On January 2nd, the Rolling Stone, an American monthly magazine that focuses on music and pop culture, named Korean singer IU and BTS’s Jungkook as “Greatest Singers of All Time.” They were the only K-pop singers on the list revealed this Monday. Rolling stone listed 200 singers from all generations and regions including Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce and Mariah Carey.
According to the magazine, what mattered the most when they were ranking the singers were “originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy.”
IU is the highest-ranked Korean singer on the list at No. 135. Rolling Stone stated that her 2010 breakout hit “Good Day” allowed her become one of the most highly respected vocalists in South Korean music industry. Her popular hits include “Lilac,” “Blueming,” and “Bbibbi.” She is also very well-known and loved by the public for making many donations to the society. Recently, the singer donated 200 million won to a great cause in honor of her 14th debut anniversary.
“Despite having a soft voice, she has a wide range, a powerful delivery, and a versatility that has allowed her to move easily from bossa nova to Nineties chamber pop and from jazz to ballads. In 2022, she became the first Korean female soloist to headline a concert at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium, selling out the venue in five minutes, with peers and admirers like Jungkook of BTS, Jihyo and Jeongyeon of Twice, and TXT’s Soobin and Beomgyu there to celebrate her triumph.”
Meanwhile, Jungkook placed 191st. Rolling Stone called the youngest BTS member an “extremely gifted singer.” “Jungkook boasts a long list of talents – he is a strong performer, written several songs, and is known to be extremely hardworking and humble despite the success he has experienced at such an early age. He is also an extremely gifted singer,” the magazine described. Last year, when his track with Charlie Puth, “Left and Right” became the fastest song by a Korean soloist to surpass 400 million streams on Spotify, Puth referred to him as one of the only artists “to have ever sent me perfect vocals.”