With her "Butterfly" comeback, the singer further solidifies her place as one of K-pop's leading solo females on the charts.
Even after three years away, Ailee proves she's still a chart force with her latest album release.
The solo superstar sees her new full-length effort Butterfly debut at No. 13 on Billboard's World Albums chart dated July 13, 2019, marking her first entry on the chart since 2016. The singer now has scored four entries total: In 2014, her Magazine EP landed her first World Albums entry (when it peaked at No. 10), the next year her Vivid album earned her highest position yet (at No. 6), then in 2016 Ailee bowed with A New Empire (which hit No. 9), before Butterfly this past week.
With four entries on the tally, Ailee now jumps in her ranking of solo female K-pop acts with the most entries on World Albums. She now ties the likes of BoA,HyunA and Lee Hi (all with four each), and is only behind Taeyeon (who has six) and IU (five).
While Ailee broke out onto the K-pop scene with her Beyoncé-like vocals, soul-pop style and knack for beautiful ballads, and Butterfly shows her continuing the musical growth and genre exploration seen in A New Empire. While the 2016 EP saw the star embracing more hip-hop and modern R&B styles, Butterfly also dives deeper into this with lead single "Room Shaker" bringing a blend of big vocal moments blended with a chant-like anthemic chrous, dance hook, and moments of rap-like deliveries from Ailee. But the LP shows a slew of different sounds and styles as the starlet soars through euphoric electronic-pop (on the surging album opener "Midnight" and the sassy "Fire"), powerful ballads ("You Are Precious Because of Who You Are"), snappy electro-R&B ("Love," "Heartcrusher") and, of course, some of her signature brassy soul pop (like on "Want It" and "Headlock").
Following her official 2012 debut on the K-pop scene with "Heaven," this year marks the end of Ailee's seven-year contract with her initial agency YMC Entertainment and Butterfly as her final work with the K-pop superlabel. Following this release, it will be interesting to see the direction the Korean-American takes in her music and sound as an independent artist, and the subsequent chart performance from it.