The incredible success BoA has had over the course of her career makes sense considering this South Korean pop star has spent over half her young life in the industry. Born Boa Kwon near Seoul in 1986, she was discovered at age eleven when she entered a talent search organized by mega-talent agency SM Entertainment. The agency quickly scooped up the young singer and shuttled her into two years of dance, singing, and Japanese language training before unleashing her almost simultaneously on the Korean and Japanese pop markets. Their efforts were wildly successful, leading to several hit albums in both countries, as well as some Mandarin language singles. In 2008, BoA and SM set their sights on the U.S., and in 2009, she released her self-titled debut English album, featuring work by respected hip-hop and pop producers and songwriters like Sean Garrett and Brian Kennedy.