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Top 10 Female K-Pop Artists of All Time

VO: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Aaron Short
Script written by Aaron Short These are the most popular and most successful modern female K-pop artists! For this list we've based our entries on overall popularity, sales, legacy, artistry and fabulousness. We’ve included artists like Suzy, Sunmi, Ailee, Tayeon, CL Hyuna, Lee Hyori and BoA! If you haven’t heard of these names, be on the lookout because some of them are about to make waves overseas!

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Top 10 Female K-Pop Artists of All Time

Anyoung haseyo! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Female K-Pop Artists of All Time.

For this list we've based our entries on overall popularity, sales, legacy, artistry and fabulousness.

#10: Suzy

Bae Su-Ji, better known as Suzy, rose to fame in girl group Miss A, alongside fellow band members Fei, Jia and Min. Miss A officially disbanded in 2017, but Suzy has become a solo artist in her own right -- with the successful release of her first solo album, which includes the smash “Yes No Maybe”. She's also proved herself as an in-demand award show hostess, brand ambassador and successful movie and TV actress, to boot. That’s less being a triple threat, and more of a quintuple threat, or more! Seeing as how she's so busy, it's a surprise she even has time to sing.

#9: Sunmi

Choosing to take a hiatus from a successful position in the entertainment industry is risky business. Which is why Sunmi is such a fascinating case. Originally a member of Wonder Girls, Sunmi left the group in 2010 to pursue an academic career. (Now that’s not something you hear every day). Sunmi returned in 2013, rebranded as a solo artist. She released her single "24 Hours" to critical acclaim. Since then, Sunmi has gone from strength-to-strength, even popping up another time in Wonder Girls, and again as a solo artist with her song "Gashina".

#8: Ailee

Ailee -- whose real name is Amy Lee -- moved from Colorado to Korea in 2010. In 2011 her incredible televised version of Beyonce's "Halo" skyrocketed her to fame. The performance went viral, earning Ailee the perfect, if fairly obvious, nickname for an artist with such a powerful, versatile voice and presence: "The Korean Beyonce". Since then Ailee has guest starred on the South Korean TV show "Dream High 2" and performed on just about all of South Korea's singing shows, even performing the closing song of the 2018 Paralympics.

#7: Taeyeon

Kim Tae-yeon, better known as "Taeyeon" debuted as a member of Girls' Generation in 2007. She eventually decided, like so many artists before her, to try out a solo career; in 2015 she emerged with with her first offering, "I", which reached number two on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart. Its title track sold over a million digital copies! Her second EP, "Why", bettered that by rocketing all the way to number one. Taeyeon has since gone on to win a boatload of awards, including four Golden Disc Awards, two Mnet Asian Music Awards, two Seoul Music Awards . . .we could go on, but you get the point.

#6: Park Bom

Park Bom, who performs under the shortened version of her nam: "Bom", was a member of 2NE1 until 2016 when the group, sadly, broke up. She’s also a solo artist creating great music on her own, having released two successful number 1 singles ("You and I", and "Don't Cry") -- which went on to net her a Best Digital Single Award at the 2010 MNET Asian Music Awards). She does like to collaborate with other artists, having teamed up with stars like Epik High, Lexy, Lee Hyori and GD & TOP. Her name has been tied to a drug scandal in the past, but she maintains her innocence.

#5: CL

2NE1's CL is a rapper and songwriter as well as a singer, and her image and fashion leanings have made her iconic in Korea, where she is known not only for her role in 2NE1 but as a solo artist as well (we sense a trend!). Her song "The Baddest Female" earned several awards nominations. And chances are that you're about to hear a lot more about CL, as she is currently planning to take on the American music market under the tutelage of Scooter Braun -- who also manages Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Carly Rae Jepsen (but not Kanye anymore).

#4: Hyuna

Hyuna checks all the boxes: singer, dancer, songwriter and, of course, model. She rose to fame in the late 2000s as a member of Wonder Girls and 4Minute, before launching, yes, a solo career in 2010, with a style she dubbed "performance-oriented music". Although her first EP, "Bubble Pop" was sorta successful, the title song proved so popular that Hyuna became the first female K-pop solo artist to hit a massive 100M views on a YouTube video. Boom! In 2012, she appeared in Psy's mega-hit "Gangnam Style".

#3: Lee Hyori

Record producer, actress, and activist . . . Lee Hyori has many arrows in her quiver She started out in girl group Fin. K.L, way back in 1998, before embarking on a solo career in 2003 with her debut album "Stylish". One of the songs on this album, "Hey Girl", had its video being banned from TV for its overt sexuality -- although Lee doesn’t agree with the criticism that the video’s imagery was gratuitous. But hey, scandal sells, right? At one point Lee was the highest paid female singer in Korea. After time away from the music industry, Lee released her comeback album, "Black", in 2017.

#2: IU

IU dove into a musical career when she was not yet out of her teens, releasing her first album, 2007's "Lost and Found", at just 15! (Suddenly we feel inadequate . . .) Though IU's follow-up albums all did well it was the 2010 album "Real", and its lead single "Good Day" that finally vaulted her into the pop stratosphere. She continues to grow and develop as a musician, and has even gotten into acting (including cameoing in 2017’s movie "Real" alongside Suzy), as well as multiple TV appearances and hoovering up oodles of various awards.

#1: BoA

You think 15 was young? Well, BoA, birth name Kwon Bo-ah, caught the eyes and ears of music scouts when just 11 years old, after accompanying her brother to an audition. She went on to release her first album, "ID: Peace B", at the ripe old age of 13. Her first Japanese album, "Listen To My Heart", made BoA the first Korean to debut at the top of the Oricon chart. Woo hoo! She released an English language album, "BoA", in 2009, and was cast in a big role in the 2013 flick "Make Your Move". BoA is a big-time K-Pop success story, and is massive both in Korea and around the globe.

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