K-pop is a massive kingdom of female musicians. Unlike other countries, the visible gender difference in bands makes it all the more necessary to view it from different aspects. In this article, we are going to discuss the top 20 world’s most popular K-pop female artists of 2021.
This chart isn’t any sort of judgment of merit or anything like that. We have tried our best to pick these beautiful musicians from their recent activities. Let us know who we missed, we’ll try to add them in the next article.
The South Korean star musician started singing at a very early age and joined Krakao entertainment at the age of 14 to train. IU’s first release was a mini-album in 2008 named Lost and Found. After that, the musical prodigy released another couple of albums getting into the light of fame. As soon as she released the song “Good Day”, IU’s popularity went through the roof, the single spent five whole weeks on the Gaon Digital Chart and she became the talk of Kpop. The singer has made her entry in the US Billboard chart and several other international music charts. Her latest album was released in 2021 named Lilac.
Taeyeon started her career in 2007 in the girl group Girls’ Generation. The band became one of the most popular female bands in the entire country and provided Taeyeon with a huge platform to spread her voice. After going solo in around 2015, she released the first EP I. It was a success and a great start to a solo career. Although Taeyeon has only released two albums so far, she has worked on various EPs. To mention some successful works of this wonderful singer, there are “11:11”, “Make Me Love You”, “Four Seasons”, and “Spark”.
Having tried some successful girl groups like Wonder Girls and 4Minute, Hyuna decided to go solo very early in her career. She released the first single “Change” in 2010 and it became a huge success getting placed second on the Gaon Digital Chart. The title track of Bubble Pop! debut EP got 100 million views on YouTube; another huge success for Hyuna. Till 2021, the k-pop star has released 7 extended plays with worldwide success.
Chungha is another result of the huge musical reality show market of South Korea. The singer was selected in the I.O.I girl group after she came fourth in a show. After a short career in the group, Chungha went solo in 2017 with the EP Hands on Me. It was a moderate success. Her next two EPs came in the next year named Offset and Blooming Blue. Chungha got placed in the Billboard list of 25 Best Kpop songs of 2019 for “Gotta Go”.
With more than 3 million subscribers on YouTube, Solar is a rising star of Kpop. The leader of the girl group Mamamoo started her solo career in 2020 with the song “Spit it Out”. Solar had released a couple of solo works in 2018 as well. Originally named Kim Yong-sun, the singer received her first accolade in 2020 soon after the release of the single.
Here comes the Queen of K-pop. This singer is one of the most successful South Korean entertainers of all time. Boa started her career in the early 2000s under the umbrella of SM Entertainment. Since then she has released a total of 20 albums in three languages. Outside of South Korea, she is also famous in Japan, which was a rare thing back in the days. The veteran pop star released her latest album in 2020 named Better.
Sunmi is definitely a great talent that came from the Wonder Girls female band. After three years of being there, she took a break and started her solo career in 2013. Sunmi’s EP Full Moon generated a huge response and got placed on the Gaon Digital Charts. Although the 1992-born singer rejoined the band for another couple of years, following the collapse of the Wonder Girls Sunmi released another EP. Some of her popular singles include “Heroine”, “Siren”, “Gashina”.
Hwasa is famous for her single “Twit” and the EP “Maria”. Both of them made it to the Billboard World Chart. The singer debuted in the Mamamoo band in 2014 where she performed for the next five years. As she went solo, her career exploded making Hwasa one of the most popular K-pop artists of our time. Besides being a phenomenal singer, Hwasa is a fashion face with several titles like Sexiest Asian Stars to Follow on Instagram Right Now. Forbes placed the artist in their 30 under 30 Asia 2021 list.
The popular singer-turned-film star tried her luck in music once again in 2019 only to get more famous with an EP. After being part of the Girls’ Generation band for years, she worked in dozens of movies, a couple of highest-grossing in the country included. Given her success, it was time for Yoona to celebrate her birthday with something different. The release of A Walk to Remember shocked everyone by reaching third on the Gaon Digital Chart. Yoona is one of the most popular celebrities in South Korea now.
The Korean-American rapper began her journey in 2005 with the album Get Up. Going through the grind, the singer released another album and worked with bands for years before tasting success. Jesse was cast in the tv show called Unpretty Rapstar where she got second place. The rapper has released two EPs so far named Un2verse and Nuna, both of them were a moderate success. Her single “Don’t Touch Me” was placed atop the Gaon Digital charts.
Yuju has several feathers on her crown. The singer debuted around 2014 when Source Music signed her in. She became the first female idol to win the Fantastic Duo 2, which is a pretty big thing. The former member of GFriend, Yuju has tasted success with songs like “Spring Is Gone by Chance”, which peaked on multiple charts and won the Melon Music Award. The South Korean singer started hosting the “Yuju is Halli Queen” in 2021.
Remember the super famous girl group 2NE1? CL was a shining member of that band for a long time garnering titles like ‘Queen of K-pop’ from various media outlets. The singer went to pursue a solo career in 2015 “Hello Bitches”. It was a pretty good opening shot, the next one became more popular though. CL’s “Lifted” made her the first Korean singer to be placed in the Billboard Hot 100. The sensational vocalist released her first EP named In the Name of Love in 2019.
Hyolin joined the girl group Sistar from the beginning of her career. Almost decade-long relationship with the produced wonderful music. Some of the best-known music of the star include “Lonely” and “One Way Love”. The gifted musician once shared the stage with the legendary Stevie Wonder in 2013 at the MNET awards. Hyolyn participated in shows like Unpretty Rapstar and Fantastic Duo. She started her own production company named Bridʒ in 2018.
Seunghee started her career in 2015 along with the band OH MY GIRL. The group’s self-titled mini-album garnered a lot of attention from the crowd and they become a super popular girl group. Some of the most successful songs of the girl group include “Me” and “Twilight”. The 1996-born additionally made some fans appearing in “Open The Door” MV and ONF‘s “ON/OFF” MV. The fangirl of IU acknowledges her passion for music to the legendary K-pop star.
Heize debuted in 2014 with the self-titled EP. Although her initial success was moderate, the singer soon became the talk of the town after appearing in Unpretty Rapstar. Heize’s second EP And July was released in 2016 that made it to the Gaon Digital Charts. She released another single “Star” which became the most significant success with the ‘All-Kill’ status by reaching atop each and every Korean Music Charts. The 1991-born has so far released one album She’s Fine and seven EPs including Happen released in 2021.
16. Lee Hi
Lee Hi is the singer known for her success in the SBS K-pop Star show where she finished as the runner-up. Although the 1996-born singer started her career as early as 2012, it took four years to get a place. Lee’s album Seoulite came out in 2016 winning the singer a Golden Disc. After that she has been featured in multiple songs like “Refrigerator”, “Can You Hear My Heart”, etc. Lee has appeared in several musical reality shows too including OnStyle, MBC, JTBC.
Starting with the girl band Blackpink, Jennie’s career as a musician only went high. After two years of working in the group, she released her first solo single “Solo”. The song dramatically became an overnight success topping both Gaon and Billboard World Digital Songs charts. It was also certified platinum in Korea. The song became so popular all over the world that Jennie became the first-ever Korean artist to perform in Coachella. Blackpink also released their first album The Album in 2020.
The super-successful female k-pop artist has made it to the Gaon Digital Charts more times than you can count. With a couple of studio albums and five EPs, Ailee is one of the most popular South Korean stars today. Starting her career with the single “Heaven”, the singer has won Melon Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards, and the Seoul Music Awards so far. Her most successful work includes “When We Were In “Love”, “Home”, “Comma 07”.
Siyeon, originally named Li Si Yeon, made her debut in the year 2014 with MINX. The girl group released their first single “Why Did You Come to My Home”. Although the group didn’t continue for long, the Daegu-born artist gained the experience to go solo. Siyeon released her debut solo single “Paradis” in 2020. The single opened in 10th place on Billboard World Digital Songs Chart.
20. Jeon So-mi
Jeon So-mi is one of the rising stars of K-pop. She started her career in the traditional way by appearing in MNET’s survival program Produce 101. After the event, aka Somi got recruited to the girl group I.O.I around 2016. Having done some really good singing there, she released her first solo in 2019 with the song “Birthday”. With 9M+ followers on Instagram, Somi is also growing in the endorsement sector with brands like Coca-Cola Korea, Reebok, Louis Vuitton, etc.