Road to K-pop stardom

Thousands of Korean children dream of becoming household names like rapper Psy, whose 2012 “Gangnam Style” video was a global YouTube hit, often putting up with punishing schedules in the hope of one day making it big in the music industry. A recent survey of pre-teens showed that 21 percent of respondents wanted to be K-pop (Korean pop) stars when they grow up, the most popular career choice. [15 photos total]

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1
Members of South Korean girl group GFriend watch a recording of their stage performance during a dress rehearsal for "The Show" in Seoul, Jan. 20. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters) #
2
Fans of South Korean girl group GFriend react as GFriend perform during "The Show" in Seou,l Jan. 20. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters) #
3
Members of South Korean girl group GFriend perform during "The Show" in Seoul, Jan. 20. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters) #
4
A member of South Korean girl group GFriend signs her autograph on their album before "The Show" in Seoul. (KIM HONG-JI) #
5
Members of South Korean girl group GFriend rehearse for their debut in Seoul, Dec. 23, (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters) #
6
Jang Ha-jin, who was a trainee at S.M. Entertainment, performs in an empty practice room at a university in Daejeon, Dec. 18. Jang made it to S.M. Entertainment's coveted training programme a decade ago after winning a talent contest. She stuck to a seven-day regimen for nearly three years, before giving it all up to return to a more sedate life. (KIM HONG-JI) #
7
Jang Ha-jin who was a trainee at S.M, Entertainment, picks out a book at a university library in Daejeon, Dec. 18, (KIM HONG-JI) #
8
Kim Si-yoon plays a toy guitar at her house in Seoul, Nov. 20. Kim is an aspiring K-pop (Korean pop) star. She wakes up at 7:30am for school, followed by hours of voice training, dance lessons and cram school before crashing into bed at midnight. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters) #
9
Kim Si-yoon (2nd R) and Yoo Ga-eul (R) take part in a singing lesson at DEF Dance Skool in Seoul, Nov. 15. ( Kim is an aspiring K-pop (Korean pop) star.) #
10
Kim Si-yoon (centre L) and Yoo Ga-eul look at a smart phone as they take a short break at DEF Dance Skool in Seoul, Nov. 7. (KIM HONG-JI) #
11
Kim Si-yoon and Yoo Ga-eul (L) dance in front of their mothers as they play at a playground in Seoul, Nov. 15. (KIM HONG-JI) #
12
Kim Si-yoon attends a private English lesson in Seoul, Nov. 20. (KIM HONG-JI) #
13
Kim Si-yoon puts on her makeup as she arrives with her mother to take part in a dance class late at night at DEF Dance Skool in Seoul, Dec. 16. (KIM HONG-JI) #
14
Kim Si-yoon (C) takes part in a dance class at DEF Dance Skool in Seoul, Nov. 11. (KIM HONG-JI) #
15
Kim Si-yoon and Yoo Ga-eul (L) take a selfie at a restaurant in Seoul, Nov. 15. (KIM HONG-JI) #

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