K-Pop’s Unlikeliest Fans: Middle-Age Males

Entertainment

Those who observe the Korean pop-music phenomenon from a distance may have ideas about who listens to the music. PSY, the YouTube star whose hit “Gangnam Style” help popularize so called K-pop in the U.S. and elsewhere, is big enough to have fans across all age groups. But the boy bands and girl groups who otherwise dominate the K-pop scene target a young teenaged audience in the same way teen pop stars on these shores—from David Cassidy to Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez—play to middle- and high-school students, particularly the girls.

So it may come as a surprise that in the audience at a many a K-pop show are older males. They’ve become such a presence they’ve earned their own nickname: “uncle fans.”

(MORE: Beyond PSY: 5 Essential K-Pop Tracks)

Uncle fans—also called by the Korean word for “uncle,” commonly written in English as “ahjussi” or “ahjusshi”—are…

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