K-drama queens who almost became K-pop idols: from The Heirs star Park Shin-hye to Descendants of the Sun's Kim Ji-won, who was once a background singer for Younha

Asia's Tech News Daily

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Many K-drama actors and K-pop singers stumbled into their professions unexpectedly. Stars’ childhood dreams were often sometimes very different to their current profession – such as BTS’ V wanting to become a farmer and Cha Eun-woo aspiring to go into law.

Meanwhile, some popular K-drama actresses were actually training to become K-pop singers from a very young age, but ended up suddenly pivoting to a career in acting instead.

Here is a list of multitalented K-drama queens who almost debuted as K-pop idols.

Kim Ji-Won

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Ji-won’s stage name was once “JessicaK”. Photo: @jiwon_hq/Twitter

Descendants of the Sun star Kim Ji-won originally used the stage name “JessicaK” and worked as a background vocalist for singer Younha. While Kim was not an actual K-pop trainee, she was actively engaged in singing, dancing and even playing the piano.

According to Allkpop, film director Jang Jin saw acting talent in Kim, and he went on to offer her a role in the movie Romantic Heaven in 2011.

The movie marked a successful debut for Kim and became a springboard for further success, as the actress went on to star in several hit dramas including The Heirs, Mr. Sunshine and Lovestruck in the City. Under the stage name JessicaK, Kim often played the piano during fellow K-pop diva Younha’s performances.

Park Shin-hye

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Park Shin-hye made her on-screen debut with a music video for Lee Seung-hwan. Photo: @ssinz7/Instagram

Another The Heirs actress, Park Shin-hye also underwent idol training before her debut as an actress. Though many people might think her first gig was in the hit K-drama Stairway to Heaven, but it was actually in a music video for South Korea’s ballad king Lee Seung-hwan.

According to Soompi, South Korean hip-hop band Epik High said that Lee even asked them to produce a song for Park, but the group ended up taking the song for themselves. And yes, the song is Fly, which ended up being a huge hit.

Later in 2003, Park achieved great success when she played young Jung-suh in the drama Stairway to Heaven, and she decided to continue her career as an actress. In 2012, during her appearance on TVN talk show Taxi, she opened up about her music background and mentioned she regrets not further pursuing her singing career – although she still loves acting!

Yoo In-na

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Yoo In-na spent 11 years as a trainee at YG Entertainment. Photo: @yoo_inna0605/Instagram

Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, who is better known as Sunny from the hit K-drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, was signed as a K-pop trainee with YG Entertainment at the age of 17. Before making her debut on MBC’s High Kick Through The Roof, Yoo spent almost 11 years as a trainee.

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Yoo In-na played Sunny in the hit K-drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. Photo: TVN

During her appearance on KBS’ Happy Together in 2013, Yoo shared her memories of being a trainee. The star said it always made would-be stars nervous when there was an internal audition inside the company, but luckily, she passed with flying colours, often even finishing first.

Yoo said she even got offered a chance to mark her debut with a popular K-pop girl band with four members. But since she achieved great success with the TV programme High Kick Through The Roof, she decided to stay on the acting career path.

Lee Sun-bin

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Lee was a trainee and debuted in a group called JQT under GP Entertainment. Photo: @sunbin_eyesmag/Instagram

The Uncanny Counter star Lee Sun-bin spent three years as a trainee. She is a former member of girl group JQT.

Her appearance on Mnet’s I Can See Your Voice 3 caught the attention of many K-pop fans who noticed her outstanding singing skills.

stumbled into their professions unexpectedly., Kim Ji-won, vocalist for singer Younha, The Heirs actress, Another successful K-drama queen, Yoo In-na, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Lee Sun-bin is currently dating Korean comedian and actor Lee Kwang-soo. Photo: @allkpop/Twitter

Lee has made several appearances in dramas and films, including a South Korean remake of Criminal Minds and action spy film Mission:Possible. According to an interview with Sports Chosun, Lee doesn’t have any regrets about her journey through the K-pop industry as she is grateful for the success she’s already found.

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