Youngest Male K-Pop Idols Currently in the Industry

10 Youngest Male K-Pop Idols Currently in the Industry (2022)

The K-pop industry churns out new idols every year and many idols leave after a few years. However, there are some K-pop idols who stick around for decades. Every single one of the male K-pop idols on this list has been active since the 1990s. For the most part, the oldest male K-pop idols are members of g.o.d., SECHSKIES, and SHINHWA. All of these groups were part of the first wave of K-pop music. While SECHSKIES and g.o.d. only reunited a few years ago, SHINHWA has been going strong since it debuted in 1998 (with some hiatuses). The second-oldest male K-pop idol on this list is JYP, the founder of JYP Entertainment.

10. Kim Dong-wan (November 21, 1979 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 42 years, 2 months
Years Active: 1998 – Present
Birth Name: Kim Dong-wan
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Group: SHINHWA
Position: Main Vocalist

Kim Dong-wanphoto source: MyDramaList

Kim Dong-wan is the third oldest member of SHINHWA, the first K-pop idol group to lead a successful career after leaving its original agency. The group has remained together since 1998, but its members, including Kim, pursue individual projects.

As a child and teenager, Kim was an actor. However, he shifted toward the music industry after he was streetcast as trainee for SM Entertainment. In 2007, Kim released his first solo album titled Kimdongwan Is. Outside of music and acting, Kim is known for his philanthropy. Following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Kim donated ₩36,000,000 (equivalent to approximately $33,660 USD) towards the relief fund.

Did You Know?

Following his mandatory military service, Kim Dong-wan joined SHINHWA bandmate Shin Hye-sung at Liveworks Company and has since played the lead role of Hedwig in theatrical musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Sang Sang Art Hall in Seoul.


9. Kim Jae-duck (August 7, 1979 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 42 years, 5 months, 14 days
Years Active: 1997 – Present
Birth Name: Kim Jae-duck
Birthplace: Busan, South Korea
Group: SECHSKIES and J-Walk
Position: Vocalist, Rapper, and Choreographer

Kim Jae-duckphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Kim Jae-duck is another member of SECHSKIES who is currently in his 40s and still going strong in the industry. As a teenager, Kim was part of a dance duo called Quicksilver along with future band mate Lee Jai-jin. They were both recruited for SECHSKIES. The duo moved from Busan to Seoul to finish high school while training at Daesung Entertainment.

After SECHSKIES initially disbanded in 2000, Kim Jae-duck and fellow SECHSKIES member Jang Su-won formed a new duo called J-Walk. Over the years, J-Walk has been inconsistently active due to Kim and Jang Su-won’s solo projects as well as their mandatory military service. Both Kim and Jang Su-won have returned to SECHSKIES while also maintaining J-Walk.

Did You Know?

When SECHSKIES broke up, Kim Jae-duck was originally going to become a dance instructor for the band’s original label Daesung Entertainment.


8. Lee Min-woo (July 28, 1979 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 42 years, 5 months, 24 days
Years Active: 1998 – Present
Birth Name: Lee Min-woo
Birthplace: Jeonju, South Korea
Group: SHINHWA
Position: Main Dancer and Lead Vocalist

Lee Min-woophoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Lee Min-woo is the second oldest member of SHINHWA, after Eric. While SHINHWA has been together since 1998, Lee was the first member of the group to release solo music in 2003. In 2007, Lee set up his own agency, M Rising Entertainment, to manage his solo activities.

Lee attended Jeonju Fine Arts School and was part of a group called Dicky Ducky. At a competition, Lee was scouted as the fourth member to join SHINHWA. As a solo artist, Lee uses the stage name “M.” Lee performed at American singer Christina Aguilera’s Seoul concert as part of her Back to Basics To Basics tour in 2006.

Did You Know?

In 2011, Lee Min-woo and fellow bandmate Eric formed Shinhwa Company, a joint venture agency for SHINHWA to perform as a group. The company manages SHINHWA as a whole, whilst members’ individual activities are managed by their respective agencies.


7. Lee Jai-jin (July 13, 1979 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 42 years, 6 months, 8 days
Years Active: 1997 – Present
Birth Name: Lee Jai-jin
Birthplace: Busan, South Korea
Group: SECHSKIES
Position: Sub-Rapper and Main Dancer

Lee Jai-jinphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Lee Jai-jin is another member of SECHSKIES, who has remained active in the industry over the last few decades. Before joining SECHSKIES, Lee was part of a dance crew called Quicksilver with fellow SECHSKIES member Kim Jae-duck. Both members of Quicksilver became trainees in Lee Juno’s company. Lee Juno ended up recommending both Quicksilver boys to Lee Ho-yeon, Daesung Entertainment’s CEO at the time, when he was looking for members to form a new boy band.

Along with Kim Jae-duck, Lee Jai-jin created the choreography for most of SECHSKIES music videos. When SECHSKIES broke up in 2000, Lee launched a solo music career. Unfortunately, Lee did not have much success as a solo artist and after his mandatory military service, he left the entertainment industry and moved to Japan. Lee signed a new contract with YG Entertainment in 2016 with most of the other members of SECHSKIES.

Did You Know?

In 2013, Lee Jai-jin opened a restaurant called School Food with his brother-in-law, Yang Hyun-suk, the founder of YG Entertainment.


6. Eric (February 16, 1979 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 42 years, 11 months, 3 days
Years Active: 1998 – Present
Birth Name: Mun Jung-hyuk
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Group: SHINHWA
Position: Leader and Main Rapper

Ericphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Eric is currently the leader of SHINHWA, a group that has been together since 1998. Unlike a lot of older K-pop groups, SHINHWA never broke up and they are now the longest-running boy band in the history of K-pop. Surprisingly, SHINHWA has retained all of its original members even through the group’s hardships.

According to Eric, SHINHWA’s first album was not a commercial success and the group was very close to disbanding. Eric even thought about moving back to the United States – although he was born in Korea, he spent a large portion of his childhood and young adulthood living in America. In addition to his music career, Eric has had a successful acting career, appearing in popular shows like Phoenix (2004), Super Rookie (2005), and Another Oh Hae-young (2016).

Did You Know?

In 2003, Eric gave up his U.S. citizenship to serve his South Korean military service. He was the first SHINHWA member to enlist for mandatory military service in October 2008.


5. Danny Ahn (December 22, 1978 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 43 years, 30 days
Years Active: 1999 – Present
Birth Name: Danny Ahn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
Group: g.o.d.
Position: Leader and Main Rapper

Danny Ahnphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via ACROFAN


Danny Ahn, who was born in the United States, is the cousin of Joon Park, the founding member of their K-pop group g.o.d. Before making his debut with g.o.d. in 1999, Ahn was a rapper for singer Uhm Jung-hwa. He was also supposed to be a member of a mixed-gender group, but the project fell through. However, in 1997, his cousin recruited him for g.o.d.

After g.o.d. disbanded in 2005, Ahn worked as a radio DJ. He also worked on his solo music career before rejoining g.o.d. in 2014.

Did You Know?

Since August 2020, Danny Ahn and his g.o.d bandmate Son Ho-young have co-hosted a talk show g.o.d’s Lunch Attack which airs on Naver’s streaming app Naver NOW.


4. Yoon Kye-sang (December 20, 1978 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 43 years, 1 month, 1 day
Years Active: 1999 – Present
Birth Name: Yoon Kye-sang
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Group: g.o.d.
Position: Vocalist

Yoon Kye-sangphoto source: Asian Wiki

Yoon Kye-sang is the second oldest member of g.o.d. after Joon Park. Yoon began his journey into K-pop in 1997 when he answered an advertisement for Park Joon-hyung’s project music group and had auditioned with aspirations of becoming a rock star. Although g.o.d. became one of the most popular K-pop boy bands of the early 2000s, Yoon left the group in 2004 to pursue an acting career.

Yoon’s foray into acting was disrupted by his mandatory military service. He returned to the entertainment industry in 2007 and appeared in his first television drama Crazy in Love. Over the next few years, Yoon starred in a number of films and TV shows before returning to g.o.d. for the group’s reunion in 2014.

Did You Know?

In 2004, Yoon Kye-sang won Best New Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role in the film Flying Boys.


3. Eun Ji-won (June 8, 1978 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 43 years, 7 months, 11 days
Years Active: 1997 – Present
Birth Name: Eun Ji-won
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Group: SECHSKIES
Position: Leader

Eun Ji-wonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Eun Ji-won is the leader of SECHSKIES, a K-pop group that was initially only together for three years from 1997 – 2000. While the group was fairly popular during its original run, Eun has said that his time with the group when they were younger was very hectic. In 2016, SECHSKIES reunited with Eun Ji-won as its leader.

After SECHSKIES disbanded in 2000, Eun began his solo career and found success. In 2004, Eun starred in his film, a romantic comedy called Marrying a High-School Girl. While Eun continued his solo music career, in 2011, Eun, Gilme and Mr. Tyfoon formed Clover, a hip hop music trio. After a few years of releasing music with SECHSKIES again, Eun also started making solo music again in 2019.

Did You Know?

As a solo artist, Eun Ji-won changed music genres from pop and shifted into hip hop and rap.


2. JYP (December 13, 1971 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 50 years, 1 month, 6 days
Years Active: 1994 – Present
Birth Name: Park Jin-young
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Group: N/A – solo artist; founder of JYP Entertainment
Position: N/A

JYPphoto source: K-Pop Wiki

JYP, aka J.Y. Park, is one of the most successful K-pop artists of all-time. He turned a solo music career into a Korean entertainment empire. Park’s music career began in 1994 and just a few years later, he founded his label and agency JYP Entertainment, then known as Tae-Hong Planning Corp. JYP’s first successful K-pop was g.o.d.; many members of g.o.d. are one this list.

Over the past few decades, JYP Entertainment has become one of the most profitable entertainment agencies in South Korea. As the head of JYP Entertainment, Park has developed and managed highly successful K-pop artists including Rain, Wonder Girls, 2PM, Miss A, Got7, Day6, Twice, Stray Kids, and Itzy.

Did You Know?

In 2004, JYP became the first Asian producer to cross over to the U.S. when he produced music for Will Smith, Mase, and Cassie.


1. Joon Park (July 20, 1969 – Present)

Current Age (as of January 2022): 52 years, 6 months, 1 day
Years Active: 1999 – Present
Birth Name: Park Joon-hyung
Birthplace: South Korea
Group: g.o.d.
Position: Leader and Rapper

Joon Parkphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

 

At the age of 52 years, 6 months, and 1 day Joon Park is currently the oldest male K-pop idol still active in the industry. Park is currently the leader g.o.d. (Groove Over Dose), a group that has been around since 1999. Following an almost decade-long hiatus from 2005 – 2014, g.o.d. reunited for the group’s 15th anniversary. They have been performing again since then.

Park, who was born in Korea, but was raised in the United States, moved back to Korea in 1997. He wanted to start a group that made Korean music with a twist of western culture. Park recruited his cousin Danny Ahn, followed by Danny’s friend Son Ho-young, aspiring singer Yoon Kye-sang, and rookie actress Kim Sun-a. All of the original members of g.o.d. returned in 2014.

Did You Know?

Before moving back to Korea to become a singer, Joon Park graduated from California State University, Long Beach and worked at an advertising firm as a graphic designer.

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