You won't believe the K-pop storm taking over the world until you've seen these ladies. With some favorite picks by Marie Claire Accessories Director Kyle Anderson and leading K-pop news site Allkpop.com, we bring you some of our latest obsessions that have us completely hooked. By Sue Kang
With HyunA's recent comeback following her first "Troublemaker" duet with Beast's Hyunseung—which was forced to modify its original choreography for being too sexually suggestive—we had to include this number that has already been hit with a 19+ viewer rating in the Korean media. We give you a quick taste of her latest hit with this teaser video for "There is No Tomorrow (Now)."
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After School's sexy pole dance for their song "First Love," mastered after months of hard training, makes these ladies our official girl crushes. Keep in mind that this is following the group's years of pulling off other feats such as a drum line, tap dance, and cane dance. Reaching the top in K-pop just four years after their 2009 debut, their hard work has definitely paid off.
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SISTAR19, a subunit of the four-member group SISTAR, pairs the group's lead vocalist Hyorin and rapper Bora who have managed to shoot every one of their singles to the top of the music charts. Shedding their fun and young image in SISTAR, the jazzy undertones in their latest song, "Gone Not Around Any Longer," sets the perfect mood for their table dance.
This old Hollywood-inspired music video for Secret's song "Poison" caught our eye, not only for the bombshells in red, but for the sexy dance track that had us wanting more. If you feel the same way after watching the video, try another one of our Secret favorites: "Talk That."
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Though a relatively new girl group that debuted in 2010, miss A captured the attention of K-pop goers everywhere with their tough, bada** image. Their debut song, "Bad Girl Good Girl," was followed by a line of other hits including titles like "I Don't Need a Man" and "Goodbye Baby." Evocative of their own song lyrics, these ladies are independent and fierce.
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Allkpop.com's Pick: Girls' Generation
Now here's a group that landed on TIMEMagazine's Top 10 Songs of 2013. "The physical album market is usually dominated by boy groups but Girls' Generation is the rare exception," tells Allkpop's Paul Han, COO of 6Theory Media. "They are up there at the top in terms of most album sales, and they routinely achieve the highest views on YouTube. Their namesake fits them well because you could say this era of females in K-Pop is 'Girls' Generation.'"
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Allkpop.com's Pick: Girl's Day
CEO Johnny Noh of Allkpop and 6Theory Media tells MC, "Girl's Day is a true underdog story. Coming out of Dream T Entertainment (a brand new label), these girls had to work with virtually nothing, as opposed to the instant success artists coming out of the 'Big 3' entertainment labels often see. They are now a top-tier girl group and have made their way into the homes of millions, becoming a household brand name."
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At a time when a growing number of K-pop artists are being slammed by critics for a certain rarity of vocal talent, fans can't help but to turn an eager ear towards SISTAR's strong set of vocals, led by lead singer Hyorin. We can't tell what shines more: the group's fun and young image or their unique musical flavor.
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Lim Kim is a new solo contender in the largely girl group-dominated industry, rising to fame after placing third on the popular show and singing competition "Superstar K3." Don't be fooled: she may be young at the age of 19, but there's already a strong cult following for this girl's beautiful and highly distinct voice.
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The queen herself, Hyori Lee, is a pop legend whose original '90s debut made way for the birth of K-Pop even before it became a global phenomenon. Notorious for her rebellious charisma and scandalous dance moves on the stage, Hyori sets the bar for K-pop glamour and sex appeal.
Marie Claire Editor Kyle Anderson's Pick: Park Ji Yoon
It's no wonder why Park Ji Yoon is a go-to pick for MC's Kyle Anderson, who lived in South Korea between 1998 and 2000. No second-generation K-pop star can match the impact Park Ji Yoon had on the Korean music industry. Often marked as the first "sexy" concept, "Seonginshik" was a shock felt throughout the historically conservative Korean media. Her haunting voice, slit skirt, and sensual dance are still iconic today.
Where is she now? Park Ji Yoon, now 31, is still active as a singer, actress, and model. Her natural, timeless beauty has us speechless.
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Marie Claire Editor Kyle Anderson's Pick: S.E.S
S.E.S, a group loved for their innocent and "fairy" image, was one of the first girl groups to ever take the stage—even before the term "K-pop" existed. Kyle tells us, "I still listen to SES a lot, even the old songs. My favorite song right now by them ["Love"] is so old, yet I still listen to it now."
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Marie Claire Editor Kyle Anderson's Pick: Diva
Debuting in 1997 as one of the first Korean hip-hop girl groups, Diva stayed active until their disbandment in 2005. "This song by Diva was one of my favorites to sing at Noraebang [a word for Korean karaoke rooms]," says Kyle. "I always liked them."
Where are they now? Former Diva member Chae Ri Na continued on to become a television personality while Ji Ni took up a career as a fashion designer, even competing on "Project Runway Korea." Members Vicky and Lee Min Kyung are leading personal lives away from the spotlight.
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Klutches and K-Pop: A Match Made in Heaven
Speaking of Noraebang, Kyle Anderson takes to karaoke with some tips and lyrics you won't be able to forget.
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The Hottest and Sexiest Women of K-Pop - Page 16
Which of these sexy stars of K-pop was your favorite?