These 5 K-Pop Idols Grew Up In America—But Not L.A.

Many idols from America call Los Angeles home, but not all of them!

It’s not at all unusual for a K-Pop group to have a member or two who doesn’t hail from Korea, especially in today’s increasingly global society. There are many groups with Japanese members, like TWICE‘s SanaMomo, and Mina; as well as Chinese members, like PENTAGON‘s Yanan; and also Thai members, like GOT7‘s BamBam.

Momo, Sana, and Mina (from left to right) of TWICE

Of course, there are also many idols who hail from the U.S.A. The vast majority of them come from Los Angeles, which makes sense. After all, it is the second most populous city in the country and home to large Korean-American communities. Idols such as NU’EST‘s AronSEVENTEEN‘s Joshua, and GOT7‘s Mark all call Los Angeles home, among many others.

Joshua from SEVENTEEN | @pledis_17/Twitter

There are several idols, though, whose homes in the U.S. lie elsewhere. Here are just five of them!

5. MOMOLAND’s Nancy

Though Nancy from MOMOLAND was in fact born in Daegu, South Korea, she has mentioned before that she actually grew up in Ohio! She debuted with the group in 2016.

Nancy from her Instagram | @nancyjewel_mcdonie_/Instagram

4. Eric Nam

Known for both his solo music career and his previous hosting gig at After School ClubEric Nam made his debut in 2011, after he had already graduated college in the States. He went to college in Massachusetts, but he was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia!

Eric Nam from his Instagram | @ericnam/Instagram

3. Ailee

Known as one of the most powerful female vocalists in K-Pop and four-time winner of the Best Vocal Performance – Female award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, Ailee also made her debut in 2011. She was born in Denver, Colorado, but grew up in New Jersey!

Ailee from her Instagram | @aileeonline/Instagram

2. NCT’s Johnny

NCT U and NCT 127 member Johnny made his idol debut when he joined the lineup of NCT 127 for “Limitless” in January 2017. Johnny was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois!

Johnny from his Instagram | @johnnyjsuh/Instagram

1. Jessi

Jessi made her debut in 2005 when she was just 16. Before she came to Korea, she was born in New York, and grew up in New Jersey like Ailee!

Jessi from her Instagram | @jessicah_o/Instagram
Source: Wikipedia (1), (2), (3) and (4) and NCT Wiki