These 20 K-Pop songs represent a fantastic array of veteran artists, popular idols, ballad crooners and talented rookies.

2012 was the year that PSY, an unlikely K-pop veteran, surpassed his contemporaries with international stardom and an inescapable single (“Gangnam Style,” of course). But that doesn’t mean the rest of the K-pop world wasn’t also delivering excellent tracks. BoA reminded us what made her a superstars in the first place, After School said they “missed you” and went back to their sexy roots, and indie acts like Busker Busker and The Koxx showed how you didn’t need a major agency to make waves in the business.

It was a year of fantastic tracks, exciting comebacks and these 20 singles represent a fantastic array of veteran artists, popular idols, ballad crooners and talented rookies. Check out the and Billboard Korea staff’s picks for the top 20 K-pop songs of 2012, and tell us your personal favorite tracks of the year in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

20. TVXQ – Catch Me
19. The Koxx – Love Dance
18. Miss A – Touch

17. G-Dragon – One of a Kind
“With a knocking hip-hop beat that any of today’s biggest rappers would kill for, the BIGBANG leader showed off his impressive knack for flow and lyrics with his EP’s opening track. The track put his talent at the forefront in comparison to silliness seen in single “Crayon.””

16. Dynamic Duo – Without You
15. Spica – Painkiller
14. Urban Zakapa – Same Love, Same Farewell
13. Verbal Jint – Good Morning
12. FT Island – I Wish
11. EXID – Every Night
10. Beast – Beautiful Night
09. Busker Busker – Cherry Blossom Ending
08. PSY – Gangnam Style
07. BoA – Only One
06. After School – Flashback

05. Big Bang – Bad Boy
“The boy band phenom had an extraordinary year with a slew of hits, including club-banger “Fantastic Baby,” melancholic jam “Blue,” and angst-ridden “Monster.” But the hip-hop/R&B inflected mid-tempo “Bad Boy” outshined them all. The boys take turns showcasing their individual voices, as they emotionally croon, rap and sing about being a “bad” boyfriend over producer Choice 37’s head-bopping beat.”

04. 2NE1 – I Love You
03. Naul – Memory of the Wind
02. Sistar – Alone
01. Infinite – The Chaser

source: Billboard via BBU

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