The South Korean singer known as Psy, whose catchy dance song Gangnam Style became a global viral hit in 2012, is the top hallyu – or “Korean wave” – star that fans around the world most want to see.

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The 40-year-old, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, was the first South Korean singer to make the American Billboard Hot 100 chart.

His song spent 31 weeks on the chart, just missing out on the top spot when peaking at No 2 in October 2012.

The Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange – government institute that promotes the nation internationally through cultural exchange – said that actor Lee Min-ho, who was propelled to stardom after appearing in Korean television dramas including the 2009 series Boys over Flowers and 2013’s The Heirs, was ranked second.

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Lee, 31, who has starred in films such as the China-produced 2016 action film, Bounty Hunters, is very popular in the Middle East.


A post shared by Lee Min Ho 이민호 (@leeminho__87) on Mar 10, 2018 at 9:59pm PST

Actor Song Joong-ki and his actress wife Song Hye-kyo – who married last year after starring together in 2016’s hit television drama Descendants of the Sun – were ranked third and fourth, respectively.

They are both extremely popular in China.

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A post shared by Hyekyo Song (@kyo1122) on Jan 26, 2018 at 3:29am PST

The Billboard chart-topping K-pop boy band BTS, ranked fifth, has a large following in the United States.

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This article was originally written by Dong Sun-hwa for The Korea Times.