Extra! Korea

February 2, 2010

Were the Wonder Girls really the first Koreans on Billboard?

Filed under: music — extrakorea @ 5:06 am

You’ve probably heard JYP Entertainment proclaiming that the Wonder Girls were the first Koreans onto the Billboard charts. But is this true, or embellishment from JYP?

Kim Bum Soo is the first South Korean artist to reach the U.S. Billboard chart and ranked as 51 on the Hot 100 chart in 2001. After that, solo female artist, mink [sic] and Korean-American group, S.Blush also reached the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts, where they ranked #1 in 2006 and #2 in 2007 respectively. Skull, a Korean reggae artist from YG Entertainment also ranked as #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales and #14 Hot Singles Sales in 2007. Se7en who is also from YG Entertainment, BoA from SM Entertainment and Rain from JYP Entertainment are all currently concentrating on their U.S. debuts. However, there has yet to be a prominent, successful K-pop artist in the American music industry. Wonder Girls is the first K-pop artist to have a song reach the Billboard Hot 100.

Is it me, or does the first sentence contradict the last one? And here is an article of interest. Yes, yes, I know it’s from the Korea Times, which has tarnished its credibility lately.

Korean female group S-Blush ranks second with its debut single, “It’s My Life” on Billboard Chart this week.

The single rose to second place on the Hot Dance Club Play category of the U.S. music chart in the May 5 [2007] edition, up from the fourth last week. The single has been on the chart for about 10 weeks.

[ snip ]

Previous Korean singers who ranked in the U.S. chart include Mink and Kim Bum-soo. Mink topped in the same dance section last year.

Kim’s “Hello, Goodbye, Hello,” an English version of “Haru (A Day)” made No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles in 2001.


  1. […] artists are useful after all. At least they were the first Koreans onto the Billboard charts. Oh wait … Why doesn’t anyone ever call out Park Jin-young on his … I’ll be generous, and […]

    Pingback by Wonder Girls postpone album, cancel U.S. tour « Extra! Korea — February 7, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  2. It is interesting to note that the Kim Sisters (from the 1950s) were signed on an American record label and was the act that made the most appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show (the American Idol tv juggernaut of its day).

    It is sad when one isn’t prepared to talk on American television. Just ask Ming Na, when Dick Clarke knew more about Asian Americans in the music industry than she did.

    Comment by usasians — September 27, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

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