The K-pop music industry is signified by a hyper-competitive training system. The aim was to examine dropout and retention rates among a representative sample of K-pop artists and groups. The dropout rates of 49 K-pop groups and 298 group members (N = 298; F = 130; M = 168), who have been active any time between 2003–2019, were 5.70%. As gender, age and other generic control factors could not explain more than a fraction of retention rates, the author interprets this as partial evidence for melancholia among some dropouts.