31 Influential Experts Select K-pop’s Next Generation Leaders: NewJeans, Stray Kids, More!

In a survey held among 31 music experts, THESE 11 artists (NewJeans, Stray Kids, and more) were selected as the “next generation leaders” of the K-pop industry.

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NewJeans, Stray Kids Selected #1 Girl & Boy Group Leaders of K-pop’s Next Generation

In celebration of Star News’ 19th anniversary, the Korean outlet held a survey among 31 influential music experts to select the artists who will possibly lead the next generation of K-pop, post-BTS.

As a result, entertainment and production companies representatives, including officials from the “BIG 4,” chose these 11 artists among groups who entered the Billboard main charts (HOT 100, 200) after August 1, 2021.

To maintain fairness, the expert can’t vote for the artist under the same company. Each company was also given two vote tickets.


(Photo : twitter|@NewJeans_ADOR@)

Among the nominees then, NewJeans ranked No. 1 overall and among girl groups with 21 out of 31 votes (67.7%).

Although the five-member rookie group only debuted in July 2022, they immediately dominated the pop music market and created the “NewJeans craze” with their consecutive hits, “Attention,” “Hype Boy,” Ditto,” “OMG,” “Super Shy” and more.


(Photo : twitter|@NewJeans_ADOR@)

WM Entertainment’s Vice President Lim Seungchae analyzed the team’s popularity.

“From their debut to the release of MVs for all of their songs, NewJeans presented a new paradigm in all aspects, including song trends and marketing. These attempts have met the public’s needs and enthusiasm.”

Meanwhile, Stray Kids ranked No. 2 overall with 11 votes, which is the highest among boy groups.

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(Photo : Stray Kids (Twitter)

Stray Kids is an eight-member boy group launched by JYP Entertainment in 2018.

Since their debut, they achieved growth one step at a time with each of their albums. They also solidified the title “self-producing” group, thanks to 3RACHA (Bangchan, Changbin, and Han), a production unit responsible for composing and writing all their songs.

Regarding them, Kwon Jaeyoung, CEO of A9 Media, said:

“Their music is a combination of the familiar pop sound with the mix of K-pop color. Stray Kids is presenting an original group style rather than the standardized K-pop, so it will feel like Korean yet fresh to listen to for overseas fans.”

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(Photo : Stray Kids (Twitter))

He added:

“Their K-pop’s distinctive synchronized dance performance is also outstanding, so I think they will become more popular.”

11 Artists Selected as K-pop’s Next-Gen Leaders: SEVENTEEN, IVE, BLACKPINK, More!

Following the aforementioned groups, SEVENTEEN then ranked in third place with 6 votes.

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(Photo : SEVENTEEN (Kpop Wiki))

Debuting in 2015, the 13-member multinational group has been leading the K-pop market based on its original performances, musicality, and solid fandom implemented through “self-produced.”

CEO Kwon of A9 Media also explained:

“Unlike any other K-pop, the fact that the artists themselves, not foreign composers, wrote and composed their music, created SEVENTEEN’s unique music color. Like BTS, the lyrics that honestly contain their worries about youth can be a good selling point, too.”

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(Photo : Seventeen Twiiter)

Here are 11 K-pop groups selected by 31 music experts as next-generation K-pop leaders:

  • NewJeans (21 votes)
  •  Stray Kids (11 votes)
  •  SEVENTEEN (6 votes)
  •  IVE (5 votes)
  •  BLACKPINK (5 votes)
  •  NCT (3 votes)
  •  ATEEZ (3 votes)
  •  LE SSERAFIM (3 votes)
  •  TXT (2 votes)
  •  ZEROBASEONE (2 votes)
  •  ENHYPEN (1 vote)