From NCT U’s Ten to Stray Kids’ Bang Chan; Here are Some K-pop Idols Who Come From Overseas

nct u ten

Find Out More About K-Pop Idols Who Come From Overseas Countries

There’s a lot of people who dream about being a K-Pop idol, especially all of those who have a passion for dancing, singing, acting, and other performance-based activities. It is a common occurrence for the entertainment agencies in South Korea to hold a global audition and global casting in order to look for candidates who could potentially become idols, not only from South Korea but also in overseas countries. That’s why some of the popular K-Pop idols are not actually Korean but come from a foreign country. In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with a detailed list of K-Pop idols coming from abroad, so stay tuned and keep scrolling down.

Actually, most of the K-Pop idols who are from overseas are half Korean, or they were born in South Korea but were raised in a foreign country. Normally, if they were raised in another country, Korean would not be their first language. Also, most of them were cast through a global audition and global casting system. So, do you want to know more about the K-Pop idols who are from overseas? Let’s find out together in the article below.

NCT U’s Ten

First of all, there’s NCT U’s Ten! Basically, Ten who was born with the name Chittapon Leechaiyapornkul is Thai with Chinese descent. He was born in Bangkok, Thailand on February 27th, 1996. Ten can speak Thai, English, and also Korean. Ten is also famously known as an NCT member, a WayV member (the Chinese subunit of NCT), an NCT U member (another subunit of NCT), and also a SuperM member.

Ten’s career in the entertainment world started when he won one of the Thai television shows, Teen Superstar in 2010. He had a chance to sign a contract with Starship Entertainment in the pst, but he refused it. Later, in 2013, through SM Entertainment’s global audition, Ten joined the agency and became a trainee.

Ten was born in Thailand, so he had a Thai birth name. Even though he also used to live in China, his hometown is considered to be Thailand. When he was five years old, his father brought him to South Korea in order to get a better education and a brighter future.

During his years in South Korea, Ten showed off his dancing abilities since he was a child. That’s why his parents enrolled him in a dancing school. His father was a successful businessman. Ten also has a younger sister who is three years younger than him.

Let’s take a look at Ten’s pre-debut pictures and follow his development to his recent appearance:

(G)I-DLE’s Yuqi

Next, there’s (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi! Yuqi was born in Beijing, China with the birth name Song Yuqi on September 23rd, 1999. Since she moved to South Korea, she changed her name to a Korean one, Song Woo-gi (송우기). Yuqi’s nationality is Chinese and she can speak Chinese, English, and Korean. She is famously known as a member of (G)I-DLE.

Her career journey as an idol started with Cube Entertainment’s global audition in 2015. Later, in 2018, she was introduced as one of the members of (G)I-DLE and debuted along with the rest of the members of the group. Previously, she came to South Korea by herself to become a trainee in 2017. It was a hard time for her since she was Chinese and had to adapt to the Korean way of life and values.

Yuqi is the only child in her family. When she got accepted as a trainee, she came to South Korea alone without her family or friends, because they remained to live in Beijing. Actually, at first, her parents didn’t want to let her move to South Korea. But as time went by, after a lot of negotiations, her parents decided to let her undergo the trainee days in South Korea.

Let’s take a look at Yuqi’s pre-debut pictures and follow her transformations until her recent appearance:

BTOB’s Peniel

There’s also BTOB’s Peniel who is also a K-Pop idol who is from an overseas country! Peniel was born as Peniel Shin in Chicago, Illinois, the United States on March 10th, 1993, and he was also raised there. He is famously known as a member of the band BTOB that debuted in 2012. Peniel Shin was born as Korean-American, and his Korean name was Shin Dong-gun.

Peniel spent his education during elementary and junior high in Chicago, but later, after he becoming a trainee in South Korea, he continued his senior high education in South Korea. Since he was born and raised in the United States, Peniel speaks English fluently. Peniel also has an older sister who is named Jennifer. Peniel lived together with his sister and parents in Chicago.

Peniel used to be a trainee in JYP Entertainment, but later he transferred to Cube Entertainment and debuted as a member of BTOB in 2012. His career journey started when he decided to take part in JYP Entertainment’s global audition in Chicago. Actually, he just kind of followed his friends in joining the audition, but he was selected as a trainee later. It also made him leave his family in Chicago and move to South Korea for his trainee days.

Let’s take a look at Peniel’s pre-debut pictures and follow his path until his recent appearance:

CLC’s Sorn

Next one, there’s Sorn from the girl group CLC! Sorn was born in Thailand on November 18th, 1996. Her birth name was Chonnasorn Sajakul which is a Thai name, but once she became a K-Pop idol, she became famously known as Sorn. Sorn can speak Thai, Chinese, Korean, and English and her nationality is Thai.

She joined the Cube Entertainment Thailand global audition, which also led her to debut along with CLC as the vocalist in 2015. Since she was a child, Sorn had already started showing her singing and dancing abilities. She was also the winner of K-Pop Star Hunt in 2011.

Sorn’s mother, who is a housewife, supported wholeheartedly Sorn’s abilities and she even enrolled Sorn in vocal classes in order to help her achieve her dream. Meanwhile, her father is Wanasthana Sajakul who worked for Thailand’s minister. Sorn also has a brother who is a singer in Thailand, Teerapat Sajakul.

Let’s take a look at Sorn’s pre-debut pictures and follow her transformations until her recent appearance:


KARD’s BM, who also has the Korean name Kim Jin-seok/Kim Woo-jin is one of the members of the boy band KARD. He is famously known as the Korean-American member of the band. His English name is Matthew Kim, however, he chose BM which means “Big Matthew” as his stage name when he became a K-Pop idol. BM can speak English, Korean, and Spanish because his mother is fluent in Spanish.

BM was born in Los Angeles, California, the United States, on October 20th, 1992. His family consists of him, his father, his mother, and two younger brothers. His father lived in Brazil for a while, and his mother is a fashion designer. Actually, his dream was to become a counselor, since BM was majoring in Psychology while he was in college. Dancing and singing were only hobbies for him.

While he was in college in California, BM joined the dance team in his college. At that time, he was performing at a dance competition in California and it was the first time his mother saw him dancing. Then his mother suggested him to join an audition for K-Pop Star in Los Angeles, but BM was hesitant at first, due to his low Korean language skills.

However, his mother convinced him to go to the audition where BM was selected to further develop his skills. Then he went to South Korea alone in 2011 to undergo the K-Pop Star audition further. And finally, in 2017 he was able to debut as a member of KARD, as the main dancer and lead rapper.

Let’s take a look at BM’s pre-debut pictures and follow him until his recent appearance:

TWICE’s Mina

Mina from TWICE is also a K-Pop idol who is from an overseas country! She was born in San Antonio, Texas, the United States, on March 24th, 1997. Even though she was born in Texas, she grew up in Japan. Mina was born with the name Myoui Mina, while her English name is Sharon Myoui. Her family moved to Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan when Mina was still a toddler. That’s why she has two nationalities, American and Japanese as well.

Mina’s family consists of her father Akira Myoui, her mother Myoui Sachiko, and one older brother Kai Myoui. Mina’s father worked as the top surgeon at Osaka University Hospital and also as a special speaker sometimes in certain universities as well, while her brother is a football player. Since she was a child, she was showing off her incredible dancing skills. Mina has been learning ballet since she was a child for a long time, way before she was offered to join the JYP Entertainment global audition in Japan.

Mina got cast with JYP Entertainment while she was shopping with her mother in Osaka. At that time, JYP Entertainment was holding a global audition in Japan. After she got accepted into JYP Entertainment, Mina officially became a trainee in 2014 and moved to South Korea afterward. And finally, Mina debuted as a member of TWICE in 2015.

Let’s take a look at Mina’s pre-debut pictures and follow her until her recent appearance: