By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
Forbes Korea magazine has released its annual “Korea Celebrity 40″ list, which ranked the country’s most influential and popular celebrities according to product sales, media exposure, broadcasting activities and professionalism.
|(Clockwise from top left) Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, EXO and miss A’s Suzy (Facebook, www.newsen.com)|
Topping the list this year is Girls’ Generation, the only K-pop group to land at number one on the list three times, having ranked first in 2011 and 2012.
Girls’ Generation was fifth in 2009 when Forbes Korea began ranking celebrities, and second in 2010 and 2013.
Big Bang rose to second place this year from fifth last year.
Third is miss A’s Suzy, her first time on the list.
Apart from being a singer, Suzy is also a popular actress and product endorser who starred in the drama “Gu Family Book” last year, earning for herself the Outstanding Korean Actress award in the 8th Seoul International Drama Awards and the High Excellence For A Mini Series award in the MBC Drama Awards.
Fourth is Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, who appears for the first time on the list.
Fifth on the list is boy band EXO, the band that rose to fame last year with their hits “Growl” and “Wolf.”
Outfielder Choo Shin-Soo of the Texas Rangers is sixth followed by first-timers TVXQ and SHINee.
Kim Yuna, the 2014 Olympic figure skating silver medalist, ranked ninth, the same position she held last year.
Singer IU ranked 10th from eight last year.
Korean rapper Psy, who topped last year’s list, fell to 12th place this year.
Others on the list are actor Lee Seungi and CNBLUE, who tied at 14th place; and actor Lee Byung Hun, who is at 16th place.
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