There is no denying that South Korea is home to so much incredible talent. The country itself has cultivated countless artists who have reached global fame and stardom. For this, the nation certainly takes pride in their celebrities and often give them titles in their honor. Beloved and adored by many, these individuals hold their places for a reason—be it for their exceptional accomplishments or their highly-appreciated contributions to South Korea.
Below, we list down 11 Korean celebrities with publicly endowed national titles!
1. Bae Suzy
Bae Suzy has had one of the most successful careers in the industry as both an actress and an idol. After debuting at the ripe age of 16, she holds the coveted title of “Nation’s First Love," which she earned after starring in the 2012 romance film, Architecture 101.
2. Park Bo Gum
Best known for his boyish charm, actor Park Bo Gum has been dubbed by the South Korean public as the “Nation’s Boyfriend,” “Nation’s Crown Prince,” and “Nation’s Man of Good Influence.” TBH, we think all those titles fit him well!
Taking into account her angelic persona and mesmerizing voice, the princess of K-pop, IU, was given the title of “Nation’s Sweetheart” and “Nation’s Little Sister” after stepping into the spotlight at the young age of 15.
4. Jun Ji Hyun
There are several actresses who hold the title of “Nation’s First Love,” and Hallyu actress and certified leading lady Jun Ji Hyun is naturally one of them. With how in demand the seasoned actress is in South Korea, it comes as no surprise that she was also the highest paid actress in the industry in 2020!
5. Kim Tae Hee
There’s no denying that Kim Tae Hee is the complete package judging from her beauty, brains, and talent. Which is why it makes perfect sense that the title of “uhm-chin-ddal of the country” or “The Perfect Daughter of Your Mother” was given to her by the Korean public.
After marrying Kim Tae Hee, this idol was hilariously awarded the title of “The Nation’s Thief” after stealing the beloved Korean goddess’ heart. Rain and Tae Hee tied the knot back in January 19, 2017, and continue to be one of the industry’s power couples. They also have two children, born in 2017 and 2019.
7. Yeo Jin Goo
For all his innocence and charisma, Yeo Jin Goo holds the title of “Nation’s Little Brother.” It’s definitely an apt one considering he was once a well known child actor who started his career at just eight years old. Of course, now that he’s all grown up, Jin Goo has turned into a formidable leading man, best known for his role in the 2019 supernatural drama Hotel del Luna.
8. Eric Nam
Talented, handsome, and smart, Eric Nam is referred to as "Nation’s Boyfriend." If you need further proof, just know that this K-idol was also named as one of GQ Korea's "Men of the Year" in 2016.
9. Girls’ Generation
Easily one of the biggest female K-pop groups in South Korea, Girls’ Generation made such a notable impact after contributing to K-pop’s growing popularity abroad, during their run. For all they’ve given their country and their subsequent success internationally, they were awarded with the title of “Nation’s Girl Group,” and rightfully so!
BIGBANG’s success is undeniable and unparalleled. After all, much like their second gen counterpart, Girl’s Generation, they were one of the first catalysts to introduce K-pop to the international market. For this, they were originally dubbed by the public as the “Nation’s Boy Group.”
After receiving multiple awards and nominations both in Korea and the global stage, being the first non-royal figures to be projected on the Burj Khalifa, and performing at the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, boyband EXO was officially given the title of “Nation’s Pick” by the Korean Government in 2018.
(Editor's note: An earlier version of this article included Song Hye Kyo mistakenly labeled as "Nation's First Love." This has since been updated to reflect more accurate information.)