Alex Reid made history as the first Black K-Pop idol with her debut as BP RANIA‘s leader. She hasn’t been the only idol of Black descent to break into Asian music. Since there are many well-known Asian idols of Black descent working on the K-Pop, J-Pop, and C-Pop scenes, here are nine current ones you’ll be wanting to stan.
Following her debut in BLACKSWAN, Fatou became the first Senegalese K-Pop idol ever. Before making her debut, she even caught attention for her stunning visuals.
Between her rapping, modeling, and charming personality, Fatou has gained fans from around the world—reportedly becoming the member followed most on social media.
LIKIYA is one of the leaders of the sixteen-member Japanese boy group THE RAMPAGE from EXILE TRIBE and a member of its five-member Hip-Hop subunit MA55IVE THE RAMPAGE.
LIKIYA choreographs the group’s dances, shows off his rapping, and entertains fans with his cooking skills. The half-Black and half-Japanese idol has all the bases covered.
He isn’t the only talented musician in his family. LIKIYA was inspired to become an idol from his older brother, who’s also in a group under the LDH‘s EXILE TRIBE umbrella.
Elly is the older brother of LIKIYA and a member of the group J SOUL BROTHERS from EXILE TRIBE. When the dancer promotes as a rapper, he goes by the name CrazyBoy.
Elly recently welcomed a son with his longtime girlfriend. Family life hasn’t stopped him from constantly dropping new music, serving unique looks, and documenting his life through his YouTube channel.
4. Crystal Kay
Crystal Kay is one of the most easily recognized Japanese musicians, being proud of her Korean, Japanese, and Black heritage. Ever since she stepped into the spotlight as a young child and made her music debut in 1999, she’s been dropping hits for over twenty years.
Crystal Kay also collaborated with BoA on her Japanese track “Universe”. The two even performed on stage together, packing all the talent onto one single stage.
5. Zhong Feifei
When it was revealed that Zhong Feifei would appear on the Chinese survival show Produce Camp 2020, the Chinese-Congolese trainee received negative reactions from Chinese netizens but overwhelming support from international fans. That didn’t stop her from shining.
Despite not making it into the final group from the survival show, Zhong Feifei traveled her own path. She made her debut on her own terms by dropping the single “B.U.R.N” internationally, achieving her dream and giving fans exactly what they’d been waiting for.
Born right in the United States in the state of New Jersey, Mandy Sekiguchi moved to Japan at a young age and became the idol fans know today.
The Japanese-Nigerian idol is a member of three different groups: GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE, EXILE, and HONEST BOYZ.
Despite all the promotions for his many groups, that doesn’t stop Mandy from flexing his acting chops in movies and television dramas. He isn’t the only Black member in the group EXILE, either.
Among the nineteen members of EXILE, Nesmith is just as versatile as Mandy. From hosting shows, appearing in musicals, and taking on acting roles, he can do it all.
Between his powerful vocals and guitar playing, the Japanese and African-American idol has made his way right into fans’ hearts.
8. Lee Michelle
When Lee Michelle stepped into the spotlight through the show K-Pop Star, she gained fans that were ready to follow her journey to become an artist.
Despite not winning, she made appearances on other shows and opened up about the discrimination she faced for her darker skin color—compared to other Koreans—as a half-Black and half-Korean individual.
Lee Michelle didn’t let the negativity bring her down, practicing her craft over the years and continuing to make music to fulfill her dream.
When BananaLemon debuted in 2018, the Japanese group grabbed K-Pop fans’ interest because of the charismatic and badass vibes from their music. Out of the four members, Saarah instantly became a fan-favorite.
Her powerful and fluid dancing captured fans’ interest, paired with her sharp rap skills. The singer is an all-rounder that any music fan could get behind.
Bonus: QUEEN BEE
Though QUEEN BEE, or Ziyoou-Vachi, isn’t an idol or pop group, the Japanese rock band has two half-Black and half-Japanese siblings pumping out inclusive hits that have appeared in popular animes.
The four-member band created “HALF”, about Avu-chan’s struggles about being half-Black in Japan, that appeared as an ending song for Tokyo Ghoul:re and the track “Fire” for Dororo‘s opening.