In recent years, K-pop has been taking off globally. Bands like BTS and BLACKPINK are taking over the world with each of their songs topping the charts everywhere.
K-pop is more so a general term that is given to South Korean music from the pop genre. It is often used to refer to any Korean music artist regardless of the genre. Seo Taiji and Boys were the first K-pop band to perform their music on TV. They were also the first band to experiment with different genres and even brought rap into K-pop.
The popularity of K-pop bands led to the formation of SM Entertainment in 1995, JYP Entertainment in 1997, and YG Entertainment in 1998. Most of the popular K-pop bands are signed to these agencies.
List of Kpop Bands and Groups that Disbanded
While many bands have come forward to be a part of the growing industry, many bands disbanded over the years. Here is a closer look at some of the prominent bands that parted ways in recent years.
IZ*ONE was a 12-member girl band. It was formed among the girls who won the audition show for Produce 48 in 2018. La Vie En Rose MV was the lead song from their album.
The band got immediate success with their first extended play Color*Iz selling over 225,000 units and also peaking at number 2 on the South Korea Gaon Album chart.
However, they disbanded after their two-and-a-half-year contract ended on April 19, 2021.
The group’s fanbase started an initiative to stop the band from disbanding, but it did not work. Three members of the group went back to Japan after the group broke up.
Got7 was the first K-pop group to disband last year. The group of 7 guys was active from 2014 to 2021. After that, they officially ended their contract with JYP Entertainment. The band’s debut song was Girls, Girls, Girls.
The band made history by being the first K-pop band to ever enter the Billboards Top 100 chart. Their huge fanbase was left heartbroken when they disbanded.
However, there were quite a few fans who were happy that the band did not renew their contract with JYP Entertainment as they believed that the boys were mistreated by them.
The band made a comeback with a mini album Got7 this year to keep the promise they made to their fans about their return.
The group was formed with 11 contestants from the reality competition Produce X 101. The band was formed in 2019, their album went on to become the of that year’s bestselling albums.
Everything was going well until the band got embroiled in a controversy. It is believed that the show’s producers allegedly manipulated the results to favor some contestants over others in the final result.
The news resulted in a lengthy hiatus for the band. In January, it was announced that the band would be disbanded. Fans believe that it was unfair to the members of the band as they had not done anything wrong. So far, the supporters have been unsuccessful in bringing the band back together.
The group made its debut on March 16, 2017. They debuted with their mini album Butterfly Effect. The guys went through many changes like changes in members.
They managed to be together for about 4 years before finally parting ways and disbanding in 2021.
This was another popular group of boys that got together in 2014. The six-member group enjoyed increasing fame and success for the first few years of getting together.
Their popularity increased further when Ha Sung Woon and Roh Tae Hyun participated in the musical survival show called Produce Ocean 2.
They officially disbanded in 2021 and parted ways with their agency Star Crew Entertainment. The group “decided to wrap up team activities as of March 30, 2021”.
B.A.P was formed by TS Entertainment in 2012. The boyband was arguably more famous than the other boybands of that time like Exo. Their songs used to light up the charts as both bands competed for the number 1 spot.
B.A.P had the most no.1’s on a publication World Album’s Chart. After 7 years of being together, they announced their breakup in 2019, which came as a shock to their fans.
According to a news outlet, B.A.P filed a lawsuit against TS Entertainment, which cited unfair treatment and wanted to terminate the contract. The members of the group were said to have made around $16,000 each after three years of explosive success whereas their agency made more than $9 million.
SISTAR debuted under Starship Entertainment in 2010. Their peppy and upbeat music got them the title of the ‘the summer queens of k-pop’. They got famous a year after they launched with their song So Cool.
So Cool, the fourth title track from their album became the first number one track during the launch of the Billboards Korea K-Pop Hot 100 charts. It garnered over 18,703,636 streams before the year ended.
Their disbandment in 2017 came as a total shock to their fans. Starship Entertainment announced that it was the band’s unanimous decision as they wanted to pursue solo careers.
However, according to an article, Hyorin wanted to pursue a solo career while others wanted to stay in the band. In the end, they decided to honor Hyorin’s wishes and agreed to split up.
The girl group was formed in 2015 by the Source Music company. It consisted of six members. Their music video for Glass Bead ranked 9 on the top 10 Most Viewed Videos Around The World in January 2015.
The band steadily grew their presence and fanbase. They were preparing to release new music when they suddenly disbanded in 2021.
The fans were left confused and angry by this sudden news. Also, no explanation was given by their agency or the band about the abrupt end to a successful career.
Their sudden breakup is said to have impacted the music industry in South Korea. The agencies started treating their employees better after the incident.
Wanna One was a boy group founded by CJ E &M on the second season of Produce 101. The group had over 11 boys. They debuted back in August of 2017. The same year they were chosen as the Best K-Pop Artist of 2017.
The band did fairly well for themselves up until 2018. They decided not to extend their contract with their agency and disbanded.
4Minute was an edgy dance-pop group that was formed in 2009. It came as a shock to fans when it was announced that the group of girls would be disbanding in 2016.
The popular group’s unexpected disbandment was due to them being ‘unprofitable’ according to a leading management agency in South Korea. Hyuna, a singer from the group continued to work with the agency as a solo artist. However, the other members of the group felt abandoned.
2NE1 was formed all the way back in 2009, but they were a very transformative group for K-pop. The band was perhaps one of the most iconic and influential groups of their time. They introduced experimental music styles and brought unique fashion to the scene.
Their album Crush was the first K-pop album by a Korean artist to make its way into the top 100 of the US Billboard 200. They announced their breakup in 2016. According to a source, the group broke up because YG Entertainment was unable to control one of its members.
Other controversies might have impacted their breakup as well. In 2014, Bom went on an indefinite hiatus after a huge scandal where a package with over 80 amphetamine tablets was sent to her. It was later revealed that the tablets were for medicinal use. But the public did not believe it.
After one performance in 2015 with the group, Bom did not make any appearances with the band after that. Furthermore, Minzy also left the group.
It was later that year that YG Entertainment announced that the group was disbanding and the remaining two people were looking to pursue solo careers.
K-Pop has seen several bands form and disband over the years. There are numerous reasons why a band might choose not to renew their contract or even terminate it before it ends. While some want to pursue solo careers, others do not perform well enough to be profitable for the agency to keep them together. There might also be conflict among the members of the band.
However, the most disturbing part is that more than a few bands have alleged unfair treatment by their agencies where they did not see a fair share of the money they made. In some cases, certain members also alleged mistreatment and went on to sue their agencies. Some bands also had to disband due to controversies surrounding certain members or even the agency that they were signed to.
In the end, the fans had to face the harsh reality of seeing their favorite band break up. Over the years, agencies have reassessed their contracts and treatment of the talent to improve their relationship. Although there were many more bands that disbanded, these were some of the top few that broke up suddenly and left the fans heartbroken.