For us, and especially KPOP fans, 2020 was not a cheerful year. Unfortunately, the bad news might still continue up to 2021 because this year, many famous groups are speculated to have high chances of disbanding.
The first group on the list is no other than GOT7. GOT7 was formed by JYP in 2014 and has since been one of the most famous boy groups of gen3.
While it was first said that all the members would renew their contract with the company after they expired in January 2021, what has been going on for the past few days actually proved the opposite.
Recently, netizens discovered that JYP president has unfollowed Bambam, Jinyoung and Mark on Instagram. Meanwhile, he still follows Youngjae, Jackson and Yugyeom (yu kyom). JYP did not follow JB before.
Many fans later discovered that Youngjae also unfollowed JYP as well as deleted the video of the president’s song cover. Besides, both Bambam and Youngjae deleted the photos they took with JYP. In fact, many fans have already known that the relationship between JYP and GOT7 hasn’t been going well for a long time.
In December 2020, Jinyoung was rumored to have been to a meeting with BH Entertainment to sign an exclusive contract. Recently, it’s quite obvious that Jinyoung has spent more time and effort on developing his acting skills. Thus, such a move somewhat proved that in the future, he might take the acting career more seriously.
In the KPOP industry, it’s a normal thing that idols change their focus. The most typical case may be that of Krystal. When she decided to depart from SM, she immediately signed with H&M Entertainment, a company whose strength is training actors and actresses.
Back to GOT7, in the morning of January 6, SPO TV News reported that Yugyeom (yu kyom) would be signing an exclusive contract with the hip hop label AOMG. For those who don’t know, AOMG is an entertainment company founded by Jay Park and DJ Pumpkin. The company’s name was the abbreviation of Above Ordinary Music Group, implying its ambition to produce the most unique songs in the market. Beside the former YG’s gem Lee Hi (lee hai), who has recently joined, AOMG also has lots of talented faces such as Loco, Gray, and Simon. With the dancing talents and the inherent favor for hip hop, Yugyeom (yu kyom) would for sure rise further under AOMG.
Responding to the rumors, JYP answered Newsen that the company and GOT7 were still discussing different possibilities with regard to the contract renewal. Until everything is officially settled, they won’t inform any further.
Facing the rumor, fans’ opinions were heavily polarized. On the one hand, some think that GOT7 should leave JYP as soon as possible regarding all the mistreatments that the group has been enduring in the past few comebacks. On the other hand, some fans don’t want GOT7 to leave JYP, because if that happens, they will never see the group as a whole ever again.
However, there is a light hope. Though some people believe that GOT7 is fulfilling the 7-year curse of Kpop, that didn’t seem to be true. GOT7 themselves have stated that they all want to keep going as GOT7 with the same seven members. That means there are high chances that they would be in the same situation with SNSD where technically, the girls are still a group but the members are under different agencies.
Yet, fans of LABOUM (la boom) didn’t seem to be as fortunate, because the 7-year jinx was totally applicable to this group. Despite debuting in the same year with GOT7, the girls seemed to be not doing as well as their peers.
Though LABOUM has been active for 6 years, the group still struggles to maintain a solid domestic and international fanbase. The first reason to be named was they are originating from two low reputation companies, NH Media and Nega Network. The second was the mismanagement caused by their company. Specifically, in 2017, NH Media even used LABOUM’s Instagram to promote their participants on JTBC’s Mix Nine.
Coincidentally, whereas the three members of LABOUM were participating in the survival show KBS’ The Unit to gain more exposure for themselves, there was absolutely no mention or promotion of their activities.
Their Instagram account also failed to inform fans of the departure of Yoolhee early on.
In fact, the unstable fan base of LABOUM was partly the result of the mismanagement caused by Global H Media, a parent company of NH Media. Also in 2017, LABOUM was attacked for their suspicious behavior when winning over IU at Music Bank. The speculation was that the agency bought tons of albums to hike up the sales and secure their win.
The third group to be named is Lovelyz. Lovelyz debuted in 2014 under Woollim Entertainment – a relatively small company.
Though Lovelyz initially didn’t stand out from the ocean of girl groups following the same cute, innocent concept, thanks to the massive hit “Ah-Choo” released in October 2015, the group quickly earned public recognition. Back then, their iconic sneezing dance move was so fun that it went super viral and was covered by many famous idols.
Sadly, Lovelyz is what people call “one hit wonders”, because all of their later songs could never be equally popular. Besides the poor performance on music charts, since the group has been mistreated multiple times by Woollim Entertainment, there are obviously high chances that the members will not renew their contracts with the company in 2021.
Another famous name that is speculated to disband in 2021 is none other than Red Velvet. Similar to many groups on the list, Red Velvet also debuted in August 2014 and their contract would also expire in 2021.
Obviously, Red Velvet is also super vulnerable to the notorious seven-year curse of KPOP. Besides the extended hiatus of Wendy after her injuries at SBS’s Gayo Daejun in December 2019, Red Velvet also faced many difficulties after the behavior scandal of Irene in 2020. In fact, the group had to cancel all their promotional activities, including an online fansign due to the scandal.
With the introduction of the subunit Irene-Seulgi, Yeri’s regular solo appearance on Youtube, and Joy’s starting to step in the acting career, it seemed like things didn’t go very well for Red Velvet as a group. Moreover, because SM often doesn’t disband a group right away, but put them on indefinite hiatus instead, with some members promoting as soloists or in units, fans doubt that they can still see Red Velvet as a whole in the near future. Some even said they might end up being another f(x).
The next name on the list is SONAMOO, a girl group debuting in December 2014 and having their contract expired in 2021. The group must have had a hard time starting the career because they came from a company known for mistreating B.A.P and TRCNG [T-R-C-N-G]
In fact, they must have been through a hard time under the management of TS Entertainment because in 2019, two members of SONAMOO – Nahyun and Sumin – have already filed lawsuits against the company to terminate their contract.
Besides, according to industry insiders, Nahyun and Sumin are not the only SONAMOO members looking to terminate their TS Entertainment contract, adding that other members are currently preparing to make their own requests.
Moreover, since the group hasn’t had any impressive music records and Nahyun already got involved in a dating scandal in 2018 with JBJ’s Yongguk, they faced much criticism from netizens.
Combining these with the fact that SONAMOO has never truly had a solid fanbase in both South Korea and internationally, it’s very likely they will be disbanding in 2021.
Another name that might leave many people in sorrow is WINNER. Debuting under YG, one of the most powerful entertainment companies of the KPOP industry, and having bags of talents, WINNER is still highly vulnerable to the mystery seven-year jinx.
In fact, their speculated disbandment has nothing to do with their performance on music charts. Instead, things stemmed from the way YG treated and promoted WINNER.
The first storm that came to WINNER was the departure of Taehyun. Though he later explained that he didn’t leave on bad terms and wanted to live as himself, many fans were still upset and left the fandom.
After the controversy, WINNER scarcely made comebacks though most their releases were pretty successful. Moreover, in 2019, Lee Sung Hoon got involved in the drug scandal with iKON’s B.I, this also pushed the group to another extended hiatus.
As you all have known about how quickly B.I left iKON after the scandal, lots of WINNER’s fans have been afraid that if Seung Hoon leaves, then the whole group will discontinue their contract with YG. Moreover, the fact that Seung Hoon once warned aspiring idols to steer clear of auditioning for YG Entertainment in “Yoo Huiyeol’s Sketchbook”, it also makes people believe that WINNER would soon disband.
Being a small group from a not so famous management agency, Asia Bridge Entertainment, Berry Good might also end up disbanding in 2021.
In 2018, Berry Good broke down in tears at their comeback showcase “Free Travel.” During the event, leader Taeha opened up about the enduring hardships and said that being idol is hard and “Free Travel” could be their last album. She also expressed sadness because despite all the hard work, the group still failed to gain public attention. In fact, Berry Good has been through multiple members’ changes, so member Gowoon got super worried about the group’s future.
In 2019, Berry Good’s leader Taeha announced that she would leave the group because the contract had expired. With the departure of such an important member and the failure to prove their potential to the public, it’s nearly certain that later this year, Berry Group would disband.
The next name on the list would for sure leave a lot of regrets, they are Gugudan. Debuting in June 2016 with the nine-member lineup, Gugudan has been working super hard. Beside the regular promotions, the group also tried out various concepts to gain more attention. Yet, despite all the hard work, things still went off track. Except for the two members coming from I.O.I – Kang Mina and Sejeong – all other members failed to impress the audience.
After the line-up was reduced to 8 members in 2018, Gugudan made the so-called “last comeback” with the album “Act.5 New Action.” Ever since all the activities from the group were frozen and except for the personal promotions of Mina and Sejeong, people no longer hear a lot about the name “Gugudan” in the KPOP industry.
Things got even worse when in mid-2020, Sally shared that the group has already faced lots of internal problems since their debut. Because the gap between the two former members of I.O.I and the others was too big, there was no way that everyone could work together as a group. Then, since the company realized that only Mina and Sejeong brought them profits, they forced the rest of Gugudan members to leave their dorm and the group would be disbanded whenever needed. Though the company has never made an official announcement about the group’s disbandment, according to what Sally shared, it’s quite obvious that their disbandment would just be a matter of time.
Ending the video, I’m gonna talk about the group with the shortest active life compared to the whole list – IZ*ONE. Debuting in 2018 after the survival show of Mnet, “Produce 48,” the group was rumored to disband in April 2021.
Since this is just a project group with the initial plan to last for two years only, it’s very likely IZ*ONE will disband in 2021 after four years of promotion. Though the group has been doing super well and have neither issues with the management agency nor between the members, they would still have to disband because that’s what stated in the contract. Hopefully after their disbandment, fans could still see the members thriving under different groups.
So, which disbandment do you find the hardest to accept? Are there any other groups likely to disband this year that I forgot to mention? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to BeBossTV for more great content in the future. Thank you for watching!
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