These 21 K-Pop Idols Were All Raised In America… And Some Might Surprise You
K-Pop definitely isn’t limited to Korean idols anymore. There are idols from all over the world, including China, Japan, Canada, and the United States, among others. Sometimes an idol’s stage name might give away that they’re a foreigner, but not always! Here are 20+ popular K-Pop idols that were born and/or raised in the United States.
Born in Oklahoma, AleXa is actually part Russian and Korean! Born on December 9, 1996, her full American name is actually Alexaundra Christine Schneiderman, and her Korean name is Kim Seri.
2. Woosung (The Rose)
This leader and vocalist of The Rose was born in Los Angeles on February 25, 1993. His English name is Sammy, and is friends with other L.A.-based K-Pop idols such as KARD‘s BM and DAY6‘s Jae.
3. Tiffany Young
Tiffany was born in San Francisco on August 1, 1989, and her full American name is Stephanie Young Hwang. Tiffany and fellow ex-Girls’ Generation member Jessica were actually born in the same hospital in California!
4. Daehwi (AB6IX)
This center and lead vocalist of AB6IX was raised in Los Angeles for 6 years, though he was born in Seoul. His mom still lives in the United States.
The powerful soloist was born in Denver, Colorado on May 30, 1989. Her full English name is Amy Lee, and her Korean name is Lee Yejin. She actually grew up in New Jersey before moving to South Korea to start her music career.
6. Jessica Jung
This ex-member of Girls’ Generation was born in San Francisco on April 18, 1989. Her Korean name is Jung Sooyeon, though fans primarily know her as Jessica. Her sister, Krystal Jung (of f(x)), was also born in San Francisco, though she was born later on October 24, 1994.
7. Hongseok (PENTAGON)
This vocalist of PENTAGON has lived in many places, including San Diego, California and Madison, Wisconsin. He lived there long enough to become fluent in English before moving to Singapore, China, and finally South Korea.
Jessi was born in New York on December 17, 1988, but grew up in New Jersey. Her full English name is Jessica Ho, and her Korean name is Ho Hyunjoo. She moved to Korea when she was 15, and went to the same school as Jessica and Tiffany of Girls’ Generation.
9. Bobby (iKON)
Bobby was born in Seoul, but grew up in Virginia in the U.S. and can speak fluent English.
10. Johnny (NCT)
Johnny was born in Chicago on February 9, 1995. His full English name is John Suh, and his Korean name is Seo Youngho. He was accepted into the trainee program at SM Entertainment during a Chicago audition in 2007, and trained with EXO members before ending up in NCT.
11. Jae (DAY6)
Jae was actually born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but moved to California when he was 5 and attended school and college there. His full Korean name is Park Jaehyung, though he still struggles somewhat with the language.
12. Jaehyun (NCT)
Jaehyun wasn’t born in America, but he lived in Connecticut from ages 5 to 10, so he speaks English fluently. His English name is simply “Jay”.
13. Amber (f(x))
Amber was born in Los Angeles on Septemper 18, 1992. She has an English name (Amber Josephine Liu), a Taiwanese name (Liu Yi Yun), and a Korean name (Yoo Eunyoung). She was taken up by SM Entertainment during auditions in Los Angeles in 2007, and was close to fellow English f(x) member Krystal.
14. Vernon (SEVENTEEN)
Vernon was born in New York on February 18, 1998, but moved to Korea when he was 5 years old. His mom is American, and his dad is Korean, and his full birth name is Hansol Vernon Chwe. He speaks fluent English despite only spending 5 years in America.
15. Joshua (SEVENTEEN)
The other fluent English-speaker of the group, Joshua lived in the United States for longer than Vernon. He was born in Los Angeles on December 30, 1995, and grew up there before he moved to Korea to train under Pledis Entertainment. His English name is Joshua Hong, and his Korean name is Hong Jisoo.
16. BM (KARD)
BM was born in Los Angeles on October 20, 1992. His full English name is Matthew Kim, and he has two Korean names: Kim Jinseok and Kim Woojin. He attended college in California before eventually chasing his music career in Korea in 2011 with encouragement from his mom.
Chungha was born in Korea, but lived in Dallas, Texas for about 7 years and her English name is Annie Kim. She auditioned for YG Entertainment and worked as a trainee for JYP Entertainment before finally fining success as a solo artist after Produce 101 and I.O.I.
18. Eric (THE BOYZ)
Eric was born in South Korea, but raised in Los Angeles. His English name is Eric Sohn, and his Korean name is Son Youngjae. He went to school in California before moving to Korea to eventually become the maknae and lead dancer of THE BOYZ.
19. Hueningkai (TXT)
Hueningkai was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 14, 2002. He’s half Korean on his mom’s side, and half German on his dad’s side, as well as Polish and Scottish. He’s the first foreign idol to debut under BigHit Entertainment, and his older sister, Lea, is part of the K-Pop group VIVA.
20. Eric Nam
Eric was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, with his birthday on November 17, 1988. His Korean name is Nam Yoondo, and he graduated cum laude from Boston College with a degree in International Studies.
21. Mark (GOT7)
Mark was born in Los Angeles on September 4, 1993, where he was mostly raised, though he lived in Brazil and Paraguay for a while. His English name is Mark Tuan, and his Korean name is Dong Yieun (which is similar to his birth name, Tuan Yieun). He only auditioned to become an idol because his school encouraged him to, but he’s now glad that he did.