It’s no surprise K-pop groups are quite different from Western ones. K-pop groups are typically formed through a trainee system and focus on showcasing many talents all at once. For example, BTS is known for having members who can sing, dance, and rap.
Another unique aspect of K-pop is that the groups are often quite populous. While Western companies usually cap their boy bands and girl bands at five members, K-pop groups tend to have, on average, around seven members. And it is not unusual for there to be even more people than that. Let’s take a look at this phenomenon and find out which K-pop group has the most members.
Why do K-pop groups have so many members?
K-pop companies put a lot of effort into marketing, and having many members in one group is a part of that.
The more people there are, the easier it is to have a variety of talents showcased to the public. Some members can be skilled performers on stage while others can branch out into acting or modeling. This can help to bring more attention to the group.
Additionally, different people find different characteristics attractive. Having many members in a group increases the chance of most fans being able to find someone they like.
While managing a large group can seem exhausting, the payoff can be worth it for K-pop companies. For example, K-pop albums often come with collectible photo cards, and dedicated fans might spend more money to purchase several copies of the same album just to find their favorite person’s card. Or they might simply collect them all.
There are several groups with over 10 members
Having over 10 people in a boy band or girl band might seem strange in the U.S., but this is not uncommon at all in K-pop.
Over the years, there have been numerous groups that debuted with over 10 people. Some of them eventually broke up or had some members leave.
Currently, there is one group with 11 members: The Boyz.
There are two groups with 12 members: LOONA and IZ*ONE. A group, Treasure, might soon join this lineup upon its debut in July 2020.
Meanwhile, there are two groups with 13 members: Seventeen and Cosmic Girls.
The biggest K-pop group currently has 21 members
Of course, the groups that have 12 or 13 members are no match for the biggest group of them all: NCT, which has 21 members.
However, it should be noted that NCT is different from other K-pop groups in that all 21 members rarely ever congregate in one place. The group is split into four sub-units: NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream, and WayV. Most members simply work within their assigned sub-unit.
In 2018, when NCT had 18 members, all of them came together to release a song called “Black on Black.” There has yet to be a similar project for the current 21 members.
NCT is also continuing to grow. Its company, SM Entertainment, has plans to establish more sub-units in different countries, so it seems the amount of members NCT could contain is limitless.