Pop singer Boa Kwon, also known as BoA, was born in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea on November 5, 1986. Her first album was released in 2000, only two years after SM Entertainment realized her potential when discovering her in a talent search. Although her first album was released in Korean, she has released several albums in various different languages. Her second album, “Listen to My Heart,” was released in Japanese, which was a notable accomplishment considering the cultural and entertainment trading barriers that had separated Korea and Japan after World War II. Much of this success has spawned from her strong grasp of language. Boa has released albums and songs in Japanese, Korean, English, and Mandarin Chinese and speaks these languages fluently.
BoA’s commercial success over the years has been stunning to witness. She is one of the most successful foreign musical artists being distributed in Japan and has sold more than ten million records in the relatively short span of her career, and has even been called the “Queen of Korean Pop.” For two years after her discovery by talent scouts, Boa was trained in dance, vocals, Japanese, and English language skills, and released her debut album at the young age of thirteen. Boa quits school and began to ready herself for a real career-launch, but because she became only moderately successful in Korea, she turned her attention to more academic studies while honing her Japanese skills. Although most of her commercial success has been in East Asia, she made her American debut in 2008 alongside such artists as Solange Knowles and Sean Garrett.
BoA’s music is highly influenced by hip-hop and R&B, but is generally considered pop, R&B, and dance music, although her songs cover a wide range of styles, variant of rock and hip hop as well as urban pop. She is one of the most currently successful artists in Korea and Japan thanks, not only to her musical talent, but to her linguistic skills as well. She has fans all over East Asia, including in China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, and hers was the first music video aired on MTV K.
BoA has also made appearances in television shows, movies, and commercials and advertisements for various brands. Several of her songs have been used as widely popular themes and has been considered a cultural ambassador and has even been published in an Oxford-University Press Engligh textbook.