From playing the trendiest hits to endlessly streaming performances by various K-pop acts, Music Bank has become the global go-to for K-pop gurus and rookie artists in South Korea. Fashioned back in 1988, this record chart has grown to become a global sensation broadcasted in over a hundred countries through KBS World. Music Bank took over the then famous Top 10 Songs (가요톱10) show which had debuted in 1981 and was done away with owing to a controversy.
Lee Hwi Jae and Song Hye Kyo (hosts – 2000)
Airing on Fridays at 6:30 (KST), Music Bank took Korea and the neighboring countries by storm which led to the birth of K-Chart in January 2008. K-Chart is a combination of category-based charts resembling a countdown. The K-Chart is calculated by combining a percentage of album sales, digital music charts, social media charts, number of broadcast times on KBS, and K-pop fan voting charts. With the rising demand, the show became the longest-airing music program as the show was extended to 70 minutes in June 2008 and further extended to 80 minutes in November of the same year.
Soobin & Arin (hosts – 2021)
Music Bank went viral and made a global mark in August 2010 when it started airing live in 54 countries through KBS World. With the global footage came new interactive features for international fans, especially on Twitter. The global eminence resulted in the airing period being extended to 105 minutes. Music Bank’s first English dubbed show was unleashed in August 2012 through MYX TV. However, after KBS1 went global to become KBS Global 24, Music Bank started airing for 80 minutes.
BTS’s V & Jungkook performing on Music Bank
Since its inception, Music Bank has inspired and nurtured hundreds of musicians giving them a platform to showcase their talents and gain followers. Some eminent artists whose songs have charted on Music Bank include Blackpink, Astro, Red Velvet, BTS, and IU. Blackpink’s Rose received her first Music Bank trophy for her “On the Ground” debut single in March 2021. Music Bank also buzzes with fans for its dashing celebrity seasonal hosts. Ryu Si-wo and Kim Ji Ho in 1988 as well as Lee Hwi Ja Song Hye Kyo in 2000 were among the founding Music Bank hosts. Some of the renowned celebrities who have hosted Music Bank include Park Seo Joon, Park Bo Gum, and Arin among others.
With the demand for more international shows, Music Bank created various entertainment gigs including KBS Song Festival and Music Bank World Tour. The Music Bank World Tour has taken various live performances by multiple K-pop acts outside South Korea, including to Paris and Berlin among others. This year’s KBS Song Festival was replaced by Music Bank’s first-ever Music Bank Global Festival which is expected to take place in Japan and Korea in early December. SHINee, Stray Kids, ENHYPHEN, and ATEEZ are some of the artist groups expected to woo the crowd during this end-of-year festival.
— Karen Mwenda
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