For the longest time, it has been difficult for Asian artists to penetrate the Western world. Success in America, for instance, continues to elude them as Americans, in general, won’t give them the time of day or have no appreciation for their music or artistry at all. But that was before. Thanks to technology and rapid globalization, diversity is more widely accepted now and people start to appreciate other cultures than people did in the past. If there is one particular trend that is taking the US by storm, that is KPop. If you look at the numbers, they’ve been making waves in music charts, radio plays, and even digital and actual album sales in various US states.
South Korea, in general, did very well in importing the Hallyu wave a.k.a. the growing globalization of KPop. There are KPop fans now all over America and in other parts of the world. Fandoms grow in number each year as KPop idols gradually become household names outside of Korea. Even the Billboard has been overtaken by KPop idols with BTS in the forefront having stayed in the HOT 100 for a month where they even won the Top Social Artist this year beating Justin Bieber and Selene Gomez who are undeniably among the top superstars in the US today. BTS also recently released their recent comeback with a mini-album “Her” that hit #1 on the iTunes chart in 73 countries. It is a feat that not all Western performers are actually capable of doing but something that the group has been known to do more often now. They keep on making and breaking records. The music video for their recent title track “DNA” was viewed over 20 million times during its first 24 hours of release.
Many Americans join different fandoms of their idols and even got enamored with KDrama as well. In turn, this becomes a newfound obsession where fans can’t help but purchase related merchandise to make them feel closer to their idols. It is very clear now that Kpop has finally made it to US shores and they can only grow bigger and rise in popularity as they continue to break into the mainstream American entertainment scene.
KPop’s popularity and influence can be seen everywhere and this is most apparent in social media where they have proven to be tech-savvy and followed by millions of their most loyal fans. Indeed, their striking visuals and multitude of talents have captured the heart of many Americans and it only kept them wanting for more. An annual KCon or Korean Convention is done yearly now where Korean idols are brought to the US to perform and engage in various activities with their US-based fans. Without a doubt, nothing is stopping the Hallyu wave and the US will definitely be seeing more of these Korean acts mainstream as the cultural boundaries have long since been broken.
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