Park Bo Gum and Song Joong Ki Take the 1 and 2 Spot on the Forbes 2017 Most Powerful Korean Celebrities List

It’s cake for both guys as best friends and red hot Korean actors Park Bo Gum and Song Joong Ki took the 1-2 spot, respectively, atop the 2017 Forbes Top 14 Power Celebrities list. Neither was on the 2016 at all so this is both a new honor and quite a feat to top the list in their first year. The rest of the top 5 is girl group TWICE in the 3rd spot, number 1 from 2016 EXO taking 4th this year, and boys group BTS rounding out in 5th position. This is a very fluid list from year to year, with last year’s 3rd place Hyeri and 4th place finisher SNSD not even making the top 40 this year. This year’s 6th to 10th place powerful celebs are Suzy, Song Hye Kyo, Kim Yoo Jung, Jo Jung Seok, and Oh Seung Hwan the baseball player. Check out the full top 40 list below.

1. Park Bo Gum
2. Song Joong Ki
4. EXO
5. BTS
6. Suzy
7. Song Hye Kyo
8. Kim Yoo Jung
9. Jo Jung Suk
10. Oh Seung Hwan
11. I.O.I
12. Park Shin Hye
13. Yoo Jae Suk
14. Ryu Jun Yeol
15. Lee Se Dol
16. Son Heung Min
17. Zico
18. AOA
19. Ra Mi Ran
20. Lee Dae Ho

21. Lee Min Ho & Jung Woo Sung (tied)
23. Jun Ji Hyun & GFRIEND (tied)
25. Ryu Hyun Jin
26. Seo Hyun Jin
27. Gong Yoo
28. Kim Hyun Soo
29. Kim Yuna
30. Shin Dong Yup
31. Ha Jung Woo
32. Son Yeon Jae
33. Park Byung Ho
34. Oh Dal Soo
35. Jun Hyun Moo
36. Kim Go Eun
37. Baek Jong Won
38. Han Hyo Joo
39. Park Sung Hyun
40. Kim Hye Soo


Park Bo Gum and Song Joong Ki Take the 1 and 2 Spot on the Forbes 2017 Most Powerful Korean Celebrities List — 26 Comments

  1. A little bummed but never surprised that male leads from good dramas always rank high on these. Seems like in both DOTS and MDBC that our female leads were almost placeholders for the guys, not that PBG and SJK didn’t knock it out of the park. I know our girls are relatively high on the list, but it’s almost always the charismatic male lead who takes the cake and wins everybody’s hearts come end of day.

      • There are also Song Hye Kyo, Kim Yoo Jung, Park Shin Hye, Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Hye Soo from actresses, unless you purposely left them out.
        But yeah, I agree that the reason that there are fewer women on this list is definitely because, first of all, dramas are the bigger money makers (obviously the successful dramas) and the following media attention from that is huge. Women arguably are bigger consumer of dramas, and therefore the charismatic male leads are going to be at the top. Even a top level, highly respected, veteran actor and actress can’t compete with that kind of media exposure. I’m also assuming that this list is heavily oriented to media attention rather than wealth, because I think it’s safe to say that, for example, G-dragon is wealthier than PBG…

      • @Gilgit: Kpop acts do earn more than actors because of their large fanbase and their revenue sources (songs, concerts, idol merch, etc.). And please, GDragon has been on the top since like 2007, it’s unfair to even compare him to PBG who just came to prominence late 2015 because of Reply.

      • @Melani, if you read carefully what I wrote then you would see that there is no hate targeted at PBG (I love him). I was just saying that this Forbes list isn’t solely based on wealth, but media exposure and media power too. Reply88 and MDBC did the thing for PBG, shooting his popularity and media power way past the roof last year, but his wealth is no way comparable to, for example G-dragons, who wasn’t numero uno on Forbes list..

      • @Gilgit Oh, I know there’s no malice there. I just thought that pointing G-Dragon and PBG difference in wealth is obviously unbalanced. Of course GD is richer. I was just trying to say that Suzy is more in the lead to being compared to G Dragon as both are in music and have been on top for longer than new bloods like PBG.

  2. Wonder when this was done. I love the Blossom brothers to the moon and back but I’m surprised Gong Yoo is so far down the list, especially after the mega hit that was Goblin.

    And considering Joong Ki and Hye Kyo haven’t done anything since DOTS but they are still top 10, it’s is a testament to how strong the DOTS wave was.

      • It seems like from 2016 too. I thought it would be from this year at first because Suzy is ranked so high, when her drama and movie didn’t so well but this year her solo did pretty well. Also Ryu Joon Yeol and Park Shin Hye, who had hit dramas last year and this year they were mostly pre-occupied by filming in movie sets rather then in dramas and having the consecutive media exposure. But then, Gong Yoo is ranked ’lower’ when he had hit drama Goblin and last year hit ’Train to Busan’ aside from other successful films. Then again, don’t see any big movie actor in this list either, it’s the drama stars, idols/idol groups and star athletes. I guess it’s because of the media interest and endorsement deals.

    • This annual list, also covered yearly by Koala, has always been about stats from the past year since 2010. It measures professional achievements, earnings, popularity and influence. And may I add, one of the most credible power rankings, along with Gallup Korea which, like Forbes Korea, has international parent firms.

  3. I am not sure how authentic this list is… Ryu jun yeol ranks higher than gong yoo???? Even without goblin, he had 3 movie releases this year..

    I am mentioning these 2 actorz bec i love both of them and have been following them. But the ranking is strange. Dont know anyone from kpop.

    Also PBG before SJK?? Are you kidding me. Dots was beyond huge. Moonlight was a success but shows get 20% ratings (defendant, the two doctor shows) but dots crossed like 35%. It was pan asian.

    I dont get these rankings

    • PBG has continuos hit, reply 1988 to Moonlight while being MC for Music show.
      His coverage is big and well loved, starred in 1N2D and has OST that well charted.

      SJK didn’t do anything big in SK after DOTS, he still really big bit PBG did alot.

      Movie get big recognition, true, but influence and commercial success by being in a drama stay the most for a lot of people. Reply is really big so it triumph gong yoo for 2016.

      2017 would be more about gong yoo so this is fair enough for a trend.

  4. i agree with everything except gong yoo and kim go eun esp.gong yoo .he is way way down too much.2016 really was his year, he should be atleast in top ten

  5. It would be really helpful to have Forbes’s criteria: is it total value of commercial contracts booked in a calendar year, wealth earned that year, some combination, what?
    Also, gonna guess there’s another Ra Mi Ran who isn’t our favorite character actress, as much as I’d love to see her ranked #19 – ?

    • It has always been based on professional achievements (sales, ratings, awards, etc.), popularity (media exposure, airtime), influence (brand reputation, feedback) and earnings (CF deals, overall income) since 2010.

  6. This list seems emmm…How can Gong Yoo. Jeon Ji Hyun, etc…XD

    Like it or not, high profile idols could compete with the actors in terms of wealthy.

    GD Dragon, Im Yoona, Suzy etc they have more money than those actors above for sure. It just media and knetz put idols in the very low level of entertainment business.

    • Well, you don’t see Jeon Do-Yeon or Kang Don-Won or Park Hae-Il on that list at all but if in acting you put Suzy or Baekhyun next to these Chungmuro actors, of course they’d get bashed. Heck, if you ask the public about Kim Hye Soo and Park Bo-Gum, PBG would be the trendy actor with lots of popularity, but noway can you compare his career and acting to a highly respected veteran actor who has been longer in the industry than PBG has lived.
      However, Suzy and Baekhyun are really popular idols who literally make their living by staying in the limelight; sales and endorsement deals matter and they’re talked about among the young internet people. Bashing comes from rivaling fandoms by the wa,y and G-dragon is one of the most respected idols/k-musicians in the industry and recognized even by the general public, most of whom couldn’t give rats fart about idols.

  7. I miss Park Bo-gum. I love seeing his face in his fan meetings and endorsements especially with Queen Yuna but… I realized now that I miss his screen presence and acting performances more. Come back soon, Bogum. This noona wants to see you on screen soon doing your thing. I don’t care if it’s film or drama. (Hoping he announces his next project after his Seoul fanmeeting this March 11).

  8. Suzy you have to be kidding. So now marketing is more important than talent? She can’t act, and in Korea, having a pretty face is easy peasy. I always felt that way about Lee Min Ho too.

    • This is not a list considering pretty face or talent, but influence and popularity based on the work done in the previous year. There are numerous criterias considering when numbering the celebrities like Tv ratings, awards, exposture, cf and so on. That’s why you don’t get queens of kpop like Lee hyori, Boa and even SNSD this time. And JJh is way down to 23 being a top versatile actress and park shin hye at 12. (In terms of acting and skill jjh is far ahead if I’m not wrong) And kim yoo jung ahead of all. But you only saw suzy? Yes she can’t act. But she can sing really well. Her solo went out well so she managed to be on top. And she’s not the only pretty faced idol of course. So don’t get amused by the results. They don’t solely based on talent.

    • I wonder where all the lmh haters have gone? Cause when he wasn’t in the 2015 list they made a big fuss(in the koala’s article)claiming he have zero popularity in korea and so on, just because he didn’t managed to be in the list. Of course his domestic influence is not so big compared to overseas fandom but still he is popular in korea(even a little tiny bit).And he was there every year except 2013 and 15. How can he included here if his popularity is zero? And here it counts domestically not based on the international popularity. So he is measured with the same criterias as all the other celebrities as well. So he does have a fandom there too maybe a minute one but still noticeable. And I don’t know why some people take the Forbes list too seriously cause it’s just based on several criterias considered within a year. If a star doesn’t included isn’t because he/she is not popular. Haters are so pitiful. When he is here they are so silent. Don’t know why they can’t bringup about his popularity now? Lol.

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