I.O.I. has said goodbye to K-pop once and for all, according to Billboard. Although the 11-member girl group became Korea’s sensation of 2016, they are calling it quits with the release of their final single called “Downpour.”
“Downpour,” which was released on January 17, became I.O.I.’s final project together after enjoying the status of one of Korea’s most popular K-pop acts of 2016.
While I.O.I. certainly can’t boast the popularity of fellow Korean artist Psy, who became an international sensation in 2012 after the release of “Gangnam Style,” the girls can still go down in history proudly.
I.O.I. was formed in early 2016 through reality show Produce 101 on Mnet. “Downpour” is a special single for each of the 11 members of the girl group, because it captures their feelings toward their fans that supported them throughout the year.
I.O.I. served as a platform for the 11 women to rise to fame, even seen as a shortcut to fame which certainly paid off. While the girl group was from its very beginning meant to last for only a year, each of the 11 members still can either succeed as a solo act or go down in history as part of I.O.I., which stands for Ideal of Idol.
The 11 girls were picked from more than 100 women striving to become K-pop stars. With their final single, the music video of which features footage documenting the I.O.I. girls’ one year together, the girl group not only says goodbye, but also expresses their hope to meet sometime in the future.
I.O.I. took Korea’s music industry by storm several times throughout 2016. Since the release of their first EP called Chrysalis in April, 2016, the girl group became one of the most popular acts in Korea.
I.O.I. released several other EPs in 2016 and even performed Stateside at KCON LA last summer. “Very Very Very,” which is considered to be the band’s signature single, went viral in South Korea and earned the No. 1 spot on various music charts in the country.
While “Downpour” marks the end of the whirlwind year for the 11-member girl group, the girls are only beginning their solo adventures in various Korean entertainment industries. Even at the peak of I.O.I.’s popularity last year, members of the group started to disentangle themselves from the band to work on their solo careers.
In fact, several girls from I.O.I. have already formed their own girl bands (Cosmic Girls, DIA, etc.), while others are set to pursue their solo careers. At least two members of I.O.I. are set to debut as members of a new girl group Pristin. And there are also those who will be seen in other segments of the Korean entertainment industry.
South Korea should probably expect a one-year temporary K-pop sensation similar to I.O.I., but this time comprised of male members, as there’s a sibling show to Produce 101 scheduled for production this year.
One of I.O.I. girls took to Instagram on January 31 to share a goodbye message for the band’s fans, according to Soompi. Kim Sohye, who was one of the most prominent members of the band, declared her love for I.O.I. in the sweet Instagram post.
Sohye shared the goodbye message on behalf of I.O.I. the same day that the group closed their fan café in South Korea. In the Instagram post, Sohye featured a photo showing three polaroid shots that depict all members of I.O.I., while in the caption she wrote “I.O.I. I love you.”
“Until now, it has been ‘Yes I love it! I.O.I..’ I love you.”
Although I.O.I. officially ended its existence as a group, the girls have agreed to reunite in five years, in 2022, to treat their fans to some reunion music.
[Featured Image by Kin Cheung/AP Images]