It is believed that the active audience of Korean pop started in the 1990s when fans’ activities began to be visible and mediatized. However, the fandom of Korean pop can be traced back long before the decade. While agreeing with the argument of audience studies and media ethnography that the reception, engagement, and participation by fans are seen as creative, imaginative, and even uncontrollable, the specific institutions that took efforts to curate, regulate, and eventually valorize the “affective labor” of media use by the fans cannot be glossed over. Hence, I focus on the “production-cum-management companies” which emerged in the early 1980s. Focusing on two companies, Haesŏn and Samho, that had managed the 1980s’ superstars Cho Yong-p’il and Na Mi respectively, I will recollect the process of star-making through the interactions, communications, dialogues between stars and fans. I argue that the process was meticulously intermediated by the companies, resulting in constructing superstardom and superfandom simultaneously. Interestingly, stars, fans, and intermediaries, at least seemingly, didn’t mind being “manipulated” and “controlled” by the record industry and broadcasting industry. It shows exchanging the labor of “love” between the stars and fans is a necessary condition for the success of popular music in a certain time period. More interestingly, this love is strongly based on and bonded by the (arguably East Asian) hard-working ethos. That also implies that the success is not without contestation, contradiction, and conflict. What comes after the love has gone?