The process of selecting a leader in a K-Pop group can vary, but there are some common “themes” seen in leaders of K-Pop groups. Here’s a look at 3 of the most common ways K-Pop group leaders are selected.
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Age is a big thing in Korean culture, as age and respect are greatly valued. Due to this, a lot of companies tend to appoint the eldest member of a group as the leader, as younger members of the group will likely listen to a person older than them.
Onew, the leader and eldest member of SHINee
Leeteuk, the leader and eldest member of Super Junior
Super Junior’s Leeteuk even once shared the story of how he got selected to be the leader of the group. He shared that the members were all gathered, and a company representative asked who was the eldest. When Leeteuk shared that he was the eldest, he was selected as the leader.
2. Training experience
K-Pop groups usually have members who have trained for different lengths of time. This has caused some K-Pop companies to select the member with the longest training period to be the leader of the group.
Suho is the leader of EXO and has the longest training period among the members.
EXO’s Suho once revealed that he was selected to be the leader of the group since he had the longest training time among the members.
RM is the leader of BTS and has the longest training period among the members.
Similarly, BTS’s RM was selected to be the leader of the group since he was the first member to join BTS and had the longest training time among the members.
3. Members of a group selecting the leader
Sometimes, the members of a group will select their leader rather than the company.
Eunbi was selected as the leader of IZ*ONE by her members.
IZ*ONE decided to have a vote among themselves to decide who the leader would be. In the end, every member except for Eunbi herself voted for her to become the leader.
Jihyo was selected as the leader of TWICE by her members.
Before TWICE debuted, Park Jin Young, the head of JYP Entertainment, decided to talk with the members about what qualities a leader should have, such as sacrifice. The members eventually did an anonymous vote on who the leader should be, and Jihyo received the most votes.