IU: Currently the #1 female soloist, sells amazingly physically and digitally including non-title tracks. Made a successful comeback following a scandal and is active as an actress.
Ailee: Has quickly risen with several digital hits and also make a comeback following a scandalous picture incident. She lacks the fanbase that other soloists in their tier have however.
Lee Hyori: The Queen for over a decade, had a successful comeback but did not sell as well digitally or physically as before. She remains relevant and a hot topic nonetheless.
BoA: Still sells well physical for a soloist and has maintained decent digital sales. Her appearance as a judge on Kpop Star helped her image but takes long breaks between releases.
Baek Ji Young: A long time popular soloist is now more known for her OSTs. Still her release manage good physical and digital sales. Since her marriage and miscarriage many wonder if she will ever make another comeback.
Ga-in: Coming from BEG, she is now the adult sex symbol with decent digital and physical sales. Her song concepts help her stand out and remain on everyone's minds.
Lee Hi: New on the list, Lee Hi has shown she has a solid fanbase with the 3rd best selling album physically behind IU and BoA. She already has 4 songs on GAON's yearly Top 200 and has great potential following her appearance on Kpop Star.
Hyuna: Had a huge hit with Bubble Pop but Ice Cream did not do as well. Her physical sales are decent and her Youtube views very high. She has the potential to do well with the right song but her image controversies and limited vocal range might get in the way.
Lyn: Also more known for her OSTs, she still manages to do very well well with songs like Tonight and Teddy Bear. Lacks physical sales due to her adult fanbase.
Lim Kim (Yerim): Like Lee Hi she is new and from a TV Show but already making a name for herself with her husky voice. However, she has not repeated the success of her debut song Alright and needs to build a fanbase.
Gummy: Like many older female soloists she is known for her OSTs and has not released a physical album in a long time. With a new company however, things are looking up and while her most recent digital single You'll Think of Me did decently, with full promotions and an album she could make a comeback.
Younha: Was once the national's little sister and popular in Japan. Today she continues to have good physical sales for a female soloist and her songs usually rank on GAON's yearly charts. Should she promote more on TV Music Shows she may do better.
Sunmi: Just debuted as a soloist but already gaining a fanbase and doing decently digitally. Many wonder if she could pull off other images and more vocally trying songs.
Park Ji Yoon: Once a sexy diva under JYP is now known for her distinctive high voice and is under a new company. Mr. Lee did well but suffered from plagiarism accusations and Beep has not managed to chart too well. Still she has a dedicated following and her past songs are still influential and covered.
Ali: Known for her distinctive voice and successful collaborations, her title tracks tend to be hit or miss in terms of digital rankings.
JUNIEL: Has a fanbase among rock and acoustic fans which is reflected in her decent physical sales. Still managed to chart her title tracks on the GAON top 200 but nothing reaching close to her debut success with illa illa.
G.NA: Was thought to be the next big female soloist, her songs and physical albums have done progressively worse with her image going from power ballad to Seo In Young circa Cinderella era without the same popularity. Still she seems to have a dedicated fanbase, some say because of her glamorous body.
Yoo Seung Eun: Her debut Be Ok did extremely well but nothing has followed since. Her physical sales show she does not have a fanbase built yet but has all the potential.
CL: Has not yet had a physical album but has a fanbase from 2NE1 and hip-hop/trap lovers. Not telling if she could have mainstream success or if her music will remain a niche.
Ivy: Sonata of Temptation was a national level hit but following controversies and agency problems Ivy has managed only limited success with her last few albums. She still charts on GAON top 200 however and still has some fans.
Lim Jung Hee: Another former JYP soloist whose company and image change meant a drop in popularity. Her last comeback just managed to squeeze onto the GAON top 200.
NS Yoon-G: If You Love Me did really well and her new album seems to be getting decent sales.
Zia: known more for OSTs but has a small dedicated fanbase. She is known as a singer with "no face" since she does not promote much. She has charted on GAON but her lack of public visibility means she has almost no activities outside release music and a few performances.
Past Divas: The following singers have huge hits under their names and could also make comebacks but have not charted on yearly charts recently.
Son Dambi - Crazy and Saturday Night were huge but her most recent comeback with Red Candle fell off the charts after 3 weeks.
Lexy - Used to have big hits under YG but has not had success under her new company.
Lee Jung Hyun - Used to be the undisputed Queen, still does ok but usually only charts 5 or 6 weeks
Seo In Young - Cinderella was a big hit but nothing has come close since, Please Love Me showed signs that she could have a big comeback.
Insooni - Her career spans decades and she continues to release music but hasn't had a huge hit in years.
Jung In - Her deep husky voice has many fans and Rainy Season is played every summer but she isn't known to chart well digitally or sell well physically.
Female Soloists on GAON Yearly 2013 Download Chart
#17 Ailee - U&I: 1,244,748
#35 Lyn - Tonight: 1,116,295
#38 Lee Hi - Rose: 1,101,275
#39 Lim Kim - Alright: 1,091,190
#42 IU - The Red Shoes: 1,069,672
#44 Baek Ji Young - Hate It: 1,048,599
#53 Lee Hyori - Miss Korea: 971,288
#67 Lee Hyori - Bad Girls: 894,631
#72 Lee Hi - Its Over: 857,918
#79 Yoo Seung Eun - Be Ok: 803,950
#83 BoA - Disturbance: 793,770
#85 Park Ji Yoon - Mr. Lee: 789,226
#93 Sunmi - 24 Hours: 763,750
#94 Younha - The Real Reason We Broke Up: 763,543
#109 Ali - Eraser: 723,673
#123 Lyn - Glass Heart: 672,465
#139 JUNIEL - Cute Guy: 613,120
#153 Hyorin - One Way Love: 580,515
#156 IU - Everyone Has Secrets: 573,315
#170 CL - The Baddest Female: 549,324
#175 Ailee - I'll Show You: 534,590
#186 G.NA - Oops!: 498,011
#190 Younha - Thats Not It: 490,070
#191 Ivy - I Dance: 489,879
#192 Lim Jung Hee - Luv Is: 489,817
Female Soloists on GAON Yearly 2012 Download Chart
#6 Ailee - Heaven: 3,227,917
#15 IU - End of Each Day: 2,527,530
#27 IU - You & I: 2,267,397
#32 Baek Ji Young - Voice: 2,189,415
#38 JUNIEL - illa illa: 2,070,345
#41 BoA - Only One: 2,057,478
#45 Lee Hi - 1,2,3,4: 1,995,018
#52 Ailee - I'll Show You: 1,894,902
#61 Ga-in - Bloom: 1,802,996
#75 G.NA - 2Hot: 1,626,839
#79 Lyn - Teddy Bear: 1,602,435
#82 Baek Ji Young - Good Boy: 1,581,428
#96 IU - Peach: 1,384,071
#101 Miryo - Dirty: 1,360,244
#111 Hyuna - Ice Cream: 1,285,770
#150 Zia - Depressed: 1,055,370
#157 Baek Ah Yeon - Sad Song: 1,018,099
#161 JUNIEL - Bad Guy: 996,348
#178 J-Cera - Love City: 924,744
#179 Ivy - Hurt Heart: 920,407
#188 Lee Hi - Scarecrow: 877,502
Female Soloists on GAON Yearly 2011 Download Chart
#15 IU - You & I: 2,934,107
#21 Hyuna - Bubble Pop: 2,694,310
#32 Park Bom - Don't Cry: 2,512,950
#37 IU - Good Day: 2,286,342
#38 G.NA - Black & White: 2,284,116
#50 IU - Story Only I Didn't Know: 2,118,880
#69 G.NA - Top Girl: 1,906,619
#78 Baek Ji Young - Common: 1,809,146
#81 Yoon Mi Rae (T) - Get It In: 1,794,085
#105 Navi - For the Best: 1,611,349
#107 Lim Jung Hee - Golden Lady: 1,602,615
#110 Song Ji Eun - Going Crazy: 1,581,465
#114 IU - Secret: 1,517,178
#118 Kim Bo Kyung - Day by Day: 1,504,898
#120 Zia - Hope its You: 1,483,604
#133 Zia - The Way I Am: 1,383,629
#136 YangPa - It Hurts: 1,350,475
#143 Lee Sora - Wind if Blowing: 1,319,066
#148 Joo - Bad Guy: 1,283,909
#155 IU - Uncle: 1,255,778
#165 Hyuna - A Bitter Day: 1,194,214
#178 Kan Mi Youn - Paparazzi: 1,121,148
#184 IU - Sleeping Prince: 1,097,960
#186 Kim Greem - You're the Only One: 1,079,724
#191 IU - Cruel Fairytale: 1,051,453
#194 Navi - Diary: 1,048,155
Female Soloists Physical Sales [2011-2014 March]:
IU - Last Fantasy: 114,997
IU - Real: 43,795 (2010)
IU - Modern Times: 43,120
Boa - Only One: 35,971
IU - Spring of a 20 Year Old - 34,362
IU - Real+ 21,361
Lee Hi - First Love: 18,924
Lee Hyori - Monochrome: 16,847
Younha - Supersonic 15,110
Baek Ji Young - Flash Back: 14,824
IU - IM...IU: 12,678 (2009)
IU - Growing Up: 12,402 (2009)
Hyuna - Melting: 12,297
G.NA - Black and White 11,075
Ailee - A Doll's House: 10,920
Baek Ji Young: Timeless 10,838
IU - Modern Times Epilogue: 10,000
Ga-in - Bloom: 9,855
Hyuna - Bubble Pop 9,851
Younha - Subsonic: 9,705
Hyorin - Love & Hate: 9,703
Younha - Just Listen: 8,925
Baek Ji Young - Pitta 8,452
G.NA - Top Girl 7,926
Ailee - Invitation: 6,788
Ga-in - Truth or Dare: 6,509
Juniel - My First June 6,508
G.NA - Bloom: 5,024
Sunmi - Full Moon: 4,774
IU - Lost and Found: 4,355 (2008)
Juniel - 1&1: 4,186
Baek Ji Young - Good Boy 4,159
Park Ji Yoon - Tree of Life 3,719
G.NA - Beautiful Kisses: 3,465
Ivy - Interview 3,112
Kim Yerim - Goodbye 20: 2,753
Ali - Soulli 2,459
Baek Ah Yeon - I'm Baek 2,148
Kim Yerim - Her Voice: 2,035
Baek Ah Yeon - A Good Girl: 1,765
Ali - Immortal: 1,720
Kim Yerim - A Voice: 1,632
Ivy - I Dance: 1,579
Zia - Anemone: 1,377
Lyn - Love Fiction Part II 1,005
Lyn - Le Grand Bleu: 1,000
Ali - Eraser: 812
Ali - Soulli: 700
Totals [2011-2014 March]:
Baek Ji Young: 38,273
Lee Hi: 18,924
Lee Hyori: 16,847
Kim Yerim: 6,420
Baek Ah Yeon: 3,913
Park Ji Yoon: 3,719
THIS IS MY OPINION SO JUST RELAX!
- I used more recent sales to show how these artists are doing now. So some albums (like IU's Real) were released in 2010 but this is to show how well albums continue to sell.
- When relevant currently, a singer's past performance was considered but only if it continues to play into their current image (such as photoshoots and CFs ect..)
*Digital list not taking OSTs into account.
** Did not do a download total because downloads have changed so much.
***Listed physicals for singers that ranked on the yearly download chart, others have sales but were not listed.