Support networks and close friendships are undeniably important to everyone, and that goes double in a competitive industry like K-pop.
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Two heads are better than one, the saying goes – here we look at the K-pop stars who get by with a little help from their friends.
IU and Yoo In-na
The bond between K-pop star IU and actress Yoo In-na is well known. The famous besties met through the variety show Heroes, which ran from 2010 to 2011, and have been inseparable ever since, traveling together, getting matching rings together and even living in the same building.
The singer-songwriter is known for being a generous friend, but she appears to have a particular soft spot for Yoo. She called Yoo “my muse, my star” when she received the album of the year award at the 2017 Melon Music Awards, and wrote the song You about missing Yoo when she was filming a drama at a location with no phone or internet signal.
And Yoo values IU just as much: in a 2018 interview with Chosun newspaper, Yoo said that IU is someone she wants to take care of, adding that the two rely on each other and that they are companions for life.
Block B’s P.O and Winner’s Mino
These two K-pop stars go way back. Their friendship started much earlier than their debuts – during their high school days, in fact. As classmates at Hanlim Multi Art School, they shared the same dream of becoming a hip-hop duo. You can even find clips of them performing together online.
But although they hoped to debut together, they ended up in different groups under different agencies: P.O. joined Block B while Song Min-ho, better known as Mino, joined YG Entertainment’s Winner. (He was part of the ballad group Bom before that.)
They shared the story of how they teared up upon seeing each other onstage in the music TV series We Will Channel You! That day must have been a complicated one for them, though, considering that Block B stole the show by topping the charts when the focus was supposed to be on Mino, who was making his debut.
The pair’s long-lasting friendship has endured, however – their unique senses of style even landed them the show Mapo Hipster where they compete in styling outfits.
BTS’ RM and Got7’s Jackson
RM and Jackson might be busy with their own schedules and projects, but they’re constantly mentioning each other in TV shows they appear in, even if they might not have much time to hang out together.
They met through a mutual friend as trainees before their debuts – Jackson at JYP Entertainment and RM at Big Hit Entertainment. When RM invited Jackson onto the 2015 quiz show Problematic Men as a guest, Jackson shared that their friendship was originally based on something of a misunderstanding: RM spoke such good English when they met that the Hong Kong-born Jackson assumed RM was also from outside of Korea, and therefore would be good company.
But even though Jackson was wrong about RM’s background, his guess that they would be good friends turned out to be correct. On the Zach Sang Show in 2019, Jackson shared that RM balances him out very well, remaining calm and laid back while Jackson tends to joke around. He also said that RM gives him good advice when he’s dealing with problems.
Jackson currently has his hands full with his solo projects and the release of his streetwear brand, Team Wang, while BTS’ international success has taken RM on tours across the globe. But the two still remember to give each other shout-outs: when fans asked RM which idol he’d most like to meet during a V Live session, RM answered Jackson, remarking that they haven’t been able to meet up in a long time due to their busy schedules.
Girl’s Day’s Hyeri and Blackpink’s Rosé
After meeting on the show DoReMi Market, Hyeri and Rosé quickly bonded after Hyeri reached out and asked for Rosé’s number. But it was Rosé who first invited Hyeri to have a meal together. When the two had another appearance on the same show, Rosé shared that she was nervous about extending that initial invite because she was a fan of Hyeri. The Girl’s Day member, on the other hand, revealed that the two meet frequently – sometimes up to twice a week – and when they don’t have time for that, they video call each other instead.
The two are also well-known foodies. Hyeri’s YouTube channel and their social media accounts feature plenty of videos and photos of them enjoying food at restaurants, bakeries and cafes. Rosé even recently sent a food truck to Hyeri’s drama shoot as Christmas Eve surprise.