There’s something called the “7 year curse” in K-Pop, due to how many groups generally disband around the 7 year marker since their debut. Not all groups break up at this point, however, and all the artists on this list prove as much! All of these artists debuted in the 1990s or early 2000s, and all of them helped to pave the way for later groups to be successful in the K-Pop music industry. Take a look at these 10 oldest, currently still active K-Pop groups.
10. SUPERNOVA: Debuted September 21, 2007 (12 years ago)
SUPERNOVA, known previously as Choshinsung in Korea (and Choshinsei in Japan, where they are also popular), currently consists of five members: Yoonhak, Sungje, Kwangsoo, Jihyuk, and Geonil. They debuted with a sixth member, Sungmo, but he departed once the group left Maroo Entertainment in 2018 and decided to pursue a solo career instead. Though they haven’t come out with new music in a couple years, they’re still considered an active group, with the members also pursuing their own individual careers.
9. FTISLAND: Debuted June 6, 2007 (13 years ago)
When FTISLAND debuted, they had five members originally: Jonghun, Hongki, Jaejin, Minhwan, and Wonbin. The band’s guitarist, Wonbin, left the group in 2009 and was replaced by Seunghyun, but he also eventually left in 2019 to pursue his acting career. Leader Jonghun also departed the group in 2019 as well due to his connection to the Burning Sun scandals, so the band currently consists of Hongki, Jaejin, and Minhwan. They’re still under FNC Entertainment, the label they debuted with, and though they are on a bit of a hiatus due to military enlistments, they haven’t disbanded.
8. BIGBANG: Debuted August 19, 2006 (13 years ago)
BIGBANG debuted with 5 members originally, though they now consist of just G-Dragon, T.O.P, Daesung, and Taeyang after Seungri left the K-Pop industry completely due to his scandals in 2019. The group members have been considered the “Kings of K-Pop” because of their influence on the industry worldwide. Though they weren’t originally successful, they eventually grew in popularity due to their great stage presence, self-production, unique sound, and experimental music styles.
7. Super Junior: Debuted November 6, 2005 (14 years ago)
Super Junior originally debuted under SM Entertainment with a whopping 12 members, the biggest of any K-Pop group at their debut time, with Kyuhyun joining the group in 2006. Like BIGBANG, they’ve been called the “Kings of Hallyu Wave” due to how much they spread the K-Pop genre globally. In April of 2008, Super Junior-M was formed which brought in members Henry and Zhoumi to help with the Chinese sub-unit. They have, however, had huge member changes over time, with Hangeng filing a lawsuit against the company before he departed, Kibum leaving to focus on his acting career, and Kangin getting into trouble due to a DUI. Today, the group officially consists of 10 members, though Sungmin is inactive after his marriage and following controversy.
6. SG WANNABE: Debuted January 20, 2004 (16 years ago)
SG WANNABE originally debuted with 4 members in 2004 under Mnet Media, and were unique in that they originally didn’t want to promote their songs on music shows or even have the members appear in their music videos, since they wanted people to enjoy them for their music and not their looks. They were successful despite this, and stayed as a four-member unit until 2007 when Chae Dongha decided to leave and start a solo career. Tragically, he took his own life in 2011, and the group went on hiatus for a while to grieve and focus on their solo careers and military enlistments. They returned as a three-member group in 2015 after signing a contract with CJ E&M and have released new music since then.
5. TVXQ: Debuted December 26, 2003 (16 years ago)
Most people now now TVXQ as the duo comprised of Changmin and Yunho, but they weren’t always just a two-person unit. When they debuted, they also had now-JYJ members Jaejoong and Junsu, along with former JYJ member Yoochun. The JYJ members left TVXQ in 2010, due to conflicting ideas over their contract with SM Entertainment. The duo TVXQ, however, is still very active, and even held an online concert in May of this year.
4. Fly to the Sky: Debuted November 21, 1999 (20 years ago)
Fly to the Sky is an R&B duo consisting of Brian and Hwanhee. They originally debuted under SM Entertainment, but left the company in 2004 to move to PFull Entertainment before eventually moving onto their current label, H2 Media. While the two members are generally focusing more on their solo activities, they are still claiming to be an active unit and will hopefully release more music in the future!
3. g.o.d: Debuted January 1, 1999 (21 years ago)
g.o.d, which stands for Groove Over Dose, consists of the five original members that joined the group when they debuted: Joon, Kyesang, Danny, Hoyoung, and Taewoo. They originally were active as a five-member group until Kyesang left in 2004, when they switched from SidusHQ to JYP Entertainment until eventually going on hiatus in 2006. They claimed they never actually disbanded, however, and all five members reunited in 2014, and they have since released new music as a whole group.
2. Shinhwa: Debuted March 24, 1998 (22 years ago)
Shinhwa is the second-oldest K-Pop boy group still active in the industry, and amazingly, they still have all 6 original members that they debuted with: Eric, Lee Minwoo, Dongwan, Hyesung, Junjin, and Andy. They’ve been under three different labels over their careers, originally debuting with SM Entertainment and working with them from 1998-2003; then, they moved on to Good Entertainment from 2004-2008; and finally, from 2011 to the present, they’ve been with Shinhwa Company, their own label. Due to how many years they’ve been active since their debut, they’re actually the longest-running K-Pop group in existence!
1. Sechskies: Debuted May 15, 1997 (23 years ago)
Sechskies is officially the oldest active K-Pop boy group in the industry! The group originally debuted with 6 members, but were only together for about 3 years under Daesung Entertainment until they first disbanded in May of 2000. In 2016, however, four of the members reunited and re-debuted under YG Entertainment, who they signed a contract with. Jiwon, Jaejin, Jaeduck, and Suwon are currently still creating new music under their new company!