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The Most Famous

SINGERS from South Korea

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This page contains a list of the greatest South Korean Singers. The pantheon dataset contains 3,528 Singers, 142 of which were born in South Korea. This makes South Korea the birth place of the 3rd most number of Singers behind United States and United Kingdom.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary South Korean Singers of all time. This list of famous South Korean Singers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of South Korean Singers.

Photo of Psy

1. Psy (1977 - )

With an HPI of 58.83, Psy is the most famous South Korean Singer.  His biography has been translated into 89 different languages on wikipedia.

Park Jae-sang (Korean: 박재상, IPA: [pɐk̚.t͡ɕεsɐŋ]; born December 31, 1977), known professionally as Psy (stylized in all caps) (싸이; SY; Korean: [s͈ai]), is a South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Psy is known domestically for his humorous videos and stage performances, and internationally for his hit single "Gangnam Style". The song's refrain was entered into The Yale Book of Quotations as one of the most famous quotations of 2012.On December 21, 2012, his music video for "Gangnam Style" exceeded one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first video to do so in the website's history. Psy was subsequently recognized by the media as the King of YouTube. As of February 2024, it is the eleventh most viewed video on YouTube, with over 5 billion views. In December 2012, MTV noted Psy's rise from being little known outside South Korea, to being hailed as the "Viral Star of 2012". On December 31, 2012, Psy performed in a globally televised New Year's Eve celebration with American rapper MC Hammer on-stage in front of a live audience of over a million people in Times Square, New York City. Psy performed under YG Entertainment from 2010 until 2018 to found his own company, P Nation, the next year.

Photo of Jungkook

2. Jungkook (1997 - )

With an HPI of 55.17, Jungkook is the 2nd most famous South Korean Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Jeon Jung-kook (Korean: 전정국; RR: Jeon Jeongguk; born September 1, 1997), also known mononymously as Jungkook (stylized as Jung Kook), is a South Korean singer and songwriter. He rose to prominence as a member and vocalist of the South Korean boy band BTS. He has performed three solo songs as part of BTS' discography— "Begin" in 2016, "Euphoria" in 2018, and "My Time" in 2020—all of which charted on South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart. He also recorded the soundtrack song "Stay Alive" for the BTS-based webtoon 7Fates: Chakho. In 2022, Jungkook featured on American singer Charlie Puth's single "Left and Right", which peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, he became the first South Korean artist to release an official song for the FIFA World Cup soundtrack with "Dreamers", which he subsequently performed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. In 2023, Jungkook released his debut solo single "Seven" featuring Latto, which broke numerous chart and streaming records. It debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the Global 200, and the Global Excl. U.S. charts, making him the first Korean solo artist to do so, and eventually became the fastest song in history to surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify. His follow-up single "3D", featuring Jack Harlow, debuted at number five on both the Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart, making Jungkook the first South Korean solo artist to achieve two consecutive top-five entries on the latter.

Photo of Jimin

3. Jimin (1995 - )

With an HPI of 54.98, Jimin is the 3rd most famous South Korean Singer.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Park Ji-min (Korean: 박지민; born October 13, 1995), known mononymously as Jimin, is a South Korean singer, songwriter and dancer. In 2013, he made his debut as a member of the South Korean boy band BTS, under the record label Big Hit Entertainment. Jimin has released three solo tracks under BTS' name—"Lie" in 2016, "Serendipity" in 2017, and "Filter" in 2020—all of which have charted on South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart. He released his first credited solo song, the digital track "Promise", which he co-wrote, in 2018 and recorded the duet "With You" with Ha Sung-woon for the soundtrack for the TvN drama Our Blues in 2022. Jimin released his debut solo album, Face in 2023. It debuted at number one in South Korea and Japan, and number two in the United States, while its second single, "Like Crazy", debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, making him the highest-charting Korean solo artist in history on the Billboard 200 and the Hot 100 at the time, and the first to debut atop the latter.

Photo of RM

4. RM (1994 - )

With an HPI of 54.59, RM is the 4th most famous South Korean Singer.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Kim Nam-joon (Korean: 김남준; born September 12, 1994), known professionally as RM (formerly Rap Monster), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is the leader of South Korean boy band BTS. RM released his first solo mixtape, RM, in 2015, followed by his second mixtape, Mono, in 2018. The latter became the highest-charting album by a Korean soloist in the United States in history when it peaked at number 26 on the Billboard 200. RM made his official solo debut in 2022 with the release of his studio album Indigo, which featured contributions from Erykah Badu and Anderson .Paak. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, becoming the highest-charting album by a Korean soloist of all-time. He has also collaborated with artists such as Wale, Younha, Warren G, Gaeko, Krizz Kaliko, MFBTY, Fall Out Boy, Primary, and Lil Nas X.

Photo of Kim Seok-jin

5. Kim Seok-jin (1992 - )

With an HPI of 54.13, Kim Seok-jin is the 5th most famous South Korean Singer.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Kim Seok-jin (Korean: 김석진; born December 4, 1992), known professionally as Jin (진), is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and member of the South Korean boy band BTS. Jin has co-written and released three solo tracks with BTS: "Awake" in 2016, "Epiphany" in 2018, and "Moon" in 2020, all of which have charted on South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart. In 2019, Jin released his first independent song, the digital track "Tonight". He made his official debut as a solo artist in October 2022, with the release of the single "The Astronaut". Apart from singing, Jin appeared as a host on multiple South Korean music programs from 2016 to 2018. In 2018, he was awarded the fifth-class Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit by the President of South Korea along with his bandmates for his contributions to Korean culture.

Photo of J-Hope

6. J-Hope (1994 - )

With an HPI of 53.48, J-Hope is the 6th most famous South Korean Singer.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Jung Ho-seok (Korean: 정호석; born February 18, 1994), better known by his stage name J-Hope (stylized in lower case), is a South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, dancer, and record producer. He made his debut as a member of South Korean boy band BTS in 2013, under Big Hit Entertainment. J-Hope released his first solo mixtape, Hope World, in 2018. It was received positively by critics and peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard 200, the highest-charting album by a Korean solo artist at the time. He became the first member of BTS to enter the Billboard Hot 100 as a soloist in 2019, when his single "Chicken Noodle Soup", featuring singer Becky G, debuted at number 81. In 2022, J-Hope released his debut studio album Jack in the Box. In 2023, he released his single "On the Street" with J. Cole.

Photo of Jisoo

7. Jisoo (1995 - )

With an HPI of 53.13, Jisoo is the 7th most famous South Korean Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Kim Ji-soo (Korean: 김지수; born January 3, 1995), known mononymously as Jisoo, is a South Korean singer and actress. She is a member of the South Korean girl group Blackpink, formed by YG Entertainment, in August 2016. Outside of her music career, she made her acting debut with a cameo role in the 2015 series The Producers and played her first leading role in the JTBC series Snowdrop (2021–22). Jisoo made her solo music debut with the single album Me in March 2023. The album debuted at number one on the Circle Album Chart with 1.03 million copies sold in less than two days, becoming the best-selling album of all time by a female soloist in South Korea and the first to sell over a million copies. Its lead single "Flower" was a commercial success, peaking at number two on the Billboard Global 200 and the Circle Digital Chart and becoming the highest-charting song by a Korean female soloist on the Canadian Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Jisoo has been awarded several accolades throughout her career, including two Golden Disc Awards, three MAMA Awards, a Circle Chart Music Award, and the Seoul International Drama Award for Outstanding Korean Actress. She is the most-followed Korean actress on Instagram, and has been recognized for her impact on fashion as a global ambassador for Dior. In February 2024, she established her own label named Blissoo.

Photo of Kim Jung-sook

8. Kim Jung-sook (1954 - )

With an HPI of 51.99, Kim Jung-sook is the 8th most famous South Korean Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Kim Jung-sook (Korean: 김정숙; born 15 November 1954) is a South Korean classical singer who served as first lady of South Korea from 2017 to 2022, as the wife of the 12th president of South Korea Moon Jae-in.

Photo of IU

9. IU (1993 - )

With an HPI of 50.85, IU is the 9th most famous South Korean Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 58 different languages.

Lee Ji-eun (Korean: 이지은; born May 16, 1993), also known by her stage name IU (아이유), is a South Korean singer-songwriter, composer, and actress. She signed with LOEN Entertainment (now Kakao Entertainment) in 2007 as a trainee and debuted as a singer at the age of fifteen with Lost and Found (2008), her first extended play (EP). Although her follow-up albums, Growing Up and IU...IM, brought mainstream success, it was only after the release of "Good Day", the lead single from her 2010 album Real, that she achieved national stardom. "Good Day" went on to spend five consecutive weeks at the top of South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart, and in 2019, it was ranked number one on Billboard's "100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s" list.With the success of her 2011 albums, Real+ and Last Fantasy, IU established herself as a formidable force on the music charts of her native country and further cemented her girl next door image as Korea's "little sister". 2011 also saw her first foray into songwriting with "Hold My Hand", which was written for the television series The Greatest Love. IU's third studio album, Modern Times (2013), showcased a more mature musical style that marked a departure from her earlier girlish image, with several tracks reaching the top 10 on the Gaon Digital Chart. The album was ranked number two on Billboard's "25 Greatest K-Pop Albums of the 2010s" list. IU subsequently exerted more creative control over her music; Chat-Shire marked the first time she was credited as the sole lyricist of her own album. IU's fourth studio album, Palette (2017), became her first to reach number one on Billboard's World Albums chart. While her following records Love Poem and Lilac continued to deviate from mainstream K-pop styles, exploring and mixing various music genres, IU consistently retained her dominance on South Korean music charts. Her 2020 single "Eight" became her first to reach number one on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart.Aside from her music career, IU has ventured into acting and hosting radio and television shows. Following her supporting role in teen drama Dream High (2011) and minor appearances in several television series, she was cast in leading roles in television drama series You Are the Best! (2013), Pretty Man (2013–14), The Producers (2015) and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016). IU's role as a desperate office worker in My Mister (2018) received critical acclaim, and she earned her first Best Actress in Television nomination at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2019, she starred in anthology film series Persona and fantasy television series Hotel del Luna, the latter of which led to her second Best Actress nomination at the Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2022, IU starred in Hirokazu Kore-eda's film Broker alongside Song Kang-ho, Bae Doona and Gang Dong-won. IU has released a total of five studio albums and nine EPs, five of which have reached number one on the Gaon Album Chart, and thirty number-one singles, making her the artist with the most number-one songs in South Korea. One of the best-selling solo acts in the group-dominated K-pop industry, IU became the first solo female K-pop act to perform at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena during the Seoul leg of her 2019 Love, Poem concert tour and also the first Korean female artist to hold a solo concert, The Golden Hour, at Seoul Olympic Stadium in Seoul on September 17 and 18, 2022. Rolling Stone named her the 135th greatest singer of all time in a 2023 ranking. She has been included five times in the top ten of Forbes magazine's annual Korea Power Celebrity list since 2012 and attained a peak ranking of number three that year. In 2014, Billboard recognized IU as the all-time leader of its K-pop Hot 100 with the most number-one songs and the artist with the most weeks at the number-one position on the chart. She was named Gallup Korea's Singer of the Year in 2014 and in 2017.

Photo of BoA

10. BoA (1986 - )

With an HPI of 50.06, BoA is the 10th most famous South Korean Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Kwon Bo-ah (Korean: 권보아; born November 5, 1986), known professionally as BoA, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, dancer, producer and actress. One of the most successful and influential Korean entertainers, she is widely known as the "Queen of K-pop". Born and raised in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, BoA was discovered by SM Entertainment talent agents when she accompanied her older brother, a music video director, to a talent search in 1998. She was trained for two years and made her debut with ID; Peace B (2000). BoA has since released twenty studio albums, including ten in Korean, nine in Japanese, and one in English. On television, she appeared as a judge on the reality competition show K-pop Star (2011–2013), as an actress on the television drama Listen to Love (2016), as a host for the second season of Produce 101 (2017), and as a coach for the third season of The Voice of Korea (2020). BoA's ability to sing in multiple languages, such as Japanese, English, and Mandarin, helped her find commercial success in multiple regions throughout Asia. With the release of her debut Japanese studio album, Listen to My Heart (2002), BoA became the first South Korean pop star to break through in Japan following the fall of barriers that had restricted the import and export of entertainment between the countries since the end of World War II. Her Japanese albums Valenti (2003) and Best of Soul (2005) went on to sell over one million copies each according to Oricon; the latter of which remained the last album to do so by a non-Japanese artist for 16 years. Her self-titled English album (2009) became the first record by a K-pop artist to appear on the Billboard 200, debuting at number 127. BoA has sold over seven million albums throughout her career and is one of only three female artists with six consecutive number-one studio albums on the Oricon Albums Chart since her debut, alongside Japanese singers Ayumi Hamasaki and Hikaru Utada. She is the recipient of numerous awards in South Korea and Japan, including eight MAMA Awards, six SBS Music Awards, five Japan Record Awards, and five Japan Gold Disc Awards. In 2013, Mnet included her in their Legend 100 Artists list of the most influential artists in South Korea.

Pantheon has 142 people classified as singers born between 1954 and 2001. Of these 142, 142 (100.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living singers include Psy, Jungkook, and Jimin. As of April 2022, 25 new singers have been added to Pantheon including Kim Jung-sook, Lee Jun-ho, and Hong Jin-young.

Living Singers

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Newly Added Singers (2022)

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