In a relatively short amount of time, BTS has gone from obscurity to one of the biggest boy bands in the entire world. The K-pop has fans all over the globe, and it should come as no surprise that their popularity as a group has also given each of the members some individual popularity as well.
While every member of the group is popular with some subset of the fans, some are undoubtedly more popular than others, and that’s where things get interesting.
When Tumblr ranked the most popular K-pop stars from across its service in 2019, the band’s J-Hope was the least popular member of the group. Similarly, research from Gallup into 2019’s most preferred Korean idols found that J-Hope was last among members of the group.
There’s no one reason for J-Hope’s relative unpopularity, but some fans have speculated that it’s because he’s not conventionally attractive by East Asian standards. Others have suggested that his personality might be rubbing some fans the wrong way.
J-Hope’s personality is bubbly and energetic, and some fans have suggested that that kind of behavior could be viewed as “cringey” or “annoying.” Even if he’s not as popular as his bandmates, J-Hope is still more popular than the average person could ever dream of being.
He’s released several songs as a solo artist, and each has been well-received by fans. His latest solo single, “Chicken Noodle Soup” featuring Becky G, charted at number one on the U.S. World Chart and has more than 100 million views on YouTube.
While J-Hope ranks as the least popular member of the group, Tumblr and Gallup also found that Jungkook and Jimin are the band’s most popular members. Jungkook came out on top on Tumblr, with Jimin coming in second.
On Gallup, though, the results were actually reversed. Jimin was the top choice of fans in that survey, with Jungkook being the second-highest and ranking third overall. While there’s less consensus over who is the most popular, it’s a fight between those two.
Whether you’re the most or least popular member of BTS, you’re still having a pretty good year. The Korean Business Research Institute ranks K-pop groups every month based on the level of buzz they’ve been generating, and BTS has topped that list for 19 straight months.
What’s more, Market Watch has reported that the band is outselling plenty of American artists in the U.S., including Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and The Jonas Brothers. They certainly don’t need to worry about their own popularity.