K-Pop, which is short for Korean Pop, is a form of music that has grown increasingly popular over the last few years. K-Pop singers are South Korean music icons whose reach has spanned internationally. This article features the 25 best K-pop singers in the world.
Narrowing down the best K-pop singers was difficult, but with patience, open ears, and a lot of time, we were able to complete the list. We listened (and danced) to countless K-pop songs to create this list of the 25 best K-pop singers.
Amy Lee, who goes by her stage name Ailee, started out doing covers on YouTube and is now one of the best K-pop vocalists out there. The first time we heard her voice, we actually got goosebumps. She can belt out verses on par with some of the best, like Whitney Houston or Christina Aguilera.
In “U & I,” she belts out the first few words with a strong, powerful, and beautiful voice. It is definitely one of our favorite songs and showcases her talent very well. Ailee is arguably the best female K-pop vocalist of all time. She has mastered control over her vocal range, and her transitions are flawless. We never detect nasality in her voice and don’t get tired of hearing her sing.
Next: Greatest K-pop groups that you NEED to listen to
Jeon Jung-kook, known as Jungkook, is the superstar main vocalist of the highly popular K-pop band BTS. He had already made a name for himself as a vocalist in the group but recently branched out to release some solo songs that really showcase his talent. He has a natural charisma and the talent to back it up.
He is one of the best male vocalists in K-pop. His voice is smooth yet powerful, even in falsetto. Jungkook is always pitch-perfect and has been known to be able to match pitch by ear. In his solo song, “Begin,” his clear vocals melt into the intro. We could listen to it all day.
Next: Greatest K-pop boy groups that you need to listen to
Better known as Jonghyun, Kim Jong-hyun was the main vocalist of the K-pop group SHINee. In addition to his incredible vocals, he was also a wonderful songwriter. As a tenor, he had a solid low register but was also able to execute a falsetto very well.
One of our favorite things about Jonghyun’s vocals is the emotion you can hear behind the words. His voice was beautiful, but the feelings he imparted with it were heartbreaking. It is made even more heartbreaking that he committed suicide in 2017. The world is a little less beautiful without Jonghyun’s voice.
Next: Our somber playlist of songs about suicide
Kim Tae-hyung, more famously known as V, is a member of BTS and has also released a few solo tracks. He is an outstanding vocalist who puts a lot of soul into his performance. Many K-pop singers are known for their ability to sing the high notes, but V also has a wonderfully deep, silky voice that you can feel down to your toes.
He has strong control over his breath while singing, and he transitions notes seamlessly without his voice breaking. He knows his range and doesn’t try to overdo it, which is a sign of a great vocalist.
Next: The best K-pop songs that you need to add to your playlist
Did you know angels could sing? Well, if they could, they would probably sound like Kim Ryeo-wook, better known as just Ryeowook. He started out in the group Super Junior but shifted into a solo career in 2016. His vocals are so clear, powerful, and angelic. His high notes are pitch-perfect, and we could listen to his song, “Hiding Words,” on repeat.
He has a healthy vibrato and well-developed control over his transitions. He was great in Super Junior, but when we discovered his solo work, we knew he had come into his own as one of the best K-pop vocalists of his generation.
6. Kim Hyun-Joong
Kim Hyun-joong is a member of SS501 and has a few solo songs as well. We love the pop songs that many K-pop singers perform, but we also really enjoy some R&B and hip-hop. His vocals are reminiscent of Neo and Usher, and his voice range is similar.
His song “Unbreakable” is not only catchy, but we love the sound of his powerful chords from start to finish. His transitions are smooth, and his dance moves aren’t too shabby, either.
Next: Top hip hop songs of all time (ultimate rap tracks playlist)
Jung Yun-ho, better known as U-Know, is a member of TVXQ! and released his first solo album in 2015. We love TVXQ! but we’re happy to see U-Know branch out on his own. His strong vocals were great in a group, but they deserved to be highlighted on their own.
His range is wide, and he has great control of his breath, making his voice smooth and clear. U-Know is charismatic, a great dancer, and a talented vocalist, and we can’t get enough of him or his music.
Though her stage name is IU, she was born Lee Ji-eun. Her music career started at the ripe age of 15. With her sweet yet powerful voice, we aren’t surprised she is known as Korea’s “little sister.”
Her light, lyrical soprano is pleasant and unforced. We really enjoy her ability to sing smoothly without breaks between notes. Her transitions between chest voice and falsetto are seamless. Her voice is one of the most pleasant on this list, and we hope to see more singles from her soon.
Roseanne Park, famously known as Rosé, is a member of BLACKPINK. Arguably the strongest vocalist in the group, she stays consistently in tune, and her technique is technically sound.
Her lyrical voice can go low and remain low, and her high notes are beautiful and stable. BLACKPINK is one of the best female K-pop groups of all time, and we are happy Rosé is there to add her unique vocals. We can’t imagine the group without her.
Next: Ultimate list of the best K-pop girl groups
Often chosen as a lead vocalist for solos in his South Korean-Chinese group EXO, Baekhyun has a bright voice and can sing the high notes very well. In addition to being able to sing and maintain the lower notes, we argue that he has the best falsetto range in the group.
EXO is a talented K-pop group, but without Baekhyun, we do not believe they would be quite so good. Because of his vocal range, talent, and ability to make us swoon, we had to place Baekhyun on the list of best K-pop singers.
Kim Tae-yeon, more commonly known as Taeyeon, is a member of Girl’s Generation and SM The Ballad. She is a very popular singer in her home country of South Korea, and we understand why.
Her lyrical soprano voice is not only beautiful, but she portrays emotion in her singing very well. We really enjoy the K-pop artists who put a lot of emotion into their music. We have to admit, we love it when they can bring a tear or two to our eyes, and Taeyeon can do just that with ease.
Choi Soobin, famously known as Soobin, is the lead vocalist of the K-pop group TXT. While he has a naturally deep voice, he has no problems hitting the high notes, which is why we had to put him on this list.
In a group of five singers, it isn’t always easy to stand out, but Soobin’s rich, smooth voice has our ears begging for a solo every time we hear it. He has a wonderful falsetto and is also a decent rapper, making him the perfect choice for one of the top 25 best K-pop singers.
Next: Songs for deep voices
Jihyo is a talented member of the group Twice. While technically a soprano, her lower register makes her voice unique from regular sopranos. We don’t love her high notes quite as much, but she can hit them and maintain them for short periods. Her range is wide, and her dance moves are impressive.
In our research, we discovered that while vocal talent is important, some of the better K-pop singers are also excellent choreographed dancers. Like those, Jihyo is the whole package. Whether she is singing an original song or a cover, her talent shines bright, making it clear she is one of the best K-pop singers of her generation.
Next: Top soprano singers of all time (our playlist)
Shon Seung-wan, famously known as Wendy, is a talented Korean singer that we had to put on this list. If you’re looking for a K-pop vocalist who absolutely kills the lower register, then she is the singer for you. She can support and sustain several registers with her flexible soprano.
She is a member of the girl group Red Velvet, but she first caught our eye when she covered “Halo” by Beyoncé. We were blown away by her vocal range and the emotion present in her voice while singing that iconic song. Her career has since taken off, so we are lucky enough to hear her lovely voice in songs like “Like Water.” If some of her music doesn’t make you shed a tear, you might need to get your heart checked.
Born Kim Min-seok, Xiumin is a South Korean singer and actor, and we can’t make a list of the best K-pop singers without mentioning him. He is a vocalist in the group EXO. The members of EXO are undoubtedly talented, but he has one of the most well-rounded voices in the group. He possesses good vocal support and range, and his voice is smooth and rich. We love getting to hear a good solo from this talented K-pop singer.
Jeong In-seong, known as just Inseong, is a vocalist in the South Korean group KNK. His voice is so smooth, and his song “Memories” reminds us of a lullaby. The soothing nature of his crystal-clear vocals complements the instrumentals in his music very well. If you’re looking for a romantic K-pop vocalist, Inseong has the songs for you. His range is vast, and his voice is strong yet gentle. He doesn’t have enough singles released, in our opinion.
Next: Ultimate list of songs about memories (our list)
Kim Seok-jin, also known as Jin, is a talented vocalist who can change his vocal textures to fit the current song. He is a member of one of the most popular K-pop boy bands, BTS.
In a group of talented singers, it should be difficult to stand out, but his voice is so silky, smooth, and pure it is hard to ignore. Jin is a natural tenor and can give husky, deep tones but can also go into the higher ranges without sounding too nasally.
Next: The best male singers with long hair of all time
Kang Dae-sung is also known as Daesung and by his Japanese stage name D-Lite. He is arguably the strongest vocalist in the K-pop group Big Bang. His voice is creamy, and his range is stable and robust. He can hit some of the highest notes among male K-pop vocalists.
He has a tendency to use vibrato that has us swooning; it’s natural and unforced, which shows real control over his voice. We don’t detect any nasality in his tone, and his intonation is consistent. He has an extensive range, but his talents really shine in his falsetto. Many K-pop idols have a wide vocal range, but Daesung’s ability to reach some of the highest notes in the biz earned him his spot on this list.
Lee Hong-gi, famously known as Hongki, is the lead vocalist of the K-pop rock band F.T. Island. There are not many rock bands on this list, but he landed himself here for his boyish and light vocals that can also bring a husky quality.
His voice can range from light to intense in a way that we can’t get enough of. His charisma is infectious, and we couldn’t help but bop our heads to his songs. His playful demeanor adds an extra layer of the boyish charm that has us screaming for more.
Lee Jin-ki, also known as Onew, started his music career as the lead vocalist for SHINee and began his solo career in 2018. His full and clear vocals can be light and breathy or strong and powerful, and we prefer his softer tones which showcase the lower registers of his tenor. He may be toward the end of this list, but that doesn’t mean we don’t really appreciate his vocals.
His song, “Dice,” is a great example of his vocal range, and we love how upbeat the music is. Not only is he talented, but he is also charismatic and a great entertainer, which has us eager for his next music video.
In addition to her model looks, Im Na-yeon is an excellent vocalist. Famously known as Nayeon, she is the lead vocalist of the girl group Twice. While her voice is at the lower end of the range, it is bright and clear. We like her because her voice is smooth and easy to listen to, and it isn’t nasally or annoying.
Her talent makes her a great choice as lead vocalist for the group, and we love hearing fun songs from her like “POP!” We could listen to her smooth vocals on repeat while bopping to the beat.
22. Max Changmin
Max Changmin, born Shim Chang-min, is a member of the K-pop duo TVXQ! He was also a member of SM The Ballad and debuted his solo career in Japan in 2015. While technically a tenor, his range is quite high. His natural voice is deeper and more manly, but he is able to raise it to a falsetto without the deeper, chesty notes.
In our favorite song, “Fever,” you can hear his natural tenor combined with his lighter, airier notes. Max Changmin is one of our favorites on this list because of his vocal range and how he seamlessly transitions from note to note. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a real cutie, either.
Bae Joo-hyun, more famously known as Irene, is a member of the South Korean girl group Red Velvet. She is a unique female K-pop star because, in addition to singing, she has significant rapping talents. Irene has also had a successful music and acting career.
Her voice has a nice tone, and she uses a mixture of low and high registers. It doesn’t have the throaty character that some other K-pop singers have, so we enjoy hearing songs like “Monster.” We also really enjoy seeing her graceful and fun dance moves. Irene is a triple threat in our book.
Nam Woo-hyun, popularly known as Woohyun, is a member of the K-pop group Infinite. Our favorite thing about his vocals is his natural vibrato. He has complete control over his voice, so the vibrato doesn’t sound forced. We think he is the strongest vocalist in Infinite, and we really enjoy his range.
He has the lowest range of any other member of the group. Having the lowest range might sound like a bad thing, but that means he can reach all of the lower notes that the other members can’t. For this reason, he made our list of the 25 best K-pop singers.
Yoo Ki-hyun, better known as Kihyun, is a South Korean singer and songwriter. He is a member of the K-pop group Monsta X and recently made his solo debut in March 2022. He has a mixed voice and is a strong vocalist. He has one of the best lower tenor ranges of any K-pop idol. His natural vibrato is controlled, and he doesn’t overdo it by going outside of his vocal range. This keeps his voice smooth and easy to listen to.
K-pop singers have a wide range of vocals and genres, but either way, it is such a fun type of music. We really enjoyed exploring all of the amazing singers to make this list and often found ourselves reliving the first time we heard these talented voices. We hope you can find an artist or song on this list that you love.
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