Queen of K-Pop: BoA is an actress, singer, composer, dancer, and record producer from South Korea. She’s been called the “Queen of K-pop” since she’s one of the most popular and influential Korean performers of all time.
While accompanying her brother, a music video director, to a talent hunt in 1998, BoA, who grew up in Gyeonggi Do, South Korea, was founded by SM Entertainment talent brokers. She spent two years in preparation for her first performance in August of 2000.
The twenty studio albums by BoA include ten in Korean, nine in Japanese, and one in English. She has had multiple television roles, including as a judge on K-pop Star (2011–2013), an actor in the drama Listen to Love (2016), host of Produce 101 Season 2 (2017), and coach on The Voice of Korea Season 3. (2020).
Beyond South Korea, BoA has found commercial success in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore thanks to her ability to sing in Japanese, English, and Mandarin. The breakdown of barriers that had hampered the import and export of entertainment between the countries since the conclusion of World War II allowed BoA to become the first South Korean pop singer to break through in Japan with the release of her debut Japanese studio album, Listen to My Heart (2002).
She is one of just three female artists, along with Japanese singers Ayumi Hamasaki and Hikaru Utada, who have had six consecutive number-one studio albums on the Oricon charts since her debut. Each of her three albums has sold more than one million copies in Japan.
Here is a hand-picked selection of the very iconic songs she’s produced:
She collaborated with Nappytabs, who also helped with the choreography for her upcoming dance film Make Your Move 3D, to create the dance for her title single, “Only One.” On July 22, 2012, the digital release of the song with the same name was made available to the public. It debuted at #12 on the K-pop Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #2 in its fourth week on the chart.
It was a top-3 hit for a full month. As of October, it has sold almost 2 million singles and has spent weeks at the top of the Gaon charts. Over 28,000 copies of the album were sold in its first six days after its physical release on July 25, 2012.
Total album sales have topped 34,000 since its August 2012 release. Gaon Chart reports that there were more than 934,059 digital downloads of the album. Digital and physical album sales have combined to make this her best-selling Korean record to date.
The lovely pop, BoA’s silky voice, and the greatest choreography you’d expect from the Queen of K-Pop made for the most 2012-sounding song I’ve heard thus far.
— irene (@_aescalade) November 5, 2022
This tune is a dance number with some Europop flair. Kim Young Ah composed the song for BoA’s release, and Ahn Ik Soo did the arrangement. Norwegian producers came up with the original. In both Japan and South Korea, it was well-received. ‘No. 1’ was ranked third on Mnet’s Gayo Best 27 half-year ranking of the top 100 popular songs, behind only ‘Perfect Man’ by Shinhwa and ‘Wrong’ by Lee Seung-hwan.
The single was heralded as a watershed moment in [BoA’s] rise to international idol stardom and provided proof that SM Entertainment’s export plan was successful. A song licensed from Europe was used for the first time, and it became a hit in the charts in both Japan and Korea.
Boa’s idealized lady is depicted in this track, along with the message that women are capable of more than merely vying for attention. The singer encourages women to be confident in their own skin and to live up to their own standards, two ways in which she celebrates her femininity and so empowers other women to do the same.
she’s there as the queen of k-pop pic.twitter.com/yMwVQ6aExK
— Roseanne (@Rabiazd74874858) November 6, 2022
The music video further drives home this notion by featuring a varied range of women in terms of age, body type, and ethnicity. After the album was released, the ‘upside-down walk’ featured in the opening choreography for the title track quickly became an internet sensation. For the 16th Annual Korean Music Awards this year, Woman was also nominated for Best Pop Album.
Longtime collaborator Yoo Young Jin wrote and orchestrated this alternative R&B. The Swedish singer AWA’s song “Like I Do” is sampled in the song, and she is credited as a songwriter for the song, along with Aston Rudi and Jay-Keyz for the music production. Upon its debut, the song was praised by critics, and some publications included Better in their lists of the best albums of 2020.
It debuted at number one on Billboard’s list of the ten best K-pop albums of 2020 and landed at number six on Metro UK’s list of the 20 best K-pop comebacks of 2020. The album was called “one of BoA’s strongest records to date” and “is loaded to the brim with songs that present her as someone assured in her talent,” proving its superiority.