From Song Joong Ki To BTS' RM: 7 Korean Celebrities With Above Average IQs
They already have it all—looks, talent, fame, wealth, and influence—but because life is unfair, there’s a whole bunch of K-pop and K-drama stars who have, on top of everything else, higher than average IQs.
And while it may seem that entertainers don’t need to have the IQ of, say, inventors or entrepreneurs, an actor or actress who is smart may be able to better analyse scripts and characters, and bring that genius edge to performances, as well as astutely navigate the tricky waters of celebrity-dom. Similarly, a K-pop star or musician with a brilliant mind could produces works that are as thought-provoking as an award-winning poetry.
Here are seven Korean stars entertaining us with their beautiful minds.
1/7 RM of BTS
The leader of BTS is well known for his intelligence—his IQ is a whopping 148. An average person’s IQ is about 100. Rap Monster, or simply RM, is the most fluent in English in the group, famously taught himself the language while watching Friends, and has been key in BTS’ success in English-speaking markets and continuing world dominance.
He has a gift for songwriting and wordplay, and is credited as a co-songwriter on many of BTS’ most popular songs, including current hit Butter. In high school, he was placed among the top one per cent of students in the national university entrance exams. The 26-year-old, born Kim Nam-joon, is a steadfast and mature leader of the world’s most popular pop group, steering them to new heights and breaking all records. Now that’s genius.
2/7 Song Joong Ki
The Vincenzo heartthrob is apparently quite the brainiac, scoring 380 out of 400 in a prestigious university entrance exam. He also got straight As in high school and some sources peg his IQ at 140. But the real proof of his smarts? Making everyone believe he is a true blue Italian-Korean mafia lawyer named Vincenzo who can outwit the villains at every turn.
ICYMI: Tatler Exclusive: Song Joong Ki Opens Up About His Vincenzo Experience
3/7 Kim Tae-hee
Beloved K-drama actress and mother of Rain’s children, Kim Tae-hee is known for her intelligence. She graduated from the prestigious Seoul National University, attended by the top 1 to 1.5 per cent of South Korean students. The beautiful 41-year-old has it all—a gorgeous husband, two daughters, a slew of drama hits, and fabulous wealth, thanks to her shrewd investments in real estate. It’s been reported that she and Rain are Korea’s richest celeb real estate power couple, with more than RM300 million worth of properties and an endless stream of rental income. They probably never have to work in entertainment again if they don’t want to, but we hope they do.
See also: Jeon Yeo-Bin: 9 Things To Know About The 'Vincenzo' Actress
4/7 Cha Eun-woo
The True Beauty actor and Astro member is known as one of South Korea’s “face geniuses”—people who are so visually attractive that their faces are deemed geniuses. But wouldn’t you know it, he’s actually a brain genius as well. Cha apparently has an IQ of 142 and was academically brilliant in school. He was the student council president and sports team captain, won awards for English and reading debates, and was on track to becoming a lawyer or a judge, when he gave it all up to become an entertainer.
See also: Vincenzo: The Luxury Watches Worn By Song Joong-Ki
5/7 Ok Taec-yeon
Was he able to put on that insanely good performance in Vincenzo because he’s actually a genius? The actor and K-pop star has an IQ of 130, and is an all-rounder. When he was in high school in Massachusetts in the US, Taec-yeon was a member of the Chess Club, Soccer Team and National Honor Society, which means he has both academic and athletic prowess. He went on to study at Dankook University and then attended Korea University Graduate School of International Studies, where he majored in International Relations. He can speak Korean, Japanese, Spanish and English, and put his fluent English to good use in Vincenzo.
See also: Minari's Youn Yuh Jung Becomes First Oscar-Winning Korean Actress
6/7 TVXQ's Changmin
The vocalist of TVXQ is known for his high tenor voice and those screams and high notes, but he has something that's even higher: his IQ. He apparently has an IQ of 150—that’s only 10 points less than Einstein! He has written lyrics for TVXQ and other K-pop acts, is fluent in English and Japanese, and holds a degree in postmodern music from the prestigious Kyung Hee University, a second film and arts degree from Konkuk University, and a Masters degree from Inha University. What is one of the smartest guys in K-entertainment going to do next?
7/7 Epik High’s Tablo
And if you think no celeb can possibly beat an IQ of 150, veteran alternative hip hop group Epik High’s leader and producer Tablo, 40, has a jaw-dropping IQ of 160. Epik High is the first Korean act to play at Coachella and Tablo is the genius behind their music. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University, within three-and-a-half years. It’s a feat considered so impossible, it blew up and became national news in Korea when Tablo was accused by some fan sites of faking his Stanford degrees. After investigations, it was proven that Tablo did graduate from Stanford. Earlier this year, Epik High returned with their 10th album, and it’s as gritty, current and cerebral as you’d expect it to be.
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