When global superstars BTS covered Coldplay’s “Fix You” on MTV Unplugged, they impressed viewers worldwide and Coldplay themselves with their sentimental take on the 2005 alt-rock song. But to ARMY—as avid fans of BTS are called—this doesn’t come as a surprise, since members of the group have been covering English songs for quite a while now and have always done a good job at it. If you need proof, just check out V’s cover of “Someone Like You” by Adele or Jungkook and RM’s rendition of Troye Sivan’s “Fools.”
Pretty awesome, huh?
While they have chart-toppers of their own, K-pop artists like BTS undeniably love English songs just as much as the majority of us do, and some of them actually make it a point to treat fans to cover videos every now and then. Here are eight more South Korean artists who’ve wowed listeners with their versions of Western pop songs:
Young K (DAY6)
If the adjective handsome were a voice, it would be Young K’s. The man behind most of Day6’s eargasmic tracks has a way of making even classic standard songs sound like his own with his smooth vocals. For his “Young One” segment on Day6’s YouTube channel, he’s uploaded over a dozen covers of English songs, including a rendition of Bart Howard and Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” which he performed as he cruised down the canals of Amsterdam.
One of K-Pop’s most criminally underrated vocalists, PENTAGON’s Jinho has a treasure trove of English, Korean, and Japanese song covers on YouTube for his personal project called “Magazine Ho.” Since 2017, he has consistently updated it at the end of every month up until May last year, when he enlisted in the military as an active-duty soldier. His version of Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” is a fan favorite, with 2.3 million views as of writing. Although if you’ll ask us, it deserves a lot more hits than that—and so do his other videos!
Soloist Lee Hi—who is known for her lead tracks “Breathe,” “Rose,” and “Holo”—rose to fame after joining the first season of the popular talent search competition K-Pop Star, where she made jaws drop with her performance of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows.” The fresh-faced songstress finished as the show’s runner-up, but not before making a mark with her version of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack.
Jamie, previously known as Park Jimin, is another vocal powerhouse, who debuted in a duo called 15& with Yerin Baek after winning K-Pop Star Season 1 (yeah, the same show that gave us Lee Hi). She has covered countless English songs, but her versions of Disney soundtracks such as “Into The Unknown” from Frozen 2 and “Speechless” from the live-action film Aladdin are definitely memorable.
NCT’s Jaehyun is one of the perfect examples of the ultimate K-Pop boy—he’s got the vocals, the visuals, and the moves to boot. He also has the ability to make a Lauv song even more swoon-worthy. Just watch his rendition of “I Like Me Better” and you’ll understand what we mean.
SISTAR member Hyolyn is best known for her killer vocals and for her summery singles. But the sexy siren also stuns with her renditions of English pop songs like Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye” and “Diamonds,” which she performed with Korean-American rapper Jessi. Her “Bang Bang” stage shared with Ailee and Jessi (again, but we’re not complaining!) is nothing short of explosive.
Singer-actress Hani, who debuted in EXID, sure knows how to steal hearts. From going viral for her “Up and Down” fancam (which rocketed her group to sudden stardom) to charming audiences on variety shows to covering English songs, she’s just lovable AF and you’ll be missing out if you don’t watch her acoustic cover of Disclosure and Sam Smith’s “Omen.”
You probably haven’t heard of the name J-Min before, but perhaps you’ve heard her voice in the OSTs of popular early 2010s Korean dramas like “To The Beautiful You” and “School 2013.” Today, she’s someone to keep an eye on in South Korea’s theater scene, as she’s starred in the local production of “In The Heights,” “Hedwig,” and “All Shook Up.” When she’s not performing onstage, J-Min uploads covers on her YouTube channel. Some of her most breathtaking covers are “Once Upon A December” and “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Misérables.
Because listing just eight amazing artists isn’t enough, here are two more South Korean singers who killed it with their covers of English songs:
K-RnB artist Dean seems to be a huge fan of Daniel Caesar and was super lucky to share a stage with the Canadian singer-songwriter in Paris where they performed “Won’t Live Here” live.
Known as the “Mariah Carey of Korea,” Sohyang is a queen and a living legend—it feels illegal to leave her out of this list. She holds the feat of being the first South Korean artist to sing the American national anthem at an NBA game. Yep, she’s amazing like that and if you haven’t heard her sing before, you better check out her stripped-down version of Dolly Parton’s hit “I Will Always Love You,” which was popularized by the late great Whitney Houston.
Did we miss any of your faves? Sound off in the comments!