5 richest K-pop stars

PSY.
PSY.PHOTO: CHOI SIWON/INSTAGRAM, SBS PLUS, STARSPEED ENTERTAINMENT, YG ENTERTAINMENT, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE
CHOI SIWON.
CHOI SIWON.PHOTO: CHOI SIWON/INSTAGRAM, SBS PLUS, STARSPEED ENTERTAINMENT, YG ENTERTAINMENT, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE
G-DRAGON.
G-DRAGON.PHOTO: CHOI SIWON/INSTAGRAM, SBS PLUS, STARSPEED ENTERTAINMENT, YG ENTERTAINMENT, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE
RAIN.
RAIN.PHOTO: CHOI SIWON/INSTAGRAM, SBS PLUS, STARSPEED ENTERTAINMENT, YG ENTERTAINMENT, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE
SANDARA PARK.
SANDARA PARK.PHOTO: CHOI SIWON/INSTAGRAM, SBS PLUS, STARSPEED ENTERTAINMENT, YG ENTERTAINMENT, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE

SEOUL • Could BTS make the cover of Time magazine as person or group of the year? An online poll of names has the South Korean boyband with the most votes.

But which K-pop celebrities have amassed the most wealth? According to E! Online, the top five are:

1 PSY

US$45 million (S$62 million)

He galloped his way to the bank after he hit the jackpot with 2012 hit Gangnam Style. The video has since logged 3.2 billion views on YouTube. His recent album 4x2=8 continues his chart success. His annual All Night Stand concerts, with A-list guests, are popular. This year, he cut out the middleman, setting up his own agency.


2 CHOI SIWON

US$35 million

The member of mega boyband Super Junior has also made his mark in acting - he was in 2015 movie Dragon Blade opposite Jackie Chan - and modelling. Early this month, Stanford University invited him to share his insights about the K-pop industry.


3 G-DRAGON

US$21 million

Part of super boyband BigBang, the fashionable singer - he has been spotted in the front row at Chanel shows - has been fiery on his own too, with sold-out solo shows and his lifestyle brand PeaceMinusOne. He reportedly nets US$700,000 a year in songwriting royalties alone.


4 RAIN

US$20 million

The singer-actor, who made his Hollywood foray with Ninja Assassin (2009), has put his money to good use. He and his wife, actress Kim Tae-hee, reign as the wealthiest celebrity couple in South Korean real estate.


5 SANDARA PARK

US$16 million

She has parlayed her status as a member of hit girl group 2NE1 to ink lucrative deals acting in drama serials and promoting lifestyle brands.

She is also a TV show host.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2018, with the headline '5 richest K-pop stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe