With so many artists in the K-Pop industry, of course not every idol and group is going to do as well as others. Whether it’s poor promotions, bad marketing, lack of talent (which is not common), or some other factor, sometimes there are artists that just don’t do as well in the industry as they should. From a fan’s point of view, it’s generally the artist’s company’s fault when the artist doesn’t do well, though of course it’s hard to actually say unless you are part of the industry yourself. Here are 14 cases where fans think an idol or K-Pop group had wasted potential.
1. Lee Hi
Fans resent that YG Entertainment didn’t promote Lee Hi more in 2016 after her huge success with the song “Breathe”, and in fact didn’t have her come out with another song of her own until 2019. Ever since she joined AOMG in 2020, she has been thriving with telvision appearances, song releases, and festival appearances.
This group had a lot of potential that fans feel like they should have been able to show instead of The Music Works disbanding them completely.
Fans are concerned that, with TOP Media‘s debut of their new (and quickly popular) group MCND, that UP10TION’s already weak advertising and management will become even less in order to further promote their new group, which is a shame because they are very talented and deserved better. Things were not helped when the group received attention following Kim Wooseok and Lee Jinhyuk’s appearance on Produce X 101, but the company decided to leave the two members out of promotions.
4. Samuel Kim
This ex-SEVENTEEN trainee has debuted under a number of different companies, all of whom seemed to struggle to promote him well as a solo artist despite him being really talented and well-trained. In November 2021, Samuel won a lawsuit against Brave Entertainment to terminate his contract. Fortunately he is still very young, so hopefully he’ll be better promoted in the future.
Though this girl group had stunning visuals and strong skills, they never found huge success due to mediocre marketing and constantly changing line-ups that made promotions difficult. The members however, are still close with each other.
6. Suhyun (of AKMU)
When her brother and the other half of AKMU, Chanhyuk, was in the military, YG Entertainment didn’t promote her as a solo artist at all despite her immense talent. She has since made her solo debut in October 2020 as she wanted her solo debut to be perfect and not solely rely on songs produced by her brother.
While B.A.P wasn’t a flop by any means, the fact that TS Entertainment treated them so poorly left a bitter taste in fans’ mouths after learning how exhausted the group members were due to being over-worked. If they’d been treated better, they might have been even more successful due to their unique sound and talented members. When the group debuted, they were part of the Top 3 new boy groups alongside EXO and BTS.
Despite having a huge fanbase following the members of Pristin coming from Produce 101, Pristin really only had a couple solid hits before Pledis Entertainment eventually disbanded them after such a short period of time and following lots of rumors and controversies. Even the members who stuck with Pledis Entertainment, Yehana and Sungyeon, have had very few activities since the group’s disbanding in 2019.
This extremely talented and unique group never got the attention the fans think that they deserved, and ended up disbanding before they could become well-known.
10. Minzy (2NE1)
It’s discussed among fans that Minzy was the least liked by YG Entertainment in 2NE1, which meant that she didn’t get the attention and solo promotions that she deserved for her dance skills and other talents. Even now as a solo artist, she’s struggling to make as much of a name for herself as she deserves.
11. Henry Lau
When Henry was part of Super Junior-M, he had to deal with antis that didn’t support him and Zhoumi for not being part of the “original” line-up of the group, despite him being very talented and hard-working. His solo debut under SM Entertainment wasn’t very successful either, and now that he’s no longer under the company, his career hasn’t taken off like it should. He has however, had success on variety shows such as I Live Alone.
Like B.A.P, CLC isn’t an unknown group by any means, but a lot of fans agree that they could be much more successful than they are if Cube Entertainment promoted them more properly and effectively than they have been. Some think that the company is favoring PENTAGON and (G)I-DLE more than this more senior girl group. The group has since disbanded, with Yujin taking on a new role as leader of Kep1er.
13. CL (2NE1)
CL used to be a huge name in the industry, and rightfully so. She is immensely talented both as a solo artist and when she was in 2NE1, and tons of fans looked up to her for her breaking the mold of typical female K-Pop idols. Following 2NE1’s disbandment, her career went on pause, with few releases and activities. However, she has been picking up her activities again, with festival appearances and new single releases.
Some fans think that Somi deciding to debut under YG Entertainment wasn’t the best move. It seemed like that was true, with her debut single coming 6 months after joining THE BLACK LABEL and over two years between her debut single and her next release. Fans believed she should have been able to share more of her music once she moved to THE BLACK LABEL.