International Pop Singer and undisputed Queen of Kpop celebrates her 20th anniversary this year. BoA has broken barriers, smashed records and paved the way for an entire generation of performers and artists. BoA has become the standard for KPop idols since her debut. BoA has an expansive career spanning across all of Asia. Her music touches so many people in so many different ways.
For gamers and anime fans especially, BoA has crafted some of the most iconic theme songs. Here’s a slice of BoA’s incredible musical catalog:
Her agency, SM Entertainment, is celebrating her 20th anniversary in a big way with various artists covering some of her biggest hits to date. R&B singer Gallant was given the task of reworking BoA’s Korean comeback Only One. Gallant adds his own soulful spin to the classic and the results are incredible.
To celebrate BoA’s dynamic career, we’re going to go through some of the highlights of her music career. We’ll be diving into her Korean, Japanese and English singles over the course of her career:
The ‘Beat of Angel’ is Born
BoA’s career begins at the tender age of 11 in 1998. She was signed with SM Entertainment and underwent two years of artist development, including dance and vocal training. She was also studying Japanese. The plan was to ship her over to Japan to sign with Avex Trax after her Korean career had taken off. Her Korean career would bloom rather easy and she experienced continued success. However, it was evident that it was difficult to sustain continued success in three different territories (Korea, Japan, USA) between 2008 to 2010. As new KPop and JPop acts began to emerge, it was hard for BoA to compete as she did in the 2000s. Her record sales and chart placements failed to match her previous releases. BoA would take some time away from music to focus on acting and being a judge of music competition KPop Star. In 2012, BoA returned to music with the release of her much anticipated self-penned single Only One. BoA’s renewed spirit and self-assurance gleamed bright. BoA’s comeback was received an All-Kill on all major charts in Korea. It was evident that BoA’s next chapter would be exciting and promising as a true veteran artist.
BoA’s expansion into Japan was unprecedented at the time. Not many Korean artists would be able to become successful in Japan in such a short amount of time. BoA was able to sustain a very successful career in both Japan and Korea releasing albums in both territories in the same year. She became the blueprint for many other KPop artists to soon follow. BoA would also offer music to various anime and video game soundtracks which increased her public profile.
Entering the American Market
In 2008, BoA was announced to be releasing a full English album. She would be working with top producers Sean Garrett, Bloodshy & Avant, Brian Kennedy and Henrik Jonback. The hype was pretty immense as BoA was a huge musical act all across Asia. BoA was poised to be a big deal in the US music scene, but unfortunately the advent of Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s Single Ladies was at a fever pitch that it was hard for any new acts to make any headway. Also, the ending of Total Request Live on MTV really hurt her promotional campaign in my opinion. At this time, America was not welcoming to Asian artists just yet. JPop Queen Hikaru Utada had a similar experience that same year when she released her second english album. Still, the album was incredible and some of her best work to date.