The life of a K-Pop idol is extremely difficult, but a lot of idols aren’t vocal about the difficulties they have to endure. Here’s a list of some former K-Pop idols who decided to share some of the tough experiences they had to deal with during their time as idols.
1. Yulhee (Former member of LABOUM)
Yulhee once revealed on an episode of Radio Star some of the tough experiences she had to deal with when it came to dieting. She revealed that dieting was extremely strict and that if she wanted to break the diet, she would have to do it late at night.
I couldn’t handle my diet, and ended up sneaking out at night to go to the convenience store and bought all the snacks.
Yulhee also revealed that she had to hide these snacks from staff members and eat in secret.
I had a hard time hiding the snacks in different places and eating them in secret.
Since leaving LABOUM, Yulhee has become a dedicated mother and wife.
2. Kong Yoo Jin (Former member of BONUSbaby)
During an interview with The Korea Times, Kong Yoo Jin revealed some of the hardships she endured during her time as an idol. She shared that she barely got any sleep due to how much practice the group had to do, and due to how early they had to wake up to go to music shows. She also struggled with her weight, as her company checked it multiple times a day. It even got to the point where she started to starve herself.
Her company also restricted her from going outside to meet her family. All of this eventually got to her, and she developed depression.
Kong Yoo Jin eventually left her company and started her life as a non-celebrity. Looking back, she now appreciates her time being an idol, as she feels that it made her a stronger person. She now desires to become a music teacher.
There’s more in the full video below!
3. H.O (Former member of MADTOWN)
H.O once revealed that something a majority of K-Pop groups struggle with is debt. That when idol groups debut, most of them are charged with paying off the agency for the training.
Agencies charge the debuting group for everything from music production, video production, album production to clothing, and dining costs.
It costs a minimum 500 million KRW (approx. $500K USD) to produce a group. If there are seven members, each member would owe around $70,000 as soon as they debut.
The members will start profiting only after the debt has been paid off.
H.O also added that if a group doesn’t become popular, then the members make no money, and just have a bunch of debt.
Music programs on TV don’t pay much. That’s only for exposure. Outside performances, concerts, overseas stages, and album sales are what brings in money.
But it is very hard to pay off $500K with those. If a group doesn’t become too popular, the members end up sitting on a pile of debt.
4. Mir (Former member of MBLAQ)
One of the most heartbreaking things K-Pop groups have to deal with is disbandment, and Mir has spoken deeply on this topic before. He spoke on how the disbandment of his group destroyed him, as he was torn apart from the people he considered family.
The break-up destroyed me. I was troubled and depressed… And you know I can’t listen to or sing MBLAQ songs. MBLAQ songs remind me of that era when I was a part of the team… And I can’t listen to my own songs anymore because it just shoves me back into despair.
5. Way (Crayon Pop)
While Crayon Pop hasn’t officially disbanded, a lot of the members haven’t been active as idols for many years, and have gone on different career paths. Way is a member whose quite active on her YouTube channel and has shared some of her experiences being an idol. One time, she tearfully shared some of the worst things she had to endure as an idol. Way shared that she was extremely heartbroken when people close to her started hurting her, such as when people at her company started scolding her for her behavior.
Here’s the full video below.