2017 proved to be quite a spectacular year for girl groups around the world. From a big mound of releases from South Korea to the United Kingdom and more, dazzling, star-struck pop ruffled every playlist. Although there were some farewells from past iconic groups, there’s no doubt we’ll still be jamming to them regardless of the circumstances.
South Korean girl group BLACKPINK gave the world a Japanese EP entitled BlackPink. It debuted at #1 on the Oricon Daily Album Chart after selling 21,583 copies in its first day. On the Oricon Weekly Album Chart, it also held the #1 position selling 39,000 copies in its first week.
Their worldwide single ‘As If It’s Your Last’ made international impact charting in various territories including a peak at #45 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart, on Portugal’s Top 50 chart, and the US World Digital Songs chart at #1 (including #13 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart). It readily sold well over 1.3 million copies in South Korea alone. The music video, in addition, has accumulated over 200 million views.
Red Velvet also joined their South Korean companions in a show-stopping #1 rundown. The group released two EP’s entitled Rookie & The Red Summer that both catapulted to #1 on the Gaon Album Chart and Billboard’s World Album chart. Their single ‘Red Flavor’, originally written and intended for British Girl Group Little Mix, became their fifth song to sell over 1 million copies.
Following this, they released their second studio album, Perfect Velvet, with critics calling it “diverse and versatile”. It became their fourth #1 on Billboard’s World Album chart (three in ONE year) making them the K-pop girl group with the most number one albums on the chart and ties them for most number ones on the chart among all K-pop acts.
Girls’ Generation released their 9th overall album Holiday Night, which peaked at the top of Billboard’s World Album chart and successfully appeared on international charts including Australia, France, Japan and New Zealand. The album was accompanied by two singles ‘All Night’ & ‘Holiday’ with both songs featuring a bubblegum pop sound.
Twice also heavily delivered in 2017 especially with the release of their first studio album, Twicetagram. Like the success of their other K-pop counterparts, they also debuted at #1 on Billboard’s World Album chart. They also released a compilation album consisting of both Korean and Japanese-language versions of their first five singles. It was certified platinum by the RIAJ for sales of over 250,000. ‘One More Time’, also became the first debut Japanese single by a K-pop girl group to earn a platinum certification by the RIAJ.
Mamamoo’s single ‘Yes I Am‘ sold over 1 million copies domestically and with it a 5th EP release, Purple that also charted at #1 on Billboard’s World Album chart. Oh My Girl released an album and single of the same name entitled Coloring Book, debuting at #3 on the Gaon Album Chart. T-ara released What’s My Name and debuted at #4 on the Goan Album Chart.
Wonder Girls released their final single as a group ‘Draw Me’ commemorating the groups 10 year anniversary. K-pop group Sistar also announced disbandment after releasing their last digital single ‘Lonely‘. 2NE1 pled with ‘Goodbye‘, the groups second and final #1 on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. While these groups may have disbanded, they did their justice by paving the road for current K-pop girl groups and those ahead in the distant future.
The Japanese Idol Group AKB48 released four singles accumulating a total of over 50 singles. ‘Shoot Sign‘, ‘Negaigoto no Mochigusare‘, ‘# sukinanda‘, and ‘11gatsu no Anklet‘ each sold over 1 million copies domestically. Earlier in the year, they released their 8th studio album entitled Thumbnail. Overall, they are one of the best selling girl groups in the world due to their rotational longevity.
On the other side of the hemisphere, U.S. girl group Fifth Harmony released their third album effort boasting another top 5 album in the states. While their single ‘Down’ featuring Gucci Mane wasn’t able to dabble into the top 40, it was certified platinum by the RIAA for selling 1,000,000+ copies. They later released two more singles ‘He Like That’ and ‘Por Favor’ featuring rapper Pitbull.
Their single ‘Work From Home’ was also certified 5x platinum on July 14, 2017, for selling over 5 million copies in the United States alone making it the best selling girl group single in America.
Iconic group TLC also made a return with their 5th studio album, TLC. It debuted at #38 on the Billboard 200 chart selling 11,117 copies in its first week. Internationally, it became TLC’s first UK top 40 album in 18 years. The deluxe edition featured remastered versions of past songs such as ‘No Scrubs’, ‘Creep’ and ‘Unpretty’. Two singles were released from the album, one being ‘Haters’ and ‘Way Back’ featuring Snoop Dogg.
Over in the United Kingdom, there was no stopping British girl group Little Mix who rose from the ashes with their revamped Glory Days: Platinum Edition album that boosted additional sales from their original Glory Days release. It’s been certified double platinum in the UK and has sold almost 2 million copies worldwide. Their smash hits ‘Touch’ and ‘Power’ were also both certified platinum this year. Not to mention ‘Reggaeton Lento’, their Latin-flavored collaboration with Latin boy band CNCO, smashed international charts hitting the top 10 in over 8 countries while so far-reaching a #37 peak on the U.S. mainstream chart. They also won the coveted BRIT award for Best British Single at the 2017 BRIT awards.
Syco label owner Simon Cowell also called Little Mix the world’s current biggest girl group following their performance on the X-Factor this year. They’ve sold over 39 million records worldwide since their debut back in 2011.
In other words, girl groups dominated 2017.