Debuting as part of late 90’s girl group Fin.K.L, Lee Hyori went on to carve out an incredibly successful solo career. She’s one of Korea’s most beloved personalities (and sex symbols), despite a lack of frequent comebacks over the past few years. Fresh off her return with Black, it’s the perfect time to look back at her very best singles.
10. Anymotion (ft. Eric Mun) (2005)
The first in Hyori’s successful “Any” CF trilogy of songs for Samsung, Anymotion’s skittering beat and vampy hook combined to create an early solo career highlight.
9. Get Ya! (2006)
Moving toward a more aggressive electronic sound, Get Ya felt like the first time the scope of Hyori’s solo material lived up to her immense star potential.
8. Anystar (ft. Lee Jun Ki & Park Bom) (2006)
The last of Hyori’s “Any” series sees her teaming with Lee Jun Ki and a young Park Bom, but the song’s dramatic, strings-drenched instrumental is the real star here.
7. Toc Toc Toc (2007)
Melding dynamic r&b with a theatrical synth riff, Toc Toc Toc refined Get Ya’s sound to further mature Hyori’s musical presence.
6. Bad Girls (2013)
Driven by a repeated piano riff, Bad Girls melds the glossy pop of Hyori’s past with a retro instrumental that perfectly suits her evocative tone.
5. Anyclub (ft. Teddy & Kim Ji Eun) (2005)
With an assist from Teddy and Kim Ji Eun for the song’s catchy chorus, Anyclub tackles a variety of hip-hop sounds while remaining effortlessly addictive.
4. U-Go-Girl (ft. Nassun) (2008)
Hyori’s most iconic and ubiquitous hit, U-Go-Girl’s simple, impossibly catchy hook bounces over a crunchy synth beat that bursts into double tempo when you least expect it.
3. Miss Korea (2013)
A triumphant 2013 return, Miss Korea cast Hyori as an elder stateswoman of the k-pop landscape. Its bluesy sense of melodicism makes it one of the most striking entries in her discography.
2. Hey Mr. Big (2008)
Though it may not have received the same attention as U-Go-Girl, Hey Mr. Big’s synth assault does it one better with a sticky melody and an effortless sense of cool that mixes elements of trot with late 00’s production trends.
1. Straight Up (2006)
Hyori has released more striking and bombastic music than Straight Up, but no single has possessed as addictive a melody. The song’s slinky verses perfectly match the instrumental’s insistent funk bounce and breezy, celebratory hook. It’s a late-90’s throwback done absolutely right.
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