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These Korean superstars are raking in some serious cash. How much are the most popular K-pop superstars today worth? Also, who do you think is the richest member of BTS?

As the popularity of South Korean entertainment continues to skyrocket all around the world (who else watched BTS speak about climate change and then dance up a storm at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City?), the cachet and influence of K-pop stars have never been more staggering. They’re paid big bucks not just to create music or perform at events, but also to associate their names and faces with international brands. They collect royalties on songs, buy massive mansions and have collaborations with top fashion, beauty and lifestyle labels.

Read more: BTS Appointed South Korea’s Special Presidential Envoy For Culture

And while the stalwart OG pop groups and musicians such as Big Bang, Super Junior, Rain and Psy are still among the top earners in K-pop (the star with the highest net worth is Jin Young Park, former pop idol and founder of JYP Entertainment, who’s valued at a whopping US$200 million), currently red-hot superstars such as the members of BTS and Blackpink aren’t far behind.

Here’s how much your fave K-pop idols are worth.

IU - $45 million

From growing up in abject poverty to being among the richest South Korean celebrities today, IU, born Lee Ji-eun, recently celebrated 13 years in showbiz by rallying some of the brands she works with to donate almost a million dollars’ worth of products to charity. She herself donated about half a million dollars.

The 28-year-old, who’s worth some $45 million, amassed her riches as a successful solo K-pop artiste with a large and varied discography, with chart-topping hits and sold-out concerts under her belt. She also wrote songs for other performers and for K-drama soundtracks. The multi-hyphenate is also a critically-acclaimed actress, starring in hugely popular K-dramas such as Hotel del Luna and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Of course, she’s also a CF (that’s Commercial Film) Queen, endorsing brands such as Samsung, Sony, SK Telecom, CNP Laboratory and soju brand Chamisul.

IU owns several multi-million dollar buildings in prestigious areas, but the sweet-faced superstar doesn’t just spend her moolah on herself. She’s famed for her penchant for giving back, and has donated millions to women’s and children’s charities, struggling students, and towards fighting Covid-19. The generous star also often buys gifts for her fellow actors, musicians and crew members on her shows.

In case you missed it: 10 Korean Stars Who Went From Rags To Riches, Including BTS’ V, Park Bo-Gum and IU

BTS J-Hope - US$26 million

BTS’ richest member is 27-year-old Jung Ho-seok, better known as J-Hope, the group’s dance leader. Some may be surprised that it’s not leader RM or most-searched-for-online and more popular members Jungkook, V or Jimin, but J-Hope has the most impressive bank account out of the septet, thanks to the success of his solo mixtape Hope World, released in March 2018. The rapper and producer’s single Daydream from the release reached No. 1 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart, and he was the first BTS member to have a solo Hot 100 hit with Chicken Noodle Soup. He was also the first to buy his own apartment for $1.2 million in 2016.

BTS Suga - US$25 million

Not far behind is rapper and producer extraordinaire Suga, aka Min Yoon-gi. He’s been writing and selling his songs since he was 13, and has collaborated with K-pop luminaries such as IU and Epik High, as well as musicians outside of South Korea. Under his solo alias Agust D, he has released numerous critically-acclaimed mixtapes and tracks and is credited as a songwriter and producer on many chart-toppers by other artists. He produced and rapped on IU’s single, Eight, which debuted at No. 1 on various charts. In August this year, he re-composed Samsung's signature ringtone, Over The Horizon. And this is all outside of his continued success with BTS. The 28-year-old bought a $3 million luxury apartment in 2018.

Read more: BTS Suga: The K-Pop Rapper's Most Stylish Moments

Bae Suzy - US$25 million

She debuted as a member of K-pop group Miss A, and later struck out as a solo artist and actress, finding huge success and popularity as a K-drama star in shows like While You Were Sleeping, Vagabond and Start Up. She’s also a CF queen, sought after to endorse products from make-up and designer fashion (she’s known as “Human Dior”, thanks to her ambassadorship with the designer label) to fried chicken and mobile phones. She owns apartments in the posh district of Gangnam, and she’s only 26 years old!

Read more: Bae Suzy’s Most Stylish Looks On- and Off-Screen

BTS RM, Jin, Jimin, Jungkook and V - US$20 million

Though trailing a little behind J-Hope and Suga, the other five members of BTS aren’t doing too shabbily, each coming in with net worths of about $20 million each. BTS leader RM, 27, is the youngest member of the Korea Music Copyright Association to have more than 130 songwriting credits and rakes in the royalties from writing songs for BTS and other artists.

Meanwhile, Jin, 28, also has solo releases and owns a Lamborghini Aventador S. Jimin, 25, paid $5.3 million in cash for an apartment in upscale Nine One Hannam, known as the Beverly Hills of Korea, where RM also owns a unit.

The BTS members all have shares in Hybe (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) worth around $17 million, which makes Jungkook, 24, one of the youngest Korean celebs with stock options. V, 25, has dabbled in acting, and achieved solo hits—he wrote, produced and sang Sweet Night from the Itaewon Class soundtrack, which debuted at number 2 on Billboard's U.S. Digital Song Sales chart, the highest debut for a Korean soloist ever.

Taeyeon - US$20 million

One of the most beloved and best-selling K-pop artistes in South Korea, Kim Tae-yeon, 32, debuted with Girls’ Generation in 2007, and went on to a hugely successful solo career in 2015. She’s sold over a million physical albums and 20 million digital singles and bagged a slew of awards. Taeyeon is also an endorsement queen, fronting brands such as Nature Republic and Banila Co, and has a penchant for luxury cars, owning a Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG, Porsche Boxster and a BMW M4.

Blackpink Lisa - US$15 million

Coming in at a cool $15 million is the youngest member of Blackpink, 24-year-old Lalisa Manobal, who’s just launched her solo career to much fanfare. Her album Lalisa dropped in early September and set a new record for the highest number of pre-orders for a single album among K-pop female solo artists. Upon its release, the album set a new sales record, making Lisa the first female soloist to achieve 500,000 copies in first-week sales. Her new single Money opened at No. 2 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart in the US, which is an impressive feat. She’s also a social media and endorsement darling, raking in cash from being an ambassador for brands like Mac Cosmetics, Samsung, Bulgari and Celine.

In case you missed it: Blackpink’s Lisa Makes Record-Breaking Solo Debut With Single, ‘Lalisa’

Blackpink Jennie - US$12 million

Blackpink’s Jennie Kim, 25, made her solo debut back in 2018 with the hugely successful single Solo. She also has songwriting credits on Lovesick Girls, one of the pop group’s chart-toppers. Apart from her success as a musician, Jennie is rising up the ranks worldwide as a fashion and beauty icon—she’s the ambassador for Chanel in South Korea (she’s called “Human Chanel”), and also fronts brands such as Hera and Samsung. A recent collab with eyewear brand Gentle Monster saw the launch of Jentle Home collection, and she was a guest fashion editor for Vogue Korea earlier this year.

Blackpink Rosé and Jisoo - US$12 million

Also worth about $12 million each are the other two members of Blackpink. Roseanne Park, 24, better known as Rosé, made her solo debut in March this year, and is the global ambassador for Saint Laurent. She’s the first artiste to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200 Chart as a soloist and as part of a group, and broke records for most-viewed music video on YouTube in 24 hours by a K-pop soloist. Meanwhile, Kim Ji-soo, 26, is trying out acting, and her K-drama Snowdrop is scheduled to air later this year. She’s an ambassador for Dior in South Korea and is also preparing for her solo musical debut.


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