Oftentimes when K-Pop idols leave their group or stop being active in the industry, it can be a mystery as to what happened to them. While some try to return to normal life and leave the spotlight, others try to pursue solo careers or become actors instead. These are 4 different former or currently inactive K-Pop idols that you may be curious about where they are today!
1. Lee Joon (former MBLAQ)
Lee Joon debuted with former boy group MBLAQ back in late 2009, where he had the role of vocalist and main dancer. From then until he left MBLAQ in October 2014, the group produced three single albums, seven EPs, and one full-length studio album. MBLAQ was a fairly successful group in their time, selling over 300,000 albums overall, and though the remaining members — Seungho, G.O, and Mir — still haven’t technically disbanded, they haven’t had a release since 2015.
In 2008, even before he debuted as a K-Pop idol, Lee Joon began his acting career at the age of 20 with a role in the sitcom That Person Is Coming. Since then, he has taken part in six different films as well as over 15 different television K-Dramas.
After leaving MBLAQ, he continued to pursue his acting career, and also released his first solo digital single “What I Want to Give to You” in October of 2017 just before his military enlistment began. He served his time from then until 2019, and his most recent activities include hosting the radio show Lee Joon’s Youngstreet (which he has left as of May 2021) as well as working on the upcoming sci-fi thriller television series The Silent Sea and another drama called The Immortals.
2. Lena (former 6MIX)
6MIX was a pre-debut group formed by JYP Entertainment that included future TWICE members Jihyo (known as Jisoo at the time), Jeongyeon, Sana, and Nayeon, as well as two other trainees, Minyoung and Lena. Though the six-member girl group was planned to debut between 2014 and 2015, they ended up disbanding with the four future TWICE members going on to participate in the survival show Sixteen that formed TWICE.
While Lena first became known for featuring in labelmate Sunmi‘s “Full Moon” and had a promising future as a talented dancer in the K-Pop industry, she left JYP Entertainment before SIXTEEN aired for reasons still unknown. After she left the company, she returned to the United States where she was born and, in 2015, participated in and was one of the four winners of the Miss Korea USA pageant.
These days, while Lena doesn’t spend much time in front of the camera as an entertainer, she actually works as a production designer at Warner Bros! She’s also fairly active on Instagram.
Samuel first entered the K-Pop entertainment industry at the age of 11 as a trainee at Pledis Entertainment, where he was originally expected to debut with future group SEVENTEEN. He left the company in 2013, however, due to his mother thinking he was too young to be a K-Pop idol.
In January 2015, he debuted in the hip-hop duo 1Punch which was formed through a collaboration between Brave Entertainment and D-Business Entertainment, during which period he went by the stage name Punch. His co-member, One, ended up getting scouted by YG Entertainment which led to the disbandment of the duo only eight months after they debuted.
In 2017, he participated in the second season of Produce 101, in which he ended up placing #18 overall and thus didn’t make it into Wanna One (much to the surprise of fans). He made his debut as a solo artist in August of the same year with the mini-album Sixteen, and from then until 2018, he released a total of one full-length studio album, two EPs, and three non-album digital singles.
Tragically in mid-2019, after he moved back to his home state of California, his father was killed suddenly, and between this event and growing issues with his agency Brave Entertainment, Samuel has been fairly separate from the K-Pop industry. He is, however, quite active on TikTok and Instagram, and has spoken before about possibly setting up his own agency!
4. Kyulkyung (former PRISTIN)
Kyulkyung became a trainee at Pledis Entertainment after she was scouted by the company in China in 2009, at which point she moved from her home country to South Korea. She participated in the first season of Produce 101 in early 2016, and ended up ranking 6th overall which landed her a spot in I.O.I.
She debuted with the group in May 2016, and promoted with them until their planned disbandment in January 2017. Only two months later, she debuted with the Pledis Entertainment group PRISTIN, and also was chosen to be part of their sub-unit PRISTIN V that debuted in May 2018. In August of the same year, she started her solo career in China with the digital single “Why”, as well as taking part in several television soundtracks and even started her acting career as well.
When PRISTIN sadly disbanded in May 2019, Kyulkyung decided to stay with Pledis Entertainment. Since then she has released OSTs for a couple of different Chinese dramas, and also continued acting as well, even taking the lead role in To Be With You in February of this year. Her most recent appearance was when she participated in I.O.I’s reunion livestream show on May 4 this year, where she video called her former members from China.
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