The U.S. weekly Time on May 12 named the K-pop girl quartet Aespa to the magazine's "Next Generation Leaders" list.
The annual list features trendsetters and trailblazers.
Aespa's management agency SM Entertainment said Aespa is the only K-pop act on this year's list and the first K-pop girl group to be selected for it.
BTS was the first K-pop act to make it to the list in 2018.
"Aespa is an experiment, but it may also be the inevitable next step for the music industry: a fresh way to bridge the virtual and the real," Time said.
Debuting in November 2020, Aespa gained the spotlight for its concept of a "metaverse girl group," in which artists in the real world and their avatars in the virtual world grow through communication and exchange in the digital world, the middle ground between reality and cyberspace.
The group's first mini-album "Savage" last year reached No. 20 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Aespa also performed last month its hit "Next Level" on the main stage of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the largest outdoor music festival in the U.S.
In an interview with Time, the group said its goal is to "normalize metaverse concepts and have our fans and other people be a little more comfortable with the whole idea of it." The article added, "It's a journey that fans can go on by taking the time to watch Aespa's videos and consume their content, beyond just enjoying the songs."