Top 10 K-pop Idols who are not Korean
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It should come as no surprise that the K-pop industry is constantly looking to do something special or bring something new to the table. As a result, they are always on the lookout for trainees to recruit, and what better way to discover talent than to broaden the pool by searching outside of South Korea?
As the business continues to gain prominence, there has been an increase in the number of individuals from countries other than South Korea who have shown an interest in making their debut.
We have produced a list of 10 K-pop stars that aren’t originally from South Korea; some of the names on this list may come as a surprise to you.
10 K-pop idols who are not Korean
1) Lisa (Blackpink)
Lalisa Manoban, better known as just Lisa, was born in the Buriram Province in Thailand, where she now resides. She is fluent in Thai, Japanese, and Korean in addition to English. An interesting fact about Lisa is that she was the first non-ethnically Korean trainee to not only join YG Entertainment but also to make their debut with the company.
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— BLACKPINK LISA 리사 (@lalaIalisaa_m) November 26, 2022
2) ViVi (LOONA)
The Tuen Mun District of Hong Kong is where LOONA’s ViVi made her debut into the world. Her given name is Wong Ka Hei, and she began her career as a trainee for Polaris Entertainment. After a while, she was transferred to BlockBerry Creative, which is a subsidiary of Polaris, and it was there that she ultimately made her debut as a member of LOONA.
She is also fluent in Cantonese and Korean in addition to English.
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3) Lucas (NCT)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of the members of NCT are from countries other than South Korea given that the group now consists of 23 members. Lucas, also known as Wong Yukhei, is of Chinese and Thai ancestry.
He is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and Korean, and even has a basic understanding of Thai. He was born in the Sha Tin District of Hong Kong. Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and Korean are his primary languages.
4) Sorn (CLC)
Chonnasorn Sajakul, better known as Sorn, is originally from Thailand, and more particularly, Bangkok. As a result of her victory in the inaugural season of tvN’s K-pop Star Hunt, she was offered a training position with Cube Entertainment in South Korea. She is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Thai.
5) Momo (TWICE)
The TWICE member is a native of Kyotanabe, which is located in the prefecture of Kyoto in Japan. She goes by Momo Hirai as her full name. She relocated to South Korea in 2012 in order to pursue a career as a K-pop idol trainee under the JYP Entertainment banner, and she finally made her debut with the group TWICE in the year 2015. She is able to communicate in Japanese and Korean.
6) BamBam (Got7)
Another K-pop idol hailing from Bangkok, Thailand is BamBam, whose real name is Kunpimook Bhuwakul. He and Lisa first met when they were both working in their respective home countries as members of the same dance crew. To this day, they remain good friends.
At the age of 13, he made the journey to South Korea in order to begin his training with JYP Entertainment. The K-pop sensation is fluent in English, Korean, and Thai as well.
7) Fatou (BLACKSWAN)
Fatou, who is a member of BLACK SWAN, was born in Yoff, which is located in Dakar, Senegal. Her full name is Samba Fatou Diouf. The musician, who is also a rapper and dancer, is fluent in Korean, as well as French, English, German, and Dutch.
8) Lay Zhang (EXO)
His birthplace is Changsha in Hunan Province, China, and his true name is Zhang Yixing. He is a K-pop and C-pop idol. After successfully clearing the trainee tryouts for SM Entertainment in 2008, Lay relocated to South Korea. In addition to English, she is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese.
9) The8 (Seventeen)
The8 is a Chinese K-pop star who was born in Anshan, which is located in the province of Liaoning in China. Because the number 8 is seen as auspicious in China, he decided to include it into his stage name. The vocalist is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean, among other languages.
10) Amber Liu (f(x))
Amber was born in the United States to Taiwanese parents but spent most of her childhood in the United States. She holds dual citizenship in both countries. In 2009, she joined SM Entertainment’s trainee program, and just over a year after that, she made her debut in the girl group f(x) (x). The idol is proficient in the languages of Korean, Japanese, English language, and Mandarin.