We are not even through the first month of 2017 and it seems the relationship news among Hallyu stars is coming out in full force, either it be gossip and rumors, making relationships public, engagement announcements, or breakups.
In regards to gossip and rumors, K-netizens created the rumor that Joy of Red Velvet and V of BTS were dating simply because the latter was “staring intensely” at the former during the 2016 MBC Music Festival. Given how the relationship has no real reasoning or backing except for what fans perceive, it was quickly dismissed by rational thinkers. Moving on to making relationships public, that is what Joo Won and BoA did. In engagement announcements, after five years of dating, Rain and Kim tae Hee were married.
Now we have our first Hallyu couple breakup. Reports indicate that after four years of dating, Lee Ji Eun — better known by her K-pop idol moniker IU — and Jang Kiha of the indie band Kiha & The Faces have broken up.
The news of IU and Jang Kiha’s breakup was first reported on Korean news outlet Ilgan Sports, as reported by AllKpop. Reportedly, the two broke up about a week ago. It seems that the two were on the downturn of their relationship, as they were breaking up and getting back together for awhile. Finally, they decided to call it quits for good. To further confirm the breakup, Kiha’s label came forward with a statement on the relationship ending.
“It’s true they broke up. They decided to stay good sunbae-hoobae.”
IU and Jang Kiha first met back in 2013 and started to date not long after. The public was oblivious to their relationship until they went public in 2016 around the time IU released her seventh mini-album, Chat-Shire.
IU’s breakup with Jang Kiha is the latest low point in her roller-coaster of a career and personal life. Almost the entirety of career has been hectic, with the high point coming in 2015 when she played Cindy in the popular Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) K-drama Producer. It was followed up with an event that should have been a high point in her life (which it was, but was loaded with controversy) with the release of Chat-Shire. Unlike her other works, she had more independence on this album, which eventually brought criticism when it was found out she used Britney Spears’ voice in one of her songs without her permission, and that the lyrics expressed child abuse.
Finally, IU played the female lead character Hae Soo in the K-drama adaption of C-drama Scarlet Heart on the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. The period K-drama was both a failure and success. It was considered a failure because it failed to achieve high viewership ratings in South Korea, losing out to Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) period K-drama, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, which aired in the same timeslot. However, it was also a success because international K-drama fans loved it. As a matter of fact, it is the most expensive K-drama ever sold to China.
Ultimately, it is good to know that IU and Jang Kiha do not have any ill feelings towards each other after breaking up, especially if they made it known they’d still have a good friendship. They will most likely continue forward with their respective careers. Jang Kiha will continue hosting his radio show Kiha Chang’s Great Radio, while K-pop and K-drama fans, especially those who are IUNA (official fan club of IU), look forward to what IU will do next.
[Featured Image by Kiha Jang’s Great Radio/Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)]