K-media Crowns the Four New Hallyu Kings Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Seok, and Kim Woo Bin

Whether you like them or not, I think it safe to at least agree that the new generation of Hallyu kings are here and the overall consensus includes Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Lee Jong Seok, and Kim Woo Bin. Sure a few other popular around Asia twenty-something singer-actors like Lee Seung Gi and Jang Geun Seok could be included, but the media just loves to keep it at the round number four since the Hong Kong Four Sky Kings era. The media also lumps them together because all four new Hallyu kings coincidentally got their big break to insane popularity via a SBS drama.

I would go as far as to point out these four all hit it big in the same timeslot – Lee Jong Seok went first with I Hear Your Voice followed by Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin in Heirs before Kim Soo Hyun cleaned up the audience love with You From Another Star. That this all happened in last year also points to something in SBS waters to combine with correct young hot male lead with the drama formula for success. I like all four so their meteoric popularity doesn’t bug me, and it’s about time since the original Hallyu kings from a decade ago either barely act anymore (Bae Yong Joon, Won Bin) or mostly doing film (Lee Byung Hun, Jang Dong Gun, Song Seung Heon).

New Hallyu Kings: Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin

Original Hallyu Kings: Won Bin, Lee Byung Hun, Bae Yong Joon, Song Seung Heon, Jang Dong Gun


K-media Crowns the Four New Hallyu Kings Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Seok, and Kim Woo Bin — 161 Comments

  1. I think it’s too early for this. 1 or 2 guys here doesnt deserved it. They had to proved longevity of constant fame (3-5yrs &beyond) and not just one-time or two fame formula. Just saying, sorry, I dont believe this!

    • WTF? Lee jong suk and KWB being on that list is an insult to Hallyu itself are you kidding OcKoala.

      Lee Jong suk 1mio+followers and KWB 3mio followers on weibo and they barely have CFs to there names. even with Pinocchio LJS failed to rise while PSH took all the credit from him on weibo and facebook by rising.

      This article it’s an insult to Hallyu itself and everybody knows this even there fans LJS and KWB are far from there.

      • I’m a PSH fans but can you stop pretending her fans and draw hate to her?
        LJS is the center of the drama and has been trending in both Korea and China the past weeks.
        He ever just won the Best Actor award for the role. When did PSH took all the credit when she barely shines this week

      • i have to agree,i’m not sure about lee jong suk and kim woo bin being on that list… i know they’re popular in korea but i think not as much internationally

      • for you info jong suk got his weibo account just recently and now he has almost 2 millions followers while others have it years & years ago…and who the F*** you are to talk who should be on this list or not, you ignorant plastic mind , do some research b4 freakin talkin

      • Are you serious LJS is so popular even here in Europe … he surely deserves to be on the list

  2. Nah, it’s kind of insulting to everyone to put Lee Jong Seok and Kim Woo Bin on the list with the rest of them. Not that I dislike them, but way too soon. Of the new guys, LMH is the only one who has been proven really

  3. Kim woo bin and lee junk suk !??! Bwhahahah bigest joke of the year .?! They are not nearly famous as jang geun suk or lee seung gi ! Such idoits ljs and kwb only did one drama or 2 it rather insulting really ! Every one know who is the 4 hally king ..its kim so hyum jang geun suk lee min ho and lee seug gi !

    • I too was disappointed… I think jang geun suk deserve the spot more. He is so popular with so much commercial. I think it’s unfair to him…

  4. If you asked people in asia i doubt they know name like kimwoobin, leejongsuk, kimsoohyun. Some people may know their name but not rooting and following their career. Like or dislike its Leeminho, Janggeunsuk and maybe leeseunggi with his dramas, variety and singing career.

    • Are you freaking kidding?!!! People in Asia don’t know who Kim Soo Hyun is? The man who filmed 35 CFs and ranked #1 in highest earned income as individual on Forbes Power Celebrity 40? Who is paying this nobody the $100 billion won he made in 2014? Kim Soo Hyun was no doubt the biggest sensation in Asia last year and the heat has no sign of wavering in 2015.

      • Lee min ho got the paid 100 million since city hunter,many names had been name as hallyu star but where are they now?lee min ho is the one still remains,in fact he was crown the most influential asian actor for 2016 and lee min ho will be the ambassador for pyeongyang olympic 2018

    • Phil here i love lee jung suk im no. 1 fan of him… theres a lot of people lot him… especially when he visited ph for his no breathin movie… his kdrama IHYV and pinochio got a high rate… on agb nielsen ph… i love woo bin also coz of empress ki but not following him on socialM… and fyi due to the high rating on tv of kim soo hyun’s my love from the star title here in ph which all fans here are goping for remake of it… matteo do as kim soo hyun is very popular here in ph… that why im happy that my 3 idols belong here a side from LMH ^_^

  5. I’m not going to dabble on any petty arguments here, but I’m actually curious as to why someone would still consider Jang Geun Suk or Lee Seung Gi even, to be “hallyu kings” at this point. Undoubtedly they are hallyu stars, but I don’t think that they have pulled the ratings numbers as of late to merit calling them as royalties of current generation of top male stars. At the same vein, I think it’s premature to hail KWB and LJS just yet, though with the current and impending success that Pinocchio has and will continue to have for this year and the next, I would measure that LJS is definitely on his way. KWB on the other hand though has made more strides towards the big screen and it’s more difficult to appraise his success. Another hit in a post-Heirs small screen stint featuring him as THE main lead, and we might have a valid discussion here.

    • how can you doubt lee seung gi……seunggi’s all drama have good ratings.by rating above he stands above lee min ho ……i can’t understand jang geun seuk case though…..none of lsg drana’s got below 10% but lee min ho dramas did…..none of stars lee min ho,kim woo bin,lee jong seuk get great opening that lee seung gi gets in pilot episodes…domestically he is above those three above although internationally lee min ho may surprass him…because he was so busy domestically he didn’t time for other activities in other countries but lately with asian tour,china fan meetings,yaas china craze he slowly expanding his horizon….also kim soo hyun it just after TMETS he just hit the moolah…the after that he had one drama YWCFTS hit to his name….he is basically done much lees word to be judeged with lsg,jgs or lmh not even counting kim woo bin and lee jong suk who are too raw to put those crowny labels on them…..

      • Lee Seung Gi’s dramas had ok ratings (good rating means above 20%) but in Korea only. You’re looking domestic (Korean) success only. Hallyu star is someone who’s very popular Asia (and broader) wise. Best example is Jang Geun Suk. He’s very popular in South America, some European and North American parts, Middle East, China and especially in Japan even though he’s quite disliked in Korea, which is a real shame if I may say so.

      • are you kidding jang geun suk maybe not very loved in korea but the guy owns japan and most of china !! he has 18 million followers in wibo and take over 95.000$ per episode !! he is the most famsous intternatianly of the four america apain …ets !! where are you living he did get his title for nothing !! every single drama he ,ade sold over 13 countries but you’r beautful alone was sold to 21 counties !! the guy is hally star it dosen’t matter if korea dot love him

    • I think it would be better to gauge these actors according to their small and big screen success exclusively rather than counting the number of their fans across the board, though that is not to downplay the legitimacy of their popularity, but merely to standardize a unit of measurement. I’m simply ruling out the k-pop/idol variable from the equation because we’re discussing top male ACTORS it’s only apt to measure them by their acting careers alone. That is not to say that guys like JGS is any less deserving of the title of hallyu star or even prince/king, he simply isn’t the numbers draw as an actor lately.

      So once again, could someone tell me how is JGS and LSG more fitting of the title strictly as actors?

      • To Turn0918-LSG drama B.L, 7RP GOT ABOVE 40%,MGIG AND GFB got nearly 20%…..tk2h and yaas got 13 to 14 % on average…all dramas werte no.1 in it’s time slot…yaas rake in great view count in china….he is popular in asia be it sinpaore,phillipines,japan,china etc because he is multienterainer who in every field(singing,acting,variety) excels…

    • Me too. The older Korean male celebs are much more attractive appearance wise (yep, looks are subjective, I know, but still). And was LBH ever a hallyu star? I know BYJ, SSH and JDG were but LBH?

  6. Big difference in acting between the hallyu kings before and now..Hallyu kings before captivated the Asia through of their acting..

    • i think halyu actor is about popularity not about acting, they are popular after making drama that attract teenager audience, teenager audience mostly overate, they contibute the most in popularity of an actor
      i think i prefer A list actor than halyu actor, halyu actor chould change by time but A list actor will be more respected after long time because their acting

      • Obviously hallyu means popularity i never said its about acting I just simply compare their acting skills..

  7. I think Kim Woo Bin and Lee Jong Seok are only famous with Kdrama fans right unlike Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun who are known to non kdrama fans.

  8. To be honest, LJS and especially KWB are not deserving of it. Not yet. They need to prove their longevity. KWB is not even a first lead yet. Atleast give 2-3 ratings hit dramas, then we can talk.
    LMH is most deserving because of his never ending and ever increasing popularity for 6 years . KSH is ratings king for 4 years. Next to them should be LSG and JGS, atleast for now.

  9. I can understand the choices, since these guys are well-known outside Korea. And I’ve seen LMH, KWB and LJS in enough things to know they can get the job done. But can someone please help me appreciate KSH? His character in You From Another Star kinda put me to sleep (I know, that’s heresy to some, sorry) and I want to give him another try. Or at least I’m determined to give him another try. Any recommendations? Moon Embracing the Sun?

      • Dream High absolutely. His portrayal of Song Sam Dong is the best performance of him so far. I like MoonSun though he’s a bit overacting

    • check out dream high,he was really good there..that was his role that made me like him,after that i don’t know,in the moon he was very awkward as a king like trying to act cool and mighty,idk..in MLFTS he bored me to death..But I think i he is really good in emotional acting..

      • Ooo, good, Dream High I can do that! I was kinda worried I might have to take on a major sageuk. Thanks for getting me out of that one! If he’s playing someone less than 400 years old, I think he’s got a better shot with me.

      • I loooooved KSH in Dream High, it was my first exposure to him and it’s still my favorite role of his too! I was also giddy to hear that his real personality is more like his character in Dream High (i’m assuming before the angst ha) and that made me like him even more.

    • I didn’t like his character in You From Another Star either, which I’d say is only half his fault–personally I don’t think the character was well-written. He made me cry buckets in Giant, though (even though he was only in the kids section, so I’m not sure that’s the best rec). I do agree with everyone here–he was awesome as Sam-dong! And Dream High is a quick watch.

  10. Okay. Based on weibo followers-
    Lee Minho- 25 millions
    Jang Geunsuk- 18m
    Lee Junki- 15m
    Kim Soohyun- 8.7m

    and Queen Park Shin hye- 7m

  11. i like kim woo bin but to call him one of the hallyu kings when he hasn’t topbilled a drama yet – right? a bit premature there, k-media.

  12. Even guys like Choi Siwon is 65% more famous then them both(LJS and KWB) combined. it is basically joke and yes I would say Lee seung gi, Lee Joon gi, JKS and off all people G-dragon has more Facebook followers then there combined followers of all Social media networks.

    for them to reach LMH and KSH they need a miracle..

  13. Hahahaha! 🙂 Half of this list is laughable! The only valid Hallyu Stars/Kings/YouNameIt, at this point, are LMH (for obvious reasons, yet he still has to prove himself in Japan), JKS (this guy OWNS Japan and is HUGE in China as well as some other major Asian countries), maybe KSH (mostly fame in the last 2 years and mostly popular in China) and MAYBE LSG (‘maybe’ is in caps because, although his dramas and singing career are a success, it’s still mostly in Korea and that’s not considered Hallyu; also, his humble image does not really attract most of non-Korean ladies – i found that Japanese and Chinese gals like fiery/strong character men more)

      • @dal Did my research and the dislike from ‘Netizens’ (wouldn’t include all of korea here, coz I don’t wanna sound ignorant) comes mostly bcz of his fashion , hairstyle and hyperactive personality.
        Maybe you gotta naver , nate yourself to find how bipolar knetz can be , KSH & JJH faced a lot of backlash earlier this year , so did LJS but once they are onscreen and produce good works the hate goes into pit. Don’t take netizen comments as a voice from all of korea.

        Oh and just found the news about JKS being the hallyu star who had the privilege to represent korea as the korean artist at ASEAN Summit with the SEA first ladies just yesterday. So…

      • @U-know, thank you! Very well said! No offense to anyone but I can’t stand people who deduct and set their minds about a famous Korean person simply basing on K-Netz’s and/or Netz’s extreme and often hypocritical comments! The fact is that 90% of them (k-netz and netz) are inexperienced and not very self aware kids/youngsters from the ages of 13 to 22. They majorly lack critical thinking!

    • Hmmm, i really dont mind the other 3 being LMH, LJS and KSH… Others may argue that LJS isnt as famous the other two but he is a great actor and so far he is present on kdramas in recent years. KWB though, he is a good actor but he still hasnt had any leading roles in a drama… Although he is headlining a movie now…

    • From the hallyu kings listed here only lmh and ksh deserves the title. Ljs is ok but he isn’t improved to the level of a king status. But what!!! Kwb??? They must be kidding right.
      But no one can’t doubt lmh’s popularity. He is an international star. So he doesn’t need obvious reasons for his fame. And he is the unbeatable king of asia. He doesn’t want to prove fame in japan just because your jgs owns japan. And you better know that if jgs owns japan lmh owns china. You claim how huge jgs is in china but don’t know lmh is no. 1 there. And he is soo big in Philippines, singapore, taiwan, thailand and even in india. If going furthermore he has middle east, africa and even usa. That’s why even korean media noted that and cannot ignore him. Lol.

  14. Some people Lee Jong Suk doesn’t deserve it because he is still not as popular as Lee Min Ho. But based on film and acting quality, Lee Jong Suk should exceed Lee Min Ho in any sense of way. Lee Min Ho was ridiculous in the ridiculous Heirs while Lee Jong Suk has proven himself to be wonderful in both brilliant I Hear Your Voice and Pinocchio. And even though Dr. Stranger was a hot mess, at lease his acting save the show’s quality. Well, so maybe Lee Min Ho indeed is more popular but I think Lee Jong Suk is the one who deserve the recognition.

    • LJS has a lot of delulu fans. Since when has acting in dramas of 10% rating been considered wonderful? Not many people will remember his acting in DS either.

      • I dont really think its based on rating alone. Just because its low or high in ratings doesnt guarantee that a drama is good.

    • Just because ljs can act don’t make him deserve a king title. For that popularity and soo many other things are considered. Lmh dramas are popular because people love how he protracted his characters all the way. And all of his dramas became so popular.
      Of course ljs is a good actor and far better than that kwb. But he need to be more stable and need more recognition to be here. It seems he will improve in future.

  15. I’m actually still trying to digest the HUGE popularity that comes with kim woo bin who has yet to even headline a k-drama.
    I thought his case would be like song joong ki, who had alot of buzz around his name even before he even headlined his own drama, but now in terms of popularity he’s even surpassing him.
    This makes me wonder how much more popularity he’d gain simply by headlining a really popular drama.
    He hasn’t grabbed me yet, mainly i think people are just taken with his charisma. And boy does he have alot of it. The camera loves him.

  16. I realized something why leeminho is so popular this past 6 years and compare to others actors. Just leeminho hasnt ‘scandal’ around him. I guess this is one reason why he’s so well loved. He loves his fans and well mannered too. Im not trying to compare him with other actor but if you still remember the rest of this list actor here involved in ‘something like scandal’. Maybe thats why leeminho has a lot of fans in sns too

  17. I know why.

    That explains and Chinese Market is going crazy with these four.

    • It’s actually…


      The Chinese fan girls are going crazy over them because they are apparently (ahem WHAT, SERIOUSLY?) the most handsome guys alive.

      Pardon me, I need to go to the washroom to curb my nausea.

  18. You have guys like Choi Siwon who is extremely popular.

    Twitter: 4.4mio
    Weibo: 13.4mio
    Total: 17.8mio Fans worldwide

    G-dragon is also extremely famous guy compared to newbies like LJS and KWB

    Twitter: 3.6mio
    Facebook. 5.5mio
    Weibo: 4.5mio
    Total: 13.6mio fans

    They have a long way to go if they want to catch the big boys in LMH and KSH.

    then you have guys like JKS and LJK who also has alot of fans(20-15mio)and popularity but still not on that hallyu king list.

    As far as commercials go they are basically starting out in korea as of now.

      • Make no mistake Choi Siwon is an actor as well who have appeared on Several K-dramas as the lead male and films.

        Right now his in a new upcoming Chinese movie called the blade dragon coming out feb 19 2015. Btw G-dragon is just an idol and not an actors so he dosne’t really belong in here.

    • Yes, i know Choi Siwon is doing acting and i really liked him in skip beat and has been headlining kdrama. But first an foremost he is an idol… His popularity as actor stemmed from him being in super junior and so for me most of his popularity is from the idol world and not in the acting department. While these four guys has been known for their acting per se.

  19. Sometimes a one hit wonder kdrama can be more than enough. The original Hallyu Kings also barely had hits after the dramas they are famous of. I like the four of them.

    I couldn’t quite get the fuss over LMH’s dramas but he’s a really nice guy and sincere to fans. Kim Soo Hyun and Lee Jong Suk has rumors about their attitude. And yes…Kim Woo Bin has yet to lead a kdrama or at least a remarkable if he’s headed to a Won Bin path. Seung Gi is very diversed to be a Hallyu Drama King.

    Somehow I like Joo Won, Song Joong Ki and Lee Jun Ki to really make it and be Hallyu. You see they’re really genuine people and really talented plus hardworkingbut only appreciated in Korea but quite underrated in China and Japan :((

    • To put it straight, LJK has already made it to Hallyu. He’s just not in this new generation of actors (he’s born in ’82). He was already huge back then during Iljimae.

    • joowon is good actor n has many good drama more than the other name above but he’s not as popular as them because he mostly choose seriouse drama that doesn’t attract young viewer, young viewer love cheesy romance

      • exactly!!Imagine if The heirs was a melodrama,i don’t think it would be a hit since it was a trashy drama even it would have the same casts..

    • Oh dont be sad dear. Fyi Lee Jun Ki is one of the Top Hallyu Stars since King and Clown and to entering China’s Film Market with two top-notch filmmakers, Stanley Kwan and Lin Yu Hsien. They are two of three top film directors of Hong Kong. It is said that Lin wanted Lee Jun Ki to participate so much even visited Korea himself to meet and persuade him. The reasons why he want him ‘Lee Jun Ki’s talent in acting and his popularity in China is phenomenal.’ Lin was quoted as saying. See, its just clearly shown his Top Hallyu Status.

  20. I think it is too early to say for Lee Jong Seok and Kim Woo Bin. Yes they are extremely popular in Korea nowadays but I don’t think they have shown that they are hallyu stars yet. I mean I am not a fan of the guy but Jang Geun Suk pulls in the numbers in other countries as does Lee Seungi. Lee Seungi pulls the numbers in Korea and abroad. Those two are more fitting of hallyu king title than LJS and KWB at this point in time when you consider they are able to maintain their foreign pupularity even during their hiatuses. LJS and KWB need to show they can pull the crazy numbers abroad for years before I would dub them hallyu kings even though I personally like the two over JGS any given day of the week.

  21. I do not know what is the criteria to call someone Hallyu star , but I know if not for Lee Min Ho and “BOF” I would have no idea what is K-drama and who is who in there.

  22. I don’t understand the hate LJS and KWB are getting. The fact that KWB is this popular even without headlining a drama tells you how popular he is. And in my opinion they are both super talented and I’m very happy that they are being recognized. more importantly, even if you don’t agree, resorting to petty insults is ridiculous

    • I haven’t really seen any hate on the two on this page though (although I admit I didn’t read all of the comments). The most common comment is that its two early to call them hallyu kings which is true when you think about it. I mean that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be classified as hallyu kings later but now is not the time. Lee Minho has been popular across asia since BOF which was 5+ years ago, Kim Soo Hyun since Dream High three years ago, Jang Geun Seok rarely does dramas and has generally gone off the deep end but his popularity is no joke and has been for years as is Lee Seungi. LJS and KWB are really popular in Korea and gaining popularity in asia but they have yet to have that big hallyu hit or show that they will remain popular in asia over the next few years. I mean yes KWB has the Heirs love but the main stars popularity wise abroad from that drama is still lee min ho and park shin hye.

      I mean when you look at the original hallyu kings BYJ has Winter Sonata, SSH and Won Bin had Autumn Tale, JDG and Friend and Tagukgi all from early 2000 and their popularity is still massive to this day.

  23. I think it’s kind of funny how nostalgia colors our judgement. Like, I was sitting here thinking about how the original four could act and were so much better, yada yada yada. And then I came to Song Seung-heon and went crashing back down to reality. Boy was super hot, but couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag.

    I have mixed feelings on the new 4. KSH and LMH are the only ones that make sense to me. I think KWB has the most talent of the 4, but is the least deserving of this particular accolade. I like KSH and he’s a decent actor, and I know it’s not his fault, but he’s just so overrated. LMH only impressed me in Boys Over Flowers–I was totally unconvinced by him in City Hunter (it didn’t help that it was a rom com masquerading as a revenge thriller), and Heirs pretty much killed my good will. I haven’t seen enough of LJS to judge. But I guess this a popularity contest, right? So I’m not in the right frame of mind, here.

  24. I suppose the main difference between the ‘old’ Hallyu ‘Kings’ and the ‘new’ ones is that the ‘old’ were chosen, not just by popularity, but mostly based on their acting skills. The ‘new’ Hallyu kings are chosen (as far as I can notice so far) just basing on their popularity.

    I know this is a bit off-topic here but how would you guys sort the mentioned actors (new Hallyu Kings) by acting skills only?

    This would be my list, from the mentioned names in this blog so far:

    1) Jang Keun Suk – no matter the ratings or his choice of dramas, the guy is a phenomenal actor and that’s been proven during the last 20 years of his career!

    2) LMH, KSH, LJK – very very good actors! Some of them choose popular dramas with repetitive well accepted types of characters and plots which is a minus in my eyes but still – very good actors!

    3) KWB and LJS – they are ok. Far from bad but not good enough to be along the names under #2.

    4) Lee Seung Gi – no matter how popular he is (and Koreans do loooooove him!) and his awards, the guy is an ok actor at best, IMO! I will rest his case with this fact – his own super fans discouraged him (more like begged him not) to take up that Kill Me, Heal Me 7-personalities role suggesting that he can’t do it properly and will fail…

    Hope I did not miss any of the names. If I have, I do apologize 🙂

      • are you kidding me with KWB? All he can do is his antagonis face to play such a bad guy role over and over again. Viewers will become boring with him. He is not even become a lead male. Heol!

    • Die-hard JGS fan I see LOL.
      He isn’t anywhere near LMH or KSH in China now which is the main market Hallyu focus on. They still make bills in Japan but they get a lot more in China…
      Let’s not talking about how Korea doesn’t like him either… nor his drama doing well in the last few years.
      These 4 actors’ last project are not only popular internationally but also huge in Korea. I don’t think JGS is qualified anymore

      • Bwahah ..s! Jang geun suk owns japan while lee min ho and kim so hyum has no popularites thier and jang geun suk has huge part of china as well … lee mih ho and ksh can do shit in japan all they have is china ! And jang geun suk has asia ! His dramas maybe not popular in korea but all break 40% im japan and china and sold to 13 each ..who are you to say ! He still has his title as the asia price ..!? Jang geun drama may be not popular is korea but he owns asia ! His dramas all break 40% in rating in japan and china and sold to over 12 countries each And japan he is yhe king !and who is those kwb and ljs cuz i sure never heard of theml lmh enjoys china cuz that all what they have ! Can your ksh hold a concert by him self and asia tour and gather about 200.000 fans !?! I dont this so cuz that is how popular jgs is with over 60.00p fans each fan meeting he take 95.000$ per episod so when you cant say shit …when you reach half of fame and money and theird of his talent then you speak ! But now you shut up

      • Omg another butthurt jgs fan. Why are you acting so bravely when he is not in the list? Haha of course jgs is the prince of asia but don’t u know lmh is called Asia’s king. And king is bigger. Lol. He can do better in japan and stop acting like your jgs is the only one popular there. And claiming about how huge he is in china when lmh owns china and no one can’t come closer to him there other than ksh. Feel sorry for the haters who think lmh only has china. He is no. 1 in Philippines even their media jokingly said they have to make lmh’s visit a national holiday ’cause they are flabbergasted by his popularity there. He even got God of the asia title in china, taiwan and singapore gaining millions of votes recently. You better do some more research plz. And he is the sns king which proves his stable popularity furthermore. And he is no. 1 in middle east, russia, africa and even usa with evedence to prove them. When Sam Okyere came to MBC variety show he told lmh was the most popular in ghana. Haha there are a lot more. You just daydream while lmh reigns asia. Lol. Poor haters!!! That’s why his massive popularity was always credited by korean media, even they can’t ignore him.

      • Lmh was voted as the most popular k actor in japan once and that’s how he made shit there as jgs fans think. Lol. And speaking of his dramas hit ratings in asia. Haha all of lmh dramas were asian hits which your jgs’s ones can’t reach closer. And his recent drama heirs was selected as most popular drama abroad by people in 26 countries and his dramas always rocked dramafever in usa. And he got really good ratings in korea when your prince has zero there. Lmh’s networth is 10M while jgs owns 6M. Don’t boast of his concerts he is an idol. Of course he desrves more than ljs and kwb. Or maybe ksh. But not lmh. He is too huge for you to look down.

    • re: your comment #4 you are ignorant and uninformed and your comment shows that you do not like LSG and that is fine. However your so off base speaking about his fans begging him not to take a role because he will fail. Are you kidding me? I could rant at this comment for hours but I won’t. when you don’t know what the hell your talking about and real facts it is better to keep quiet. and for the recore as far as overall star power not one of these guys has anything over him.

    • really you are best at making a mole into mountain…..lee seung gi a ok actor…..really you need to see his dramas….have you watched TK2H….HE has got both critical appreciation for dramas as well as rating ….not anbody above is a better actor than LSG….really you know a lot about lee seungi….his fans discoraged him not to take the role becoz he will fail…..what a joke…..utter nonsense…may be then that also may be the case with hyun bin who didn’t take the role….jang geun seuk a phenomenal actor even i couldn’t use this term to any of the above including lee seung gi with little work or genre of movies they have done….you need to open the dictionary to recheck the meaning of phenomenal i guess….

    • I understand that you are LSG’s fans @scbound & @sachinten but stating that ‘none of these guys have anything over him’ (LSG) or that ‘not anybody above is better actor than LSG’ is unnecessary overreaching!

      Don’t have anything against the guy but he’s not a great actor. He’s an ok actor! He needs acting depth (e.g. showing multiple emotions through a single look) desperately.

      Truth be told, the fact that his fans call him ‘puppy’ makes me cringe badly… But that has nothing to do with his acting.

      • He doesn’t need your approval to prove his acting depth….i repeat he is better actor than rest of them…believe it or not it’s your choice….truth is blunt…..really can see your bias…..sure you are at this site…hope based on koala’s yardstick and if you read her article how greatly she rate lee seung gi…..

    • @thinking_bell on. Yes, I do think jang geun suk deserve the spot. Bcoz even without a current drama,
      still his fame is no joke…

  25. jang geun suk is rather the most famous internatianly !! he owns japan and huge part of asian countires !! he has over 18 million followrs on wibo and take 95.000$ per each episode he sing in tokyo done with 60.000 fans alone !! are you kidding who is kim woo bi and ljs next to jang geun suk or even lee sung gi the only had 1 dram or 2 !! it should be jang geun suk lee min ho kim so huyn and LSG

    • Omo!!! Lmh’s popularity internationally is cannot be beaten by anyone. That is clearly recognized by k media. Don’t dare compare sns statistics with lmh. Lmh is no. 1 in weibo with more than 28M fans. Lol. And one of the highest paid k actors. Jgs is more of an idol than an actor. But he deserves to be here other than ljs & kwb. (But lmh & ksh is unbeatable)

  26. popularity wise,i would say i would say LMH and JGS.sure,KSH is popular but he is most popuar in countries like Taiwan,China,Korea,Hong Kong and Japan.JGS and LMH are more popular outside Asia more than any other korean actor.in my country,75per knows LMH and JGS.KSH is more popular in Asia countries than in euroupe and south and north America.JGS proves that high rating dramas dont mean popularity cos his dramas are still popular despite the low ratings.as for KWB and LJS,i have nothing to say…

  27. Very interesting! This is my first time hearing of Hallyu Kings, are there crowned Hallyu Queens too?

    Also if I’m understanding the definition of Hallyu correctly, it seems Kpop is the more popular facet of the Hallyu wave these days. I’m barely into kpop but it seems that way, I could be wrong.

    Loooove the pics you chose of the original Hallyu Kings. I want to blow up the picture of all of them in suits! They are sexy MEN!!!

    LMH definitely makes sense for the title, I’m neutral about him personally but it’s obvious he’s overwhelmingly popular in Asia and to me seems the most well known kdrama actor globally. Kim Soo Hyun got a shoo-in with his mega hit YFAS just like LMH did with his own mega-hit Boys before Flowers.

    People seem to really like LJS and I think if he keeps picking good roles/dramas, he could be well on his way to solidifying his legacy.

    I’d have picked Lee Seung Gi before Kim Woo Bin but I guess that’s the power of Heirs on display. He has an interesting face and is a good actor so I wish him luck.

    The thing is this list is not set in stone. I imagine it changes frequently? Anything could happen and we could have someone we never saw coming blow all of them out the water. Then again, if the person doesn’t fit whatever criteria they use it wouldn’t matter.

    It’s fascinating reading how people are figuring out who is most popular. Alot of things I wasn’t aware of so it’s quite interesting.

  28. @right.die-hard LMH and KSH fan.im minoz,but even LMH is not as popular as KSH and LSG in korea.LMH is more popular outside than in korea.KSH is popular,but i wouldnt put him in the same par as JGS.the only country that KSH is more popular in China.name another country that KSH popularity supasses that of JGS.can KSH hold fan meeting in Tokyo dome?no.can he generate more than 20,000 in country for fan meeting?no.but this is what JGS and LMH can do.KSH’s popularity is not up to LMH and JGS’s level.

    • Hallyu power means the long-term and big scaled influence. Therefore, JGS is the past. South korea doesn’t care much of what he is doing with japan and his 20000 fans concert because they now focus on china’s 1,4 billion population.

      LMH and KSH can be same level, but KSH’s case is more impressive thanks to the fact that his overwhelming popularity happens within 1 year while it took some others several years.

      KWB and LJS are not even the present.

      • I’m far from a JGS fan but his popular and still young just 27 years and I’m sure his planning something big.

        And he is for sure ahead of the most in the hallyu rank.

        This is the most realistic hallyu ranking based on popularity.


        And the competition below is really tough but to put LJS and KWB was an insult to hallyu itself and the korean journalist who did it have agendas of promoting LJS and KWB which kind backfired rather then help. His just one individual.

        There is like tons of guys who are ahead of LJS and KWB as we speak popularity wise(who didn’t made top 5) and putting them there up can hurt the credibility Hallyu wave has.

      • Are you kidding, yes that is true – JGS is the past, the present & the future, with his many talents coupled with popularity all over Asia, it wont be easy to just dismiss him. Fyi JGS just yesterday was in the news for being the Hallyu representative welcoming the spouses of ASEAN leaders and in that news all over korea plus other asian countries, you can clearly hear reporters saying “hallyu star” Jang Geun Suk….he left his permanent mark again in Busan Film Hall through his handprint.

      • @joey 100 do you mean choi siwon of suju? Because if you did? Seriously? How is he any better than LJK?

  29. The most famous hally stars are jang geun suk and lee min ho …kim so hyun can never be in jgs level !? Jang geun drama may be not popular is korea but he owns asia ! His dramas all break 40% in rating in japan and china and sold to over 12 countries each And japan he is yhe king !and who is those kwb and ljs cuz i sure never heard of them !?

    • If your prince of asia has lost his throne because the new kingdom has just been found in great china. Pray hard that he has a better project to impress next time. Otherwise, he can keep selling his FM tickets, CDs to remain his hallyu status in japan where hallyu wave has been dying. Good luck.

      • No worries his popularity in China is quite steady, given the right project I believe he is very much capable of reclaiming that throne, c’mon no doubt as far as acting is concerned he is the most phenomenal from his group.

      • Jang Geun Suk a hallyu star whose concerts are sold out & can gather 12,000 fans per FM (while others in that list of Hallyu kings would be lucky to gather 5,000 fans) must not stop doing what he loves to do, he better keeps on selling concerts, festivals, FM tickets, CD albums to the delights of his loyal eels 🙂

      • Holding a lots of concerts, selling a lot of CDs, but he wasn’t the one who was invited to perform in an event that was globally live broadcasted this year. Isn’t this becoming a trend that doing concerts and selling CDs to fans is a must-do when acting fails? At the end of the day, an actor is an actor. Fan loyalty can’t help strengthen his acting career if he keeps failing. His loyal eels must have been waiting for that phenomenol for ages. Don’t keep them wait any more.

      • @ Tamarine Jang Geun Suk with his 20 year career in showbiz had attended numerous events & represented Korea as its ambassador many times, if you will delve into his history he was always the first or the youngest to achieve a thing that others have not for instance being the Seoul city ambassador (which is now hold by Kim Soo Hyun), attending that event whatever is that your talking about doesn’t matter. Jang Geun Suk has been there already while others are just starting. “Doing concerts & selling cds is a must do when acting fails” are you telling me that Lee Min Ho who is trying to catch up with the trend has failed, Lee Jun Ki as well whose after his recent drama released an album? Hallyu stars doing fan meetings, releasing albums, embarking on concert tours were able to do that because they know they can afford to do it & have the talent to do it, it is in fact a sign of their success. Jang Geun Suk has been doing those things for years now & has made history that no one has yet surpass did things that other actors could not. Because believe me if other actors can do like him, their agency would urge them to do it, it means money for them. He just love to do it not because he has failed. Tell me did all the actors who has failed in their recent project embark on concert tours or did fan meetings??? Were all the actors especially when acting fail them sell CDs, hold fan meetings, perform concerts? Of course no because not all of them can sing or have that star power to indulge on those other things.

      • 1. It wasn’t seoul ambassador event that I implied cuz it was not a performing event after all. It is Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing China this year, where he sang in Chinese and the whole event was live broadcasted globally. FYI: before that event, KSH had never done any personal concerts or recorded any full official albums.

        2. “Doing concerts & selling cds is a must do when acting fails” : The 1st generation of hallyu stars didn’t do concerts or sell albums. Their successful dramas did the job. Also, if acting is not involved in the hallyu nature, people will start to call Korean idol singers who have huge fame overseas are hallyu stars.

        3. JGS may continue to keep his throne in japan why the rest of SK turns their eyes on china, the newly found hallyu world where these actors have many brand new things to deal with rather than to think about breaking JGS’s concert/ album records.

        4. “believe me if other actors can do like him, their agency would urge them to do it, it means money for them.” It’s wrong, at least in KSH’s case. And we are talking about hallyu stars who can become hallyu kings, not about actors in common, so plz don’t raise such silly questions.

      • 1. Yes I know you were not referring to seoul ambassador, read again my comment -JGS has attended NUMEROUS EVENTS & REPRESENTED KOREA AS ITS AMBASSADOR MANY TIMES – they are two different things. So what I’m trying to say is that all those Hallyu stars have their very own achievements, they may have common achievements (like JGS & KSH who became Seoul City ambassador but not Lee Min ho, JGS & LMH both received China’s Huading Awards not sure about KSH though), some may achieved something that is uniquely, solely only for him.

        2. FYI some of the first generation of Hallyu stars had few albums to their names as well fyi like Jang Dong Gun, Lee Byung Hoon & Song Seung hoon. Lee Joon Ki did better than them, then of course Jang Geun Suk is the most successful among all of them. He officially debuted as a singer 2011 at the height of his popularity & not because his acting fails.

        3.Jang Geun Suk has 18 million followers in weibo, his popularity in China is remarkable too. We never know who will be the next big thing in China after Kim Soo Hyun, who knows it could be other than LMH & KSH. Park Shi hoo in his mid thirties suddenly shoot to fame internationally after Princess Man. Jang Geun Suk is still very young only 27 ( Sept. 1987). Jang Geun Suk is quite busy too, attending post graduate studies, preparing for his next solo album, choosing for his next acting project.

        4. Well I know that all actors would sing during their fan meetings, and as you said its becoming a trend to sell CDs, I don’t think so Lee Jong Suk or Kim Woo Bin would say no to the idea if they can do it after all their sunbaes (in first Hallyu generation) did try. Plus I already mentioned Lee Min Ho who start selling CDs too & its not because he failed in his recent drama. Hallyu stars releasing albums because they know they are popular enough to sell.

      • 1. Come on, KSH obviously doesn’t need a huading award to be hallyu king. And of course, LMH doesn’t need to be seoul ambassador to be in the king list.

        2. FYI: at the time when JDG and LBH recorded their own albums, the concept of hallyu wave/ star was NOT born yet. And these three actors never used their albums to do concerts, the way the 2nd generation are doing these days.

        3. People only care for who are the talks of the town right now instead of who will be the next. If JGS doesn’t show his influential activeness in acting land whether because of his acting failure or studies, he should accept to be dethroned. Of course he still remains as hallyu star, not king. The case is applied for both KSH and LMH and other guy as well.

        4. LMH’s Faith failed in 2012. He released album in 2013 and started doing concerts then. Heirs was not a rating flop, but who would say his acting there was successful? His company just took advantage of his new hype to make more money with new albums and concerts followed. When talent is not involved, we sell popularity. If KSH, LJS and KWB release albums and do concerts in the future, the situation when they do that will be considered. Singing some selective songs in their FMs, and recording official albums + holding official concerts are two different stories.

      • 1. To bag China’s Huading Award, a star needs to be a Hallyu King first. As for becoming Seoul city’s ambassador that is a great honor for anyone who will be chosen. Jang Geun Suk btw is no stranger to this Hallyu King crown. For his eels he will always be a Hallyu King, so I agree with ms koala that JGS could be included and I add again. But then he is definitely a crown prince 🙂

        2. I don’t see anything wrong if actors would embark on concert tours, those who do that definitely have strong charisma. And a great number of audience means an artist must have an enormous stage presence especially if he’s doing it solo.

        3. Why do you think JGS loves to use the word zikzin, because in the end it doesn’t matter to him whether people think he has failed or not. What he will care about is to go forward. He always said he will always be an actor & would die as an actor. The fact that he was able to survive showbiz for the last 20 years tells you of his tenacity.

        4. I know the fact that KSH has not released an album therefore never throw a concert but held fan meetings…hmmm yup FMs are not concerts, so I always wrote them separately.

      • Very well said j-kriss..haha..who will dare to do concert for a whole year if they are not popular..and how come people easily said he do that because of his acting fail. If its even true..how come they make that as a reason to hate him. I dont get some people sense sometime. And I dont care about this at all….this king thing or whatsoever..please give him a break..antis..

    • 1. “To bag China’s Huading Award, a star needs to be a Hallyu King first”
      Are you kidding me? You need to do more research:
      – Jung il woo was reportedly the first korean actor who won huading as best asian male actor in 2012
      – jung il woo was never crowned hallyu king (to be eligible for this award as you declared above)
      – this award is vote based. That means who has stronger fanbase in china at the time of voting is likely to win if nominated earlier.
      And it seems you are deliberately listing any awards of JGS, which KSH doesn’t have, to make your point convincing, lol. Don’t worry. JGS’s glamorous past is unique. No comments for the rest.

    • When these jgs fans stop talking about album sales, millions of sold tickets and concert success? Don’t get so much amazed by an idol having all those stuff. He can’t act after all. But his endeavour is pretty good compared to other idol actors. And a concert of an idol and an actor is far hell different. So don’t bringup that thing over and over again.

  30. Just checking who actually read the posts. Is it just me but when a post is full of typos, punctuation and capitalisation errors it feels like one of those fangirl or soompi teenagers posting about their favourite oppas.

    It would be nice if the journalists could actually quantify why they are Hallyu stars. They are pretty. They can act. Well they can. But this fan would not pay money to attend a fan meeting. Or buy their CDs. Or follow them on the social accounts.

    Hope the rest of you all have a nice time defending their status or popularity.

  31. Sidus is spending huge marketing fee to promote Kim Woobin as Hanllyu star. But there is not single data to support his status. I guess marketing can only go this far.

  32. @BeeQ

    Lmao you know what I thought it is LJS agency behind it cuz they also promote him that way on his main wikipedia page. But I have t admit thats some nasty promotion and marketing. that’s dirty can they get sued for that in SK?

  33. This ridiculous title is created by Sidus(Kim Woobin’s agency) spending huge marketing fee to put him among hallyu stars. Job well done, but whoever read the article would dout it’s credibility because his name is on it.

  34. I wonder what’s the criteria used to crown the 4 as the new Hallyu kings.

    I can agree with LMH and KSH due to their immense popularity in Asia and beyond, which was built up over several years with their phenomenally successful dramas & movies like BOF, CH, Heirs, DH, TMETS, YFAS, The Thieves, Secretly,Greatly etc.

    LJS may well be on the way to becoming a Hallyu star, but it’s a bit premature to crown him as a Hallyu king, as he hasn’t reached the level of success or popularity of LMH & KSH.

    As for KWB, I can’t even understand why he can be considered as a Hallyu star at this point in time. He hasn’t led in a drama and his movies are not phenomenally successful. Though he may get a lot closer to that star/king status if his upcoming movie is hit. Let’s wait and see.

    • Actually, I am quite curious about LJS. This guy has nothing much stunning in look and acting career. In look, he only has height. In acting, movies as leading actor are flops, and dramas are big hit with IHYV only. DS failed to boost his fame to china except for signing him a CF deal shared with LMH and KSH. Pinochio’s not doing much better than DS in rating and public attraction in SK, but got better response in china compared to DS. Some people may wonder whether it is thanks to his acting or to PSH’s chinese popularity base. Let’s see how far pinochio take him.

      KWB needs more drama successes because hallyu is all about drama in the 1st place.

      • Because you are not checking the international fanbase. Check Instagram, Youkou Todou, Weibo, Facebook, Dramafever, Viki, Twitter, Mydramalist, Soompi forums, tumblr. DS is not a ceitical acclaim drama. But the Chinese loves it, they even edit a movie version of DS. He is qidely popular in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Hongkong.

      • Me too, not so impressed with LJS. He only has height, his nose is obviously surgically enhanced, it’s just irritating. My fearless forecast, I dont think he’ll make it longer! For KWB, he’s just overhyped, he need to prove himself more!

    • Lee Jong Suk is considered as a Hallyu now and growing. Pinocchio is very very popular now, 400 million views in youkou todou but the series is.not yet finish 🙂

  35. All these comments are cracking me up with their attack and defense and researching webio pages and ish, hahahahahahah it’s not that serious.

    1. Kola didn’t make up this list or dube these 4 gents “the new halluy kings” the korean media has been doing that for the past year to 2 years and she is simply relaying the news to us.

    2. Pause on the attack typing it isn’t that serious. Kmedia is forever dubbing this and that 4 men “the new halluy kings” a remember just a couple of years ago when the boys of ‘boys over flowers’ were being dubbed the “kings” and that popularity only really lasted for one of them. Heck a few year ago the list consisted of Joong Ki, Mi Ki, and some other young and happening actor. The list has changed before and it will change again, it does deminish any of these actors popularity, talent, or ability to make bank

    3. I believe that LJS and KWB being on the list is justified. The fact that they have been leads in only a hand full of dramas (and one of them yet to lead) but are still pulling in a lot of CFs (both in and out of Korea) and love calls for drama and movies says a lot. I have been following these two (mostly my bae KWB) since the get got and they just keep rising. Commenters are right in that we still need time to see where they will be a year from now but that is also true of KSH who only really blew it big staring in YFAS (I have loved him since his first drama special Father’s House with the legendary Choi Min Soo-which was 5 years ago-) but looks like is here to stay. The same can be said for LJS and KWB as their stars keep rising.

    4. Your fav not being on the list doesn’t make them any less talented, popular, or relevant in the grand scheme of kdrama being. The list does not validate or invalidate them so the bashing of some just to rise up others should stop. And again, Kola did not make this list. She is just the messenger.

    • None thinks that Koala made up this list. People are just debating over the soundness of the selection and that’s what the comments section is for isn’t it?

      Your faves being on the list doesn’t mean that it is justified though. From an objective viewpoint, coming from someone who doesn’t care who’s on the list, your argument for LJS and KWB can’t stand. I’m not a fan of KSH, but you still have to acknowledge that Hallyu wise he’s a much bigger star. One drama was enough to propel him to that level. And YFAS, no matter how good or bad of a drama it was, was a sensation across Asia. You can’t really draw similarities from him and the other two.

  36. Ok, I am a JKS fan. I am a fan but I am not one of those delusional followers.

    For starters I think that the whole ‘Asia Prince’ thing is a BS and that his behaviour can be improved. Although, he’s been working on that for the last year or so! The positive change is quite noticeable.

    I originally though of staying quite but I think some things must be mentioned.

    We are talking about Hallyu here which means popularity internationally! Not SK, not just Asia but internationally. This World is a quite a big place 🙂

    1) JKS sold out Tokyo Dome for his own solo concert

    2) JKS is STILL one of the highest payed drama actors in SK (around US$100,000 per episode). Mind you, his dramas might not be success in SK but they are certainly huge internationally (Hallyu) and are always sold to a bunch of countries (including Europe, South America and Middle East).

    3) His drama Love Rain, although not a success in SK, is the highest (most money paid) internationally sold Korean drama EVER! ₩450 million per episode, adding up to some ₩900 million (or US$10 million) in total and this is only a sum for the export to Japan.

    4) JKS has over 18 million followers on Weibo which proves his high popularity in China

    5) Last but not least important (it does not necessarily have to do with popularity but money always talks!) – JKS has his own entertainment company. Even though it’s not a big one, 70-80% (20-30% for the investments and salaries) of the money earned goes to HIM! Do you know how much money goes to stars hired by other agencies – 30-40% (if they’re lucky). You do the math… Oh, on a side note, very nice video about some insights on how entertainment agencies (jackals!) work in SK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l0ovceQBME, just for the reference. Also, having his own company gives him the freedom of choosing what he wants to do (and say) instead of being fed and forced by TPB. This also means that he’s responsible for himself and is not protected by anyone else. I might say that this point has a lot to do with his generally negative media coverage in Korea and on English speaking K-pop websites (AKP, Soompi, etc.).

    Honestly, which Korean actor (of their generation) would come first to you mind for a really difficult role to play, like a psychopath, a serial killer, an autistic person, person with multiple good/evil personalities? With respect to the acting chops and the image itself.

    He is not afraid to tackle any role. The more difficult the role, the more drawn he is to it. Hell, who else would wear that stupid 70’s haircut from the first part of Love Rain! Hahahaha! 🙂

    Also, one has to bear in mind that some major roles were offered to JKS first and he refused them either because he was busy, he did not want to repeat playing the similar character or simply because he did not feel like it. Some of that I’ve heard (and I’m sure there are many that are not revealed) are LMH’s role in Boys Over Flowers and the role in Empress Ki.

    Anyway, there are very good reasons JKS is still at the top of the Hallyu and mentioned things are just some from the top of my head.

    Mind you, I’m not implying that others are not deserving to be in the top 4 list. I am just saying that JKS should most definitely be there!

    Oh, and mark my words peepz, JKS is coming with something major in 2015! It’s gonna be a big hit 🙂

  37. Sorry, Koala, but this ranking or promotion or whatever is so unrealistic, that everyona is wondering here what is the real reason behind this “coronation”? I don’t doubt they are famous in Korea and China. But not equally famous. Lee Min Ho is the most popular – why he has to be in one group with Lee Jong Suk? Don’t think we the international viwers don’t know how the entertainment companies try to deviate the public opinion influencing over the media. Are you influenced, Koala?

  38. Kim Soo Hyun no doubt has become one of the Hallyu Kings now. When asked about his career before becoming this famous KSH said: “I admire Jang Geun Suk a lot, there is nothing he cannot do – dramas, movies, singing, emceeing. He does everything so well. I want to be like him a multi-talented artist.” Well thank you Kim Soo Hyun for saying that.

  39. I dont really know what’s the basis of being hailed as a hallyu king but if you look at it . What is common among the four of them is that they have been in recent drams or still filming a drama or a movie. These four have been active in dramas/films from 2013-2014 continuing on 2015 except for kim soo hyun maybe if he doesnt take a drama this year then who knows someone can just snatch that title. Also their dramas were either really hits or mostly because of the hype. I do think that they are great actors and they deserve whatever recognition that is given to them…but that is not to say that other actors arent great or popular because really they are…JKS, LSG,SJK etc. its just that these four guys are the it guys of the moment and has been on the spotlight recently.
    But that could all very much change you know. There will always come a time when a new actor comes and eventually someones gonna be more popular or requested than than them. That is why this guys needs to constantly take and choose good dramas because its more mainstream that way, people need to be able to see you constantly so that one’s popularity remains.

  40. bae yoon joon only did ONE DRAMA that forever remains in fan’s hearts. so why is he a major hallywu star? He only is because the Japanese market loves him. I think the same goes for JGS & SSH. So is this “hallywu” label based on what Japan deems as super star?

    If I can see their face at my local movie theatre, then I think he is a contender — to make to such a small market in North America. I’ve only seen Kim Soo Hyun & Kim Woo Bin & Song Joong Ki so far, of the current guys. No JGS, No LSG. So hallywu should be more than drama alone or some periodical fan meetings. I should be able to sit in a theatre with a non-korean entertainment fan and watch the same movie like “Wolf Boy”… and then this person should be recognized as a South Korean star. Lee Byung Hun or Won Bin or Jang Dong Gun – in the older gen, for example.

  41. For male actors to be crowned ‘Kings’ they have to basically be good looking. For example Aaron Kwok was nowhere near Andy Lau calibre but he was crowned as one of the ‘four heavenly Kings’. KWB has potential.

  42. Wahs all vhiz abh…neither KWB or LJS know any1 of uu why ar uu all killing ur sef over dem..D fact is vhat dey are already listed among d Hallyu kings so ur mssgs can not change anyfin..’t wuld b berra if uu all can jez stop dz mess nd celebrate wif dem cause dey are all making their money even wifaut ur presence or ur likes..they dnt even know if u ar supporting dem or uu ar against dem so stop posting finz vhat doesn’t make any sense..

  43. I think this hallyu thing is just base on Korean people not internationally.The fact that I’ve watched all of the dramas that these actors was in,it is possible that it was based on local achievements,because if it involves international activities then this list is really questionable.The only korean actor that I really admired is Lee Joon Gi.He is truly an A-List actor,when it comes to acting and his other talents and skills,you can say that what else this man cannot do?Even in his military mandatory service recieved an excellence recognition.And he is the only korean actor that communicates with his fans all over the world.Communications that he really cares in his fans opinions before making a decision on a certain projects,and never failed to make his fans happy during FM.For me to be a great actor it is not just a pretty face,how popular you are,how much earnings you have,it must be more on who truly you are on and off the camera.Attitude towards work and people.I think Lee Joon Gi does’nt care much on statistics.what he cares about is what else that he can improve more in order to continue satisfying his millions of fans.:)

  44. Gosh. Why are you all so salty? (btw, salty is a GAMING word, not a “popular” society word, get it right)

    Let’s be honest. I haven’t heard of ‘I Hear Your Voice’ until now but I have heard of ‘Pinocchio’ and ‘School 2013’ not to mention ‘Doctor Stranger’ and ‘W’. At least I know a few of his dramas.

    And about Kim Woo Bin. Sure, I only know two of his dramas, ‘Heirs’ and ‘School 2013’ but his movies were amazing. I mean, ‘Technicians’ anyone? Or ‘Twenty’? Haven’t watched ‘Uncontrollably Fond’ yet but that might just be because I’m catching up on K-Pop right now.

    As for Kim Soo Hyun. A lot of people only heard of him after ‘My Love From Another Star’. Now THAT was a drama. ‘Moon Embrace Sun’ is pretty popular too and his movie with Lee Hyun Woo was great, and tearjerking but ‘Secretly Greatly’ is honestly amazing. And don’t get me started on ‘Dream High’ or ‘Producers’.

    But to be honest? Who is Lee Min Ho? I’ve only heard about him from ‘Heirs’. Is he also a guy from ‘Boys Over Flowers’? I’ve only heard about these films but is he in a drama with Got7 Jinyoung (formerly Jr.) and Jun Ji Hyun?

    If you said someone like Song Joong Ki as a Hallyu King, there is a lot to refute since ‘The Descendants Of The Sun’ is his only REALLY well-known drama. And btw, how does the plot have anything to do with the name of the drama?

    Anyways, I approve three of four but I don’t know Lee Min Ho well enough to approve of him. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like him or hate him. I’ll just watch his dramas first to get the feel of how he is. Like, right now.

    As for the other actors you all are saying should be the Hallyu Kings instead, maybe I should learn the names of the films they were in. After all, rising actors this year probably are Park Bo Gum, the list of guys in ‘Scarlet Heart: Goryeo’ (there are a million of them to make you jealous of IU), Park Seo Joon (Damn Kihyun and his vocals for “One More Step”), D.O (Kyungsoo), Nam Joo Hyuk (Oh wait, he was in ‘Scarlet Heart: Goryeo’ too), Yoon Kyun Sang (his loyalty to Song Ji Hyo was unbelievable on ‘Running Man’), and Yeo Jin Goo.

    Let’s be honest. These four deserve the title. But I’m still learning about Lee Min Ho.

    • Lee min ho is probably considered Hallyu King since 2009. SJK and PBG are very popular this year but LMH has been there since a long time ago plus this article is from 2014.Neither you have mentioned where that big back (except LJK)

    • Haha most ignorant and stupidest comment I’ve ever read. Are you kind of insane or something? I can understand how aware you are of kent to ask who is lmh? Lol. He is the most popular korean celebrity internationally so far so even non kdrama fans knows him very well. And he was unbelievingly popular since bof and that drama opened the doors to kdrama world basically. He is called the king of asia with titles as sns king, cf king and so on. And no one need ur approval to (esp for a top star like lmh) to be here. Only thing you have to do is go and do some more worthy research and know better before comment.
      And you are not being heard of a particular drama doesn’t mean that it is not seen by anyone else on earth. Lollll. And even trying to be honest. Why are you acting like an expert to prove who deserves the title when you know nothing. Didn’t u even get a sense reading the comments in the top to claim who is better or not.
      And why are talking about dramas in 2016 this article was related to 2014. So this was told by kmedia not by soothsayers. Lol. You even don’t know what kdrama new comers know. Better go and get a life plz.

  45. Well said. I have never heard someone ask who is lmh, not even a newcomer.It dosen’t mean everyone should know him but atleast everyone entering the kdrama world get to know him. Though you know him from heirs world knew him from bof and city hunter which made so much buzz in asia. You have lot to know before deciding who desrves the title.

  46. love this totally ….they all deserve it. Their acting are great and Lee jong suk and Kim won bin are totally popular internationally

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