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K-pop is a relatively new word that was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2012. We will examine the meaning of the term K-pop, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines K-pop as Korean pop music, though it is primarily South Korean pop music. K-pop first appeared in the early 1990s in South Korea. From there, it spread to all parts of Asia and finally, to the Western world. K-pop music features simple, catchy tunes heavily influenced by Western music. K-pop lyrics often contain English phrases. The singing groups are usually colorfully attired, and choreography is a large part of K-pop experience. Today, K-pop groups are usually formed and trained at an early age. The South Korean government often takes steps to promote K-pop worldwide as a way of encouraging awareness of Korean culture. Perhaps the best known example of K-pop in the Western world is Gangnam Style by South Korean singer Psy. Note that according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term is properly rendered with a hyphen, the K is capitalized as it is an abbreviation for the country of Korea.


K-pop listeners know that the right hook can create a viral sensation (just ask PSY), and the following 10 choruses not only got stuck in listeners’ minds and hearts, but did so by bringing refrains that were progressive and undeniable to the scene. (Billboard Magazine)

“I wanted to see what would happen if I made American boys into K-pop performers, by teaching them how to sing in Korean and act like Korean boys, and complicate this flow/appropriation even more…” (The Huffington Post)

The 28-year-old K-Pop icon, who has 13.9 million followers on instagram, will perform across four continents that will include Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Macau, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. (The New Zealand Herald)