You might be thinking that once you've become a K-pop idol, you wouldn't want anything else other than that. But for some, it can be quite exhausting. For others, it may not even satisfy their goals and sense of fulfillment in life which is why they sacrifice their K-pop career to pursue another dream.
Be it a path in acting or a global approach to music, these former idols have broken away from the K-pop scene and paved a new track for themselves. From SNSD's Jessica Jung to EXO's Kris Wu, where are these idols now?
1. Jessica Jung
Probably, the most talked about K-pop idol who left the scene, Jessica Jung's departure from South Korea's most loved girl group Girls' Generation A.K.A. SNSD shook the whole industry that even people who are not a part of the fandom SONE were devastated with the news! But one of the reasons why she made this bold move was because of her desire to officially enter the fashion scene. Since then, she still released a few self-composed tracks, proving her undying love for singing. Jessica continued her title as one of the female fashion icons in Korea, launching her very own fashion line Blanc & Eclare which now has 60 stores worldwide. She's definitely killing it as a fashion designer and business woman!
2. Sulli Choi
Choi Jinri A.K.A. Sulli, is one of the K-pop idols who completely had a 360° turn from being an innocent girl to being a seductive woman. As the face of the group f(x), Sulli's departure in August 2015 became the talk of the town throughout the K-pop scene. It didn't come as a full-blown surprise because she has been on a long hiatus since July 2014, concentrating on her acting career. Now, she has become a full-fledged actress, embodying what she's really passionate about since she was 11 years old. In 2017, she has been cast in the movie Real alongside actor Kim Soo-hyun.
Unlike other K-pop idols who departed from their group first before they concentrated on their solo careers, Chaerin Lee A.K.A. CL, the leader of the fiercest girl group 2NE1, has already been building her own singing career up in the United States back in 2014, collaborating with Hollywood music icons like Diplo and Skrillex, while still giving her group its well-deserved worldwide recognition. But when 2NE1 disbanded last November 2016, CL focused more on her American debut and released English songs like "No Better Feelin'" and "Lifted." She went on the Hello Bitches tour, visiting nine cities in United States and Canada including New York and Vancouver. This year, it was announced that CL will be making her debut as a Hollywood actress in Peter Berg's upcoming film Mile 22.
4. Dara Park
Another 2NE1 member who has a skyrocketing career outside the K-pop scene, Sandara Park A.K.A. Dara has already made a name for herself in the acting scene even before she became a superstar in Korea. We all know Dara had a promising showbiz career here in the Philippines, with multiple movie and TV show offers she took on. So when she chose to pursue her dream to become a K-pop idol, her acting career was put on hold. It was in 2015, when Dara went back to the small screen and played as Lee So-dam in the web drama Dr. Ian which earned her the Best Actress Award at the 1st K-Web festival. Now, Dara has been busy attending premieres and interviews of her upcoming movies. She was cast in the film adaptaion of Cheese In The Trap which will be released on March 14, 201. Last year, it was also announced that Dara's going to be a part of an action film called 107th Year of Night.
5. Lee Joon
Before he became a part of the boy group MBLAQ, Lee Joon was already acting in CFs, television shows, and films with small non-recurring roles. He never stopped his acting career when the group officially debuted, though he focused more on being a K-pop idol. It was in 2014, when he left the K-pop scene to focus once again on his acting career. He's bagged awards since then such as the Excellence Award at the 8th Korea Drama Awards for his performance in Heard It Through the Grapevine. He was also part of the main cast of the weekend family drama My Father Is Strange, where he met his girlfriend Jung So-min.
6. Kris Wu
Wu Yifan A.K.A. Kris Wu might have had the most controversial departure in the K-pop industry. When he decided to leave his group EXO, he filed a lawsuit against their agency SM Entertainment because according to him, the agency was not treating them well. He proceeded on pursuing his other passion which is acting. But rather than debuting as an actor in South Korea, he moved back to his native land China. Through the success he got in his acting career, Madame Tussauds Shanghai honored him, making him the youngest celebrity to have a wax figure in the said museum. In 2017, he made his Hollywood film debut with xXx: Return of Xander Cage and represented China at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Now, Kris is set to star in an upcoming Hong Kong-made action thriller entitled Europe Raiders.
Do you miss these stars and their K-pop hits? Let us know in the comments below!
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