The Korea Herald


K-pop artists bask in different popularity by region

North America votes most for EXO, Japan for Kim Hyun-joong, Europe for SHINee

By 정주원

Published : Jan. 26, 2014 - 16:32

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K-pop artists have established different popularity turfs in different countries, a global survey conducted by CJ E&M showed.

According to the poll results released Friday, the most popular K-pop artist globally turned out to be the girl group f(x) who won the highest percentage of votes at 16.4 percent, thanks to their Chinese fandom.

K-pop boy band Shinhwa won 15.1 percent and SS501 leader Kim Hyun-joong 9.3 percent, placing them second and third, followed by boy bands EXO and SHINee. EXO won the most votes from the U.S., Canada and Korea, whereas Kim Hyun-joong ruled in Japan and SHINee in Europe, Mexico and Argentina. 

(Photo provided by CJ E&M) (Photo provided by CJ E&M)

Such results came from CJ E&M’s analysis on about 5 million people from 178 nations who participated in “M Wave” (, an online poll for cable network music show M Countdown, on their favorite K-pop singers from January to December in 2013.

CJ E&M said the K-pop popularity charter was most diversified in the Asian continent, where different countries had different favorite K-pop stars, while countries from other continents showed similar tastes.

Among the Asian countries, f(x) was most popular in China, Kim Hyun-joong in Japan, and boy band FT Island in Taiwan. Girl group 2NE1 topped in the Philippines, EXO in India and Super Junior member Henry in Saudi Arabia.

“Foreign fans have different preferences for K-pop stars according to the national characteristics and the K-pop artists’ activities in their countries,” Seo Jeong-min, a global operation senior official at CJ E&M, was quoted as saying. He added that such an nalysis can be helpful in the future promotion strategies of K-pop stars.

By Chung Joo-won (