MANILA — Bang Si-hyuk, the mastermind behind pop sensation BTS, has entered business magazine Forbes' 2021 list of the richest people in South Korea.
Bang, who is both the founder and chief executive officer of Hybe Corp., debuted at No. 16 on Korea's 50 Richest People list by Forbes with a net worth of $2.7 billion.
In October 2020, Hybe, then known as Big Hig Entertainment, debuted on the South Korean stock market.
Earlier this year, Hybe announced it would merge with American record executive Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, which counts Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande among its clients.
With the Braun deal, Hybe became one of the biggest power players in the global entertainment world.
Bang, 48, also known as "Hitman" Bang, started his career as a music producer at JYP Entertainment, another leading company in the K-pop industry.
In 2005, he founded Big Hit, which debuted BTS in 2013.
Meanwhile, at the top of the Forbes' list for South Korea this year is Seo Jung-jin, cofounder of biopharmaceutical company Celltrion, with a net worth of $12.5 billion.
Samsung Electronics' Jay Y. Lee (Lee Jae-yong) rose to the No. 2 spot, with a net worth of $12.4 billion.
Lee was also this year's "biggest dollar gainer" after inheriting a fortune from his late father, Lee Kun-hee, who held the top spot of the Forbes list until his death last year.
The late Lee's wife, Hong Ra-hee, who inherited the largest part of her husband's fortune, ranked sixth with $7.1 billion.
Online gaming company heads were also high on the list. Nexon's Kim Jung-ju and Smilegate's Kwon Hyuk-bin placed on the third and fifth spot, respectively.
Taking the fourth spot is Kim Beom-su of internet giant Kakao, according to the Forbes list.
The list was compiled using information from individuals, analysts, government agencies, private databases, stock exchanges and other sources, according to Forbes.