Rags to Riches: A Tale of the Road to Kpop Stardom!

Fame, fortune and stardom – the dream that entices many who desire living the Korean popstar lifestyle! Many are drawn to audition to enter the realm of Kpop stardom just to get a taste and feel of the extravagant and colorfully-designed life. However, a lot of Kpop’s most famous faces and favorite stars happened to fall into the industry by chance, accident and unintentionally!

We’re digging into how some of the biggest bands made their mark and broke out into the Kpop world!

  1. V from BTS

As one of the world famous members of BTS, V never intentionally set out to become famous. V initially went to support a friend at an audition for Big Hit Entertainment; however, the casting agents had something else in mind for the future BTS star.

V recounted that he danced, sang, beatboxed, rapped, played his saxophone – and with that, history was made. V was chosen to rule the world alongside his fellow BTS members.

2. Jungkook from BTS

Prior to BTS fame-dom, Jungkook sought out a career in badminton. However, when he saw Big Bang’s performance of “Heartbreaker,” the thoughts of badminton quickly went out the window as Jungkook knew he desired to influence the world. He first auditioned on Superstar K, the popular Korean talent search show, but did not find success there. Later, he went on to capture the attention of Big Hit Entertainment. He chose to sign with them as he idolized rapper, RM, also part of the Big Hit Entertainment family, expressing that RM was “so cool.”

3. Jackson Wang from Got7

Jackson Wang had dreams of being a professional fencer, following in the footsteps of his athletic father. But as fate would have it, Wang would be thrust into the Kpop life as the young athlete was scouted by JYP Entertainment. His good looks landed him an audition, and before he knew it, he beat over 2,000 applicants as the reigning champion. He made his debut with his band Got7 in 2014.

jackson wang

4. BamBam from Got7

Bambam, a Thailand-native, was introduced to Korean culture through his mother’s interest in the South Korean performer, Rain. His mother entered him into a 2007 cover dance competition in Thailand, where he won the opportunity to meet Rain and also become a trainee with JYP Entertainment. Soon after, he became a Got7 member, minting him in Kpop history.

5. Chamgmin from TVXQ

Changmin came to the Kpop world with the intention and mission to become famous for his mother. SM Entertainment has discovered Changmin while he was singing and playing badminton in his gym class. He did not want to become a singer, let alone be famous at all. His mother was the inciting factor as she wanted to enter and touch the Kpop world to meet her idol, Kpop star, BoA. Changmin auditioned and got a call three days later, and the rest is history!

6. Ryujin from Itzy

Ryujin did not rise to Kpop stardom the traditional way. she was at a Got7 event where she was spotted by a JYP Entertainment recruiter. The talent scout asked for her number, she reluctantly gave it out because she thought the recruiter was cute! The call obviously led to some big things for Ryujin as she became a part of the band Itzy.

7. Taeyong from NCT

Taeyong was discovered at the young age of 17. He was unaware of Kpop at the time when he was approached by a person who represented one of the “big three” agencies within Korean media. The reason he decided to accept the audition was solely because he was enticed with food. The artist expressed to the talk show, Happy Together, “Since they’re buying me good things, they must be good people, and I went.” He auditioned with the national anthem and was later signed to SM Entertainment.

8. Taehyun from TXT

Highly-sought after for his good looks and charm, Taehyun did not seek out talent agencies. In fact, Big Hit Entertainment wanted him. The desire to sign him to their label was so strong, that they went to his high school to pitch him. Taehyun took the opportunity, despite fame and fortune, purely for the reason that it was close to his home.

9. Lucas from NCT

Lucas auditioned in Hong Kong for SM Entertainment. Lucas came unprepared; however, his model-like appearance and natural ease in front of the camera secured him a place in the SM Entertainment family, as he came to prominence in the band NCT.

10. Tiffany Pink from Girls’ Generation

Tiffany of Girls’ Generation is known for her love of the color pink – pink ice cream, pink clothing, pink cars, pink EVERYTHING. In 2004, Tiffany attended the Korean Festival held in Los Angeles, where she received many agency cards. She just so happened to choose SM Entertainment’s as it was completely pink! That being said, she made the call, connected with the entertainment agency, and Girls’ Generation came to be!

Written by Alyssa G.

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