While a majority of K-Pop stars are native Koreans, there are actually a ton of idols that were born in and even grew up across the globe in the United States!
Most people can name a few from some of the usual entertainment hotspots such as Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois, but there’s actually a wide variety of states that K-Pop artists have lived in.
So, let’s take a look at a few U.S. states that K-Pop idols have called home:
California is literally the most popular state for K-Pop idols to live in, which makes a lot of sense considering the fact that Los Angeles is the county with the highest Korean population in the United States! A few popular names include GOT7‘s Mark Tuan, Girls’ Generation‘s Tiffany, and DAY6‘s Jae among many, many more!
2. New Jersey
We wonder what’s up with the water in New Jersey, as somehow two iconic female K-Pop soloists happened to grow up there! Both Ailee and Jessi made it to high school, with Ailee even moving on to begin a degree in Communications at Pace University nearby before dropping out to pursue a music career.
NCT‘s Johnny and BTOB‘s Peniel are two male idols from Chicago that have made names for themselves in the industry, each celebrating countless successes with the boy groups they ended up joining. They even became good friends because of this and sometimes reminisce over their memories of the city together!
Funnily enough, the state of Washington has not just one, but two Jay Parks who eventually became K-Pop idols! Jay from ENHYPEN as well as the popular rapper Jay Park are from the metropolitan hub of Seattle.
Both MONSTA X‘s I.M and 2PM‘s Taecyeon spent quite a few years in Massachusetts, surrounded by some of the most prestigious elementary, middle, and high schools not only in New England, but the entire country!
TWICE‘s Mina was born in San Antonio, Texas, but didn’t spend much time there before moving to Japan. However, Chungha actually stayed with her aunt’s family in Coppell for seven whole years!
There are two K-Pop idols in total who consider Hawaii their birthplace: After School‘s Bekah, and TXT‘s Hueningkai! Hueningkai probably doesn’t remember too much about it, considering he was only there for one month as a baby before his family made their way to China, but Bekah is a proud graduate of Moanalua High School!
8. New York
New York, particularly New York City, is a bustling area filled with opportunity, which is probably why SEVENTEEN‘s Vernon‘s parents thought it was the perfect place for him to spend his developing years! Vernon lived there for quite a while, but when he turned six his family decided to move to South Korea.
Eric Nam and his two brothers Eddie and Brian (who eventually came together to create DIVE Studios) originally hail from Atlanta, Georgia! All three siblings made it through high school there and continued to different universities on the east coast: Eric to Boston College, Eddie to Northeastern University, and Brian to Columbia University!
NCT‘s Jaehyun is another idol whose family looked to the northeast for their son’s education, as he ended up attending a private boarding school in Connecticut from the ages of five to ten!
Much like her SM Entertainment labelmate Jaehyun, Red Velvet‘s Wendy lived the life of a boarding school student at Shattuck-Saint Mary‘s in Minnesota! She was an excellent addition to their community, receiving many awards for her academics, athletics, and music-related activities!
It isn’t too often that you hear the words ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘K-Pop’ in the same sentence, but when you do, the name AleXa is probably involved! She was born in the city of Tulsa and took dancing lessons in all types of genres there for years until she was signed with the ZB Label through an online audition.
iKON‘s Bobby is the group’s incredible rapper who happens to have a pretty good grasp of the English language because his family lived in Fairfax, Virginia! He stayed there from 2005 until when he was accepted by YG Entertainment as a trainee at their New York audition.
Do you know any idols from your home state?