Updating its last survey completed in 2014, Gallup Korea — which is the South Korean partner of the Gallup International Association of polling — completed and released the 2019 version of “Koreans’ Favorites”. For the “Favorite Singers” portion of the survey, 1,700 Koreans over the age of 13 shared their favorite artists. Here are the results!
10. TWICE + More
The 10th place on “Koreans’ 10 Favorite Singers” list was tied among five artists. From the K-Pop scene, TWICE was the only girl group to have made it on to the list. Soloist Park Hyo Shin also made it on the list despite his recent fraud scandal. Korean “trot” singers Hong Jin Young and Kim Yon Ja — whose song “Amor Fati” went mega viral in 2017 — got their names on the list as well. Last but not least, soloist Lee Moon Sae was one of the five to have charted in at #10.
9. Lee Seung Chul
Soloist Lee Seung Chul took 9th place on the 2019 list. As a super sunbae artist who debuted in 1986, Lee Seung Chul previously served as one of the judges on popular TV auditioning programs like Superstar K. His music and artistry continue to inspire K-Pop stars.
8. Lee Mi Ja
Soloist Lee Mi Ja, who is like an idol of her time for the older generation Koreans, won 8th place on the list. Her best known hit song, called “Camellia Girl”, was the first “million seller” album in the industry — that being said, most Koreans over the age of 30 most likely have heard of her and the song before.
7. Tae Jin Ah
Soloist Tae Jin Ah ranked #7 on the list of Koreans’ top 10 favorite artists of 2019. While he himself carries a splendid record of hit songs, the younger generation K-Pop fans may recognize him better from his iconic collaboration with Rain on the “La Song”.
6. Lee Sun Hee
Soloist Lee Sun Hee, who is beloved for her unrivaled vocal mastery, came in 6th place on the list. With her talent, she earned herself the nickname of Korea’s one and only diva. In 2018, she was one of the many — including Red Velvet — who were invited to perform in North Korea.
5. Cho Yong Pil
Soloist Cho Yong Pil — often playfully teased for being the original “JYP” (Jo Yong Pil) in the Korean entertainment business — took 5th place on the list. His unique voice has been a long time favorite for his K-Pop hoobaes to imitate! Jo Yong Pil was previously ranked at #1 when this survey took place in 2014.
Soloist IU won 4th place on the 2019 Koreans’ top 10 favorite singers list. IU is indisputably one of the top female solo artists to be actively promoting in the K-Pop scene at the moment, selling out all her concerts and breaking records with every album that she has dropped in the past.
3. Na Hoon A
Soloist Na Hoon A, also known as the “hottest male idol” for the older generation Korean women, came in at #3 on the list. He was — and still is for many loyal fans — a sensation when he debuted in 1966. He was one of the firsts, as a trot singer and as a performer in general, to have and lead a massive “oppa crew” (supporters), which could be considered the current equivalent of a fandom.
2. Jang Yoon Jung
Soloist Jang Yoon Jung ranked #2 on the list. In 2014, she won third place, so it could be said that her “value” as a well-appreciated Korean entertainer increased over the past five years. Even with the rise of the Korean trot genre, with TV shows like Miss Trot airing and gaining attention, Jang Yoon Jung remains the most beloved and the highest earning trot singers in the scene.
Finally, as Koreans’ absolute favorite artist of 2019, BTS took the honor of ranking at #1. It is the boy group’s first time making it on to the top 10 of this particular list. That is to show, in the past five years — or six since their debut in 2013 — BTS have come a long way with patience and diligence. Now, as the face of K-Pop, BTS continue to charm not only Koreans but audiences all over the globe. BTS was mentioned as a favorite among male fans in their teens up to their 30s, as well as female fans in their teens up to their 50s.