When the worlds of K-pop and K-drama collide, any Hallyu fan would find themselves in seventh heaven.
Over the years, the emergence of our favourite K-pop idols starring in popular K-dramas has filled fans with anticipation and surprise, especially when they get to see an entirely different side of their idol outside of their singing and dancing. While juggling musical performances and drama shoots, the double careers of these stars almost sound like a superhuman feat.
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From EXO's D.O. to BLACKPINK's Jisoo, here are 8 K-pop idols who will make you fall in love with any character they play:
One of South Korea's most sought-after vocalists, IU never fails to stun the world with her rich discography of styles from jazz, ballad, R&B, pop, and more. Most recently, her collaborative single with BTS' Suga, 'Eight', stole the top spot of music charts for consecutive weeks upon its release.
IU first hit the screens of Korean television playing the main cast in 2011 drama Dream High alongside Kim Soo Hyun, Suzy, and 2PM's Taecyeon. She subsequently starred in The Producers (2015), as well as helmed roles in Bel Ami (2012) and You Are The Best (2012). Exuding beauty and grace, IU's role as the hotel owner in Hotel Del Luna (2019) earned the series its wide acclaim, with IU winning Best Actress at the 8th Korea First Brand Awards.
Do Kyungsoo, or widely known by his stage name D.O., has been part of SM Entertainment boy band EXO since their debut with 'MAMA' in 2012. He is currently serving mandatory military service and is expected to complete service in January 2021.
On the day of his enlistment, D.O. released a solo track which he co-wrote, 'That's Okay', through the SM Station project.
D.O.'s acting career was highly celebrated by the television and film industry, since he earned the title of Best New Actor at the 3rd APAN Star Awards for his television debut in It's Okay, That's Love in 2013. Following that success, D.O. starred in My Annoying Brother (2016), Along With The Gods: The Last 49 Days (2017), 100 Days My Prince (2018), and Swing Kids (2018). In his journey, he took home many prominent awards from the Baeksang Arts Awards and the Buil Film Awards.
Park Hyung Sik
Debuting in 2010 alongside the likes of INFINITE, CNBLUE, Teen Top, and more, Park Hyung Sik was a member of nine-piece boy band ZE:A as well as their subunit, ZE:A Five.
While the group was still actively releasing music, Hyung Sik took up acting roles most notably in The Heirs (2013), High Society (2015), She Was Pretty (2015), and Hwarang (2016). After ZE:A announced their hiatus, Hyung Sik continued to pursue his acting career, with main roles in Strong Girl Do Bong-Soon (2017) and Suits (2018).
Despite being eliminated from Mnet's Superstar K singing competition in 2009, Bae Suzy has climbed the ranks and found her place in the spotlight over the last decade. Debuting under JYP Entertainment girl group Miss A, the group had promising singles such as 'Good Bye Baby', 'Bad Girl Good Girl', and 'Hush', until they parted ways in 2017. Till today, one of Suzy's notable singles was the collaboration with EXO's Baekhyun, 'Dream':
Suzy's stellar acting gained recognition after her screen debut in Dream High (2011), where she played as the main cast. Continuing to helm main roles in award-winning dramas Gu Family Book (2013), While You Were Sleeping (2017), and Vagabond (2019), she showcased her diverse talents across her historical, romance, and action roles.
When Park Soo Young debuted as part of SM Entertainment girl group Red Velvet in 2014, she chose the stage name Joy because she wanted to be her fans' happy pill. The lead rapper and vocalist of Red Velvet is actively performing with the group and they released their chart-topping comeback track 'Psycho' at the end of 2019.
Joy is no newcomer to the television industry, having won her first award as an actress at the MBC Entertainment Awards in 2015 with her stint in reality romance series We Got Married. She subsequently took on lead roles in The Liar and His Lover (2017) and Tempted (2018), and has starred as a voice actress in Dreamworks' animated film Trolls World Tour (2020) alongside the Red Velvet girls.
Yook Sung Jae
The current leader of K-pop boy band BtoB, Yook Sung Jae, has been a part of the group since their debut in 2012 with their self-titled EP Born to Beat. Over the years, the group has released notable tracks such as 'Beep Beep' 'I'll Be Your Man', and 'Missing You'. They also performed at the 2016 KCON in New York and won their first Bonsang award at the 1st Soribada Best K-music Awards.
Before enlisting for military service this May, Sung Jae took up main roles in popular K-drama series such as Reply 1994 (2013), Who Are You: School 2015 (2015), Guardian: The Great and Lonely God (2016-2017). Most recently, Sung Jae acted in supernatural fantasy drama Mystic Pop-up Bar which aired on Netflix in May.
Girls' Generation's Yoona has been a well-loved face in K-pop since the girl group's debut in 2007. After more than a decade with the girls, she is still a part of their latest five-piece subunit Oh!GG and also released her debut solo EP A Walk To Remember in 2019 in celebration of her 29th birthday.
With You Are My Destiny in 2008, Yoona emerged as a prominent new actress in her time, clinching the Best New Actress award at the 23rd KBS Drama Awards and the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. She then continued her romance drama streak with Cinderella Man (2009), Love Rain (2012), and Prime Minister and I (2013). Fans can also look out for her new drama Hush coming up soon this year.
Debuting in 2014 as part of YG Entertainment's hit girl group sensation BLACKPINK, Kim Jisoo may be the newest addition to the K-pop scene in this list. However, the group's groundbreaking successes, including collaborations with Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, and the upcoming one with Selena Gomez have defined the quartet's musical prowess.
Since Jisoo's first cameo in The Producers (2015), fans would not have conjured up the possibility of her taking up a lead role alongside BLACKPINK's hectic promotion schedule in 2020. Jisoo will be playing the lead in Snowdrop, which was written by Yoo Hyun Mi and directed by Jo Hyun Tak, both who renowned for the drama series Sky Castle (2018).
Cover image credits: Blackpink, EXO, and Red Velvet Official Facebook pages