These 4 Exceptional Male K-Pop Acts Are “Complete Idols”, According To Circle Chart Director

Only one soloist made the list.

Some K-Pop groups dominate in album sales, and others rack up hundreds of thousands of unique listeners. But, it takes a rare star to capture the hearts of both a large fandom to buy their albums and the general public to stream their songs.

Steve Choi of the Circle Chart (previously known as Gaon Chart) calls these acts “complete idols.” Earlier this month, he revealed which female K-Pop acts meet these criteria. Now, let’s take a look at the male idols who earned this accolade in the first half of 2023.

Steve Choi doing his boy group chart analysis. | OK POP!!/YouTube


At the apex of the list of complete idols is none other than SEVENTEEN. True K-Pop powerhouses SEVENTEEN sold an astounding four million albums in South Korea in the first half of 2023, according to Circle Chart data, and that doesn’t include the sales of their subunit BSS. That’s why, in director Steve Choi’s eyes, you can’t “talk about the K-Pop industry without mentioning SEVENTEEN.”

| Pledis Entertainment

Likening SEVENTEEN to honor roll students who ace every subject, Choi praises their prowess across all domains of idol-dom, from their harmonious choreography skills to their talents in songwriting. He also marvels at how the group has managed to keep their unique essence intact while continuing to evolve — “They’re basically all-rounders,” Choi says. He even noted how well their charm radiates off the charts, like in their show Going SEVENTEEN.

Regarding all these traits, the idol group that perfectly fits the term ‘complete idol’ is definitely SEVENTEEN.

— Steve Choi, Circle Chart Director

2. BTS’s Jimin

Next up is the only soloist to make the list in the first half of 2023: BTS’s Jimin. Always an exceptional performer, Jimin has proven just how much people love his talents this year with an impressive 1.5 million album sale in South Korea.


Jimin had also sold similar to that of Agust D,” Steve Choi explains, referring to bandmate Suga’s pseudonym. As a result of all the members’ success, Choi says that “BTS members can also be categorized as complete idols even if they release an album as a soloist.”

3. TXT

TXT’s January release “Sugar Rush Ride” sent waves across the charts, getting an “immediate response” from listeners according to Steve Choi. In part, this is what’s propelled them from “fandom-type idols” (those who rely mainly on a large fanbase) to complete idols who also have the love of the public.

Originally, TXT was… a fandom-type idol group. However, with this album, they officially established themselves as a complete idol.

— Steve Choi, Circle Chart Director


TXT have always had impressive album sales, which previously made Choi “wish they would perform just a little better on the music charts.” Now? “Their recent songs have entirely won over the public,” he states. The director went on to agree that TXT have strong skills in performance, as well as great visuals, lyrics, and concepts. So, it’s no surprise they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve.

4. NCT 127

Despite having the lowest album sales score among all the stars Choi names as complete idols, NCT 127 are still doing remarkably well. “Just keep in mind this is just their repackage album,” the Circle Chart director explained of the group’s sales score, talking about their recent release Ay-Yo.

| SM Entertainment

If it wasn’t a repackage album,” he went on to say, “NCT 127 would’ve been somewhere way further up.” That being said, even with a repackage, the group is still dominating both the song and album charts.

Source: OK POP!!