Some idols were a little older when they first became famous, and still absolutely slayed.
Let’s take a look at those who started a little later than most:
1. Park Sojin (Girl’s Day)
Sojin always dreamt of becoming a singer. While attending university she dedicated herself to working multiple part-time jobs while attending singing lessons to accomplish her goal. Being the perfectionist she is, it took her four years to even audition for a company. Fortunately, when she did, she was accepted into Dream Tea Entertainment who created Girl’s Day. Sojin debuted at the age of 26 in 2010 and has an eight-year gap with the youngest member Hyeri.
2. Park Bom (2NE1)
Bom actually auditioned for YG Entertainment for three straight years. She didn’t want to audition for any other label, deciding that if Yank Hyunsuk (YG’s CEO) didn’t want her then she wasn’t ready to debut and would wait until she was. Her debut came in 2009 with 2NE1 at the age of 25.
3. Dara (2NE1)
Dara become a Filipino celebrity when she auditioned for the first season of Star Circle Quest in 2004. She was so popular that her extended play ‘Sandara’ sold over 100,000 copies and she would go on to film commercials and dramas in the Philippines. Dara moved to South Korea, signing a contract with YG Entertainment in 2007 and then debuted with 2NE1 in 2009 at the age of 24.
4. Kahi (After School)
Before her debut, Kahi used to be a backup dancer for BoA. After years of being a professional dancer, she turned her sights onto singing, joining group S. Blush in 2006, which unfortunately disbanded soon after. It was in 2007 when Kahi contacted Pledis Entertainment about starting up a girl group. In 2009 After School debuted with Kahi as their leader at the age of 26 with their first single ‘Ah!’.
5. Park Joon Hyung (g.o.d.)
Park Joon flew to South Korea in 1997 with dreams of creating a group that had Asian and Western inspirations. He met with Park Jin Young (JYP Entertainment founder) and held auditions to create the group. His cousin Danny Ahn was one of the successful members. He debuted with group ‘g.o.d,’ which stands for ‘Groove Over Dose’ in 1999 when he was 30 years old. His dream came true with g.o.d. selling millions of records.
6. Lee Jae-woong (TROY)
Jae-woong planned on being a snowboarder when he was young but unfortunately - due to injury and financial reasons - he had to quit. His next venture was modelling, where he was quite successful, and then he was found by Brand New Music. In 2014 TROY debuted with their single ‘Green Light’ when Jae-woong was 33.
7. Cao Lu (FIESTAR)
Cao Lu won the 2004 CCTV singing contest, which allowed her to debut as a solo artist in China. She worked under the stage name Lulu and released an album called Cat in 2005. It was in 2012 when she made her Korean debut with FIESTAR at the age of 25. Since then she has become popular individually due to her variety show appearances captivating audiences with her funny, honest and unique personality.
8. Jisung (Wanna One)
Jisung rose to fame as a contestant on Produce 101: Season 2 and was the oldest trainee on the music show at 26 years old (after Park Seungwoo was eliminated). Before being placed in Wanna One, he was reaching the point where he was considering giving up his dream, having trained for five years and three months without debuting. Before Produce he'd even received his letter to attend military duty. He's now known as the leader of Wanna One and the unofficial 'mum' of the group!
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