It’s an unfortunate reality in the world of K-Pop that many new idol groups are put into heavy financial debt by their companies, and many of them don’t earn any money at all for the first few years after their debut. Companies usually justify the terms of the contract by saying that the group must first pay back the money spent on their training, accommodations, and other things the company provided for them.
Thankfully as time went on and these practices were exposed as being abusive and unfair, more idols received more reasonable contracts. A recent example is the girl group NewJeans, which operates under the record label ADOR.
In a recent appearance on You Quiz On The Block hosted by Yoo Jae Suk and Jo Seho, the CEO of ADOR, Min Hee Jin, revealed that, due to the enormous success of their first release, the group was paid their first salary soon after their debut, which was a massive achievement in the K-Pop industry.
Minji then revealed that the first thing she bought after being paid were gifts for her parents, showing how loving and appreciative of a daughter she was. She explained, “I’m still getting money from my parents. So, to show my gratitude, I wanted to get them a gift with my own money.”
Hyein, NewJeans’ maknae (the Korean word for the youngest in the group), cutely shared that she used her salary to buy $90 USD worth of keychains!
Although it initially seemed like a shallow purchase, Hyein explained her more profound thought process saying that she had always wanted to buy keychains but felt sorry for asking her mother to spend so much on her. Now that she had her own money, she could proudly buy them without burdening her parents.
Both Minji and Hyein both showed that they were wise beyond their years by being appreciative of the sacrifices their parents made for them. They showed a deep understanding that achieving their dreams of becoming an idol wouldn’t be possible without their mom and dad. Their humility at a young age speaks volumes about the kind of celebrities they are!
Watch the full interview below. NewJeans talk about receiving their first salaries and how they spent them at the 10:59 mark.