When you think of Korea, you might not think about music. However, there is a multi-billion dollar pop industry booming there. Many of us nerdy American girls are total K-pop and/or J-Pop fans. Today, I would like to talk about some of the beautiful ladies who are making music over there.
Before I get to the ladies, let me tell you about how different K-pop is from American pop. K-Pop musicians go through a strict training program. After being discovered by talent scouts, they are sent to live in dorms with other candidates. They are told to diet and/or lose weight. They receive training on manners and behavior and how to act when you live in the limelight. They also offer singing and dancing lessons, of course. Some of them even have plastic surgery to really personify the K-pop glamor “look.” The process costs a lot of money, so talent is sometimes secondary to the money these people have.
There is a big problem in the industry. You may hear some K-Pop songs that sound a whole lot like your favorite American songs. This is especially easy to do since most K-Pop falls into the electronic/dance musical spectrum.
Also, you may notice some differences if you are watching concert footage of K-Pop. The fan clubs there have designated colors. Fans wave colored light sticks at shows to show their support for their favorite band. It could backfire though if someone has a grudge with a group. Sometimes, they will turn the light sticks off in protest.
Now, onto the hottest K-Pop singers out there!
This lovely lady was born Kim Yu-Jin in South Korea in 1988. She is known as a rapper, singer, and leader in the group, After School. She first appeared with the group in 2009. Not long after, she established herself as an actress in Korean dramas such as Queen Seondeok, You’re Beautiful, Ojakgyo Brothers, and Golden Rainbow. She was supposed to appear in a new girl group called Five Girls, but that never happened. The group was formed with Yubin from Wonder Girls, Hyseong from the group Secret, Yang Jiwon from T-ara and Spica, and solo artist G.NA. The group disbanded before their 2007 debut. There were some financial difficulties with their record company. She joined After School in 2007 when she was on the single “Diva.” She is a very lovely lady with a nice, skinny body. She is a talented singer and rapper.
14. Im Yoona
This lovely lady was born Im Yoona in 1990. She is the only one on the list that didn’t change her name. She debuted as an actress in 2007 in the drama movie Two Outs In The Ninth Inning. In 2002, she was discovered at an SM Entertainment Saturday Open Casting audition. She sang the song “Please” by WAX, she danced to Britney Spears’ “Oop! I Did It Again” and BoA’s “Valenti.” She joined other trainees with SM Entertainment and trained in acting, dancing, and singing. She trained with them for seven years before joining the mega-popular group Girls Generation. When she was a trainee, she dealt with a low self-esteem because of her low singing voice. She thought about quitting to be an actress instead, but she kept at it until she succeeded. One of her choreographers said that it would be a waste for her to give up becoming a singer because of her amazing dancing skills.
This lovely lady is a member of the girl group, 2NE1. She was born Sandara Park in 1984. Not only is she in the group 2NE1, she is also their Communications Director. She first became popular when she was on ABS-CBN’s Star Circle Quest show in the Philippines. She worked for ABS-CBN’s more stable show, Star Magic, after her success on Star Circle Quest. She did many commercial endorsements and television appearances for them. She released her first digital single, “Kiss,” in 2009, and it was included as the 9th song on 2NE1’s album “To Anyone” the next year. She starred in a three-story movie “Bcuz of U” in 2004. She won her first acting award at the 21st Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards. Dara teamed up with actress Hero Angeles in the movie Can This Be Love in 2005.
This member of the group, missA, was born Bae Sue-ji in 1994. She is an actress and singer from South Korea. As an actress, she has had several big roles including Go Hye-mi in the KBS2 TV series’ Dream High, Jang Ma-ri in Big, young Yang Seo-yeon in the movie Architecture 101, and Dam Yeo-wool in the MBC TV series’ Gu Family Book, according to Wikipedia. The group she is in, missA, is under JYP Entertainment. She attended the Seoul Performing Arts school as a child; she was a model for online shopping websites before her debut. She was discovered on a Korean singing competition show. She made it through the first round on Mnet’s Superstar K show, however, she was eliminated. Being on this show got her noticed by JYP Entertainment.
11. Krystal Jung
She was born Krystal Soo Jung in 1994. She is a Korean-American and a member of the Korean girl group f(x). She was discovered by S.M. Entertainment in 2000 and was doing music videos and commercials by 2002. In addition to f(x), she is also in the group S.M. The Ballad. She has been on Korean television dramas including High Kick 3, The Heirs, My Lovely Girl, and others. Her sister, Jessica, used to be in the ultra popular Korean girl group Girls Generation. She cameoed in a music video, “Wedding March,” by Shinwa at the age of 5. Her family was just visiting Korea at the time. She can rock blonde, brunette, and many other awesome colors. She wears colorful clothes and makeup in videos. Just like other Korean videos, the group’s videos are all very colorful with crazy settings.
She was born Song Qian in 1987. She is actually Chinese, but she is in the K-Pop group f(x). She is fluent in Korean as well as her native Mandarin Chinese. She is the leader of the girl group f(x) as both a dancer and a singer. She is also an actress and a model. She trained with SM Entertainment for two years from 2007 to 2009. She is one of three of the members of f(x) who are not from Korea. The other two, Amber and Krystal, were actually born in the United States. Her first media appearance was for a Spris commercial in 2008. She is also very beautiful in addition to all of her accomplishments. She can rock as both a blonde and a brunette. One time she even rocked hair with red tips, and it was amazing.
9. Choi Sulli
This lovely lady is a member of the group f(x). She was born Choi Jin-Ri in 1994. She began acting at the age of 11 and did cameos in several Korean dramas. She auditioned with SM Entertainment to pursue her singing dreams. She even lived in Seoul alone without her parents at such a young age. According to HubPages, she is known for being the first member of f(x) to be “an actress in the Korean drama Ballad Seo Dong as young Princess Seonhwa of Silla” before becoming a singer. She is considered one of the most beautiful actresses in South Korea. She has an innocent face, and she looks beautiful without any makeup. She also has a great body.
This lovely lady is part of the group missA. She is also a very talented and flexible dancer. Literally, she’s really flexible. She can open her legs to a 180-degree angle while standing and she can do the splits. MissA was formed in Korea in 2010 by JYP Entertainment. The name of the group is a mash up of the Miss Korea pageant and their rank, “A.” The 21-year-old singer and dancer has been on various Korean competition shows. She has competed in dancing and singing. She also knows how to slap a man who has wronged her as well. You can see that in her YouTube teaser video #Min. She has released some very cool teaser videos on YouTube. They are full of people in brightly colored costumes in random backgrounds. She can sing some English and Korean.
7. Uhm Jung Hwa
This is Uhm Jung Hwa, she is a dancer and singer who rose to fame in the 90s. Today, she is still one of the biggest female acts in Korea. She has dabbled in other genres besides pop. She has transitioned to more of an electronic style with her newer music. In the early 2000s, she recorded in her electronic style. A few years later, she even teamed up with T.O.P. and G-Dragon of the now famous Korean boy band Big Bang. Her most notable music video, “Betrayal of the Rose,” was one of her most notable hits. The clip contained allusions to sex and suicide, so it was very controversial. She is also known for the striking visuals in her music videos. She may look innocent in this picture, but she puts on all kinds of crazy outfits for her music videos.
This lady is in the power group Girls’ Generation. Her label, SM Entertainment, first placed her in the dance group Younique; she was the only female in the group. Now, she is one of the most talented members of the nine-piece Girls’ Generation. She auditioned with the label SM Entertainment when she was just 11 years old. She started formal dance training in elementary school where she learned hip hop, jazz, and Latin dance. In 1999, she enrolled in the Winners Dance school, a Korean school specialized in hip hop dancing. She joined Girl’s Generation when they formed in 2007. She has been on Dancing With The Stars in 2010. In 2013, she was a guest on Blind Test 180 Degrees. This show is the Korean version of The Voice. She took on the challenge of dancing to different types of club music. She did a solo album in 2012.
5. Kim Wan Sun
This lady debuted on the pop scene in 1986 at the age of 17. She is often seen as the “Madonna of South Korea.” She never really relied on her voice, but she often relied on sexy dancing and sexy backup dancers. Madonna actually does the same thing because she doesn’t have that great of a voice on her own. She paved the way for many other pop divas in more recent years. She polished her vocals over the years and got some respect later on. She still looks young and beautiful today. Kim Wan Sun still looks beautiful and she is still a good artist. She looks way better than Madonna, actually. Kim Wan Sun also hasn’t had all of the controversies that Madonna has had in recent years.
4. Kim Tae-yeon
Kim Tae-yeon, better known as Taeyeon, is the leader of the Korean mega group, Girls’ Generation. She debuted with the group in 2007. In addition to songs for the group, she has also done tracks for various television dramas and movies. She debuted as a solo artist in 2015 with her hit single, “I.” It reached number two on the Korean Gaon Album chart. A Gallup poll in Korea rated her as the third most popular artist in 2015. Forbes Korea listed her in their Top 40 Powerful Celebrities of 2016. She knew that she was “only talented at singing” at the ripe, young age of 13. At the age of 15, she won first place at S.M. Entertainment’s Best Youth Competition. She kept training with S.M. Entertainment until she debuted in 2007 as part of the group Girls’ Generation. At one point during her training, she actually ran away from training. One of her roommates said:
“I was roommates with Taeyeon and I was surprised when I came into the room and saw that all of Taeyeon’s belongings were cleaned out.”
The beautiful lady, CL, is the leader of the Korean girl group 2NE1. 2NE1 is made up of CL, Minzy, Born, and Dara. They release some bad ass girl power pop such as the song “I Am The Best.” CL can rap in both Korean and English. She is often seen in badass skimpy outfits. Most Korean ladies in pop tend to be more modest and innocent; CL is neither of these things. She was featured on will.i.am’s single “Gettin’ Dumb.” She has released her own solo music as well as her albums with 2NE1. She epically shows off her rapping skills in 2NE1’s song, “Fire.” She even gets down with a parrot on her shoulder. She has said this during one of her performances:
“This is for my bad girls all over the world. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good, you know?”
2. Kim Hyuna
Hyuna was a co-star in the infamous “Gangnam Style” by Psy; it was the first video on YouTube to reach 1 billion views. She has been in the girlgroup 4Minute as well as releasing her own solo music. She has no shame about showing off her lovely body. Her suggestive video for the song “Bubble Pop” was banned from Korean TV because of the raciness. Her 21-second teaser for the song, “Ice Cream,” has gotten five million views. It showed her legs in a soapy bath. It showed the rest of her body, clad in a leather bikini, playing in the bubble bath. She is also showing a good bit of skin with her brightly colored top and shorts combo. She has always been shameless and it shows in her videos. She is beautiful and gives off the air of someone who is sure of herself and knows how beautiful she is.
This beautiful girl is BoA. She was born and raised in Gyeonggi, South Korea. She went through two years of training after she was discovered by SM Entertainment. She accompanied her older brother to a talent search. Her brother was auditioning to be a backup dancer. BoA was offered a contract the same night that she auditioned. In 2000, she released her first Korean album, ID: Peace B. She was just a teenager when this came out. She released her debut Japanese album, Listen To My Heart, two years later. She is the only foreign artist to have three albums selling more than one million copies in Japan. She speaks English and Japanese as well as her native Korean. She has recorded songs in Mandarin Chinese as well. She debuted in the United States in 2008 with her single “Eat You Up” off of her English language album, BoA.