‘Sports Chosun’ Makes Annual Arbitrary List Of Most Popular Girl Groups In 2015


Admittedly, this is about as arbitrary as it gets but it’s always fun to rank things (one day, there will be weekly K-Pop girl group power rankings and I won’t be able to tell the difference between sports media and K-Pop media) so Sports Chosun split up K-Pop’s most famous girl groups into different tiers based on their perceived strength and staying power.

Of course, they used “fan rankings” to get their results, so the findings are already a little suspect. But it feels right, so let’s just get to the chart.


The names for the different tiers are needlessly complex and slightly amusing but they generally line up with expectations. In the “Unbreakable Wall” are familiar faces SNSD, 2NE1, SISTAR and still-surging Girl’s Day (although Girl’s Day is somewhat caught between the first and second tier).

‘Sports Chosun’ even noted that SNSD and 2NE1 may not have a stranglehold on the industry for much longer.

The article noted that while Girls’ Generation and 2NE1 remain in this top star tier, this wasn’t completely satisfactory, either, saying that the former’s competitiveness was greatly falling while 2NE1 lost their chance.

Hyorin and Minah are gunning for that crown, y’all. Taeyeon and CL better watch their backs.

The only placements that sort of surprise me are the four in the “high society” bracket. KARA somehow jumped up a spot despite (or maybe due to) a roster shakeup. Despite being fairly active in the past year, 4Minute didn’t move at all and f(x) fell a spot although that could be explained due to the contracted “Red Light” promotions.

Just below them, it is a bit odd to see miss A share the same amount of popularity as Nine Muses but Sports Chosun noted that miss A’s popularity is largely based on Suzy and not the group itself.

In the last two tiers, the only true tragedy is T-ara, which has stabilized near the bottom of the K-Pop popularity barrel despite being one of the genre’s most consistent acts. At least it’s heartening to see Mamamoo and Sonamoo in the “candidate group.”

For comparison’s sake, here’s Sports Chosun’s rankings from last year. The groups which didn’t make this year’s list that did make last year’s include the Brown Eyed Girls, After School, Rainbow, Ladies’ Code and the Wonder Girls.

Sports Chosun's 2014 rankings, via Soompi.

Sports Chosun’s 2014 rankings, via Soompi.




  1. That’s a sad reminder about Ladies Code. I wonder if that group will ever perform again. It would be perfectly understandable if the member’s hearts just weren’t into it anymore, or if something like being in a van speeding to get to an appointment unnerves some of the survivors so bad they can’t go through with getting back in the saddle. That has to be utterly devastating to young people like that who often view themselves as indestructible.

    It’s not surprising to see BEG, Rainbow, and Afterschool drop off the list as they haven’t promoted in well over a year. That’s part of why 2NE1 and SNSD are more tenuous atop the list now. When you only release an album once every 12 to 15 months anything less than a homerun hit is a major disappointment. Also, it is easy in an industry with so many new groups always coming along for a group that disappears to completely lose momentum and be forgotten about which in effect means starting over in some ways. Especially if your last hit wasn’t a smash success that won awards galore. If Wonder Girls were to come back now, would people care much or would there be fans who would go, “Wonder Who” and try to recollect that they had a hit back in 2012 or something like that. If CL has any decent success in the US, 2NE1’s days are likely over with Dara and Bom now in their 30’s and Bom being in K-pop purgatory still. SNSD has to hit one out of the park with their next album. Mr. Mr. was pretty good, but it didn’t really grab hold of fans and certainly the rest of that album was filler and fluff. With Jessica gone now, a mediocre effort would be a veritable kiss of death. They cannot afford to underwhelm with another release. They will like still mint money playing concerts until their contracts run out, but a bad release and they become a greatest hits act with their best work behind them.

    I wonder where f(x) would be if they hadn’t had that mess with the Red Light promotions and Sulli, and then that blew up any follow up single or any shot at a solo concert perhaps. I don’t know if that could have pushed them to the top, but it might have put them right on the cusp with Girl’s Day.

    One thing that is really sad is that SPICA isn’t even on here. I guess that shows how little fan interest there is in them overall.

    1. black soshi · · Reply

      With regards to SNSD and the Mr Mr album in particular, there is not one bad song on the album, I’ve said this before on this blog, “SNSD b-sides are better than most groups singles.” They are the champions, my friend.

  2. Sports Chosun is a silly place. Let’s not go there.

  3. black soshi · · Reply

    Stupid list. 4Minute by virtue of Hyuna alone should put them close to the top. And T-ara, come on.

    1. T-ara deserves so much better than what they have that I find their placement symbolically fitting, even if it’s wrong wrong wrong.

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