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.

LIST OF ANALYSES

Males:

Females:

vocalrankinggirls

Last updated : December 25th, 2016

No change to be done as of: May 28th, 2017

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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912 thoughts on “Ranking of Vocalists

    1. Infelizmente não, não posso com certeza absoluta. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Natalie Weiss, Beyoncé e etc são possibilidades mas não ideia de homens.

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      1. anyway, valeu a tentativa, estava pensando também oque você acha do Adam Lambert, você acha ele um vocalista pelo menos na media?

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    1. As a yuju’s fan, i try to answer your question.
      wendy’s lower register and upper register is far from yuju.
      wendy can support down to F#3/G3 but yuju is around A3/Bb3
      wendy’s head voice can support up to A5/Bb5 but yuju is around E5 or nothing.

      their mixed voice in a similar level (in my opinion)
      wendy can support up to C#5/D5 and Yuju can support up to C5/C#5.
      But wendy is lack of openness in her mixed voice so she can’t produce resonance in mixed voice. yuju can produce resonance occasionally.

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      1. From what I remember, Yuju did a supported F5 once, but it was in a vocal line and thus very short. Considering everything I think she’d be between Solar and Bohyung.

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  1. I thought the gap between Taeyeon and jimin would be larger? Jimin seems to have a solid F#3/G3 to Taeyeon G3/G#3 and her head voice says resonance until A5. Taeyeon only has C#5/D5 as her advantage

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      1. Hopefully pandayeu can see this haha. Is there some way to ask Pandayeu about this? If not it is okay. Thank you for your time Ahmin as always hyung! (it says on your twitter profile that you are a 92 liner kekeke)

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      1. personally i think most of people know that she is one of the best singers out ther.it is just because some call her she is the best of all singers where is there are singers who can be higher than her.so if people think that she is overrated they mean being called the best idol singer not her technique ..actually taeyeon is one of few singers who most agree that she has both technique ,timbre,feeling….

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    1. If you read the text, you’ll see this list only includes vocalists who have debuted in 2014 or earlier and have been analyzed on this blog.

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  2. Hey, I was watching a video titled “great singers with bad technuiqe” and singers such as ariana grande and demi lovato were on it. I got semi confused by the title because i thought in order to be a good singer you have to use good technique? what makes a singer good without proper technique?

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    1. Did they explain what they meant with the word “singer”? Cause some people differentiate singer from vocalist as someone who sings and emotes, more so than singing with proper technique.

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  3. thanks for your feedback, so there’s a difference between a singer and a vocalist? If that’s the case I definitely have a better understanding.

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    1. Some people claim there is. Some people who were part of this blog started that notion, I personally don’t feel as passionate about it.

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  4. Why is Sunny so lower than Kei and Suhyun?They have close low register and same mixed register but sunny has done resonance and has supported in the 5th octave sometimes and her high register is much better. I read in her analysis it says she has big pitch problems. Is her pitch problems that kind of disaster so even if her mix is a little better and her high register is much better than she is that much lower than them? Sorry if I sound rude English is not my first language

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    1. Resonance is a more advanced skill that is a good skill, but having produced resonance rarely does not make you a better vocalist than someone else. Our analyses don’t rate vocalists based on their inconsistent achievements, we rate them based on their most consistent states. Kei and Suhyun are more consistent vocalists than Sunny with proper support, placement and pitch. Whereas Sunny can be quite inconsistent with her airflow, making her vibrato very wobbly, her vocal cords not connect properly and her pitch unstable, Suhyun and Kei rarely have moments of such obvious drops of support. Because consistent support is more basic than resonance and a more important thing to be able to do consistently than some occasional moments of resonance. Even within her consistently supported range, Suhyun and Kei have better developed chest voices than Sunny, better support and connection throughout the fourth octave and both have used supported head voices. Sunny’s only real advantage over them is a more developed and consistent head voice. You’re fine, don’t worry! It’s okay to ask questions!

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    1. É só ler o texto antes das charts que você vai ver porque a Sohyang não foi incluída. A chart mesmo diz: “Idol ranking,” a Sohyang não é Idol.

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  5. I don’t want to sound rude but.. how can you put Jun.K from 2PM, this low? he has a strong voice and good technique (because I know that having a strong voice doesn’t make everything) I think that anyone who would hear his vocals, would put him higher!..

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    1. Well have you taken the time to read his vocal analysis? This isn’t a ranking we made up out of nowhere, as described in the post we analyzed each individual vocalist first and we have analyses for all 120+ of them. So do give his analysis a try, because it goes more in depth on his vocal technique and his shortcomings as well as strengths. Here’s a link to his analysis:
      https://kpopvocalanalysis.net/2015/11/19/2pms-vocal-analysis-jun-k/amp/

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      1. I checked this vocal analysis but for someone like Jun.K who has an interesting voice and really fits the R&B genre, i’m pretty surprised to see that he’s almost at the bottom? Also I saw a lot of people really appreciating his vocals with Think About You?

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      2. It sounds like you didn’t really understand the point of the analysis. As you know this is a blog about vocal technique, not about who has an interesting voice. Actually it’s not about his voice at all, it’s about HOW he uses his voice. Him having an interesting voice or fitting R&B or people appreciating his vocals are irrelevant things because that’s got nothing to do with vocal technique. Appreciation means to like his voice, but it doesn’t mean he has good vocal technique. Sounding pleasant to your ears is not the same as having good vocal technique either. Again I ask that you read his analysis carefully and try to understand it, also look at our criteria to understand the context of the analysis. Is there anything you read that was unclear that I could explain to you better?

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      3. I tried to reply to your last comment but I couldn’t so I’m replying to the old one but maybe the “airy” part and his nasality? Because I think I see what you mean by nasality (for example in TVXQ) but I never had this feeling with Jun.K? Also I hope you understand that I’m not trying to be rude but I also hope you see why it’s pretty surprising to see him this low, I’m not a JYP stan but I always thought that he was the best vocalist in this company (Junho is an excellent vocalist too but I thought that his technique was not as good as Jun.K and the fact that his voice was more “soft” could hide it). Also I know that saying that he has an interesting voice doesn’t prove anything but I always say this when I listen to a vocalist who seems to have an “interesting” technique and could explore it more

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      4. It’s perfectly fine to ask questions so don’t worry! So airiness for him is an underlying quality, as if his voice had a balloon with a small hole so the airiness escaping through is there but always there. That’s due to improper vocal cord connection and irregular airflow. Also the nasality often happens on and off, mostly in his higher notes where he places the sound more towards his nose. The biggest thing I want you to pay attention to is that Jun.K is a tenor but he has issues with shallow and weak breath support as early as F4/F#4 which is low in a tenor voice. He starts straining early, which every other vocalist above him does better. They use better support, have better vocal cord connection, better muscle development, better placement, can produce resonance (Above average and above) and support much higher. Well JYP has produced much more technically skilled vocalists. Did you mean males, perhaps? Because even then Jokwon and Changmin have fat better developed technique.

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      5. Ooh I didn’t know that he had a weak breath support for some notes, but is it really obvious or it depends? Also I’m not sure but I think he’ll probably release another solo album before his enlistment, does this ranking always change when there’s some improvement in an idol’s vocal technique? Also were you surprised by his vocals in his last two albums (like Think About You or No Shadow) or not? I thought his technique at the end of Think About It was impressive but I don’t know if a specialist would think the same

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      6. It’s actually not some notes, it’s a good portion of his range and it is pretty noticeable if you’re used to hearing the difference between supported and unsupported singing. Yes this ranking is subject to change if vocalists improve or regress. Most of the time vocalists don’t show changes overtime because they don’t change their vocal habits. What do you mean at the end of the song? You mean like a high note? Cause if it’s a high note, he’s straining and so I’m afraid that wouldn’t be an impressive feat. I haven’t heard improvement from him so if he releases a new album and his vocal habits are the same, nothing is new.

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