• (Twitter/Cube Entertainment/YG Entertainment/SM Entertainment)
Disbanded, on hiatus, name changes: a lot happens in 10 years
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4 Apr 2019 - 12:42 PM  UPDATED 4 Apr 2019 - 12:42 PM

We're already into the fourth generation of K-pop groups and with that comes a lot of history. The 2000s were a huge time for Korean pop music and 2009 birthed some especially popular groups that were well loved, but not all of them have lasted til today.

While some of these groups will turn 10 this year, others have disbanded, been inactive or undergone name changes. It's wild what can happen in a decade. Here's just some of the groups that are turning (or in some cases, would have turned) 10 this year.

2NE1

The four-member YG Entertainment girl group comprised of Park Bom, CL, Sandara and Minzy were immediate successes on debut. Both of their EPs and albums peaked at No.1 on the Gaon Charts and they had nine No.1 singles.

 

The group were at their peak in 2014 when Bom's contract was suspended due to her drug scandal (a misunderstanding about prescription drug laws that was blown out of proportion), and in 2015 they went on unofficial hiatus.

 

Sandara went back to acting, Minzy opened a dance academy and CL embarked on her solo career. Minzy left the group officially in 2016 and by the end of the year the group had officially disbanded.

4Minute

The five-member Cube Entertainment girl group won several awards during their active period, including several bongsangs at the Seoul Music Awards and K-pop New Artist at the 2010 Billboard Japan Music Awards.

They had numerous Top 10 charting singles with "What's Your Name" and "Whatcha Doin' Today" reaching No.1.

 

The group disbanded in 2016 after failed contract negotations, with only HyunA remaining with Cube Entertainment. She left the agency in 2018 after revealing her relationship with labelmate E'Dawn.

AFTERSCHOOL

Pledis Entertainment's girl group had the more J-pop concept of admissions and graduations, with a seemingly ongoing line-up. As of September 2018, the group has had 11 members who've joined and departed since debut.

 

The group currently stands as members Raina, Nana, E-Young and Kaeun, however they've halted group promotions since 2015 with the women focusing on solo careers.

 

AFTERSCHOOL were known for their eye-catching live performances, and their successful sub-unit, Orange Caramel.

BEAST

Another Cube Entertainment group, BEAST are now known as HIGHLIGHT. The group was originally six members, but Jang Hyunseung left the group in 2016 citing musical differences, while Yong Junhyung left in March 2019 after becoming involved in the Jung Joon Young chatroom scandal.

 

BEAST had significant commercial success and received many awards before choosing to leave Cube Entertainment in 2016.

Due to their name being trademarked by the agency, they became HIGHLIGHT and set up their own label, Around Us Entertainment.

CNBLUE

CNBLUE are one of K-pop's longest-lasting bands, with an almost unchanged lineup. Their EPs have all charted within the top 3 on Korean charts on release, and members have moved into solo projects and acting throughout their career. In March 2019, member Lee Jonghyun was reported to be involved in Jung Joon Young's illegal hidden camera chatrooms, but is currently serving in the military.

f(x)

f(x) are one of the most critically acclaimed girl groups in K-pop history. Their third and fourth albums Red Light and 4 Walls have both been praised by critics, and the group was known for their experimental pop sound.

 

Originally five members, Sulli left the group in 2015. f(x) also made huge strides in the western market, being the first K-pop group to perform at SXSW.

They have been on unofficial hiatus since 2015, with members pursuing individual ventures.

JQT

A relatively short-lived girl group, JQT was a four member group from GP Entertainment. Three of the members were from another disbanded girl group, i-13. Their most famous member is Lee Sun Bin, now a successful actress, who actually joined the group after a member departed in 2011. The group disbanded in 2012.

MBLAQ

Created by Rain, this boy group consists of Seungho, G.O and Mir, with past members Lee Joon and Thunder. MBLAQ debuted with a focus on dance and pop, with several of their songs written, composed or produced by Rain.

 

At the height of their career the members were busy as MCs, performers, actors and variety show entertainers. They also won a range of prizes including a 2013 Republic of Korea Culture Award.

Since 2011, members have focused on individual work and G.O has become a successful streamer.

Rainbow

DSP Media girl group Rainbow consisted of seven members. They released three studio albums, five EPs and 16 singles (Korean and Japanese), with their biggest hits including "A", "To Me" and "Sweet Dream".

They officially disbanded in 2016 after choosing not to renew their contracts. Woori and Jaekyung have gone on to forge careers as actors.

Secret

Formed by TS Entertainment in 2009, Secret debuted with four members. While their debut wasn't a huge success, their subsequent releases went on to earn more attention. They won two Song of the Year awards at the Gaon Chart Awards and in 2011 had over 7 million digital sales.

 

In 2016, Sunhwa left the group to purse acting and the group went into unofficial hiatus. In 2018 Hyoseong and Jieun entered legal disputes with TS Entertainment with the latter leaving Secret and saying her contract had been violated. 

SHU-I

Mainly active in Japan, this five-member K-pop boy group debuted with the song "Bomb Bomb Bomb". The group disbanded in 2015 with three members entering the military and two choosing to move away from the idol industry.

T-ara

T-ara were known for their addictive dance-pop, often produced by hitmaker Shinsadong Tiger. They had several hit songs including "Bo Peep Bo Peep" and "Roly-Poly", the latter becoming the best-selling single of 2011.

 

T-ara are considered one of K-pop's biggest acts in Japan, with their Japanese debut certified gold. They were also hugely successful in China, with most of their later promotional activities focused there.

 

In 2012, their popularity dropped due to a bullying scandal popularised by netizens, which resulted in member Hwayoung leaving the group.

The group's final release was delayed due to label conflicts, and eventually the four remaining members - Hyomin, Qri, Eunjung and Jiyeon - chose not to renew their contracts with MBK Entertainment, effectively disbanding.

December

A South Korean duo formed by CS Happy Entertainment in 2009, they specialise in ballads. Their songs have been included on soundtracks such as Reply 1988  and Iris, and they've remained steadily active from 2009 to now.

Who's your favourite K-pop group turning 10 this year?


 

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