Even before headlining the top-rating Netflix drama Start-Up, Bae Suzy has been one of the brightest stars in South Korea for the past decade. In case you don’t know, she actually started her career in the business as a K-pop idol, and she's transitioned from being an idol to an actress all while being a top endorser of many, many brands.
With all the top-rating projects under her belt, Suzy has really made a lot of moolah that can probably last her a lifetime. At 26 years old, she’s already making big bank. So let me break down her reported net worth for you.
The multifaceted artist started her idol training in 2009 under JYP Entertainment, which is one of the "big three" agencies in South Korea. The next year, she joined the K-pop girl group miss A. Seven years later, the group disbanded but not without making a hefty amount, to say the least. A former K-pop idol disclosed that artists from the big three are paid immediately right after debut compared to other labels—meaning, they can already get their own share of the pie and open new bank accounts after breaking into the scene. In connection with this, Billboard reported in 2015 that the average annual income of K-pop groups saw a significant increase from $21,000 (around P1 million) in 2010 to $43,000 (around P2 million) in 2013, all thanks to their overseas performances. Miss A, in particular, had an Asia tour when they were active. When they separated ways, Suzy pursued her solo career and released her first solo mini-album in 2017.
In 2015, Suzy made it to the list of the highest-paid K-pop-idols-slash-K-drama-actresses, alongside Girls' Generation’s Yoona. Guess what: She was able to take home $16,700 (around P805,600) per episode she starred in, and that was in 2015! We can only imagine how much that has increased since!
K-dramas get profit from advertisers who place their trust in their programs. So when a drama gains a high rating from TV viewers, you bet that advertisers will line up just to have their brand mentioned or shown for even two seconds in an episode. More viewers = more advertisers. More advertisers = more screen time and income for actors! With that equation, you already have an idea of what happened to Suzy's bank account after her K-dramas (like Uncontrollably Fond, Vagabond, and now Start-Up) all placed number one in terms of viewership while they were airing.
Now let's proceed to her films. Two of Suzy’s movies, namely Architecture 101 and Ashfall, both surpassed the four million moviegoer count in 2012 and 2017. Let’s say that a movie ticket in South Korea costs around $10 or P480 (FYI, this varies depending on the day and theater, so this is just a rough estimate according to my Korean friend)—multiply that by four million and you have P1,920,000,000 in ticket sales alone! Everyone, please give a round of applause to the blockbuster 'bae'.
When it comes to endorsements, Suzy has landed major ad deals that have brought in a lot $$$. If her schedule is not jam-packed with shootings, Suzy is seen striking a pose for some of the biggest brands like Canon, Lancome, Guess, Reebok, Swarovski, and Sprite. Not only that, but she has also advertised a couple of the most interesting items like a kimchi refrigerator! With her long list of ads, Suzy has been dubbed as South Korea’s “CF (commercial film) Queen” for years.
Since most of her dramas have been successful, her advertisement fees, for sure, have surged. In 2013, she was reportedly booked for more than 14 endorsement deals and was reported to have received $10 million (around P482,990,000). In 2017, tvN revealed that Suzy’s endorsement fee was 700 million won or around P30,100,000 per commercial. WOW. Actually, this doesn’t come as a surprise knowing that whatever brand Suzy endorses is proven to be a hit. For example, South Korean clothing brand Beanpole saw a 400% sales increase after the actress released a personally-designed bag that flew off the shelves. The same happened with a Lancome lipstick she used in Vagabond, which became a hot search on the internet. In short, having Suzy as an endorser is a fantastic decision for brands, knowing how effective she is due to her loyal following.
Her continuous streak of success paved the way for Suzy to buy the things she wants. We're talking investments. In 2016, it was reported that Suzy acquired a high-profit building in Gangnam, aka the most expensive area in Seoul. The property has seen a tremendous increase in value from $3.7 million (around P178,628,600) to $6.5 million (around P313,937,000) today. It is said that the building earns $13,400 (around P647,193 per month) for rental fees alone. Daebak.
Going through all of these, one can’t help but wonder: How much is Bae Suzy’s estimated net worth? Reports say that she's now at $20 million (around P965,880,000). Whoa.
Suzy, without a doubt, has it all: Her timeless beauty, natural charm, and talent are what make her a star. But do you know what defines her as an artist? It’s her being a naturally-kindhearted individual! She goes above and beyond in lending a hand not only to her loved ones but also to those who are in need. In a Soompi article, she shared how hard her parents worked when she was young: “Dad was a Taekwondo director and mom had a beauty shop. Business wasn’t doing well so mom went into the boonshik (Korean fast food) business. As it’s hard to run that kind of business, I always felt sad.” To give back, she bought a house, car, and café (named Su Café) for her parents in 2013. You know what? Our love for her has multiplied.
The actress has also made several donations to different organizations, that we can write an entire novel about it. According to reports, some of her most remarkable charitable acts include her $18,584 (around P897,495) donation to single mothers; $12,600 (around P608,504) contribution to families in need; $87,491 (around P4,227,040) subsidy to the victims of Gangwon’s Wildfire; and $88,500 (around P4,275,789) as medical support to patients. Suzy has also been a member of the Honor Society of charity organization Community Chest of Korea since 2015, and has reportedly donated over $86,210 (around P4,165,149)! What warmed our hearts even more is knowing that her annual birthday tradition is donating to Life Share Association, and the non-profit org has said that the actress has already made a total of almost $334,700 (around P16,132,540) in donations. Such a lovely queen!
Whatever the cause, you can bet that Suzy is always ready to reach out. Her fans, Sueweeties, often say that she’s unmatched and untouchable, and now we already know why she’s been receiving so many blessings at a young age—because she is a blessing to others herself.
*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.