For some time now, South Korean netizens have been in a long-going debate over whether K-Pop idols can be seriously taken as artists with musical talent.

Some agree with the statement that idols are purely entertainers without any real talent while others have vigorously defended idols and argued that idols they do in fact possess real talent but are more focused on using them for entertainment purposes. This poses the question of what entertainment and talent really are.

How is talent defined? Is it the ability to captivate an audience through above-average musical abilities? Or is it an ability to keep the audience interested through whatever means besides musical abilities?

It's definitely a question that can't be answered easily from just one side. Music and entertainment have been something that went hand in hand for a long time up until now.

One incident in South Korea that sparked this controversy was when singer Ha HyunWoo stated "I honestly don't believe idols are musical artists. I sometimes even think they are lying to the audience and are mere entertainers putting on a show. Idols claim they had to fight through heavy competition to get to where they are at now but I seriously am curious, how on earth did they become singers?"

The South Korean K-Pop Controversy: Are Idols Artists or Just Entertainers?


Comments from netizens such as "I'm a fan of my idol not because of his singing but because of other reasons!" only further complicate things.

In fact, some fans have openly admitted that they were fans not because they thought their idols were actually talented.

How do you define talent? Feel free to share your thoughts!


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Feb 6, 2018 05:04 am

Some of them are definitely entertainers which isn't a bad thing! Don't know why you would paint that in a bad light. And some are in it for the music. Which also isn't a bad thing. To each their own

Feb 3, 2018 01:26 am

Stupid argument..has that idiot Ha HyunWoo ever watched a one of the survival shows even the weakest singers are talented and a lot of them are VERY talented singers..this strikes me to be a case of jealousy because Idols do tend to get more recognition than rock bands(he also seems a bit of a pretentious d**k)

Mar 14, 2018 04:36 pm
Reply to  wyrdythegerbil

For one, this interview was from 2010, at a time when idols weren't that talented ; he was frustrated cause he had had collabs with girl groups, and believe me it was rather awful, most of the girls truly couldn't sing

Since then he has praised talented idols
Also, he is one of the most talented singers in Korea, so no, he isn't pretentious