13 K-Pop Idols Who Got Their Start On YouTube

These idols might not have debuted, if it wasn’t for YouTube.

1. Tzuyu (TWICE)

Around 2012, Tzuyu‘s dance school filmed her at a recital and uploaded the video to YouTube, where JYP Entertainment’s casting team came across it. Tzuyu’s face barely shows in this video, but the agency knew she had the talent they were looking for!

She’s now part of one of the biggest girl groups in K-Pop!


2. Momo (TWICE)

JYP Entertainment also discovered Momo through YouTube. After seeing a video of Momo’s dancing, the agency’s casting team asked Momo to audition.

She and her older sister both tried out, but only Momo passed the audition. After discussing things with her family, Momo moved to Korea and began training with JYP Entertainment. Now, like Tzuyu, she is part of TWICE!


3. Ailee

Ailee is one of the best-known examples of YouTubers-turned-idols. This powerful soloist rose to internet stardom by posting singing covers on her channel, aileemusic. Her most popular cover is “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. It was posted in 2009 and currently has over 1 million views.

Before training as an idol, Ailee tried to break out in the US music industry instead. She even performed on an episode of The Maury Show!


4. Jay Park

After Jay Park left 2PM in 2009, he had to essentially start his career over from scratch. He could have easily faded into obscurity after he returned to the USA, but Jay Park isn’t someone who gives up easily. He kept making music and posting it to YouTube. Jay Park’s cover of B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” received over 2 million views in less than 24 hours and his YouTube popularity eventually led to a new record deal. Jay Park’s original YouTube channel, jayparkaom, no longer exists, but he does have a new one: JAYPARKOFFICIAL.


5. Wendy (Red Velvet)

Wendy has loved to sing since she was 6 years old, but in addition to singing, she is also a talented pianist, guitarist, flutist, and saxophonist. Wendy’s friend uploaded a video of Wendy’s singing, which quickly went viral. After receiving encouragement from commenters, she decided to upload more videos and pursue singing.

In 2011, she submitted an online audition for Koreaboo: Cube Entertainment’s Global Auditions. She was one of fifteen finalists selected by Koreaboo from over 5,000 videos to continue to the final round in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and open for G.NA’s first solo showcase. The rest, as they say, is history!


6. Young K (DAY6)

During high school, Young K and two friends formed a band called 3rd Degree. The trio performed around Toronto and uploaded videos to YouTube. These uploads included original songs composed by Young K.

In 2010, Young K and his bandmate, Don Lee, were contacted by JYP Entertainment and were accepted as trainees. Don Lee eventually dropped out of training to focus on school, but Young K went on to debut in Day6.


7. Eric Nam

Before Eric Nam was an idol, he was a YouTuber who posted singing covers on his channel, EricSinging.

After seeing his covers, MBC decided to fly him from the USA to Korea so he could audition in person. From YouTube to stardom, this talented singer certainly has come along way!


8. Yuju (GFRIEND)

Yuju only has two videos on her YouTube channel, Yuna Choi, but both those videos have received a lot of love since she posted them 4 years ago.

Her cover of Frozen‘s “Let It Go” currently has over 470k views. Her powerful vocals will definitely give you chills!


9. B.M (K.A.R.D)

B.M uploaded dance videos under the name bigmatheww that show off his raw talent.

His freestyles are pure fire. After watching them, it’s clear that this B.M from 2012 was an idol just waiting for his shot at stardom!


10. Jae (Day6)

Like Young K, Jae rose to popularity on YouTube prior to debut. He has uploaded dozens of covers on his YouTube channel, yellowpostitman, since 2009.

Even in his earliest videos, his talent is undeniable. Fans will forever be grateful that he chose to share his incredible vocal abilities with the world!


11. Ashley (Ladies Code)

Before Ashley joined Ladies Code, she was uploading K-Pop dance covers to her channel, ashleych0i. Her dance covers have since been deleted, but her channel is still active. Now Ashley posts primarily vlogs and travel videos for her fans!


12. KASPER (former Play The Siren member)

Under the channel name 11x11PM, this star rapper used to upload hilarious rants and singing covers. She later moved on to rapping and produced her own mixtapes, originals, and covers, prior to joining Unpretty Rapstar and becoming a trainee.

KASPER’s channel is still active, and she regularly posts vlogs, product reviews, and makeup tutorials.


13. Rome (former C-Clown member)

Rome is a man of many talents, and dancing is just one of them. Prior to debuting, he began posting b-boying videos as early as 2008. Although most of these videos have since been deleted or set to private, they garnered a lot of praise from his fans back in the day.

Rome decided to move from Australia to Korea to pursue his dream and eventually debuted with C-Clown.