Article: 10 K-Pop Idols Who Overcame A Rough Childhood

From selling millions of copies to breaking multiple records of getting first place on billboards to getting nominated in GRAMMYS, the K-pop industry and the idols have left no stone unturned to prove their influence on the world. For most of the K-pop Idols, it was their eagerness to succeed but, for some, it was their only way to overcome their rough childhood and poverty. Behind all the glam and pretty smiles, here are ten incidents when K-pop idols went to depth and opened up about their personal lives, only to leave us in tears.

1. Leeteuk

He revealed that his parents did not have a good relationship in a TV show and separated when he was 15 years old. As a kid, his father would physically discipline him and, this would later leave him feeling bitter toward his father. When Leeteuk was in the military, he got notified that his father had killed his grandparents and himself because he couldn’t pay off his debt and his parent’s hospital bill. He left a note for Leeteuk where he wrote, ”Do you believe you achieved success all by yourself?”


2. Sunmi

When Sunmi was young, her dad was very ill. Her family was facing a financial crisis. She thought that becoming a celebrity was the fastest way to earn money. When Sunmi was 12 years old, she started auditioning for different agencies. She later got selected to train under JYPE at the age of 14. Sadly, her dad passed away three months before her debut.


3. Lu

While her parents worked hard to pay off their debt, she and her brother lived with her grandma. They had to live in a small room filled with cockroaches. Unable to live under such conditions, they quickly moved to their relative’s house, only to get verbally abused by them. She started auditioning to become a singer but failed several times. She also got scammed and lost money to someone who promised to help her debut.


4. Yunho

At just12-year, he had to do odd jobs to make money, as his family went bankrupt. He once stated that he thought his father was having an affair because he was leaving early at 4 am. He then followed his father, only to find out that he worked as a newsboy to earn extra money. When he expressed his desire to work as an idol, he was told to support himself and hence, was sleeping in subways until Junsu found out and let him stay with him.


5. Sandra Park

When Sandra was young, she lived in the Philippines due to the difficult financial situation that her dad left them in. Her father had a second family secretly in Korea. He left Dara’s family and took all of their money. She took a modeling job in the Philippines to make money. Dara then shifted to Korea to work as an idol and actress.


6. Suga

While working in a studio, where he sold lyrics at a much lower price, he only had two dollars per day to spend. He used those two dollars either for a meal or a ride home. When he was a trainee and worked part-time, he met with a dangerous accident on his way while delivering food. This accident left his shoulder uncomfortable for many years. He kept this a secret from his company because he was afraid that he would get fired. But when the company found out, they decided to support him so that he would not have to take any more jobs.


7. Tiffany

When Tiffany was 12, she lost her mother. Her dream was to become a K-pop idol but, her dad was strictly against it. When she passed the 2004 LA auditions, she convinced her father and went to Korea to chase her dream. She started her journey as a K-pop trainee when she was 15 years old. She even took tutoring jobs to support herself in Korea. Tiffany is her stage name and the name–her mother wanted to give her.


8. Jaejoong

His biological mother set him up for adoption when he was only three years old. She used to work at a restaurant but still couldn’t make enough money to feed her son. She even said that she had to feed him leftovers from the restaurant where she worked. In 2004, his birth mother found him when he debuted with TVXQ and, only then did Jaejoong get to know about his family history. Now, both the birth parent and adoptive parents are his legal guardians.


9. Taeyang

Taeyang, a member of one of the most popular K-pop boy groups, went through hardships in his early days. When he was only 13 years old, he left his family hoping that he could lessen the burden on his father. He decided to audition for different entertainment agencies looking for younger rappers. He got selected in YG and moved to Seoul.


10. Late Go Hara

When she was only seven, her parents separated, leaving her and her brother under the care of their grandmother. Her grandmother tried to raise her comfortably, even if she hardly had money. In middle school, her classmates bullied her because her parents abandoned her. When she was 15, she started auditioning for different agencies but failed. She then started working as a model after school hours to support herself. At the age of 18, she finally got selected under DSP and became a member of KARA in 2008.