Boa Kwon (born November 5, 1986), commonly known by her stage name BoA, which stands for Beat of Angel, is a Korean singer, active in both South Korea and Japan. Born and raised in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, BoA was discovered by SM Entertainment talent agents when she accompanied her older brother to a talent search. In 2000, after two years of training, she released ID; Peace B, her debut Korean album, under SM Entertainment. Two years later, she released her debut Japanese album, Listen to My Heart, under the Avex label. On October 14, 2008, under SM Entertainment USA, a subdivision of SM Entertainment, BoA debuted in the United States with the single "Eat You Up" and released her debut English-language album, BoA on March 17, 2009.
Influenced by hip hop and R&B singers as Nelly and Janet Jackson, many of BoA's songs fall into those genres. The writing and composition of her songs are handled mostly by her staff, for which BoA has drawn some criticism. However, BoA began composing on her own with her Japanese debut album Listen to My Heart, in which she co-wrote and composed the song "Nothing's Gonna Change".
BoA's multilingual skills (she speaks Japanese and conversational English along with her native Korean and has recorded songs in Mandarin Chinese) have contributed to her commercial success in South Korea and Japan and her popularity throughout Asia. She is the only non-Japanese Asian to have two million-selling albums in Japan and is one of only two artists to have six consecutive number-one studio albums on the Oricon charts since her debut.
2008–present: Foray into America
On September 2, 2008, SM Entertainment announced that BoA would make her American debut under a new subsidiary label, SM Entertainment USA. A press conference was held on September 10, 2008 at the Seoul Imperial Palace Hotel to clarify the details of her American debut. BoA's debut American single "Eat You Up" was released online on October 21, 2008; it reached the top positions on the online music charts in the United States. The physical single was to be released in stores on November 11, 2008, but SM instead released a promotional CD containing dance remixes of "Eat You Up". "Eat You Up" became a number-one Breakout on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The remix of "Eat You Up" featuring rapper Flo Rida was slated for release in late November and leak onto the internet in December. BoA performed "Eat You Up" as well as other songs at YouTube's Tokyo Live concert, and performed in New York City on December 3, 2008, as well as the Jingle Ball at the Anaheim Honda Center on December 6, 2008. She also performed the song "Look Who's Talking" at the event.
BoA released a triple-A-side single on February 18, 2009, "Eien/Universe/Believe in Love". On the same day, the Ravex single "Believe in Love" was released, featuring vocals by BoA. Her second compilation album, Best & USA was released on March 18. The album will be released in a two-disc or one-disc edition. The former will contain one disc with Japanese songs and one with her debut American album; the latter contains fourteen Japanese songs and two songs from her American debut album. BoA's self-titled English album was released on March 17. BoA headlined as a performer for San Francisco's Pride Festival on June 28, 2009 alongside Solange Knowles and The Cliks. The event was free and open to the public. She debuted her next single "Energetic", performing it for the first time in public. She also performed "Eat You Up" and "I Did It for Love".
BoA will be featured on Crystal Kay's upcoming single Girlfriend. "Girlfriend" will be used as the image song for the Japanese dub of "He's Just Not That into You". BoA will also be featured on Akon's Japanese release of his album, Freedom entitled Freedom+2, on a version of his single Beautiful.