The world of K-Pop can be extremely taxing for all those who are a part of it. In fact, everything that an artist has to give up in South Korea in order to retain their popularity is called ‘fame tax’ as once BTS’ RM famously said. Every month, there is an outlet in South Korea that ranks idols based on their popularity over the last month. This popularity is mainly measured on the basis of how many times this artist came up in various search engines and made headlines for various reasons. While internationally, BTS is the pallbearer of the South Korean music industry, within their home market, they face tough competition from fellow artists and idols in the industry.
The Korean Business Research Institute releases these rankings every month based on several parameters. BTS’s Grammy nomination and keywords related to it were some of the most searched topics in South Korea in the month of February. Read on to find out more about the Top Boyband Popularity Ranking in K-Pop for March 2021.
1. Jimin, BTS
It is no surprise that a BTS member has topped the Popularity rankings yet again. And, as it always has been, it’s our Baby Mochi – Jimin. Jimin, or as his full name goes, Park Jimin tops the Boyband Popularity Rankings for March with a Brand Reputation Index of 6,488,864. He is the only one on the list with a reputation index of over 6 million. Jimin has consistently topped the list for a while now. His popularity can largely be attributed to the way he conducts himself under the spotlight with the perfect blend of ‘aegyo’ and confidence. Park Jimin is the perfect example of what the K-netizens want in their idols.
2. Cha Eun Woo, ASTRO
Cha Eun Woo of ASTRO tops the list, seconded only by Jimin with a Brand Reputation Index of 5,978,646. Eun Woo has held this position for about 2 months now. In January, he was ranked 3rd. Interestingly, he is the only member from ASTRO in the top 50, let alone just the top 2. His immense popularity, compared to his other band members, can be attributed to his impeccable acting in several of South Korea’s biggest K-Dramas. You have seen Cha Eun Woo in My ID Is Gangnam Beauty and in True Beauty.
3. Minho, SHINee
It has been a while since a member of SHINee has been in the top 10 of the Popularity Index. Interestingly, they have made a comeback with 3 members in the top 15. Minho stands at the 3rd position with a Brand Reputation Index of 4,963,529. SHINee has been one of the biggest groups in the history of K-Pop music. However, they were largely absent from any group work after they lost their member Jonghyun, also their lead vocalist, in 2017. They came out with their first album as a four-member band called Don’t Call Me in February 2021. Over the last few years, they have mostly focussed on solo work.
4. Jung Kook, BTS
Now, Jung Kook needs no introduction, really, does he? Though he ranked 4th according to Brand Popularity South Korea, Jung Kook is one of the most popular members of BTS internationally. He is their maknae, main vocalist, lead dancer, and centre. Very recently, BTS released a Japanese song – Film Out, which was co-produced by Jung Kook with the artist – ‘back number’. Known as the ‘Golden Maknae’, Jung Kook truly is an all-rounder when it comes to being an artist. His Brand Reputation Index for the month of March stands at a whopping figure of 4,725,009. Members of the BTS ARMY all across the world are eagerly waiting for him to drop his first mixtape.
5. V, BTS
The fact that BTS members are absolutely dominating all the top spots in our list is not a surprise. In fact, they are the only idol boy-band in Korea, with all seven members in the top 15. V, or Kim Taehyung, ranks 5th in the Brand Reputation Index for March 2021 with a score of 3,978,560. Taehyung is one of BTS’s main visuals, main dancers, and lead vocalists. His rich baritone voice makes him stand out from the rest of the boys in all their group songs. Recently, he has been in the news for several k-media outlets claiming that a very large number of k-drama offers were pouring in from everywhere for this gorgeous idol. However, the BTS fandom is eagerly waiting for V to release his first mixtape now, something he has been teasing since July last year.
6. Suga, BTS
Suga or Min Yoongi from BTS (yet again!) comes a close 6th, right after V with a Brand Reputation Index of 3,717,026. The fact that Min Suga, as fans lovingly call him, was absent for any of BTS’s promotional activities and performances for a good four to five months has not caused much of a hindrance to his popularity. Suga was recovering from shoulder surgery during this time, a problem he finally solved after having been in an accident almost a decade back. We are very excited to have our Lil Meow Meow back, absolutely healthy, and we cannot wait to see what he has in store for us.
7. G-Dragon, Big Bang
Big Bang will always be one of the biggest boybands of all in K-Pop’s history. They were the first idol boy group to go viral in the West. YG Entertainment’s Big Bang debuted in 2006. In fact, one of their members – Seungri, has already retired from the industry. G-Dragon has always been one of the group’s most popular members. For March 2021, he ranked 7th with a Brand Popularity Index of 3,692,645. G-Dragon or Kwong Ji Young is often known as the ‘King of K-Pop.’ He is also an impeccable fashion designer and entrepreneur. When it comes to music – he is a rapper, probably one of the best the country has ever seen.
8. Chanyeol, EXO
Chanyeol, or Park Chanyeol, is the only EXO member in the top 15 of the popularity rankings. He is another rapper with great artistic prowess. Post the pandemic, and with four members in the military as of January 2021, it has been a long time since we have seen EXO come up with any new music as a band. Even though Xiumin and D.O. have been released from the military, Suho and Chen are still serving. With Lay back in China and Chanyeol turning 28, the latter also enlisted in April 2021. Right before enlisting, Chanyeol released a solo called ‘Tomorrow.’ His Brand Reputation Index stands at 3,674,812 as of March 2021.
9. Jin, BTS
Another BTS member, Jin or Kim Seokjin, is BTS’s oldest member. He is also their main visual, along with Taehyung and a vocalist. Jin’s Brand Reputation Index stood at 3,431,080 as of March 2021. Jin turned 28 last year and was supposed to enlist for his mandatory military service too, but he can now delay till 2022. The reason behind this is BTS’ Hwangwan Order of Cultural Merit accolade that they were felicitated within 2018 for that wonderful representation of their country in some of the world’s biggest entertainment events. Seokjin’s last solo song – Abyss, which he released in December 2020, received very positive reviews for its honest lyrics and Seokjin’s soulful voice.
10. RM, BTS
Everyone who loves and follows K-Pop music, even to the smallest possible extent, knows who RM is. RM, or Kim Namjoon, may not be the most popular idol, however, he is the most well-known for being the leader of the biggest boy-band on Earth. That’s right, RM is BTS’ leader. His Brand Reputation Index stands at 2,846,215 for the month of March in 2021. Not only is Namjoon a very charismatic individual, but he is also one of the best lyricists and composer in the entire industry. RM has more than 160 songs credited to him by the Korea Music Copyright Association. While his position in BTS is that of a rapper, RM showed us his perfect vocals when BTS covered Coldplay’s Fix You as a part of their legendary MTV Unplugged performance.
11. j-hope, BTS
‘j-hope’ or Jung Hoseok is again a BTS member and a rapper at that. I think it is safe to say that he is one of the bubbliest rappers in K-Pop history. Lovingly known as ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Hobi’ in the BTS fandom, j-hope’s Brand Reputation Index stands at 2,776,710. We recently got a solo called ‘Blue Hour’ from him, where he sang about how he has grown significantly as a musician. As a dancer, there is no debating that Hoseok is probably one of the best, not only in BTS but also in the entire industry. In fact, he has choreographed some of BTS’ most popular routines and is the group’s lead dancer. We are very excited to see what Hoseok has in store for us in the near future. He is also one of BTS’ most active members on social media.
12. Taemin, SHINee
Taemin is the youngest SHINee member. He has recently enlisted for his mandatory military service and will be the last member of the band to serve. He will start his service on the 31st of May. Recently, other than SHINee’s new album, which has improved their ranking significantly, Taemin has also sung the K-Drama Navillera’s OST – My Day. Taemin will also be doing a solo concert called Beyond Live in May, and we are very excited to see him perform. His Brand Reputation Index stands at 2,435,815. Taemin, along with Jimin from BTS is regarded as one of the best contemporary dancers in K-Pop.
13. Mingyu, SEVENTEEN
SEVENTEEN’s Mingyu is the only member of the group to have made it to the top 15 of the popularity index with a Brand Reputation Index of 2,048,172 for March 2021. Mingyu is a rapper and visual for the group with his stunning looks and talents as an artist. Recently he was a part of several bullying scandals in the industry, which has also caused his agency, PLEDIS Entertainment, managed by BTS’s agency HYBE, to pause his activities as a part of the band. However, he is back now, and we hope he will give his best again.
14. Onew, SHINee
Onew is SHINee’s 3rd member to have made it to the top 15 of the popularity rankings with a Brand Reputation Index of 1,790,254. Lee Jin Ki, or Onew, is a multifaceted artist who is not just a talented musician but also a very powerful actor. In all likelihood, you have probably seen Onew in one of the biggest K-Dramas of all time – Descendants Of The Sun. SHINee has also revealed that fans – Shawols, as the SHINee fandom is called can expect solo music from Onew later this year.
15. Heechul, Super Junior
Heechul, or Kim Heechul, is the senior-most artist in the top 15 of the popularity ratings for the month of March 2021. His Brand Reputation Index stands at 1,629,414. Kim Heechul is a member of the legendary group Super Junior from SM Entertainment. He recently made headlines when news broke out about him and MOMO from Twice dating each other. Heechul is an established television personality with his various roles in variety shows. We are excited to see what comes next for Heechul on the career front.