K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean. Is it possible for a K-Pop group to have non-Asian foreign members? Of course, thanks to the fact that K-Pop is one of the most listened to styles of music today. Because of that, people want to take part in this movement, making it even more known. Also, K-Pop changed quite a bit from the beginning. At first, the groups were only made up of Koreans. Now you can find artists of different nationalities. Idols of Chinese and Japanese nationality dominate the groups, followed by Thais and Americans. Yet all of them are still of Asian descent. K-Pop Idols who aren’t Korean steal the hearts of many people, as do Korean native idols. Are you interested in knowing who they are? Keep reading!
Who are foreign K-Pop idols?
Rosé – New Zealand
Did you already know that Rosé is one of the K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean?
The BLACKPINK star is originally from Auckland, New Zealand.
Her parents emigrated from South Korea before she was born, and then she moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she lived and grew until she was 15, when she auditioned for YG Entertainment.
In just two months, the young woman signed a contract and moved to Seoul to debut with the band in 2016.
Huening Kai – United States
The TXT maknae was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, the United States.
His father was born in Brazil but grew up in the United States, while his mother is from Korea.
The young man also lived in China for several months until he moved to Korea.
There he was discovered by an agent from BigHit Entertainment. He is the first foreigner to debut with the company.
Lisa – Thailand
Also from BlackPink, Lisa was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Her name was Pranpriya Manoban until she changed it to Lalisa Manoban years later.
YG Entertainment discovered the rapper during an audition in 2010. Lisa moved to South Korea at age 14, becoming the first foreign artist in her company.
Besides being a part of the K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean, she is also part of the most successful foreign K-Pop idols.
Have you heard her solo debut yet? There, she reveals a lot of her Thai roots.
Lay – China
This EXO member was born in Hunan, China, where he began his entertainment career by being a child actor on various local shows.
It wasn’t until 2008 that he auditioned for SM Entertainment.
Also, he moved to South Korea to be a trainee. He debuted in 2012 with EXO-M, the group’s Chinese sub-unit, and is currently focusing on his solo activities.
He is also one of the most successful K-Pop Idols who aren’t Korean.
Yuta – Japan
Originally from Osaka, Japan, Nakamoto Yuta joined SM Entertainment through an audition in his country.
He moved to Korea, where he was a trainee until he debuted with NCT 127 in 2016.
Although the band has several foreigners, he is the only one originally from Japan.
Mina – United States
The Twice singer is of Japanese parents but was born in San Antonio, Texas, United States. She grew up her entire life in Kobe, Japan, so she has the nationality of both countries.
She studied ballet and modern dance until 2014 when the JYP Entertainment staff encouraged her to audition, and she was selected.
She came to Korea shortly after to take part in the show SIXTEEN. Later, she would debut with Twice in 2015.
Her groupmates Momo and Sana are also Japanese. However, they are not the only foreigners in their group, as Tzuyu is from Taiwan.
Eric Nam – United States
The soloist is originally from Atlanta, United States. He grew up and lived most of his life in that country.
Being one artist who entered the industry late, he came to South Korea for covers that he did on his YouTube channel.
Eventually, he was chosen to participate in a survival show where he made it into the Top 5, and he debuted as a solo artist in Korea in 2013.
Thanks to all his career, he is now one of the K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean.
Jackson Wang – Hong Kong
He was born in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong.
When he was a young man, he grew up in the country while training in gymnastics and fencing, as his parents are athletes.
However, Jackson wanted to become a trainee for JYP Entertainment.
Through an audition, he got in and moved to Korea in 2011 to debut with the group in 2014.
In this way, he became an idol who is part of the K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean.
Jaehyung – Argentina
Jaehyung is a member of the pop-rock band Day6 and was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Despite being born in Latin America, he does not speak Spanish (something sad for his Latin fans) because he immediately moved to California, United States, where he lived until 2012 when he entered the K-Pop Star program, moving to South Korea.
He debuted in 2015 as a vocalist and guitarist for the band Day6 under JYP Entertainment.
In this way, now he is part of the K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean most loved by many fans.
Amber Liu – United States
The member of the female group f (x) was born in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Her parents are from Taiwan, and she lived in that province for a time, so she is fluent in English, Chinese, and Korean.
She entered SM Entertainment for a global audition in 2007, debuted with f (x) in 2009, and made her solo debut in 2015 that continues to this day.
She is one of the most recognized K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean in the industry.
Vernon – United States
Vernon Chwe, from the band Seventeen, is originally from New York, United States.
He lived in that country until he was five years old, which was when he moved to Korea, so he says that he identifies more with Korean culture than with American.
The rapper admitted he had a lot of problems as a boy for being of mixed ethnicity.
He got recruited from Pledis Entertainment when he was on the subway from his school. He managed to pass the audition and debuted with the group in 2015.
Yuqi – China
From the band that participated in Queendom, (G) I-DLE, Song Yuqi was born in Beijing, China.
She was interested in K-Pop from a very young age, and that is why she auditioned for CUBE Entertainment at age fourteen.
She joined the company in 2015 and moved to Korea immediately, but didn’t debut with the group until 2018.
The singer also participates in various shows, including Keep Running in China. Yuqi is not the only one of the K-Pop Idols who aren’t Korean in (G) -I-DLE, as Shuhua is from Taiwan and Minnie is from Thailand.
Can you do K-Pop if you are not Korean?
As you can see, many K-Pop idols are not Korean. Because of that, the answer is clear. You can be a K-Pop idol and do K-Pop if you are a foreigner. However, when it comes to preferences, it is a fact that K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean and have the most recognition are those who are foreigners but have Asian ancestry.
Is Jessica Jung pure Korean?
No, she is not purely Korean. Jessica was born in San Francisco, California, United States. She grew up there, and it wasn’t until 2000 that she joined SM Entertainment to be a trainee and later debut in one of the most successful K-Pop groups of all time, Girl’s Generation. Jessica is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and businesswoman, but her origin is South Korean.
Certainly, nationality doesn’t stop anyone when it comes to pursuing their dreams of being an artist. From leaving your country to learning a new language, these K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean show the journey they had to go through to succeed in K-Pop. What did you think about this blog? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to visit us every day.