Into the New World: Research Suggests Multi-Fandom the Norm for Veteran K-pop Fans

Source: Pixabay

While it may seem that the current norm in K-pop is single-fandom (the tendency to support just one artist), data suggests that older K-pop fans started and continue to be multi-fandom. This may be another way the overall K-pop fandom has shifted in the past few years.

With the rise of K-pop groups, their individual fandoms have also garnered more attention, leading some to focus on using a single fandom to define K-pop fandom in general. However, 316 responses collected between April 29, 2011 and March 4, 2015 suggest that K-pop fans of that era exhibited very different behaviors and attitudes. Respondents were asked the open-ended question, “How did you become interested in K-pop?”

Many respondents related their entrance into K-pop with specific groups, and overwhelmingly with one group in particular: SHINee. Other high recurring groups include BigBang, Super Junior and TVXQ. Rain was the most-cited solo artist. What is interesting is that these groups all debuted between 2003 and 2009. The first responses collected in 2011, so none of these groups were brand new to the K-pop scene at the time that respondents encountered them. For this generation of K-pop fan, the appeal of K-pop was asynchronous, meaning that individuals became fans, not as a result of debut promotion or marketing, but by other means.

More importantly, respondents routinely noted that once they discovered one K-pop group, they were motivated to look for additional groups. One noted, “My friend showed me SHINee’s Lucifer video, and I was immediately addicted to them.  So then I started looking up other groups too.”  Another responded wrote: “I started listening to more BigBang, and then other groups such as 2NE1 and SHINee, and then read a ton of Wikipedia pages about different groups and record labels and learned about the training system that K-pop stars go through before debuting. I also started watching variety shows that K-pop idols appear on, and find that whole concept really interesting too.” I call this phenomenon branching.

Some respondents go through a great deal of effort to expand to additional K-pop groups. One respondent explained how a search to find one K-pop song led to more: “However, the obsession didn’t just stop with that song. During the many hours that I spent trying to find the name of that song, I discovered many other catchy tunes and fell in love with a new genre of music that I had never heard of before.”  Several respondents use the term “research” to describe the activity of looking for more K-pop groups:  “I became interested in K-pop when I accidentally happened upon a Super Junior song on YouTube about 3-4 years ago. I don’t remember what song it was. But after I heard it I was thinking… Wow. This is good stuff. I want more. I wanna hear more. I researched, found more groups I absolutely fell in love with. Then 2-3 years ago, I found Big Bang, followed by 2NE1. And now all of the other amazing groups I love.”

For some, the quest for more K-pop groups takes them to other forms of Korean entertainment. K-drama and K-pop are linked, as members of K-pop groups often star in Korean television dramas and perform on soundtracks for the shows. One respondent noted:  “I happened across Kdramas and liked an actor in it. I found out he was a singer and then discovered other singers, groups, bands, etc.” Another explained:  “ recommended a Kdrama to me called “Boys over Flowers” and as I became more interested in the characters and the OST for the show, I started to look up various actors/singers on YouTube.”

And while “idols” may be the way many are introduced to K-pop, the phenomenon of branching may take fans far afield. One respondent wrote:  “I think, what’s 2pm? I think my friend had mentioned groups named 2pm and 2am to me before, and I thought they were silly names. But I really liked Jason in Dream High, so I decided to look up this Wooyoung on YouTube. That day I discovered my love for K-pop. I became a hardcore Hottest, and expanded the groups and genres I listened to little by little until I was listening to anything from rap to pop to ballads to indie. All in a language I can’t completely understand.”

One respondent summed up the branching phenomenon with this formula:

JPop = discovered Tohoshinki = wiki = O.O = OMG! = google other kpop artists

Such findings suggest earlier generations of K-pop fans tend to develop more broad interests in K-pop that go beyond one group, while more contemporary fans seem to be more devoted to single groups. By only focusing exclusively on one group, they may be less knowledgeable about the larger K-pop and as a result may have distorted perceptions of it.  These findings also support  earlier findings that point to a more diverse general K-pop fandom, one that at the very least, is made up of those who support individual K-pop groups and those who support K-pop in general. Both may be needed for the continued viability of K-pop. Such findings reveal fan behavior that suggests that the appeal of K-pop is more complicated.  The K-pop landscape continues to change.

Creative Commons License
Into the New World: Research Suggests Multi-fandom the Norm for Veteran K-pop Fans by Crystal S. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Fugitive: Plan B (2010)

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 Title  Fugitive: Plan B/Runaway: Plan B
 Genre  Action/romance/comedy
 Episodes 20
Network KBS2
 Main Cast
  • Bi (Rain) as Ji Woo
  • Lee Na Young as Jin Yi/Jini K
  • Lee Jung Jin as Chief Detective Do Soo
  • Yoon Jin Seo as Detective Yoon So Ran
  • Daniel Henney as Kai
 Director  Kwak Jung Hwan
 Screenwriter  Chun Sung Il
 Official Website(s)  N/A
 Fan Website(s) N/A
 Description  Action AND tomfoolery with Rain as a private detective

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JYP (Jin Young Park)

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JYP (Jin Young Park). (Source:


Park Jin-Young (Jin Young Park, JYP)






  •  As Is (?) 1994- 1997(?)
  • Tae-Hong Planning Corporation (1997-2001)
  • JYP Entertainment (2001-)

 Fan Name


 Origin of Fan Name


 Official Website

 Related Websites

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Official Fan Color: 



  • Model Line Selected  ’97 Best Dresser
  • KBS Popular Song Grand Prize Singer in His Teens
  • SBS Popular Song Grand Prize Composer of the Year
  • Daily Sports Popular Song Grand Prize Teen Singer of the Year
  • Best Music Video (R&B category)
  • Mnet Music Video
  • Model Line’s Best Dressed of the Year
  •  Baek Sang Arts, New Actor of the Year

Television Appearances

  • Hot Blood Men, 2008
  • Dream High, 2011

Concert Tours

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No Love No More


Your House

Swing Baby

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   Dream High Original Soundtrack, Part 5. (January 31, 2011) 

  1. If
   JYP Nation – This Christmas (December 1, 2010) (JYP Entertainment)

  1. This Christmas
   Sad Freedom (December 1, 2009) (Loen Entertainment)

  1. Sad Freedom
  2. No Love No More
  3. Rewind
  4. Come Over
  5. No Love No More (remix)
  Wonder Girls – Nobody (September 22, 2008) (JYP Entertainment)

2. Nobody

  Dynamic Duo – Last Days (August 25, 2008) (Mnet Media)

6. 해변의 Girl (feat. 박진영)

   Back to Stage (November 19, 2007) (Loen Entertainment)

  1. Kiss
  2. 니가 사는 그집
  3. 니여자
  4. Delicious (니 입술이)
  5. Single (Feat. Bobby Kim)
  6. 딴따라 블루스
  7. 사실은
  8. 나 돌아가
  9. 이런 여자가 좋아 (featuring Dynamic Duo, 전제덕)
  10. 위험한 장난
  11. 엇갈렸어(Featuring t 윤미래)
  12. 대낮에 한 이별 (Featuring 선예(Wonder Girls))
  Legend Jeon Young Rok – 30th Anniversary Tribute Album (December 13, 2002) (Doremi)Disc One

5. 나를 잊지 말아요

   Rain (Bi) – Bad Guy (April 28, 2002) (JYP Entertainment)

11. What’s Love (featuring Danny, Lexy, Byul and JYP)

   Game (2001) (Dae Young AV Music)Disc 1

  1. Swing Baby
  2. 방문에서 침대까지
  3. 난 여자가 있는데
  4. 음음음
  5. 너의 손끝
  6. 창살없는 감옥
  7. 마지막 밤
  8. 처음 만난 남자와
  9. 놀이
  10. 해 달 별
  11. 밀애
  12. 데자부
Disc 2
  1. 날 떠나지마
  2. 너의 뒤에서
  3. 사랑 일년
  4. 청혼가
  5. 엘리베이터
  6. 영원히 둘이서
  7. 썸머 징글벨
  8. 그녀는 예뻤다
  9. Honey
  10. 십년이 지나도
  11. 사랑하기 때문에
  12. 왜 왜
  13. Kiss Me
  14. 회상
  15. 떠나서
  16.  헤어지면서
   Kiss Me (1998)

  1. Kiss Me
  2. 말을해
  3. 헤어지면서
  4. 안돼란 말은 안돼
  5. 회상
  6. 떠나서
  7. 내게 날아와
  8. 눈이 올때마다
  9. 재회
   Even After 10 Years (1998)

  1. Honey
  2. 천년의 사랑
  3. 졸업
  4. 뭔가 이상해(featuring 김진표,진주)
  5. 그녈 잡아요
  6. 십년이 지나도
  7. 날 데려가요(Featuring DANNY)
  8. 사랑하기 때문에(98 Vibe Version)
  9. 그날이 오면-서로 떨어져 있는 연인들을 위해
  10. Everynight
   Summer Jingle Bell (1997)

  1. 썸머징글벨
  2. 그녀는 예뻤다
  3. 사랑인지 뭔지
  4. 그대로 그렇게
  5. 또 하루가 가고
  6. 그댄 예뻐요
  7. 이별 탈출
  8. 내 사랑아
  9. 사랑할까요
 IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE  Kim Hyung Suk – 1st Project Album AC+E (1997)

5. 엄마 아빠 제발

   Kim Won Jun – Dear (1995)

6. Jungle Boogie

   Tantara (1995)

  1. 나는…
  2. 너를 보내기 전에
  3. 청혼가
  4. 엘리베이터
  5. 돌아서며
  6. 이별(Featuring 인순이)
  7. 영원히 둘이서
  8. 잊을 수 있어
  9. 이별을 먼저 배웠기에
  10. 기다렸던 고백
  11. 사랑일년(Remix)
   Blue City (1994)

  1. 날 떠나지마
  2. 너에게 묻고 싶어
  3. 마이걸(My Girl)
  4. 아픔속에서
  5. 너의 뒤에서
  6. 사랑일년
  7. 아직 기다리는지
  8. 사랑 때문에
  9. 너에게 묻고싶어(Ending Version)

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An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 3, Misplaced Chinese Literary Metaphors and the Shower Show

All right, time to talk about Rain and Sun Jung‘s treatment of the Almighty Godfather of Modern Kpop. I will try my best to point out both the good and the bad in this chapter, but unfortunately there is a lot more of the bad than the good. Let’s begin.

Continue reading “An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 3, Misplaced Chinese Literary Metaphors and the Shower Show”

An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 1

Don’t get too excited: this book may have a very, very sexy picture of Rain on the cover, but it’s a trap. Published in 2011 by the Hong Kong University Press, Sun Jung‘s Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols has been talked about quite a lot in the academic field of Cultural Studies. People have claimed that it’s the most informative book on Hallyu out there at the moment.

Continue reading “An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 1″

Rain (Bi)

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Bi (Rain) (Jung Ji Hoon). Source:
 Name Jung Ji Hoon (Rain, Bi/비, Pi, Yu)
 Debut  April 24, 2002
 Status  Inactive (Military Service 2011-2013)
  • JYP Entertainment (2002 – 2007)
  •  J-Tune Entertainment (2007- )
 Fan Name  Clouds
 Origin of Fan Name  N/A
 Official Website
 Related Websites

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Official Fan Color:  Silver



  • MBC Top 10 Artist Award
  • KBS Music Award: New Artist, Most popular Singer Award by producers
  • SBS Music Award: New Artist
  • SBS Seoul Gayo Award: New Artist
  • Mnet Music Video Festival:New Artist
  • KMTV Korea Music Award:New Artist
  • Golden Disc Award: New Artist
  • MNET Male Artist Award
  • MNET Music Video Festival Mobile Popularity Award
  • 10th Korea Entertainment and Arts Awards Best New Artist Award
  • Broadcasting and Video Awards Best Star Awards in Singer Section
  • KMTV Male Artist Award
  • SBS Male Performer of the Year Award
  • SBS Gayo Daejun* Bonsang & Netizen’s Best Popularity Award
  • KBS Best Male Artist Award
  • KBS New Actor Award,  Sang Doo, Let’s go to School
  • KBS Netizen Actor Award of the Year
  • KBS Best Couple (with Gong Hyo Jin)
  • MBC Top 10 Artist Award
  • KBS Artist of the Year
  • KBS Best Actor Award
  • KBS Excellence Award (Full House)
  • KBS Drama Awards: Popularity Award
  • MBC Top 10 Artist Award
  • SBS Male Performer of the Year Award
  • SBS Music Awards: Bonsang & Netizen’s Best Popularity Award
  • SBS Seoul Gayo Award: Bonsang
  • The Korean Music Awards 2004 – Best Artist of the Year Award
  • Popularity Award of TV Part (The Baek Sang Arts Grand Award)
  • KBS Best Couple Award (Song Hye Kyo)
  • Mnet Music Video Festival: Artist of the Year Award
  • Mnet Music Video Festival: Song of The Year Award (It’s Raining)
  • Golden Disc Award: Bonsang
  • Andre Kim Star Awards: Actor Section
  • The 40th Baek Sang Arts Grand Awards: Popularity Award
  • MTV Asia Awards: Favorite Artist Korea
  • MTV Korea B Awards: Best Single Award
  • MTV China Awards: CCTV Mandarin Music Honors Award
  • MTV Video Music Awards Japan: Best buzz Asia from Korea
  • Channel V Best Single Award
  • Channel V Music Video Awards: Popular Asian Artist
  • Andre Kim Awards: Best Star
  • KBS Drama (A Love To Kill) (이 죽일놈의 사랑)
  • KBS Netizen Award
  • Korea Cultural Content Grand Prize – Music Section
  • Virgin Radio Hits 40 Awards: Best Asian Artist Award
  • Hong Kong Universal Records: Golden Record Award
  • LA City Hall – Cultural Exchange between Korea and US Awards
  • Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People Who Shape the World Award
  • Mnet Male Artist Award
  • Asia TV Awards: Best Movie Style (A Love To Kill)
  • MKMF Mnet Awards: Best Male Artist Award
  • SBS Gayo Daejun 2006: Bonsang
  • RTHK International Pop Poll Award: Top New Actor & Most Sold Asian Albums
  • IFPI Hong Kong Music Sale Awards: Korea and Japan Music Award
  • HITO Pop Music Awards: HITO Asian Music Awards
  • MTV Asia’s ‘Artist of the Month’ (January)
  • 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards: Best New Actor for (I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK)
  • The 59th Berlin Film Festival: Alfred Bauer Prize (I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK)
  • Berlin Red Carpet Festival: Best Dressed Artist in the Red Carpet
  • 4th Netizen Entertainment Awards: Best Male Singer Award
  • Hallyu Grand Award
  • 44th DaeJong Film Awards: Overseas Popularity Award
  • Best Asian Male Artist in Macau, China
  • People’s Most Beautiful People list “First-Time Beauties 2007”
  • Korean Entertainment Business Association: Star (Music) Award
  • Mobile Entertainment Awards: Best Male Singer
  • 1st Korean Film Awards: Best Actor Award
  • Bonsang Golden Disk Award
  • Style Icon of the Year
  • SBS Mutizen Award (Top Song: Rainism)
  • Korea Image Stepping Stone Award 2008 given by the Korea Image Communication Institute
  • Goodwill Ambassador by the Korean Ministry of Agriculture[
  • Global Publicity Ambassador: City of Seoul
  • KBS Hit Chart – Top Albums (Top 1) Rainism Recollection
  • HITO Music Awards Tokyo: Best Asian Pop Song “Rainism”
  • Asian Television Awards: Hip Korea Discovery Channel (Best Music Program, Best Infotainment Program, Best Cross-Platform Content)
  • MAMA – Best Solo Dance (for Love Song)
  • MTV Movie Awards: Biggest Badass Star
  • Korea Achievement Award given by the Korean Culture & Content Agency
  • Green Growth Life Ambassador of South Korea
  • Green Planet Movie Awards: Best International Entertainer (Asia), Asian Cultural Ambassador of The Year, One of The Top 10 Most Outstanding Asians in Hollywood

Television Appearances:

  • Orange – cameo (2002)
  • Sang Doo! Let’s Go to School (2003)
  • Full House (2004)
  • Banjun Drama (2005)
  • A Love to Kill (2005)
  • Family Outing (2008, ep. 21 and 22)
  • The Fugitive: Plan B (2010)

Concert Tours:

  • Rainy Day Japan (2004)
  • Rainy Day Tour (2005)
  • Rainy Day New York (2006)
  • Rain’s Coming (2006)
  • Legend of Rainism (2009)
  • Adieu with Rain (2010)
  • The Best Show (2011)


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Love Song

Love Story (pt.4)

Love Story (pt.3)

Love Story (pt.2)

Love Story (pt.1)


In My Bed

I’m Coming

Move On

Free Way

Sad Tango

Memory in My Hand

I Do

It’s Raining

How to Avoid the Sun

Instead of Saying Goodbye


Bad Boy

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   Back to the Basic (March 30, 2010) (J. Tune Entertainment)

  1. 널 붙잡을 노래 / Song To Grab You / Song To Get You / Song To Catch You
  2. Hip Song
  3. One
  4. 똑같아 / Same
  5. Love Song (English Version)
   Rainism (October 15, 2008) (J. Tune Entertainment)

  1. My Way (Intro)
  2. Rainism
  3. Only You
  4. Love Story (0912…. 그 이후)
  5. 사랑이라는 건
  6. 내 여자
  7. You
  8. Fresh Woman
  9. 더 끌려 (Feat. 태완 A.K.A C-Luv)
  10. 고개 돌려
  11. 9월 12일
  12. My Way
  13. Rainism Remix
   Rain’s World (November 6, 2006) (JYP Entertainment)

  1. Rain’s World
  2. I’m Coming (featuring Tablo)
  3. With U
  4. 내가 누웠던 침대 (In My Bed)
  5. 하루도 (Not a Single Day)
  6. 카시오페아 (Cassieopia) – featuring J. Lim
  7. Him & Me (featuring Dynamic Duo)
  8. Don’t Stop
  9. Touch Ya (featuring Taewan AKA C-Luv)
  10. Move On
  11. Oh Yeah (featuring AI)
  12. Friends (featuring Tiger JK)
  13. To My Friends
  14. 나 (Me) (B-Garage Mix)
   It’s Raining (October 10, 2004) (JYP Entertainment)

  1. 하고 싶었던 말 (Words I Wanted to Say)
  2. It’s Raining
  3. I Do
  4. 지운 얼굴 (Familiar Face)
  5. 11 Days
  6. Quiz
  7. My Groove (featuring Epik High)
  8. 난 (I)
  9. Biggest Thing
  10. Wanna Talk
  11. But I Love You
  12. 찾아요 (I’m Searching)
  13. No No No
  14. To You
  15. I Love You
   How to Avoid the Sun (October 16, 2003) (JYP Entertainment)

  1. 2003.10.16
  2. 알면서 (You Already Knew)
  3. 난 또 니가 좋은거야 (Why Do I Love You Again)
  4. 왜 하필 (How Come)
  5. 나에게 너는 (I to You)
  6. 너마저 (Even You)
  7. 내가 유명해지니 좋니 (Do You Love Me or My Fame)
  8. 태양을 피하는 방법 (How to Avoid the Sun) – Radio mix
  9. 화성에서 온 남자 금성에서 온 여자 (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus)
  10. 아쉬운 빈 공간 (The Empty Space)
  11. 안녕이란 말대신 (Instead of Goodbye) – Remix
  12. 태양을 피하는 방법 (How to Avoid the Sun)
  13. 태양이 떠도 (Even When the Sun Rises)
   Bad Guy (May 13, 2002) (JYP Entertainment)

  1. 雨 – Rain
  2. 악수 (Handshake)
  3. 나쁜 남자 (Bad Guy)
  4. 나 (Me)
  5. 익숙치 않아서 (Can’t Get Used to It)
  6. Baby Baby
  7. 안녕이란 말 대신 (Instead of Saying Goodbye)
  8. 너처럼 (Like You) – featuring Bada
  9. 나론 안되니 (Am I Not Good Enough)
  10. 왜 (Why)
  11. What’s Love – featuring Danny, Lexy, Byul and JYP
  12. 안녕이란 말 대신 LIVE

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   Eternal Rain (September 16, 2006) (JYP Entertainment)

  1. Free Way
  2. Oh Yeah – featuring AI
  3. Sad Tango
  4. Move On
  5. Baby Baby
  6. Feel So Right
  7. 내가 너무 뜨거워서 (僕が熱くなりすぎて)
  8. Without You
  9. Because of You
  10. Props in My Life
  11. Sad Tango – English version
  12. Free Way – STY Gin ‘N’ Tonic Remix

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