In 2021, 77 singers in the top 1% reportedly generated a total of 355.56 billion KRW, which amounted to 68.9% of all the K-Pop singers’ income in that year.
According to a report by Hankyung Business, the average income of 77 K-Pop singers in the top 1% totaled 4.61 billion KRW (~$3.41 million) each in 2021. This is twice the earnings of K-drama actors, which amounted to 2.26 billion KRW (~$1.67 million).
Reportedly, the average income of the top 1% of singers in South Korea amounted to 3.13 billion KRW, 3.44 billion KRW (~$2.54 million), 2.25 billion won (~$1.66 million) and 1.76 billion KRW (~$1.3 million) in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.
According to the celebrity income data from 2017 to 2021 received from the National Tax Service Saturday by Kang Jun-hyun, a representative of the Democratic Party of Korea, the annual income of 7,720 singers who reported their income in 2021 amounted to a total of 515.645 billion KRW (~$381.46 million).
Meanwhile, models in South Korea reportedly earned 450 million KRW (~$332,948) per person in a year.
The data presented by Hankyung Business was reportedly based on the earnings declared by singers who registered with the National Tax Service in South Korea.
The data was picked up and posted on an online forum in South Korea, leading to a discussion among netizens.
“I can only be jealous,” commented one user, while another claimed, “But singers have always earned more than actors. This applies to the entire world. And these are figures from the past, so I bet they earn even more now.”
“The killing blow here is that this is based in 2021 when they couldn’t even go on world tours,” commented another user.
“Isn’t this obvious? Actors get to rest in between each one of their work,” claimed another user; a fifth one said, “77 people: [Lim] Youngwoong, IU, BTS, BLACKPINK… that makes them 13 already.”
“I understand why many domestic idols fail to renew their contracts. To be honest, even if it were me [and] I made a lot of money, but I have to go through that hard work and suffer from malicious comments again, I wouldn’t do it. I think I would retire or turn into an actor, do some work occasionally, and just spend the money,” commented another netizen.
“If you think about getting criticized, it was hard to earn that money,” said a seventh user.
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