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Pinoy pop

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Pinoy pop, also known as Philippine pop, Filipino pop or P-pop, refers to a popular contemporary music in the Philippines originating from the OPM genre. With its beginnings in the 1970s, and P-pop is a growing genre in year of 2020s. Through the 1990s to the 2000s, OPM pop was regularly showcased in the live band scene.[1]

Groups such as Neocolours, Side A, Introvoys, the Teeth, Yano, True Faith, Passage and Freestyle popularized songs that clearly reflect the sentimental character of OPM pop of this era.

From 2010 to 2020, Philippine pop music or P-pop went through a huge metamorphasis in its increased quality, budget, investment and variety, matching the country's rapid economic growth, and an accompanying social and cultural resurgence of its Asian identity. This was heard by heavy influence from K-pop and J-pop, a growth in Asian style ballads, idol groups, and EDM music, and less reliance on Western genres, mirroring the Korean wave and similar Japanese wave popularity among millennial Filipinos and mainstream culture. Famous P-pop music artists who had defined the growth of this now mainstream genre include Sarah Geronimo, SB19, XLR8, KZ Tandingan, Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, MNL48, Regine Velasquez, BINI, BGYO and P-Pop Generation.


In the early 1970s, Pinoy music or Pinoy pop emerged, often sung in Tagalog. It was a mix of rock, folk and ballads making political use of music similar to early hip hop but transcending class.[2] The music was a "conscious attempt to create a Filipino national and popular culture" and it often reflected social realities and problems.[2] As early as 1973, the Juan De la Cruz Band was performing "Ang Himig Natin" ("Our Music"), which is widely regarded as the first example of Pinoy rock.[3] "Pinoy" gained popular currency in the late 1970s in the Philippines when a surge in patriotism made a hit song of Filipino folk singer Heber Bartolome's "Tayo'y mga Pinoy" ("We are Pinoys"). This trend was followed by Filipino rapper Francis Magalona's "Mga Kababayan Ko" ("My Countrymen") in the 1990s and Filipino rock band Bamboo's "Noypi" ("Pinoy" in reversed syllables) in the 2000s. Nowadays, Pinoy is used as an adjective to some terms highlighting their relationship to the Philippines or Filipinos. Pinoy rock was soon followed by Pinoy folk and later, Pinoy jazz.[2] Although the music was often used to express opposition to then Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and his use of martial law and the creating of the Batasang Bayan, many of the songs were more subversive and some just instilled national pride. Perhaps because of the cultural affirming nature and many of the songs seemingly being non-threatening, the Marcos administration ordered radio stations to play at least one – and later, three – Pinoy songs each hour.[2] Pinoy music was greatly employed both by Marcos and political forces who sought to overthrow him.[2]


Beginnings (1960s–1970s)

Filipino pop songs mainly referred to songs popularized since the 1960s, especially those in the ballad form, by major commercial artists like Pilita Corrales and Nora Aunor, and in the 1970s by Basil Valdez, Freddie Aguilar and Rey Valera.

Singer-songwriters Ryan Cayabyab and José Mari Chan rose to fame in the 1970s by composing original English love songs alongside modern Tagalog songs. Pioneer pop groups in the same decade include Manila sound groups APO Hiking Society and Hotdog.

Golden age of Filipino music

In the 1980s, disco group VST & Co. and pop icon Gary V. gave rise to dance-pop in the mainstream.

Prominence of rock-acoustic bands, belters, and balladeers (mid-1990s to present)

The early to mid-1990s saw the emergence of the pop-rock group, Eraserheads, considered as a turning-point in the OPM music scene. In the wake of their success was the emergence of a string of influential bands such as Yano, Siakol, Parokya ni Edgar, Grin Department, Rivermaya, Moonstar 88 and Hungry Young Poets, each of which mixes the influence of a variety of pop and rock subgenres into their style.

Filipino rock continues to flourish at present with newer bands such as Hale, Cueshé, Sponge Cola, Chicosci, Kamikazee and Urbandub, and the emergence of the country's first virtual band, Mistula. Though only some of the spearheading bands are still fully intact, many old members have formed new bands such as Pupil, Sandwich, and Bamboo. A few band members such as Kitchie Nadal, Barbie Almalbis, and Rico Blanco have established steady solo careers.

Though rock bands have been dominating the mainstream since their commercialization in the '90s, acoustic groups were still regularly showcased in the live band scene such as Side A, True Faith, Neocolours, South Border and Freestyle popularized songs that clearly reflect the sentimental character of OPM pop. Popular acoustic acts like Nina, Juris (of MYMP) and Aiza Seguerra also prove the diversity of Filipino pop.

Solo belters and balladeers such as Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, Joey Albert, Donna Cruz, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Jaya, Jolina Magdangal and Martin Nievera had regular exposure on television and radio.

Re-emergence of R&B and novelty songs (2000s to present)

From the early 2000s onwards, Kyla, Nina and Jay R began to be pioneers of the contemporary R&B music with Gloc-9 and Abra of hip-hop genre.

Local sing and dance groups SexBomb Girls and Viva Hot Babes began to popularize novelty songs among the masses.

Pinoy pop renaissance (2010s)

Since 2010, the genre of Pinoy pop drastically changed as the usual rock bands and novelty songs from the 1990s and 2000s started to fade out of the mainstream, creating the new pop genre without any influence of rock and hip-hop.

In 2010, Little Big Star 2nd runner-up and YouTube star Charice became the first Asian to peak on the top 10 (at No. 8) of the Billboard 200 for her debut album.[4] She was also one of the first Asian artists to have a song peak at No. 1 for Billboard's Dance/Club Play Songs.[5]

Notable pop artists of the 2010s include Toni Gonzaga, Moira Dela Torre, Yeng Constantino and Sarah Geronimo whose songs "Tala" and "Kilometro" were chosen by CNN Philippines as best songs of the decade.[6]

The rise of P-pop idol groups (2020s)

From the influence of K-pop and J-pop, a new era of P-pop was born. The Philippines' first idol group MNL48, a sister group of the J-pop group AKB48, started a new era for P-pop when they debuted in 2018. Following them is the all-boy idol group SB19 who also debuted in 2018. They are the first Filipino act trained by a Korean entertainment company under the same system that catapulted K-pop artists into global stardom. SB19 is considered to be the first P-pop idol group to chart on the Billboard Next Big Sound and Billboard Social 50.[7] On November 20, 2019, SB19 made history by being the first Filipino artist to chart and debut on the Billboard Next Big Sound chart debuting and peaking at No. 5. The Next Big Sound chart tracks "the fastest accelerating artists during the past week, across all major social music sites, statistically predicted to achieve future success," according to the Billboard website.[8] On December 3, 2019, the group broke the all-time record of the longest stay at the No. 1 spot of Myx Daily Top Ten with "Go Up" staying at the top spot for 53 non-consecutive days.[9]


Single Promotion and Comeback(s)

In The Rise of P-pop, The Philippines No.1 Music Channel "MYX" The Online Votings like MYX Daily Top Ten, Pinoy MYX Countdown at MYX Hit Chart. P-pop also has Comeback stages such as ASAP, It's Showtime, on ABS-CBN Channel All-Out Sundays, on GMA Channel at Sunday Noontime Live!, Sa TV5 is the only P-pop artist to Promote their latest Album or Special Stage every day, and every week. Soon, the Philippines will have a Filipino Music Show on every music channel or TV Channel. They also promote the song through the mall show because it will also help all p-pop artists to extend and recognize their song throughout the Philippines as well as around the world.

Awarding Shows

Awarding Shows in the Philippines is also a popular and most popular Show in the Philippines. Awarding Shows in the Philippines are used through their websites, social media and others such as Wish 107.5 Music Awards and MYX Music Awards each year with an Awarding Show.

International recognition

MNL48 at AKB48 Group Asia Festival 2019.

In 2019, P-pop idol group MNL48 performed at AKB48 Group Asia Festival 2019, the first held at Bangkok, Thailand on January 27,[10] while the second one was held at Shanghai, China on August 24.[11] Such performances catapulted MNL48 to the international stage, especially with other fans of their 48G counterparts. That same year, MNL48's Abby Trinidad was the group's representative on the New Year's Eve special of NHK's "Kohaku Uta Gassen", where along with other 48G counterparts, performed "Koi Soru Fortune Cookie". This is the third time a Filipino performer appeared on the said show, alongside Gary Valenciano and the band Smokey Mountain.[12]

In 2020, Sarah Geronimo's single "Tala" entered at No. 12 on the U.S. Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart.[13]

SB19 at Pepsi Event Red Carpet.

In 2020, P-pop boy band SB19 became a Billboard Social 50 mainstay after peaking at No. 15 on the chart, likely due to the music video of their single "Alab".[14] SB19 reached their highest position in the weekly Billboard Social 50 list two weeks after the release of their album, ranking second behind BTS on the week of August 15, 2020.[15] A week later, by placing in the top five of two charts, the group achieved another Billboard milestone: 5th in the Emerging Artist list, their highest ranking to date, while staying 2nd in the Social 50 chart [16][17] On the week of October 31, 2020, SB19's "Go Up" peaked at number 2 in Billboard's LyricFind Global chart after debuting at number 17 the week before,.[18] while also making its initial appearance at number 9 in the U.S. version of the chart.[19] Two weeks after, "Hanggang sa Huli" debuted at number 16 in Billboard's LyricFind U.S. chart[20] while also debuting at number 4 in the chart's global version.[21] On the week of November 28, 2020, the group reached another milestone, their first number 1 in a Billboard chart, after "Alab (Burning)" debuted at number 1 in Billboard's LyricFind Global chart,[22] and at number 6 in the U.S. version of the chart.[22]

MNL48, on the other hand, announced the formation of BABY BLUE, the group's newest sub-unit on September 1, 2020. Alongside with that announcement is the release of the sub-unit's single "Sweet Talking Sugar", released in collaboration with Tower Records Japan, a major Japanese music retailer.[23] A nationwide tour in Japan of the said sub-unit is announced by HalloHallo Entertainment and Tower Records Japan, which will commence after the COVID-19 crisis.[24]


Some Pinoy pop artists are extremely popular in Philippines, and some also have fanbases in other countries—especially in Asia, but also in Western countries. They influence not only music, but also fashion. As of 2020, the top five best-selling artists in the Philippines charts history are MNL48, SB19, Sarah Geronimo, KZ Tandingan, and IV of Spades. Among the five, Iv of Spades holds the record for being the only Pop band Artist.

See also


  1. ^ "History of Philippine Pop Music". Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lockard, Craig A. (1998). Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 135–151. ISBN 9780824819187. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
  3. ^ Rodell, Paul A. (2001). Culture and Customs of the Philippines. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 186. ISBN 9780313304156. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
  4. ^ Philippine Daily Inquirer, 22 May 2010, "Charice debuts at No. 8 on Billboard Archived 2010-05-25 at the Wayback Machine"
  5. ^ Sanchez, R. J., Manila Bulletin, 24 May 2010, "Charice happy with chart performance of her album, song"
  6. ^ "The 10 best Filipino songs of the 2010s". cnn. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "SB19 charts on Billboard anew". Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "Pinoy group SB19 enters Billboard's Next Big Sound chart". Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  9. ^ Bergania, Twila. "Exclusive: SB19". Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Abang, Reginan (February 28, 2019). "MNL48 awes Asia Festival 2019 audience". The Manila Times. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  11. ^ Garcia, Vincent (August 24, 2019). "WATCH: MNL48 wows Shanghai with acapella rendition of '365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel'". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  12. ^ "LOOK: MNL48's Abby performs on Japan's biggest TV music show". ABS-CBN News. January 1, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  13. ^ "Sarah Geronimo Chart History (World Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  14. ^ "Filipino Boy Band SB19 Is Becoming a Mainstay on the Social 50 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  15. ^ "Social 50 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  16. ^ "Emerging Artists Chart". Billboard. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  17. ^ "Social 50 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  18. ^ "LyricFind Global Chart". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "LyricFind U.S. Chart". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  20. ^ "LyricFind U.S. Chart". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  21. ^ "LyricFind Global Chart". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "LyricFind U.S. Chart". Billboard. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  23. ^ Abang, Reggie (August 31, 2020). "MNL48, Tower Records Japan launches "Baby Blue" sub-unit". PAKSA MNL. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  24. ^ "Baby Blue releases "Sweet Talking Sugar" Music Video". Retrieved September 18, 2020.