Leadership comes with immense responsibilities, and K-pop group leaders strive to fulfill all of them diligently. In a competitive industry like K-pop, idols must go the extra mile to establish a name for themselves, and good leadership is the first step.
From being accountable to their companies to ensuring fellow members’ safety and comfort, K-pop group leaders deal with heavy pressure. Great leaders look after their members with the utmost care, making them admirable.
Let’s look at some of the K-pop group leaders that excel at their duties.
Five idols who have earned immense respect as K-pop group leaders
1) Irene - Red Velvet
Irene is the leader of the South Korean girl band Red Velvet. Being the oldest in the group, she is often considered the ‘mother’ of the group as well. Her fellow members refer to her as “unnie,” Korean for elder sister. Her responsible and caring persona won her much appreciation among K-pop stans.
Irene, as a K-pop group leader, does all the heavy lifting. From buying refreshments for her members to protecting them from the media, she has proven to be the epitome of leadership.
In 2020, the Twitter trend “Irene Best Leader” surfaced with over 50,000 tweets. Various instances, such as wrapping her arms around Seulgi because the latter was cold at the airport, ironing Yeri’s school uniform, and feeding her members, have earned her massive respect.
Irene, as a leader, likes to pay for her groupmates quite often and showers them with expensive gifts. The idol keeps her feelings and emotions under cover to avoid any situation where her fellow members also feel stressed.
2) Yeji - ITZY
Nicknamed “JYP’s Secret Weapon,” Yeji is the leader of the K-pop girl band ITZY. The idol goes to great lengths to protect her members. Despite her sharp visuals and fierce looks on stage, the reality is quite the opposite. Her affection towards her members on and off stage is commendable.
Yeji seldom talks about her feelings to save members and fans from worrying. This is why she rarely cries in concerts or otherwise, unlike her groupmates.
According to her fellow member Ryujin:
“She’s the reason why there’s no hierarchy in our team. Let’s become friends with each other. That’s was she does.”
Yeji, as a K-pop group leader, sets a thoughtful standard and role model for her bandmates by making good use of time. As ITZY members have also revealed, Yeji goes to the gym whenever she gets a chance instead of resting.
3) Jihyo -TWICE
TWICE has made a good name for itself in the K-pop industry, and its leader Jihyo is often credited for the same. From complimenting and noticing small things about her groupmates to giving them affectionate and cozy hugs every chance she gets, the K-pop group leader has surpassed many expectations.
The idol makes sure to look after her members, and many moments convey the same. During Tzuyu’s little accident amidst a performance, Jihyo paused and resumed only after she ensured the former was doing fine.
Another incident that spoke volumes about her leadership was when she signed Jeongyeon’s name on the SOBA 2020 Wall on her behalf to signify the group’s bond and connection.
Though Jihyo is not the oldest, she has been in the company the longest. The members have complete faith in her, which is a testament to her leadership skills. Her comforting and warm words of affirmation make her a dependable and endearing K-pop group leader.
4) Solar - Mamamoo
The leader of Mamamoo, Solar, is considered the group’s mood maker and “mother.” Despite being the eldest in the group, she does not refrain from goofing around and participating in bizarre things along with the other groupmates.
Hwasa, the maknae of the group, once said this about Solar:
“She’s the leader. When we goof around, she plays along. On top of that, she’s easily fooled.”
She is protective of her members, especially when it comes to dealing with reporters and the media. Her selfless personality is adored by fans. From gifting Wheein a coffee truck for her solo promotions to supporting Hwasa for her solo single, Solar grasps every opportunity she gets to praise and encourage her members.
5) Jeon So-yeon - (G)-IDLE
(G)-IDLE’s leader Jeon So-yeon, popularly known as Soyeon, has earned immense respect not only from her fellow members but also from fans throughout the world. Her nurturing and charismatic personality aided in her journey from being a trainee to becoming a K-pop group leader.
Members love the company of their leader. According to Yuji in an interview:
“Our leader is a role model these days. Thank you for making music. Thank you for taking care of the members.”
(G)-IDLE member Shuhua revealed that Soyeon was always there for her in her trainee days:
“When I was having a hard time as a trainee, I would cry in the staircase. Soyeon unnie cheered me up and comforted me. I was crying really hard but she hugged me tightly.”
Soyeon takes care of her members through thick and thin, however, one cannot say the same for herself. As a leader, she pushes all boundaries to get better.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the author's opinions.