K-Pop, the unique blend of pop and electronica that hails from South Korea, has been around for decades. But over the past 12 months, some of K-pop's biggest names - 2NE1, Psy, Wonder Girls, Girls' Generation and IU -- have set their sights on the U.S. and helped the genre amass what is slowly becoming a cult-like following in the States. Here's a look at 20 key moments that have helped K-Pop achieve a massive growth spurt over the past year.
Psy's "Gangnam Style" Goes Viral
Psy's "Gangnam Style" video broke the 40 million mark in just a month on the strength of a catchy beat and his openness to show his hilarious personality in a series of ridiculous scenes. It's captivated viewers all over the world and been featured on major media outlets like CNN and ABC News, but the song was was already topping the K-Pop Hot 100 when the video went viral. Its success has led to Psy releasing a female version of the track (with 4Minute's Hyun-a) and rumors that Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun is very interested in him.
Wonder Girls Get Their Own TEENick Movie
Wonder Girls made a big mark on American culture with their full-length feature "The Wonder Girls." The movie, which showed off the quintet's English-speaking skills, allowed American audiences to get to know each member individually as we see the girls sightsee, rehearse, and make funny jabs at American culture. R&B/Soul singer Angie Stone even has a part in the movie as Betty, a veteran Motown singer who plants the idea to play at The Apollo in the girls' heads.