BTS' Suga leads top earners in music copyright fees alongside (G)I-DLE's Soyeon, Lee Seung-cheol and Ahn Ye-eun.

BTS' Suga leads top earners in music copyright fees (Images via X/@BIGHIT_MUSIC & @G_I_DLE)

On May 29, 2024, it was revealed that BTS rapper and songwriter Min Yoon-gi, known by his stage name Suga, is currently among the highest earners for music copyright fees. Joining him are other notable artists such as (G)I-DLE's Soyeon, Lee Seung-cheol, and Ahn Ye-eun.

RM, j-hope, and Jungkook, fellow members of BTS, are also esteemed regular members of the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA). Among them, the Daechwita rapper stands out for his significant involvement in composition. He earned his promotion to regular membership in 2018.

For those who don't know, KOMCA is a South Korean non-profit organization that oversees copyright management for musical works, including public performance, broadcasting rights, and mechanical recording and reproduction rights.

As per the Korean media outlet, Ten Asia, Suga has copyrighted a total of 169 songs.

BTS' Suga's musical journey and other top copyright fees earners

Reportedly, Suga began working with the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) at the young age of 13 during elementary school, which was initially crafted for digital music synthesizers. He also earned pocket money by arranging school songs when he reached high school.

Some of the many songs that he wrote include the group's songs include 134340, Attack on Bangtan, Answer: Love Myself, Epilogue: Young Forever and Yet to Come, while some of his solo songs include Tony Montana, Stay Alive, So Far Away and Daechwita.

As of February 2024, Suga comes second to RM, the group leader, boasting 218 copyrighted songs in South Korea, making him the most credited member. Following him are fellow rappers SUGA with 169 credits and j-hope with 139 credits.

The news of singers' copyright fees has garnered significant public attention, especially after Lee Seung-cheol disclosed that he earns the equivalent of a foreign car's price in a single month through such fees.

This revelation came during an SBS TV entertainment program 'My Little Old Boy' episode. During the show, Lee Seung-cheol mentioned that his wife manages all the copyright fees and revealed that the most he gets is equivalent to one foreign car's amount, a month.

Furthermore, other artists like Ahn Ye-eun, a singer-songwriter recognized as a regular member of the Music Association, have also come under the spotlight. Ahn Ye-eun has registered 126 works with the Music Association and gained popularity with hit songs such as 'Sangsahwa'. Consequently, she was promoted to a regular member this year.

Additionally, Soyeon's role as the leader and main producer of the girl group (G)I-DLE has earned her prestigious recognition, making her the latest addition to the list of distinguished members.

As per @kchartsmaster on X(formerly Twitter), here is a list of all K-pop Idols who are full members of the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA):

  • 2011: G-Dragon
  • 2012: Rain, Kangta
  • 2013: Kim Jae-joong
  • 2014: Xiah Junsu, T.O.P
  • 2015: BoA
  • 2016: IU
  • 2017: Kim Tae-woo
  • 2018: Suga
  • 2019: Zico, Woozi, Jung Yong-hwa, Jung Jin-young, B.I, Yong Jun-hyung
  • 2020: RM, j-hope, Jay Park
  • 2021: Kang Seung-yoon, Mino
  • 2022: Hyunsik
  • 2023: Bang Chan, Changbin, Han
  • 2024: Jungkook, Soyeon, Vernon

Annually, the Music Association elevates 30 associate members, who have held membership for over three years, to the status of regular members based on their accrued copyright royalties.

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