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Famous Korean Singers of All Time

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Famous Korean Singers
13 Jun, 2024

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In the past decade, K-pop has taken over the world like a tsunami, thanks to the contribution of Korean singers. These singers have won the hearts of millions and even topped the Billboard charts!

Our guide will help you discover the world of iconic voices that have captivated audiences worldwide. It explores their careers, achievements, and influence, with an emphasis on their melodies and musical legacies, aiming to inspire and motivate readers.

Let the excitement soar as we delve into the contributions of 10 famous Korean singers to the K-pop industry.

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10 Famous Korean Singers

1: IU

IU
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Date of birth: May 16, 1993, Seoul, South Korea

Best songs:

  • Good Day (2010)
  • Love Poem (2019)
  • Lilac (2021)

Awards:

  • Korea First Brand Awards (2024)
  • Visionary Award (2022)
  • Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards (2015

Lee Ji-Eun, or IU, is a South Korean singer-songwriter, composer, and actress. She became famous at the age of 15 with her extended play Lost and Found (2008). She achieved national prominence with the lead single from her 2010 album Real, “Good Day,” which topped South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart for five weeks and ranked first on Billboard’s “100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s.”

She made her music chart debut with “Last Fantasy” in 2011, followed by her songwriting debut with “Hold My Hand” in 2012. Her third album, Modern Times, featured a mature musical style.

South Korean singer IU is embarking on her ninth concert tour, the IU HEREH World Tour, which will start in Seoul on March 2, 2024, and end on September 22, 2024. The tour supports her sixth extended play, The Winning (2024).

2: Jimin

Jimin
An image credit example from a Wikipedia

Date of birth: October 13, 1995, Busan, Korea

Best songs:

  • Promise (2018)
  • Like Crazy (2023)
  • Alone (2023)

Awards:

  • Seoul Music Awards Bonsang Awards (2024)
  • MAMA Award for Best Male Artist (2023)
  • Asian Pop Music Awards (2023)

Park Ji-min, aka Jimin, is a South Korean singer-songwriter and record producer. Being a member of the boy band BTS, he is one of the most famous Korean singers.

In 2013, he debuted as a popular Korean boy group BTS member and became famous for his powerful ballads and captivating dance routines. He released three solo songs with BTS: “Lie” (2016), “Serendipity” (2017), and “Filter” 2020, which have received over 50 million Spotify streams.

He made his solo debut in 2018 with “Promise” and has since become a fan favorite, holding the top spot on the Korean Billboard. He currently serves in the military and is set to reunite in 2025 after his release.

3: BoA

BoA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BoA

Date of birth: November 5, 1986, Namyangju, South Korea

Best songs:

  • Girls on Top (2005)
  • Only One (2012)
  • Listen to My Heart (2022)

Awards:

  • Seoul Music Awards (2023)
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards (2010)
  • Billboard Japan Music Awards (2009)

Kwon Boa, aka BoA, is a famous South Korean singer and actress. Known as the “Queen of Korean Pop,” she has achieved fame in South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

In 2000, she released her debut album, ID; Peace B, and became the first Korean pop star to break through in Japan after World War II.

BoA’s multilingual abilities, including Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese, have contributed to her commercial success in East Asia. She has sold over 10 million records, making her the only foreign artist to have three albums sold over a million copies in Japan.

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4: Lim Young-Woong

Lim Young-woong
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Date of birth: June 16, 1991, Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea

Best songs:

  • If We Ever Meet Again (2022)
  • Do or Die (2023)
  • Grain of Sand (2023)

Awards:

  • Seoul Music Awards – Bongsang (2024)
  • Asia Artist Awards (2024)
  • Golden Disc Awards (2024)

Lim Young-woong is a famous South Korean singer, entertainer, and YouTuber with diverse musical abilities in ballad, pop, and trot. His debut album, “I’m Hero,” achieved over nine lakh sales, demonstrating his versatility in the K-pop industry.

He became famous after winning the 2020 Mr. Trot competition with his iconic single, ‘Trust in Me.’ His singles had significant chart success, considering he is one of the most famous Korean singers. He has made a groundbreaking move by combining music and cinema, releasing a short film alongside his latest single, ‘Warmth.’

5: HyunA

HyunA
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Date of birth: June 6, 1992, Seoul, South Korea

Best songs:

  • How’s This? (2016)
  • Bubble Pop (2011)
  • Cause I’m God Girl (2015)

Awards:

  • Seoul Music Awards (2022)
  • Golden Disc Award (2015)
  • MAMA Award (2011)

Kim Hyun-ah, aka Hyuna, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, rapper, and model. She joined Wonder Girls in 2007 and 4Minute in 2009.

After making her solo debut in 2010 with performance-oriented music, she ranked second on the Gaon Digital Charts.

In 2011, she became the first female K-pop solo artist to receive 100 million views on a single YouTube video and the seventh top-ten entry on the US Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart.

6: RM

RM
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Date of birth: September 12, 1994, Goyang, Korea

Best songs:

  • Forever Rain (2018)
  • Moonchild (2018)
  • Wild Flower (2022)

Awards:

  • Korean Hip-Hop Awards (2023)
  • Patrons of the Arts Award (2020)

He is a renowned rap monster and one of the most famous Korean singers. Kim Namjoon, aka RM, is the lead rapper in the South Korean singer group BTS, managed by Big Hit Labels.

In 2015, he collaborated with Warren G on the single “Please Don’t Die,” which reflected his feelings toward criticized individuals. He also worked with the hip-hop group MFBTY on the song “Bucku Bucku.”

His debut mixtape, ‘RM,’ delves into his life, career struggles, and self-love. RM’s abilities are recognized internationally, having worked as a producer for top Korean and Western artists. On May 10, 2024, he released a music video for his song ‘Come Back To Me,’ directed by Lee Sung Jin, demonstrating his versatility in the music industry.

7: Taeyeon

Taeyeon
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Date of birth: March 9, 1989, Jeonju, South Korea

Best songs:

  • Rain (2016)
  • Fine (2017)
  • Something New (2018)

Awards:

  • Circle Chart Music Awards (2022)
  • Asian Pop Music Awards (2022)
  • Seoul Music Awards (2020)
  • Golden Disc Awards (2018)

Kim Tae-Yeon, aka Taeyeon, is a South Korean singer and actress. She joined Girls’ Generation in 2007. Her debut extended song, ‘I,’ peaked at number one on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart.

In 2017, she released her debut studio album, My Voice, and has since released several albums in Japan. She has also appeared in reality shows and recorded soundtracks for films, including “If” for Hong Gil-dong (2008) and “Can You Hear Me” for Beethoven Virus (2008).

She is one of South Korea’s best-selling solo artists, having sold over one million physical albums and 20 million digital singles.

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8: J-Hope

J-Hope
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Date of birth: February 18, 1994, Gwangju, South Korea

Best songs:

  • Arson (2022)
  • On the Street (2023)
  • Daydream (2018)

Awards:

  • Hanteo Music Awards (2024)
  • iHeartRadio Music Awards (2024)
  • Golden Disc Awards (2023)

Jung Hoseok, aka J-Hope, is a South Korean dancer and rapper currently serving as the main dancer and lead rapper for the South Korean hip-hop group BTS. He started his career as a street dancer for NEURON before joining BTS in 2013.

In 2015, he released his first solo single and collaborated with Becky G on the song “Chicken Noodle Soup.” In 2022, he began his solo career, releasing his debut album Jack in the Box, and performing at Lollapalooza.

9: Jay Park

Jay Park
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Date of birth: April 25, 1987, Edmonds, Washington, USA

Best songs:

  • Mommae (2015)
  • All I Wanna Do (2016)
  • Me Like Yuh (2016)

Awards:

  • Korean Hip-Hop Awards (2018)
  • Golden Disc Awards (2013)
  • Asia Model Awards (2012)

Jay Park, aka Jae-beam Park, is a Korean-American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, dancer, and singer-songwriter who started his career in 2003 as a member of the b-boy crew Art of Movement.

He became the lead singer for the Korean boy group 2PM. He graduated from Dankook University and learned K-pop at JYP Entertainment.

His first extended play, “Count on Me,” topped the Korean charts, and his mini-album, “Take a Deeper Look,” peaked at number three on the Billboard World Albums chart.

10: Sunmi

Sunmi
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Date of birth: May 2, 1992, Iksan, North Jeolla, South Korea

Best songs:

  • Time is Up (2014)
  • Siren (2018)
  • Heart Burn (2022)

Awards:

  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang (2024)
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards (2018)
  • Korean Brand of the Year Awards (2019)

Lee Sun-mi, aka Sunmi, is a South Korean singer. In 2007, she made her debut with Wonder Girls. However, in 2010, she left the band to pursue her academic career.

Later, in 2013, she began her solo career with “24 Hours,” which peaked at number two on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart and thirteen on the Billboard World Digital Chart. When the Wonder Girls reunited in 2015, she co-wrote and produced Reboot, the band’s final album.

Later in her career, she released “Sunmi Special Edition (Gashina)” in 2017 through MAKEUS Entertainment and her second extended play, “Warning,” in 2018.

FAQs

Who is the most popular singer in Korea?

According to a 2023 global survey, around 29% of respondents preferred the South Korean boy group BTS as their favorite singer or group.

Who is the most famous Korean pop star?

Kwon Boa, also known as BoA, was the first Korean pop star to become popular in Japan after the Second World War.

Who is the best solo singer in Korea?

The top solo singers in Korea are a blend of female artists like IU and BoA, who have consistently performed solo.

Who is the diamond voice of Korea?

Kim Taehyung was known as the diamond voice of Korea in 2022 and was praised by music critics and world-renowned singers for his exceptional vocal range.

Who is the queen of voice in K-pop?

Mamamoo is a successful K-pop girl group known for its impeccable talent and charisma. Due to its powerful and beautiful voice, it has earned the title of K-pop’s vocal queen.

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