One of the most exciting parts of being a K-Pop fan is being introduced to up-and-coming rookie groups and awaiting their debuts! Despite the effects of COVID-19 in the industry, this year has seen quite the number of new groups — and there are more than plenty to be excited for! In a recent survey run by Idol Chart, nearly 6,000 Korean fans picked which of 2020’s male and female rookie groups they’re expecting great things out of — and theQoos has the results! Check out the results and see which newbies are catching buzz in K-Pop’s home country:
Girl Groups (Total responses: 2,500 fans)
Clockwise from top-left: RBW Entertainment, About Entertainment, WKS ENE, NV Entertainment
Honorable Mentions: PURPLE K!SS (5th place with 129 votes), REDSQUARE (6th place with 125 votes), woo!ah (7th place with 108 votes), BOTOPASS (8th place with 99 votes)
Play M Entertainment
Weeekly (4th place with 376 votes)
Weeekly is the long-anticipated ‘little sister’ group to Play M labelmates Apink and debuted on June 30th with energetic debut single ‘Tag Me.’ Prior to their debut, they gained attention by releasing YouTube content under the names PlayM Girls and FAVE Girls. They also gained pre-debut buzz for containing three former contestants from ‘MIXNINE’: Soeun, Soojin, and Jiyoon.
LUNARSOLAR (3rd place with 394 votes)
LUNARSOLAR is among the most recent girl groups to make it on the list, having debuted on September 2nd with the song ‘SOLAR : flare.’ The JPlanet Entertainment girl group was active on social media under two different pre-debut names, Rookie Planet and First Love, and are also known thanks to for former ‘MIXNINE’ and ‘Produce 101’ contestant Taeryeong and former ‘The Unit’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice 7’ contestant Jian.
Secret Number (2nd place with 627 votes)
Part of the reason that VINE Entertainment’s girl group Secret Number had such a strong following leading into their debut has a lot to do with the ‘big name’ trainees in their lineup. Among them are leader Léa from ‘MIXNINE,’ former YG Entertainment trainee and almost BLACKPINK member Jinny, Denise from ‘K-Pop Star 5,’ and Dita, one of K-Pop’s first Indonesian idols. Their debut single ‘Who Dis?!’ peaked at #19 on the Gaon chart, which is pretty impressive for a rookie girl group!
cignature (1st place with 642 votes)
After the success of C9 Entertainment’s first boy group CIX, all eyes were on their next project, which came in the form of trainee unit C9 Girls. Eventually, C9 Girls became seven-member girl group cignature, who debuted back in February with their punchy first single ‘Nun Nu Nan Na.’ Notable members with a strong pre-debut following include former Good Day members Chaesol, Yeah, Jeewon, Sunn, and Belle, who gained popularity after their appearance on ‘The Unit.’
Boy Groups (Total responses: 3,443)
Clockwise from top-right: YG Entertainment, n.CH Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, OUI Entertainment
Honorable Mentions: TREASURE (5th place with 150 votes), TOO (6th place with 111 votes), WEi (7th place with 109 votes), P1Harmony (8th place with 103 votes), Ghost9 (9th place with 88 votes), MCND (10th place with 73 votes), DKB (11th place with 37 votes), E’LAST (12th place with 18 votes)
H&D (4th place with 157 votes)
After the disbandment of ‘Produce X 101’ project group X1, the members went into a number of different directions, with MBK Entertainment’s Lee Hangyul and Nam Dohyon joining together to make unit H&D. The unit is currently promoting their final mini album ‘Goodbye,’ but will be redebuting with a number of other PocketDol Studio trainees in a new boy group later this year!
CRAVITY (3rd place with 649 votes)
As for X1’s former Starship Entertainment members Kang Minhee and Song Hyeongjun, they redebuted in nine-member boy group CRAVITY back in April with dynamic first single ‘Break All The Rules.’ The idol group is among the most successful rookies of the year, having sold over 285,000 albums so far! The group also includes Minhee and Hyeongjun’s fellow ‘Produce X 101’ Starship trainees Ham Wonjin and Koo Jungmo.
B.O.Y (2nd place with 772 votes)
You can’t talk ‘Produce X 101′ without mentioning Music Works’ Song Yuvin and Kim Kookheon, formerly of boy group MYTEEN. Debuting as B.O.Y in early January, they were the first new artists of the year, releasing the chic debut single ‘My Angel.’ The duo not only release original songs, but continue to gain fans by releasing a number of cover songs that showcase their impressive vocal talent.
DRIPPIN (1st place with 1,176 votes)
As for X1’s Woollim Entertainment member Cha Junho, he will be redebuting as a member of the agency’s new seven-member boy group DRIPPIN, alongside former ‘Produce X 101’ trainees Lee Hyeop, Hwang Yunseong, Joo Changuk, Kim Dongyun, and Kim Minseo. They also added seventh member Alex, who is half-Korean, half-German and is fluent in an impressive four languages!
Did your favorite rookie group make the cut? Sound off in the comments and let us know!