K-pop is an abbreviation for Korean pop music (also referred to as GaYo or KaYo music), specifically from South Korea. Many of these artists and musical groups have branched out of South Korea and have become popular in many countries around the world. The popularity of K-pop is often considered a part of the rise of the Korean Wave, the recent surge of popularity of contemporary South Korean culture in Asia.
K-pop is similar to the boy bands of America in the 2000s. However, unlike American pop music, which had most of its boy bands and girl groups either break up or informally disband, bubblegum pop is still very popular in South Korea. Groups such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, Wonder Girls, Big Bang, SS501, Kara, SHINee, 2PM and U-Kiss continue to be top sellers in K-pop, and artists like Ahyoomee and LPG have released novelty songs, to varying degrees of success. However, the 2000s has seen the rise of R&B vocal groups, such as SG Wannabe, Davichi and SeeYa having success with their albums. Ballads are also very popular, as 2006 has seen the release of ballad singles by non-ballad artists, including Shinhwa and Baek Ji Young. In addition, trot music has made a comeback in mainstream K-pop as well, mostly due to the success of Jang Yoon Jung and Park Hyun Bin. The year 2007 was marked with the release of numerous girl and boy bands, though only a few managed to top the charts. Despite new bands debuting, physical sales for CDs have become increasingly low, due to the stagnation of the K-pop industry. The highest selling album of 2007 did not even reach the 200,000 mark with only 190,998 copies sold.
The beginning of 2008 saw the rise of electronica dominance in the K-pop scene, influenced by the release of Big Bang's mini-album Always, which heavily featured the genre. Other artists also followed the trend, such as Jewelry for their song "One More Time" and Brown Eyed Girls for "L.O.V.E." Even artists that release music in other genres have released electronica-influenced albums to suit the current trends, including Epik High, Gummy, Clazziquai, and Lee Seung-cheol.