K-Pop is now in its fourth generation of legendary artists. K-Pop is known for its elaborate stages, catchy songs, talented artists and creative concepts. There are an endless number of gorgeous K-Pop stars, here are a few of the top “visual” male K-Pop idols in order of debut date.
1. H.O.T’s Kangta
Kangta was scouted by SM Entertainment at an amusement park when he was only 13 years old. He began his career as a backup dancer before debuting with SM Entertainment‘s first male K-Pop group, H.O.T, in 1996. When the group’s contract expired in 2001, the members decided to part ways and Kangta renewed his contract as a solo artist.
Kangta has had a successful singing and acting career in Korea and China. In 2016, he was named a creative director at SM Entertainment, alongside long-time labelmate BoA.
2. Sechs Kies’ Sunghoon
Sunghoon debuted with Sechs Kies in 1997. He was originally meant to be in a duo group, but when his company DSP Entertainment saw the massive success H.O.T was receiving, they changed strategies and launched their own male idol group.
Sechs Kies was highly successful but announced their sudden disbandment in 2000. Sunghoon continued on with a solo career, releasing four albums. In 2016, Sechs Kies reunited for the filming of Infinity Challenge and revealed they had signed with YG Entertainment to continue group promotions with five of the six original members that same year. Sunghoon joined them before parting ways in 2019.
3. Shinhwa’s Eric
SM Entertainment debuted idol group Shinhwa on May 9, 1998, on the heels of the success of labelmates H.O.T and S.E.S. Their initial debut failed to be a commercial success and the group almost disbanded before making it big with their second album, T.O.P.
The group left SM Entertainment at the expiration of their contract to join another company before eventually creating their own management company for group activities, Shinhwa Company, of which Eric is the CEO. The group celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2018 with events scheduled throughout the year to commemorate. Eric has primarily been active as an actor outside of group promotions and in 2017, he married actress Na Hye Mi.
4. TVXQ’s Jaejoong
TVXQ debuted as a second generation group under SM Entertainment on Dec. 26, 2003. Members Jaejoong and Yunho were originally part of a project group called Four Seasons along with Kangin and Heechul, who would later become members of Super Junior. After H.O.T disbanded and Shinhwa left the company, SM Entertainment was in need of a new male idol group and debuted Jaejoong and Yunho alongside Junsu, Changmin, and Yoochun.
After the release of their highly successful single, “Mirotic,” Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun shockingly sued SM Entertainment to break their contract, bringing to light the harsh conditions of their contracts with the company, which were 13 years long. The three left the group to form JYJ. Jaejoong has remained active as a solo singer, largely promoting in Japan. He has also acted in both Korean and Japanese dramas. He is set to star in the upcoming Korean drama, Bad Memory Eraser.
5. SHINee’s Minho
SHINee debuted on May 22, 2008, with their beloved single, “Replay.” They are known for their amazing live vocals and have been trendsetters since they hit the scene. Member Minho quickly gained attention for his good looks and charming personality. He starred in Girl’s Generation‘s “Gee” music video and scored lead roles in dramas like To The Beautiful You and My First Time.
SHINee is still active and released their singles, “Don’t Call Me” and “Atlantis” in February of 2021 before member Taemin‘s military enlistment. Minho released his first solo single, “Heartbreak,” on December 21, 2021.
6. 2PM’s Taecyeon
The members of 2PM were selected through a reality competition show called Hot Blood Men. They debuted as One Day with 11 members who split to make up groups 2PM and 2AM.
2PM released their first single, “10 Out Of 10” and became known as “beast-dols” for their fit figures and strong acrobatic performances on stage. Member Taecyeon was born in Seoul, Korea, but moved to Massachusetts with his family when he was 10 years old. Taecyeon gave up his American permanent residence visa to enlist in the Korean military, which earned respect and admiration from Korean fans. Taecyeon has acted in Korean films and tv series, notably appearing in shows such as Dream High and Vincenzo.
7. BTS’s Jin
BTS debuted as a third generation group on June 13, 2013, with their single, “No More Dream.” Member Jin is known for his good looks which even catch the attention of locals, as seen when BTS performed a touching cover of Coldplay‘s “Fix You” and Jin began trending as the “pink mic guy.” The oldest member is known by the nickname “Worldwide Handsome.”
Jin is praised for his singing voice, receiving recognition for his falsetto and smooth live vocal performances.
8. ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo
ASTRO is a six-member group that debuted under Fantagio on Feb. 23, 2016. Member Cha Eun Woo (also stylized as Cha Eunwoo) gained attention for his prince-like visuals. He is also an accomplished actor and has appeared in popular dramas Gangnam Beauty (also known as My ID is Gangnam Beauty) and True Beauty.
He was voted one of the top 15 most handsome actors by fans in 2022 receiving 66,246 votes.
9. NCT’s Jaehyun
NCT debuted under SM Entertainment in 2016 with a unique concept where the members promote under different sub-units. They debuted their first sub-unit, NCT U, that promoted title songs “Without You” and “The 7th Sense.” Jaehyun debuted as part of the sub-unit NCT U and NCT 127. Jaehyun was originally scouted by SM Entertainment while standing outside of his school. Netizens and fellow idols have been taken by his amazing visuals.
Jaehyun previously hosted Inkigayo for two years and began to venture into acting with the drama, Dear M, in 2021, which was pre-released in Japan after being postponed in Korea due to bullying accusations surrounding the lead actress.
10. Stray Kids’ Hyunjin
Stray Kids is a fourth generation group who debuted on March 25, 2018, as part of JYP Entertainment. Stray Kids members were selected through a reality competition show that was also called Stray Kids. They recently released their mini-album, ODDINARY, in March which reached over one million presale orders and topped the Billboard 200 chart.
11. ATEEZ’s Seonghwa
ATEEZ debuted with “Pirate King” and “Treasure” on October 24, 2018. They were quickly recognized for their talent and powerful performances, winning the “Next Generation Award” at the 2019 Golden Disc Awards.
Member Seonghwa is known for his captivating visuals and stage presence. Seonghwa debuted as an actor in 2021 in the drama, Imitation.
12. TXT’s Soobin
TXT debuted on March 4, 2019, with “CROWN.” Their debut was highly anticipated as they were Big Hit Music‘s first male idol group since BTS.
The TXT members are recognized for their handsome visuals and talented performances. Leader Soobin was given the name “Flower Prince,” and was a host of Music Bank for 14 months. TXT just celebrated becoming million sellers for the first time since their debut with their new song, “Good Boy Gone Bad.”