Article: Top 10 K-Pop Who Debuted With Less Than One Year Training

K-pop idol hopefuls put hours upon hours of work to have a shot at stardom. Some trainees have been part of management companies for years so that they could have their chance at debuting. More extended training programs ensure that idols are at their best when they debut, but also because of the vast amount of individuals trying out for K-pop groups training years stretch on for a long. Yoona from Girl’s Generation was a K-pop trainee for eight years, while Jimin from BTS was a trainee for just six months. While less than a year of trainee months isn't common, it isn't unheard of either. Look at the top 10 kpop idols who debuted with less than one year of training!

1. Aria From X: IN

Aria is the second K-pop idol to be of Indian descent. She's the rapper of the fifth-generation girl group X: IN. In 2022, she joined GBK Entertainment as a trainee via their online program. After six months of training, she was announced as part of the MEP-C girl group. For some reason, Aria left that group, but soon after joined X: IN as the rapper and maknae. Since then, she has performed in prestigious music festivals such as Inkigayo and Music Bank. Most recently, Aria and X: IN came to India to perform at the K-Wave festival in Bangalore.

2. Jimin From BTS

Yes, you read that right. The rapper from one of the most successful K-pop boy bands ever had a short training program! In 2023, he joined the trainee line-up that eventually became BTS. He made his debut with BTS’s debut single No More Dream after being a trainee at BIGHIT Entertainment for six months. While still in BTS, Jimin released three songs, Lie, Serendipity, and Filter. The singer is praised for his superb vocals. which fans define as sweet and delicate.

3. Suzy From Miss A

Bae Suzy is a singer and actress. She was a former member of the girl group Miss A. Her process of becoming a K-pop idol is a random one. In 2009., went to audition for Mnet Superstar K but was eliminated after clearing the preliminary round. She was looking for a bathroom after her audition and was spotted by a JYP Entertainment scout and was extended an offer to be a trainee under the company. After ten months of training, she debuted with Miss A as its maknae. After venturing into acting while still pursuing her singing career with Miss A, Suzy made her solo debut in 2017 with the album Yes? No? In December of the same year, Miss A disbanded, but Suzy renewed her contract and became a solo artist under JYP.

4. Baekhyun From EXO

Baekhyun’s singing dreams started as early as age 11 when he took formal training while in school. He was the lead singer in his high school band, Honsusangtae.  While preparing for his college entrance exams to Seoul Institute of Arts, he was approached by a talent scout who worked for SM Entertainment. After 8-10 months of training, he debuted in 2012 with the boy band EXO. Along with fellow bandmate Suho, he hosted SBS’s show Inkigayo for many years. In 2019, he debuted as a solo artist, the third EXO member to do so, with his extended play (EP) City Lights.

5. Youngjae From GOT7

Choi Young Jae, mononymously known as Youngjae, is the lead vocalist of the South Korean boy band GOT7. He enrolled in a music academy in his hometown of Mokpo to fulfill his dreams of pursuing music professionally. Youngjae passed a closed audition organized by JYP Entertainment and became a trainee and was part of the line-up consisting of GOT7. While other GOT7 members have around 2 years of training, Youngjae debuted with just seven months. He was already a skilled vocalist when he joined JYP and mainly had to work on his dancing skills under the traineeship program.

6. Jiwoo from KARD

KARD is a K-pop girl group originating in South Korea. The band name’s four letters represent its four constituent members, with member Jiwoo denoting the letter ‘R.’ While attending Chungdam High School, an FNC Entertainment scout approached her, and she signed a trainee contract with the company. She trained under FNC for five years, then switched to DSC Media. Under her new management company, she debuted with KARD with just two months of training!

7. Seungri From BIGBANG

Lee Seung Yoon, stage name Seungri, is a former member of the popular band BIGBANG and quite a controversial K-pop idol. In the reality survival show BIGBANG DOCUMENTARY, Seungri barely managed to make the cut. After persuading manager Yang Hyun Suk to give him a shot at debuting, he joined BIGBANG in 2006. The band gained massive popularity, and their songs were at the top of many streaming charts.

8. Eunji From Apink

In 2016, Eunji auditioned to be a member of the girl group Apink, which she passed. Under her management company, she trained for just two months before she debuted as Apink’s main vocalist with the songs “Mollayo” and “Wishlit”. During her audition, Eunji impressed the judges so much that they thought she barely needed any training and made her the group’s main vocalist. Eunji was Apink’s final member, added to the line-up when the girl group was just weeks away from debuting.

9. Yura From Girl’s Day

Yura is the stage name of Kim Ah Young, a South Korean actress and singer. Yura and her fellow bandmate Hyeri were replacement members of Girl’s Day when members Ji In and Ji Sun left the group in 2010. Girl’s Day had debuted a couple of months before when Yura became a part of it, so she was only a trainee for one month. Apart from her singing career, she has a pretty successful acting career too, with acting credits in television series like Forecasting Love and Weather, Radio Romance, and Now, We Are Breaking Up.

10. Hyuk From VIXX

Hyuk was a part of Mnet’s survival reality show MyDOL as a contestant. He made it into the final line-up consisting of boy band VIXX members and debuted as the group’s main dancer, vocalist, and maknae. Before he was a contestant in MyDOl, Hyuk trained for just three months. In 2022, VIXX’s management company Jellyfish Entertainment announced that Hyuk had parted from the company, however, he will continue to do promotion stuff for the group.