Before Suzy, Hyungsik or EXO’s D.O., idols have already transitioned to the K-Dramaworld. Let’s review a list of K-Pop singers who viewers tend to forget were once K-Pop singers.
- Yoon Eun-hye – Baby V.O.X
Before she became everyone’s Coffee Prince, Yoon Eun-hye was known as the maknae (youngest member) of girl group Baby V.O.X, shortened from Baby Voices of Xpression.
In 1999, Eun-hye joined the idol group after a member decided to leave. She was 15 at the time.
❤ Live performance of Baby V.O.X’ Doll.
- Kim Hyun-joong – SS501
Many may have fallen for him as the mysterious Ji-hoo in Boys Over Flowers or the charismatic Seung-jo in Playful Kiss, but he started his showbiz career with boy group SS501 which debuted in 2005.
Kim Hyun-joong served as the group’s leader, main dancer, rapper and visual. In 2008, SS501 became the first South Korean group named as Best New Artist at the Japan Gold Disc Award.
❤ SS501’s debut stage with Warning.
- Jung Ryeo-won – Chakra
This came as a surprise to me. I have always known Jung Ryeo-won as Hyun Bin‘s first love in My Name is Kim Sam-soon and Ani/Hani/Yu-ri in Two Faces of My Girlfriend. I have never imagined her being a part of an idol group.
Jung Ryeo-won debuted in 1999 with Chakra. In 2000, the girl group was named Best Female Rookie in the SBS Music Awards and the Golden Disk Awards. In the same year, Chakra also bagged the Best New Group trophy at the Mnet Asian Music Awards or MAMA.
❤ Chakra’s Hey U live performance.
- Eugene (born Kim Yoo-jin) – S.E.S.
This one is known by first generation fans, but K-Drama viewers nowadays are often unaware that our beloved Eugene started as a singer.
Known as S.M. Entertainment’s first goddess, Eugene or Kim Yoo-jin debuted in 1997 with the trio S.E.S., which stands for members Sea, Eugene and Shoo.
S.E.S. is widely recognized as one of K-Pop’s first highly successful girl group. S.E.S. was also the first South Korean group to debut in Japan post World War II.
❤ I’m Your Girl MV of S.E.S.
- Han Groo
Before playing as the bubbly Joo Jang-mi in Marriage Not Dating, Min Han-groo debuted as a solo artist in 2011. She was even named Best New Female Artist at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA).
❤ Han Groo‘s live performance of Witch Girl.
- Park Jung-ah – Jewelry
This actress started his entertainment path when she debuted in 2001 with Jewelry and served as the group’s first leader. Jung-ah also released her solo album in 2006. And in 2009, she left the group along with member and fellow actress Seo In-young.
Park Jung-ah was named Best Supporting Actress at the 2011 KBS Drama Awards for the show Smile, Dong-hae, where she acted alongside Ji Chang-wook and Do Ji-won.
❤ Jewelry’s Saranghae (I Love You) MV.
- Park Yoo-chun – TVXQ/JYJ
We may have loved him as the Rooftop Prince or the uptight scholar Lee Sun-joon in Sungkyunkwan Scandal but he was first known as Micky Yoochun. From 2003 to 2009, Yoo-chun was a member of S.M. Entertainment’s boy group TVXQ.
After leaving the media giant, Yoo-chun formed a trio now known as JYJ with former groupmates Junsu and Jaejoong.
Yoo-chun boasts a long list of acting awards and nominations , including the Best New Actor trophy at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards in 2015 for his film, Haemoo.
❤ TVXQ’s Mirotic MV.
- Hwang Jung-eum – Sugar
In 2001, Hwang Jung-eum debuted as the lead singer of girl group Sugar. The group saw moderate success and in 2004, Hwang Jung-eum left Sugar to pursue a solo career.
Like Yoo-chun, Hwang Jung-eum has a long list of awards under her belt.
❤ Sugar’s All My Loving MV.
- Park Soo-jin – Sugar
Another Sugar member on the list is actress Park Soo-jin. Before appearing in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Flower Boys Next Door, Soo-jin was Hwang Jung-eum‘s bandmate in Sugar.
Park Soo-jin married A-list actor and KeyEast chairman Bae Yong-joon in 2015.
❤ Sugar’s live performance of The Boy is Mine.
- Seo Hyun-jin – M.I.L.K.
Capping off the list is award winning actress Seo Hyun-jin who began her career with girl group M.I.L.K. in 2001. Hyun-jin served as the group’s main singer.
M.I.L.K only released one studio album and mostly had collaboration with S.M. Entertainment artists. The group disbanded in 2003.
❤ M.I.L.K.’s Come To Me MV