Like male idols, many female K-pop idols have debuted at a very young age, enduring the struggles of staying away from home, missing childhood, and the pressure of being visually appealing. The K-pop industry is no joke, and every K-pop enthusiast can vouch for that.
Female K-pop idols have proved their worth by winning multiple titles, frequently breaking records and captivating fans with their fascinating talents. They also learn to handle fame, engage with their fans, and share their flair with the audience. Moreover, besides being a K-pop idol, they have come a long way to achieve success in other areas.
K-pop idols who joined the industry young
5) IU - 15 years
Also known as The Nation's little sister, IU or Lee Ji-eun is a Korean soloist who has a fandom equivalent to any other famous K-pop group. Despite multiple companies rejecting IU, she made her successful K-pop debut at 15. This made her one of the youngest female K-pop idols ever to debut.
In 2007, IU signed with LEON Entertainment (now Kakao) and became a trainee. She made her debut with the mini-album Lost and Found a year later. The songstress earned mainstream success with her 2010 track Good Day. Since then, the singer has released meaningful and soothing hits for fans.
Apart from being an A-class singer, IU has a fantastic acting career with shows like Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, Hotel Del Luna, and My Mister under her name.
4) Bae Suzy - 15 years
After becoming a trainee for JYP Entertainment in 2009, Bae Suzy made her enthralling debut with Miss A in 2010 at 15. Like Krystal, Suzy joined the acting industry soon after her K-pop debut.
In 2011, she appeared in the hit drama Dream High and, the following year, made her film debut with Architecture 101. Her successful debut brought her the title of Nation's First Love, which she still possesses.
She recently impressed fans with her collaboration with Psy for the cheery and glamorous track, Celeb. On top of that, Suzy is known for her roles in Vegabond, Start-up, While You Were Sleeping, and many more.
3) Krystal Jung - 14 years
Born Chrystal Soo Jung, Krystal is a singer and actress who debuted under SM Entertainment with f(x). She became one of the most popular and beloved actresses in the Korean industry. Krystal was only 14 when she tasted the limelight as one of the clan's most talented female K-pop idols.
Soon after making her debut as the lead vocalist of f(x), Krystal nabbed the lead role alongside hit soloist Rain. Later on, she also led several another hit K-dramas like Police University, Prison Playbook, Bride of the Water God, and Crazy Love. Interestingly, Krystal is the younger sister of Girls Generations' Jessica Jung.
2) HyunA - 14 years
The performance-oriented musician and queen of funky concepts, HyunA, made her debut at 14 years. The I'm Not Cool singer began her career as a JYP Entertainment artist and debuted with Wonder Girls in February 2007. She later joined Cube Entertainment and released multiple hits, including Change and Bubble Pop!
During her contract with Cube Entertainment, HyunA was also a part of 4minute, a girl group under the label.
In 2018, HyunA left Cube Entertainment and joined Psy's P NATION, where she made her debut with Flower Shower. It grabbed the seventh spot on the Billboard World Digital Songs Sales chart.
1) BoA - 13 years
Kwon Bo-ah, popularly known as BoA, made her debut at 13. The singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer has been dubbed the Queen of K-pop due to her influence and popularity and is one of the youngest female K-pop idols ever to debut.
BoA was recruited by SM Entertainment when she accompanied her brother on a talent search in 1998. After training for two years, BoA made her sizzling debut and created many records. So far, she has released twenty studio albums, including 10 in Korean and 9 in Japanese.
BoA is considered one of the K-pop idols who helped transport the Hallyu Wave outside Korea. The now 35-year-old singer is still going strong and was recently announced as one of SM Entertainment's supergroup members, GOT The Beat.