15 K-pop groups that made us cry when they lost members
The K-pop world has seen a lot of turmoil in the past few months as members have left groups and controversies have ensued. With the latest news that Seulong and Jinwoon will not be renewing their contracts with JYPE, putting 2AM's fate up in the air, many fans are left wondering what, or rather who, will be next. Here are 15 K-pop groups that made us sad when they lost members.
While JYPE has stated the ballad group is not disbanding because "they will always be 2AM," Seulong and Jinwoon have decided not to renew their contracts and move to different companies. Multi-company groups are nonexistent for a reason — things get too complicated financially — but fans can hold on to hope. The last time a group separated without disbanding was Shinhwa, and, although it took several years, they just released a new album last month. Let's hope 2AM can be as successful.
In December 2014, it was announced that Lee Joon and Thunder would not be renewing contracts with J.Tune Camp, effectively turning MBLAQ from a 5-member group into three. Lee Joon wants to focus on his acting, while their legal representative stated Thunder wants to focus on his music studies. Fan of the group will be happy to know MBLAQ will be continuing on with the remaining members, Seungho, Mir, and G.O, and will release a new album early this year.
To see Lee Joon's solo activities, check out his current series Heard It through the Grapevine:
3. Girls' Generation: Jessica Jung
Girls' Generation is arguably the most popular girl group in Korea. Turmoil hit the group in 2014 when Jessica suddenly left, or was ousted, from the group. There was a lot of back and forth between the two sides, so we're not going to speculate as to the true reason, but we are sad to see SNSD as an 8-member group.
4. After School: Soyoung
Soyoung left After School in 2009, being the first member to leave, and a founding one at that. While she left the pursue her acting career, which brought her roles in Dream High 2 and Panda & Hedgehog, her departure marked the first of several line-up changes for the group.
5. T-ara: Hwayoung & Ahreum
Hwayoung left the group in 2012, and after her departure rumors of bullying by the company's CEO surfaced. Although Hwayoung and the remaining members claimed netizens blew the whole story out of proportion, it took some time before Hwayoung explained that she left because of disagreements between herself and the rest of the group. Ahreum's departure was announced via a video that the company released in July 2013. They claimed she left to pursue a solo career; however, neither she nor Hwayoung have been heard from since.
6. 2PM: Jay Park
Jay Park is a solo sensation, but before he managed to make his way up he was actually the leader of 2PM. He left the group a year after debut because of a controversy over his old Myspace account. Netizens managed to track the account down and were unhappy with some of the comments he had made about Korean culture. Jay issued an official apology, but it wasn't enough and the attacks continued, eventually coming to a head when a petition was created to kick him out of 2PM and send him back to America. Jay announced his departure from the group and moved to the US, prompting JYPE to release him from his contract. Oddly enough, Jay returned to Korea in 2010 and became a success after taking the hip hop world by storm. He is now 1/2 of the CEO power behind the record label AOMG.
7. Wonder Girls: Sunmi & Hyuna
Debuting in 2007, Wonder Girls were quick to find success. Hyuna was withdrawn from the group by her parents because of health concerns that same year. Sunmi left the group in 2010 to refocus on her academics after dropping out of high school in 2009. Both are active in the K-pop world again! Hyuna signed with a different agency and re-debuted with 4Minute, in addition to her solo activities and being part of the duo Trouble Maker with Hyunseung of BEAST. Sunmi stayed with JYPE and re-debuted as a solo artist in 2013.
8. MR.MR.: Ryu
Earlier this month, everyone, including Ryu himself, was surprised by the fan cafe announcement that he had left the group "due to inevitable reasons." Via his personal Twitter, he stated that he was "shocked" by the news and apologized to fans. There has been a lot of speculation since, but we hope to see him return to music soon.
9. APink: Yookyung
Yookyung was one of Apink's original members. Following their "Hush" and "Bubibu" promotions in 2012, she left the group in April 2013 to focus on her studies.
Honestly, there is so much behind the separation of this group that we're just going to keep it as bare bones as possible. In 2009, Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu, 3/5 of the group, filed suit against SM citing their 13-year contract and profit distributions were unfair. The courts agreed, their contract were suspended, and JYJ was formed under a different company. Although they are still active and release albums, they are banned on Korea's major three networks, probably due to SM's influence, and they cannot perform on music shows. The remaining two members, Yunho and Changmin, still perform as TVXQ.
11. EXO: Kris & Luhan
EXO-L's were shocked when Kris suddenly filed suit against SM Entertainment in May 2014, just one week before EXO's solo concert. There has been much speculation as to why, including being overworked and preferential treatment towards the group's Korean members, but the situation escalated in October when Luhan left and filed a similar suit. Both remain active in China doing solo activities; however, their lawsuits have not been settled and SM continues to fight to block their work.
12. Kara: Nicole & Jiyoung
Kara is a group that has had a few lineup changes, but it was especially hard when both Nicole and Jiyoung just decided to let their contracts expire and walk away from the group in early 2014. Both are said to be pursuing solo careers, but we are all still waiting in anticipation.
13. U-KISS: Dongho
U-KISS is also a group that constantly evolves as members come and go, but it was particularly heartbreaking when Dongho chose to leave the group in 2013. While it was cited his departure was for health and personal reasons, his posts to social media made it clear that the maknae was just plain exhausted.
14. SPEED: Taewoon
Although he started with Coed School, Taewoon became the leader of SPEED in 2012. The group found some success, especially with their 2014 album Speed Circus, which Taewoon produced, but it was announced earlier this month that he left the group to focus solely on his solo career.
15. Super Junior: Han Geung
In 2009, SuJu's Han Geung filed suit against SM to terminate his contract, citing that the 13-year deal was "unlawful, overly restrictive, and unfair." During their "Twins" promotion, he was required to wear a mask and hat to perform in Korea, and he was restricted to only appearing on three broadcasting stations because he held Chinese citizenship. Things have been looking up since Han Geung left. He has gained recognition as an actor as well as started a solo music career.
Did this list make you as sad as we were? Are there any groups that have lost members who were close to your heart? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Tanya, also known as HallyuTanya, is owner of K-pop/K-drama blog HallyuKnow. Check out her most recent interview with BTS's Rap Monster and Warren G. by clicking HEREor check out her theory behind Boyfriend's "Concept Evolution" by clickingHERE. You can also follow her crazy adventures onTwitter and Instagram!