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Get to know these Korean stars who are not just blessed with good looks and talent, but higher than average IQ levels too

They already have it all—looks, talent, fame, wealth, influence and insane popularity, but because life is unfair, there’s a whole bunch of K-pop and K-drama stars who are, on top of everything, smart. And not just, you know, casually clever, but a whole other genius-level of braininess.

And although it may seem at first glance 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 produce lyrics that are as life-changing and thought-provoking as award-winning poetry, or tunes and riffs so original, they enrich the soul and blow the mind. 

Here are seven Korean stars who have chosen to entertain and bless us with their beautiful minds.

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1. BTS’s RM

The leader of BTS is well known for his intelligence—his IQ is a whopping 148. FYI, an average person’s IQ is about 100. Rap Monster, or 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. But what’s most important now is that 26-year-old RM, born Kim Nam-joon, is a steadfast and mature leader in the world’s most popular pop group, steering them to new heights and breaking all the ceilings. Now that’s genius.

Related: Yes, BTS’ RM Really Just Released a Solo Single He Wrote While Riding His Bicycle

2. 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 subjects 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.

Related: Exclusive: Song Joong Ki Speaks to Tatler About His ‘Vincenzo’ Experience

3. Kim Tae-hee

Beloved K-drama actress and mother of Rain’s children Kim Tae-hee is famed for being intelligent. 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 hot 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 S$98 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.

Related: Kim Tae-Hee’s Most Stylish Looks On- and Off-Screen

4. Cha Eun-woo 

The True Beauty actor and Astro member is known as one of South Korea’s “face geniuses”—people who are so gorgeous and visually attractive, 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, and was always among the top-scoring students. 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 up a career in law to be a singer and actor. All we can say is, thank you, Eun-woo, thank you.

5. Ok Taec-yeon 

Was he able to put on that insanely good performance in Vincenzo ’cos 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 USA, 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.  

6. 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’s one of the smartest guys in K-entertainment going to do next? 

7. Epik High’s Tablo

And if you think no celeb can possibly beat an IQ of 150, here’s veteran alternative hip hop group Epik High’s leader and producer Tablo, 40, with a jaw-dropping IQ of 160. That’s on par with one of the great geniuses of the world, physicist Albert Einstein. Tablo, known as the genius behind the music of Epik High, which is the first Korean act to play at Coachella, 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, police involvement and lawsuits, 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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