Ranking of Vocalists

Vocal ranking of male and female idol vocalists

PLEASE READ BEFORE QUESTIONING/LOOKING AT THE CHART. Please do not repost chart without copying the background information. Don’t take the chart out of context.

Following is the ranking of idols and young vocalists that we’ve analyzed so far here at KpopVocalAnalysis. This list only includes idols who’ve debuted in 2014 or earlier. Idols who have debuted after 2014 were not analyzed due to the lack of material and the possibility of improvements happening shortly after the debut of an idol. Thus no debuts after 2014 shall be included in this chart. If a vocalist of any group that debuted in 2014 or prior is not present in this chart, that would be because their final rating would be at most average or due to lack of material for an analysis.

In 2013, we from KpopVocalAnalysis gathered together as fans, as vocal enthusiasts, and some of us as vocal instructors and vocalists ourselves to bring education and knowledge and to satisfy the curiosity of a community within a fandom. The following rankings we shall post have one thing that most others don’t have, hard work. Unlike what fans like to call the “opinion of experts,” mostly done by PD’s, Composers, and Music Critics, we have not only taken the time to listen to each single vocalist in these rankings individually, one by one, but we also have provided more than a simple sentence to describe how they use their voices/instruments. We have compiled a ranking system through our very own upbringing and learning process in order to properly categorize and find similarities between vocalists, technically.

Most other rankings take into consideration tone, emotion, and the individual taste of the listener. They normally don’t take the time to search through every vocalist there is and truly evaluate whether or not they’re truly good technical vocalists. Most of the time, these rankings aren’t even put together by vocalists or vocal instructors. So long story short: we have taken the time and consideration to give each individual vocalist a fair chance and listen through many videos and performances in order to fully understand how they utilize their voices. Our only aim was ever to teach and help each fan be aware of the truth behind the vocalists’ singing abilities. After working through more than 120 vocalists over the period of two years, we have gathered enough information to correctly categorize and rank them against one another. This list is not meant to be offensive. The criteria is not only attached to the rankings, but also to the main part of this blog. Each vocalist in the chart has been fairly analyzed before and if there are any questions as to why a vocalist is ranked as they are, the explanation is well within each vocalist’s individual analysis.

So after being able to finalize this big project and finally come up with a ranking chart and more than 100 analyses in the blog, we have reached our goal. To educate, to have a reliable source fans can rely on to find each and every vocalist they’ve ever been curious about and read about them all. Of course this is not the end of what we’ve started, many more vocalists will still be analyzed within the Korean music industry. So without any further ado, enjoy the rankings.

If there’s a question as to why a vocalist is ranked where they are, each individual vocalist in this chart has an analysis. So before calling anyone biased or before resorting to name calling, take the time to read these analyses carefully. If even after reading the analyses, there are questions and oppositions, don’t hesitate to maturely explain why you disagree with this chart. Keep in mind this chart is about VOCAL TECHNIQUE and vocal technique ONLY.

The rankings will be regularly updated as vocalists improve or regress.

 

Males:

vocalrankingguys

Females:

vocalrankinggirls

Last updated : December 25th, 2016

Overtime, an Idol’s vocal technique may either improve or deteriorate, therefore this list shall be constantly updated when new material surfaces and significant changes are consistently seen in the vocalist’s technique. Also, when more detailed analyses are given on idols, an idol may no longer be on the list or my find himself/herself in a higher or lower position.

This ranking is not to be taken out of context or to be used in any sort of way for petty arguments between fandoms nor to create fanwars. It’s a ranking created in order to give a visual interpretation and summarize the overall idea of the blog with each vocalist’s rating compared to one another. It is not created to offend anyone and is to be taken as seriously as one might wish to and should not interfere with anyone’s choice as a fan or affect how you see your favorite singer.

Even so, we are very open towards opinions and suggestions. If you find that an idol is not in the correct position, or that somebody else deserves a spot and we didn’t list them, do let us know. Link us to the idol’s performance and we will analyze it. If your reasoning is proven we will alter the ranking. As with what we’ve mentioned before, this list will be updated regularly.

We would also like to remind you that the ranking is completely objective and is solely based on VOCAL TECHNIQUE. Emotions, stage presence, entertainment factor, tone will all be ignored as they are purely subjective. If you feel that your bias is an emotional singer, someone else may not. Things that are subjective cannot be used as valid reasons for an idol’s rank.

Please refer to our judging criteria here if you are unsure how we determine an idols rank. If someone is placed above another Idol, it usually means that they are a more consistent vocalist, have better and more developed placements and registers, and is more resonant than the people below them.

FYI

These rankings include idols and young solo artists only. This means vocalists like Sohyang, Park Hyo Shin, Naul, etc are not considered idols, therefore, they are not ranked.

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332 thoughts on “Ranking of Vocalists

  1. I think AOA yuna deserves an analysis too, sometimes she seems to be a stronger vocalist than choa but idk. What do you think of Hyejeong ? she’s actually not that bad

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  2. I’m so shock that Hyorin was decreases so much! And I thought that She is better than Taeyeon & Luna (I think way back before in 2013-2014 when I discovered this website LOL)

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    1. I would need more context. How long ago was that? Where did you see it? Because Taeyeon improved and if those were my thoughts prior to Wendy’s analysis, again they are just guesses. Pandayeu gets the final word since he analyzed them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. how would you rank Jihyo(Twice), Yuju, Seunghee (OMG), Seunghee(CLC) , Yeonjung(WJSN), Sejeong(Gugudan),Rose(Blackpink) and jinsol(April) overall based on their technique? and who do you think will have the most potential ?

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  4. I wonder if you have watch hidden singer IU’s episode where Shannon hitting the IU’s famous high note . I find it quite weird and unstable where IU’s is good? what do you think ?

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    1. Yes, we’ve seen it. IU’s high notes aren’t good, they’re just louder. Shannon’s are softer, headier, lighter, controlled. I don’t know what you consider “unstable” because there was no shaking, no wobbliness, no faltering in pitch. She just didn’t use throat tension, air pressure or volume to sing. She controlled her voice, differently from IU who yells with a lot of tension when singing those three high notes. IU is a lot less “stable” because her voice sounds like it’s about to crack from the excessive air and throat pressure.

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      1. I know but the thread is referring to a comparison between Shannon and IU so I thought you were saying IU is confident which is why she was louder than Shannon but like I still don’t know if confidence is why.

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    1. You should ask the people who say it, because I’m not them. There’s no way for me to know what they mean. Potential can mean being a diamond in the rough, showing natural talent but lacking refined skill.

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  5. Good morning admins!
    couple of questions if you guys don’t mind 🙂

    1) Yeonji is ranked slightly higher than Luna. From what I gather, despite luna having a semitone(?) lower in the lower range and a semitone higher in the upper range and D5/Eb5 compared to yeonji’s Eb5, it is because Yeonji has more consistent and bigger resonance than Luna and does better above her supported range(better placement and balance), at least in her mix. Is this somewhat accurate?

    2) for the proficient girls, is Eunji the one who does the best outside her supported middle register range? I know Taeyeon has some supported and resonant Eb5s here and there but mostly is just tight and strained whereas Eunji seems to be able to maintain some support on Eb5? Not enough to call them supported but the support is there somewhat, as well as very nice placement. Like her Eb5s don’t really sound bad, and her E5s aren’t that bad either? Wendy mixes well too so maybe her? I could be way off the mark, so please do correct me if I am mistaken 😀

    thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey at least you know it’s morning lol
      1. Yes, better tone production, control and consistency sets them apart.
      2. Wendy mixes well but the tension is there, more so than Taeyeon for an example. As for Eunji, her mixing is nice but the tension is there on Eb5. But yeah their mixing in itself is better than other girls.

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  6. Just want to share a bit. I was once very judgemental about your blog here. I thought how can you rate a singer ? What the hell is vocal technique or does it even important. ? But time after time I finally start to understand what you are talking about , my ear begin to notice a singer technique level , what is the meaning of vocal technique and how it’s measureable & not just a bs.
    So i just want to say , keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kpop have many singer with good vocals, but for live performances, sohyang is the best kpop singer for me.,,she just not sing, but she also tell the song.,,
    from my observation, other kpop singer sing with good vocal just to show to the audience that they cang sing with high note,.,they can’t sing with tell the story n feeling of song..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol i think sohyang is too offensive as a singer , unless you are an opera fans , It’s difficult to really enjoy her singing.
      Kpop is like what it says , a pop music , pop = popular ,
      the singer doesn’t have to be highly technical , as long as their music are enjoyable then they are good enough.
      Personally i prefer vocalist in AA to P level. Since they have adequate vocal technique and also making easy-listening music

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      1. No offense but you just sounded a tad rude here. Offensive as a singer? Difficult to enjoy her singing? Well, you’re entitled to your opinion but it’s unfair to compare Sohyang with Kpop because she’s a gospel singer, not an idol. Kpop is the most internationally-recognized, but IMO, Korean music really have to thank these non-idols amazing technical singers as well because when I started listening to Kpop, I was under the impression that they really don’t care about singing talent whatsoever. At least a singer like Sohyang proves that Korea can produce immensely talented singers.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You are right.. Sohyang is the best technical singer from all the singers rated here, followed by jung dong ha. But let’s not forget, this list compiles Kpop idols/singers only, and sohyang isn’t really a kpop idol/singer. She’s a gospel singer. I love Sohyang too..

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      1. Kpop is more performance based , complete & complex performance which combines sing , dance , concept with modern instrumental as their music base..i don’t believe kpop idol are less talented. they are trained to do 2 things well together which is sing & dance and it isn’t easy at all to do. Ailee is an example of both good singer & good dancer at the same time. I don’t believe sohyang is more talented overally

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  8. Not kpop , but what rank lady gaga is ? I can’t explain in detail but i think she is at least good vocalist ? She is above Demi Lovato & adele imo. People overlook her singing skills Because of her controversial style but i think she is quite skilled vocalist. Am i right ?

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    1. Yes you are right. Please look through the comment section of other pages before asking because you’re not the first nor the last to ask. Also this question is kind of unrelated to this page. She would be a good to great mezzo soprano.

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  9. Hi, I see all your hard work in this blog and I don’t want to sound annoying but, do you think some members of Seventeen have potential? I know they’re very talented at producing, dancing and writing but i’m not sure about singing. How would you rank Seungkwan, DK, Woozi, Joshua and Jeonghan?

    Thank you for your attention and sorry for my bad english.

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    1. Your English is perfectly fine. I’m sorry but we won’t rate vocalists without an analysis but DK can support and Seungkwan can produce resonance so that means they’re skilled enough. Unfortunately they’re the only two members who can support so that makes all the other ones fairly less skilled.

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    1. Copy-paste:
      “I’ll answer only because I am somewhat familiar with her. Charice Pemepegco has matured into what I believe would be most likely classified as a mezzo soprano. She tends to sing with a lot of tongue tension and a pushed down larynx, even in her lower range. She’s had some nice moments of support even down to E3, but her mix becomes really throaty, shouty and pushed even around Bb4. I’ve heard some occasional good moments up to C5 perhaps when she was younger, but never consistently. Most filipina vocalists try to imitate western vocalists, particularly those of african american descent. They do it by pushing their larynxes down with their tongues rolled back, which makes their voices sound much thicker than they naturally are, so they sound forced and pushed. All this causes a lot of tension. Charice would not be rated anywhere above average if even that high. I’m not sure she’s even able to produce resonance without tension.”

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  10. I think I have said this before (or maybe not) but this is the best idea for a blog ever. Thank you so much for the hardwork. I know nothing of music and vocal technique, but through your blog I’ve been able to educate myself a tiny bit (really tiny bit xD) and I really enjoy reading your analyses.

    This chart is really useful, not to mention pretty 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A diferença é que são vozes diferentes. Um full lyric é uma voz exclusive para tenores e sopranos. Barítonos e mezzos só podem ser lyric, sem light ou full lyric. Grossa não é uma boa definição porque Full Lyrics tem um som maior do que o dos light lyrics, mas barítonos e mezzos podem ter voz leve, só que mais grave e que ficam numa região mais grave de alcance de notas. Por um exemplo, Junho e Key não barítonos de voz grossa, mas o John Park e o Hwanhee são. A diferença de um full lyric para um light lyric é o tamanho da voz, e a maturidade do som, um barítono e uma mezzo são realmente um outra categoria de voz. As vozes tem 3 grandes categories, mezzo, soprano e contralto, ou tenor, baixo e barítono. E aí além disso, eles tem sub-categorias como spinto, light lyric, full lyric, dramatic, leggero e coloratura. Dramatics e spintos também tem “voz grossa.”

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  11. I love this chart so much haha. I come back here occasionally when I’m too lazy to read an analysis over. It’s so convenient (and satisfying…)
    I always feel like I should be happy when some of my favorite idols are in average to above average but then I look up and note most of my favorites are actually in proficient and I feel sad for those average ones that I like lol. Hopefully the few stragglers in my bias list can make their way up there sometime! ;u;

    On the note of average though, I’m curious–by average is it kind of like average among most singers (within the world or kpop) or average among people in general? I’m assuming the former (considering that most people with no vocal training are weak (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere?)). Like the ones who are in average are legitimately just the typical singer.
    Maybe you don’t even consider “average” to be correlated to the world of singers? Like it’s just a rating that’s not connected to the overall singer population?

    This is probably a dumb question, haha. And it’s probably hard to understand (sorry!) but I’m curious as to how you describe the average singers in that regard.

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    1. It’s average within professional vocalists, not average within normal people. Normal people are mostly weak vocalists, which is why all sub-vocalists from every group that I know of would fall under the weak rating. Because they’re not trained to be main vocalists, so they can’t sing like an averagely trained vocalist. Average in our rating could be associate with any contemporary vocalist, K-pop or not. No, your question makes perfect sense.

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