South Korean girl group KARA was formed by DSP Media in 2007 and the name originates from the Greek word, “chara”. KARA directly translates into “joy” but they interpreted it to mean, “sweet melody”. They first started out as a group with a strong female image and a mature R&B sound – but it wasn’t very well received by the public. Hence, in 2009, KARA “rebranded” themselves. The image and style of music change proved to have worked when their song, “Honey”, went on to become their first #1 song.
In the same year, KARA released their second studio album entitled, “Revolution”. The same album spawned their hit single, “Mister”. Fans were immediately taken by the music video which featured the all too popular “butt dance”. Needless to say, “Mister” helped shoot the girls of KARA, Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, Nicole Jung, Goo Hara, and Kang Jiyoung, to instantaneous mainstream success.
After finding national success, they were finally confident enough to start expanding their music to other parts of Asia – namely, Japan. In 2010, KARA was dubbed as “Japan’s #1 Rookie Artist of 2010”. They also received the “New Artist Of The Year Award (International)” at the Japan Gold Disc Awards. This is all on top of selling over one million physical singles within two years, making them one of the fastest –selling South Korean acts in Japan.
At the Golden Disk Awards 2012 in Osaka, the girls snagged the “Disk Bonsang” and the “Best Hallyu Star Award” trophies. A week after the Golden Disk Awards, they went on to win the “Hallyu Special Award” and the “Bonsang Award” at the Seoul Music Awards. Following the epic wins, KARA released their fifth mini album, “Pandora”. Its title track of the same name topped various music charts in Korea in just hours after the release:
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More awards and notable mentions (e.g. Snow Champion, Music Bank, M! Countdown) followed the release of “Pandora” and by September 2012, it sold over 70,000 copies. They are currently in the running to bag the “Disk Album Of The Year” award for “Pandora” at “Samsung GALAXY The 27th Golden Disk Awards in Kuala Lumpur”!
Other facts about KARA as follows:
- The group started off as a quartet with members consisting of Park Gyuri, Han Seung-yeon, Kim Sung-hee, and Jung Nicole. Goo Ha-ra and Kang Jiyoung joined the group in 2008 when Sung-hee left.
- Sung-hee left KARA due to parental pressure because her participation in the group was contingent on the maintenance of her grades.
- Leader of the group, Gyuri, was the one behind the naming of KARA.
- Seung-yeon once admitted that her parents were against her decision to join the music industry. She almost had the chance to attend medical school but she gave it up.
- Both Seung-yeon and Goo Ha-ra postponed schooling to focus on KARA.
- American-born Jung Nicole speaks fluent English and a smattering of Spanish.
- “Maknae” of the group, Kang Jiyoung said that she’s a big fan of K-Pop idol group BIGBANG and that her favourite member is Daesung.
Here’s another fact: KARA is slated to make an appearance at “Samsung GALAXY The 27th Golden Disk Awards in Kuala Lumpur” (GDA), as confirmed by the GDA committee whereas Nicole will be MC for the gala event, as confirmed by the GDA committee.