A lot of K-pop idols hold a strong pride and love for their home country, South Korea. Even those that were born or raised in foreign countries find a way to reconnect to their roots and express that through their music. There are many idols that have gained valuable experiences living abroad that broadened their view of life. Here are some idols that grew up living abroad!
Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in New Jersey, Ailee quickly made her way to the top of the Korean music industry. Ailee studied Communications at Pace University before she dropped out to pursue a career in music. In 2010, Ailee moved back to South Korea under YMC Entertainment and from there forward, Ailee proved she had abilities beyond her years to communicate the beauty and complexity of love through her music.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, CL spent more of her childhood living in Paris, Tsukuba, Japan, and Tokyo. When she was 13, she even moved to Paris alone where she studied for 2 years. After that, she received an audition with YG Entertainment at the age of 15 where she later featured in Big Bang's "Intro (Hot Issue) in 2007 and eventually debuted with 2NE1 in 2009.
The quirky and fun South Korean singer, actress, and TV personality rose to fame in the Philippines where she had her debut as an artist in 2004. Although born in Busan, South Korea, Sandara's family was forced to move the Philippines at a young age to make ends meet where she was determined to learn the language and become a celebrity. After many years of struggle and hardship, Dara was able to do so and debut in 2004 with Star Circle Quest. In 2009, she later debuted with 2NE1 and even returned to the Philippines to pursue acting.
The incredibly talented vocalist and rapper of Black Pink was born in Seoul, South Korea and was sent to study abroad in New Zealand at the age of nine. In 2010, she moved back to South Korea and successfully joined YG Entertainment as a trainee. She even featured in Lee Hi's song "Special" and made an appearance in G-Dragon's "That XX" as well as "Black." In 2016, she made her debut with Black Pink.
Like her bandmate, Rose lived part of her life overseas. She was born in Auckland, New Zealand, then her family moved to Melbourne, Australia when she was 7 years old. In 2012, YG Entertainment had auditions in Sydney, Australia where she was recruited. After 4 years of training, she debuted as an official member of Black Pink.
Matthew Kim, better known as BM, was born in sunny Los Angeles, California where he spent most of his life. Determined to pursue a career in music, BM put all of himself in his work and eventually was recruited to join DSP Media where he trained for four and a half years before debuting with KARD.
Also known as Daniel Armand Lee, Tablo is a Korean Canadian hip hop artist. In his early years, Tablo's family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia shortly after his birth due to his father's work. Over the next few years, their family relocated to Switzerland, Hong Kong, Korea, and eventually back to Canada. Tablo earned both his Bachelor's in English literature and a Master's Degree in creative writing in three years at Stanford.
Born in the beautiful San Francisco, California, Tiffany grew up in Diamond Bar, California where she was inspired by K-pop artist BoA to pursue her love for music. At age 15, Tiffany participated in a singing contest and was sought by SM Entertainment representatives and moved to South Korea 3 weeks later. She definitely has made a name for herself and continues to thrive as one of the most influential KPOP artists in the world.
The Korean American musician is known as a vocalist and electric guitarist of South Korean rock band DAY6. He was born in Argentina and moved to South Korea for 2 years when he was 5 years old. He later moved to Cerritos, California where he studied political science at California State University until he passed the preliminary auditions for 'K-Pop Star' and moved to South Korea. In 2015, he debuted with DAY6 as JYP's first rock band and has made himself known throughout the industry as a talented artist.
10) Jay Park
Jay Park was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He trained under JYP Entertainment and debuted in 2PM. Unfortunately, he had to leave the group due to the MySpace controversy. After a few years back in Seattle, he returned to Korea and launched his successful solo career. Most recently, he signed with Jay-Z's music label Roc Nation.
11) Eric Nam
Eric Nam was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Boston College with a major in International Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. After going viral through a YouTube cover, he was invited by MBC to Korea to be a contestant on their show 'Star Audition: Birth of a Great Star 2'. He finished in the top 5 and became a successful solo artist thereafter. He's always well-known for interviewing numerous international celebrities when they visit Korea.