When it comes to K-pop, it is safe to say that idol groups rule the land. If one were to ask those in said community who their favorite K-pop acts or who sings their favorite K-pop singles, they would most-likely mention an idol group about 99 percent of the time. This does not mean that solo acts cannot be popular. All anyone needs to do is look at IU, Ailee, or BoA to see they debunk the generalizations.
However, the aforementioned K-pop solo acts are exemptions. Usually, solo acts are branched off of K-pop idol groups. CL came off of 2NE1, HyunA came off of 4Minute, and Taeyeon came off of Girls’ Generation. With the exception of Youngji pursuing a solo career after KARA if the other members disband the group, K-pop fans wonder who will be the next breakout soloist from a K-pop idol group in 2016. According to a poll, that person is Hani of EXID.
According to Kpop Fighting, netizens were asked one simple question through the music website Genie and mobile application service Cashslide on which idol girl group member is likely to find success as a solo singer in 2016. It wasn’t revealed if there were options given or if the 1,026 netizens polled to openly pick any member as long as they were part of a idol girl group. In the end however, Hani of EXID earned a staggering 46.2 percent of the total votes. The first runner-up was Soyou of SISTAR at 21.6 percent followed by Moonbyul of MAMAROO at 17 percent. It was also revealed that Hani’s votes were evenly split between men and women voters, while more women voted for both Soyou and Moonbyul.
The question some are asking is, why Hani? Aren’t there other individuals from more prominent K-pop idol girl groups who have a better chance at a solo career? The truth is there are many other K-pop idols who would do well with a solo career, but Hani seems to be on fire among fans. First off, her group EXID did extremely well last year. Continuing off of their residual popularity gained from their smash hit “Up & Down,” they followed-up with another hit single titled “Ah Yeah” early in 2015. Finally, they capped off the year with “Hot Pink.”
As for Hani herself, she’s been in the spotlight outside of her K-pop idol girl group responsibilities in EXID. She made plenty of appearances on Korean television specifically variety shows. As a matter of fact, Hani’s total number of appearances come up to 20 which is way more than the other members of EXID combined. Though six of her appearances were on the main cast, which includes Off to School, Crime Scene, Soulmates Return, My Little Television, and Law of the Jungle, it is her guest appearances many remember. So far, her most popular appearances are on Running Man, especially the one episode when she went against “big sister” Song Ji Hyo.
To top off her popularity, Hani is one half of the first official Korean celebrity relationship of 2016. Right around New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it was confirmed that Hani and Junsu of JYJ are dating. When it was made known both of them had been dating for six months prior to the announcement, many K-pop fans – especially those who are L.E.G.O. (hardcore fans of EXID) – went through tons of footage trying to find indications of Hani and Junsu’s relationship prior to announcement.
It should be noted that Hani winning the poll does not mean she will have a solo career in 2016. However, the label EXID is signed to, LOEN Entertainment, will most-likely notice taking what the K-pop community thinks in consideration.
[Image via EXID/LOEN Entertainment Promotions for “Hot Pink”]