We’ve heard of a lot of K-Pop idols who almost debuted with other stage names, such as BTS and several others. We imagine that it can be a tough and time-consuming task to come up with the perfect stage name, since it’s what the world might know you as someday! There are some idols, however, that ended up changing their stage name in the middle of their career, some more dramatically than others. Here are 18 K-Pop idols who did such a thing.
1. Jinyoung (GOT7)
Jinyoung has actually changed his name twice! He first went by Jr. when he debuted in JJ Project since he shared the name of his then-CEO, Park Jinyoung, and was given the stage name to show he was a “miniature” version of J.Y. Park. But since people kept mispronouncing it as “J-R”, he changed it to Junior when he was first in GOT7. In 2016, he then changed his stage name to his legal name, Jinyoung.
2. Jay B (GOT7)
When GOT7 decided to leave JYP Entertainment in early 2021, Jay B, formerly known as JB, decided to change his name to what it currently is now. He has also gone by the name Def., which was a b-boying name he used as a trainee and he has released music under it.
3. Jaejun (TAN)
Prior to joining TAN, Jaejun was a member of the group C-Clown, during which he went by the stage name Maru. He changed it to his birth name, Jaejun, upon joining his current group.
4. Do-A (ALICE)
When ELRIS changed their group name to ALICE in April 2022, Do-A also changed her stage name from Bella to what it is now.
5. Yubin (OH MY GIRL)
Yubin went by the stage name Binnie for many years as a member of OH MY GIRL, but in January 2022, she announced she would be changing it to Yubin, taken from her real name, Bae Yubin.
6. Jinye (LABOUM)
When LABOUM changed agencies to Interpark Music Plus in late 2021, Jinye used the opportunity to change her stage name from what it previously was — ZN — to what it currently is, taken from her real name Bae Jinye.
When DAWN was removed from Cube Entertainment and his then-group PENTAGON in 2018, he re-debuted as a soloist with his current name at P NATION (and still goes by DAWN after departing his most recent label).
8. Jaejoong (JYJ)
During his early days as a member of TVXQ, Jaejoong went by the stage name Hero. When he and the other members of JYJ left the group, however, he felt that it didn’t suit him anymore, as it was the name he used when all five of them were together. So now he goes by his real name, Kim Jaejoong.
On a somewhat rarer occasion, HA:TFELT changed from previously using her real name, Yeeun, when she was a member of Wonder Girls, to using a much more unique and unusual name that she now goes by as a soloist.
10. WOODZ (UNIQ)
On the same note as HA:TFELT, earlier in his days with UNIQ, WOODZ was known better by his stage name (and real name), Seungyoun. Since he’s become a solo artist, however, he’s much better known by his current stage name!
11. Lee Jinhyuk (UP10TION)
When he first debuted with UP10TION, Jinhyuk went by the stage name WEi. As a contestant on Produce X 101, though, he started going by his birth name, Lee Jinhyuk, and now both as a soloist and a member of UP10TION, he continues to use it as his stage name.
12. Kim Wooseok (UP10TION)
Wooseok’s story is pretty much the same as Jinhyuk’s! Originally he went by the stage name Wooshin when he first debuted with UP10TION, then started going by his real name Kim Wooseok as a contestant on Produce X 101 and as a member of X1. Now, he continues to use it as a soloist and member of UP10TION.
13. Kwon Eunbi
Before Eunbi appeared on Produce 48 and went by her real name as her stage name, she went by the name Kazoo as a member of the group Ye-A, which she debuted in all the way back in 2014.
14. RM (BTS)
Perhaps one of the most well-known cases of a mid-career name change on this list, RM decided to stop using his previous stage name, Rap Monster, in November 2017. He made the decision because he felt that “Rap Monster” no longer represented him or the music he creates.
15. Belle (cignature)
Before debuting in cignature, Belle was a member of the K-Pop groups GOOD DAY, which she debuted with in 2017. During that time, she went by the stage name lucky, and changed to Belle after she debuted with cignature.
16. Byeongkwan (A.C.E)
When Byeongkwan debuted with A.C.E in May 2017, he went by the stage name Jason at the time. He decided to change it to his real name in May 2018 after his real name, Kim Byeongkwan.
17. Joohoney (MONSTA X)
While Joohoney officially changed his stage name from Jooheon to Joohoney in February 2019, it seems that most fans still tend to call him by his former name, which is also his real name!
18. LEW (TEMPEST)
LEW used to go by his real name, Lee Euiwoong, when he competed on the second season of Produce 101 and as a member of the duo Hyeongseop x Euiwoong. It was only after debuting with TEMPEST that he changed to LEW — the initials of his real name — which confused some fans!