This Top 10 T-ara Songs list presents the best T-ara Songs including hits like “Lovey-Dovey,” “Roly Poly,” “Cry Cry” and many more. The all-girl South Korean pop group, T-ara was first formed in 2009 by MBK Entertainment that enjoyed a niche in hard-hitting dance-pop music that has been a steady favorite as a music genre ever since the birth of rock and roll. T-ara’s composer, Shinsadong Tiger, had a close working relationship with the group since the beginning, bringing about a broad array of visual concepts that became a chameleon-style trademark. The group’s commercial success stretched throughout the Asian regions, namely in South Korea, China, and Japan with a series of hits that has since made T-ara one of the most celebrated groups in what fans around the world classify as the K-pop genre.
The original group of T-ara saw five members. Jiae, Jiwom, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jieyon. However, Boram, Soyeon, and Qri replaced Jiae and Jiwon by the time summer 2009 hit as they were more closely associated to the style of music that was intended for the all-girl group to perform. These ladies trained together under Mnet Media, going with a group name that was based from the word “tiara,” using that as a means to identify the group as “queens of the music industry.”
Once fully trained and ready to debut, T-ara quickly became a commercial success that won over most of the Asian fan base. It was a far cry from the July 29, 2009 debut on the MBC Radio Star talk show on July 29, 2009 as T-ara was accused for lip synching and acting like elementary school girls as performers. From that point forward, the group announced their future performances would be live.
Starting September 2009, Soyeon, Hyomin, and Jiyeon teamed up with another Mnet group, Supernova, for the single “TTL (Time to Love).” This became the first number one single on the music charts that credited both groups. For “TTL Listen 2,” all members from T-ara and Supernova collaborated together as a sequel to the original. By the end of 2009, T-ara made such an impression in the K-pop industry that they were tied with another phenomenal girl group, 4minute, for Rookie of the Year at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards.
The start of 2010 started off with the shocking news Soyeon was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. Also in the month of January, T-ara made a cameo appearance on two episodes of a series, God of Study, that starred their bandmate, Jiyeon. This was also the same year the group re-released their debut album, now under the title of Breaking Heart. It was also an enormous success that saw live performances leading up to April 2010. In June, T-ara donated all the World Cup proceeds they earned on their online merchandise site to a charity that focused on African children.
Come mid-July, Hwayoung Ryu became the seventh member to join T-ara. The reason for this was to make it easier for the ladies to engage in solo activities, as well as offer scheduling relief due to the amount of tours they were doing at the time. Before 2010 was over, T-ara participated in the third season of Hello Baby, a reality television show that saw them take care of Moon Mason and his two brothers. By year’s end the group released their first extended play (EP), Tempastic. The digital release came a couple days before the physical release due to the bombardment of Yeonpyeong during the month of November.
In 2011, T-ara released their second EP, John Travolta Wannabe. Like their previous recordings, it was a big success. Later in the year, they released their third EP, Black Eyes. It was also a big success for the group that not only catapulted their popularity among the Asian fanbase but worldwide. It seemed as if there was T-ara could do no wrong. However, the leadership roles within the group changed often. Throughout 2011, Hyomin was considered the leader of the all-girl group before passing the torch to Soyeon. In the meantime, T-ara rose to become the second biggest girl group in Korea by popular vote with the Gallup Korea poll.
When 2012 started, T-ara released Black Eyes under the title Funky Town. Although the group was still immensely popular, rumors about dissention among the ladies tarnished their image that saw their fan appeal drop slightly. This came to light after Hwayoung was terminated that met with some mixed information that had one group believe she was bullied while another learning it was she that caused the problems. Despite this, T-ara was still popular enough to be ranked as the third most powerful girl group in the K-pop industry and the seventh most powerful female celebrity in Korea. By this time, the group roster expanded to nine women in the group with the addition of Dani and Areum. 2012 also marked the year T-ara released their first Japanese album, Jewelry Box. It was a big hit for the group in that nation and the ladies toured in Japan for the first time. This tour lasted into 2013.
Separation and Reunion
During the spring of 2013, T-ara formed a subunit that featured the members of Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, and Areum. This sub-group was called T-ara N4. The N4 stood for New Four. This signaled a transformation of these four members that saw its debut on April 29, 2013. However, Areum opted out of the union to pursue a solo career. At the same time, Qri became the new leader of the T-ara. With the Japanese tour completed and another lineup change, the whole group returned to Korea to pick up where their trail of success left off.
In addition to re-connecting with their Korean fans, the global popularity of T-ara continued to grow as the Western continents were now finding themselves addicted to the K-pop sensation that seemed to sweep with just as much trendsetting power as the 1960s British Invasion. The group continued to make big impressions that continually won new fans but the urge for some of T-ara’s members wanting to embark on solo careers prompted in a 2018 hiatus that lasted for three years. As of 2021, T-ara has since reunited, looking to pick up where they left off.
T-ara has four studio albums to their credit, along with nine EPs, two compilation albums, fourteen soundtrack albums, and thirty-six singles. There have been six album reissues, as well as two single albums, and six promotional singles. T-ara has been well known for performing more than one music video for some of their biggest singles, including miniature movies that have been known to last for at least fifteen minutes. The current lineup of T-ara currently has Qri still as the group’s leader, a role she has had since 2014. Eurjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon, have been with T-ara since 2009 and has remained with the group.
Top 10 T-ara Songs
#10 – Sugar Free
“Sugar Free” was released at a time when T-ara’s popularity experienced a decline due to new talent bursting onto the scene and having to overcome the inevitable growth pains that came with a group that grew as large as nine performers. As the size of T-ara began to shrink that ultimately led to a quartet as of 2021, the rumors of bullying and dissention among the ladies, this didn’t stop T-ara from doing what they do best.
“Sugar Free” may have only charted at number thirty-eight on the Gaon Digital Chart after it was released in 2014 but it was a number four hit on the Global Digital Chart, which was the highest charted song for the ladies on a global market. “Sugar Free” has also become one of the most watched music videos associated with the group on YouTube at well over seventy million views on the Official MBK Entertainment channel alone.
#9 – Number 9
“Number 9” was a number five hit on the Gaon Digital Chart and a number four hit on the K-pop Hot 100. On the World Digital Chart, it peaked as high as number seven. This single was released for the first time in 2013 from T-ara’s EP, Again, and the roster of the group was at its highest at nine. At this point, the popularity of the group may have been slightly declining in South Korea but it was accelerating among neighboring nations, including Japan. T-ara was also gaining popularity at a worldwide level as European and North American audiences began to sit up and take notice. It was the fourth time T-ara realized a big hit on the World Digital Chart. “Number 9” also has well over fifty million views on official YouTube channels that still has many fans coming back today for more.
#8 – Neo Ttaemune Michyeo
In English, “Neo Ttaemune Michyeo” means “I Go Crazy Because of You,” which was a digital release on February 23, 2010 and peaked at number one on the Gaon music chart. It also won several music awards within the Asian music industry and has over three million digital copies sold as downloads. Both the fans and music critics have taken notice the similarities “Neo Ttaemune Michyeo” shared with the work of Britney Spears, who was a key influencer that fueled a flurry of new K-pop stars to burst into the global music scene with a level of tenacity that was incredibly energetic to say the least.
Britney Spears was in her prime between 1999 to 2001 as it seemed at the time she could do no wrong. She, among a number of other big stars that dominated the pop charts upon the turn of the twenty-first century made such an impact on the Asian audience that it seemed inevitable there would be what’s called the second generation of K-pop talent to emerge from the shadows and outperform their predecessors.
#7 – Sexy Love
“Sexy Love” was released in 2012 as the third single from the group’s EP, Mirage. In the YouTube music video, T-ara appeared as robotic dolls that came to life, breaking into a dance number that seemed to justify “Sexy Love” earned the right to become another certifiable hit. On the Gaon Digital Chart, it peaked at number four and was a number three hit on the K-pop Hot 100. “Sexy Love” also became the third hit for the group to perform well on the Global Digital Chart as it peaked at number seven. Like so many other singles before it, “Sexy Love” earned critical acclaim, awards, and a massive fan base that loved these sexy ladies and their ability to wow an audience with one popping dance hit after another.
#6 – Day by Day
“Day by Day” as a single and as an album, served as a comeback single for T-ara after undergoing publicity issues that suggested the ladies were not getting along. The membership roster expanded to nine women and a concert tour that took them out of Korea and into Japan. On the day “Day by Day” was released, the popularity of the song threw T-ara back into the spotlight as an all-woman powerhouse that should never be counted out. The single peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart and on the K-pop Hot 100. What made “Day by Day” a standout favorite is the softer style of T-ara’s powerhouse of talent, thanks to the heavy use of acoustic guitar, combined with wind instrumental and beautiful piano.
#5 – Uri Saranghaetjanha (featuring Davichi)
The Christmastide ballad, “Uri Saranghaetjanha” was a collaborated performance between T-ara and Davichi near the end of 2011. In translation, it means “We Were in Love.” This beautiful ballad shows the soft side of T-ara, a contrast from the heavy-hitting pop the group is best known for. Davichi, another powerful all-girl K-pop group, meshed beautifully with T-ara’s team of equally talented ladies as these two forces turned this dramatic tale of lost love.
Both T-ara and Davichi are regarded by fans as the second generation of K-pop, which blew the world away with the ability to dish out power ballads just as well as energized dance numbers that still keeps fans, regardless of age, coming back for more. “Uri Saranghaetjanha” sold well over two million digital downloads and was a number one hit on the Gaon Digital Chart, as well as on the K-Pop Hot 100.
#4 – Cry Cry
“Cry Cry” received over a billion views on YouTube after it was released as an intensely dramatic music video in 2011. It also became a number one hit on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 and on its Gaon Digital Chart. On the Digital World Chart, “Cry Cry” charted as high as number eight. This was the first time T-ara made an impression on the global billboard charts. “Cry Cry” first gave the impression it’s designed as a ballad before quickly transitioning into a poppy dance number that shared similarities to some of Britney Spears’ biggest hits. “Cry Cry” sold over three million digital downloads since its release and remains as one of the all-time favorites among the fans on a global scale.
#3 – Bo Peep Bo Peep
For T-ara, “Bo Peep Bo Peep” was a number four hit on the Gaon chart, marking it as the highest charted single from the group’s 2009 debut album, Absolute First Album. Since its release, it has won five weekly number one awards on KBS Music Bank and SBS Inkigayo. It was re-recorded later for the Japanese audience as the group’s debut in that nation in 2011. Through this single, T-ara became the first Korean group to debut at the number one spot on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 and its Oricon weekly chart. So far, “Bo Peep Bo Peep” has earned three gold certifications from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). This single has won the group a multitude of awards and at least over thirty million views on YouTube from the combination of official music videos that have been streaming off official channels.
#2 – Roly Poly
“Roly Poly” was the 2011 single that launched T-ara into stardom. Since 2010, it has become one of the most downloaded domestic singles on record with over four million digital downloads so far. On the Gaon Digital Chart, “Roly Poly” peaked at number two and it was a number one hit on the Billboard K-pop 100. In the Japanese market, it was certified gold. “Roly Poly” became even more popular as the mini-movie music video reflected on what sparked the K-pop craze to begin with. K-pop, as a genre, credited the influence of disco, hip-hop, and new wave-style dance hits that fueled an entire generation in South Korea to experiment with its own brand of rock and roll music that has become immensely popular worldwide. T-ara’s niche was heavy-hitting pop rock that seemed to make it impossible not to spring up and dance to. At the end of each year, the Gaon Digital Chart does a countdown to the best song on the list. In 2011, “Roly Poly” was it.
#1 – Lovey-Dovey
“Lovey-Dovey” sold well over three million copies after its 2012 release and was a number one hit on the Kaon Digital Chart and on the K-pop Hot 100. It also peaked as high as number eight on the World Digital Chart. This electropop, a T-ara trademark, was a heavy instrumental favorite that featured strong beats that was influenced by the trendiest dance clubs that rocked Europe and the United States. The tale of this energized single dealt with the issue of a lonely protagonist that is seeking for a love interest to spend time with.
The first version of the music video shot for “Lovey-Dovey” was designed as a sequel to T-ara’s previous hit, “Cry Cry” and its highly dramatic original video that lasted for fifteen minutes as a mini-movie. The second music video version saw a zombie concept, followed by a third that saw the group performing in Tokyo, Japan. “Lovey-Dovey” won a total of thirteen number one awards on various South Korean shows that has classified this single as one of the most successful in T-ara’s career as a group.
Feature Photo: Hf9631, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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