Disclaimer: I have included music videos released with Korean lyrics or made for Korean promotions. Solos, duets, and/or collaborations, or OSTs have been included. Little by little I'll be including more songs and information about the songs.
1. Gangnam Style
Released in 2012, this song holds on to the most viewed k-pop song of all time. It was also the most viewed video on YouTube for several years.
I think it will still hold the most viewed kpop song for at least the next 5-6 months. The songs has over 3 billion views. BLACKPINK is slowly catching up to this music video, but still has a while to go.
BTS is another group slowly catching up to Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’. But, again, both BLACKPINK and BTS have to first surpassed Psy’s Gentleman. Another song that has remained in the top for several years.
Although PSY left YG and created his own label company, for those who were there when he released this song, it will always remain as YG’s accomplishment, as well as YG. Just like BTS now, PSY opened the door to new kpop fans back in 2012. Even if they weren’t fans they became aware of Korea’s talent.
This song has managed to stay on top of the chart even with the rise of k-pop in the last three years. Also coming from a solo artist it's amazing how far along this song has come. Solo artist in Korea normally have a harder time solidify their fandom since group concepts are more popular. Trends show solo artist songs tend to do very well if the artist is part of a group and releasing a single or if after many years in the group the member decides not to renew contract or group is disbanded.
Normally the artist that goes solo after being in a group either has strong vocals or was the most popular member in the group. Of course there are exemptions to every scenario. PSY is an artist that had a reasonable amount of fans, but nothing compares to his fame after 'Gangnam Style'. PSY went on to release a featuring version with Hyuna, who gained massive attention from international listeners of 'Gangnam Style'. Said music video also held itself in the top 3 most viewed music videos on Youtube for several years. At the moment it is still within the top 8 under BTS's and Blackpink's videos.
Just like groups are slowly catching up to this song, do you think eventually other groups will catch up that are catching up now? Maybe. YouTube has been a great platform for KPOP idols to let their name be known. YouTube is a platform that can normally be used all around the world and it reaches people very quickly. Let’s not forget that groups now catched up to the top artist from ten years ago. A new decade started and many rookies groups shoe great potential on becoming the next PSY, BLACKPINK, or BTS. Also as the members become older, they like to focus on individual promotions.
Many music videos released by PSY after this hit, quickly reached the top 5 most viewed music videos. He even released a song with Snoop Dogg after Gangnam Style. I think his unique way of dressing and humor in his music videos also brought attention to his music. It was something different to what KPOP was back then. Music videos were either sexy for girl groups or bad boy stories for boy groups. He presented a more outgoing, ‘dorky’ concept, not so popular at the time and not that popular now (compared to the cute or girl crush concepts now used. However, PSY, Crayon POP, Red Velvet, and Momoland have expanded this concept to the rookie groups.