The Only Female Idol To Debut At 28 Years Old

She is legendary!

As more K-Pop groups debut, the members’ ages are often brought up when discussing the industry’s impact on the idols.

Earlier last year, there was much debate over NewJeans‘ promotion activities as all members were underage at the time to the point of suggesting age restrictions.

NewJeans | ADOR

This isn’t new, as many idols started in the industry at very young ages, like NCT’s Jisung and IVE‘s Jang Wonyoung.

NCT’s Jisung
IVE’s Jang Wonyoung

While younger debuts are the trend, many idols are currently challenging this status quo. Last year, the boy group XEED debuted with their youngest member being 27 years old, while a 26-year-old female idol is preparing for her debut.

XEED | Nature Space

This doesn’t mean there weren’t older idols in the past — in fact, the oldest female idol to debut was 28 years old!

In 2009, the girl group After School debuted with a line-up of five members, including leader Kahi.

After School at debut
After School’s Kahi

Kahi was born in 1980, making her nearly 29 when After School began promotions. The star was an active group member until her graduation in mid-2012, continuing as a solo artist under Pledis until her contract ended in 2015.

| Sure Fit

In 2016, the star married her husband and gave birth to their first child that October.

While many female idols who get married settle down for a life outside the limelight, Kahi was not one of them! In addition to working as a judge on the first two seasons of Produce 101, Kahi returned to the stage first in June 2021 as part of a reunited After School line-up.

Kahi was also one of the members of Mamadol, a group of former idols who left the spotlight to become mothers. Throughout eight episodes, the idols competed for positions in the group and released a single before their disbandment.

| TvN
| Mnet

These days, Kahi is enjoying life with her husband and two sons, remaining most active on Instagram, where she posts lifestyle content!

What a legend!