Almost every K-Pop group has a designated leader. Oftentimes the leader is the oldest member (though not always) and takes on a caring and motivating position for the other members of the group. They are often the spokesperson for the group as well, usually talking first when accepting awards, sharing announcements with fans, and other such events. They have a lot on their shoulders besides just being an idol, so it wouldn’t be an easy job at all, and fans usually have a lot of admiration for their favorite group’s leader! Recently on KingChoice.me, a popular polling website, fans voted for who they think the best K-Pop leaders are, and these are their top 20 results.
20. Hongjoong (ATEEZ)
At 21 years old, Hongjoong is one of the youngest leaders on this list! He also serves at ATEEZ’s rapper, composter, and center, and has composed about 40 songs for the group.
19. Youngbin (SF9)
Youngbin is 26, born on November 23, 1993. Besides being leader of 9-member group SF9 (so many members to take care of!), he’s also the lead rapper and dancer of the group. He’s also a former trainee at 1Million Dance Studio!
18. Leeteuk (Super Junior)
Leeteuk is one of the oldest active idols to date (though he still looks amazing!), since he turned 37 just a month ago! He’s been leading Super Junior for an incredible 15 years, and is also a sub-rapper and sub-vocalist apart from being the leader. He’s also been a trainee since he was just 13, which means he’s been in the business for 24 years!
17. Solar (MAMAMOO)
Solar is the oldest female leader on this list, having turned 29 this year. Besides being leader, she also serves as MAMAMOO’s main vocalist and visual! She’s definitely considered the mom of that group of fun, silly women.
16. Jihyo (TWICE)
Jihyo was born on February 1, 1997, making her 23 years old. She trained for about 10 years before debuting with TWICE, and has been an idol since 2015, so she’s been in the industry for about 15 years now! She’s also TWICE’s main vocalist.
15. E:U (EVERGLOW)
E:U is 22 years old, which is still quite young to be a leader, but she’s also the oldest member of EVERGLOW. Besides being leader, she’s also the group’s main rapper, main dancer, and sub-vocalist, giving her several different roles! Her stage name, E:U, stands for “Especially for U”. How sweet!
14. Yoon (WINNER)
Yoon was born on January 21, 1994, making him 26 years old. Interestingly, he’s also the youngest member of WINNER, which is really unusual for a leader! Besides being the leader and maknae, he’s also the main vocalist. He also made a solo debut in 2013 before he joined WINNER in 2014.
13. Soobin (TXT)
Soobin is the youngest leader on this list at the age of just 19. He’s somewhat shy for an idol and a leader, but he’s also the current tallest idol under BigHit Entertainment at 185cm/6’1″! Besides leader, he’s also TXT’s vocalist, rapper, and dancer.
12. Soyeon ((G)I-DLE)
Soyeon is another one of the younger leaders on this list at 21 years old, and she’s also not the oldest member of (G)I-DLE (that title goes to Miyeon). She trained for a year and six months before she joined Produce 101, where she placed 20th. She debuted as a solo artist with the song “Jelly” before she debuted in (G)I-DLE, where she’s now also the group’s main rapper, sub-vocalist, and center.
11. Taeyong (NCT)
Taeyong serves as the leader of both NCT 127 and NCT U, and he just turned 25 last month. That’s a ton of members for a 25-year-old to look after! He joined SM Entertainment in 2012 and debuted with NCT in 2016, which means he trained for 4 years total. Besides being leader, he’s also NCT’s main rapper, dancer, vocalist, center, and visual. So many jobs for one person!
10. Seungyeon (CLC)
Seungyeon is the 23-year-old leader of CLC, and trained for a total of 4 years before debuting with the group in 2015. Besides the role of leader, she’s also CLC’s main dancer, lead vocalist, and rapper!
9. JB (GOT7)
JB was born on January 6, 1994, making him 26 years old. He became a trainee at JYP Entertainment in 2009, and trained for 5 years before debuting with GOT7 in 2014 (though he was first part of a duo with Jinyoung called JJ Project, which started in 2012). In GOT7, he’s the leader as well as main vocalist, lead dancer, and center.
8. Hui (PENTAGON)
Hui was born on August 28, 1993, meaning he’ll be turning 27 this month! He was a JYP Entertainment trainee before he joined Cube Entertainment. He’s helped to write many songs for PENTAGON, and even composed Wanna One‘s “Energetic”, which won many awards! Besides being leader, he’s also the main vocalist, lead dancer, and producer of PENTAGON.
7. Bang Chan (Stray Kids)
Bang Chan is 22 years old, born on October 3, 1997. He joined JYP Entertainment in 2010 during their auditions in Australia, and trained for about 8 years before debuting with Stray Kids in 2018. Besides being leader, he’s also the main producer, lead vocalist, lead dancer, and sub-rapper of the group! Definitely a very multi-talented man.
6. Shownu (MONSTA X)
Shownu turned 28 this past June, making him one of the older leaders on this list! He actually trained at JYP Entertainment with GOT7 for 2 years before leaving the company to join Starship Entertainment. He’s the main dancer and lead vocalist of MONSTA X as well as the leader, and also helps to create a lot of their choreographies!
5. Onew (SHINee)
Onew is another one of the older members on this list, born on December 14, 1989, making him 30 years old. He was discovered by SM Entertainment in 2006, and debuted with SHINee in 2008, so he’s been in the entertainment business for about 14 years, nearly half of his life! He’s also SHINee’s main vocalist.
4. S.Coups (SEVENTEEN)
S.Coups was born on August 8, 1995, meaning he’ll be turning 25 in just a week from today! He became a trainee with Pledis Entertainment in 2010, and was actually supposed to debut with NU’EST, but that ended up not happening and he debuted with SEVENTEEN in 2015 instead. He’s also the leader of the hip hop sub-unit of the group, as well as SEVENTEEN’s main rapper and sub-vocalist.
3. Suho (EXO)
Suho was born on May 22, 1991, which also makes him one of the older leaders on this list at 29 years old. He became a trainee at SM Entertainment in 2006, and trained for 6 years before debuting with EXO in 2012. He’s the lead vocalist and visual of EXO as well as the leader.
2. JinJin (ASTRO)
JinJin is 24 years old, though MJ is the oldest member of the group. He was a trainee for 3 years before debuting with ASTRO in 2016, where he’s now the leader as well as the main rapper and lead dancer. He’s also skilled in beatboxing!
1. RM (BTS)
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that RM was voted at the number one spot on this list, given BTS’s success! The 25-year-old is the only remaining member of the original line-up of BTS that was around when it was first developed as a concept in 2010. He’s not the oldest member of the group, but he’s certainly the biggest spokesperson due to his role and English-speaking abilities. He’s also the main rapper of BTS beside being their leader.