To most Westerners, the world of K-pop stars (especially the dudes) looks understandably ridiculous. But hey, we don’t judge people on looks and cultural differences. Instead, we judge them by how much money they make — and damn, we never could have guessed that ultra-feminine boys in eyeliner made this much money.
The three major K-pop labels — SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment (all very original agency names) — have reported record profits this year. Their clients are the hottest K-pop groups out right now and they each made this much in the first half of 2014:
SuperJunior — $28,491,105.00
Girls’ Generation — $27,796,200.00
Big Bang — $26,985,594.00
2NE1 — $25,253,338.00
When those numbers are doubled for a rough yearly total, each group takes away at least $50 million, which includes tours, brand deals, albums and everything else, though that’s still not a lot for a group like SuperJunior, who has to split their nearly $57 million between their inefficient 10-member money-making bandwagon.
No, it’s not quite Beyonce or Bieber money, who raked in $115 million and $80 million, respectively, in 2014, but the top K-pop groups earned more than stars like Rihanna ($48 million), Katy Perry ($40 million), Jennifer Lopez ($37 million), Miley Cyrus ($36 million) and almost as much as Taylor Swift ($64 million).
But before you decide to pack up and move to South Korea, slap on some mascara and join a boy band (also applies for girl bands), those millions really only belong to the most successful groups. The average amount that K-pop groups make is like the difference between Bill Gates and your current bank account. While they are making more money every year, the average take home is $42,940.91, which isn’t so bad if you consider a driving a Hyundai baller.
If you didn’t know that K-pop stars are pretty baller, now you do. You’re welcome.