Article: Ten K-Pop Idols Who Left Their Groups In 2020-2022

The South Korean Entertainment Industry has created a phenomenal international buzz since the onset of the Hallyu wave in the late 1990s. The emergence of social media platforms, especially OTT platforms, led to an explosion of Korean culture globally. This encouraged Korean youth to showcase their talent and contribute to the growing K-Pop culture. As a result, the country is getting thronged with new K-Pop groups, struggling for their place under the sun. Some groups become famous, and gain a massive fan following. It is also common to see some of these groups disbanding or members exiting the group for various reasons over time. Here are a few celebrities who left their group and the reason for their fallout.

1. Jiho

OH MY GIRL, the famous K-Pop girl’s group, debuted in April 2015 with seven members, including Jiho. Jiho was the lead vocalist and dancer with the group. In April this year, the group completed seven years in the entertainment world. A month later, fans were taken aback when WM Entertainment announced that Jiho did not renew her contract with the agency and would part ways with the group. Earlier in 2019, Jiho went on a hiatus due to poor health conditions and anxiety issues. In a handwritten letter addressing her fans, Jiho shared the sad news but did not reveal her plans.

2. Son Na-Eun

Naeun is a famous actress and singer in South Korea. She was the first member of the K-Pop group Apink which debuted in 2011. Soon after, Naeun took to acting and, within no time, was flooded with offers in films and dramas. Naeun was unable to balance her career as an actress and singer. She found her calling as an actress and parted ways with Apink in April 2022.

3. Denise

K-Pop group Secret Number debuted in 2020 with their single ‘Who Dis”. Denise also debuted along with the group. Secret Number managed a massive fan following in a reasonably short period, and Denise became a well-known singer. In February this year, Denise shared a heart-breaking post on Instagram about exiting the group Secret Number. She announced the non-renewal of her contract with Vine Entertainment and her subsequent exit from Secret Number. The agency did not reveal the reason for her departure, but her fans believe that Denise wants to debut as a solo artist.

4. Somyi

Somyi began her career with DIA in 2017 with the single “Will You Go Out With Me?”. A year later, she stopped all activities with the group and went on a hiatus without stating any valid reason. Somyi’s agency announced the official termination of her contract in 2022. Somyi shocked her fans when she appeared as a Broadcast Jockey for Panda TV in November 2021. Panda TV is known in South Korea for promoting objectionable content, and probably the reason for her contract termination.

5. Chihoon

Chihoon is a known K-Pop rapper, songwriter, and vocalist from South Korea. He became famous when he participated in a contest on Mnet TV and WakeOne Entertainment selected Chihoon as a member of the K-Pop boy group TOO. He debuted with the group in April 2020 with their album Reason for Being: Benevolence. Chihoon’s fans were deeply shocked when his agency announced the termination of his contract and his disassociation with the group in April this year. Although the agency kept the reasons for his exit under wraps, Chihoon’s fans blame WakeOne for mistreating him.

6. Wonho

Wonho is a prominent South Korean singer and a former member of the group MonstaX. Wonho rose to the limelight in 2015, when he won a competition organized by Mnet television under Starship Entertainment. The agency selected Wonho as a member of their newly formed K-Pop boy group, MonstaX. In 2020, a South Korean daily newspaper reported that Wonho used marijuana when he was young. This report was a huge setback for Wonho and tarnished the band’s image also. Following this, Starship Entertainment announced Wonho’s exit from the group to save their public image. Later these allegations were found baseless by the law, but Wonho decided to continue solo.

7. Soojin

Seo Soo-jin began her singing and dancing career with a group called Vividiva under DN Entertainment. Soojin left this group in 2018 and joined the group (G)I-dle under Cube Entertainment. In October 2020, Soojin had to go on a hiatus due to health reasons. A few months later, Soojin accused her former classmates of bullying her and she decided to withdraw herself from the group. However, in March 2022, Cube Entertainment terminated its contract with the idol as investigations proved that her allegations were untrue.

8. Shin Ji-Min

Shin Ji-Min was the leader and the main rapper of the K-Pop group AOA. They debuted in 2012 on Mnet’s show with the song “Elvis.” Jimin participated in the first season of the famous rap competition Unpretty Rapstar and made it to the show’s semi-finals. During the show, Jimin’s songs as a contestant became chartbuster hits, and Jimin gained popularity. She also established herself as a successful solo artist. In 2020, a former group member accused Jimin of bullying her and forcing her to exit the group. Jimin’s unapologetic behavior to the accusation made her fans angry. On 13th January; 2022, Jimin was officially removed from the group and the agency FNC Entertainment.

9. Lim Young Min

Lim Youngmin became popular in South Korea as an idol in 2017 when he participated in the show Produce101. He debuted in 2019 as a lead rapper and vocalist of the boy group AB6IX. Sadly enough, Youngmin’s career with AB6IX was short-lived and the rapper left the group in 2020 following an unfortunate incident. On May 31, 2020, Korean Police charged Youngmin with driving under influence. This incident disturbed Youngmin and he decided to take a break from all his activities. Later, Youngmin took responsibility for his action, and in June, his agency announced the idol’s exit from AB6IX to save the group’s image.

10. Aini

Aini debuted in 2006 with the girl’s group Kirots under the stage name Heejung, but the group disbanded a year later. In 2016 Aini joined another group called Uniz which also disbanded within no time. Aini joined a third group named PinkFantasy under MyDoll in 2018. She debuted with the group in October with their digital single “Iriwa.” Aini officially left the group in April 2020 due to health reasons. The agency released an official statement confirming the same but announced that Aini would work as a solo artist under the agency.