[News] Girls flex muscles as boy bands blunder

2009 was the year the girls flexed their muscles while members of popular boy bands made one blunder after another sparking a shift in local pop trends.

It was a year riddled with bad omens for Korean boy bands.

Park Jae-beom of 2PM, no doubt, created the most noise throughout the year when he stirred the media pot with an expletive-strewn message he had posted on the popular social networking site MySpace.

That incident foreshadowed the string of bad publicity that some of the country's most beloved boy bands were subjected to.

The message, posted years ago when Park was still a trainee with singer-producer Park Jin-young's JYP Entertainment, contained harsh criticism of his life in Korea and just as Yoo Seung-joon had caused controversy for draft-dodging, Park too felt the wrath of the general public.

He has since left the country living in exile like his bereaved predecessor.

Big Bang's G Dragon too was embroiled in a storm of controversy of his own when charges of plagiarism were hurled at him for his solo debut single, "Heartbreaker" which many felt was a flagrant rip-off of American rapper Flo Rida's "Right Round."

And it seems the hits keep coming for Mr. Dragon as he is currently the subject of an investigation by the prosecutor's office for his alleged lewd conduct during his concert on Dec. 15. It has been reported the 21-year-old simulated sexual intercourse on stage with one of his dancers.

For continental superstars TVXQ, it's also been a rough year as they had spent most of it in a legal tug-of-war with their management, SM Entertainment over contractual discrepancies.

Rumors of internal strife among members also surfaced and talks of the group disbanding became a topic of conversation for many of their Asian fans.

SM, widely considered the 800-pound gorilla of K-Pop, is the company responsible for such popular stars like BoA and Girls Generation but they are also known for their less than stellar reputation in the employee satisfaction department.

Topping out the misfortunes of boy bands throughout the year, Super Junior's Kang In scored back to back visits to the Seoul Metropolitan Police department.

Kang was twice arrested for being part of a nighttime fracas at a bar in September and for committing a hit and run while driving under the influence the following month. Both incidents are still under police investigation.

The ascent of girl bands

If the Spice Girls were the pioneers of the girl band fever in the 90s then all due respect should be given to the Girls Generation for igniting the craze for girl bands in the local pop market all year long. Quite simply, all things all-female were in vogue.

The nine-member Girls Generation is of course the product of the SM Entertainment factory that began a trend in pop this year that saw other major management camps scrambling to assemble their own group to cash in on the craze.

It all started earlier in the year with an infectiously catchy pop ditty called, "Gee" that fueled the trend.

For nine weeks, "Gee" remained on the top spot on the Music Bank charts and the group continued their trail blazing ways by scoring another hit with their follow-up single, "Tell me your wishes."

From teenagers to even middle-aged men -- known as "the uncle brigade" -- the band led the posse of all-female groups through the entire year saturating everything from radio airwaves, television broadcasts, to print and media advertisements. There wasn't a single thing these girls didn't get their grubby little hands on -- soju included.

And faster than you can say the names of all nine members of the Girls Generation, other girl bands were formed like 2ne1, 4 Minute, and Afterschool -- all of which became just as popular.

But among the heap of these rag tag group of generic dolled-up dancers and singers, veteran quartet the Brown Eyed Girls scored the biggest hit with "Abracadabra."

Considered the female version of Big Bang with their edgier, more provocative image, 2ne1 came out of leftfield to become one of the most popular girl bands this year with their hugely popular club banger "Fire."

Korea Herald 

Credits: asianfanatics