Article: Top 10 K-Pop Idols Who Aren’t Korean

Did you know that you don't have to be from South Korea to be a part of the K-Pop industry? By incorporating international styles, K-Pop has gained a massive following of people globally and has proven that language can never be a barrier to art. This unique subgenre of pop music has welcomed numerous talents from countries other than Korea. These stars hail from countries, starting with China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. We've listed some of those K-Pop idols who we think stand out the most. Read below to find out if your favorite idol is included!

1. Lisa From Blackpink

Pranpriya Manobal, who we know as Lisa, was born on March 27, 1997, in the Buriram Province of Thailand. She later changed her name to Lalisa. Lisa is a Thai rapper, singer, dancer, and BLACKPINK member. BLACKPINK is under YG Entertainment, and Lisa was the first non-ethnically Korean artist to debut under the agency. She is very popular in Thailand and an inspiration to many young Thai natives.


2. Jackson Wang From GOT7

Wang was born in Kowloon Tong, British Hong Kong, on March 28th, 1994, to Wang Ruiji, a Chinese national fencing team member, and Sophia Chow, a former acrobatic gymnast. Jackson was scouted and then trained for two years before being selected as one of the final members of GOT7 under JYP Entertainment. GOT7 disbanded in 2021, and since then, his record label, Team Wang, manages his international activities. His single "100 Ways" is the first song by a solo artist in the K-Pop industry to be ranked on Mediabase's U.S. Top 40 chart.


3. Tzuyu From Twice

Chou Tzuyu was born on June 14, 1999, in the city of Tainan, Taiwan. She was scouted by JYP Entertainment and started her trainee program at the company. After training for three years, Tzuyu officially debuted as a member of Twice in October 2015. Twice’s debut lead single, "Like Ooh-Ahh," was the first K-pop debut song to reach 100 million views on YouTube. Tzuyu was the first Taiwanese person to debut as a K-Pop idol.


4. Mark From GOT7

Mark Yien Tuan was born to a Taiwanese family in Los Angeles, California. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese. On January 16, 2014, Tuan made his K-Pop debut with "Girls Girls Girls," GOT7's first lead single. Following his departure from GOT7 in January 2021, Tuan opened a YouTube channel that quickly hit more than a million subscribers even though there was nothing uploaded yet.



NI-KI was born Nishimura Riki on December 9, 2005, in Okayama, Japan, and is the only Japanese member of his group, ENHYPEN. He is now well known by his stage name, "NI-KI," and is the group's main dancer and vocalist. On June 4, 2020, NI-KI was introduced as a contestant in the reality survival show I-LAND. He was ranked 4th by global votes and debuted as a member of ENHYPEN on November 30th, 2020 with their first mini-album, Border: Day One.

6. Yuta From NCT

Nakamoto Yuta, better known by his stage name Yuta, is a singer, rapper, dancer, and member of NCT subunits NCT U and NCT 127. Yuta was born in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan on October 26th, 1995, and is one of the two Japanese members of NCT. He made his debut with NCT 127 with the mini-album NCT #127 in July 2016. In June of that year, they released their third EP, Cherry Bomb. The title track, "Cherry Bomb," was later named one of the best K-pop songs of the year by Billboard.


7. Bambam From GOT7

Kunpimook Bhuwakul, better known as Bambam, is a rapper, singer, and songwriter based in South Korea. He is originally from Thailand and was born in Bangkok, Thailand on May 2, 1997. He debuted with GOT7 in 2016 and then made his solo debut in 2021 with his first extended play, Ribbon. He is the face of numerous brands in Thailand, and in 2019, his Twitter account was named "Thailand's most mentioned entertainment account."


8. Lay From EXO

Lay was born Zhang Yixing on October 7th, 1991 in Changsha, a city in China. He is a famous South Korea-based rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Zhang was first recognized for participating in the Chinese television talent show Star Academy in 2005 and later gained popularity as an EXO (K-pop boy group) member. Yixing is one of the best-selling artists in China and was ranked 5th on the Top 100 Celebrity List (2020) by Forbes China.


9. Sana From Twice

Sana Minatozaki, known globally as Sana, is a Japanese vocalist and dancer based in South Korea. She is a member of Twice under JYP Entertainment. Minatozaki was born on December 29th, 1996 in Osaka, Japan. She appeared on Sixteen, a 2015 reality-TV K-Pop series, where she was selected as one of the nine founding members of Twice. Sana has since then gained popularity in South Korea and abroad.


10. Minnie From (G)I-DLE

This (G)I-DLE member is a Thai singer-songwriter and composer based in Seoul, South Korea. Minnie was born on October 23, 1997, in Bangkok, Thailand, and is fluent in a number of languages, including Thai, English, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin. Minnie made her debut with (G)I-DLE as the main vocalist and is known for having a distinct, appealing, and soothing voice.