Billboard goes K-Pop today (Aug. 25) with the launch of a new chart, the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100. The tally, which ranks Korea's top-selling songs, kicks off with girl group Sistar's "So Cool" grabbing the No. 1 slot and beating out second-place Leesang and 2NE1, who land not only at No. 3 (with "Ugly") but also No. 14 ("Hate You") and No. 21 ("I Am The Best") on the chart dated Sept. 3.
The Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 chart, launched in conjunction with Billboard Korea, is based on digital sales via leading websites as well as downloads from mobile service sites using an industry-standard formula and the most credible music data sources within Korea. The K-Pop Hot 100 debuts simultaneously here on Billboard.com, in the international chart section of Billboard.biz, in Billboard magazine, and also on Billboard Korea's website, billboard.co.kr.
"The launch of the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 chart is a milestone event, as it will provide the Korean music market with what we believe is Korea's most accurate and relevant song ranking," says Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard's Director of Charts. "We're excited to be expanding Billboard's globally recognized Hot 100 chart franchise into this country, and look forward to enhancing the K-Pop Hot 100 chart in the near future with additional data as well as creating new charts that showcase the breadth of Korean music."
Meanwhile the artists dominating the top of the inaugural Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 reflect the fact that hit-making girl groups are a top attraction in Korean music. Sistar and 2NE1 are just two examples. T-ara, made up of seven young ladies, has secured the No. 4 position as well as grabbing No. 73 (visit Billboard.biz soon for positions No. 51-100). Miss A, whose influential management company also manages the ever popular Wonder Girls, rounds out the top five with their single "Good-bye Baby." Here's a closer look at five of the female groups ruling the K-Pop 100 this week.
Sistar, "So Cool"
Sistar has won over men and women (and more men) alike with their K-Pop dance track, "So Cool," which is characterized by its intense beat. The ladies sing about rising out of a bad breakup and ending up stronger than ever before and feeling "so cool" about themselves. As you can see in the music video, Sistar's appeal is not only in its music but also in its choreography. Though Sistar has just recently released its debut album, the girls' sexy moves hint at dancing skills that will continue to win fans as they progress further into their career.
2NE1's "Ugly" is an electronic dance track, a genre that the group has come to represent in Korea. Infused with electronic-infused rock guitar, The song's upbeat rhythm is contrasted by its morose, self-criticizing lyrics. In it, 2NE1 sings and raps from the perspective of young teenage girls who are unsatisfied with their appearance and hate the fact that their "ugly" face prevents them from being loved. All five tracks of 2NE1's second EP have been top digital sellers in Korea signaling the lasting appeal of these four vibrant young women.
T-ara dials back to Korea of the 1980s with "Roly-Poly." The track's repetitive melody even recalls a touch of the Bee Gees' classic hit "Night Fever." As the seven girls dance on a retro nightclub stage, they sing about suddenly meeting with Mr. Right on the dance floor and chasing him down all night. The "Roly-Poly" music video also has a short film as the intro ... so you can fast forward to 4:20 to hear the song.
Miss-A, "Good-bye Baby"
Miss A's hit song, "Good-bye Baby," is a dance track that smoothly combines hip-hop and soul elements. Park Jin Young, who produced Wonder Girl's hit song "Nobody" (which landed in the U.S. Hot 100 in late 2009), wrote the lyrics and composed the music for "Good-bye Baby." Miss-A sings a powerful chorus telling their cheating boyfriends to leave for good. In the video, the four ladies saunter around their jet black leather dresses, giving a visual representation of this lyrical appeal for independence. Miss-A, who has two members -- Fei and Jia -- of Chinese descent, also has a sizable fanbase in China.
Dalshabet, "Supa Dupa Diva"
The six members of Dalshabet (which means 'sweet sherbet') have found great success with their third single, the disco-esque "Bling Bling". In the music video, the ladies move away from the innocent and sweet image that they portrayed for their first two single albums and emphasize their more playful, sexy side. Dalshabet sings about meeting their ideal boy at a disco club and dancing the night away.