BTS and aespa are among the six figures of “2021 Visionary” selected by CJ ENM

CJ ENM has announced the ‘2021 Visionary’ list, consisting of the most influential figures in Korea’s entertainment industry this year.

CJ ENM is a famous entertainment media company in Korea under CJ Group. Throughout the years, CJ ENM have left their ‘footprints’ in countless aspects of Korean popular culture, including broadcasting, movies, dramas, music, and performances. Last year, CJ ENM created the ‘2020 Visionary’ list for the first time, consisting of figures with a great vision and influence on Korea’s entertainment industry throughout the year. It was also presented at MAMA 2020 as a special award.

This year, CJ ENM continues to announce the ‘2021 Visionary‘ list ahead of MAMA 2021. They also plan to make this list a special Korean award, similar to the world’s ‘TIME 100: The Most Influential People’ list.


According to CJ ENM, the names on the ‘2021 Visionary’ list are carefully and objectively selected through 4 rounds by culture experts and industry trend forecasters. The final results are also determined based on the vast amount of data the company has collected over the past year. CJ ENM says that all 6 figures on this list have taken the lead in promoting Korean culture to the world in 2021, and that they will continue to be the trends in the future with their vision and influence.

CJ ENM’s Visionary 2021 list is selected based on 4 keywords including:

– Human Centric Metaverse (a space where human beings are the center)

– Expanded Universe (where viewers are immersed in content beyond the boundaries of space and time, whether virtual or real)

– Hyper entertainmentism (people who have changed the definition of entertainment by completely breaking the existing formula or stereotype)

– Empathy for coexistence (realizing the value of coexisting amid the pandemic)

Here are 6 figures that have been chosen in the ‘2021 Visionary’ list

Hwang Dong-hyuk

Visionary 2021
Director, screenwriter Hwang Dong Hyuk – who was behind the success of ‘Squid Game’

Hwang Dong Hyuk is praised for his ability to give the global audience a sense of excitement and enjoyment of entertainment that transcends national, cultural and background boundaries by creating the hit series ‘Squid Game’. 

PD Choi Jung Nam

Visionary 2021
PD Choi Jung Nam was behind the success of ‘Street Woman Fighter’

PD Choi Jung Nam was selected for introducing a whole new perspective on street dance to the entertainment industry through ‘Street Woman Fighter. She has impressed both Korean and international viewers with the true image of a leader and mentor for generations through shows about music and dance.

Yoon Yuh Jung

Youn Yuh Jung won ‘Best Supporting Actress‘ at the 93rd Academy Awards for her performance in the movie ‘Minari’. This award made her the first Korean to win an acting Oscar. She was honored in the ‘Visionary 2021’ list by awakening the world to the true values of mankind through her acting.

Visionary 2021

Yoo Jae Suk

Yoo Jae Suk continued to be shortlisted for ‘2021 Visionary’ after his first appearance on the list in 2020. This time, the national MC’s influence is shown through shows such as ‘You Quiz on the Block‘, ‘Hangout with Yoo’ and ‘Sixth Sense 2. This is proof that he is an irreplaceable character on entertainment programs as well as a leading trend in the variety industry.

Visionary 2021
Actress Yoon Yuh Jung with impressive roles, including her performance in the movie ‘Minari’


aespa is the only Kpop girl group to appear on CJ ENM’s list this year. ‘Next Level”s owner was selected as they created a new fandom culture by introducing their own unique universe with avatar versions for each member. aespa was honored for breaking previous boundaries related to contents for Kpop fans and bringing new possibilities to the music industry.

Visionary 2021


Aside from Yoo Jae Suk, BTS is the second name to appear on CJ ENM’s Visionary list for 2 years in a row. BTS was honored for showing off their global power such as winning 4 awards at the Billboard Music Awards and becoming the first Asian artist to receive the ‘Artist of the Year‘ award at the American Music Awards. The group has a positive impact on the Kpop music industry as it has enhanced national prestige and is continuing to grow further.

Visionary 2021

As planned, CJ ENM will release promotional videos about achievements and interviews that highlight the meaning of ‘2021 Visionary”s faces in December. There was an introduction of this list at MAMA 2020, but it is unclear whether they will do the same at MAMA 2021.

Visionary 2021

Last year, ‘Visionary 2020’ included 10 names: BTS, writer Kim Eun Hee, PD Kim Tae Ho, BLACKPINK, Bi Rain, PD Shin Won Ho, writer Park Ji Eun, director Bong Joon Ho, actor Song Kang Ho and Yoo Jae Suk. However, this year’s list only has 6 names. Among them, BTS and aespa are the only two Kpop idol groups to reach the top. In particular, the appearance of aespa caught attention as the group just debuted in November 2020, while BLACKPINK was not named.

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