K-pop is an abbreviation for Korean popular music, specifically from South Korea. There are many artists and groups, such as BoA, Rain, TVXQ, Se7en, Lee Hyori, Shinhwa,, Wonder Girls, Girls Generation,Super Junior , Big Bang and SS501 that have branched out of Korea and have become popular in Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South East Asia. The popularity of K-pop is often considered a part of the rise of the Korean Wave, the recent surge of popularity of contemporary Korean culture in Asia. The recent surge of popularity of Kpop in Asia has led to many Kpop artists attempting to break into the U.S. market, although so far none have broken into mainstream American pop music.
Currently, in the 2000s, pop groups are still very popular although there has been an emergence of Korean R&B and Hip-Hop. Artists such as MC Mong, 1TYM, Rain, Big Bang and Epik High have proven successful. Underground artists such as Drunken Tiger, Tasha (Yoon Mi Rae), and Dynamic Duo have also helped Hip-Hop become mainstream. Recently, rock music has become noticed by the public, with acts such as the Yoon Do Hyun Band and Seo Taiji gaining national recognition. In addition, there are also popular techno/dance artists such as Lee Jung Hyun and Kim Hyun Jung, who both have had very long careers while remaining firmly entrenched in their genre of music. Just as well, ballads and R&B have remained popular, as singers such as Baek Ji Young and KCM, in addition to SG Wannabe, have continued their success for many years.
There are also many artists who have had international success as well. BoA has become the highest-selling international artist from Korea, due to her strength in the J-pop market; this was in part due to Lee Soo Man's adaptation of the Blue Ocean Strategy. Since then, artists such as Rain and Se7en have also released albums outside of Korea, becoming well-known throughout Eastern Asia. Rain has also had his international RAINY DAY 2005 Tour, having tour dates at Madison Square Garden, the first Korean star to do so. He also plans to make a U.S. debut. Skull, a Korean reggae artist from YG Entertainment is also working on his U.S. debut and was even listed on the Billboard charts. Se7en who is also from YG Entertainment and Min from JYP Entertainment both hope to enter the English-language music market in 2008. They are not the first Asians to do so; Utada Hikaru and CoCo Lee have released English-language albums before. However, there has yet to be an Asian artist breaking the mainstream American music industry successfully.
The beginning of 2008 saw the rise of Electronica dominate the K-pop scene. Notable examples include Jewelry's "One More Time" and Brown Eyed Girls' "L.O.V.E. Even artists that release music in other genres have released electronica-influenced albums to suit the current trends, including Epik High, Gummy, Clazziquai, and Lee Seung Chul.