Article: Top 10 Former K-Pop Idols Who Now Have Regular Jobs

The world of K-pop is a glitzy one in the eyes of the viewers. The ostentatious outfits, the glam red carpet events, and the adoration of millions of fans are what most people see what they think of K-pop idols. K-pop idols are the subject of reverence and love by many fans and viewers worldwide. Even if that is the case, some idols do end up leaving their current groups and management for other groups or try their hand at being a soloist. But some choose the leave the entertainment industry entirely and choose to have regular jobs. Here we have compiled a list of top 10 former idols who left the industry and opted for regular jobs instead!

1. Kwon Mina

Mononymously known as Mina, Mina debuted in the girl group AOA in 2012. She served as the group’s sub-vocalist, bass member, and main rapper. Mina was an actor as well and made her foray into the entertainment industry with the show Adolescence Medley in 2013. After her father’s death, she took some time off to recover from the traumatic event and opted out of doing promotional stuff for the group. In 2019, she left AOA and her management company FNC Entertainment as well. She joined two companies between 2019 and 2020 as an actress. But left soon after. Currently, Mina is not affiliated with any company and now works as a Skin Care shop manager in Huam-Dong.

2. Yuna

Yuna, another former member of the girl group AOA, also makes it into this list. Born Seo Yu-Na, she is the younger sister of Berry Good member Seoyul. She made her singing debut as a vocalist of AOA on Mnet’s M! Countdown. Moreover, Yuna was part of AOA’s subunit group AOA Cream. She also had a minor, lesser-known acting career and played roles in shows like Summer Snow, Prince’s Prince, and Marry Him If You Dare. When her contract with FNC Entertainment expired in 2021, she chose not to renew it and thus left the company. After gaining 200 hours of training, she now works as a yoga instructor.

3. Rubin

Rubin is a former member of the South Korean boy band 1TEAM, in which he was the leader, main visual, and lead vocalist. After being a trainee for more than eight years, he debuted as 1TEAM member in 2019. He also appeared in survival shows like BOYS24 and MixNine but didn’t make it to the finals. The band disbanded in 2021, and Rubin began working as a tattoo artist under the name Tattooist Colin.

4. Somyi

Somyi joined the girl group DIA in 2017. Along with singer Jingeun, Somyi was the newest member of the group and worked on their sophomore studio album YOLO. Later, she became part of DIA’s sub-unit BCHCH and released the unit’s third mini album Love Generation in 2017. In 2022, PocketDol Studio announced that Somyi had terminated her contract and was leaving the group owing to health reasons. She now works as a broadcast jockey (BJ) at Panda TV. In an interview on Attack on Sisters, Somyi revealed that she had to leave DIA and take up a job as BJ due to her family’s struggling financial condition.

5. Lea

South Korean-American singer, actor, Youtuber, and model Chung Lea is known by her stage name Lea (J’Lea). She debuted in 2017 as the maknae (youngest member) of the girl group VIVA.  She is also the older sibling of TXT member Hueningkai and Kep1er’s Huening. Following the release of their self-titled album “VIVA”, the group stopped putting out new music for some reason. In 2019, the group was presumed to have been disbanded. Lea launched her YouTube channel in 2020 and has been an active content creator since then. She is now a fully-fledged model and influencer, and made her solo debut in 2021 with the song “A Good to Love”.

6. Jisoo

Jisoo was a member of the JLine Entertainment-backed girl group Tahiti, where she was the band’s main vocalist. Before Tahiti’s debut in 2012, they launched their reality show called Ta-Dah! Its Tahiti. Two original members (Ari and Hanhee) left the group around the time the reality show ended. In 2017, Jisoo took a break from performing, citing health issues (panic disorder and depression), and subsequently dropped out of Tahiti later that year. Now a married woman and an expecting mother, Jisoo works as a pilates instructor.

7. Kyla

Kyla Massie, stage name Kyla, is a former member of the South Korean K-pop band Pristin and an independent singer-songwriter, Youtuber, and rapper. “Prisitin” debuted in 2017 with their album Hi! Pristin and their debut single Wee Woo. Just a couple of months after the group debut, Kyla disclosed that she is taking a break from showbiz to receive treatment for her concussion in America. Two years later, Pledis, the management company of Pristin, announced the official disbandment of the group. After Pristin dissolved, some internet photos surfaced in which Kyla was seen working as a cashier in a Los Angeles Carnival. In 2020, Kyla made her American debut with the mini album “Watch Me Glow”.

8. Mijung

In 1998, girl group O24 became synonymous with Korean hip hop with their hits like Live In Hip Hop and Growing Up. Originally a quartet, O24 became a three-member group when member Yeunjung left in 1998. The group was struggling from the start with their album sales and disbanded in 2004. Former O24 member Mijung became a reporter for SBS after the group fell through. Mijung later worked as an English teacher too.

9. Kyne

Kyne had an on-and-off working relationship with the boy band 5tion. The group was super popular in the early 2000s, and Kyne was one of the founding members of the band. Now consisting of five members, 5tion went to a plethora of members during its active year, with the member’s line-up changing frequently. Kyne joined 5tion in 2001, left in 2006, again joined in 2012, and left again for the final time in 2014. After he left the band in 2006, he began to dabble in business and went on to become the CEO of a men’s clothing band. He briefly left his business position when he rejoined 5tion in 2012. Now, years after leaving the band, he continues to work in his business venture.

10. Sunghee

Sunghee, born Kim Sung Hee debuted as a K-pop idol in 2007 with the girl group KARA. However, after being a part of the group for less than a year, she had to leave the group due to parental pressure and revoked her contract with KARA’s management company DSP Media.  She now works as a voice coach.