Music

The 20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2024 (So Far): Critic’s Picks

As K-pop acts continue to set new records on charts like the Billboard Hot 100, the Billboard Global 200 and World Digital Song Sales, the artists are doing so with material that showcases them at their best and the unstoppable chart force that is K-pop.

ILLIT managed to set a new standard in the first half of 2024 when their “Magnetic” debut single broke into the Hot 100 — a first for a K-pop artist’s first-ever single. The feat spotlighted the increasingly strong material coming from the latest roster of rookie acts hitting the scene, including TWS, RIIZE and Gyubin.

On the Billboard Global 200, K-pop continues to make its presence known worldwide, as artists like ZICO and BIBI earn their first entries on the ranking. Meanwhile, Crush, (G)I-DLE, aespa and NewJeans earned additional entries on the chart, including aespa’s best ranking yet, with their super-charged “Supernova” nearing two months on the Global 200.

Plus, ZICO and Jennie of BLACKPINK hit No. 1 on the U.S.-based World Digital Song Sales, marking ZICO’s first time topping the chart and Jennie’s second after over five years. Meanwhile, Huh Yunjin of LE SSERAFIM also made her debut on the chart this year, showing the growing impact of her solo work that’s included top-notch collabs with the likes of BTS’ J-Hope, MAX, Groovyroom and Crush just in 2024 alone.

With so many major musical moments from the K-pop scene already this year, which songs stand out to rise among the best? Below, we offer our picks of the 20 best songs from the Korean pop industry released in 2024.

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