Do you consider yourself a K-pop superfan? The popular genre originating in South Korea. K-pop has evolved quite a bit over the years and nowadays "idol" culture is a dominant part. The bands are just as important as the music. K-pop also has a growing presence on the international scale, particularly in North America.
It's not uncommon to see K-pop bands appear on American television or even to tour here. There are many K-pop groups out there but which ones are worth the most money? Here are the 10 wealthiest K-pop groups in the industry right now, based on the findings of Money magazine.
BTS, also know as the Bangtan Boys, was formed back in 2013. The group consists of seven members, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. They're one of the most popular and most successful K-pop groups in the world, having bridged the gap into Western media with ease.
Their style has evolved over the years to include multiple musical genres. They are well-known for putting on jaw-dropping live performances and have been on many world tours. Their albums and singles have sold millions of copies worldwide. The group is estimated to be worth around $60 million.
TWICE is one of the most successful South Korean girl goups of all time. They were formed through the 2015 reality show, Sixteen, by JYP Entertainment. There are nine members of the group: Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Tzuyu, Chaeyoung, Nayeon, and Jeongyeon.
They have sold millions of albums worldwilde and are estimated to be worth upwards of $30 million. TWICE idols rank as some of the most popular in the industry. TWICE are the jewel of JYP Entertainment, making their stock skyrocket. Recently their singles "Happy Happy" and "Breakthrough" went platinum.
Tong Vfang Xien Qi, or TVXQ, is K-pop royalty. This pop duo composed of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin formed back in 2003 by S.M. Entertainment. TVXQ initially began as a five-member group but eventually took a year-long hiatus before returning as a duo. When they began, they immediately went mainstream due to their single "Hug" which went to the top of the charts.
Their initial studio album releases also helped their fame reach outwards from Korea. Not only were they hugely popular with fans, but the group was critically acclaimed time and time again. They have sold more than 10 million physical records in the first decade of their career and become one of the most successful musical acts in Asia. Former member, Kim Jaejoong is the wealthiest K-pop idol at $100 million net worth. The group itself is worth more than $50 million.
Out of all the groups on this list, BLACKPINK is one of the newer groups, having formed in 2016 by YG Entertainment. The members consist of Lisa, Rosé, Jennie, and Jisoo. Their first number-one hit was "Boombayah" which became a number-one song on Billboard World Digital.
As of this year, BLACKPINK has surpassed TWICE as the highest-charting female girl group. Their new single, "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" broke the record for being the most-viewed Korean music video within the first 24 hours of its debut. This year they became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella and they also released their second EP. BLACKPINK is said to generate around $25 million a year.
6 BIG BANG
G-Dragon, Taeyang, Daesung, and T.O.P. form the quartet of BIG BANG, formed by YG Entertainment. Former member Seungri retired earlier this year. BIG BANG has been called one of the most influential acts in K-pop. They have helped shape current popular bands with their experimental musical ingenuity.
They have a record amount of number-one songs with 18 altogether. They have also been ranked as one of the most powerful groups in South Korea. Many of the group's members are also considered fashion icons. They are worth $44 million.
This nine-member boy band debuted in 2012 under SM Entertainment. The members consist of Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Kai, Sehun, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, and D.O. Between Gucci and Fenty endorsements and Chanyeol owning an expensive and lifelike Iron Man costume, you can imagine how much money this group makes.
They have been dubbed the "Kings of K-pop" my various media outlets and even performed at the Olympics. It is not clear what EXO's entire networth is, some outlets have estimated as high as $950 million but that number is unlikely. In reality their networth may be somewhere around $100 million due to the members having so many ventures outside of their music.
SEVENTEEN, also known as SVT, is a boy group with 13 members in total. They are known for producing hip-hop music and self-producing. They have released two complete studio albums.
Much of their money comes from their deal with the beauty brand known as Saem. Breaking into the Japanese market has greatly increased their overall net worth in addition to the large amount of touring they do. This past year they released their first Japanese single is "Happy Ending." They also released their third studio album just this month titled An Ode.
3 Wanna One
Wanna One is the only group on this list that didn't last very long. They disbanded after only about a year together.
However, their appearance on the reality show, Produce 101, helped catapult the band's success. According to Kpop Herald, the group also signed an astounding 16 endorsement deals which certainly helped line their pockets.
2 Red Velvet
Out of all the groups on this list, Red Velvet is one of the most popular, which is saying something as girl groups have a harder climb than the boy groups in the industry. However, Red Velvet has taken advantage of their endorsement opportunities and greatly assisted in elevating their overall net worth.
They have also received numerous awards and recognition as their they've gained notoriety over the year. Earlier this year the girls released their sixth EP titled The ReVe Festival. Individaul members like Seulgi and Irene are very wealthy which helps boost Red Velvet's worth, they rake in multi-millions every year.
Members of the boy band GOT7 are composed of multinational members which helps them win a wider appeal than some of the other groups on this list. They have very strong and dependable album sales in addition to multiple endorsements.
They released their fourth extended play this past summer. They also embarked on the Our Loop tour. While GOT7 isn't as wealthy as some of the other groups on this list they're still one of the richest K-pop bands. Jackson Wang is the wealthiest member with a $1.5 million net worth.