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When Do Kpop Idols Retire?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Kpop idols normally retire after 10+ years of actively promoting. The average of when idols normally retire is around 30. This is when people start to look older, and skin starts to go age. However, there are some idols that are still promoting, and they are 30+.

Being an idol is pretty hard, and people normally don’t realize this. The entertainment industry is very harsh on idols and mostly aren’t treated fairly. Idols like G-dragon have been promoting for many years now and are still relevant.

The average time idols are actively are promoting is, on average, around ten years. What mostly happens is if the idols stop promoting, they go into retirement. Another thing that happens often is that idols move into a different industry. 

Idols are basically celebrities and can do anything from acting to music producing. G-Dragon has released his own shoe, which was a huge hype. It sold out almost instantly. As you can see, idols don’t always immediately retire after their music career is over.

Why Is Kpop So Popular?

Kpop has become more and more popular because the industry is growing. More idols are becoming worldwide known celebrities and start to have more impact on teenagers. In the last five years, Korea has become such a hot spot for people to visit.

Kpop plays a huge part in that role, and still to this day, it’s one of the most visited countries in Asia. Some people even stay permanently in Korea because they love it that much. This doesn’t often happen because adapting yourself to a whole new country takes a lot of time.

The genre Kpop itself might be slowly dying after 5 to 10 years because the fans get older. They will have other interests and move to the next chapter in their life.

The same goes for the idols. Once they get around the 30+ mark, they will start a family and probably start a business or do regular TV shows. You see this very often with retired idols. They start their own company in the music industry or follow their passion.

Even if you don’t like Kpop, you’ve probably heard of it every couple of months. This is because Kpop has become more and more mainstream, which makes the genre even more popular.

Why Is Kpop So Popular

Is Kpop Popular In South Korea?

Kpop itself is pretty popular in South Korea. Everyone knows about it and has listened to it. However, it’s not as popular as it was before. Many years ago, Kpop was extremely popular, and everyone in South Korea was listening to it.

In the last couple of years, more and more people have found other genres that they like. This can be anything from Hip-hop to classic. I personally think that Kpop won’t last that long because it’s a genre, and once the fans grow older, they will start liking other genres more.

A group like BTS might look very popular in Korea, but most of their fans are from overseas. You might be thinking that it’s weird, but that’s the truth. Keep in mind that it’s not like they aren’t popular in Korea, but a group like EXO is more well known among the Korean citizens.

Groups like EXO promote more actively in Korea while a group like BTS focuses on worldwide countries. There’s more revenue over there, and it’s a smart move by the companies.

Another thing that you’ve might have noticed is that entertainment companies have started scouting young trainees overseas because it creates diversification among the company.

When you have trainees from overseas, it’s easily possible to promote in the origin of the trainee’s countries without making it look forced.

Is Kpop Popular In South Korea

Are Kpop Idols Slaves?

No, idols aren’t salves, but they often sign a slave contract, which makes the outside think they are salves. The contract is, on average, around 10 years, and this happens when they are Kpop trainees. They are stuck to that contract, and if they want to move on, they are fined.

Many people don’t like a contract like this, but they don’t have another choice. If you’re a trainee and want desperately to make a debut, you have no other choice to sign a contract. Some companies like JYP Entertainment do have a decent contract in comparison to others.

However, keep in mind that idols are still slaves no matter what contract they sign. The public opinion is very harsh and always will think that way. It’s gotten over the years, and contracts are getting better each year.

This is because people pick it up and pity the idols, especially when an idol has dedicated their lives to the company. Once the idol becomes successful, the company benefits the most in terms of revenue. If you look at it in terms of popularity, the company gets more known, but most people still don’t know much about the company.

Why Is Kpop So Strict?

Kpop is strict because the idols sign a “slave” contract, which makes them have to abide by the rules the company makes. This is also with actors, singers, and dancers that work for the company. The majority only knows about the idols signing slave contracts.

If an idol blows up and gets extremely popular, the company wants to make sure the idol doesn’t leave. That’s why the contracts are build up that way. Even if the idol wants to leave the first year after debut and three years later he scores a hit like PSY did with Gangnam Style.

Why Is Kpop So Strict

The company thinks they made them and want a part of the revenue. That’s probably the main reason why contracts are that strict. Another reason is that companies create a whole plan for the idols when they debut, and this is often very expensive.

Keep in mind that idols build up debt when they train within the company. All the food, clothing, and other accessories the company pays for. This ranges anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 a month, as you can see this is a lot of money to keep the trainee training.


Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, I hope you’ve found the information you were looking for. As you probably know now, the Korean entertainment industry is pretty strict, and that’s how it has been for the last couple of years.

Generally speaking, idols have an average life span of around 10 years. Most idols retire after they turn 30+ and move into another industry.

This can be anything from music to opening their restaurant. Idols save some money for when they retire. Sometimes idols that don’t have budgeted throughout their career work a normal job.

This doesn’t happen often, but some idols do this. Most idols that have retired move out of the spotlight and start a family and go to the next chapter of their life.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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