Image via YouTube/Stone Music Entertainment
K-pop continues to grow in popularity around the world, with extremely talented and successful boy and girl bands in the genre. While some K-pop groups like BLACKPINK and Aespa only have four members in their roster, some groups have a large number of members, with some having as many as 23 members.
With so many singers, dancers, rappers, visuals, and more vying to become idols, K-pop groups stand out for categorizing their members into where they shine brightest. Regardless of the number of members in a group, they always seem to deliver bright and energetic performances.
From the 23 members of NCT, to the 13 members of the famous group Seventeen, here are 10 K-pop groups with the most members.
Neo Culture Technology, popularly known as NCT, is a K-pop boy group formed under the highly sought-after agency SM Entertainment. The group debuted in 2016 with 15 members and was divided into three sub-units, namely: NCT127, NCT DREAM and the non-fixed unit, NCT U. The age of the members ranges from late teens to mid-twenties. . If 15 weren’t enough, the group continues to grow and currently sits at 23 magnanimous members. Also, a new sub-unit was formed called WAYV, although it was promoted mainly in China. Aiming to carry out an original plan of building unlimited members, it looks like NCT could continue to reign at the top of the groups with the most members as they plan to add more idols in the coming years. .
Apeace was a boy group that debuted in 2010, boasting a massive 21 members under the initial nickname “Double B 21”. The group was formed by Golden Goose Entertainment and was once considered the K-pop group with the most members at the time. After some internal adjustments, Double B 21 debuted a year later in Japan under the new moniker, Apeace. Over the years, the group’s members have grown from 21 to 15, and in 2015, only 12 members remained. The group had three subunits: Lapis5, Onyx5, and Jade5. In 2021, the group’s Japanese agency announced that Apeace had officially disbanded.
Dubbed the “King of Hallyu Wave” for contributing greatly to the mainstream popularity of K-pop music, Super Junior is a boy group that debuted in 2005 under SM Entertainment. The group officially debuted on the scene with 12 members before adding a 13th member a year later. Eventually, Super Junior would drop three members, rounding up the member count to 10. The group continues to prove their star power and continue to release music nearly two decades after their debut. Super Junior is one of the largest groups of its kind and has five subgroups: Super Junior KRY, Super Junior T, Super Junior M, Super Junior H and Super Junior D&E. Some of their members have also had solo success.
One of the key figures of the past few decades in expanding K-pop’s international appeal is boy group Seventeen. Launched in 2015 under Pledis Entertainment, the group consists of 13 members and has three tagged subgroups: Hip-hop Team, Vocal Team, and Performance Team. The group has been referred to as a “self-producing” group because the members are one of the few groups with creative control privileges and are often involved in the writing and choreography of their music and stage performances.
WJSN, also known as Cosmic Girls, is a Korean-Chinese girl group that debuted as a collaboration between Starship Entertainment and Yuehua Entertainment in 2016. The group debuted with 12 members but added the 13th member a few months later. Like several other K-pop groups on the list, WJSN is also divided into four subgroups: Wonder unites, Joy unites, Sweet unites, and Natural unites. Interestingly enough, the subgroups were formed separately, before being merged to create the group.
Treasure is one of the newest bands to have a large membership. The 4th generation K-pop boy group was formed by YG Entertainment and was grouped under the Korean Reality Survival Contest, YG treasure box. The group debuted as a 12-member boy group in 2019 and have continued to enjoy mainstream success ever since. While the group was originally slated to consist of 13 members, under the name Treasure 13, one member, Ha Yoon-bin, left before the official debut to pursue a solo career.
Labeled the “Kings of K-pop”, EXO is a Korean-Chinese boy group that needs no introduction due to their huge international success and following. EXO was created by SM Entertainment and debuted with 12 members and two subgroups: EXO-K (Korean) and EXO-M (Mandarin), both of which were heavily promoted in both countries. Three of the Chinese members have since left the group, and the old subgroups have been dropped in favor of the new EXO-CBX and EXO-SC. While EXO continues to find success as a group, many of its members have risen to fame in their solo journey as singers and actors.
The Boyz is a boy group that debuted in 2017 under IST Entertainment. Prior to their official debut, they were known as Cre.kerz. The group emerged with 13 members, but the departure of one member made a dozen. It’s fairly common for bands of this size to have subgroups, but The Boyz continue to perform and promote all of their music as one group.
Loona is a 12-member girl group under the Blockberry Creative and Universal Music Japan record labels. The group debuted in 2016 and consists of three subgroups: Loona 1/3, Loona Odd Eye Circle, and Loona yyxy. Prior to their collective debut, each of Loona’s subgroups initially released music separately as part of an 18-month project.
IZ*ONE was a Korean-Japanese girl group that debuted in 2018 under two companies, Swing Entertainment and Off the Record. The group was formed thanks to the survival show produce 48 and had 12 members as the final composition. The group had no subgroups and was also short-lived, as they announced their official disbandment two years later in 2021.