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Best vocalists in the K-POP industry in 2021

The top K-POP idol vocalists in 2021 (Image via RBW)
The top K-POP idol vocalists in 2021 (Image via RBW)
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Vibha Hegde
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Good vocalists are not hard to come by in the K-POP industry, but due to the saturation of talent, finding the best ones proves to be a difficult task. Many idols could hold their own in vocal competitions against music industry veterans, considering the rigorous training and hard work they put into in order to master the skill.

Here, we've compiled a list of K-POP idols that have had their skills widely regarded throughout the industry and have even been praised by outsiders.

Disclaimer: This list is not definitive by any means, and is purely based on the opinions of the author. It is also unranked and numbered for the purpose of organization.


Best vocalists of the K-POP industry as of 2021

1. Hwasa of Mamamoo

A list featuring some of the best K-POP vocalists doesn't feel complete without Hwasa, a.k.a Ahn Hye-jin. The 25-year-old singer debuted as a member of RBW's 4-member girl group Mamamoo in 2014 and has stayed strong ever since. She is notoriously known for her unique vocals, often described as deep and raspy.

Hwasa has collaborated with pop star Dua Lipa for a remix of the latter's song "Physical." She has also featured on tracks with well-known Korean artists outside the K-POP industry, including Loco, Palo Alto, DPR Live, Uhm Jung Hwa, and K.Will.

In 2020, she placed 1st on the South Korean singing competition show, "Hidden Singer."

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2. D.O of EXO

D.O of Doh Kyung-soo has herded praise from all around the industry for his vocal talent. Unsurprisingly enough, he won a singing competition back in 2010 at the age of 17 - others prompted him to audition for SM Entertainment after his win, and he eventually landed in EXO, of which he is still a member.

The singer is also well-known for his acting, but many can't get over his butter-smooth and effortless vocals. During his mandatory military service, he took part in a musical held by the military itself.

The multi-talented K-POP idol has also sung an entire song in Spanish, and will be releasing a spanish song on his upcoming solo debut EP soon.

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3. Rosé of BLACKPINK

Fans and non-fans of BLACKPINK alike would recognize Rosé's voice in a heartbeat, due to possessing one of the most distinguishing vocal colors in the industry. At 15 years of age, she auditioned for YG Entertainment in 2012 and ranked first among 700 other participants.

She featured on label-mate G-Dragon's track "Without You," the very same year. This led to many tracking her activities and keeping an eye on her even before she debuted as a BLACKPINK member in 2016.

Most recently, the K-POP singer was gifted a guitar by John Mayer after covering his song "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room."

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4. Taeyeon of Girl's Generation / SNSD

Taeyeon is regarded as one of the best vocalists in the Korean music industry. She was scouted into her current agency (SM Entertainment) after winning 1st place in a singing contest held by them. She eventually joined the line-up for Girl's Generation and debuted in 2007, as the leader of the K-POP girl group.

Taeyeon has had several solo album releases, selling a combined total of over 1 million physical albums. She has lent her voice to drama OSTs, and sang "Into the Unknown" for the Korean release of the 3D animated movie "Frozen."

Park Jin-young, the founder of JYP Entertainment, has previously stated that he wished to work with the singer.

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5. Eunkwang of BtoB

Eunkwang or Seo Eun-kwang is a singer for Cube Entertainment's 5-member K-POP boy band BtoB. If majoring in practical music wasn't proof enough for his vocal talent, the 30-year-old has also participated in numerous amount of musical theater plays, including Hamlet and Three Musketeers.

He has appeared as a contestant on several musical variety shows, including National Singing Competition, King of Mask Singer, Duet Song Festival, Immortal Songs 2 and others.

Eunkwang has seized countless praise in the K-POP industry for his performances of So Chan-whee's "Tears," a song regarded as so difficult due to its high pitch changes that even trained female vocalists struggle to perform it.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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