After taking a break from the Korean music scene last year to tour Japan, WINNER finally returned this week with their long-awaited new single Fate Number Four. To celebrate the group’s incredible comeback, we’ve taken a look back at their five best-selling hits over the years.
5. Baby Baby
After warming up fans for their Exit: E comeback with “Pricked,” WINNER kicked things up a notch with “Baby Baby.” Like their signature hit “Empty,” “Baby Baby” is a mid-tempo ballad with a falsetto chorus, but WINNER stretch themselves musically by adding a country music element to the production - something rarely seen in K-Pop.
4. Color Ring
WINNER quickly established themselves as the masters of melancholy ballads with their hugely successful debut album, 2014 S/S. The album’s second single,“Color Ring” features acoustic guitars like many of the slow jams from labelmates 2NE1, but it adds more of a live band feel overall to establish WINNER as one of the most musically unique boy groups in the industry today. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Gaon Chart and went on to sell over half a million digital downloads.
WINNER took a huge break between the release of their first album and their follow up, Exit: E. Many fans were curious how the band would do when they returned, and thankfully the boys proved that they were still just as popular as ever with “Sentimental.” The song retained their rock-tinged sound, but with more of a melodic pop edge. It was a huge hit, becoming WINNER’s third top five hit and even making the 2016 yearly Gaon Chart.
2. Don’t Flirt
“Don’t Flirt” is one of WINNER’s best-selling hits by a long shot, but what’s so amazing about it is that it was never actually released as an official single. The boys never put out a music video for the addictive pop track, but they did perform it live on music programs, which sent the track soaring up the charts. It eventually became so popular that they even performed it at the 2015 Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards to a rapturous crowd.
They’ve had a lot of memorable songs over the years, but for WINNER, their biggest hit also happens to be their first. Released in 2014 as the group’s official debut single, “Empty” introduced the world to WINNER’s unique, acoustic-based sound, signalling a drastic change from the usual hip-hop and electro that YG Entertainment is so well known for. The ballad absolutely dominated the charts, hitting No. 1 and picking up six music program trophies. It eventually sold over 1.5 million copies and ranked at No. 15 on Gaon’s yearly digital chart.
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