K-pop is mainly dominated by groups, but members do venture into their own style of music, as a soloist too.
Here are 9 of the most successful solo K-pop artists who started off in a group...
1. Taeyeon (Girls' Generation)
Taeyeon debuted as the leader and main vocalist for Girls' Generation in 2007, being hailed as one of the best vocalists in all of Korea. Eight years later, in 2015, Taeyeon got her chance to debut as a solo artist and just as expected she blew everyone away with her first single "I" selling almost 2 million copies. Since then she has topped the Korean Gaon singles charts twice with hits songs "Rain" and "Fine." Taeyeon released her first studio album earlier this year called "My Voice" which has already sold over 200,000 copies.
2. Hyuna (Wonder Girls/4MINUTE)
Hyuna started her career as part of Wonder Girls but left shortly after their debut in 2007. She then moved onto Cube Entertainment joining 4MINUTE in 2009 and started her solo career a year later. Her debut single "Change" turned her into an instant star with the record selling over 2 million copies. She followed it up in the coming years with classics such as "Bubble Pop!" and "Ice Cream," and this year has released another awesome track "Babe."
3. G-Dragon (BIGBANG)
G-Dragon made his debut with BIGBANG in 2006 as their leader. He took the group into his own hands by writing and producing hit songs such as "Lies," "Fantastic Baby" and "Bang Bang Bang." In 2009 G-Dragon made his solo debut with "Heartbreaker," releasing a solo album with the same name. The single was an immediate success selling over 4 million records. G-Dragon made his recent comeback with "Untitled 2014" topping the charts and recently went on a solo world tour.
4. Taemin (SHINee)
SHINee's Taemin is the youngest in the group. He made his solo debut with "Danger" from his extended play Ace, which has almost sold 100,000 copies. He has taken his solo career to Japan releasing tracks "Goodbye" and "Flame of Love."
5. Lee Hyori (Fin.K.L)
Hyori was a part of successful girl group FIN.K.L. who sold over 2.2 million records together before disbanding in 2002. In 2003 Hyori made her solo debut with "10 Minutes," which topped the Korean charts and became one of her signature hits. Throughout her solo career Hyori topped the charts with almost every song release and became the 'it' girl of Korea due to her immense popularity which fans dubbed as ‘Hyori Syndrome'.
6. Jay Park (2PM)
Jay Park debuted with 2PM as their leader in 2008, but in 2009 he had to leave the group. Jay Park started a career in America by making his own videos on YouTube, where he made a cover of "Nothin’ on You" by B.o.B, which got over 2 million views. Jay Park returned to Korea for his first solo album "New Breed," which sold over 100,000 copies. In 2013 he launched his own hip-hop label AOMG. His latest album "Everything You Wanted" dropped in 2016.
7. Sunmi (Wonder Girls)
Sunmi began her career as one of the Wonder Girls in 2006. Sunmi made her solo debut in 2013 with singles "Full Moon" and "24 Hours," which both reached number two on the Korean Gaon music charts. After the Wonder Girls disbanded in early 2017, Sunmi signed with Makeus Entertainment and got her first ever number one hit with "Gashina." The song gained instant popularity with its dancehall-style and unique dance routine and has sold almost 600,000 copies since its release.
8. Zico (Block B)
Zico started off his musical career as an underground rapper going by the name 'Nacseo’ (meaning ‘Scribble’ in Korean). In 2011 he debuted as the leader of hip-hop idol group Block B and in 2015 we got to see Zico show off his individual talents. To date, Zico has three singles that have sold over 1 million records including "Boys and Girls," "Eureka" and "I Am You, You Are Me." He’s also shown off his producing skills on the survival show Show Me The Money.
9. Taeyang (BIGBANG)
Taeyang started off his career with BIGBANG and has since been recognised as an incredible dancer and vocalist. In 2010 Taeyang released his first studio album Solar, which sold over 100,000 copies with classic hits such as "I Need A Girl" and "Wedding Dress." In 2014 Taeyang went on his first solo world tour where he visited nine different countries after the release of his second album Rise. Taeyang is currently embarking on his second solo world tour in 2017, set to visit 19 different cities with stops in the United States and Canada.
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