Feature

The Bias List’s Top-Rated K-pop Artist Countdown

Top-Rated K-Pop ArtistI think it’s obvious that I love a good statistic. In addition to my core rating system, I’ve got my top three songs of each month, my yearly countdowns and more data breakdowns than anyone could ask for. None of these are perfect ways to categorize or quantify something as subjective as music, but they help me organize my thoughts.

So, I thought I’d tackle a big project and figure out — once and for all — which K-pop artists reign supreme on this site. I know my personal favorite acts, but what does the actual data say?

Spurred by this question, I decided to average my ratings for every K-pop artist with five or more reviews on The Bias List. B-sides and Japanese releases aren’t factored into the average. And of course, this only includes releases from 2016 onward, so some old favorites aren’t even eligible.

Which artists have been most consistently excellent during this new generation of K-pop? I’ve ranked the top ten (there were a lot of ties!), but I’ve also included the rest in case you’re curious. There were certainly some surprises!


Acts who didn’t make the top ten:

Average Rating 6.5:
IOI

Average Rating 6.8:
Yesung

Average Rating 6.9:
Crush / EXO-SC / Zico

Average Rating 7.0:
Baekhyun / CLC / DIA / Jessi

Average Rating 7.2:
Heize / MXM

Average Rating 7.3:
Apink / BTOB / Hyoyeon / HyunA / Kang Daniel / MCND / Momoland / Nu’est / Sechs Kies /

Average Rating 7.4:
Ailee / BVNDIT / D-CRUNCH / Eric Nam / KNK / Victon / Wanna One

Average Rating 7.5:
Chungha / Gugudan / Hyolyn / IZ / KARD / VAV / Weki Meki

Average Rating 7.6:
AB6IX / CRAVITY / GOT7 / JBJ95 / Winner / Yubin / 100%

Average Rating 7.7:
Berry Good / Block B / DAY6 / EXID / GWSN / Ha Sungwoon / IN2IT / IZ*ONE / Laboum / Mamamoo / N.Flying / Seven O’Clock / Taeyeon / UP10TION / 3YE

Average Rating 7.8:
BoA / Brave Girls / Cherry Bullet / Cosmic Girls (WJSN) / IU / Jeong Sewoon / LOONA

Average Rating 7.9:
BLACKPINK / fromis_9 / (G)I-DLE / IMFACT / Pentagon / SF9 / Stray Kids / VERIVERY


10. The East Light / Highlight / iKON / KEEMBO / Lee Hi / ONEUS / Red Velvet / Super Junior

Average rating: 8.0

ten


9. A.C.E / AOA / B.A.P / The Boyz / Everglow / Great Guys / NCT 127 / OnlyOneOf / Teen Top / Twice

Average rating: 8.1

nine


8. EXO / ITZY / Taemin / VIXX

Average rating: 8.2

eight


7. AKMU / ATEEZ / Dongkiz / Dreamcatcher / Lovelyz / Monsta X / NCT Dream / NCT U / Snuper / Sunmi / TST

Average rating: 8.3

seven


6. Astro / GFriend / Oh My Girl / TXT

Average rating: 8.4

six


5. BTS

Average rating: 8.5

BTS - Butter


4. Seventeen / SuperM

Average rating: 8.6

Seventeen - Ready To Love

SuperM - We Do


3. ONF

Average rating: 8.7

ONF - Ugly Dance


2. Golden Child

Average rating: 8.8

golden-child-burn-it


1. SHINee

Average rating: 9

SHINee - Atlantis

47 thoughts on “The Bias List’s Top-Rated K-pop Artist Countdown

  1. my jaw actually dropped seeing monsta x at #7?! when i didn’t see them in the list of artists who didn’t make the top 10 i figured “LOL, it is what it is” so to see them on the list after all blew my mind 😅 gambler must have helped a lot hahaha. superM at #4 was a delight as well as was SHINee at #1… yes! just yes!

    Like

    • Yeah, sometimes I think I like Monsta X less than I actually do. Most of their lowest-rated tracks on this blog have been Japanese. Their Korean titles are pretty consistently lodged in the 8’s (with a couple 9’s).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Nick my guy you got to listen to this

    It’s a song by capsule is a Japanese electronica band they released about 2 weeks ago i think?

    God this is everything you’ll like in a song

    First off it’s a disco/synthpop track

    1- Bold intro and production
    2- bright synthesizer
    3- punchy beats
    4- a strong chorus cool vocal leads

    I hope I’m asking too much just wanted to hear your thoughts and opinions on it

    And probably end on your favourite jpop track from this year.

    Like

    • Challenge accepted!

      I’m not sure it’s *everything* I love in a song, but it’s very good and I’m adding it to my playlist! Thanks for the recommendation.

      It’s been a long while since I’ve listened to Capsule (since World Of Fantasy, I think…), but this is a strong single from them.

      Like

    • I am legit kind of irritated that I discovered Dongkiz from reading this site, because they’re great and I don’t find cheering for underdogs as rewarding as much of the kpop fan community seems to. My enormous fondness for Vanner’s later stuff is bad enough.

      Like

      • Oh my goodness! TST “Wake Up” is the most happiest clappiest guilty pleasure song of mine of all time.

        Darling daughter is partial to Mind Control, being a teenager now, something something about school or something, but as she is not here right now, I will paste my favorite and not hers.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the first things I read on this site was your ranking of the best kpop songs of all time so I fully expected Infinite to be at the top of the list, I should have read your criteria properly at the start because I was getting progressively more befuddled lol. I’ve just realised that Infinite don’t really have as many group releases in this time period, which is a shame – I discovered them late, but their music is definitely great.

    It’s nice to see Seventeen so high! They’re my favourite group and I’m certainly biased but I do think they’ve crafted a really strong and memorable discography over the years. ONF have also recently been a new discovery for me, I’m really liking their music so far and how intriguing that cohesive ONF sound is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s just something so right about ATEEZ and Dreamcatcher having the same batting average, haha. Though it strikes me that Dreamcatcher are just really consistent, while ATEEZ have some really high highs and some low lows. (That said, did you adjust this for the Legendary Song inaugurations? I’m guessing not. Because if not ATEEZ would score higher.)

    And wow A.C.E would’ve scored higher if Savage hadn’t sunk them so hard. Oof.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shinee being the only group to crack the 9’s is super satisfying.
    WJSN and Stray Kids were both lower than I would have guessed.
    SuperM was much higher than I would have guessed.
    Vixx Oh how I miss them.
    I’m super curious how Wayv would have ranked but they are chinese and probably dont have enough title tracks yet. Oh well their singles run from take off to moonwalk to turn back time remains my favorite among NCT’s discography.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Unless I’m mathing wrong, if GHOST9’s next CB scores an 8.5 or higher, they’ll be in the top 5 (not accounting for other scores changing, of course). That’s pretty impressive for a group that’s been around less than a year.

    Like

    • Wow, you’re right!

      Of course, to be fair there are a few rookies who would’ve been higher on this list if I only counted their first year. VERIVERY and Astro come to mind immediately, but I’m sure there are others as well. Still… impressive for GHOST9!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Did either of them have five title releases in their first year, though? I really don’t understand the economics of kpop but I can’t for the life of me figure out how a small company finances four EPs in nine months. It’s not like their MVs look cheap, either!

        Like

        • I think Nick doesn’t mean their actual “first year”, More like their first five releases. If that so, we could have seen Astro right up at the Top Three! SEVENTEEN’s First Five reviews in this site culminated with an impressive “9” rating. Snuper’s first Five reviews in this site were nothing but praise, And they would have tied with SEVENTEEN. Golden Child’s First Five reviews would have also tied with…Astro.

          But If we are talking about who would Top This Entire List by their First Five Reviews…Then BTS would be an obvious choice. I calculated their average and it turns out, They had the average of “9.2” before dipping down a bit, The perfection of those first few releases just shows how incredible they were in STILL keeping BTS up within the Top Five.

          I think these are the five best examples of Artists who could have ranked really high if we accounted for their first five releases. I don’t Think GHOST9 live up to them, But they are pretty darn close.

          Wait, why did I do this?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hey, he made the rules, not me! Anyhow, I love that you fell down that rabbit hole. I fell down a brief one trying to find a group with 5 qualifying releases in their first 12 months – Stray Kids were actually pretty close but missed it by a couple of months, and that’s where I gave up.

            Liked by 1 person

            • GHOST9’s Management are playing this incredibly smart honestly. Unlike most agencies, They understood that GHOST9 was going to be unknown from the start. So they swung with everything they got and made sure that the guys released a lot in these months. Even though the guys aren’t world-conquerors or in K-pop’s A-List, It helped ease out the edges and rough sides by a lot!

              You Know, talking about debut-year releases…what…happened…to CRAXY?

              Liked by 1 person

  7. YES! YES! I knew you would do something like this, When you said that it involves a lot of math and that Bias List geeks would love it, I thought of you calculating the scores from each artist ever since this blog started in 2016.

    Putting that aside, I am certainly surprised by a few choices here. Blackpink right at 11th place? KEEMBO at 10th? Everglow? The Boyz? ONLYONEOF?!
    Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every one of these artists to some extent and I know so do you Nick, But these were acts which kind of felt insignificant when paired with big heavy-hitters and large shadows such as “Stray Kids”, “VERIVERY”, “SF9” and “Nu’est”!

    But While I do have a few qualms for 10th place, The rest of the top ten are nothing short of perfect! I especially love the TOP THREE…SHINee, Golden Child and ONF deserve all the praises in the world for supplying us such incredible music in this generation of K-pop. And The Fact, All of them combined their powers to keep us fed throughout the first four months of 2021..is…just…SO BEAUTIFUL (beautiful)!

    Honestly, I am really surprised (and sad) that Stray Kids didn’t launch themselves at the Top Ten, Because for what I have seen…They’ve always been in the 8’s.

    Like

    • Stray Kids are sort of an odd case because they just have SO many releases. Because of this, the highs and lows kind of get whittled off and we’re left with something in the middle.

      Again, there’s no way to perfectly quantify this kind of stuff, but it’s still fun to look at!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Being a numbers nerd myself, having fewer releases during the relevant time period is going to be a big thumb on the scale, especially since groups with more releases also tend to have more releases that deviate from their core sound and thus might not be as much to Nick’s taste. I wouldn’t look at this as a “who’s the best” list but a “whose title tracks are most consistently to Nick’s taste” list.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Onf and golden child are my favorite groups so I feel pretty good. Onf are really my top favorite but I don’t like sumkhuvit swimming at all so maybe my average would favor Gol-Cha too. Happy to see them up there in the company of SHINee

    Like

  9. Cool list! I was also wondering what you meant by a “math”-related post, although I figured it must have been something to do with statistics.

    As the other comments have said, the top spots aren’t a surprise given your music taste, but the lower end of the top 10 and just below are a bit surprising. Though most of the surprising ones can be reasoned out if you think a little more about the title tracks over the last few years. There’s definitely an advantage for the groups that have released less title tracks, so I think it would be cool to revisit this in two years or so, to see how the averages of the younger groups (or Blackpink-like groups, cough) change as they release more songs.

    Now I’m wondering what the “interactive” post will be like tomorrow…

    Like

  10. This post and thread say a lot about the importance of looking at inclusion criteria and interpretation when it comes to statistics.

    All that aside, love seeing all the new features pop up lately. I also really enjoy rating and quantifying my interests (I do that more so with anime, now) so this is very satisfying to read.

    Like

  11. Brilliant! What a fun idea. Statistics are always a great way to figure things out.

    No wonder its my favourite kpop blog as most of the groups I listen often made it to top 10. SHINee as number 1 for me, too.

    Besides the fact our music tastes are similar, the blog and comments are actually accepting real opinions instead of needing to sugarcoat things or pretend you worship the ground the idols walk on (something I never quite understood in kpop)

    I’m still a lurker at heart (only took a year to make a comment) but while I’m here
    I just wanna say, you guys are awesome, I always enjoy reading your opinions!

    And keep up the good work, Nick, love the blog!

    Like

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