2AM’s Jo Kwon Reveals How Little Money He Made After Slaving Away As A Rookie For 3 Years

Jo Kwon only slept an hour a day.

On a recent episode of SBS Plus’ Do You Eat?, 2AM‘s Jo Kwon opened up about his difficult days as a trainee and shared details about how little money he made when he started out.

Despite Jo Kwon’s success on variety shows in addition to his career as an idol, Jo Kwon confessed that he didn’t get paid for 3 years after his debut.

I got my first payment 3 years after my debut. We had our debut song, ‘This Song’, and I filmed a lot of commercials, but I was paying off the debut I accumulated over the 8 years I spent as a trainee.

– Jo Kwon

Jo Kwon explained that although that was how it was for most idols during those days, he thought about retiring because of his financial troubles.

The company pays for your accomodation, food, and training, but you had to pay it off once you debuted. But I went back home to Suwon once a year during the holidays, and I saw my mom washing her hair with cold water. She couldn’t pay her bills, so they cut off her hot water. And that’s when I said I’d retire.

– Jo Kwon

But Jo Kwon didn’t give up and took on as many jobs as he could so that he could pay off his debt faster, and that’s when he received his first payment after 3 years as an idol.

I asked my agency to give me as much work as possible so that I could pay off my debt faster. So I worked while only getting an hour of sleep a day. And then our song, ‘Never Let You Go’ took off, and I got my first payment in 3 years. I got 200,000 won (~$166 USD).

– Jo Kwon

Luckily, it all went up from there for Jo Kwon.

After that, I was paid as much as I worked. The first thing I did was buy my parents a house.

– Jo Kwon

But there’s no doubt that he overcame much hardship to get to where he is today.

Source: Dispatch