K-pop WHAT? You might ask. Luckily for you, we’re here to shine some light on the matter. “Maknae” is a Korean word that simply means the youngest of a group. More commonly used by older peers, maknae is a placeholder often used by older K-Pop group members referring to the youngest in terms of age. Whenever 2 or more members are born in the same year, the maknae is the one with the latest birthday. We know that you have been all waiting for this!! So, we made you a list as an easy guide to who’s in and who’s not. Look to see whether your favourites make the list!
1. Lee Tae-hwan (이태환)
Lee Tae-hwan (이태환) born February 21, 1995 is a South Korean actor, model and singer. Since his acting debut in 2013, he has starred in television dramas and web series, most notably Pride and Prejudice (2014). He is a member of 5urprise, an actor group formed by Fantagio in 2013. The group is known as the first ever all actor group, the others being: Seo Kang-joon, Gong Myung, Yoo Il, and Kang Tae-oh.
2. Yoon San Ha (윤산하)
Yoon San Ha (윤산하) of ASTRO born March 23, 2000. Despite being the youngest, he is proud to be the tallest member of the group with a height of 184cm. He is also becoming an iconic figure wider afield. He has taken a solo role in Yoon-san’s recent group corporate advertisement and he has been selected for the music broadcast special MC for the first time.
3. Gong Chan Sik (공찬식)
Gong Chan Sik (공찬식) of B1A4 born August 14, 1993, better known by his stage name Gongchan, is a singer and actor. Gongchan was discovered on Cyworld after winning an “Eoljjang Challenge” while still at middle school. He was also a runner-up in a cross-dressing contest, where he danced to a song by soloist Ivy. On April 11, 2011, WM Entertainment revealed Gongchan as the third member of the group after releasing the news of B1A4. In 2015, Gongchan became a new MC on the fourth season of KBS‘s A Song for You.
Lalisa Manoban or Pranpriya Manoban of Blackpink, known as Lisa, was born in Thailand on March 27, 1997. She started dancing at a young age and was part of a dance crew named “We Zaa Cool” alongside Got7‘s BamBam and Ten, an SM Entertainment trainee. Lisa was the only person accepted into YG Entertainment during their audition in Thailand in 2010. She joined YG in April 2011, becoming their first non-Korean born artist.
5. Yook Sung Jae (육성재)
Yook Sung Jae (육성재) of BtoB, Sungjae was born on May 2, 1995, in Yongin, Gyeonggi, South Korea. He is also an actor and host. He made his official debut as a vocalist of BtoB with “Insane” and “Imagine” on March 21, 2012. He briefly studied for a month each in England and the Philippines. He also participated in the program Hitmaker and became part of the program’s project unit group, Big Byung, together with Got7‘s Jackson and VIXX members, N and Hyuk.
6. Jeon Jungkook (전정국)
Jeon Jungkook (전정국) of BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan, 방탄소년단), literally meaning “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” the acronym would also stand for “Beyond the Scene” as part of their new brand identity. He is also known by his stage name Jungkook (정국) or Golden Maknae (due to his exceptional number of talents). He was born 1st September 1997 in Buk District, Busan, South Korea. Jungkook, Bambam & Yugyeom (GOT7), The8, Mingyu, & DK (Seventeen), and Jaehyun (NCT) are in a group chat called “The Passengers of 1997”. Jungkook attended an audition called Superstar K to pursue his dream of becoming a singer but was eliminated before the final elimination round. However, his appearance led to him being scouted by eight different entertainment. He decided to choose Big Hit Entertainment where his future bandmate RM (RapMonster) was also a trainee and seeing him rap in person was the reason behind his choice of that company.
7. Lee Jung Shin (이정신)
Lee Jung Shin (이정신) born on September 15, 1991 in Ilsan, Seoul. He trained under FNC Entertainment in 2009, and in September of that year joined CNBLUE (rock band) as a bassist, replacing Kwon Kwang Jin who left the band shortly after debut. Aside from being the band’s bassist, he also serves as a rapper and backup vocalist. Jung Shin is not only the youngest member of the group but also the tallest, standing at 188cm. He is also an actor, making his acting debut in 2012 KBS2 family drama Seoyoung, My Daughter. In the 2014 melodrama Temptation, he won his first acting award as “Best New Rising Star” at the 3rd DramaFever Awards.
8. Oh Se Hun (오세훈)
Oh Se Hun (오세훈) better known as Sehun was born in Jungnang-gu, Seoul on April 12, 1994. A member of the South Korean-Chinese boy group EXO and its sub-group EXO-K. He was first scouted by an SM Entertainment casting agent at 12 years old while he was out having lunch with friends. After running away from the agent for 30 minutes and being chased down the streets, he was eventually cast into SM Entertainment in 2008. He went through four auditions in two years. On January 10, 2012, Sehun became the fifth EXO member to be officially introduced to the public. The group made their debut with the extended play Mama in April 2012. He was the member who had come up with the words ‘ohorat’ and ‘yehet’. “Ohorat” is a mispronunciation of the word ‘alright’, while “yehet” came about when Sehun had intended to say “yeah-heh”, but instead said “yehet”. In September 2017, it was confirmed that Sehun will be a fixed cast member in Netflix‘s variety show The Culprit is You.
9. Kim Yu Gyeom (김유겸)
Kim Yu Gyeom (김유겸) also known as Yugyeom of GOT7 created by JYP Entertainment. He was born on 17th November 1997 in Namyangju, South Korea. Yugyeom became a JYP trainee after he was offered an opportunity at his dance school (Hamlim Arts High School). Yugyeom’s nickname is Brownie (Got7 Ask in a Box). In 2011, he won 2nd place at the Adrenaline House Dance Battle. He is the youngest and tallest member of the group. His BFF is BTS Jungkook!
10. Lee Sung Jong (이성종)
Lee Sung Jong (이성종) commonly known as Sungjong born September 3, 1993 in Gwangju City. Sungjong was first introduced as a vocalist of the boy band Infinite under Woollim Entertainment in 2010. His first appearance as a member was during Infinite‘s pre-debut reality show You Are My Oppa. The group officially debuted on June 9, 2010. He is also the vocalist of the sub unit Infinite F consisting of his other members Sungyeol & L. The unit released their first song “I’m Going Crazy” in Infinite‘s 2nd album, “Season 2”. He graduated from Jeoju Arts High School on February 7, 2012, and is currently studying at Kongju University.
11. Oh Hee Jun (오희준)
Oh Hee Jun (오희준) of KNK under YNB Entertainment, the company’s first male idol group and the tallest boy band group among K-pop with the average height of 180cm. He was born on 8th May 1996. Before his debut with the group, he appeared in the reality show Cheongdamdong 111 in 2013. He was also a vocalist and guitarist with Kokoma Band. Heejun’s nickname is Kkamssi, the lead rapper and vocalist of KNK.
12. Ahn Hye Jin (안혜진)
Ahn Hye Jin (안혜진) better known as Hwasa (화사) was born July 23, 1995 in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do. She is the sub-vocalist and lead rapper of MAMAMOO formed by Rainbow Bridge World (formerly WA Entertainment) in 2014. She graduated from Wonkwang Information Arts High School. In a society where stick skinny visuals and doll-like faces are considered beautiful, Hwasa goes against the grain. Instead of big, doe-like eyes, she has fierce, slit eyes. Instead of skinny legs the size of arms, she has big, beautiful thighs and hips to match. Her coca-cola bottle shaped body and well-proportioned muscles have impressed not only South Koreans but also international fans and non-fans alike.
13. Lim Chang Kyun (임창균)
Lim Chang Kyun (임창균) commonly known by his stage name I.M. born 26th January 1996 in Gwangju, South Korea. The rapper of the idol group MONSTA X formed by Starship Entertainment through the survival show No. Mercy on Mnet in 2015. He can speak English fluently and was a former member of Nu’bility. One of his favorite English phrases is “Do what you love and love what you do”. In a Sparkling Magazine Interview, I. M’s definition of love is “Giving up the most delicious drumstick. It is cherishing someone more than yourself.”
14. Kim Yerim (김예림)
Kim Yerim (김예림) born March 5, 1999, also known as Yeri. She is the maknae, vocalist and sub rapper of Red Velvet formed by S.M. Entertainment and was introduced to the group as a new addition on March 10, 2015. From May 9 to November 14, 2015 with labelmate Minho from SHINee and N from VIXX, she hosted MBC‘s music program, Show! Music Core. She never walked in high heels until she had to film for Red Velvet’s “Automatic” Music Video. She is very close to Korean Actress Kim Sae Ron and Akdong Musician’s Soohyun.
15. Lee Chan (이찬)
Lee Chan (이찬) known as Dino of SEVENTEEN formed by Pledis Entertainment in 2015. His under sub-unit is called Performance Team. Born on 11th February 1999 in Iksan-si, Jeollakbu-do. The main dancer, sub rapper and maknae of the group. Dino is an abbreviation of the word Dinosaur, it was given to him to dominate the stage! Dino’s ideal type is a pretty girl who does aegyo ‘애교’ often translated as cuteness in English. Aegyo literally means behaving in a coquette-ish manner and it is commonly expected for both male and female K-pop idols to behave this way. 😉
16. Sebin (세빈)
Sebin (세빈) born Jang Se Bin (장세빈) on April 24, 1996 in Pocheon, South Korea. A rapper, vocalist, the ‘face of the group’ and maknae of Snuper (스누퍼; meaning “Higher than Super”) formed by Widmay Entertainment in 2015, and is the first Korean pop group from the label. His hobbies include reading books and manhwa, watching anime and singing rock ballads. Sebin had cameos in movies such as “Cart” and “Mourning Grave”. His nickname is Burdock Prince!
17. Chou Tzu Yu (周子瑜)
Chou Tzu Yu (周子瑜) born June 14, 1999 in East District, Tainan, Taiwan, professionally known as Tzuyu, is a member of the K-pop girl group Twice, under JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. In 2012, she was discovered by talent scouts at the MUSE Performing Arts Workshop in Tainan, and moved to South Korea on November 15 that year to start her training. According to a Gallup Korea survey, she was the third most popular idol among young South Koreans in 2016, behind Taeyeon and IU.
18. Han Sang Hyuk (한상혁)
Han Sang Hyuk (한상혁) born 5TH July 1995 in in Daejeon, South Korea, most often credited as Hyuk (혁), a singer and actor, signed under Jellyfish Entertainment. Hyuk debuted as a member of the South Korean boy group VIXX in May 2012, and began his acting career in 2016 in the comedy-action film Chasing as Han Won Tae for which he won the Best Action Movie New Performer Award at the 2016 Shanghai International Film Festival. In 2013, Hyuk appeared in episode 4 of SBS‘s television drama The Heirs alongside his group members. In 2014, he appeared in a small cameo role in SBS‘s television drama Glorious Day alongside Leo and was a cast member in SBS‘s Law of the Jungle in Brazil. He was also a cast member of MBC Every 1’s Hitmaker, in which he became a member and leader of Jung Hyung Don and Defconn’s first project group Big Byung, alongside VIXX member N, Got7‘s Jackson and BtoB‘s Sungjae.
19. Lai Kuan Lin (라이관린)
Lai Kuan Lin (라이관린; or Kuanlin) born 23rd September 2001 in New Taipei City, Taiwan. A rapper under Cube Entertainment. He is best known for finishing 7th in Produce 101 Season 2 making him a member of Wanna One. He reveals that he can speak three languages, Chinese, English, and Korean. To him, it’s hard to pronounce the word 족발 (Jok-bal), it’s one of his favorite foods, but he’s afraid of pronouncing it so he asks for 보쌈 (Bo-ssam) instead. His teachers noted that he can rap better in Korean than in English!
20. Kim Dong Jun (김동준)
Kim Dong Jun (김동준) born February 11, 1992 in Busan, South Korea. A singer and actor. He is a member of the South Korean boyband ZE:A also known as Children of Empire and its sub-group ZE:A Five and ZE:A J formed by Star Empire Entertainment in 2010. Dong Jun was only 17 years old when he debuted with ZE:A. He was appointed as a torch bearer at the 17th Asian Incheon Games 2014. In June 2017, he decided to leave Star Empire and signed on to Gold Moon Entertainment. The CEO of his new agency was ZE:A’s former manager, Hwang Jung-moon. In August 2017, it was reported that Gold Moon Entertainment, The Vibe Entertainment and Asakusa Games had merged and now operate under the name “Major 9”. In July 2017, it was reported that Kim was set to star in OCN‘s new drama, Black, portraying a second-generation chaebol–often consists of many diversified affiliates, controlled by an owner whose power over the group often exceeds legal authority, the term is often used in a context like that of the English word “conglomerate”. He won Popular Star Award at Asia Model Festival Awards and played Jeong Hoon in the film Dead Again same year.
So, did we include your favourite? We did our best to include as many as we could, but were faced with an impossible task in trying to please all of you. In today’s world it seems like there are as many K-pop idols as there are stars in the sky! Let us know who’s your favourite Maknae!
Feature Image: © Music, Mohammad Metri , 22.10.2017, www.unsplash.com