In the vibrant world of K-Pop, a rising trend is bringing attention to a less talked-about aspect of an idol's life: health concerns leading to hiatus. On November 17, ITZY's Lia announced her hiatus, reflecting a broader occurrence in 2023 as many K-Pop idols take breaks due to rising health issues.
The evolving industry places pressure on idols to be flawless amid demanding schedules, sparking a candid conversation about their mental and physical well-being.
Traditionally, taking a hiatus in the K-Pop industry was accompanied by stigma and speculation.
However, recent years have witnessed a significant shift as more idols courageously step into the limelight to share their struggles, break the silence, and prioritize their health over societal expectations.
A hiatus, common in the entertainment industry like K-pop, is a temporary suspension of an artist's or group's activities, often prompted by health, personal reasons, or the need for rest, allowing individuals to prioritize recovery and personal matters over professional responsibilities.
On November 17, K-Pop girl band ITZY member Lia announced her hiatus due to anxiety disorder. Their official Twitter page posted an update on her health, along with an official statement by Lia's agency, JYP Entertainment.
Here is the Twitter post with the link of the statement:
However, 2023 has seen a massive number of K-pop idols taking temporary hiatus. Below are the K-Pop idols who have taken hiatus in 2023:
1. VERIVERY's Hooyoung
On October 30, his agency Jellyfish Entertainment released a statement saying Hooyoung needs treatment due to a deterioration in his psychological well-being.
2. The Boyz's Ju Hak Nyeon
On November 16, IST Entertainment revealed that Ju Haknyeon from THE BOYZ will temporarily step back from activities due to lower back disc stenosis.
3. Alice’s Do-A and Yeonje
On March 6, both K-pop idols announced a temporary suspension of activities due to poor health issues.
4. DRIPPIN’s Alex
Alex, who declared a temporary pause in his engagements on January 26, born in 2004, is presently 18 years old and a minor. Exhibiting signs of health issues, Alex will prioritize recovery after consulting with both his parents and the agency.
5. TNX’s Cheon Jun-hyeok
Cheon Jun-hyeok halted his activities on January 11 due to symptoms of anxiety. Born in 2004, he is currently underage.
6. IVE's Rei:
On April 11, Starship Entertainment announced that Rei would not join the group's debut album promotion, prioritizing her health due to symptoms of heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
7. Lapillus’ Chanty:
On January 19, Chanty also announced taking some time to rest from her busy schedules.
8. NCT’s Haechan:
Haechan, under SM Entertainment, took a break on January 7 for health reasons but returned after 20 days.
9. Seventeen's Seungkwan:
Seungkwan had taken a temporary hiatus during their promotions for their new album 'FML.'
seungkwan opened seventeen's speech at UNESCO today, explaining that jeju island where he grew up is a Biosphere Reserve, Natural World Heritage Site and a Global Geopark under UNESCO, and it was the place he was able to build his big dreams of someday performing on stage♡ 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Q4N6tEQFfP— 🌊☆ (@sup3rnovas) November 14, 2023
10. Xdinary Heroes' Junhan:
Junhan, the guitarist of the band, was diagnosed with enteritis and had to go on a temporary hiatus.
11. Red Velvet's Joy:
Earlier this year, Joy was advised to take rest due to deteriorating health and took a break.
These idols have openly addressed their struggles with anxiety, depression, and injury, shedding light on the mental health challenges faced by K-pop stars. The rigorous demands of K-Pop, including intense dance routines and hectic schedules, lead to physical exhaustion and, occasionally, serious health problems.
The significant number of idols going on hiatus underscores how K-Pop idols are not immune to the physical strains of their profession and need time to care for their well-being.
As concerns about the health of K-Pop idols gain visibility, the industry has started to respond. Evolving norms within agencies reflect a deeper understanding that a healthier artist is likely to contribute more sustainably to the industry.