Eavesdropping Seol K-POP Invasion

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February 7, 1964, at JFK Airport in New York, USA. As four young handsome British men got off the plane, the fans waiting around the airport all started to cheer. They were in the spotlight of the American press, and wherever they visited, fans shouted and screamed mixed. They appeared on America’s most famous ‘The Sullivan Show, which 73 million people watched. You can guess who they are. That’s the Beatles. The Beatles, who first topped the Billboard chart with ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand,’ made history afterward, sweeping various charts.

In Britain at the time, legendary bands such as The Rolling Stones, Animals, The Who, and Cream watched the Beatles’ moves closely. After the Beatles’ tremendous success in the United States, British bands moved to the United States. So British bands spread through the United States and all over the world. This is called the British Invasion. When the Beatles first set foot on New York soil, no one could have predicted that this would happen.

November 22, 2021, more than 50 years after the British Invasion. An amazing scene unfolded on the American Music Awards (AMA) stage, which is considered one of the top three music awards in the United States. BTS and British band Coldplay sang ‘My Universe’ together. The successor to British Invasion, Coldplay is one of the world’s greatest bands of the 21st century. The appearance of the band’s vocalist Chris Martin and the seven BTS members singing together was a symbolic scene heralding a new era. It seemed that K-Pop Invasion officially succeeded the tradition of the British Invasion (?).

When Psy caused a global syndrome with ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012, and BTS gained fame on Billboard and AMAs from 2015, K-Pop Invasion felt a little lacking. However, it seems that the K-Pop Invasion has finally taken place as BTS won three trophies, including the grand prize at this year’s AMA.

Now, it seems that we can go one step further from K-Pop Invasion and call it K-Culture Invasion. This is because director Bong Joon-ho’s movie ‘Parasite’ achieved four awards at the Academy Awards last year, and this year’s Netflix dramas ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Hell’ were global hits.

You don’t have to admire America anymore. K-Pop and K-Culture are the centers of world popular culture.

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