If you just joined your K-Pop fandom fairly recently, or if your birth year starts with a 2, it’s likely that you have no clue just who BoA is. Despite the recent celebrations and commemorative covers that SM Entertainment is putting out to celebrate her 20th anniversary, many still undermine BoA’s success and hard work. BoA’s success literally paved the way for many K-Pop idols today, especially in Japan. For those not yet in the know of this iconic legend, here is a definitive trajectory of the Queen of K-pop’s entire career.
1. Her debut in 2000, at the age of 13
She was just a mere 13 years old when she debuted, probably the youngest ever to successfully debut, even as the generations shift and idols as young as 14 are debuting currently. With her debut in August 2000, just a few months shy of her 14th birthday, she took the K-Pop world by storm with her powerful dance and song for “ID; Peace B”.
2. BoA’s Japanese Debut
She debuted in Japan just a year later in 2001, with the same song but with Japanese lyrics. At a young age, she had to travel overseas with only the staff for comfort and reliance, and had to pick up a new language. During a period where the relations between the two countries were still icy, she played a huge part in opening the gates for future K-Pop acts to perform in Japan. On Happy Together, Yoo Jae Seok praised her being the first K-Pop artist to perform in Japan. She shared that she had to do interviews and stages without any interpreter, and she took the public transport around.
3. Winning her first Daesang in 2002
With the iconic song, “No.1” that is still covered widely by many of her junior artists currently, she won her first Daesang award when she was only a mere 16 years old. The song shot to the top of the charts and she was catapulted into stardom. It stayed at number 1 for 4 whole months. This was only her second album.
4. So this happened…
Local broadcasting station SBS was so excited that Britney Spears was coming to South Korea for her Asia tour, that they set up an entire Christmas special dedicated to the Queen of Asia, BoA, and the Queen of Pop, Britney. The special saw them interacting and performing, as well as exchanging gifts. This happened in 2003.
5. The first Western x K-Pop Crossover
In 2003, BoA collaborated with Irish band, Westlife, to deliver a duet of their famous song, “Flying Without Wings”. Subsequently, BoA collaborated with many other world-famous stars, including J-pop’s Koda Kumi.
6. Her success in Japan
With her album, THE FACE, in 2008, BoA became one of the only two artists to have six consecutive studio albums top the weekly Oricon charts. THE FACE debuted at number one on the Oricon charts, back then a difficult feat for foreign artists.
7. Becoming the first K-Pop artist to chart on Billboard
With her debut U.S single, “Eat You Up” in 2008, followed by a U.S studio album in 2009, BoA was one of the first K-Pop artists to make their debut in the U.S. She performed “Eat You Up” at the 2008 Jingle Ball at the Anaheim Honda Center, truly showing the mark of her success. Her one and only U.S album, BoA, charted at 127 on the Billboard 200 and 3rd on the Top Heatseekers chart.
8. Her Hollywood Debut
Did you know she was in a full-blown Hollywood movie in 2013? The movie, Make Your Move, stars Dancing With The Stars‘ Derek Hough and showcases both stars’ snazzy dance moves.
9. “Only One”
Her 2012 song, “Only One”, remains one of the most famous singles of hers to this day. She never fails to perform it at every SM Town concert, featuring various partners for the choreography, including her best friend, TVXQ‘s Yunho, as well as EXO‘s Sehun and NU’EST‘s Minhyun. Check out a fanmade video of her various partners for the choreography.
10. Becoming a director at SM Entertainment
In 2014, she was appointed as a creative director at SM Entertainment. She is in charge of artist mental health and communication.
11. Becoming the MC and “producer” for “Produce 101” Season 2
BoA was announced MC and representative nation’s producer for hit series, Produce 101‘s second season, mentoring who would become Wanna One and the other trainees.
12. The Upside-down walk
In 2018, with her single “Woman”, BoA’s difficult choreography including this upside-down walk made waves for the high level of control needed. BoA later shared that this particular move was strenuous and painful to carry out.
13. BoA’s 20th Anniversary
Last but not least, her 20th Anniversary! Although 2018 saw her last musical release, SM Entertainment is celebrating her 20th Anniversary with a series of cover songs for a special album, Our Beloved BoA. The company is rightfully going all out to celebrate this amazing artist! Congratulations BoA!