To mark Sports Seoul‘s 33rd anniversary, they held a survey on the most powerful people in K-Pop. Thirty-five entertainment agency CEOs took part and acknowledged those that they believed to be the most powerful and influential solo artists. With so many great talents in the industry, it was surely a hard choice to make, but they were able to complete the task and here are the results!
Whether he’s performing with BIGBANG or by himself, G-Dragon has proven that he is at the top of his game. Despite leaving for his mandatory military duty, he was selected as the top male solo artist for the second year in a row!
Zico is another idol who impresses with his solo skills. There’s no doubt that he is amazing while performing with Block B, but Zico has shown that he is more than capable of producing hits as a solo artist too. His rapping skills have also led him to team up with other solo artists. With his talent, it really isn’t a surprise that he’s snagged second place for the second year in a row.
3. Park Hyo Shin
Park Hyo Shin has long been considered one of the best singers in Korea because of his unique singing style. He’s best known for his powerful ballads that always dominate the charts. In April, he released his first album in 2 years and it was a hit. It looks like those working in the industry have noticed his achievements.
The R&B and hip-hop singer made his official debut in 2014 and has been nominated for awards ever since. Crush hasn’t just been nominated for different awards, he’s also won a number of them including a Best R&B/Soul Award and a Best Icon Award in 2017. Crush has proven he’s got some major solo talent, coming in fourth place just like last year.
5. Hwang Chi Yeol (tie)
Hwang Chi Yeol has had a long career in the music industry. He’s hosted a few music shows, competed on Immortal Songs 2, participated on I Am A Singer, and worked as a solo artist. He took home first place on Immortal Songs 2 a few times and consistently placed in the top 3 on I Am A Singer, taking home third place in the finals. As a solo artist, he has been awarded 10 separate awards from 2016 to 2018. With all of his achievements, it isn’t hard to see why he ranked so well.
5. Taemin (tie)
Taemin isn’t just a member of SHINee, he’s also had some great success as a solo singer. His songs and albums always chart and will often chart in multiple countries. On top of that, they have a lasting popularity that has fans coming back years after they have been released.
IU took first place for the second year with her undisputable talent. IU debuted in 2008 at 16 years-old. Since then her music career just continues to grow and she has become the nation’s sweetheart. She’s also found success as a producer and singer-songwriter making her even more popular with the public. Even the New York Times knows of her talent. In March, they introduced IU in a special called “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going”.
After the Wonder Girls disbanded, Sunmi put her heart into her solo career. The move paid off! She’s made quite the name for herself, dominating Korean and U.S charts with every new release. Additionally, Sunmi’s “Gashina” is probably one of the most recognized K-Pop songs around, with many idols trying out the famous sexy dance moves!
Taeyeon is an artist that isn’t defined by her group. Although she’s certainly put out some amazing work with Girls’ Generation, she’s also made quite the name for herself as a soloist. She’s even won 24 awards with her impressive vocals! Taeyeon continually holds the top of the chart for each new song and isn’t afraid to experiment with her style. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the CEOs picked her for the third spot!
4. Chungha (tie)
It’s no wonder that Chungha came in fourth on Produce 101 as she’s got some major talent. Despite the eventual disbandment of I.O.I, Chungha took the bull by the horns and launched her solo career in 2017. Although she hasn’t been working as a solo artist for very long, she’s been nominated for 11 awards and won 3 of those!
4. Heize (tie)
Heize first started gaining some major attention on the second season of Unpretty Rapstar. Since then, she’s continuously charted. In 2016, she received her first all-kill with “Star” after the song reached #1 on all Korean real-time charts. Similarly in 2017, her songs “Don’t Know You” and “You, Clouds, Rain” reached an all-kill status. Heize is known for her strong abilities in the music industry. She’s a singer, rapper, songwriter, and composer. Her major skills led her to tie for fourth place.