We all know how much of an advantage debuting under a Big-3 afford. I was just wondering what people think are the top non big-3 girl groups of all time, based on musical sales, popularity (both the whole group and member-wise), peak/length of peak, music quality, CFs, other ventures, etc. Here are mine (with reasonings why):
the Queens of Summer need no introductions. Their physical sales might be lacking, but they’re a digital wall. At their peak, they arguably rival SSND and 2NE1 for the title of the most popular kpop girl group, pumping out hits after hits such as: “I Like That”, “Alone”, “Touch My Body”, etc. Individually, they’re each carving their own paths in solo music (Hyorin) and/or acting (Bora, Dasom), and are all v popular (with the possible exception of Dasom). Probably the banner-bearer for the sexy concept for girl groups.
I Like That:
the longevity alone (8+ years and still promoting and pumping out music) in such a ephemeral and cutthroat industry elevates their status. At their peak, circa mid 2013-2015, they were on fire, going from “No No No” to “Mr. Chu” to “LUV”, and probably placing either the bottom of the top-tier girl groups or in the top of the next tier. Individually, Eunji has found great success as both a solo artist and an actress (Reply 1997 anyone?), while Na-eun and Bo-mi also dabbled in acting and doing variety.
No No No:
Everyday Girl’s Day! Famously took them forever to find their footings, but once “Expectations” gain them more widespread recognition, they took off on a brilliant streak, following up with “Female President” (which net them their first show win), “Something”, and “Darling”. At their peak, 2013-end of 2015/mid-2016 or so, they were mostly placed in either the bottom of the top-tier girl groups or at the top of the next tier. Individually, they probably have the most success of anyone here, with Hyeri (Reply 1988 is arguably one of the most iconic kdrama of all time) being one of the most well-known individual idol in Korea, landing lead roles after lead roles, Minah (Beautiful Gong-Shim averages double digit ratings for its run) making her inprints in acting, and Yura and Sojin MC-ing shows after shows.
Before their 2012 bullying scandal that massively took down their popularity, T-ARA was a rocket on a trajectory for historical status. Rising in popularity with “Bo Peep Bo Peep” and “Neo Ttaemune Michyeo”, they broke to the top with the iconic “Roly Poly”. For the next year and a half to mid-2012 when the controversy broke, T-ARA was indisputably among the top girl groups. Sadly, they have not come even close to the same level of success since.
(I don’t follow third-gen as closely so please correct me here if I’m wrong on anything): GFriend experienced a meteoric rise to the top in 2015-2016 with “Me Gustas Tu” and “Rough”, in the process setting the world on fire with a record-breaking 29 show wins in one year, becoming the new darlings of the kpop world “Navillera” continued that success trend, albeit on a smaller scale. Since then, they have not had the same amount of success as they had earlier in their career, though they’re still one of the top 3rd gen girl groups.
Me Gustas Tu: