Curated Playlist: 5 Best Live Covers by K-pop Idol Groups

OH MY GIRL Destiny
Credit: Mnet

Edited by Yoon
Translated by Changhyun Kim

OH MY GIRL Destiny
Credit: Mnet

One of the most popular content that K-pop fans love to watch is the cover performances of their favorite idol groups. Artists usually pick a timeless hit song and perform it on special stages in music shows or year-end music awards. Although it is hard for the artists to perform covers compared to their own songs as they have limited time to practice, that is exactly why a cover can be an objective indicator of the artist’s talent.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the five of the best cover performances done by various K-pop artists.


BLACKPINK – So Hot (Original song by Wonder Girls)

BLACKPINK’s live cover of “So Hot” in 2017 SBS Gayodaejun received rave reviews with the top-notch arrangements. The group changed the retro-style song into a classy and trendy one. Lisa and Jennie added their own rap verses, and the pitch of the song was changed to fit BLACKPINK’s vocal styles. The performance was more like a re-creation of the song rather than a cover. It is hard to believe that BLACKPINK was a rookie at that time, as they showcased a stable live performance on such a large-scale stage.


NCT – Sorry, Sorry (Original song by Super Junior)

Performed on Mnet’s M Countdown, this is NCT’s cover of the iconic song by their labelmate Super Junior. As musicians who record for the same company as Super Junior, NCT pulled off a brilliant cover as if the song was their own track. Among all the cover performances introduced in this article, NCT’s performance is the one that least deviated from its original song, as they did not make any rearrangements or improvisations. The choreography also followed its original dance moves without any changes. The dance break in the bridge and the postlude was perfectly in sync, showing how much the members have practiced for this song.


OH MY GIRL – Destiny (Orignial song by Lovelyz)

OH MY GIRL made headlines with their cover of Lovelyz’s “Destiny” in Mnet’s Queendom, where they ranked first with this performance in the second round of the show. The song put OH MY GIRL under the spotlight as the video clip collected countless views on YouTube and as their cover track wildly climbed up the music charts. While keeping the nostalgic mood and lyrics of the original song, OH MY GIRL added their own color by sprinkling traditional Korean elements on the song. In addition, the members’ expressive faces on stage impressed the fans, making the performance as one of the best covers to this day.


SEVENTEEN – Wild Eyes (Original song by SHINHWA)

In the 2016 KBS Song Festival, SEVENTEEN performed a cover of “Wild Eyes,” a hit song by the first-generation boy group, SHINHWA. As SEVENTEEN had twice as many members as SHINHWA, they had to split the parts for all the 13 members. The choreography, which arranged 13 chairs in a line, is especially unique, as the members change their positions without moving the chairs. Such formation is rare and hard to find in other chair dance performances.

Apart from this stage, SEVENTEEN has performed several covers in many year-end awards and concerts. They were able to give such performances thanks to each member’s clear role in the group and their exceptional talents in dancing. Perhaps that is why SEVENTEEN is known to be the best group dance performer in the whole K-pop industry.


THE BOYZ – Danger (Original song by TAEMIN of SHINEE)

THE BOYZ performed this cover in the first round of Mnet’s talent show Road to Kingdom. It is surprising that the group with 11 members picked this song sung by Taemin alone. In this performance, THE BOYZ made full use of their 11 members and props. They creatively utilized the tables and chairs and composed dynamic formations by mobilizing all members at once. Since the original song was notorious for having complex dance moves, many were worried if they could pull it off on a live stage. However, all the concerns were gone as soon as their performance got on the air, and now it became one of the best performances done by THE BOYZ.


Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.

Translator Changhyun Kim: Hello, K-pop, K-drama, and K-movie lovers! I will provide you with accurate and reliable Korean Entertainment news.


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