Since K-Pop began making roles for members in K-Pop groups, it has been pretty traditional for the oldest member to be made the leader almost as a default. However, in more recent times, this is less often the case, and sometimes the leadership roles are given to younger members, multiple members, or sometimes no members at all! Here are 10 different K-Pop groups who have the most unconventional leadership roles, according to fans on Reddit.
VIVIZ is a group that doesn’t have an official leader. While they’re not the only group without a leader — others like BLACKPINK are also this way — they are unique in that they still see Sowon, their former leader in GFRIEND, as their leader even though she isn’t in VIVIZ.
EVERGLOW has a pretty rare set-up in their leadership! When the group debuted, their oldest member, E:U, was given the position as leader. However, in May 2021, she willingly gave up the leadership position to Sihyeon, the second-oldest member of EVERGLOW, and she remains leader to this day.
While fromis_9 does only have one official leader — the oldest member, Saerom — they are unique in that they also have a “vice captain” as well! This role was given to Hayoung, the second-oldest member of fromis_9.
Yoon, who has always been the leader of WINNER, is currently the group’s maknae (youngest member) on top of being the group’s leader, which is unusual in and of itself. However, when WINNER first debuted, former member Taehyun was actually their maknae, and Yoon didn’t become both the leader and maknae until Taehyun left in 2016.
5. Rocket Punch
Rocket Punch is one of many modern groups who doesn’t have their oldest member as the leader. Their reason for it, though, is kind of interesting! Juri, who is their oldest member, joined the group’s line-up pretty close to their debut, and she also spoke Japanese as her first language rather than Korean. For these reasons, the second-oldest member, Yeonhee, was chosen as leader instead!
Eunkwang is BTOB’s official leader, but when he left for his military service, BTOB had a unique way of choosing a new leader! They ended up spinning a wheel to determine who their new temporary leader would be, which turned out to be Minhyuk. When he, too, left for his military service, they spun the wheel again, where it landed on Peniel. However, since they had promised maknae Sungjae that he could be leader if he once again got the maknae role on the wheel, and he did, Peniel was only leader for a couple of minutes 😂
TREASURE is one of only a few groups that splits their leadership roles between two members! Hyunsuk is one of them, and is also the oldest member of the group (as well as a rapper), and Jihoon, who is second-oldest and a vocalist, is the other!
DKB’s situation is very similar to TREASURE’s! They, too, have two leaders: D1, who is the third-oldest member and a vocalist, and E-Chan, who is the oldest member of the group and a rapper.
When it came to choosing ENHYPEN’s leader, the choices were narrowed down to the oldest member, Heeseung, and the second-youngest member, Jungwon. In the end, they decided on Jungwon for a number of different reasons, with no hard feelings from Heeseung!
Though T-ara is no longer together, they had a really unique method of choosing leaders! They had a rotating leadership role that changed each year, which hasn’t been used by any other group. Their first leader was Jiae, and it switched to Eunjung in 2009 after Jiae left the group. The next year it was Boram, and the year after was Hyomin, and then from 2012-2014, it was Soyeon! Finally, Qri was the group’s final leader until their disbandment in 2017.