As it looks like teenagers are debuting more regularly, there has been an increase in the number of discussions concerning what the appropriate age is for K-Pop idols to debut. However, launching trainees at such young ages is not unusual, and there have been numerous cases of very young youngsters becoming K-Pop idols in the last decade or so. Here are ten such idols who made their debut as teenagers.
1. Krystal - f(x)
Chrystal Soo Jung, known by her stage name Krystal, is a South Korean and American singer and actress. She debuted as a member of the girl group f(x) in 2009 under SM Entertainment. She is the sister of a Korean-American singer, actress, songwriter, and author who debuted with the girl group Girl’s Generation. Krystal, with her sister, was visiting South Korea from America, where she was born, when she was spotted by SM Entertainment at the age of five. She later debuted on September 5, 2009, with f(x) when she was a teenager of 14 years.
2. Taemin – SHINee
Lee Tae Min, known professionally as Taemin, is a singer, dancer, and actor. He debuted with the boy band SHINee under SM Entertainment in May 2008 and the supergroup SuperM in 2019. He is considered “Idol’s Idol” because a lot of other idols consider him their inspiration. He made his solo debut in 2014 with the Extended Play (EP) Ace. When he debuted with SHINee on 25th May 2008, Taemin was 14 years and 10 months old.
3. Sunmi – Wonder Girls
Lee Sun-mi, known popularly as Sunmi, is a singer, dancer, record producer, and songwriter. She debuted as a member of the girl group Wonder Girls on 10 February 2007. Sunmi was a teenager of 14 years and 9 months old at the time of her debut.
4. Hayoung – Apink
Oh Ha-Young, known by her stage name Hayoung, is a singer and actress. She debuted as a member of the girl group Apink on 19th April 2011. She was just a fourteen-years-old teenager when she debuted. She was the third member of the group to be introduced to the audience.
5. Sohee – Wonder Girls
Ahn So-Hee, also known as Sohee, is an actress and singer. She once belonged to the Wonder Girls, a South Korean girl group.. She has worked in the film Train To Busan (2016). When she was 12 years old, she became a trainee with JYP Entertainment, and at 14 years, she debuted with Wonder Girls on 10th February 2007.
6. Dahyun – Rocket Punch
Jeong Dahyun, better known by the mononym Dahyun, is a singer under Woollim Entertainment. She debuted with the girl group Rocket Punch on 7th August 2019 with the mini album Pink Punch. She was 14 years, 3 months and 9 days old when she debuted with the band Rocket Punch.
7. Hyein – New Jeans
Lee Hye-In, known by her stage name Hyein, is a singer. She was a member of the first generation of the kid group U.SSO Girl under the stage name U.jeong. They debuted on 7th November 2017 with the song “Go Go Sing.” On August 1, 2022, Hyein debuted with the girl group New Jeans under ADOR. When she made her debut with New Jeans on 1st August, she was a 14-year-old teenager.
8. Chenle – NCT DREAM
Zhong Chenle, known by her stage name Chenle, is a Chinese singer and actor who works predominantly in the South Korean entertainment industry. He was invited to sing solo at Vienna's Golden Hall when he was nine years old, making him the venue's youngest performer ever. In 2016, he debuted as a member of the boy band NCT through the sub-unit NCT DREAM under SM Entertainment. Chenle was just 14 years and 9 months old when he debuted with NCT DREAM.
9. HyunA – Wonder Girls
Kim Hyun-Ah, better known by her stage name HyunA, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, rapper, and model. She debuted with the South Korean girl group Wonder Girls in February 2007 under JYP Entertainment. After she left the group and JYP Entertainment, she went on to join the girl group 4Minute under Cube Entertainment. When she debuted with the girl group Wonder Girls on 10th February 2007, HyunA was a 14-year-old teenager.
10. Mire - TRI.BE
Aoyagi Sumire, known by her stage name Mire, is a Japanese singer and dancer based in South Korea. She is a member of the South Korean girl group TRI.BE under TR Entertainment. She was the first member to be introduced to the audience. Mire was 14 years, ten months, and 22 days old when she made her TRI.BE debuted on February 17, 2021.