“Your favourite member is debuting as a solo artist”; the sentence that many fans long to hear. Many idols long for their chance in the spotlight and in the new digital age, they have the freedom to upload mix-tapes, covers and more. However, a select talented bunch make an impact and perform on stage as solo artists; stepping away from their group image and bring their own style that is rarely seen in regular promotions. In light of the surge of solo idols emerging in the year so far; we are looking back at ten from idols old and new.
01. Sunmi (Wonder Girls)
Sunmi debuted as a solo artist during her time in Wonder Girls but she didn’t join the big league solo acts until her single; “Gashina”. Since then, she has cemented her place as a fierce and quirky act who loves to be tongue in cheek and confident in her own style and performance. Fans have already considered her as one of the next-generation divas in the industry and with her most recent comeback, “Noir”; the reasons behind this claim is very clear.
02. Taemin (SHINee)
Performing at a young age, Taemin has been cherished by many fans as he has grew up before their eyes. With his raw talent, it was almost inevitable that he would get his chance in the spotlight. Becoming the first SHINee soloist, Taemin made his solo debut with “Danger” and he has been growing strong through the years; expanding to the Japanese market with “Sayonara Hitori”.
03. Hyolyn (SISTAR)
Known as one of the top Korean divas, Hyolyn began as a powerhouse vocal in SISTAR. Her voice is immediately recognisable and has been key to many Summer bops and sexy performances. As a soloist, she has been recognised by fans internationally by her infamous Frozen cover and post-SISTAR tracks through her own label, Brid3.
04. Niel (Teen Top)
The “Emotional Vocal” channelled his inner Michael Jackson with the R’n’B track, “Love Killer” back in 2015 and has steadily been producing solo tracks between his promotions with Teen Top. In recent years, he hasn’t been actively promoting on stage but contributing his smooth, signature vocals towards collaborations with JUSTHIS & V-HAWK.
05. Jun Hyo Seong (SECRET)
Hyosung has since departed from TS Entertainment on bitter terms but she has left a legacy of solo hits that showcased her talents and diva stage presence. From a playful seductress to a glittering show-girl, every comeback revealed a new side to SECRET’s leader. After the bitter dispute between her and the company, she is soon to make her return in the entertainment industry through variety shows but fans cannot wait to see what she brings to the stage next.
06. Hyuna (4Minute)
We can’t talk about solo idols without mentioning Hyuna. Hopping from Wonder Girls to 4Minute, Hyuna stole the show when she dropped her solo debut, “Change”. After several years, two unit groups and joining boyfriend, E-Dawn in a new company; Hyuna is still deemed as one of the top solo artists to come out of an idol group.
07. Aoora (Double A)
You may remember him more for being close to Youtuber, Edward Avila but AOORA kick started his career as a member of Double A who were known for their addictive track; “Because I’m Crazy”. Unfortunately, Double A earned the under-rated title and no longer promote but AOORA continued his solo activities; producing a very risque image in his earlier releases.
08. Hwasa (MAMAMOO)
MAMAMOO have all had their time to shine but the youngest member, Hwasa stormed the stage and promoted her latest single, “TWIT” as an official debut stage – the first of the group to do so. Already known for her powerful voice, fierce stage presence and the fabled latex bodysuit, Hwasa has proved herself to be one to watch this year.
09. Kim Chungha (I.O.I)
Despite her own idol debut being a solo act, Chungha began her career as part of the first Produce 101 group; I.O.I. All of the other members have continued to their own ventures either in acting, preparing for future projects or performing in groups including gugudan, PRISTIN and Weki Meki. However, Chungha has been growing from strength to strength as an artist, earning several year-end awards and also her first music show win this year with “Gotta Go”.
10. Kim Sung Kyu (INFINITE)
Becoming the first of the group to perform solo, Sungkyu has paved the way for his fellow Infinite members to showcase their skills. Inspired by his own Idols, NELL; he has performed a wide range of singles from the Rock ballad, “60 Seconds” to the synthesised pop track, “Kontrol” before enlisting in 2018.
Do you think we missed someone on the list? Do you have a favourite solo idol or are you looking forward to an upcoming debut? Let us know in the comments and through our Social Media.