Leaders. How is it to be a leader in a KPOP group? Though it isn’t obvious at all, leaders are probably one of the most important factors in a group. Without the leader, there is no foundation. Without the leader, the group will most likely fall apart easily.
What makes leaders extra special is that they are the ones who speak for the group. In other words, they are the ones that are first looked on when the group has to speak. Common issues in the KPOP world are when a member leaves a group, or disputes of contracts happen with the companies. The first to speak and has most of the right to speak is the leader. The leader speaks in the behalf of the group, not because it’s their responsibility, but because they feel like they have to do it.
So who are the ones that stand out as a leader in the pack of idol groups? I know tons of surveys and articles have already appeared about this, but let me show you my own list and why I think they deserve it:
THE TOP 5 LEADERS of THE KPOP IDOL GROUPS
5. Jo Kwon- 2AM
Jo Kwon has been training for almost 10 years in JYP (thereby earning him epic sunbae status because he’s actually the longest trained trainee in JYP lol) and his hard work finally paid off when he entered 2AM. With his experience, he knows how to lead the group in whatever they do. He knows perseverance well enough to not quit for the group’s sake. 2AM is not as famous as 2PM and we all know that, but that doesn’t stop them and Jo Kwon can be credited for that.
4. Kwon Jiyoung (G-Dragon)- Big Bang
Big Bang is known for it’s members constantly debuting as solo artists, but what makes Big Bang a hell of a lot awesome is that even if they are partially solo artists now, their group shines a lot more when they are all together. Maybe we can thank G-Dragon for this trait. He’s not even the eldest! It’s T.O.P who was supposed to be the leader, but obviously they gave it to Jiyoung for a good reason. :)
With all the members being especially talented, they can easily go against their nature of staying in a pack and still succeed in their field. He himself has a lot of talent in composition as proven in his solo albums and through Big Bang’s music. But as a leader, G-Dragon works to keep the group together and tries to keep the morale in place and in my opinion, that gives him a lot of reason to be a good leader.
3. Lee Jinki (Onew)- SHINee
Though it’s not obvious, Onew is one of the best leaders in the industry today. Why? Even if he acts like a total dork (he is) and is known for his sangtae (he’ll never lose it), he is very well-respected by his members (even if sometimes they tend to step on him and his dignity) because even if he’s an idol and idols want to stand out, he tries his hardest to have his members step in the spotlight before himself.
He takes charge of them as the eldest, especially since they’re all still very young and naive in the industry. He seeks help from his sunbaes on tips on how to care for his dongsaengs constantly, and with that he knows he’s doing a pretty good job.
2. Lee Chaerin (C.L.) – 2NE1
Though it is usually the case that the eldest becomes the leader, in 2NE1’s case it’s the middle child that gets to lead the pack and the decision made was very much the best decision for the group. C.L. carries the group’s name very well, in fact better than any other girl group leader I know. Despite being young, her charisma shines above the rest and she knows how to pump the crowd in concerts and in music shows, which gives 2NE1 that special touch and shows how different they are from the usual ooey-gooey bubblegum music that is KPOP.
Being the middle child, she ties the group together with Minzy (the maknae) having a 10 year age gap with fellow members Park Dara and Park Bom which avoids the “I’m-older-than-you-by-this-much-so-you-have-to-follow-me” mentality. And I praise her for being able to lead her unnies as well, because it’s not always that the older ones would be willing to follow someone 7 years younger, right?
1. Park Jungsoo (Leeteuk)- Super Junior
13 members + 2 is probably enough to give you a headache of epic proportions, but they have a fantastic leader Park Jungsoo (or widely known as Leeteuk) who keeps them all together. I applaud him because not only can he take care of all of them (believe me, these boys are messy, dorky and can be very annoying), but he still keeps his cool and tries to blend in with his dongsaengs. Nowhere else can you see a leader that gets bullied so much. Even the maknae, Cho Kyuhyun, has no trouble picking on the leader. Though it is already known that he’s not as happy-go-lucky as he shows in variety shows, we can all tell that he’s very much close to every member of the group and I think this is important. The leader has to be able to relate to all his members, and Leeteuk can do this without feeling awkward at all.
The biggest problem came to Super Junior when Hankyung decided to file a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. It ’caused a havoc in the group, and many members started to feel betrayed but Leeteuk stood his ground and supported Hankyung’s decision despite the feelings of regret and depression he started to feel. And then more problems seem to arise as Kangin went to serve the army and Kibum left the group temporarily to pursue his acting career. Soon, Super Junior was cut from 13 official members to 10 active members minus one (Hankyung, who won his trial against SM Entertainment). Despite all these, he continued his job as the leader and tried his hardest to continue working as a group. In the 4th album promotions where the three missing members were not included in, he stated once in an interview for Newsen, “Truthfully it’s burdensome getting up on the stage as a group of 10 people instead of a group of 13 people. It was awkward at first having empty spaces on the stage.”
But with all the pain and the anxiety that comes with being a leader of probably the biggest and most loved Korean boy band in Asia, he never failed with his responsibility and kept the group moving and working harder than ever for the fans. That’s why Leeteuk is the number one leader in all the idol groups, hands down. With him, Super Junior will never fail in the music industry. That I can promise.
Park Jungsoo will be serving the military in the late 2011 or early 2012 alongside fellow Super Junior member, Kim Heechul.
I’m sure you have different views about who’s a great leader or so who’s in YOUR list? :)