Korean female singers of the 2010s defined the decade with all kinds of unique, memorable songs. From beautiful, soft ballads to catchy rap lyrics, here’s our personal list of the Korean singers that have left a lasting impression throughout the decade of the 2010s.
Top Korean Female Singers of the 2010s
Let’s begin with Chung Ha.
The glamorous female soloist Chung Ha has plenty of songs that’ll blow you away. Don’t miss out on her unique vocal color! You won’t hear anyone else like her.
Chung Ha’s glam really shows in her songs Gotta Go and Snapping. Gotta Go is a mature and mysterious dance-pop song. Its underlying beat loops you into a trance and Chung Ha’s vocals are the right voice to pair with it. Then, Snapping continues this mature theme with an interesting use of snaps and beats to make an ultra satisfying song. The horns and synths also emphasize every sound, ensuring the song keeps you in until the last second.
Another song by Chung Ha that does this flawlessly is Stay Tonight. This high-fashion concept song has house elements throughout an elegant disco-pop production. Together, these two parts create a Voguing extravaganza that I have come to adore from Chung Ha. I love the music of this song more than any other by her. In a risky move, Chung Ha hired an LGBT dance group for the choreography of the song which prevented her song from being promoted on South Korean music shows. Instead, she performed the song on YouTube channels to promote the music.
Chung Ha’s music and sincerity as a person have made me a long time fan. She deeply cares about her art and respects all other artists too. You’re sure to find something worthwhile with her.
Dubbed the nation’s vocalist, IU is extremely popular in South Korea for good reason. Her music is dazzling with much of the credit going to herself. She contributes to every single one of her songs with her lyric writing and music composition skills!
One of those songs that has become incredibly popular is Lilac. This song is refreshing and upbeat, becoming an absolute treat to listen to. Its city pop beat will be sure to brighten your day. Then, IU’s song Blueming is softer with a pop rock feel to match the softness of spring. Her music never ceases to embody a diverse array of sounds.
I think the most beautiful array of sounds IU has been able to create is her jazzy 2017 song dlwlrma. This song combines piano, guitar, and drums to make something so cute and fun. dlwlrma is curious and sweet, creating a unique experience that has become my favorite thing to experience by IU.
You won’t be disappointed by IU! Her music dazzles all for a reason!
Don’t miss out on one of K-pop’s most renowned soloists. Sunmi has been in the game for the past 15 years as a member of the group Wonder Girls. She first debuted as a soloist in 2013 and has been releasing hits ever since.
The first song she released as a solo artist in 2013 was titled 24 Hours. This song’s hypnotic nature lures listeners in, but there’s more to it than its sexy music. In fact, 24 Hours has become more known for its choreography than the actual song. Its smooth isolations and hip movements during the chorus lure viewers in further. Seemingly simple, this song’s choreography takes tons of body control to do right.
Sunmi’s future songs continued creating trendy chorus choreography, cementing her position as a trendsetter in K-pop. The most famous of these choreographies comes from her song Gashina. The chorus drop is followed by a smooth head isolation and a finger pointing forward. You can find dozens of video compilations of other K-pop idols doing this dance, that’s how popular it was!
Sunmi can be sexy and cool, but my favorite side of the artist has to be when she’s playful. Her 2020 single pporappippam is cute, sparkly city-pop that’ll have you feeling magical. I remember when this song was first released and I had it on repeat for the addictive chorus of “Pora-pi-pam!”
Witness greatness with Sunmi today! You’ll love what she’s been able to produce as a soloist!
Former SISTAR member and the queen of sexy herself, Hyolyn has become one of K-pop’s most talented performers. For any reader that’s simply looking for some of the best Korean female singers, look no further than Hyolyn.
Hyolyn’s vocals are no joke, as her vocal performances have rack uped millions of views online. Her covers of Rockabye by Clean Bandit and the multiple ones she’s done on the Korean reality TV show I Am a Singer showcase her range as a singer. She can sing the highest of high notes, but also give fantastic dance performances while singing complex melodies.
These vocal chops come into play perfectly in her most popular song Dally. This song exudes sexual confidence as Hyolyn and her dancers bring some never before seen sexy into K-pop. The song’s choreographer Aliya Janell creates smooth motions with each beat of the song and Hyolyn executes each move perfectly. No wonder this song is my favorite from her along with millions of others.
Hyolyn is truly a once in a generation talent. You won’t regret listening to her heavenly voice or watching her perform with so much passion.
Taeyeon is a classic! This singer’s songs will have you amazed by music.
Soft vocals are Taeyeon’s staple. Her voice is calming and emotive, creating music that pulls in listeners all around the world. Her songs are glasses of lemonade on hot, summer days: tangy, yet sweet. There’s always something interesting in Taeyeon’s songs. Weekend is a city pop song with synths and disco that Taeyeon uses to showcase breathy vocals and sighs.
INVU is desperate as it calls out to a “you” character, but has a fleeting feeling sewn throughout as Taeyeon becomes contemplative. Then, one of her greatest works titled I seems sad at first, but then surges with the power behind her voice.
Nothing comes close to my favorite work from Taeyeon though. Titled 11:11, this ballad song strummed with guitar is fitting for any moody day. Taeyeon’s vocals are a beautiful guide through the sounds, calming listeners as she sings with a voice straight out of a fairytale. I can never get enough of this song.
Taeyeon gets everything just right when it comes to music. You will fall in love with her voice once you start listening.
ICON! ICON! ICON! HyunA is cooler than all of us, and we accept her position as the queen of cool.
Throughout HyunA’s career, she’s never let anyone define her other than herself. She’s released sexy, scandalous hits without remorse like Bubble Pop!, Lip & Hip, and Babe. She wears what she wants and does what she wants. In fact, she even shattered the strict dating rules in the K-pop industry when HyunA and her now fiance Dawn became public with their relationship in 2018. HyunA does not let anyone hold her back and even though she already defined the 2010s with her unapologetic dance performances, she’s not done yet. She’s coming to define the 2020s too.
While HyunA is busy defining an entire industry, she’s also defined my own life with her unapologetic attitude. My favorite song from her is Cause I’m God Girl because it fills me with a type of confidence I’ve never had before. When HyunA declares “I don’t care,” I feel that too. I don’t have to care about everything or everyone all the time. I can act freely. It’s empowering.
HyunA has truly become an icon of a generation and she’s ready to continue being that icon.
LeeHi’s 2021 release ONLY recently trended on TikTok for its dreamy vocals, but the singer has been blessing listeners with her voice for over ten years already.
Her voice can be best experienced through her songs Breathe, Love is Over, and My Love. LeeHi’s vocals make listeners float high up into the sky on fluffy, white clouds. Every breath she takes furthers a listener’s awe in the song. Most singers release songs that sound clean and composed. However, LeeHi has raw inhales and exhales dotted throughout, grounding the music with listeners.
Personally, I’ve become fond of the song 20MIN from LeeHi’s 2019 EP 24°C. Most of her songs are ballads, but 20MIN is a moody R&B song that shows off LeeHi’s breathy vocals in a different genre. She brings listeners along as snaps and water drops play underneath her vocals. It’s poetic, fleeting, and absolutely divine to listen to.
You’ll be getting the highest quality of ballads with LeeHi. She has so much depth to her that we’ve only scratched the surface of in here. Delve in deeper into her music!
Ailee dominates music with her OSTs! K-dramas need someone to sing tender songs of love and emotion and Ailee is the person for the job.
She’s got a voice that plays like a violin, warm and resonating with listeners. Her popular OST songs I Will Go To You Like the First Snow, Breaking Down, and Goodbye My Love have sorrow laced through them. Ailee embodies the emotions of the characters and whenever her OSTs play, you can be sure to find yourself watching the saddest part of the episode. No one makes an OST like her, and probably no one will.
I love her OSTs, but I am obsessed with her singles. My favorite single from her is titled Reminiscing. Released in 2017, this song is soft and jazzy to let Ailee’s vocals shine. Her voice commands listeners up and down as the beat stays consistent. It’s such a pleasant experience.
Ailee is what you need! Don’t miss out on witnessing an artist at work!
The baddest female is here! One of K-pop’s resident female rappers, CL exudes power and confidence and will let you know it.
Her debut 2013 single The Baddest Female was the hottest track during its time. CL rose to become an icon with this track as her group 2NE1 rose in fame as well. Everything exploded though when CL released the song Hello Bitches. This unapologetic song became a flex for CL with her showing off her charisma as a performer. She performed this song at Asian end of the year award shows without holding back.
CL doesn’t need loud trumpets and an entire ensemble of people around her to be the coolest person in the room though. My favorite song from her Lifted is a rap song with a funky whistle and fun beats that allows CL to show off her rap skills. Throughout the song, she uplifts herself and others by being herself.
You won’t be able to get enough of CL once you start. She’s a rapper that’ll blow you away.
Her music is heartfelt, yet moody in its release. Park thrives off crafting careful moods to put listeners in, capturing them and refusing to release until the end of the song. Even when the song ends, listeners crave to listen again and again. This allurement of Ha:tfelt can be felt in her songs I Wander, Cigar, and Happy Now.
She has an allure that comes along with her calm songs and demeanor. My favorite song from her is Pluhmm that pulls you along a fun trap beat underneath her breathy dream of a voice. She’s playful, yet contemplative in her songs. Whenever she trails off with the music fading out, everything flows back so harmoniously.
Ha:felt is what you need to get a taste of K-indie! Her music is something you’ve never heard before, but it’ll definitely be enjoyable!
These Korean female singers of the 2010s made tons of hits in the past decade, but are the great news that so many of these names are still thriving in the 2020s too. Their music is timeless and will impact people well into the future. Listen to them now and don’t miss out on greatness!