent from around the world.

JYP started with the 1st generation boy band god, followed by Wonder Girls, Suzy Bae from Miss A, and recently TWICE, GOT7 and ITZY. The groups run by JYP have collectively gathered millions of followers on social media and are enjoying front-row seats at some of the most prestigious events in the entertainment and fashion industry.

Cube Entertainment

Founded in 2006 by Hong Seung-Sung and Shin Jung-Hwa, Cube Entertainment was a resounding success in the late 2000s when they introduced and released music for two major K-pop groups BEAST and 4 Minute. However, they are no longer part of the company.

The label is currently promoting its notable bands, namely Pentagon, BtoB, CLC and (G) I-dle. They also ventured into overseas markets, with (G) I-dle collaborating with beauty giants Sephora and Memebox on their latest project, Kaja Beauty.

P nation

P Nation is a relatively small venture started by singer Psy with the fame of “Gangnam Style”, which was founded in 2018 after he broke up with YG Entertainment. The label is already making waves in the music industry, signing big names, including K-pop couple HyunA and E’Dawn and Korean-American singer and rapper Jesse, who was a former member of Lucky J and a soloist.

SK Telecom will invest $ 5 billion in P Nation in 2019 and has a 10% stake in the company. P Nation introduced artists such as Crush, Penomeco and Swings until the end of the 2021 reality show Strong gave P Nation seven interns Woo Kyung Joon, Choi Tae Hun, Jang Hyun Soo, Eun Hwi, Cheon Jun Hyeok, Oh Sung Jun and Tanaka Koki, who signed with the company for their first boy band debut.

After Tanaka Koki withdrew from the deal in early 2022, the other members of the boy band, officially called TNX (The New Six), debuted on May 17 with their mini-album. Way up.

(Main image: Carolyn von Petzhold / CC-BY-3.0 / Wikimedia Commons)

(Image submitted credit: BTS/@bts.bighitofficial/Instagram)

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