From Kim Woo Bin to Suga, These Celebrities Had Surprising Jobs Before Fame

Suga before BTS
Suga before BTS
Credit: Mnet

Mnet’s TMI NEWS SHOW looked over the stars who worked part-time jobs under the theme “From rags to riches! Stars who went from being part-timers to being bosses.”

Eighth place went to Nam Joo Hyuk. Because of his family’s financial struggles, the actor worked as a basketball coach, parking attendant, etc., even while attending school. At the time, the expected income was about 2.44 million KRW (about $1,885) per month. Currently, he bags about 50 million KRW (about $38,600) per episode. If he stars in a 16-part series, that totals 800 million KRW (about $617,600). This is about 326 times higher than what he earned in the past.

Jessi came in seventh place. When she was just an obscure singer, she used to work part-time as an English teacher for kids. She made about 1.9 million KRW (about $1,465) at the time. But now, the singer’s expected income is estimated to be around 84.5 million (about $65,220), a 444-fold increase.

Kim Woo Bin ranked sixth. The actor has had many part-time jobs in the past, including at restaurants, izakayas, and the front desk at a gym. His income at the time was estimated to be around 1.17 million KRW (about $905). But the actor was paid about 50 million KRW (about $38,600) per episode in 2015 and is currently receiving 100 million KRW (about $77,200). He bags about 800 million KRW (about $617,530) with 8-part series, which is 286 times higher.

Fifth place went to Lim Young Woong. Before making his debut, he was a part-timer. The expected income at the time was about 1.88 million KRW (about $1,450) per month. But in the first three days of his tour, he made about 2.7 billion KRW (about $2.1 million) with just the tickets, and after the national tour, he’d have raked about seven times the amount. Moreover, the singer is paid about 600 million KRW (about $463,000) in just one month with his endorsement deals. This is 1447 times higher compared to the days he worked as a part-timer.

The Boyz’ New came in fourth place. He used to work as a waiter in several restaurants and earned about 48,240 KRW (about $37) per day. But the expected daily profit from a concert held in the States in June is 1.06 billion KRW (about $817,540). This makes members’ daily profit 96.98 million KRW (about $74,800). Looking at the daily profit, this is a 2010-fold increase.

Lee Sun Bin ranked third. The actress used to work multiple part-time jobs, including distributing flyers and modeling for shopping malls. She’s estimated to have earned 44,640 KRW (about $34) a day. But she bagged about 100 million KRW (about $77,100) per episode for her recent drama. This is 2240 times higher.

MONSTA X’s Kihyun took the second spot. He used to work at an air purifier filter factory. At that time, the idol’s expected monthly salary was about 875,280 KRW (about $675). But the ticket sales alone for the act’s June concert were 14.14 billion KRW (about $10.9 million). The members are estimated to get 2.83 billion KRW (about $2.2 million) each. This is a 3200-fold increase.

First place went to BTS’ Suga. BTS is estimated to make an annual income of 62 billion KRW (about $47.8 million) from the endorsement deals. The three-day Seoul concert hosted this year is expected to generate 7.425 billion KRW (about $5.72 million) in ticket revenue. If you add profits from live streaming, this number will reach up to 108.415 billion KRW (about $83.54 million). This means about 15.48 billion KRW (about $11.93 million) will go to each member. When the label had financial troubles, and BTS was on the verge of getting disbanded, Suga started working part-time. At the time, Suga made about 219,840 KRW (about $170) in three days. Ten years later, the singer’s making 70,000 times the amount.


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