After being chosen as one of young innovators of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, K-pop idols BTS are leading the 2018 TIME 100 reader poll of the most influential people.
For more than a decade, the annual TIME 100 has featured some of the worlds most significant artists, leaders, scientists, activists and entrepreneurs. While the editors at TIME make the final judgement call on who makes the list, TIME also values who our readers believe are the most influential people of the year, according to TIME.com.
The online poll started on 28 March and readers can vote until 17 April. The TIME 100 list will be released on 19 April.
As of the time of writing, BTS led the 2018 TIME 100 reader poll by 14%, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in had 5% of the votes.
Others in the poll include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, US President Donald Trump, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Roger Federer, Pope Francis, Hugh Jackman, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Stephen King and Jennifer Lopez.
Last year, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte won the TIME reader poll.
With their huge fanbase, BTS may succeed in winning the poll this year. The groups fandom – the ARMY – were the reason BTS won the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards last year, the Best Boy Band award at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards, and Favorite Global Music Star at the 2018 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.
BTS will be on the cover of Forbes Koreas April issue for topping the 2018 Korea Power Celebrity 40, an annual ranking of the most influential people in South Korea.
Now on its tenth year since 2009, the Korea Power Celebrity 40 ranks celebrities in entertainment and sports based on earnings, media exposure and broadcasting activities.
In the Forbes Korea list, BTS ranked first in earnings and media exposure, and sixth in broadcasting activities.
Placing second is rookie boy band Wanna One, which soared to fame when they debuted last August. They ranked fifth in earnings, and second in media exposure and broadcasting activities.
K-pop girl group TWICE came third followed by EXO, which ranked third in earnings, fifth in media exposure and tenth in broadcasting activities.
IU grabbed fifth place while husband and wife Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong-ki, who got married last Oct. 31, ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, placing second in earnings.
Actor Park Bogum bagged eight place, down from his first-place rank last year, followed by Olympic gold medalist Kim Yuna who rose to ninth from 29th last year. Tenth is Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun Jin.