(Roughly) Daily

“Wherever you are right now, you’re just taking a break”*…

BTS

All seven members of boy band BTS have become multimillionaires after their label, Big Hit Entertainment, pulled off South Korea’s biggest stock market listing in three years. The K-pop label is issuing its shares at 135,000 won ($115) each, Big Hit said in a filing on Monday, raising 962.55 million won ($822 million) and valuing the company at 4.8 trillion won ($4.1 billion). That makes the deal South Korea’s largest stock offering since July 2017, according to data compiled by Dealogic…

CNN

K-Pop is huge, generating huge sales and cultural impact around the world. But what, readers of a certain age might ask, is K-Pop? And why are the groups so large? Our friends at The Pudding ride to the rescue:

Try typing “Why are K-pop groups…” into Google search and autocomplete offers several suggestions: “…so large,” “…so big” and “…so popular.” The rapid global growth of Korean music over the past decade has puzzled non-fans (and even experts), and it seems that the size of K-pop groups might be a mystery, too.

Traditionally, rock bands have as many members as there are instruments: a lead singer, two guitarists, and a drummer. Popular Western boy groups—like The Jackson Five, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, The Jonas Brothers, One Direction—and girl groups—like The Supremes, Destiny’s Child, TLC, The Spice Girls, and Little Mix—have ranged in size from 3-5 members. Compared to those numbers, K-pop groups with 7 or 9, or even 23 members (yes, a group that big exists) might seem alien, or downright excessive. And yet the average size of the top 10 selling K-pop groups of the last decade (like girl group TWICE, pictured above) is 9 members.

So, how did groups get that large? What about large groups is so appealing? And, what do the sizes of K-pop groups tell us about why K-pop is so popular?

To answer those questions, we tracked trends in group sizes and member roles over modern K-pop’s 30-year history, breaking the numbers down across the industry’s three generations of artists…

Elegant infographics explain: “Why are K-pop groups so big?

* BTS

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As we ponder popularity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976, during Saturday Night Live‘s second season, that musical guest Joe Cocker performed his hit version of Traffic‘s “Feelin’ Alright.” In the event, the audience got not one Cocker, but two, as an identically-dressed John Belushi (already noted for his Cocker impression) came out with Joe for the full live performance. The two traded lines and successfully mirrored each other –a testament to both Cocker’s trademark stage presence and Belushi’s remarkable impersonation abilities. New York’s own jazz-funk heroes Stuff (hence the shirts in the video) backed them up.

Written by LW

October 2, 2020 at 1:01 am

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