Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Being born in Korea isn't a requirement to be a K-Pop star (though it helps!). In fact, some of our fave idols originally come from or spent substantial amount of time in the Great White North before settling down in good old Korea.
Let's take a 👀👀👀!!!
1. Henry Lau – Super Junior M
Hails from: Toronto, Canada
Fun fact: Henry went to Berklee College of Music, a famous American music school and studied Contemporary Writing.
Henry (헨리) is a Chinese-Canadian solo singer who was born in Toronto, Canada. Henry’s mom is Taiwanese while his dad is a Teochew (a Han Chinese native to the historical Chaozhou prefecture) who grew up in Hong Kong. Henry has a brother named Clinton and a sister named Whitney. His sister was the runner up in the Miss Toronto Chinese pageant. Henry’s nickname is Mochi because his skin is very fair and when he was a kid, he had chubby cheeks that resembled, you guessed it, mochi.
Henry is a true multi-talent, just look at his abilities. He speaks five languages fluently (English, Mandarin, Korean, French and Cantonese) and mastered four different musical instruments (the violin, piano, drums, and guitar). This guy is so good that the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music awarded him a silver medal for his level 10 violin skills. A little known fact is that he played the violin on tracks for Super Junior’s debut album and composed EXO’s song The Eve.
Henry struck his luck when he attended the S.M. Entertainment Global Audition held in 2006 in Toronto and was selected from among 3000 contestants. He made his first music appearance as the dancing violinist in Super Junior’s 2007 MV Don’t Don and made his official Super Junior-M debut in 2008. Henry is the maknae of Super Junior M and the overall youngest member of all Super Junior. Apart from his contract as a singer, Henry also had a contract with SM Entertainment as a songwriter and producer. When he moved from Canada to Korea and met Super Junior, he was surprised by the close friendships between guys and the way they slapped each other’s butts, so he assumed they must be gay. He also though Heechul, who was blessed with feminine facial features and sported long hair at the time, was transgender.
Henry debuted as a soloist on June 7, 2013, under SM Entertainment. In May 2018, his contract with SM Entertainment ended and he decided to leave the company. Henry is now under a 1-person agency, Henry’s Workshop. Henry is close to f(x)’s Amber and he once mentioned that they always go out together. He is also good friends with Girls’ Generation‘s Sunny with whom he collaborated for a song called U&I. Henry and Ryeowook have always been especially close. In fact, his relationship with Ryeowook is said to have influenced the label’s decision to include him in Super Junior.
2. Somi – former member of I.O.I
Hails from: Woodstock, Canada Fun fact: Somi can do an impersonation of a chewing giraffe and has two cats named Cheese and Cookie.
Jeon So-mi (전소미) known as Somi (소미) is a very talented 17-year-old Canadian-Korean singer based in South Korea who finished first in Mnet’s K-Pop reality show Produce 101. Somi was born in Canada to a Korean mother Sunhee and a Dutch-Canadian father Matthew. When Somi was one year old her family moved to Korea. Somi has also a younger sister Evelyn. In Korea Sumi was constantly bullied for being mixed and mentioned she didn’t have a lot of friends back then. She even considered getting a plastic surgery to look more Korean. Huge props to her as this negative experience did not stop her from working hard to become a singer. Her family has been always involved with her career – her mother and her grandmother made a short appearance on the 187th episode of Hello Counselor and Sh also had a cameo role in the 2014 film Ode to My Father along with her father and sister. Her father also made an appearance at the drama Descendants of the Sun.
After winning Produce 101, Somi became the center of I.O.I. After I.O.I’s disbandment she joined different variety shows, such as Sister’s Slam Dunk Season 2 or Idol Drama Operation Team TV show where she appeared alongside other 6 female idols. They ended up creating a 7-members girl group called Girls Next Door, which debuted on July 14, 2017. On August 20, 2018 Somi terminated her contract with JYPE and had signed with a sub-company of YG Entertainment, called The Black Label. She debuted as a soloist on June 13, 2019, with the digital single Birthday. Somi nicknamed her fans Som-taengs and Som-mungchis. Somi's nickname is vitamin as well as maknae on top. Watch out because this gal holds 4th degree black belt in taekwondo. When she was a kid, Somi wanted to be a stewardess. Somi admires EXO's Kai, Bigbang and GOT7’s JB. She is huge fan of 2NE1 and her role model is Minzy.
3. Kris Wu – Soloist, a former member of EXO-M
Hails from: Vancouver, Canada Fun fact: Kris made his catwalk debut at Burberry’s Fall 2016 Men’s Show in London.
Website: Kris Wu
Facebook: Kris Wu
Wu Yifan (吴亦凡) aka Kris Wu is a Chinese-Canadian K-Idol known as a former member of EXO-M. Kris was born in Guangzhou, China. Kris' parents split when he was still a baby and he has never met his biological father and has no interest in connecting with him. At the age of 10 Kris along with his mother moved to Vancouver, Canada. When Kris turned 18, he auditioned for S.M. Entertainment’s Canadian Global Auditions held in Vancouver. In January 2008 after passing the auditions, Kris moved to South Korea and became a trainee at SM Entertainment. On February 17, 2012, Wu was introduced as the eleventh member of EXO but he left the group in 2014. Kris were really close with another Exo band mate Tao, so fans started creating fanfics and photoshopped pictures of the two being intimate. This resulted in Kris being weirded out and the two became distant.
On May 15, 2014 Kris decided to file a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment asking for the termination of his contract. The main reason behind his decision was the fact that S.M. continuously mistreated their artists which caused Kris serious health issues. When Kris was diagnosed with myocarditis, S.M. completely ignored his health condition which lead to Kris losing trust in the company and which ultimately lead to his decision to leave. On July 21, 2016 S.M. Entertainment and Wu announced that they have reached a settlement and he can promote as a solo artist under S.M.’s management in Korea and Japan only (S.M. Entertainment will only get a share of his income until the original contact ends).
In November 2015, Kris released his first solo single Bad Girl and in November 2016 he released his first English single July that made it into Top 50 on iTunes. In October 2017, his EP Deserve reached number 1 on the US iTunes and made Kris the first Chinese artist ever claim this spot. In April 2018, Kris signed a record deal with Universal Records, one of America's biggest music labels.
As you can probably tell from the above pic Kris is a huge fashionisto. In May 2015, he was invited by Vogue China to attend the Met Gala. Along with Chen Kun, Kris was the first Chinese actor to attend the red carpet event. InStyle reported that Kris was the 4th most tweeted-about celebrity at the Met Gala (after Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Beyoncé). During 2015, Kris appeared on the cover of 17 magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, L’officiel Hommes, Grazia, Marie Claire, and Vogue China. Kris is currently the brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton. Kri