When it comes to K-Pop there are three labels that are considered to rule the scene. This list is here to get you familiar with them and their top three artists.
When people stereotype K-Pop they think large groups and S. M. is mother of this stereotype. (Though, this list doesn’t reflect that.) Because they have so many artists, this is also the company most often linked to contract disputes. S.M. stands for Star Museum.
Currently promoting as a solo act, Taemin is actually the youngest member of SHINee. He’s arguably one of the best dancers in K-Pop. This song, “Press Your Number,” is currently burning up the charts.
Red Velvet debuted in 2014, but ruled in 2015, winning eleven music awards. This music video is the first song released from their mini-album, The Velvet, which is a sequel to their first full album, The Red.
Usually, Taeyeon is found performing with Girls’ Generation. She debuted as a solo act last year in October.
JYP was started and is currently run by Park Jin-young. As a former K-Pop star, he knows exactly what his artists are going through. He aims to keep his record label scandal free and moral.
Got7 debuted in 2014 and went on to win Best New Artist at the Seoul Music Awards. They’re about to drop the album FLIGHT LOG: DEPARTURE.
Last year, JYP ran a reality show, Sixteen, to form a new girl group. The final product of that was TWICE, which debuted at the end of last year.
While not that recent, I have to point out that the CEO isn’t just sitting behind a desk (or reality show judges’ table). He still performs parts in his artists songs and in 2015 released his own track.
Yang Hyun-suk, a former K-Pop boy band meber, founded and runs YG Entertainment. YG comes from his nickname, “Yang Goon.” YG’s music has a heavier hip-hop and R&B influence than the other companies. (And, yes, this is the recorder label that Psy belongs to.)
The “Big 3” ran a reality show competition called K-Pop Star. Lee Hi was the season 1 runner-up and chose to sign with YG (the winner, Park Ji-min, chose JYP).
In October 2013, YG pitted two trainee groups, Team A and Team B, against each other on a reality show to decide who would debut. Team A won and became the group known as Winner. And they truly are winners, because they won the “Best New Artist” award at 2014 MAMAs, SBS Awards Festival, Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards and Golden Disk Awards.
Though they debuted in 2006, Big Bang is still relevant and probably YG’s most successful, well-known group. Every member has solo releases as well as a couple of team-up releases. Oh, and like the other above two, it all started with a reality show.
Did you agree with the list? State your choices and fixes in the comments. Prefer different labels or artists? Share them below, too. Spread the love of K-Pop!