From catchy songs and stunning choreographies to dazzling outfits and charismatic personalities, K-pop superstars have delivered some of the most memorable and impressive performances of all time. Whether it’s on stage, on screen, or online, these performances showcase the talent, creativity, and diversity of K-pop. We listed down the most iconic performances of all time in K-pop history. Are you ready to be amazed?
Girls’ Generation’s “Genie” on MBC’s Helipad
In 2009, Girls’ Generation performed their mega-hit “Genie” on MBC’s rooftop with the members standing confidently on a helipad, their backdrop being the sprawling city skyline. This was recorded as the all-time highest-rating episode for MBC’s Music Core.
Gangnam Style at the 2012 American Music Awards
PSY‘s performance of “Gangnam Style” at the 2012 American Music Awards was a defining moment in his career. Making him the first Korean artist to perform at the prestigious ceremony. The song’s catchy tune and distinctive comic “horse-riding” dance made it a viral video sensation and the most-watched video in YouTube history at the time.
EXO’s Kai Love Shot Intro
This performance alone can kill 10 careers. Kai’s performance of Love Shot intro is one of his most iconic and memorable moments as an EXO member. He showcases his amazing dance abilities and his sexy and powerful aura in the intro, captivating the audience and the fans.
BTS at the 2020 American Music Awards
This was a career-defining moment for the boys. BTS was the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards joining a lineup including Diana Ross, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera. During the night of awards and special performances, BTS took to the stage to perform their hit “DNA”.
Wonder Girls and BIGBANG in One Stage
Wonder Girls and BIGBANG were two of the most popular K-pop groups of the second generation, and this performance collaboration was highly anticipated. This Wonderbang performance was a classic, simple, fun performance where the two groups had great chemistry and enjoyed being on stage together.
BLACKPINK on Coachella 2023:
BLACKPINK‘s historic headlining set at Coachella 2023 was a celebratory moment for the group and their fans. The setlist included hits like “Kill This Love,” “How You Like That,” “Playing With Fire,” “Shut Down,” “Tally,” “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” and “Forever Young.” Fans were thrilled to see BLACKPINK’s Coachella performances, which showcased the group’s talent and charisma. The performances were also a significant moment for K-pop, as BLACKPINK became the first female K-pop group to headline the festival.
EXO closing the 2018 Winter Olympics
EXO gave a spectacular performance at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, wowing a global audience of over 3.5 billion viewers. Their high-energy rendition of “Growl,” which began with a solo dance by Kai, was praised for its precision and energy. It helped to introduce EXO to the world and is still remembered as one of the most iconic K-pop performances of all time.
2NE1 Reunion in MAMA
We just can’t forget one of the best performances at the 2015 MAMA! With CL’s intro, the members of 2NE1 then entered the stage one by one and sang “Fire” and “I Am The Best.” They are truly one of the best artists of K-pop, and thrilled fans with their epic stage and performance together.
Girls’ Generation at the Late Show with David Letterman
Girls’ Generation’s performance of “The Boys” on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2012 was a groundbreaking moment for the whole K-pop industry. It was one of the first times that a K-pop group had performed on a major American talk show, and the performance helped to introduce K-pop to a wider audience.
Jungkook at the FIFA World Cup 2022
Jungkook’s performance at the FIFA World Cup 2022 opening ceremony was a historic moment for Korean music and culture, making him the first Asian ever to perform the official World Cup anthem. ‘Dreamers” is part of the official soundtrack of the FIFA World Cup, which also features other artists like Nicki Minaj, Maluma, Davido, and Myriam Fares.