Korea’s entertainment industry is a treasure trove of talent, showcasing amazing singers, actors, and idols who have made their mark globally. But beyond their artistic prowess, these celebrities have also amassed substantial fortunes through their hard work, business ventures, and endorsements. Get ready to dive into the luxurious lives of the 10 wealthiest Korean celebrities who are absolutely crushing it in fame and fortune!
Net Worth: $35 Million
Kwon Ji-yong, better known as G-Dragon, has etched his name into the annals of K-pop history. The leader of the wildly popular group BIGBANG, G-Dragon has diversified his career, delving into music, fashion, and entrepreneurship. The multi-talented artist has amassed an estimated net worth of $35 million, cementing his status as a global superstar.
G-Dragon’s illustrious career began with his role in BIGBANG, one of the most successful K-pop groups of all time. Responsible for numerous chart-topping hits, sold-out concerts, and lucrative endorsement deals, BIGBANG has contributed significantly to G-Dragon’s financial success. Moreover, his solo projects, such as the critically acclaimed albums “Heartbreaker” and “Coup d’Etat,” have expanded his portfolio and increased his earnings.
As a trendsetter and fashion icon, G-Dragon has leveraged his unique sense of style to forge partnerships with high-profile brands. His collaborations with global fashion giants like Nike, Chanel, and Ambush have added a considerable sum to his net worth. Furthermore, his own fashion brand, PEACEMINUSONE, has garnered international attention, generating additional revenue for the artist.
Endorsement deals and advertising campaigns featuring G-Dragon have also contributed to his financial standing. With a massive following and considerable influence, the artist has attracted partnerships with brands such as Airbnb, Shinsegae, and LG.
Interesting Fact: In 2015, he opened a boutique hotel called Dolce Vita Pension on Jeju Island, which has since attracted numerous tourists and fans alike. Each room is themed and named after one of BigBang’s songs.
9. Son Heung-Min
Net Worth: $40 MillionSon Heung-min, South Korea’s premier footballer, has taken the world by storm with his exceptional talent, making significant strides in the global sports arena. Currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, Son’s meteoric rise to fame has resulted in a net worth that mirrors his success on the pitch. The prolific forward boasts an estimated net worth of $40 million. Son’s primary source of income stems from his lucrative contract with Tottenham Hotspur. He signed a four-year £39,936,000 (~$50 million USD) contract last year with the club, which is set to keep him at Tottenham until 2025. Endorsement deals and advertising campaigns have also played a significant role in Son’s financial success. His widespread popularity, both in South Korea and internationally, has attracted numerous high-profile brands seeking to secure him as their ambassador. Son has inked endorsement deals with the likes of Adidas, Gatorade, and Gillette, considerably bolstering his net worth. Interesting Fact: Son’s off-pitch activities have also contributed to his earnings. In 2019, the footballer launched his own line of sportswear, “Sonaldo,” in collaboration with the South Korean clothing brand, Beanpole.
Net Worth: 45 MillionBorn Lee Ji-eun, the 29-year-old singer, songwriter, and actress is the youngest member featured on this list. IU has successfully ventured into multiple segments of the entertainment industry, including music, acting, and endorsements, to create a substantial fortune of $45 million. With chart-topping hits such as “Good Day,” “Palette,” and “Blueming,” IU has a consistent track record of commercial success. Additionally, her songwriting and music production skills have contributed to her growing wealth. IU’s acting career has further augmented her earnings. Her appearances in popular South Korean dramas, including “Dream High,” “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo,” and “Hotel Del Luna,” have expanded her fan base and increased her overall revenue. Endorsement deals and advertising campaigns have played a pivotal role in IU’s financial success. Her widespread popularity has attracted numerous brands, encompassing cosmetics (CNP Laboratory), fashion (Gucci, New Balance), electronics (Sony, Samsung, SK), and beverages (Chamisul, Pepsi), to secure her as their ambassador. These partnerships have significantly boosted her net worth. IU’s real estate investments also contribute to her financial standing. She owns several properties in South Korea, including a luxury villa and a building in the affluent Gangnam district. Interesting Facts: IU owns multiple homes, including an $11.7 million home in the ultra-exclusive, Eterno Cheongdam. It is reported that she paid for this entire home in cash!
Net Worth: $60 Million
The singer, songwriter, and producer took the globe by storm with his hit single “Gangnam Style”. Psy’s net worth is estimated to be around $60 million!
Psy’s massive hit “Gangnam Style” not only garnered billions of views on YouTube but also topped charts worldwide, selling millions of digital copies and raking in royalties. Psy’s energetic and catchy performances have made him a popular live act, and his tours and concerts have been a significant source of income.
As a worldwide sensation, Psy has scored numerous lucrative endorsement deals and advertising campaigns with big-name brands, adding to his fortune.
In 2015, Psy founded his own record label and entertainment agency, P Nation, signing popular artists like Jessi, HyunA, Dawn, and Crush. This savvy business move has expanded his revenue streams and solidified his influence in the K-pop industry.
Interesting Fact: “Gangnam Style” has amassed 4.7 billion views and has generated $8 million in revenue through YouTube alone. It became the first video ever on YouTube to garner a billion views worldwide. The song has put more than $20 million into Psy’s pockets.
6. Kim Jae-joong
Net Worth: $85 MillionYou may know him as the lead vocalist for the legendary K-pop group TVXQ, and later JYJ. The multi-talented singer, actors, and entrepreneur has been wowing fans for years with his incredible voice, acting skills and good looks. Kim Jaejoong’s net worth is estimated to be around $85 million. Jaejoong has made a fortune not only from his successful music career but also through his ventures in acting, appearing in popular K-dramas like “Protect the Boss” and “Triangle.” Most of his wealth comes from real estate, Jaejoong has invested in a range of successful enterprises, such as his own café (KAVE Cafe), clothing brand (Moldir), and cosmetic line (Kii), all contributing to his stunning net worth. Some of his assets include two $7 million buildings in Seocho-dong and Kave mall in Shibuya, Tokyo. Interesting Fact: Kim Jae-joong and TVXQ have become one of Asia’s most successful music acts of their generation, selling over 14 million physical records It’s reported that TVXQ made over $2 billion in their 10 years of career, making them the highest artist under SM Entertainment.
5. Rain and Kim Tae-hee
Net Worth: $120 Million
Rain, a multi-talented singer, actor, and producer, and Kim Tae-hee, a stunning actress and model, have not only won hearts with their incredible talent but also as the power couple in the industry. Rain was the first k-pop star that broke onto the western scene and released multiple #1 albums and singles, including hits like “It’s Raining,” “Rainish.” and “Love Song.” He starred in Hollywood films like Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin and has also showcased his acting chops in K-dramas like Full House. Kim Tae-hee is a renowned actress and model known for her stunning beauty and exceptional talent. She rose to fame with her breakout role in the 2003 drama “Stairway to Heaven” and went on to captivate audiences with her performances in “Iris,” “My Princess,” and “Yong-pal.”Their combined net worth is estimated to be a whopping $120 million! Rain, with a net worth of around $70 million, has built his fortune through his successful music career, endorsements, and investments in his own company, R.A.I.N. Meanwhile, the gorgeous Kim Tae-hee boasts a net worth of approximately $50 million, earned through her brilliant acting performances in popular Korean dramas and films, as well as lucrative endorsement deals such as Toyota, LG, and Hana Bank. Interesting Fact: The couple also owns $70 million worth of real estate. Rain has been active in real estate, owning a number of properties in Seoul’s Hannam-dong and Cheongdam-dong neighborhoods that are valued at a total of $40 million. Kim Tae-hee was the owner of three buildings in Gangnam valued at $30 million in total.
4. Yang Hyun-suk
Net Worth: $150 Million
Yang Hyun-suk is the executive behind YG Entertainment and some of the biggest acts in K-pop history! From his early days as a member of Seo Taiji and Boys to founding YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun-suk has shown an unwavering dedication to the K-pop industry, and his net worth is a testament to his incredible success.
Yang Hyun-suk made his mark in the music scene as a member of the legendary group Seo Taiji and Boys, which revolutionized K-pop in the 90s. But his true legacy began when he founded YG Entertainment in 1996. Under his leadership, the company has produced some of the most successful and influential K-pop acts of all time, such as BIGBANG, 2NE1, WINNER, iKON, and BLACKPINK.
YG Entertainment’s impressive roster of artists is just one part of Yang Hyun-suk’s success story. The company has also expanded its reach beyond the music industry, venturing into fashion, cosmetics, and food & beverage businesses. With its innovative approach and diversified portfolio, YG Entertainment has established itself as a major player in South Korea’s entertainment industry.
His wealth can be attributed to his success in the music industry, smart business investments, and real estate holdings.
Interesting Fact: In 2019, French luxury goods giant LVMH invested $80 million in YG Entertainment. Thanks to their association with LVMH, one of the biggest luxury conglometrates on the planet, BLACKPINK’s Lisa and Jisoo, in particular, have become fashion icons with their work as muses and brand ambassadors for esteemed brands under the LVMH umbrella (Lisa for Celine and Jisoo for Christian Dior).
3. Jin Young Park
Net Worth: $220 Million
Jin Young Park, aka JYP, the K-pop mastermind who’s not only a multitalented artist, but also a savvy entrepreneur. With a career spanning over three decades, JYP has made an indelible mark on the K-pop scene, both as a musician and as the founder of the legendary JYP Entertainment.
He debut as a singer in the 90s. With countless hits under his belt and a distinctive style, he’s earned the title of “The Asian Soul.” But JYP’s talents don’t stop at performing; he’s also a gifted songwriter and producer, working with some of the biggest names in K-pop like Rain, Wonder Girls, and TWICE.
The true testament to JYP’s genius, however, is his entertainment company, JYP Entertainment. Founded in 1997, the company has been a breeding ground for top-tier K-pop acts, launching the careers of superstars like 2PM, GOT7, ITZY, and Stray Kids. With his keen eye for talent and knack for creating hit songs, JYP has turned his company into one of the “Big 3” entertainment agencies in South Korea. But music isn’t the only source of his fortune. Park’s smart investments in the food, technology, and real estate sectors have played a role in building his wealth too.
Interesting Fact: JYP lives in the serene Achiul Village, in Guri, Gyeonggi Province, about a half-hour drive from Seoul. Other celebrities living in Achiul Village include actors Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin.
2. Lee Soo Man
Net Worth: $350 Million
Lee Soo Man is a entertainment mogul and the founder of SM Entertainment. He is often credited with spearheading the Korean Wave (Hallyu). Over the years, SM has maanged numerous successful K-pop artists, including TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, and NCT, making it one of the leading entertainment companies in Korea.
As of April 2023, Lee Soo Man’s net worth is estimated to be around $350 million, a testament to his impressive career in the entertainment industry. His fortune primarily comes from his stake in SM Entertainment, which has seen exponential growth thanks to the global success of the company’s artists and various ventures in music production, management, and merchandising. Additionally, Lee has expanded his business empire to include subsidiaries like SM C&C, SM Life Design Group, and SM Studios, further diversifying his income streams. With Lee Soo Man’s astute business acumen and visionary approach to the world of entertainment, his influence on the K-pop industry remains unrivaled.
Interesting Fact: Lee is the paternal uncle of Sunny, one of the members of the popular SM group Girls’ Generation.
1. Bang Si-Hyuk
Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
You’ve definately heard of BTS, but have you heard of the genius behind their success? Meet Bang Si-hyuk, the music mogul who’s not only responsible for BTS’s meteoric rise but is also changing the face of K-pop. Also known as “Hitman” Bang, is the founder and former CEO of Big Hit Entertainment (now HYBE), the company that launched the careers of BTS, TXT, ENHYPEN, and more recently NewJeans. A former composer and producer, Bang Si-hyuk started his career in the music industry working with renowned K-pop acts like g.o.d and Park Ji-yoon.
In addition to his success with BTS, Bang Si-hyuk has expanded his business empire, acquiring other entertainment companies like Pledis Entertainment, KOZ Entertainment, and Source Music.
In May 2021, Hybe acquired Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, which manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, for over $1 billion. With his innovative mindset and dedication to nurturing talent, Bang Si-hyuk has solidified his position as a powerhouse in the global music scene. As of today, he is the 14th richest person in South Korea and the only billionaire in the South Korean entertainment industry.
Interesting Fact: His label BigHit had almost filed for bankruptcy in 2007. The success of BTS helped Bang’s company rapidly rise to a powerful position.
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