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Started From The Bottom: K-Pop Artists From Small Agencies Who Became Superstars

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Apr 22, 2022 07:42 AM EDT

In 2021 alone, there were more than 60 K-pop groups that debuted and that does not even include soloists. Among those K-pop artists, only a handful came from established companies and a vast majority began from small agencies.

READ: 2022's Most Beautiful K-Pop Idols Chosen By More Than 25 Thousand Fans

Although debuting in a popular agency is almost always a great start to success, starting off in a small company does not limit one's potential. Throughout the history of the K-pop industry, there are a plethora of K-pop artists who had humble beginnings but are now major superstars.

With proper determination, grit, hard work, and enough talent, rookies in the K-pop industry can overcome all odds and hit immense success. For some, it will happen overnight while for others, it might take years.

One thing is for certain though, K-pop artists who debut in a small agency have the pressure of possibly carrying their companies on their backs. Notably, there are a plethora of K-pop artists who were able to do this and at present are very famous.

READ: Stray Kids, TREASURE, (G)I-DLE: Get To Know The Best-Selling 4th-Gen K-Pop Artists On Hanteo

Thus, here are the K-pop artists who started off from small companies and have succeeded:

B1A4 from WM Entertainment

Block B from Stardom Entertainment and Seven Seasons

Secret from TS Entertainment

Highlight, previously known as B2ST, from CUBE Entertainment

INFINITE from Woollim Entertainment

Girl's Day from Dream T Entertainment

EXID from Banana Culture

GFriend from Source Music

SISTAR from Starship Entertainment


SEVENTEEN from Pledis Entertainment

IU from LOEN Entertainment

BTS from Big Hit Music

Some of the K-pop artists that were mentioned have either transferred since their debut or have elevated their K-pop agencies. But all of the idols were able to succeed against the odds and are now superstars.

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