Happy Birthday, K-Town! Our 11 Biggest Hits
From studio performances to ultra-exclusive interviews, take a look back through our K-pop column's inaugural year.
It was Jan. 29, 2013 -- one year to this date! -- that Billboard.com relaunched and refreshed its website with a slew of improved and exciting new features. One of them was the K-Town column, a area of the Billboard brand dedicated to bringing compelling and top-notch K-pop news, songs, and music videos.
Girls' Generation was on hand to congratulate K-Town's launch and since the column has continued to bring content every week for fans of "Gangnam Style" and way, way beyond.
We sat down and talked about the first 365 days of K-Town and eventually decided these moments as the 11 standouts. Don't miss weekly news and exclusives with your favorite Korean acts as K-Town pushes into its second year and thank you for a great kickoff!
In-Depth Interview With G-Dragon & Team at Tour Kickoff
APRIL: Billboard was the only media the BIGBANG leader and his team agreed to talk to at his "2013 G-DRAGON WORLD TOUR: ONE OF A KIND" kickoff. Watch the intimate, two-part interview with GD, famous choreographers Travis Payne and Stacy Walker (Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour) with tour footage, behind-the-scenes looks and more.
EXO Gets Goofy With Fun Superlatives
SEPTEMBER: At Los Angeles' KCON 2013, the 12 EXO boys let loose with Billboard deciding who would survive on a desert island, who is "the class clown" and more. It was one of the most fun times K-Town has had in an interview!
Girls' Generation Gushes Over YouTube Music Award Win
NOVEMBER: Before Girls' Generation member Tiffany talked to the media about winning Video of the Year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards, she checked in with Billboard first to talk about the win and clue us in about new music.
INFINITE Performs at Billboard Studios
DECEMBER: The boy band not only sat down to tell us about their American tour dates and upcoming albums, but also performed at Billboard's New York studios. While acts like Wonder Girls and more performed in Billboard studios in the past, these are the first K-pop songs performed in Korea. Watch "The Chaser," which K-Town named the No. 1 K-Pop Song of 2012, below then check out "Be Mine" live right here.
The Legendary Cho Yong Pil Agrees to Rare Interview
JUNE: In his native South Korea, K-pop legend Cho Yong Pil is famous for avoiding the media. While he really doesn't need the press -- his comeback track "Bounce" was the second biggest hit on the K-Pop Hot 100 -- he agreed to sit down with Billboard. "I am so honored that I'm able to have this interview," he said.
Backstage at TVXQ!'s 1st Solo US Show
AUGUST: After almost 10 years in the K-pop biz, veteran duo TVXQ! had surprisingly never held their own solo show in America. But the guys blew the Los Angeles crowd away. K-Town was the only media allowed backstage to take it all in with photographers and a video crew.
Joined f(x) as SXSW's 1st K-Pop Performer
MARCH: Billboard joined girl group f(x) in Austin as they made history as the first K-pop act to play the important U.S. showcase. "I think SXSW is a must for K-pop idols," member Amber told us. "It's a must because it is such a different venue. K-pop idols are used to big stadiums. It's the intimacy with fans that makes it special. It was a crowd of people that were curious about K-pop along with K-pop fans. SXSW definitely broadens horizons." See photos from the exciting night here.
Chatting With SISTAR19 During Huge Chart Run
MARCH: Months before "Gone Not Around Any Longer" earned the No. 1 overall spot on the 2013 K-Pop Hot 100 chart, SISTAR19 talked with K-Town about their exciting chart domination. "We wanted to think outside the box," the girls said. "But most importantly, the song is extremely sad. It may not touch your heart on a regular day, but it really touches your emotions when you focus on the heartrending lyrics."
Going to France's MIDEM With MFBTY
FEBRUARY: If you thought the Billboard and Billboard Korea could only see your favorite acts in America and Korea, well, think again! K-Town joined Drunken Tiger, Yoon Mi Rae and Bizzy (promoting as MFBTY at the time) in Cannes, France at the important international music conference MIDEM. Yoon Mi Rae said, "I am definitely honored to have been chosen to represent for my country" while Tiger JK and Bizzy added that "after the show the Korean booth was packed with new fans that wanted our press kits and showed interest in Korean music."
Hanging Out With K-Pop Hot 100 Champ Lee Seung Gi in Gangnam
FEBRUARY: Lee Seung Gi is one of the most in-demand stars in Korea, but doesn't participate in many interviews either. But he agreed to hang out in Gangnam with K-Town to celebrate his record-breaking six week run atop the K-Pop Hot 100 -- beating out "Gangnam Style" -- with his ballad, "Return." No act has been able to conquer the feat yet. He humbly admitted, "I knew it was a good song, but I had no idea it would outperform 'Gangnam Style' and chart for such a long time. So I'm still a bit puzzled."
Learning CL's Ideal Type
JUNE: While chatting about her debut solo track "The Baddest Female," 2NE1 member CL gave intimate details about what her ideal guy is like.