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Top 50 K-Pop Singles of 2012: 50-41*

Updated: Jan 31

I've been dreading making this list for quite some time, but now it's here!

Approaching ten years in three months, I figure I look back and rank my top 50 K-pop singles from 2012, aka a landmark moment for the genre.

2012 is regarded as the best year in K-pop, and it's easy to see why.

First and foremost, Gangnam Style.

Unless you were under a rock (or weren't born yet), virtually everyone was talking about this track. There was no escaping the craze back in 2012.

Despite its impact, this single isn't in my top 50. Behind Gangnam Style is a year filled with amazing K-pop moments! From numerous rookies (EXO, B.A.P, Nu'est) to established groups (Big Bang, T-ara, TVXQ!) offering fantastic singles, there's a lot to be excited about when discussing 2012 K-pop. I could've stretched this list to 80 songs!

With everything I need to say out of the way, let's look at my top 50 K-pop singles of 2012, starting with numbers 50-41. Enjoy!


50. T-ara- Lovey Dovey

Lovey Dovey is a catchy electropop track, distilling an iconic, earworm refrain. The constant beat and cowbells only add to the song's fun nature.

49. Spica- I'll Be There

I'll Be There hearkens to the 90s, presenting itself as a fun throwback pop-rap song. The verses are great, but the feel-good chorus is better!

48. Nu'est- Face

This is one of the most iconic K-pop debuts for good reasons. Even though it offers an odd dubstep breakdown, Face still shines through with its infectious dancefloor rhythm and classic hook.

47. Shinhwa- Venus

2012 was about hitting the dance floor, so it was great of Shinhwa to return from a three-year stoppage and contribute to the trend by releasing this electropop banger.

46. AOA- Elvis

Peppy from the get-go, Elvis makes itself known as a catchy debut song with its bratty yet compulsive verses and quirky instrumental. The highlight of this track is undoubtedly the multi-part refrain.

45. B.A.P- No Mercy

Want a K-pop equivalent to We Will Rock You? Look no further than No Mercy. This song is perfect for a live audience due to its stompy soundscape, and the traditional-infused breakdown is worthy of much applause!

44. BtoB- WOW

WOW is a lethal modern new jack swing jam, providing lively, percussive verses while its chorus operates with excitement. The repeating "I like it" does the trick here.

43. Nu'est- Action

Nu'est came roaring back with a better song after their incredible debut. Although it features a bizarre dubstep breakdown like Face, Action's punchy verses and dramatic chorus aren't worth ignoring.

42. T-ara- Sexy Love

Sexy Love heightens Lovey Dovey's electropop sound to a more accomplished, meatier production. The song opens up with a quirky electronic beat before slowly building to an exciting multi-part hook.

41. U-KISS- DoraDora

DoraDora's rock-influenced refrain is a treat to enjoy, but everything before it is the song's crowning moment. The first minute of this track waste no time delivering gripping melodies. Every second of it is a highlight, especially that DoraDora repetition!

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