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Who are SNSD and BoA? Here's why BTS fans got into online war with fans of K-pop 'pathfinders'

'SNSD don't have anything left to prove, their legacy is already solidified in history and if you don't know who they are then keep that s**t to yourself'
SNSD, BTS (Getty Images)
SNSD, BTS (Getty Images)

K-pop girl group SNSD, also popularly known as Girls’ Generation, and BoA, a South Korean singer known whose career has spanned two decades got slammed in social media due to a comment by SM Entertainments’s CEO Lee Soo-man.

The mention of SNSD surfaced in a VLive show named ‘Nobody Talks to BoA’ where SM Entertainment’s CEO appeared to talk about SM Entertainment and the last two decades of K-pop culture with BoA. Lee Soo-man stated that BoA’s contribution in K-pop is ‘pathfinding’ as she was the first person to break the language barrier in Japan with her debut Japanese album ‘Listen to my Heart’. Reportedly, she is also the only foreign artist to have three albums sell more than one million copies in Japan and is one of only three artists to have six consecutive number-one studio albums on Japan’s Oricon charts since her debut, the others being Ayumi Hamasaki and Utada Hikaru which explains her title as ‘queen of K-pop’.

Lee Soo-man claimed that early efforts of the Girls’ Generation and artists like BoA helped break the cultural barrier and a lot of young artists who are getting huge success is a subsequent result of that.

The comment did not fare well with a lot of K-pop listeners, especially with fans of artists like BTS who are now successful worldwide. They felt it takes the credit away from the young artists and their hard work. A user wrote, “how is he invalidating bts' impact like that after all the xenophobia & prejudice they have been facing in the west to make kpop popular.” A user said, “lee sooman and sm can keep trying and keep saying whatever they want to say, but the truth is bts's achievements are all because of themselves and themselves only. no boa, no snsd, none of his artists could've had the impact bts has in the western market. bts paved their own way.” Another said, “There is a difference between being the pioneers and paving the way. Senior groups should be respected for the things they did but BTS should be acknowledged also for paving the way for Kpop. BTS broke all the walls and many barriers that the pioneers tried to break before.”




The accusations and counter-arguments started a fan war where a lot of SNSD fans claimed that the girl group’s contribution is impeccable and simply can’t be ignored. A fan said, “snsd don't have anything left to prove to yall. their legacy is already solidified in history and if you don't know who they are then keep that s**t to yourself because that's embarrassing”. Another user commented, “I mean that just shows their lack of knowledge because I got into kpop in 2019 because of blackpink and I know that my faves wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for the impact that SNSD had, like they opened the doors for ggs to be able to shine, they are literal legends.” Another fan pointed out that BTS has mentioned time and again how the earlier generation K-pop music influenced them, "fun facts: 4/7 members had sm artists (SNSD, TVXQ and BoA) as the first albums they ever bought. thanks to these seniors for inspiring juniors nowadays."




Another tweet read, “Some of these comments are really uncalled for. It's totally okay to not know who these people are (snsd and boa) and yes BTS has done so much for kpop in the west but invalidating these two legendary artists in kpop is soo off the mark, some of y'all need to take several seats.”


Girls’ Generation debuted in 2007 and amongst several achievements, they broke the language barrier in 2013 when they got Video of the Year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards with their iconic ‘I Got a Boy’ album’s title track. The group is known as “the Nation's Girl Group" in South Korea for their decade-long contribution to K-pop. Billboard mentioned Girls' Generation as the "Top K-pop Girl Group of the Past Decade" in 2017.