There aren’t many K-Pop idols who come from Thailand compared to China and Japan, but they all left a good impression on the Korean audience.
Since the 2nd generation of idols, with achievements that paved the way for K-Pop to rock the world, foreign idols active in the industry are becoming more and more popular. By the 3rd generation of idols, K-Pop even witnessed the birth of famous groups in which one third or half of the members were foreigners. For that reason, now, it seems too normal for Korean audiences to see management companies recruit foreign idols.
Among the nationalities of foreign K-Pop idols, China and Japan seem to account for the largest number. Recently, however, Korean netizens have realized there is another nationality that is steadily rising. After Nichkhun (2PM), who was the first Thai idol to debut, more popular and influential idols who come from Thailand have appeared and won the hearts of the audience. Here are they.
Debut year: 2008
Considered as the first Thai idol to debut in South Korean , Nichkhun is one of the most popular visuals of 2nd-generation boy groups. Up to now, he is still referred to by many people as the ‘Thai Prince’.
Debut year: 2014
After Nichkhun, Bambam is the second Thai idol that JYP Entertainment introduced. With GOT7‘s international popularity, Bambam is also a very big name at his home country.
Debut year: 2015
Not so popular as other Thai idols, but Sorn also has remarkable activities in the CLC lineup. As the winner of ‘K-Pop Star Hunt’ Season 1, her voice has been making a strong impression on the audience.
Debut year: 2016
Ten is the first Thai idol to debut under SM Entertainment. With his talent and charisma, Ten has fulfilled all his assigned roles, whether it is in SuperM, WayV or any NCT units.
Debut year: 2016
It can be said that Lisa is one of the most famous idols coming from Thailand in the world today. Not only known as a BLACKPINK member, Lisa is also a favorite pick of many famous brands. She is chosen to be their representative model thanks to her beautiful face and fierce charisma.
Debut year: 2018
After Sorn, Minnie is another Thai idol who trained and debuted under Cube Entertainment. She helped strengthen the position of Thai idols in the hearts of the audience by her outstanding talent, as she was chosen as a main vocalist of (G)I-DLE (together with Miyeon).
Debut year: 2020
Getting her name known for the first time on JYP’s survival show ‘SIXTEEN’, Natty immediately impressed the audience thanks to her pretty face and good dancing skill, even at a very young age. After many hard times, the former JYP trainee recently officially debuted as a solo singer.
Debut year: 2020
Prince is the latest name added to the list of K-Pop idols coming from Thailand. Maroo Entertainment‘s rookie Boygroup GHOST9 has just officially debuted on September 23, and Prince is the only foreign member of the group.
Of course, up to now, the number of Thai idols is still quite small compared to the number of Japanese and Chinese idols. But clearly, this nationality is on the rise and gradually becoming more popular in the Korean music industry. In particular, compared to Chinese and Japanese idols, Thai idols are more welcomed by netizens thanks to their talents and great personalities.
Some typical comments from Knet:
- “What? Prince is a Thai idol…??”
- “There are a lot of Thai idols out there.”
- “Natty and Ten? But they look a lot like Koreans.”
- “Lisa-ah, I love you!!”
- “When I first saw Bambam, Minnie and Natty, I thought they were Korean.”
- “Looks like all Thai idols have very good skills.”
- “All the Thai members are very likable.”
- “The kids from Thailand seem to have great talent and personality so I have a very good impression about them.”
- “After Nichkhun, there are a lot of idols from Thailand.”
- “Thailand is full of talented people! Bambam dances so well!!”
- “Even more respectable is that these Thai idols all speak Korean very well…”
- “Compared to Japanese or Chinese idols, I like Thai idols more… They are both talented and have a very lovable personality.”