As the first part of our miniseries of articles about K-pop stars not from Korea, here are a few K-pop artists you shouldn’t miss!

jay park
Jay Park is a Korean American, born in Edmonds, Washington, and raised in Seattle. From a young age, Park showed interest in breakdancing and hip-hop. He was one of the first members of a Seattle-based b-boy group, Art of Movement (AoM) and afterwards auditioned in JYP and rose to fame as the leader of the popular group, 2PM. After a controversy in 2009 with Park writing some unfavorable MySpace comments about Korea from the time when he began as a trainee, Park stepped down as the leader and member of 2PM. But with much support, not only from Korea but from all over the world, Park began a solo career that skyrocketed him into one of the most famous stars in Korea in just a matter of a few years. Park is currently making music under his own label, AOMG, as well as being a permanent member of Saturday Night Live Korea.   

amber fx
Amber Liu is the second on our list of K-pop stars not from Korea! Amber is Taiwanese American. Before beginning her training, she had to convince her parents to allow her to pursue her career in music. Amber began training with SM in early 2008 after being cast from SM’s Los Angeles global audition, and debuted in September of 2009 with f(x). Aside from being a member of f(x), Amber also has a career in television, previously hosting shows such as We Got Married Global Edition, MBC’s Show Champion, and A Song For You. Amber also began her solo career earlier this year with the track, “Shake That Brass”, featuring Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation.

nichkhun 2pm
Nichkhun, as you may know, is a member of 2PM. Nichkhun began his career when he was he was approached by a scout manager of JYP during the Los Angeles Korean Music Festival. Nichkhun is Thai and Chinese. From a young age, he’s moved and studied all over the world, from Thailand to New Zealand then back to the States! Aside from working with 2PM, Nichkhun works internationally in television and film, having starred in the Chinese drama series One and a Half Summer and the Japanese live adaption of the popular manga, Ouran High School Host Club. He’s also set to star in the upcoming Chinese movie Forever Young, Gardenia in Blossom this year!