Why K-Pop Legend Hyori Lee Feels Bad for Young Idol Groups

Hyori Lee, who just returned after a long hiatus, has openly expressed that she feels bad for today’s K-Pop groups.

Hyori, dubbed as the “Queen of K-Pop” and the “Nation’s Fairy,” belongs to the so-called first generation of idols—artists recognized as essentially the beginning of K-Pop, debuting in the 90s. She launched her career as part of the girl group Fin.K.L, which debuted in 1998 under DSP Media.

In a June 29 appearance on JTBC Newsroom, Hyori explained (via allkpop):

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“I feel bad when I see junior idol groups. The competition wasn’t as fierce back in our day. Since the internet and social media wasn’t as developed back then, there was a lot more freedom. Idols nowadays don’t have a place to hide, people see every little thing that they do, and the competition is a lot fiercer.”

Anyone who witnessed the evolution of K-Pop—those who hopped on the bandwagon early and are still riding it—would agree.

Hyori went on:

“For example, when I go to the hair salon the idols’ faces look very dark compared to their bright happy faces on broadcast, and they often appear down and lack energy… They also train for a very long time and get criticized and then they receive even more criticism after they debut so I feel bad for the idol groups.”

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Needless to say, the Queen has every right to feel this way.

Hyori will release “Black,” her 6th studio album, next month. In the meantime, patient fans can listen to her new track “Seoul”:

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