When it’s time for a K-Pop idol to debut, it is a massive moment and one that they’ve been waiting for all their lives. Yet, some idols have been lucky enough to debut multiple times across different K-Pop eras. In particular, only a few idols have managed to debut in three different generations of K-Pop.
Although the requirements for each generation differ depending on the person, most agree on these criteria.
- 1990’s to 2004 – 1st Generation
- 2005 to 2011 – 2nd Generation
- 2012 – 2017 – 3rd Generation
- 2017 – Present – 4th Generation
NB: People have differing views on the 3/4 generation, and many say they both overlap within 2017.
Here are five idols who have debuted in three different generations!
Taemin was only 14 when he debuted as part of SHINee, which was at the peak of the second generation in 2008. He quickly won his way into the hearts of fans worldwide with his charming personality and breathtaking voice. Yet, if fans worried that he debuted too young, he had the pleasure of doing it another two times.
In 2014, which is counted as the third generation, Taemin made his solo debut with the track “Danger” sweeping Korean charts. Almost five years later, Taemin had the chance to debut one last time when he joined SM Entertainment‘s supergroup SuperM in 2019. He is definitely a certified legend with three debuts spanning over ten years.
Despite being the youngest on this list by far, at only 16 years old, Kep1er‘s maknae Yeseo has also debuted three times. In 2010, Yeseo joined the K-Pop scene at the age of 5 by joining the kids’ group CutieL. In 2019, Yeseo then debuted in the group Busters under the name of Pritti. Although it might not have been exactly third generation, since the group debuted at that time, many have still counted it.
More recently, Yeseo competed in Mnet‘s Girls Planet 999 and made it into the final debuting lineup for the group Kep1er. With some setbacks due to the pandemic, Yeseo debuted with the rest of the group in January 2022. Despite being the youngest, many fans have joked that Yeseo is actually the most experienced member.
Girls’ Generation is one of the most iconic groups in K-Pop. With so much experience, it isn’t surprising that member Hyoyeon has debuted several times and over three generations. The group debuted back in 2007, and in 2016, she released her first debut track and has continued to release impressive tracks alone.
Yet, she also debuted in 2018 as part of Oh!GG. Then, in 2022, she made her appearance at the SMTOWN Live Concert in the group Got the Beat, which is made up of female idols from all the SM Entertainment girl groups, including aespa and Red Velvet. With nearly twenty years of experience, Hyoyeon is a true legend.
Known for her unique and crazy style as a soloist, HyunA actually started her career as part of JYP Entertainment’s Wonder Girls, who debuted in 2006. Later in 2009, she then moved to CUBE Entertainment and joined 4Minute, which means she debuted twice in the second generation.
When HyunA moved to Cube Entertainment, she debuted as a solo artist in 2010 but officially made her third-generation debut in Dazzling Red, a project group that consists of 5 female idols from established girl groups. Then in mid-2017, counted as fourth-generation to many, HyunA made her final debut as part of Triple H with PENTAGON‘s Hui and her boyfriend DAWN.
It seems as if Girls’ Generation has stood the test of time as another member of the group has also debuted across three generations, and that is Taeyeon. In 2007, Taeyeon debuted in Girls’ Generation and quickly took the world by storm as part of one of the most iconic girl groups in history.
In 2015, Taeyeon made her solo debut and continued to shine in everything she did, including collaborations, EPs and OSTs. Fast forward to 2022, and, like Hyoyeon, Taeyeon was part of Oh!GG and the supergroup Got The Beat.