The 2024 Billboard K-Pop Artist 100

Since the breakout success of BoA and the Wonder Girls in 2009, the Korean pop industry has been on a meteoric rise on the Billboard charts. In 2023, this ascent reached new heights, with an impressive 35 K-pop albums gracing the prestigious Billboard 200, five of which claimed the coveted No. 1 spot.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s “The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION” kicked off the year by reaching the summit in February, followed by Stray Kids’ “5-STAR” reigning for a week in June. NewJeans’ “Get Up” took over in August, while Stray Kids secured a second No. 1 with “ROCK-STAR” in November. ATEEZ rounded off the year with their first chart-topper, “The World EP.Fin: Will,” in December.

Over on the Hot 100, BTS member Jimin made history as the first South Korean solo artist to claim the No. 1 spot with his single “Like Crazy.” Soon after, his bandmate Jung Kook followed suit with “Seven” (featuring Latto), setting the stage for Jung Kook to achieve a new record with three top-five solo hits.

Other K-pop acts also made significant strides on the Hot 100, with artists like BIGBANG’s Taeyang, NewJeans, FIFTY FIFTY, Stray Kids, and BLACKPINK’s Jennie earning their first entries. Meanwhile, TWICE and BTS members J-Hope, Agust D, and V added to their impressive Hot 100 collections.

The impact of K-pop extended beyond the charts, with acts like SEVENTEEN, ENHYPEN, NCT, TWICE, and others performing at their largest venues to date, showcasing K-pop’s influence on the global live music market.

Billboard Korea is poised for a grand launch in Seoul, with the inaugural issue, Billboard K Vol.1, slated for release in June. The publication will introduce the Billboard K-Pop Artist 100 list, ranking artists based on their Billboard 200 albums chart, Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, and Billboard Boxscore (touring) data for 2023.

As we delve deeper into the world of K-pop, we discover fascinating tidbits about its stars. For instance, JAEMIN of NCT DREAM is celebrated for his good looks and vocals, while CHENLE’s passion for basketball led to a special bond with NBA star Stephen Curry. JUNGWOO, part of NCT’s vocal trio DOJAEJUNG, shares his time between South Korea and the U.S., while JAEHUYN was instrumental in introducing NCT to the world with their debut single. Lastly, YUTA holds the distinction of being SM Entertainment’s first Japanese idol, contributing to NCT 127’s global appeal.

K-pop’s dominance on the Billboard charts reflects its growing global influence, captivating audiences worldwide with its infectious melodies, electrifying performances, and the undeniable charisma of its stars.

In the dynamic world of K-pop, 2023 witnessed an unprecedented surge in the genre’s influence on the global music scene, as reflected by the monumental achievements of various artists on the Billboard charts. From chart-topping groups like Stray Kids, ATEEZ, and FIFTY FIFTY to individual luminaries such as the members of BTS, the year was marked by an array of remarkable accomplishments that underscored K-pop’s undeniable ascendance.

Since the groundbreaking international successes of BoA and the Wonder Girls in 2009, K-pop has steadily advanced on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100 charts. However, 2023 saw an unparalleled level of crossover success, with 35 different K-pop albums making their way onto the Billboard 200, five of which claimed the prestigious No. 1 spot. TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s “The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION,” Stray Kids’ “5-STAR,” NewJeans’ “Get Up,” and ATEEZ’s “The World EP.Fin: Will” were among the chart-toppers that captivated audiences worldwide.

On the Billboard Hot 100, BTS member Jimin etched his name in K-pop history by becoming the first South Korean solo artist to achieve the coveted No. 1 spot with his single “Like Crazy.” Shortly thereafter, his bandmate Jung Kook followed suit with “Seven” (featuring Latto), setting a new record with three top-five solo hits. Notable newcomers to the Hot 100 included BIGBANG’s Taeyang, NewJeans, FIFTY FIFTY, Stray Kids, and Jennie of BLACKPINK, alongside additional entries from TWICE and BTS members J-Hope, Agust D, and V.

Beyond chart success, K-pop artists made significant strides in connecting with their global fanbase through extensive tours across the globe. Acts like SEVENTEEN, ENHYPEN, NCT, TWICE, aespa, LE SSERAFIM, (G)I-DLE, ITZY, and Agust D performed at some of the largest venues of their careers, highlighting K-pop’s burgeoning impact on the live music market.

As anticipation builds for the launch of Billboard Korea, scheduled for May with a grand kick-off event in Seoul and the release of the inaugural issue, Billboard K Vol.1, in June, we present the first-ever Billboard K-Pop Artist 100 list. This comprehensive ranking, based on activity across the Billboard 200 albums chart, Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, and Billboard Boxscore (touring) data, provides insight into the diverse talents and achievements of K-pop’s brightest stars.

Here’s a glimpse of the top 100 artists on the 2024 Billboard K-Pop Artist 100 list:

[Note: List continues with brief descriptions of each artist, including background information, achievements, and notable contributions to the K-pop industry.]

In summary, the 2024 Billboard K-Pop Artist 100 reflects the unparalleled growth and global impact of the K-pop phenomenon. As the genre continues to evolve and captivate audiences worldwide, these talented artists pave the way for a future where K-pop remains at the forefront of the global music landscape.

100. Yuna (ITZY)
As the youngest member of ITZY, Yuna captivates audiences with her sweet yet bold stage presence, contributing to the group’s dynamic performances.

99. Chaeryeong (ITZY)
Introduced to the world through the survival show “Sixteen,” Chaeryeong joined JYP Entertainment as the first member of ITZY, showcasing her talents as a versatile performer.

98. Ryujin (ITZY)
Scouted by JYP Entertainment at a GOT7 concert, Ryujin emerged as ITZY’s main rapper, impressing fans with her powerful stage presence and charisma.

97. Lia (ITZY)
Hailing from Incheon, South Korea, Lia adds depth to ITZY’s vocal lineup, drawing on her multicultural background to connect with international audiences.

96. Yeji (ITZY)
As the leader of ITZY, Yeji leads the group to chart success, exemplifying her role with strong leadership and exceptional performances.

95. Shuhua ((G)I-DLE)
The youngest member of (G)I-DLE, Shuhua showcases intricate dance skills and an unapologetic attitude, contributing to the group’s unique identity.

94. Yuqi ((G)I-DLE)
Beyond her vocal prowess, Yuqi’s songwriting and production work on (G)I-DLE’s hits demonstrate her versatility as an artist, aiding the group’s crossover success.

93. Soyeon ((G)I-DLE)
Soyeon’s visionary leadership and prolific songwriting drive (G)I-DLE’s success, establishing her as a prominent figure in the K-pop industry.

92. Minnie ((G)I-DLE)
Minnie’s contributions as a singer-songwriter-producer enrich (G)I-DLE’s sound, while her acting debut in the Netflix drama “So Not Worth It” highlights her versatility.

91. Miyeon ((G)I-DLE)
As (G)I-DLE’s main vocalist, Miyeon’s solo endeavors, including her debut album “My,” showcase her talent and versatility as a performer.

Before joining NCT DREAM, Jisung drew inspiration from his labelmates EXO, eventually establishing himself as a key member of SM Entertainment’s renowned boy band collective.

Known for his good looks and vocals, Jaemin’s endearing presence at fan events solidifies his status as a beloved member of NCT DREAM.

As a devoted Stephen Curry fan, Chenle’s interaction with the Golden State Warriors underscores his global appeal and influence as a powerhouse vocalist.

Jeno’s stylish endeavors extend beyond music, as evidenced by his historic appearance at Peter Do’s New York Fashion Week show, showcasing his versatility as a performer.

Renjun’s background in ballet and contemporary dance enriches NCT DREAM’s performances, earning him admiration from fans and fellow artists alike.

As a powerhouse vocalist in both NCT 127 and NCT DREAM, Haechan’s admiration for Michael Jackson infuses his performances with passion and energy.

Mark’s journey as a rapper-dancer-singer-songwriter exemplifies his dedication to NCT 127 and NCT DREAM, solidifying his status as a permanent leader within the group.

83. JUNGWOO (NCT 127)
Joining NCT 127 in 2018, Jungwoo’s rapid embrace by fans and the fashion world reflects his vocal prowess and magnetic stage presence within the group.

82. JAEHYUN (NCT 127)
Splitting his childhood between South Korea and the U.S., Jaehyun’s contributions to NCT’s debut single and his solo endeavors highlight his versatility as a performer.

81. DOYOUNG (NCT 127)
DOYOUNG’s stellar vocals and leadership within NCT 127 extend to his acting and hosting endeavors, showcasing his multifaceted talent and charisma.

80. YUTA (NCT 127)
As SM Entertainment’s first Japanese idol, Yuta’s global appeal enhances NCT 127’s presence, contributing to their success both domestically and internationally.

79. TAEYONG (NCT 127)
As the centerpiece of NCT and NCT 127, Taeyong’s solo debut and extensive collaborations underscore his leadership and influence within the group and the industry.

78. JOHNNY (NCT 127)
Johnny’s perseverance and dedication to NCT 127 exemplify his journey from trainee to debut, solidifying his position as a respected member within the group.

77. TAEIL (NCT 127)
As the eldest member of NCT, Taeil’s soulful vocals and inspiration from legendary artists contribute to NCT 127’s distinct sound and identity.

76. NINGNING (aespa)
Despite being the youngest member of aespa, Ningning’s powerful voice and stage presence showcase her immense talent and potential as a performer.

75. WINTER (aespa)
Winter’s collaborations and in-demand status highlight her versatility as a vocalist, solidifying her position as a rising star within the K-pop industry.

74. GISELLE (aespa)
With fluency in multiple languages, Giselle’s global appeal and fierce rapping skills elevate aespa’s presence on the international stage.

73. KARINA (aespa)
As aespa’s leader and main dancer, Karina’s captivating performances and striking visuals establish her as a central figure within the group.

72. Hong Eunchae (LE SSERAFIM)
As the youngest member of LE SSERAFIM, Eunchae’s hosting and variety show endeavors showcase her charm and versatility as an entertainer.

71. Kazuha (LE SSERAFIM)
Kazuha’s background in ballet and international training enriches LE SSERAFIM’s performances, highlighting her talent as a singer and rapper.

70. Huh Yunjin (LE SSERAFIM)
Yunjin’s songwriting prowess and multicultural background contribute to LE SSERAFIM’s diverse sound and appeal, solidifying her status as a versatile artist.

69. Sakura (LE SSERAFIM)
Sakura’s extensive experience in the Japanese idol industry and her transition to LE SSERAFIM underscore her adaptability and global influence as a performer.

68. Kim Chaewon (LE SSERAFIM)
Chaewon’s reinvention as LE SSERAFIM’s leader reflects her evolution as an artist, showcasing her versatility and leadership within the group.

67. Jisoo (BLACKPINK)
Jisoo’s multifaceted career spans music, acting, and solo endeavors, highlighting her versatility and impact as a prominent figure in the K-pop industry.

66. Lisa (BLACKPINK)
Lisa’s solo debut success on the Hot 100 underscores her prowess as a rapper-singer, cementing her status as a global K-pop icon.

65. Rosé (BLACKPINK)
Rosé’s solo achievements, including her Billboard Hot 100 entry with “On the Ground,” showcase her individual talent and contribution to BLACKPINK’s success.

64. Jennie (BLACKPINK)
Jennie’s collaboration on “One of the Girls” highlights her versatility as a singer-rapper-songwriter, further solidifying her impact within BLACKPINK and beyond.

63. Jin (BTS)
As the eldest member of BTS, Jin’s solo debut with “The Astronaut” and his global collaborations reflect his evolving artistry and leadership within the group.

62. J-Hope (BTS)
J-Hope’s diverse talents as a rapper, singer, songwriter, dancer, and producer have propelled him to success, establishing him as a multifaceted artist in BTS and beyond.

61. RM (BTS)
RM’s leadership and musical contributions to BTS, coupled with his collaborations with renowned artists, underscore his influence and cultural impact in the global music scene.

60. V (BTS)
V’s jazz-inspired solo project and collaborations demonstrate his artistic versatility, solidifying his position as a distinctive voice within BTS and as a solo artist.

59. Agust D (BTS)
Agust D’s studio album “D-Day” and his extensive collaborations showcase his evolution as an artist, further elevating his status as a respected figure in the music industry.

58. Tzuyu (TWICE)
Tzuyu’s immense popularity and social media influence, coupled with her contributions to TWICE, reflect her impact as a global K-pop sensation.

57. Chaeyoung (TWICE)
Chaeyoung’s songwriting contributions and solo endeavors highlight her creativity and versatility, establishing her as a key member of TWICE.

56. Dahyun (TWICE)
Dahyun’s songwriting prowess and ambassadorial roles exemplify her multifaceted talent and contribution to TWICE’s success.

55. Mina (TWICE)
Mina’s international appeal and brand endorsements underscore her influence as a member of TWICE, contributing to the group’s global recognition.

54. Sana (TWICE)
Sana’s viral moments and captivating stage presence have endeared her to fans worldwide, solidifying her status as a beloved member of TWICE.

53. Momo (TWICE)
Momo’s resilience and dedication to her craft have propelled her to success, establishing her as a prominent dancer and performer in TWICE.

52. Jeongyeon (TWICE)
Jeongyeon’s solo endeavors and contributions to TWICE’s music highlight her versatility and artistry, further solidifying her position within the group.

51. Nayeon (TWICE)
As the “face of the group,” Nayeon’s solo achievements and leadership within TWICE reflect her significant impact and influence in the K-pop industry.

50. Jihyo (TWICE)
Jihyo’s decade-long journey as a trainee and her subsequent success as TWICE’s leader underscore her resilience and leadership, contributing to the group’s enduring popularity.

49. Ni-ki (ENHYPEN)
From Okayama, Japan, ENHYPEN’s youngest member is the group’s main dancer after years of training after he found inspiration in Michael Jackson performances as a toddler.

48. Jungwon (ENHYPEN)
Despite being the second-youngest member of ENHYPEN, Jungwon’s multifaceted skills and maturity—plus the fact that he earned the No. 1 ranking in the singing competition show that created ENHYPEN, I-Land—elevated him to be named the group’s leader.

47. Sunoo (ENHYPEN)
In the final episode of I-Land, the singing competition show that created ENHYPEN, the vocalist was the expert “Producer’s Choice” earning his spot in the boy band.

46. Sunghoon (ENHYPEN)
A competitive figure skater who represented South Korea in international competitions during his childhood, the star quickly impressed both fans and his fellow competitors on I-Land, the boy band competition show that created ENHYPEN, when he was voted the most visually appealing among all the contestants.

45. Jake (ENHYPEN)
Born in South Korea but raised in Australia since age nine, Jake boasts talents in singing and violin and dreams of collaborating with Drake and earning a No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

44. Jay (ENHYPEN)
Born in the U.S. but moving to Korea at age 9, Jay is known for being ENHYPEN’s “mood maker” and for his guitar skills that were on display during the FATE World Tour.

43. Heeseung (ENHYPEN)
Boasting perfect pitch, as well as songwriting and composing experience before his debut, the eldest ENHYPEN member spent more than three years training under BIGHIT MUSIC with fellow future stars like TOMORROW X TOGETHER.

42. Jongho (ATEEZ)
ATEEZ’s youngest member is also the group’s powerhouse, main vocalist, who’s contributed ballads to Korean drama soundtracks.

41. Wooyoung (ATEEZ)
With BTS as his favorite artist, the talented dancer was once even a trainee under the same label as BTS, but later joined as the eighth, and final, member to complete ATEEZ. His uniqueness within the group is highlighted by his sweet voice and typically featured during the signature “killing” parts in the group’s intense choreography.

40. Mingi (ATEEZ)
With his role models in Post Malone and Jay Park, Mingi acts as the group’s main rapper and dancer, as well as a significant lyricist.

39. San (ATEEZ)
As the first K-pop idol reportedly from the South Korean village of Namhae, San takes great pride in his hometown, the group’s performances, his physicality, and a 2021 collaboration with Pentatonix he recorded with Yunho and Jongho.

38. Yeosang (ATEEZ)
Before joining ATEEZ’s Korean label KQ Entertainment, Yeosang is said to have received offers from six different K-pop companies before the singer-rapper-dancer joined his eventual teammates.

37. Yunho (ATEEZ)
The main dancer in his group, Yunho has expanded into acting and hosting while always acting as ATEEZ’s “energizer.”

36. Seonghwa (ATEEZ)
Upon finding an early love of dance as a kid, the eldest ATEEZ member is known for his performance skills as well as his affectionate title as the “mom” of the boy band.

35. Hongjoong (ATEEZ)
Preferring to be called the “Captain” of ATEEZ instead of the traditional leader title, the rapper has always been heavily involved in the group’s songwriting and production as the first member of the group to join ATEEZ’s Korean agency, KQ Entertainment.

34. Dino (SEVENTEEN)
The youngest member of SEVENTEEN grew up with parents who are dancers, making his role as a main dancer in the team a natural fit. In 2023, Dino released his first official solo track “Wait.”

33. The8 (SEVENTEEN)
With mesmerizing dance moves and his unique sense of style, The8 cut his teeth b-boying in China as a kid and watched variety shows to build his dreams of superstardom. Like his SEVENTEEN band mate Jun, The8 also releases solo music in Korean and Chinese, and has appeared in multiple TV shows in China.

A child actor while growing up in China, his schoolmates’ love of K-pop led to his curiosity about the industry, fatefully leading him to be scouted to train and later debut in Korea with SEVENTEEN. Showing his international appeal, Jun has released solo tracks in Korean and Chinese, and returned to his acting roots in 2021 with the lead role in a Chinese web drama series.

31. Hoshi (SEVENTEEN)
A core choreographer in SEVENTEEN’s intricate stage performances, Hoshi is the natural leader of the group’s dance-focused Performance Unit that includes Jun, The8 and Dino. With the release of his “mixtape” track “Spider” in 2021, Hoshi kicked off SEVENTEEN’s ongoing ‘The Thirteen Tapes’ series, featuring the 13 group members releasing solo tracks.

30. Seungkwan (SEVENTEEN)
Seungkwan is the youngest member of SEVENTEEN’s Vocal Team alongside Woozi, Jeonghan, Joshua and DK, as well as the BSS splinter group, with the singer’s soulful range and infectious energy palpable every time he hits the stage.

As both a main vocalist and well regarded as one of the funniest members in SEVENTEEN, DK is not only a core member of the Vocal Team but is also the leader of SEVENTEEN’s first official sub-unit, the lively trio of BSS with Seungkwan and Hoshi.

28. Joshua (SEVENTEEN)
Born and raised in Los Angeles, the vocalist has played an important part in helping SEVENTEEN break into countries like the U.S. thanks to his charismatic personality and collaborations with artists like New Kids on the Block and Pink Sweat$.

27. Jeonghan (SEVENTEEN)
Taken from his Oct. 4 birthday, Jeonghan nicknamed himself “Angel” for his 10/04 birth date since the pronunciation of “1004” in Korean sounds similar to the Korean word for angel (천사 or cheonsa). With his angelic vocals and ethereal visuals, the nickname certainly fits SEVENTEEN’s charming vocalist.

26. Woozi (SEVENTEEN)
The main producer behind SEVENTEEN’s music, Woozi has been long dedicated to the arts since studying classical music as a child. His exceptional songwriting and production skills have not only brought SEVENTEEN chart-topping success and made him the designated leader of the group’s Vocal Team, but Woozi has creatively contributed to many solo tracks for his members and songs for artist friends like Ailee, Baekho, fromis_9 and I.O.I.

25. Vernon (SEVENTEEN)
Born in New York, the Korean-American rapper’s lyrical prowess, stage presence, and international appeal have allowed him to spread SEVENTEEN’s name through collaborations with artists like Charli XCX, Drunken Tiger, Rina Sawayama, and Tobi Lou while also being named the first global ambassador for French luxury house Kenzo.

24. Mingyu (SEVENTEEN)
While he visually stands out as the tallest member of the 13-member group, Mingyu also shines thanks to his impressive rap flow and top-notch visuals. In 2021, he teamed up with Wonwoo to release a duo single, “Bittersweet,” featuring R&B-pop vocalist LeeHi.

23. Wonwoo (SEVENTEEN)
With a dream of becoming a performer birthed from watching TV, Wonwoo originally trained as a singer before those around him told him his voice suited rapping and since shifted his focus to become an integral member of SEVENTEEN’s Hip-Hop Team.

22. S.Coups (SEVENTEEN)
With a stage name that combines his birth name, Seungcheol, and the phrase “Coup d’état,” S.Coups looked up to top leaders in K-pop history like TVXQ!’s U-Know, BIGBANG’s G-Dragon and Zico of Block B to lead SEVENTEEN to mega-selling history as a self-producing group in charge of their career trajectory. As the leader of SEVENTEEN overall, the rapper-songwriter is also the leader of the group’s Hip-Hop Team, which includes Wonwoo, Mingyu and Vernon.

21. Jimin (BTS)
While BTS was the first K-pop act to score the long-awaited No. 1 on the Hot 100, it was Jimin who was the first artist to top the chart solo. 2023 was a major year for the superstar singer-dancer-songwriter as he collected Hot 100 entries like “Vibe” with Taeyang (which peaked at No. 76) and “Set Me Free Pt. 2” (No. 30), all leading up to his focused solo track “Like Crazy,” which ultimately debuted atop the chart dated April 8, 2023, in a historic first for South Korean artists. His first solo album Face peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and he later earned one more entry on the Hot 100 with the Fast X soundtrack single “Angel Pt. 1” alongside Kodak Black, NLE Choppa, JVKE and Muni Long.

With a chilldhood that included time living in Korea, China and the U.S., the Hawaii-born Huening Kai was the first foreigner to debut under BIGHIT MUSIC as well as the first TOMORROW X TOGETHER member to earn a songwriting credit when he co-wrote the track “Roller Coaster” off the band’s sophomore EP, The Dream Chapter: Magic.

With TXT’s sound ranging from synth-pop to punk rock, Taehyun can captivate listeners with his diverse palette of vocal colors to effortlessly blend various musical styles and resonate with fans globally, undoubtedly helping the group score its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in 2023 with The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION.

A proud member of the BTS ARMY, the singer-dancer followed in the footsteps of his idols when TOMORROW X TOGETHER debuted as the second-ever boy group under their BIGHIT MUSIC label. Beomgyu has even admitted his heart beats fast when he runs into the BTS members at his company despite establishing himself as an international sensational all his own with TXT.

With his natural leadership skills and striking visuals, Soobin has earned various nicknames from the Korean media like “prince,” “sunshine” and “flower boy” speaking to a shining personality inside and out.

As the first member revealed in TOMORROW X TOGETHER’S highly anticipated debut, Yeonjun greeted the world through his “Introduction Video” that earned more than one million views in under 24 hours, leading his name to trend on social media in minutes. The rapper-dancer-singer has more than lived up to the hype as a celebrated “It Boy” in the K-pop scene and on-air television host.

15. Hyein (NewJeans)
As NewJeans made history as the quickest K-pop girl group to top the Billboard 200 when their Get Up EP debuted at No. 1 in August, youngest member Hyein is also making quick firsts for the quintet as the first NWJNS member to feature on another artist’s album (on “Shh..” off IU’s The Winning EP from February 2024) and landing a brand ambassadorship for Louis Vuitton at age 14.

14. Haerin (NewJeans)
The Pyeongchon-born star has bad a lifelong love of listening and discovering new music, and showed off her songwriting chops by co-writing the group’s anthemic introduction “New Jeans” off their Billboard 200 No. 1 album, Get Up.

13. Danielle (NewJeans)
Born to an Australian father and a South Korean mother, Danielle and her family lived in both countries before the future star returned to South Korea to join HYBE. Beyond singing and dancing, Danielle’s songwriting skills were on display from NewJeans’ very beginning as a co-writer on their surprise debut single “Attention.” Danielle has continued co-writing several more NewJeans tracks and, in 2023, voiced the Korean dub for The Little Mermaid live-action remake and released her take on “Part of Your World” for its accompanying soundtrack.

12. Hanni (NewJeans)
The Vietnamese-Australian star infused her life with music from a young age, learning to play the ukulele and performing in Melbourne as a part of K-pop cover dance crew. Somewhat appropriately, Hanni first entered K-pop fans’ radars for her cameo in BTS’ “Permission to Dance” music video with future bandmate Minji ahead of NewJeans’ debut a year later. Speaking Korean, Vietnamese and English, Hanni helps NewJeans reach many fans worldwide and has co-written some of their signature singles like “Hype Boy” and “OMG.”

11. Minji (NewJeans)
While NewJeans does not have designated positions in their group, Minji’s striking rap style, commanding deep voice, and eldest age makes her the presumptive leader in NewJeans’ rapid international takeover — which included the 2023 Billboard Music Award win for Top Global K-Pop Artist. With time spent in Canada to perfect her English during childhood, the Korean starlet first caught fans’ eyes with a cameo in BTS’ “Permission to Dance” music video in 2021 with future bandmate Hanni and has since gone on to snag co-writing credits for NewJeans’ Hot 100 hit “Ditto.”


In one of 2023’s most pleasantly unexpected viral hits, FIFTY FIFTY broke out among the slew of new K-pop acts with their sophomore single “Cupid,” which peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100 and spent 25 total weeks on the chart. Initially released in both Korean and English versions for maximum reach to K-pop’s international audience, the song was also bolstered by sped-up and slowed-down versions, as well as a remix featuring Sabrina Carpenter.

While FIFTY FIFTY earned their chart points with the music they recorded as a quartet, today, Keena is the group’s only member.

9. I.N (Stray Kids)
With a fondness for singers like Charlie Puth and his role model Bruno Mars, Stray Kids’ youngest member—who is known as the maknae, which means youngest of a group in Korean— has shown his dedication to the group by consistently stepping up as a lead vocalist, making his solo track “Maknae on Top” all the more perfect of a name.

8. Seungmin (Stray Kids)
With dreams of being a baseball player as a kid, an injury forced Seungmin to rethink his life path and realize his love of music. While perhaps an unexpected change up to a young Seungmin, he now easily takes on the role of Stray Kids’ main vocalist and has recorded several impressive tracks on his own for Korean-drama soundtracks.

7. Felix (Stray Kids)
Felix’s low-timbre voice is a hallmark in any Stray Kids song across their four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 to date, and the Australian star also helps the group’s name grow with his ability to easily reach fans overseas. He’s also made an impact in the fashion world with Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière telling WWD, “I discovered Felix when I presented my pre-fall collection in Seoul. It instantly clicked between us. He is really talented. I love his energy, his unique personality and his audacious sense of style” before he was named a house ambassador for the luxury brand.

6. Han (Stray Kids)
Perhaps one of K-pop’s best examples of an “all-rounder,” Han may be best known for his rap skills, but he’s equally impressive with his vocal ability, songwriting, and production skills. In 2023, he was reported as the youngest K-pop idol honored with a full membership to the Korea Music Copyright Association, which requires a certain amount of time in the industry, profit generated from music, and approval from a board of directors.

5. Hyunjin (Stray Kids)
With passions across multiple disciplines like dance, art and photography, Hyunjin’s multifaceted appeal in Stray Kids landed him on the remix of Troye Sivan’s Hot 100 hit “Rush” and saw Donatella Versace deem him “one of the new voices defining culture around the world” after he was named a global brand ambassador for Versace.

4. Changbin (Stray Kids)
After discovering the undeniable allure of rapping and dancing for an audience during school festivals, Changbin has gone on to be a core rapper, songwriter, and producer for Stray Kids, as well as one of the fastest rappers in the K-pop industry.

3. Lee Know (Stray Kids)
With his career starting in dance crews, befriending choreographers, and even time as a backup dancer for K-pop icons BTS, Lee Know caught the eye of JYP Entertainment scouts and was accepted into training years after his initial audition. Despite a shorter training period than his future band mates, Lee Know secured himself a spot in the group during the Stray Kids reality program, where all the band’s future members competed to prove they could debut as part of a future K-pop team.

2. Bang Chan (Stray Kids)
Born in South Korea but raised in Sydney from a young age, there would be no Stray Kids if there was no Bang Chan — the group’s leader personally picked the members who would eventually be a part of Stray Kids. Beyond conceptualizing the team, he’s also one of its most heavily involved songwriters and producers playing a crucial role in landing the group four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 to date, including two chart-toppers in 2023 with 5-STAR and ROCK-STAR, as well as co-producing and writing SKZ’s first-ever Hot 100 entry “LALALALA” last year.

1. Jung Kook (BTS)
In 2023, Jung Kook truly embraced his nickname as BTS’ “golden” star.

His official debut solo single “Seven” featuring Latto not only debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Global 200, was the No. 1 Global Song of the Summer, and won Top Global K-Pop Song at the Billboard Music Awards. Jung Kook continued his dominance with a range of hit Hot 100 collaborations including the top five smash “3D” featuring Jack Harlow—that eventually got remixed by Justin Timberlake—and “Too Much” with The Kid LAROI and Central Cee.

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