K-pop group leaders have their work cut out for them. Leadership skills are imbibed through hard work and experience, but it is only when they are put to the test that one's ability to lead truly shines. Every K-pop group has a leader who guides them through thick and thin, irrespective of what comes their way. From taking care of the other members to representing the group at events and interviews, K-pop group prove their worth and merit in many different ways.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the best male K-pop group leaders in the industry who know how to rise above every challenge.
5 male K-pop group leaders who offer unconditional support and lead from the front
1) SHINee’s Onew
The four-member South Korean boy band SHINee was formed under SM Entertainment in 2008 with Onew as the leader. Also known as Lee Jinki, Onew has held on to the role all these years.
The group's musical brilliance has earned them fame and recognition in the industry. Fans as well as fellow group members credit the success to Onew’s leadership. According to Taemin, the youngest member of the group,
“Onew does not tell us what to do in a certain situation, but he tells us to follow what we think is right.”
Onew has a caring personality, and he nurtures those around him. His charisma empowers fellow members to speak their minds without any hesitation. However, the K-pop group leader can also be strict with the betterment of the group in mind, when the situation calls for it. According to Key, Onew can be a little hard on himself at times:
“Sometimes his wild side comes out. He continuously practices and believes he needs to do things right.”
Onew was enlisted for military service, which began in December 2018. The artist made his comeback on April 11, 2021, with his second mini-album, DICE.
2) BTS’ RM
This entry does not even require an justification. Kim Nam-joon, popularly known as RM (Rap Monster), is the leader of the world-renowned group BTS.
Since the group’s debut in 2013, RM has proved his leadership skills time and again. His ability to form connections and communicate flawlessly has helped him create a close-knit group. RM was the guiding light for the group when they were facing financial hardships after their debut or reeling from the effects of J-hope’s exit. The idol’s maturity is praiseworthy as he was only 16 when inducted into Big Hit Enterntainment.
According to his fellow BTS member Kim Taehyung,
“When the members have any worries, Namjoon will text the member personally in a private message. If not, he will look for them and speak personally to them, giving them some opinions and reminders.”
In June 2022, BTS was invited to the White House where RM gave a powerful speech. It was not the first time the K-pop group leader has taken over a room, and it certainly won’t be the last.
3) Bang Chan
Bang Chan or Christopher Bang debuted as the leader of Stray Kids in March 2018. The JYP Entertainment’s boy group has acquired great fame and successfully cemented their names in the music industry.
Evidently, such praise comes with many responsibilites, and the K-pop group leader Bang Chan leaves no stone unturned to fulfill all of them.
The shy and dynamic leader’s love for his members, who he refers to as “good little demons”, is the reason behind his admirable leadership. He holds himself to high standards and is a perfectionist, which speaks volumes about why Stray Kids has made such a strong impact on the industry.
According to his fellow member Han,
“Bang Chan is a good older brother, a good friend, a good person, and a perfect leader.”
Bang Chan’s organizational skills complement his work ethic and integrity as a K-pop group leader.
Choi Soobin, the leader of the South Korean band TXT, made his debut under Big Hit Entertainment in January 2019. An introvert amongst the other extrovert members, Soobin is considered the “mother” of the group because of his warm and caring nature.
According to fellow member Kang Taehyun,
“I think he’s a great leader that’s rare in this generation. The reason I think he is a great leader is, he doesn’t just lead the members one-sidedly, but respects the personalities of each person, so that he can stimulate our abilities to the greatest extent and support us”
From wiping his fellow members’ faces to helping Kai with his homework, the K-pop group leader makes sure to offer healthy and tender support, always. The oldest member of TXT, namely Yeonjun, said that Soobin is “responsible and kind," which makes him one of the best K-pop group leaders.
5) S. Coups
S.Coups is the leader of the boy band SEVENTEEN, and he made his debut in May 2015. The South Korean rapper is also referred to as a “diamond leader,” which is a testament to his leadership skills.
Given that SEVENTEEN consists of 13 members, it is fair to assume that S. Coups deals with immense pressure and responsibility. Looking after a band as large as SEVENTEEN, it's near impossible to get time for yourself. However, S. Coups makes it look effortess.
The idol revealed to Weverse Magazine that he is more at ease than ever before since the debut. From ensuring that members do not overexert themselves during practice to getting rid of bugs for them, S. Coups has fulfilled all kinds of duties as a helpful leader.
Being the oldest member of the group, he is mature in his understanding of the rest of the members. The K-pop group leader is among the most endearing leaders in the industry.