It is widely known that being a trainee in the Korean entertainment business is so tough that many even quit halfway through. That’s why fans are especially thankful to their favorite idols who endured many years as trainees and overcame all obstacles to become the stars they are today.
Here are 5 idols who went through many ups and downs and trained for 5+ years before they finally debuted:
1. Red Velvet‘s Seulgi – 7 Years
Seulgi, who dreamt of becoming a singer ever since she was little, trained with SM Entertainment since 2007. Since Red Velvet debuted in 2014, that means Seulgi trained for 7 whole years before she finally debuted.
In an episode of JTBC’s Let’s Eat Dinner Together, Seulgi said, “As my time as a trainee got longer and longer, I became more and more anxious about my debut.”
2. BLACKPINK‘s Jennie – 6 Years
Jennie, who recently came out with her solo track, “SOLO”, was also a trainee for 6 years.
Jennie studied abroad in New Zealand and dreamt of becoming a singer while listening to Korean music. It appears that all of her hard training paid off because she’s currently killing it with incredible rap, dance and singing skills.
3. TWICE‘s Jihyo – 10 Years
TWICE’s Jihyo is receiving a lot of love from fans now, but she was a trainee for 10 years before she debuted to become the beloved idol she is today.
In the past, Jihyo has admitted that she often wanted to quit when she saw other trainees debut before her.
4. GFRIEND‘s Sowon – 5 Years
Before Sowon became known for her doll-like beauty and incredible singing skills, she trained for 5 years since she was 15 years old.
On a radio broadcast, Sowon once said, “I was a trainee for the longest period of time. Those 5 years were hard. I don’t even want to think about it.”
5. Cosmic Girls‘ SeolA – 10 Years
During SeolA’s 10 years as a trainee, she featured in various music videos of Boyfriend and Mad Clown and made her face known.
On MBC’s The Masked Singer, SeolA said, “Since I get to be active as a singer now, I have no regrets about my long trainee days.“