It’s no secret that K-pop idols and their companies don’t always have the best relationship. Sometimes they’re able to mend things and other times idols will leave the group and look for a fresh start elsewhere.
Here are idols who left their groups and moved on successfully.
Sulli – former f(x)
Back in 2015 Sulli made her surprising departure from popular girl group f(x). Before then, Sulli was already on hiatus in order to deal with malicious comments from the public. She went on to become an actor and her last film role was alongside Kim Soo Hyun in Real released in 2017.
Nam Tae Hyun – former WINNER
Nam Tae Hyun was forced to leave WINNER due to health problems after only two years with the group. He didn’t let that stop him from having a music career though, with his creation of band South Club where the focus is more on rock music.
Jia – former Miss A
When it was time for Jia to renew her contract in 2016, her side and JYP Entertainment both decided it was best for her to leave JYP Entertainment. Jia started her new career in her homeland of China signing with Banana Culture Music and has released songs that have charted high on the Chinese Billboard charts including a track with GOT7’s Jackson called “Mood”.
Tao – former EXO
Tao’s exit from popular boy group EXO was exactly what he needed. There were reports of Tao having to perform on stage despite being seriously injured which took a toll on him, until he finally filed a lawsuit. While Tao didn’t win the lawsuit against SM Entertainment, he was able to leave EXO in 2015 and has renamed himself Z.Tao. He's now thriving as a singer and actor in China.
Somin – former APRIL
Somin who was the leader of girl group APRIL revealed that she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted at the time and needed some self-reflection on her career goals. She then made her second debut as a part of co-ed group KARD who already have a huge following after only one year since debut.
Jang Hyun Seung – former BEAST
Jang Hyun Seung's main reason for leaving BEAST was that he wanted to become a solo artist. While he was a member of BEAST, the group had musical differences and decided it would be in their collective best interest if both parties split.
Jang Hyun Seung got his wish to become a solo artist and his last release was a digital track called “Home”. Meanwhile his former members left CUBE Entertainment and created their own company, renaming themselves HIGHLIGHT.
Jessica – former Girls’ Generation
Jessica’s departure from Girls’ Generation has to be one of the most shocking exits to happen in K-pop. According to a letter Jessica wrote, the reason behind the divide was the fact that she was working on her fashion label BLANC and SM Entertainment along with Girls’ Generation members wanting to her halt her business and put her music career first. After the dust had settled, Jessica went solo successfully, moving onto Coridel Entertainment which is owned by her partner Tyler Kwon.
Jay Park – former 2PM
Jay Park was only a year into being a member of 2PM when a fan found anti-patriotic comments about South Korea he made in the past on his MySpace account. In the end he voluntarily left the group and moved back to America. After some time had passed Jay Park returned to South Korea and made his solo debut and eventually established his own label called AOMG which mainly focus on R&B and hip-hop.
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