Last year, K-pop fans suffered one of the worst years in K-pop history when it comes to boy bands and girl groups either losing members or disbanding. Kara was the first to disband when all the members except for Youngji left DSP Media. 2NE1 first lost Minzy than eventually disbanded. 4minute disbanded after their latest K-pop comeback failed to deliver in South Korea. The original lineup of B2ST technically disbanded though they debuted again as Highlight under their own independent label.
It is sad to write this, but it looks like 2017 is heading in a very similar direction as 2016. The legendary girl group Wonder Girls officially disbanded proving early reports back in December true. And now it was recently reported that T-ara would be disbanding as they too fall a little after the “seven-year curse.” We have more information about the disbandment and Boram and Soyeon have already ended their contracts with MBK Entertainment.
T-ara’s disbandment was officially made known on numerous Korean news outlets including Xports News. An insider from the news source revealed that some of the T-ara members decided not to renew their contracts with MBK Entertainment while others are extending it to December.
“Some of the T-ara members decided not to renew their contract with MBK Entertainment. The album in May will be their last album together. Afterward, they’ll all have their own promotions.”
Eventually, we learned which members chose not to renew their contracts with MBK Entertainment: Boram and Soyeon. The entertainment label and agency released an official statement on the matter.
“This is MBK Entertainment’s official announcement on T-ara’s contract renewal. As reported, T-ara’s Boram and Soyeon’s contracts will end on May 15. The other members Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon, haverenewed their contracts until the end of December this year, and they will continue on with their dramas, personal activities, and overseas activities.”
Details of T-ara’s final K-pop comeback have already been released just so K-pop fans, especially those who are Queens (official fan club of T-ara). According to Korean news outlet MBN Star, it will be themed around the number six about the final six members before disbandment, six songs on the album, and a six-minute medley. Even their subtitle for the album is that “Everything will end with the number six.”
Along with pre-release promotions, T-ara will be promoting their final K-pop comeback together up to three weeks. In June, they’ll be performing in Japan and Southeast Asia. Finally, T-ara plans on having a mini-concert and a final fan meeting.
When all promotions and activities as T-ara are concluded, Boram and Soyeon will officially make their exit out of MBK Entertainment. Eunjung will continue to act in dramas, Jiyeon will release her solo album, Hyomin will promote overseas, and Qri will have her own personal promotions for the rest of 2017. Afterward, the final four will also make their exit out of MBK Entertainment unless something changes.
As for a personal perspective, it is about time for T-ara to disband given the gradual decline in overall popularity and sales. Remember only sold a little over 17,000 copies while its title track song “Tiamo” only peaked at number 81 on the Korean Gaon chart. In some ways, it is most likely the issues surrounding former member Hwayoung that caused T-ara to decline in popularity. Even with former MBK Entertainment staff stepping up in defense of the entertainment company and label revealing it is Hwayoung who is known for being rude, it may be too late.
At least T-ara will be given a proper send-off with their disbandment, a luxury other K-pop acts were denied. Their last K-pop comeback will release sometime in late May. Until then, K-pop fans who are interested in what made T-ara initially popular should listen to their songs “Roly-Poly” and “Lovey-Dovey.” The music video fo their last featured title track song “Tiamo” is attached above for viewing.
[Featured Image by MBK Entertainment/T-ara’s Official Daum Cafe]