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How did Hwasa of MAMAMOO become the most popular K-Pop idol among girl groups?

Hwasa from Mamamoo
Hwasa of Mamamoo is recognized as the current “it” girl in Korea today. Image Credit: Rainbow Bridge World (RBW)

About a week ago, the Korean Business Research Institute did a survey in analyzing which K-pop idols were the most popular presently. The top female, ranked at number five, was Ahn Hye-Jin who is better known by her stage name Hwasa.

The question is how did the maknae (youngest member) of Mamamoo (often stylized all in capital letters) become the most popular female K-pop idol in South Korea? It turns out that she was just doing the right things and making the right appearances at the right time.

A duet, variety show appearance, her look, and a solo debut

For some K-pop idols, it just takes one thing for them to suddenly be popular. According to an analysis by Koreaboo, it took four things for Hwasa. The first was her duet with Loco. Both artists appeared on music production variety show Hyena on the Keyboard. They collaborated a song titled Don’t. Needless to say, it was amazing and more people started to take notice of Hwasa.

The second thing was her appearance on I Live Alone. It is a documentary-style variety show that features Korean celebrities who are not in relationships, ergo they “live alone.”

Hwasa’s appearance was considered very candid. Every clip of her went viral because her personality was very likable. As a matter of fact, one clip of her eating gopchang (cow small intestine) gave her the nickname “gopchang queen of Korea.”

The third thing that contributed to her surge in popularity was Hwasa’s controversial look. Probably the most controversial on such is her appearance at the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA 2018).

Compared to the rest of her groupmates, Hwasa’s clothing choice stands out. As mentioned earlier, it became controversial. Some people said it was fierce, others said it was trashy. No matter what side K-pop fans took, they were talking about her.

Finally, the last thing is Hwasa’s solo career. Her solo debut Twit peaked at number one on the Korean and Korean Hot charts. Internationally, she reached the Billboard U.S. World chart at number three.

As for the music video, it currently has over 23 million views on 1theK. Out of the viewers who contributed, about 794 thousand of them liked her work.

Proof of her popularity

The four things mentioned above are what contributed to Hwasa being the most popular female K-pop idol in the industry today. As for proof of her popularity, it is best seen through all her endorsements.

Right now, Hwasa has modeled or is the official model for Coca-Cola’s Gold Peak tea, RAREKIND makeup, and of course, gopchang, just to name a few.

Right now, K-pop fans are waiting to see what comes next for Hwasa. Nothing has been announced so far this year. Then again, it has only been three months. Who knows what she has in store for us in the upcoming months.

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War Omega is an entertainment news writer and painter that specializes in Asian entertainment. On Monsters & Critics, he writes about K-pop, K-dramas, and Chinese... read more
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