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Former IZ*ONE member and solo artist Choi Ye-na / Courtesy of Yuehua Entertainment

K-pop enthusiasts are in for a treat as a lineup of acclaimed female solo artists unveil plans to return or debut. From the much-anticipated return of Choi Ye-na to the soulful melodies in Lee Hi’s upcoming single, January’s K-pop scene is set for a dynamic resurgence fueled by the prowess of female talents.Choi Ye-na (Jan. 15)Choi Ye-na, a solo artist formerly of the project group IZ*ONE, is poised to return after a seven-month hiatus, revealing her third mini-album, “GOOD MORNING,” on Jan. 15.According to Yuehua Entertainment, Choi’s agency, the new album aims to highlight her “more mature musicality” and “authentic inner self.”The agency further described the eponymous title track as “a song that blends optimistic lyrics and band sounds, symbolizing the emergence of a bright morning after dark moments,” with Choi participating in composing the track.Choi faced controversy in June last year with her “HATE XX” album and its title track “Hate Rodrigo,” which was alleged to be making a disrespectful reference to the American pop star Olivia Rodrigo. With the upcoming album, the spotlight now shifts to whether this new release will help her overcome past controversies. Acclaimed singer Lee Hi is also set to release her latest single, “My Beloved,” on Jan. 16, following her recent collaboration with singer Sung Si-kyung on “Alley” last month.In an official press release, Lee’s agency AOMG described the song as a showcase of “Lee Hi’s simple yet lyrical vocals” and highlighted its intention to “continue the thematic connection with the ballad ‘Alley.'”With “Alley” marking Lee’s return to the stage after a two-year hiatus, the upcoming release of “My Beloved” within just a month, positions her for an active future in the industry.

Lee gained initial recognition as a runner-up on the first season of SBS’s audition program “K-pop Star” (2011-2012). Her consistent chart-toppers, including “Rose” (2013), “Breathe” (2016) and “Holo” (2020), have further solidified her fame. Solar, a member of K-pop girl group MAMAMOO, is set to revive her “Solar Emotion” series after a break of over five years, with the anticipated release of “Solar Emotion Part.7” on Jan. 18.The “Solar Emotion” series showcases the singer’s approach of reinterpreting classic Korean hits. The upcoming release will include her emotional verision of Kim Kwang-seok’s 1991 song “Love Has Gone.”Since its debut in 2014 — under RBW Entertainment — MAMAMOO has garnered acclaim for the unparalleled vocal skills of its members. In addition to her contributions to MAMAMOO, Solar has previously collaborated in the unit group MAMAMOO+ with fellow member Moonbyul in August 2023. In over eight years since her debut, WJSN member Seola will release her solo debut single, “INSIDE OUT,” on Jan. 23. This venture makes her the first WJSN member to embark on a solo venture.As a vocalist within WJSN, Seola is known to have honed her musical prowess by actively contributing to the group’s songwriting process. She further showcased her versatility as a member of the unit group, WJSN THE BLACK, in 2021, alongside WJSN members EXY, Bona and Eunseo with the debut single, “My Attitude.”Notably, Seola also hosted KBS Radio Cool FM’s “STATION Z” every Tuesday for eight 슬롯게이밍 months from April to December 2023.

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