The global Korean wave is creating ripples in the entertainment world lately. And, undoubtedly 2022 appears as a year belonging to K-pop. Be it BTS showering us with solo projects before their military enlistment, PSY making a comeback after five years, TWICE becoming the first K-pop girl group to play at a US stadium, or BLACKPINK beginning their Born Pink world tour — this year has given us some of the best K-pop moments, and honestly, iconic ones.
While the memories of the best K-pop moments in 2022 might get blurred, there are some that deserve all our attention. And, even though everyone’s best K-pop moments of this year may vary depending on what they like or follow, we have created an unbiased list.
Here are some of the best K-pop moments of 2022 you should know about
BTS: Concerts, fests and a new album
One of the biggest bands in the world, BTS has always soared high in the cultural accelerator and this year is no different. In 2022, BTS gave the world some of the best K-pop moments. Coming back with their new album Proof, the fulfilling ‘Permission to Dance on Stage’ Seoul concert, Festa, and the very recent Busan concert, BTS made 2022 extremely memorable, especially for ARMY.
BTS’ military enlistment
One of the most significant and shocking K-pop moments is BTS’ military enlistment news, without a doubt. There were speculations about the same for years, but the K-pop group’s agency Big Hit Music announced on 17 October that all members of the group will serve in the military.
In an official statement, Big Hit Music said that “after the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavours, it’s a perfect time and the members of BTS are honoured to serve.”
BTS member Jin is the first one to initiate the enlistment process. Big Hit Music also announced that BTS will reconvene as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.
Grammys and solo works
Although BTS didn’t take home a golden gramophone at the 2022 Grammys, they surely made an impact worldwide with their iconic “Butter” performance live. So much so that they got a standing ovation from the audience.
On 15 November, Recording Academy also released the nominee list for the 2023 Grammys and it’s a moment of pride for K-pop fans and Korea as BTS is nominated in three important categories — Best Duo/Group Performance with “My Universe”, Album of the Year as featured artists on Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres, and Best Music Video with “Yet To Come.”
Now that the world awaits to bid goodbye to each BTS member until 2025, the group, which is now focusing on solo projects, is making sure they leave behind enough content for ARMY. And, their individual activities undoubtedly make for some of the best K-pop moments in 2022.
A few standouts include JHope’s debut studio album Jack In The Box and his Lollapalooza concert, Jungkook’s “Dreamers” — the official soundtrack for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and his performance in Qatar for the same, Kim Taehyung aka V’s presence at Hedi Slimane’s closing Celine show in Paris Fashion Week, Jin’s debut solo single “The Astronaut” and RM’s upcoming debut studio album INDIGO.
Legendary K-pop star PSY’s comeback after five years
Who doesn’t remember the viral “Gangnam Style”? Everyone, right? Well, the K-pop star PSY who gifted the world with the iconic track, made a comeback in 2022 after a five-year hiatus. The announcement of the artist’s ninth full-length album was one of the most significant moments in K-pop this year and immediately created a buzz on social media and elsewhere.
Besides being one of the best K-pop moments, PSY’s comeback also served as a pleasant surprise for the BTS ARMY. The album, titled Psy 9th, with a total of 12 tracks, was led by “That That”, which was co-produced by BTS’ Suga. The South Korean rapper also features in the music video of “That That” and even participated in composing, arranging and writing the lyrics for the song. The music video has over 360 million views on YouTube.
TXT’s first concert, AMA debut and more
Formed by Big Hit Music, popular South Korean boyband TXT made their debut on 4 March 2019 and has never looked back since then. Also known as Tomorrow X Together, the group’s first concert tour, Act:Lovesick, for their second full album The Chaos Chapter: Freeze, and fourth extended play (EP) Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child, served as one of the best K-pop moments of 2022.
Apart from their tour that began on 2 July in Seoul, South Korea, TXT also had the 2022 Weverse Con [New Era] and an incredible show later at Lollapalooza 2022.
However, TXT doesn’t seem to be over with giving us the best moments from K-pop yet. The group made their first appearance at the annual American Music Awards (AMAs) 2022 that took place on 20 November in Los Angeles.
Group members Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Huening Kai also competed in the Best K-Pop Artist category alongside BTS, BLACKPINK and others. They also teased their fans, the MOAs, with the probability of a new album in 2023.
(G)I-DLE adds charm to 2022 with Tomboy
(G)I-DLE has turned out as one of the most successful fourth-generation K-pop girl groups this year. Their 2022 release, Tomboy has become one of the biggest hits in South Korea, so much so that (G)I-DLE is owning the music charts and breaking records repeatedly. The group also earned their first real time All-Kill with the song.
And now with the release of their recent song, “Nxde”, and their first world tour ‘Just Me ( )I-dle’, (G)I-DLE truly gave us some of the best K-pop moments in 2022.
When BLACKPINK gave us Born Pink
The best K-pop moments of 2022 is incomplete without mentioning BLACKPINK. The South Korean girl group is currently one of the biggest in the world and their 2022 activities speak of the same.
BLACKPINK marked six years of togetherness this year and what better gift for Blinks than a comeback and a world tour, right? The group dropped their hit single “Pink Venom” at midnight on 19 August and this was followed by the release of their comeback album Born Pink on 16 September.
BLACKPINK is currently having the time of their lives touring 16 cities globally. The Born Pink world tour began in October 2022 and will continue till June 2023.
With such significant feats, BLACKPINK is finally back in your area and how.
TWICE shines with Twice 4th World Tour III, comeback and Nayeon’s solo debut
2022 made TWICE shine brighter than ever. The K-pop girl group concluded their Twice 4th World Tour III on 15 May 2022, at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. The tour comprising 14 shows created quite the noise globally, making for one of the best K-pop moments in 2022.
On 26 August, the K-pop superstars surprised fans with their comeback. The 11th mini-album Between 1&2 became the first K-Pop girl group album of 2022 to chart for seven weeks on Billboard 200.
2022 also had TWICE member Nayeon making a powerful solo debut with the release of her mini album IM NAYEON. Its title track “POP” surpassed 100 million YouTube views and garnered multiple music show wins.
K-pop sensation Girls’ Generation’s comeback after five years
The return of the legendary Girls’ Generation has to be one of the best K-pop moments of 2022. After the five-year hiatus, the girl group made a full-group comeback on their 15th anniversary. Their 7th album FOREVER 1 topped the streaming charts in Korea, Japan and China, and iTunes charts in 31 countries. Fans around the world were hit by nostalgia after their much-awaited comeback.
(Main and Featured Image: Courtesy bts_bighit/Twitter)