15 K-Pop Artists Who Took The World By Storm In 2017

2017 was quite a year for K-pop. From climbing Billboard charts to trending worldwide on Twitter, K-pop was unstoppable! Will world domination be next on that list? For these 15 artists, we definitely think so! Check out our nominees for this year’s Artist of the Year below.

TWICE

Releasing hit after hit, TWICE bopped to the top in 2017! TWICE’s first studio album “Twicetagram” became the fastest-selling album by a K-pop girl group (since 2002), when they reached 100,000 unit sales within three days of the album’s release. “Twicetagram” also placed No.19 on Billboard’s 20 Best K-pop Albums of 2017. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, TWICE became the first female K-pop artists to top both of Billboard’s World Charts.

Their achievements weren’t just limited to Korea. In Japan, “#Twice” charted at No. 2 on the Oricon Daily Album Chart, as well as the Oricon Weekly Album Chart. TWICE was also selected as one of the winners of the 2017 Oricon Queen Award.

Awards

  • Gaon Chart Music Awards: Song of the Year in April for “Cheer Up” and in October for “TT”
  • Golden Disc Award: Digital Daesang and Digital Bonsang for “Cheer Up”; Digital Bonsang for “Knock, Knock”; Digital Bonsang for “Twicetagram”; CeCi Asian Icon Award
  • Melon Music Awards: Best Dance – Female for “Knock, Knock”; Top 10 Artists
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Song of the Year and Best Dance Performance – Female Group for “Signal”

Red Velvet

From their fun and fruity “Red Flavor” to their more edgy (but equally catchy) “Peek-A-Boo,” these girls were everywhere this year! Not only did they have their first solo concert in 2017, but Red Velvet also had their first showcase in Japan as well. “The Red Summer” was their third album to chart No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. It also set the record for the most No.1 albums on the chart by a K-pop girl group.

This summer’s anthem, “Red Flavor,” was the first song from Red Velvet to top Gaon and their fifth song to sell over a million copies. “Peek-a-Boo” was also a mega hit: it peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s World Digital Songs chart.

And last, but not least, the fandom was finally named! Red Velvet revealed their fanclub name, ReVeluv, on the 1000th day anniversary of their debut.

Awards

  • Golden Disc Awards: Ceci Asia Icon Award, Digital Bonsang for “Red Flavor”
  • Melon Music Awards: Top 10 Artists
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Best Female Group
  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang Award
  • Soribada Best K-Music Awards: Bonsang Award, Hallyu Icon Award

BTS

BTS had one of their best years yet! They ranked No. 5 on Forbes Korea Power Celebrity List, broke the Guinness World Record for most Twitter engagements for a music group, and was named by Time magazine as one of the “25 most influential people on the internet.” BTS also became the first K-pop group to enter the top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 with “Mic Drop.”

Of course, BTS’s impact didn’t just stop in Korea. They were invited to perform at the AMAs (which marked their US TV debut performance), and they also won the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist and a Shorty Award for Best in Music. Last, but not least, BTS is the only foreign artist to be certified double platinum in Japan. How’s that for a “mic drop”?

BTS also launched their fourth era, the “Love Yourself” series, this year, as well as a campaign with UNICEF called LOVE MYSELF. They rebranded as “Beyond the Scene” and collaborated with many American artists, like The Chainsmokers and Fall Out Boy.

Awards 

  • Melon Music Awards: Top 10 Artists, Global Artist, Song of the Year for “Spring Day,” Music Video Award for “Spring Day”
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Best Music Video for “Spring Day” Artist of the Year, Best Asian Style in Hong Kong
  • Golden Disc Awards: Disk Bonsang for “Wings,” “Spring Day” and “Love Yourself: Her,” Global K-pop Artist Award, Disk Daesang and Disk Bonsang for “Love Yourself: Her”
  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang Award, Best Male Dance Performance Award, Record of the Year (Album) for “Wings,” Best Music Video Award for “Blood, Sweat, & Tears.”
  • Soribada Best K-Music Awards: Hallyu Star

IU

IU has grown tremendously musically since she first debuted, and 2017 was her year to really show that off! She released her first full album, “Palette,” in four years, where she served as the primary lyricist and producer. This was also IU’s first album to debut atop the Billboard World Albums chart. She also starred in the hit TV Program “Hyori’s Home Stay.”

Awards 

  • Melon Music Awards: Top 10 Artists, Best Song Writer, Album of the Year for “Palette”
  • Golden Disc Awards: Digital Daesang/ Song of the Year and Digital Bonsang for “Through the Night”
  • Mnet Asian Music Award: Best Female Artist

WINNER

These boys are “Really, Really” talented! “Fate Number For” entered and peaked at No. 2 on the Gaon Album Chart. This album also reached No.1 on the iTunes’s charts of 21 countries! They were also on “Youth Over Flowers,” where the the cast and crew of the show went the extra mile to keep it a surprise. Through thick and thin, these boys came out on top this year, and truly showed us what it meant to be a “WINNER”!

Awards

  • Golden Disc Awards: Digital Bonsang for “Really Really”
  • Melon Music Awards: Top 10 Artists

BLACKPINK

BLACKPINK in your area! These girls made a splash in Korea this year with their catchy single “As If It’s Our Last.” This single became the second most viewed music video in the first 24 hours by a Korean act on Youtube, and was the most viewed K-pop music video in 2017. “As If It’s Your Last” also debuted at No. 4 on the Gaon Digital Chart and peaked at No. 3. It also debuted at number one on Billboard World Digital Songs. Not many have accomplished what these girls have in this short of a span!

Awards 

  • Golden Disc Awards: New Artist of the Year, Digital Bonsang
  • Seoul Music Awards: New Artist of the Year

SEVENTEEN

Say the name! SEVENTEEN! Certainly, you’ll be hearing their names worldwide! Despite not having an official debut in Japan, their Japan concerts had about 50,000 people in attendance. “Teen, Age” also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. SEVENTEEN also went on their first world tour in 2017.

Awards 

  • Asia Artist Awards: Best Artist Award
  • Golden disc Awards: Disc Bonsang for “Love Letter” and “Teen, Age”
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Worldwide Favorite Artist, Best Dance Performance- Male Group for “Don’t Wanna Cry”

GFRIEND

After all GFRIEND accomplished this past year, we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year! “The Awakening” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s World Album Chart. They also won “best Korean Act” of 2017 at MTV EMAs. These girls make their fandom “Buddy” proud!

Awards 

  • Golden Disc Award: Digital Bonsang for “Rough,” Best Female Group
  • Melon Music Awards: 1theK Performance Award
  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang Award
  • Soribada Best K-Music Awards: Bonsang Award

EXO

EXO’s powerful performances this past year can’t be beat! “Ko Ko Bop” debuted at No. 1 on the Melon Digital Chart. “The War” debuted at No. 87 on the Billboard 200 chart, and No. 1 on the Billboard World Albums Chart. “The War” also recorded the highest first week sales of any K-pop album previously, with over 600,000 albums sold.

EXO was also the youngest K-pop act to hold a concert at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, and became the third idol group to chart at No. 1 on Gaon for four weeks. They also celebrated their 100th win on music shows this past year.

Awards

  • Asia Artist Awards: Popularity Award, Fabulous Award, Daesang Award
  • Golden Disc Awards: Ceci Asia Icon Award, Disk Bonsang and Disk Daesang for “Ex’Act,” Genie Popularity Award, Global Popularity Award, Disk Bonsang and Disk Daesang for “The War”
  • Melon Music Awards: Artist of the Year, Top 10 Artists, Netizen Popularity Award, Best Male Dance for “Ko Ko Bop”
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Mwave Global Fans Choice for “Ko Ko Bop,” Album of the Year for “The War”
  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang Award, Fandom School Award, Daesang Award
  • Soribada Best K-Music Awards: New Hallyu Popularity Award, Bonsang Award, Daesang Award

BIGBANG

BIGBANG has been one of the defining artists of K-pop in the past 11 years they’ve been promoting. From record breaking to paving the way for the idol groups of now, BIGBANG is truly one of a kind. In 2017, they held their fifth Japanese dome tour, and this was the last activity they will participate as a group for a while, since most of the members will be enlisting in 2017.

Taeyang also announced his impeding marriage to Min Hyo Rin in 2017, and he, along with G-Dragon, will enlist this year. We wish them all the best in their individual activities!

Awards 

  • Golden Disc Awards: Digital Bonsang (Top 10 Digital Artist) for “FXXK It”
  • Melon Music Awards: Top 10 Artists

Wanna One

Talent has another name – Wanna One! After showing off their explosive charisma on “Produce 101 Season 2,” each member that ranked in the top 11 was chosen to make up the group Wanna One. They became the first K-pop group to sell a million copies of their debut album. Wanna One was also chosen by Billboard as the Best New K-pop Act of 2017.

Awards

  • Asia Artist Awards: Rookie Award, Super Rookie Samsung Pay Award
  • Golden Disc Awards: New Artist of the Year
  • Melon Music Awards: Best New Artists, Top 10 Artists, Kakao Hot Star Award
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Best of Next Award, New New Male Artist, Best Male Group
  • Soribada Best K-Music Awards: New Artist of the Year, Rising Hot Star Award

Highlight

These veteran idols came back stronger than ever in 2017! After leaving Cube Entertainment and rebranding from BEAST to Highlight, they were not only able to avoid the “7th year curse,” but they successfully “debuted” again with “Can You Feel It?” They also had their “first” end of year solo concert as Highlight. Not bad for a “rookie” group!

MAMAMOO

With their killer vocals and unstoppable confidence, MAMAMOO had one of their best years yet! They set a new record on Melon for the girl group song with the most listeners in 24 hours. “Yes I Am” also charted No. 1 on the Melon real-time chart. The only direction these girls can go is up!

Awards 

  • Asia Artists Awards: Best Icon Award (singer Category)
  • Golden Disc Awards: Digital Bonsang for “You’re the Best”
  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang for “You’re the Best”
  • Soribada: Bonsang

GOT7

Only the sky is the limit for GOT7! In 2017, they wrapped up their mega successful “Flight Log” series. “Flight Log: The Arrival,” the third and final part to their “Flight Log” series, sold more than 300,000 copies. Since debut, these boys have continuously upped themselves every year, and we can’t wait to see what they have planned for us in 2018!

Awards

  • Golden Disc Awards: Disc Bonsang for “Flight Log: Turbulence” and “Flight Log: Arrival”
  • Global V LIVE Award: Global Artist Top 10, Best Worldwide Influencer
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: World Performer, 2017 Favorite KPOP Star
  • Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang Award for “Flight Log: Turbulence”

NU’EST W

Never say never! These idols embody the fruits of hard work and never giving up. Since their debut in 2012, NU’EST scored their first music show win with “Where You At.” While Minhyun is currently promoting with Wanna One, NU’EST is promoting as a subunit called NU’EST W, where the “W” in their name stands for “Wait.” They also released an OST for the Korean drama “Hwayugi,” which was their first OST since debut.

Awards 

  • Asia Artist Awards: Best Entertainer Award
  • Golden Disc Award: Disk Bonsang for “W, Here”
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards: Discovery of the Year

Hey Soompiers! Have you voted for Artist of the Year yet in the 13th Annual Soompi Awards? If not, check out the nominees below, and don’t forget to vote! Voting ends soon, at 12 p.m. KST on February 21!

mayme22’s favorite Bible verses at the moment are Psalm 8:3-4.

Throwback: You Don’t Know K-Pop If You Don’t Know H.O.T.

In case you haven’t heard, H.O.T. (which stands for High Five of Teenagers) is making a comeback through the popular variety show “Infinite Challenge.” While this may not come as a big deal to some, it is a HUGE deal to those who experienced the cultural wave of H.O.T. back in the ’90s and their impact on the K-pop industry as a whole. They were a pretty big deal and still are, which is why this comeback is extra special!

H.O.T. debuted under SM Entertainment in 1996 – over 20 years ago. As soon as they debuted, they made quite the name for themselves and rose to fame fairly quickly. They were nothing like what Korean music fans had seen before. Because there were not many other boy bands to compete with, all of Korea was taken into the charms, talents, and good looks of this five-member group.

The members

First, there is Moon Hee Jun, the charismatic leader:

Moon Hee Jun was known mostly for his varying colors of contact lenses, long front bangs, and his popping dancing skills. He had a strong presence and people really respected him as a leader.

Tony Ahn, the English speaking member with sweet vocals:

Tony was chosen from a group of auditions that were conducted in the States. His obvious charm and adorable smile were no match for the other contenders!

Jang Woo Hyuk and his deadly dance moves:

Jang Woo Hyuk was known as the one in the group who could dance up a storm. He had a cold exterior but was also a complete teddy bear. He was able to do pretty much any dance move and was always able to impress and deliver his effortless talents on variety shows.

Lee Jae Won, the super tall and adorable maknae:

Lee Jae Won was the quiet one and the maknae of the group who really didn’t say much. When he did say something, it was sweet and you could tell he was so shy.

And last, but not least, the one with the smoothest of vocals, Kangta

Kangta was still in high school when he made it into H.O.T. He had a natural voice that carried through riffs and melodies. He really caught the attention of listeners with every chorus line that he sang. It was distinct and set H.O.T. apart from other singers in the industry.

Their milestones

All of these members combined brought about a frenzy throughout Korea. Girls were lining up to catch any glimpse of them. Their first single was “Descendants of Warriors,” which tackled the issue of bullying in schools. From the first line of their song, it had become a hit, winning the hearts of many, especially because of the group’s efforts to take on social issues. And then came their unforgettable second single “Candy,” a catchy pop song with fuzzy adorable costumes and hats. Everything about this concept was too fun!

Their dance and song proved to be a huge hit as their first ever album went on to sell over 1.5 million copies. They even snagged the Best New Artist award at the Golden Disc Awards that year.

But their success didn’t end with that. Their second released album titled “Wolf and Sheep” had several hit songs on the album that went on to be chart toppers. The album sold over 1 million copies in 10 days. Some of their hit songs included, “Happiness,” “Wolf and Sheep,” and “We Are the Future.” Their dance for “We Are the Future” went on to become a go-to classic song that K-pop groups even cover today.

EXO’s cover:

Wanna One’s cover:

The year their second album was released, they won the grand prize award at both the Golden Disk Awards and the Seoul Music Awards.

H.O.T released their third album in September of 1998 and their fourth album in September of 1999. Their big hit off their fourth album was titled, “I Yah!” which was dedicated to the kindergarten victims who were killed in a tragic fire:

Music video for “I Yah!”

The same month that their fourth album was released, they not only sold over a million copies, but they were also the first ever K-pop group to perform at the Seoul Olympic Stadium. 72,000 H.O.T. fans crammed into the stadium and there was not a single empty seat.

Their success continued to dominate the charts as their albums instantly became best-sellers the moment they were released. Their fans remained devoted and continued to grow in numbers. This brought them to perform in Beijing in early 2000, making them the first ever K-pop group to perform in front of a Chinese audience. This also became the stepping stone for many other K-pop groups to perform and promote in China.

Their opening song for their concert in Beijing:

On September of 2000, H.O.T released their fifth and what would be their final album together, “Outside Castle.”

Sudden disbandment

Unfortunately, in 2001, H.O.T announced their disbandment. It came as a huge shock. There was some speculation surrounding their contract agreements with SM Entertainment. Apparently some miscommunication between the group members and company had created a distance, making some of the members leave the company without signing another contract.

Kangta on “The Guru Show” discussing the miscommunication the members had with each other:

The fanbase that once wore white to support their favorite group was left heartbroken. There were huge protests outside of the company from fans who were crying and unable to come to terms with this reality. It was truly a devastating time in the Korean music industry and a moment that many will never forget.

Their reunion

But here we are, 17 years later. Infinite Challenge has made the impossible possible, bringing together the five members again for their “ToToGa” special. The group has not made an appearance together as a full group since 2001, so you can understand the hype and excitement around this news. It’s a monumental time as history has finally come full circle. The group that many of us ’90s K-pop fans were waiting for has FINALLY arrived and we’re counting down the days until we can see them perform as a whole again.

Watch them gear up for their reunion performance in their first “Infinite Challenge” episode below!

Watch Now

Hey Soompiers, are you looking forward to this legendary K-pop group reunion? Let me know in the comments below!

binahearts is a Soompi writer who can be most often seen singing her heart out at karaoke, walking her dog, or indulging in dessert. Her ultimate biases include Song Joong Ki, BIGBANG and BTOB. Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!

13 Devoted Celebrities Who Have Fascinating Collections

Some idols tend to have interesting hobbies, and owning collectibles is definitely one of them!

From purchasing all the releases of a specific merchandise, to being content with figurines and plushies from famous brands, to completely going the extra mile and investing in luxurious items; one thing is sure about these collections: they’re all unique.

Here are some fascinating collections led by 13 devoted celebrities.

Merchandise

BTS’s Jin surely expresses his dedication for the Mario universe by acquiring tons of related figurines and plushies that ornate his room. He also receives Mario-themed gifts from his fans during fansigns.

Furthermore, he is very protective of his collection and often threatens his members should they dare to touch it in his absence.

When it comes to EXO’s Chanyeol, his love for Rilakkuma has been perceived on more than one occasion. In fact, he publicly shows his love for the Japanese character by proudly displaying his collection in his bedroom.

He also packs his dolls wherever he goes, just like he did prior to his appearance on “The Roommate.”

As for Super Junior’s Kim Heechul, the disney movie “Frozen” seems to have bewitched him. The humorous idol not only collects everything Frozen-themed, but he also enthusiastically cosplayed as both Anna and Elsa on different occasions.

A mutual appreciation for “The Simpsons” seems to unite CNBLUE’s Jong Yong Hwa and HyunA! Both idols have quite the collection to brag about, with HyunA’s Instagram feed basically breathing the famous animated show.

Another fervent collector of fictional characters is actor Shim Hyung Tak, who has opened up about his obsession with Doraemon during his featuring on “Real Men.”

A couple of years back, he also spoke on “Infinite Challenge” about the comfort that the Japanese animation brought him during his school days when he was shunned by his classmates.

Stuffed animals

Uhm Hyun Kyung seems to have a specific preference when it comes to stuffed animals, and that is none other than stuffed giraffe dolls.

During her appearance on “I Live Alone,” Uhm Hyun Kyung displayed her giraffe mania as seen down below.

Figurines

[email protected] and KAWS are two of the most popular figurines that receive a lot of idols’ attention, and 2PM’s Junho is definitely a collector.

He introduced viewers to his house via his group’s reality show “Real 2PM,” humbly revealing his exhibition corner where an aesthetic ensemble is displayed. (Start watching at 2:20)

Art

Art and BIGBANG’s T.O.P are a match made in heaven. He has turned his Instagram feed into a virtual museum, thanks to his numerous posts of paintings and mostly chairs that he has ambitiously acquired throughout the years.

As of 2016, the rapper-turned-actor became a curator for Sotheby’s, pushing his passion for fine art even further.

Footwear

Apparently, Park Hae Jin and Highlight’s Lee Gikwang share the same passion: collecting sneakers.

Park Hae Jin is one of the biggest collectors of Nike shoes, based on the storage he keeps in his house.

On the other hand, Gikwang is more of an avid collector of a wide variety of sneakers, as seen during his appearance on “I Live Alone.”

Cars

Both JYJ’s Kim Junsu and Dok2 have dedicated their time and money to collect expensive cars, which basically counts as a lifetime investment.

Check out Junsu’s proud collection on his Instagram account:

Dok2 also shared a snap of his white cars, aligned in his garage:

Which collection is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.

Second Leads We Loved: The Best Supporting Actors Of 2017

It’s hard to overstate the importance of a K-drama’s supporting cast: compelling secondary characters are often what truly enliven a drama, making the difference between a good drama and an extraordinary one. It takes a special acting talent to bring these characters to life, and while 2017 gave us a whole host of memorable supporting roles, we’ve nominated a list of ten exceptional supporting actors for this year’s Soompi Awards. They made us laugh and cry, challenged our thinking, tugged at our heartstrings, and overall enriched the drama world of 2017. We present to you the nominees for Best Supporting Actor — get to know them through their superlatives below!

Warning: This article contains minor spoilers.

Most impressive abs: Jung Hae In

As Han Woo Tak in “While You Were Sleeping

Aired on: SBS
Air date: September 27 to November 16, 2017 (32 episodes, 35 mins each)
Also starring: Lee Jong Suk, Suzy, Lee Sang Yeob

As if his heart-melting smile weren’t enough, Jung Hae In also graced us with one of the most memorable ab-exposing scenes of 2017 in “While You Were Sleeping.” But there’s much more to this up-and-coming actor than just looks, and there’s a reason so many viewers had major Second Lead Syndrome for his character Han Woo Tak. Whether it’s his cheerful demeanor, noble policeman profession, wistful one-sided love, or the way Jung Hae In combines all these traits into one character, “While You Were Sleeping” would not have been the same without him.

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Start watching “While You Were Sleeping” below: 

Grimmest backstory: Lee Dong Wook

As Wang Yeo in “Goblin

Aired on: tvN
Air date: December 2, 2016 to January 21, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Yoo In Na, Yook Sungjae

The beloved Grim Reaper from “Goblin” endeared himself to many with his adorable naivety, due to the loss of his memories from his past life. Of course, things become more complicated once Reaper regains his memories of his life as Wang Yeo. Lee Dong Wook delivers a heart-rending performance as he brings to life the multiple emotional facets of this character, from the angry mad king to the sorrowful Grim Reaper that must grapple with the tragic consequences of his previous actions.

Watch the first episode of “Goblin” here:

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Most persistent suitor: Kim Jae Wook

As Park Jung Woo in “Degree of Love

Aired on: SBS
Air date: September 18 to November 21, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Also starring: Seo Hyun Jin, Jo Bo Ah, Yang Se Jong

Second male leads tend to be unlucky in love, and often settle for longingly watching the woman of their dreams get together with the main lead. Not Park Jung Woo in “Degree of Love.” He is so determined to win the heart of screenwriter Lee Hyun Soo that not even the fact that she is in love with — and dating — another man can dissuade him, even when that man turns out to be his friend. The embodiment of the cool, confident businessman, Kim Jae Wook still gives enough warmth to this character to make him likable, and he certainly is a driving force behind the drama in “Degree of Love.”

Catch “Degree of Love” here:

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Nerdiest proposal: Kim Min Suk

As Shim Won Suk in “Because This Is My First Life

Aired on: tvN
Air date: October 9 to November 28, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Lee Min Ki, Jung So Min

Intelligent as he may be, Kim Min Suk’s character in “Because This Is My First Life” is woefully inept at picking up on girlfriend Yang Ho Rang’s signals, despite their 7-year-long relationship. And when he finally proposes to her, he starts off with a spiel comparing their love to his favorite mathematician. How’s that for romantic? Shim Won Sik may not exactly be the traditional K-drama boyfriend, but Kim Min Suk portrays him with a combination of braininess and naivety that makes the role refreshingly unique.

Start watching “Because This Is My First Life”: 

Number One fanboy: Choi Tae Joon

As Ji Eun Hyuk in “Suspicious Partner

Aired on: SBS
Air date: May 10 to July 13, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Also starring: Ji Chang Wook, Nam Ji Hyun, Nara

Everyone makes mistakes, but not generally on such a huge scale as getting romantically involved with their best friend’s girlfriend. Years after Ji Eun Hyuk does just this, he is still trying to regain the favor of his former friend Noh Ji Wook, showering him with puppy love and fanboy-like affection. Choi Tae Joon endows this character with such a bubbly attitude and contagious laugh that it’s easy to root for him as he remains unflaggingly upbeat despite Ji Woo’s constant rejections.

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Watch “Suspicious Partner”:

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Biggest appetite: Junho

As Seo Yul in “Chief Kim

Aired on: KBS
Air date: January 25 to March 30, 2017 (20 episodes)
Also starring: Namgoong Min, Nam Sang Mi, Jung Hye Sung

Little quirks can make a character come to life, and in the case of Seo Yul from “Chief Kim,” that little quirk is one big appetite. Played by 2PM’s Junho, this finance director eats so frequently and voraciously that he earns the nickname “gluttonous sociopath.” Haughty and cold, yet charismatic nonetheless, Junho gives a fresh — and often comedic — twist to the classic shady bad boy.

Start watching “Chief Kim”:

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Biggest flirt: Ji Soo

As In Guk Doo in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Aired on: JTBC
Air date: February 24 to April 16, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik

Ji Soo’s “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” character In Guk Doo is, for the most part, a serious and focused detective — which is why it was especially delightful that the role involved some outrageously flirtatious moments for this model-turned-actor. From drunkenly wooing co-star Park Hyung Sik to cross-dressing in order to catch a criminal, Ji Soo definitely showed us a new side of himself this year!

Watch “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” below:

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Most heartfelt apology: Ahn Jae Hong

As Kim Joo Man in “Fight My Way

Aired on: KBS
Air date: May 22 to July 11, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Park Seo Joon, Kim Ji Won, Song Ha Yoon

When Kim Joo Man fails to fend off a female coworker’s advances, he causes a rift in his 6-year-long relationship with girlfriend Seol Hee. He immediately realizes what a mess he’s made, and his repentance takes the form of countless dolls and food items left outside Seol Hee’s door for two months straight in an effort to win her back. He may be at fault, but Ahn Jae Hong delivers such sincere remorse and puppy dog eyes that it’s hard not to empathize with him.

Start watching “Fight My Way”:

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Most serendipitous hugger: Jang Ki Yong

As Jung Nam Gil in “Go Back Couple

Aired on: KBS
Air date: October 13 to November 18, 2017 (12 episodes)
Also starring: Son Ho Jun, Jang Nara, Han Bo Reum

Jung Nam Gil from “Go Back Couple” is always around to save the day for his crush Ma Jin Joo — more than once, by catching her in a dramatically romantic hug. Jang Ki Yong plays this second lead with a killer combination of masculine and emotionally attuned that makes him easy to fall for; it’s too bad for him that the girl he is so enamored of is actually a married woman trapped in the body of her younger self.

Catch Episode 1 of “Go Back Couple”:

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Best poker face: Hong Jong Hyun

As Wang Rin in “The King Loves

Aired on: MBC
Air date: July 17 to September 19, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Also starring: Im Siwan, Yoona

Wang Rin and Crown Prince Won are so close that their friendship, rather than the romance story, is the central relationship of “The King Loves.” So when Rin develops feelings for the woman his prince is in love with, he must contain them behind a masterful poker face. Hong Jong Hyun lends such a stoic intensity to this role that were it not for his long gazes and heart-fluttering subtle smiles, we would be as oblivious to his true feelings as Won is.

Start watching “The King Loves”:

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Hey Soompiers, which of these supporting actors was your favorite of 2017? Do you agree with their superlatives? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Check out the nominees for Best Supporting Actor in the 13th Annual Soompi Awards below (presented by Oh My Girl’s YooA and Mimi), and don’t forget to vote!

hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases. A frequent sufferer of Second Lead Syndrome, she is thankful to these talented supporting actors for spicing up dramaland in 2017!

10 Times SEVENTEEN And MONSTA X Were Real Friendship Goals

With both groups debuting in the same year and having a couple of overlapping schedules, SEVENTEEN and MONSTA X members bonded really quickly. The two idol groups are often seen interacting with each other and their time spent together is something both Carats and Monbebes adore.

Let’s take a look at their most precious interactions that gave us serious friendship goals!

The iconic MAMA special stage

What is better than watching your favorite group performing on award shows? Watching your faves collaborating with your other beloved boys and showing a perfect dance performance. They are the definition of talent!

The never-ending support

These boys definitely know how to hype each other’s performances!

It’s impressive how Seungkwan even knows the lyrics to I.M’s rap part. S.Coups, Hoshi, The8, and Jeonghan surely look like big MONSTA X fans here.

It goes the other way around, too! The MONSTA X boys had a whole lot of fun during “Clap”!

Is your heart ready to take even more fanboy moments? Look at this cute footage of MONSTA X members turning into full Carat mode and partying to “Adore U”!

Having fun and playing together

A basketball match between the two groups? Sign me up now! Their energy is no joke, and it’s so good to see them relaxing for a bit and having the time of their life playing against each other.

But sports aren’t the only thing MONSTA X and SEVENTEEN do together! Minhyuk once mentioned in an interview that he often plays Overwatch with Wonwoo and Woozi, too.

The reason we love Idol Star Athletics Championships (ISAC)

… is the idol interactions, no question. This year Seungcheol even posted a selfie with encouraging words to MONSTA X.

The most adorable moment was the time the two leaders, S.Coups and Shownu, made their lightsticks cross!

Spilling the tea here and there

Idols sure have a lot of things to talk about, but sometimes members from both groups are very eager to whisper in each other’s ears.

What did Hyungwon tell Jun that left the poor guy this shook?

The selfie of the birthday boys

Kihyun and Woozi share the same birthday, but they were the ones giving us the greatest present: a beautiful selfie of the two of them!

The kings of imitation

SEVENTEEN’s performance team leader Hoshi is amazing at idol imitations, and when he’s not making fun of his own groupmates (just ask Wonwoo about it), his favorite target is MONSTA X’s rapper, Jooheon. Jooheon did not hesitate to fight back, though!

That time Mingyu trusted Hyungwon

Again, we couldn’t get enough of ISAC! Probably the most memorable moment was when Hyungwon decided to jump over SEVENTEEN’s resident giant, Mingyu. Hyungwon’s technique is no joke; just watch it on the video!

Jun appreciating Wonho

SEVENTEEN’s China line had to choose the most popular boy group member among girls, and Jun picked Wonho without hesitation. He even praised his physical features! Relatable, isn’t it?

The “Let’s be alone together!” squad

Vernon and Jooheon arrived at MAMA without their groups so they stick together like glue during the whole night. It was nice to see them chatting and enjoying the performances of the show!

What was your favorite interaction between MONSTA X and SEVENTEEN? Tell us in the comments below!

Watch SEVENTEEN and MONSTA X (and others) in the 2016 Idol Star Athletics Championships below!

New Year special: 

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Chuseok special: 

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When she’s not studying or working, fanniberger spends her time obsessing over K-pop groups, binge watching dramas and variety shows and drinking way too much bubble tea. Her greatest hobby is spamming her friends with SEVENTEEN GIFs. Say hi to her on Twitter and Instagram!

The 15 Actresses Who Most Inspired Us In 2017

2017 was a stellar year for the women of K-dramas, giving us a multitude of leading ladies who inspired us with their strength, determination, and independence. In recognition of the talented actresses who brought these characters to life, we’ve selected 15 nominees for the 13th Annual Soompi Awards’ Actress of the Year category. Get to know the nominees below through their quotes and scenes that most inspired us this year!

Warning: some spoilers below.

Kim Ji Won: rewriting the Cinderella story

As Choi Ae Ra in “Fight My Way

Aired on: KBS
Air date: May 22 to July 11, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Park Seo Joon, Song Ha Yoon, Ahn Jae Hong

When Choi Ae Ra discovers that the guy she’s been dating is actually engaged to another woman, she takes him down with a scathing lesson in feminism. Ae Ra is well-acquainted with empowerment, and her own effort and perseverance drive her to defy the odds and chase after her dream job in “Fight My Way.” Kim Ji Won instills this character with fierce determination and spunk that make her equal parts admirable and lovable.

Start watching “Fight My Way”:

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Park Min Young: strength in separation

As Shin Chae Kyung in “Queen for 7 Days

Aired on: KBS
Air date: May 31 to August 3, 2017 (20 episodes)
Also starring: Yeon Woo Jin, Lee Dong Gun

Park Min Young tackles a heavily emotional role as Shin Chae Kyung in “Queen for 7 Days.” Chae Kyung must sacrifice her happiness and live apart from her lover Lee Yeok once he becomes king in order to keep both of them from danger. Chae Kyung’s emotional strength is apparent in her ability to take consolation in the fact that their love can be beautiful even if they live separate lives, as painful as it may be to do so.

Watch “Queen for 7 Days” here:

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Jang Nara: giving thanks

As Ma Jin Joo in “Go Back Couple

Aired on: KBS
Air date: October 13 to November 18, 2017 (12 episodes)
Also starring: Son Ho JunHan Bo Reum, Jang Ki Yong

When Ma Jin Joo is transported back in time to her days as a university student, she gets another chance to spend time with her mother, who is deceased in Jin Joo’s present. Jin Joo makes sure to shower her mother with the gratitude and appreciation that she rarely showed as a youth, in a touching reminder of the importance of not taking loved ones for granted. Jang Nara’s sincerity as her character grapples with emotionally-charged family situations such as death and divorce shine through in this role.

Catch Episode 1 of “Go Back Couple”:

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Lee Bo Young: fighting for truth

As Shin Young Joo in “Whisper

Aired on: SBS
Air date: March 27 to May 23, 2017 (17 episodes)
Also starring: Lee Sang Yoon, Kwon Yoon, Park Se Young

Lee Bo Young lends an intensity to the role of Shin Young Joo, a detective who is passionate about justice — and not afraid to play a little dirty to achieve it. While her methods are sometimes questionable, Young Joo is admirable for her determination to uncover the truth and fight against corruption, even though she knows it will not easily be snuffed out.

Watch “Whisper” here:

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Suzy: facing fears

As Nam Hong Joo in “While You Were Sleeping

Aired on: SBS
Air date: September 27 to November 16, 2017 (32 episodes, 35 mins each)
Also starring: Lee Jong Suk, Lee Sang Yeob, Jung Hae In

Suzy is wonderfully wacky as Nam Hong Joo, a quirky young woman who sees the future in her dreams. Hong Joo leaves her job after she dreams of her own death occurring at work. But after months of feeling purposeless, she decides to return to her job as a reporter, refusing to let fear rule her life and showing an impressive determination to change the future she dreamt of. Suzy balances Hong Joo’s impassioned and opinionated side with her eccentric nature to make for a refreshingly unique female lead.

Start watching “While You Were Sleeping” below: 

Jung So Min: the proposal

As Yoon Ji Ho in “Because This Is My First Life

Aired on: tvN
Air date: October 9 to November 28, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Lee Min Ki

It’s not often that we see women initiating marriage proposals in K-dramas, but Jung So Min inverts this gender stereotype as Yoon Ji Ho in “Because This Is My First Life.” Born into a patriarchal family that is essentially ruled by her father and prioritizes her brother, Ji Ho boldly decides to marry her housemate Nam Se Hee — not for love, but for purely practical financial reasons. There’s something oddly empowering about Ji Ho’s decision, and Jung So Min gives this character a relatable quality that makes her easy to cheer for.

Catch “Because This Is My First Life”:

Park Bo Young: a different kind of strength

As Do Bong Soon in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Aired on: JTBC
Air date: February 24 to April 16, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Park Hyung Sik, Ji Soo

Do Bong Soon is certainly one of the most unique heroines of 2017: this petite girl possesses a superhuman strength, which she uses to help others. Park Bo Young seamlessly transitions between Bong Soon’s bright and bubbly personality and her tough-girl, crime-fighting persona. But Bong Soon is not all brawn, and she is perhaps most inspiring when she loses her powers and must adjust to life as a normal person. Although clearly upset by this huge change in her life, Bong Soon puts on a brave face, showing a different kind of strength in her positive attitude.

Watch “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” below:

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Nam Ji Hyun: setting boundaries

As Eun Bong Hee in “Suspicious Partner

Aired on: SBS
Air date: May 10 to July 13, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Also starring: Ji Chang Wook, Choi Tae Joon, Nara

Eun Bong Hee may be deeply in love with Noh Ji Wook, but instead of being totally consumed by her feelings, Bong Hee looks after her own emotional wellbeing when she warns Ji Wook to give her space after he sends her mixed signals despite rejecting her. Bong Hee’s outspokenness, as well as the spunk and determination that Nam Ji Hyun endows her with, make her a refreshing lead throughout “Suspicious Partner.”

Watch “Suspicious Partner”:

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YoonA: selfless friendship

As in Eun San “The King Loves

Aired on: MBC
Air date: July 17 to September 19, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Also starring: Im Siwan, Hong Jong Hyun

YoonA showcases an array of complex emotions as Eun San when she finds herself caught in a love triangle between two best friends in “The King Loves.” And while she dearly cherishes her friendships with both Crown Prince Won and Wang Rin, San cares so much for her two friends that she does not want to come between them, attempting instead to forego her own happiness in order to preserve their friendship with each other.

Start watching “The King Loves”:

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Seo Hyun Jin: sticking to her intent

As Lee Hyun Soo in “Degree of Love

Aired on: SBS
Air date: September 18 to November 21, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Also starring: Jo Bo Ah, Yang Se Jong, Kim Jae Wook

Seo Hyun Jin navigates the complexities of both love life and career path as aspiring screenwriter Lee Hyun Soo in “Degree of Love.” When a show she has been working on deviates from her original script, Hyun Soo struggles between her desire to debut as a screenwriter and her drive to stay true to herself and her creative work. She courageously stands up for herself in a show of the determination and resilience that makes her an easy character to root for.

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Catch “Degree of Love” here:

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Jung Ryeo Won: battling sexism

As Ma Yi Deum in “Witch’s Court

Aired on: KBS
Air date: October 9 to November 28, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Yoon Hyun Min, Kim Yeo Jin, Jun Kwang Ryul

Jung Ryeo Won tackles the topic of sexual assault for “Witch’s Court,” playing the selfish and ruthless prosecutor Ma Yi Deum. Yi Deum is an anti-hero of sorts, going to extreme lengths to get what she wants. If not always likable, she is often admirable, as in this scene in which she boldly stands up to sexism in the workplace. But in addition to her strong personality, Jung Ryeo Won also gives Yi Deum some humanizing moments that make her relatable.

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Start watching “Witch’s Court” below:

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Kim Go Eun: the ultimate sacrifice

As Ji Eun Tak in “Goblin

Aired on: tvN
Air date: December 2, 2016 to January 21, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Gong Yoo, Lee Dong WookYoo In Na, Yook Sungjae

Ji Eun Tak broke our hearts when she courageously sacrificed herself to save a bus full of schoolchildren in one of the most poignant and moving scenes from “Goblin.” Kim Go Eun portrays Eun Tak with a bright and youthful personality that makes her lovable through and through, even as she faces ghosts, loses loved ones, and battles with depression, eventually becoming a mature young woman with a heart of gold by the end of the drama.

Watch the first episode of “Goblin” here:

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Shin Se Kyung: spreading kindness

As Yoon So Ah in “Bride of the Water God

Aired on: tvN
Air date: July 3 to August 22, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Im Joo Hwan, Krystal Jung, Gong Myung

Getting caught up in the company of gods can certainly complicate life for a mortal, as Shin Se Kyung’s character in “Bride of the Water God” quickly discovers. Yoon So Ah is a psychologist with a penchant for helping others, especially the mentally ill, despite her own tragic family background and isolation. Shin Se Kyung conveys So Ah with a refreshing genuineness, making for a character with whom it is easy to empathize.

Catch “Bride of the Water God”:

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Moon Chae Won: fierce determination

As Ha Sun Woo in “Criminal Minds”

Aired on: tvN
Air date: July 26 to September 28, 2017 (20 episodes)
Also starring: Lee Joon Gi, Son Hyun Joo

Moon Chae Won is a fearless, no-nonsense agent for her role as Ha Sun Woo in the Korean adaptation of the American series “Criminal Minds.” Her toughness and determination are illustrated by her refusal to be sidelined just because of her gender, and this grit makes her an excellent agent and invaluable asset when solving crimes.

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Check out the trailer for “Criminal Minds”:

Bae Doona: pure badass

As Han Yeo Jin in “Stranger

Aired on: tvN
Air date: June 10 to July 30, 2017 (16 episodes)
Also starring: Cho Seung Woo

There’s something refreshing about a female lead who is not afraid to throw a punch or two, and seasoned actress Bae Doona certainly gets in on the action plenty of times as detective Han Yeo Jin in “Stranger.” Fighting corruption in a prosecution office and solving a murder case, Yeo Jin is badass through and through.

Watch the trailer for “Stranger” below:

Hey Soompiers, who were your favorite actresses from 2017, and when did they inspire you? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Check out the nominees for Actress of the Year in the 13th Annual Soompi Awards below (presented by Oh My Girl’s Arin and Hyojung), and don’t forget to vote!

hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases. She’s grateful to these K-drama ladies for being a continual source of inspiration in 2017!

BIGBANG’s G-Dragon Confirms Military Enlistment Date


BIGBANG’s G-Dragon will be enlisting in the military before the month is out.

On February 14, his agency YG Entertainment stated, “It’s true that he has received his draft notice. The BIGBANG members had always been thinking about enlisting as soon as they receive their draft notices. As such, G-Dragon will be enlisting as an active-duty soldier on February 27.”

They added, “He plans on quietly enlisting without an official farewell event in order to prevent any chaos from occurring on scene that day. He will diligently carry out his military service.”

Knowing he would enlist sometime this year, G-Dragon previously expressed his feelings about his upcoming enlistment during BIGBANG’s year-end concert at Gocheok Sky Dome. He said, “Just like how spring comes after winter ends, I hope everyone will stay healthy until then and won’t be sad. We will meet again soon. The five of [us] always hope that everyone will be happy. That is the source of our strength. If you patiently wait for the day we are [all] discharged, day by day, I believe that day will come quickly. Because our love won’t change.”

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