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10 Shocking K-Pop Idols Who Aren’t Actually Korean!

Kpop is currently ruling the music industry, especially since BTS has taken the world by storm. Although, do you have any idea that there are certain kpop idols who have turned out well in Kpop culture and are not actually from Korea? There are over 208 kpop groups in the world right now, from BTS to BlackPink, EXO, Red Velvet, Twice, Monsta, Got7, NCT, and a whole lot more. In every renowned Kpop group, I have come across so far, I find at least one of them to be a foreigner, except BTS, for sure!

In that case, here is the list of 10 kpop idols who aren’t actually Koreans, yet have managed to hit the big time.

Blackpink Lisa


Blackpink Lisa is actually from Thailand, whose original name is Pranpriya Manobal. Even at the age of 4, Lisa was so crazy about KPop, and that is when she started auditioning for various competitions. At the age of 13, she auditioned at YG Entertainment as a trainee. Subsequently, she became the first ever non-Korean artist to work under YG Entertainment. In 2016, she debuted as a rapper, singer, and dancer for the South Korean girl band BlackPink. In 2021, Lisa was quoted as the Queen of Blackpink. 



Rose is apparently a foreigner too. She is from New Zealand and was born to South Korean immigrant parents. They moved to Australia when Rose was seven. At the age of 15, under her father’s idea, she decided to give an audition for the same YG Entertainment, which happened in Sydney Australia in 2012. She earned the first position amongst the other 700 participants. Soon after, she dropped out of school and moved to South Korea to join as a trainee in the label. With four years of training, in 2016, she was appointed as the last member of Blackpink.  

Got7 Jackson Wang

Wong Ka-yee, popularly known as Jackson Wang is a Chinese-born Korean artist. He is not only a kop singer but also a national-level fencing champion. In 2010, he was spotted by a member of JYP Entertainment.  Surprisingly, he aced every global audition he had attended. He was in fact offered a scholarship at Stanford University, however, following the successful kpop career ahead, he decided to put the offer to halt. In 2014, he officially became one of the members of the South Korean boy band, Got7. 

Stray Kids Felix

Looking at Felix, per se, one can easily tell, he is not Korean. He is the most popular artist in Kpop at the moment and is best known for his deep voice. He is from Sydney Australia, his parents are Korean immigrants.

His love for kpop singing and dancing began in his childhood. To pursue his dream, he moved to South Korea, and eventually, worked as a one-year trainee at JYP Entertainment. Through a reality show, called Stray Kids, he was selected among the nine potential stars, eventually, becoming one of the popular Kpop idols.

Got7 BamBam

Kunpimook Bhuwakul is a South Korean-based singer and rapper, who is well-known for his band, Got7. He is Thai and loves Korean culture mainly because his mother is a big fan of the Korean idol, Rain. Since the age of 10, he has been vigorously practicing and winning several talent competitions. Before becoming a part of Kpop, he had won almost every Thai competition. His journey began when he passed the JYP World Tour Audition in Thailand at the age of 13 and moved to South Korea to join the group as a trainee. 

Twice Sana

Minatozaki Sana is a Japanese singer, who is very popular for her contributions to the South Korean music industry. She has been dreaming of becoming a singer and dancer since she was small. She began his career in Japan initially, and later on, passed the JYP Entertainment audition in 2012 to become a trainee for the next three years. And after a lot of struggles, she finally got the opportunity to become a member of the South Korean girl group, Twice, in 2015. 

Twice Mina

Mina is one of the members of the JYP Entertainment girl group, Twice. She was born to Japanese parents in the US. They moved back to Japan in the later days. Sources claimed that she held dual Japanese and American citizenship, however, in 2019, officials confirmed that it is not true. Besides, she is a professional ballet dancer with eleven years of training.  Just like almost every idol, she was also spotted in a shopping mall by a recruiter of JYP Entertainment. In 2014, she moved to South Korea, to work as a trainee at JYP Entertainment. She began her career as a member of Twice in 2015. 

Got7 Bang chan

Christopher Bang, famously known as Stray Kids star Bang Chan. When Chan was a toddler, his parents moved to Sydney Australia from Seoul. He had trained in ballet, modern dance, and swimming. In 2010, he auditioned for the label JYP Entertainment in Australia.  Eventually, he was picked up by the recruiter to become an official trainee at the age of 13. And in 2017, he debuted as an official leader of the group Got7. 

Got7 Mark Tuan

Mark, a member of Got7, has a long history in geography. He was born in Los Angeles, California, spending a few years in Brazil and Paraguay. However, he was born to Taiwanese parents. He is an accomplished piano, guitar, and violin artist. He also passed the 2010 JYP Entertainment audition conducted in California. Eventually moving to South Korea in 2010 to pursue his career. At first, Mark wasn’t at all on track to becoming a kpop idol, however, as a trainee, he loved singing and dancing, and thus he decided to follow it. In 2014, he signed on as a singer, rapper, and songwriter of the boy band Got7.   

NCT Lucas 

Lucas Wong’s ethnicity is kinda eclectic. Originally of Thai and Chinese descent, he is a Hong Kong rapper, singer, and model, and yet again, a member of the South Korean boy band NCT. His father is Chinese, while his mother is Thai, and he was born in Hong Kong. In 2015, he was picked up by SM Entertainment followed by his win in a Global Audition. In 2018, he was announced as an official member of a newly formed boy band group, NCT. Lucas had an on-and-off relationship with NCT, nevertheless, several sources confirmed in 2022 that he is back in the fold. 


In terms of music and fandom, it was in the 90s that Seo Taiji and Boys, the first band to resemble what we know today as K-pop. By blending Korean Pop music with American popular music, and a bit of hip-hop choreography Seo Taiji revolutionized Korean Pop music to the next level. Since then, the Kpop culture has been evolving at an accelerated pace. 

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