Being crowned the "King of K-pop" is no easy task, taking into account the amount of K-pop idols that are debuting, about to debut, or are currently promoting right now.
Rap, dance, vocal ability, charisma, performance; all of these factors are taken into account when a K-pop idol is training, with the aim of perfecting oneself in one of these categories.
Some idols, however, go above and beyond to excel in not just one, but two, three or more categories, to put on the perfect show for their audience. They're the ones who fans often call the "Kings of K-pop," and they rightfully deserve the name.
For this list, we've gathered a host of male K-pop idols with each of them reigning over the industry. The list takes all of their life's work into consideration .
Also read: Top 5 Queens of K-pop 2021
Who is the King of K-pop?
5) Taemin of SHINee
The phrase "King of K-pop" is one and the same as the word "Taemin." The SHINee member was only 14 at the time of his debut, and the hard work and effort he's put in since the beginning has definitely paid off.
The 28-year-old made his solo debut in 2014 with the lead single "Danger," from the album "Ace." An instant hit, Taemin has not disappointed since then and has delivered perfect performances with his rap, vocal and dance skills.
4) G-Dragon of BigBang
G-Dragon was often referred to as the "King of K-pop" back in his prime, and is still considered by many to be worthy of that title. His performances are chock full of energy, class, and engagement with his fans.
Apart from leading his group (BigBang) to tremendous international success. his solo work has also been praised by many for being unique and idiosyncratic.
3) J-Hope of BTS
J-Hope is one who holds it all: the ability to sing, dance, rap, all with his own personal groove and style. His voice holds such a distinct cadence, as even those who aren't fans of BTS can identify the dancer from just his audio clips.
Prior to BTS, J-Hope was a dancer in a street crew; it's no surprise then that he's crowned the main dancer of BTS. The idol has also released his own mixtape, 'Hope World," which led him to rank at #3 on the Emerging Artists chart of Billboard and also hit charts worldwide.
2) Kai of EXO
Kai is a vocalist for the group EXO, and prior to even releasing his solo debut album, he was lauded for his on-stage performances and charisma. Equipped with honey sweet vocals and a killer ability to dance, Kai is the perfect formula for a hit release; as proved by his debut album, "Kai (开)."
If singing, dancing and stage presence weren't enough, Kai is also an actor, and has starred in multiple K-dramas. At this point, fans wonder if there isn't anything he can't do.
1) Park Jinyoung
This might seem like a controversial choice for many, which is pretty understandable. However, aside from all the memes and giggles, JYP Entertainment's founder, Park Jinyoung, is at the center of this debate. It's simply undeniable how impactful his presence was in the industry.
He's set many trends (can't forget the iconic plastic pants!) and isn't afraid to have a laugh at himself. The artist clearly sees the fun side in all the outdated gags he used to indulge in.
He's had many successful songs himself and ended up starting one of the most successful K-pop labels in the country.