Ex-BESTie member Uji claims she didn’t make any money as an idol

“Unless you’re extremely successful, it’s hard to make an income”

Former BESTie member Uji has claimed that she didn’t earn any money during her time as a K-pop idol.

During a recent interview with YouTube channel Recent Olympics (‘근황올림픽’ in Korean), the South Korean singer opened up about her five-year career with BESTie and her experience in the cutthroat K-pop industry.

BESTie were active as a group from 2013 to 2016 and managed to release a number of minor hits, including their 2014 singles ‘Thank U Very Much’ and ‘Hot Baby’. However, the group never reached the heights of their fellow contemporaries like Girls’ Day, SISTAR or EXID (which Uji had been a part of in their early days) and eventually disbanded quietly in 2017.


In the interview, Uji said that she had initially been badly affected by the group’s breakup, admitting that she “often questioned” her self-worth. However, Uji also noted that there were “a lot” of issues with the group’s then-company YNB Entertainment.

“I can’t get into too many details, but there were a lot of internal problems at our company. My self-esteem was very low at the time,” Uji said. “I often questioned myself, thinking ‘am I not a person worthy of love?’ I thought about that a lot.”

Uji then added that she didn’t earn any money during her time as a K-pop idol, saying that only the “extremely successful” K-pop acts do. “During my entire girl group career, I didn’t even receive ₩10 (about US$0.01). With girl groups, unless you’re extremely successful, it’s hard to make an income,” she said.

In other K-pop news, Rosé of BLACKPINK was allegedly photographed with singer Olivia Rodrigo, sparking rumours among fans of a potential collaboration. The Korean-Australian singer has been in Los Angeles with fellow BLACKPINK member Jennie to work on new music.