It’s been over three years since Kang Jiyoung and Nicole Jung left KARA, and about a year and-a-half since the group went on hiatus. Many fans have been wondering where the members are now and what they’ve been up to. Every KARA member has been extremely successful.
Kang Jiyoung: Hallyu Queen
KARA’s original maknae left the group in early 2014 with Nicole. After taking a brief break from the spotlight to study in London, Jiyoung signed to Japanese agency Sweet Power to begin her solo career as an actress in Japan. Things took off immediately, with the 23-year-old starring in a string of movies (including the popular Assassination Classroom franchise) and TV dramas that have kept her working non-stop for the past three years.
Her success stretches even further to include a series of best-selling photobooks, a radio show, and endorsements with major brands like Nestlé. Early last year, she kicked off her solo music career under the new stage name JY. She’s already scored one mega-hit with the Platinum-selling “Sukina Hitoga Irukoto,” and come May she’ll release her first studio album, Many Faces 〜 Tamensei 〜.
Nicole Jung: Red Carpet Regular
After leaving KARA in 2014, Nicole signed to B2M Entertainment (home of former KARA hitmakers, Sweetune) and dropped a mini-album in Korea. The talented dancer then set her sights on Japan, releasing two singles and one full-length album called Bliss. Besides music, Nicole often appears on different variety and reality shows across Japan and Korea, and even served as the MC for an online beauty show last year.
The 25-year-old is now a fixture on the social scene, and can often be seen slaying the red carpet or sitting front row at fashion shows in Seoul and Tokyo. She's also popular on social media, boasting almost 800,000 Twitter followers and over 400,000 on Instagram.
Park Gyuri: Drama Goddess
KARA’s “goddess” Gyuri has been continuing with the acting career she'd already started during her idol days. Last year, she signed to acting agency Motion Media and appeared in two feature films, How To Break Up With My Cat and Two Rooms, Two Nights.
This year, she starred in the historical drama Jang Youngshil: The Greatest Scientist of Joseon, and has now signed on for the daily drama The Rose of Sharon Has Bloomed. In addition to acting, the gorgeous beauty also keeps busy shooting glamorous pictorials for various women’s magazines.
Goo Hara: Social Media Superstar
Hara is often seen spending time with her #squad of Sulli and Ga-In, while her major work commitments are fashion pictorials in magazines and an endorsement deal with makeup brand Allets. She’s also a superstar on social media, boasting over 1.1. million followers on Instagram, where she updates fans with stunning selfies and fashionable photos almost daily. In short, she’s living a life of leisure and luxury after so many years of hard work!
However, the former Invincible Youth star has plans to resume activities in both singing and acting. In July, she’ll follow in the footsteps of her bandmates by releasing a solo album in Japan, while also pursuing acting roles in Korea under her new agency KeyEast Entertainment.
Han Seungyeon: Award Winning Actress
Despite being KARA’s powerful main vocalist, Seungyeon has always been interested in acting. The 28-year-old hit the big time last year with her role in JTCB’s critically acclaimed drama, Age of Youth. Her role as lovesick college student Jung Ye-eun was so well received by the public that she even picked up the Hallyu Star Award at the 9th Korea Drama Awards.
She’s now expected to reprise the character in an upcoming second season of the series, which is set to begin filming soon. In addition to her burgeoning acting career, Seungyeon returned to singing in January with the release of a Japanese-language EP, Uchuu, which reached No. 15 on Oricon’s weekly chart.
Heo Youngji: Variety Idol
Youngji has become a big star in the Korean entertainment industry. Instead of pursuing acting and singing as her main gig, the 22-year-old carved out a career as one of K-pop’s most in demand variety stars. She’s always guesting on different shows, and has been a fixed cast member on programs like Strong Girls and Idol Intern King.
She also collaborated with label mates K.A.R.D on their debut single “Oh Na Na,” and has started dabbling in acting. In February, she showed her popularity in Japan by attracting hundreds of fans to her Japanese fanmeet, Sweet Time. The bubbly idol is now working as an MC for the beauty program Beauty Academy, proving that she can do just about anything.
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