Photo: IU's 2021 album Lilac. Credit: EDAM Entertainment.
BTS’s iron grip on the South Korean pop culture scene is (almost) over. According to the Gallup Korea poll that asked the biggest stars of 2022, BTS 방탄소년단 came in first only in the 13 to 18 year old demographic. Among those in their 20s and 30s, IU 아이유 - the most streamed K-pop artist ever - took the lead over the world-beating septet, who went on hiatus in June.
Among older respondents (those in their 40s and up), the runaway favorite was Im Yeong-ung 임영웅, a trot music star.