7 K-pop idols who quit their groups soon after debuting: besides Le Sserafim’s Kim Garam, Hyuna, Somin, Jiin, Jisun, Seunghee and Junhyeok all departed early too
But Garam isn’t the first in K-pop showbiz to leave a group so quickly. Here are five more cases … and the reasons behind their swift departures.
1. April’s Somin
While Somin is now known for being a member of Kard, she was actually part of a girl group called April before entering the popular mixed-gender group. Somin debuted with April in 2015 but, three months after its debut song Dream Candy came out, she left the group, per K-pop Starz.
According to Koreaboo, Somin has no regrets. “I’m very happy I had the opportunity to be with the members I have now,” she said.
Theories from netizens floated around online stating that Somin didn’t like the concept DSP (the music label) had for April, hence she took off to explore her options. After joining Kard, her image changed from cute to bold and her genre of music took a complete turn with a mix of reggae-style, hip-hop songs.
Somin added after leaving, “I will do my best to bring out good music.”
April officially disbanded in January this year.
2. Girl’s Day’s Jiin and Jisun
Jiin and Jisun debuted with Girl’s Day in 2010, but both members left the group just two months after the release of their first mini-album. Jiin withdrew from the group to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress and focus on auditioning for drama and film roles, according to Koreaboo.
When she appeared in an episode of I Can See Your Voice 5, she talked about the result of her decision to leave the group. She said, per Koreaboo, “After I quit Girl’s Day, I got lost and had a lot of trouble getting back on track. I took whatever I could. I was a part-time model, a part-time cashier at a convenience store, and a part-time employee at a PC cafe.”
Another Girl’s Day’s member Jisun also left the group to pursue her own interests in music. She joined two other groups after her departure from Girl’s Day but, unfortunately, both of them ended up in disbandment.
Currently, she is an independent artist married to U-Kiss’ Hoon.
3. Day6’s Junhyeok
But there seemed to be more behind Junhyeok’s departure from the group. Just before his departure, Junhyeok was caught in a rumour that he was in a romantic relationship with a fan, per K-pop Starz. Since JYP has a dating ban for three years from an idol’s debut, Junhyeok would have breached his contract if the scandal were indeed true.
Fans on platforms like Reddit suspected that he either quit or was pushed out to protect the rest of Day6. Following his termination, Junhyeok spoke about how he once feared doing music again. He shared on the reality show The Unit, “The reason I considered not doing music at all was because I started wondering why people were so scary. I was so scared of people that I couldn’t do anything.” He added, “I feel like people are going to criticise me no matter what I do.”
4. Wonder Girls’ Hyuna
Unlike many other cases, however, there weren’t any scandals or problems within the group that made her quit. She reportedly left for health reasons. According to Aminoapps, Hyuna’s parents pulled her out of the group because she was experiencing chronic gastroenteritis that resulted in recurring fainting spells while she was promoting with the group.
5. Dia’s Seunghee
Seunghee is known for appearing on TV series and films today, but the well-known actress was originally a K-pop idol who first debuted with F-ve Dolls in 2010. The group disbanded four years later. She then joined a girl group known as Dia in 2015, an acronym for Do It Amazing. But her idol days didn’t last long with that group either, and she left less than a year after its debut, per Koreaboo.
In an interview, according to Soompi, Seunghee stated that she left Dia because she fell into an artistic slump. She said, “I was unable to overcome my slump, and I thought I would be a hindrance to my company and the members who I love if I continued to promote with Dia like this. So I left my company, finished the drama I was originally scheduled to do, and then rested for about a year.”
She stated that her slump was so severe she never thought about being a celebrity again. But an opportunity was presented to her in the form of a web drama and she took the plunge to become the actress that she is now.
- Hybe, the brains behind BTS, launched Le Sserafim earlier this year, but Kim Garam was riddled in bullying scandals, leading to a hiatus and subsequent departure
- Hyuna left Wonder Girls for health reasons, then joined 4Minute, Somin was with April for only 3 months, but did Junhyeok really leave Day6 because of a relationship with a fan?