Home > Music

How idols have changed since their debuts

  • Published : Aug 12, 2018 - 11:41
  • Updated : Aug 12, 2018 - 11:41

As the entertainment market changes, artists often have to change their image or music styles to appeal to a new generation of listeners. Whether it is cultivating a less cutesy appearance or making a definitive shift in musical genre, this transition helps singers stay relevant.

Although singers often try to adapt to these shifts in their own creative ways, there’s no avoiding the changes that come with maturing both musically and age-wise. As K-pop idols tend to debut at a young age, there are several popular singers who have matured into completely different artists over the past few decades.

1. HyunA

(Hyuna official website)
In her 11 years of activity, HyunA has been a part of the girl groups Wonder Girls and 4Minute, has gone solo, and has spearheaded the project involving the unit Triple H. On top of her dancing and rapping expertise, she is well-known for her unchanging bold, fearless, and often risque, stage presence.

An artist who began in one of the most iconic K-pop groups of the century, she transitioned easily into the hip-hop scene. Aside from musical genres, perhaps the biggest change to her image has been her wardrobe, which effortlessly keeps up with new trends.

(HyunA's Instagram)

2. Taemin

(SHINee Lucifer music video screenshot)
In 2008, 14-year-old Taemin debuted as the youngest member of the group that has become the ultra-successful SHINee. While the group recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and is still going strong, much has changed for the singer, who has been in the public eye since a young age.

The now 25-year-old has grown out of his adorable floppy haircut, released two solo albums, made an official debut in Japan, and made a name for himself as a skilled dancer. With years of industry experience under his belt, the artist has developed his voice as well as personal style to become the charismatic performer he is today.

(SHINee's Instagram)

3. IU

(IU's Instagram)
Much has changed for the singer who topped charts with her playful pop song “Marshmallow” in 2009. She debuted at age 15 and has successfully transitioned from the classic girl next door to a still loveable, but more sophisticated figure since then -- partly thanks to her chic bob.

Her musical sound has become more influenced by R&B and soul in her more recent albums. IU’s latest album “Palette” has been praised for its artistic mix of the folk, ballad and slight retro genres. When she isn’t making music, IU is a highly sought after actress for dramas and endorsements, along with being a gracious philanthropist.

(IU's Instagram)

By Serena Soh, Intern reporter (sjsoh@heraldcorp.com)