Former Male Idol Stars Re-inventing Themselves As Solo Artists Or Entertainers
Becoming an idol is a dream for many teenagers. These former idols overcame the hardships of auditioning and becoming idol trainees. They endure a long and exhausting period of idol training. Unfortunately, many of the trainees don’t even get to debut as members of an idol group.
These extremely talented artists managed to overcome the grueling process of becoming an idol. Sadly or luckily, depending on your point of view, they decided to leave behind their idol status and pursue a solo career as an artist, actor, or TV personality. They shed their idol image and made their own name in the entertainment industry.
In this article, Channel-Korea will talk about male artists who are still successful after leaving their former idol groups. So, stay tuned and keep scrolling down!
Jay Park (2PM)
Jay Park if a former member of Korean boy band 2PM. The boy band was formed by JYP Entertainment in 2008. Jay Park debuted with 2PM after undergoing a training period of 4 years. 2PM gained popularity for their tough and manly image rather than a cute boy band image.
In 2009, Jay Park returned to his country after his derogatory comments about Korea surfaced. He wrote the comments in 2005 during his volatile teenage days in the United States. Jay Park officially left 2PM in 2010.
In 2013, he returned to Korea and started his own independent, hip-hop genre music label, AOMG (Above Ordinary Music Group). His dedication to the hip-hop music genre has proven to be a huge success. The artists from his label topped the popular Korean music charts within only 2 years.
He ventured out from the music industry and joined the popular skit-comedy program, Saturday Night Live Korea. His participation in SNL Korea resulted in a sudden rating improvement.
Jay Park or Park Jae-bom regularly released 3-6 music singles every year since his debut as a solo artist in 2012. On April 25th, 2020, he released his latest single “All The Way Up.” His fortune is estimated to be worth more than 2 million USD.
Jung Jin-young (Jin-young B1A4)
Jung Jin-young, popularly known as Jin-young of B1A4, is a talented singer, songwriter, music producer, and actor. He debuted under LINK8 Management in April 2011 after going through a training period of 2 years. During his B1A4 days, he starred in the box-office movie Miss Granny and the popular K-drama Love In The Moonlight.
Jin-young left LINK8 Management and B1A4 on June 30th, 2018, to focus on his solo career. Since leaving B1A4, Jinyoung continued pursuing a career in acting. He starred in the movie The Dude In Me in 2019. In June 2019, Jinyoung joined the military to fulfill his mandatory military service.
Zico (BLOCK B)
Zico debuted as a member of Korean idol group BLOCK B in 2011. Before debuting in the mainstream music industry, he debuted with Park Kyung as part of the rapper duo Harmonics. BLOCK B sued their label management for not paying their fees for a year and for money embezzlement. Due to the lawsuit, BLOCK B decided to terminate their contract with Stardom Entertainment and moved to Seven Seasons Entertainment. Zico decided not to renew his contract with Seven Season Management in November 2018.
After leaving Seven Seasons, Zico announced the creation of his own music label company, King of the Jungle Entertainment (KOZ) in January 2019. He was selected as Seoul Goodwill Ambassador by Seoul City mayor, Park Won-soon. Zico released his viral single “Any Song” in January 2020. “Any Song” became a global internet sensation and claimed top position at all Korean music charts. On April 23rd, 2020, Zico collaborated with Kang Daniel in the production of the album For the Love of Korea. The album consists of one hit-single, “Refresh.”
Luhan, Tao, and Kris (EXO)
EXO is a global idol group of Korean and Chinese members. EXO was formed by SM Entertainment in 2011. EXO became one of the most popular idol groups in 2013.
In May 2014, Kris decided to file a lawsuit against the label company, SM Entertainment, and asked for termination of his contract. Kris claimed that SM Entertainment gave unfair profit distribution and paid little attention to his health and freedom. Later in 2014, Luhan followed Kris and sued SM Entertainment for preferential treatment of Korean members. The following year, the third Chinese member, Tao, also filed a lawsuit again SM Entertainment for lacking support for his health and his career development. Although Luhan, Tao, and Kris were removed from EXO, they remained in contract with SM Entertainment until 2015.
Currently, Luhan, Tao, and Kris gained huge popularity in their home country and overseas. They received numerous advertisement contracts in China. In 2018, Luhan became the highest-paid artist in China while Kris’ song “Like That” debuted at the No. 73 position on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart.
Lee Ho-dong (Hoya INFINITE)
Lee Ho-dong is a former member of boy band INFINITE. In 2010, he joined INFINTE as the rapper and vocalist. Lee Ho-dong is also known as Hoya or Lee Ho-won of INFINITE. Hoya left INFINITE and his previous label, Woollim Entertainment in June 2017. After leaving INFINITE, Hoya continues to pursue a career as an actor. He starred in his musical debut Hourglass and MBC’s drama Two Cops. He was nominated for Best New Actor at the 2017 MBC Drama Awards for his role in Radiant Office.
Lee Joon (MBLAQ)
Lee Joon is a former member of Korean idol group MBLAQ. Before debuting as an MBLAQ member, Lee Joon participated in small roles in commercial advertisements and comedy dramas. Lee Joon debuted as an MBLAQ member in October 2009. Throughout his MBLAQ career, Lee Joon occasionally appeared in variety shows, dramas, and movies.
After a mere 5 years of activity as a member of MBLAQ, Lee Joon stepped out of MBLAQ and decided to pursue a solo career. He received his first acting award after performing in the comedy drama Heard it Through the Grapevine in 2015. In 2016, he acted alongside veteran actor Yoo Hae-jin in the box-office movie Luck Key. Lee Joon enlisted to mandatory military service in October 2017 and was discharged in December 2019. Currently, Lee Joon is hosting the radio program Lee Joon’s Youngstreet on SBS Power FM.
Kim Myung-soo (L INFINITE)
Kim Myung-soo debuted as a member of boy band INFINITE in 2010. He was popular as iNFINITE’S L. INFINITE’s first studio album, Over The Top, recorded as the best selling album in 2013.
During his INFINITE activities, Kim Myung-soo occasionally performed small roles in TV and web dramas. He started gaining positive reviews as an actor after performing in the MBC historical drama The Emperor: Owner of the Mask. He reached peak popularity after starring in the KBS2 drama Angel’s Last Mission Love and winning several awards at the 2019 KBS Drama Awards. He decided against continuing his contract with Woollim Entertainment and joined Management 2Sang in 2019.
Kim Myung-soo made another leading role appearance after leaving Woollim Entertainment. He starred in the KBS2 drama Welcome that was based on a popular webtoon series.
That was all the information about male idols reaching more success after leaving their former groups. Kindly share your opinion about their recent solo career success in the comment section below.