FNC Entertainment’s K-Pop idol girl group AOA (Ace of Angels; 에이오에이) is now one member less as vocalist Choa (real name Park Cho-a; 박초아) has officially announced that she’ll be leaving the group.
The 28-year-old vocalist, who has been hiatus, took to her Instagram late yesterday to explain her reasons for leaving AOA. She detailed her struggle with depression and insomnia in her caption.
Full translation (via soompi) as follows:
“Hello, this is Choa.
I was very grateful and sorry that so many people took interest in my sudden hiatus. This is a bit late, but I want to tell you the reason why I had to rest and the decision that I came to after lots of deliberation.
Since AOA wasn’t a team that immediately received a lot of love when we debuted, I had always been grateful for the love we got and I think preciously of it.
Although I was the oldest on the team, I’m still very young and I wanted to cry a lot of times while working. However, I know that the reason you like me is because of my bright image. Although I was crying in my heart, I had to look happy. This happened repeatedly, and the more I forced myself, I found myself becoming sicker and sicker.
To treat my insomnia and depression, I tried taking medication and started decreasing my work two years ago. However, because the problem didn’t stem from being tired, I ended up stopping all of my activities.
I tried hard to get back to work while thinking of those who were waiting for me, but I felt that if the negative attention of my hiatus continued, this would be even more detrimental to the team members.
After speaking with our company, I am leaving the team called AOA today, and I’m going to be cheering on my fellow members.
Over the past eight years while I prepared to become a celebrity and worked as one, I learned a lot of things. I think that even this difficult moment is a process for me to grow. I am 28 years old this year, and going forward, I will be reflecting on my chaotic self. For the remainder of my 20s, I would like to fill them with different experiences that are befitting of my age.
As of now, I am not thinking about doing any work outside of my individual work that was already planned. Someday, when I no longer feel scared and feel that I can show a better side of me, and if there are still people who cheer me on, I would like to return. I am a lacking person, but to those who keep cheering me on and worry for me, I would like to give my sincere thanks. To the members who I have been with for so long, and to those who helped me overcome what I lack so that I can be loved, and to those who loved me and AOA, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”
AOA originally debuted in 2012 as an 8-member group that consisted of Choa, Jimin, Yuna, Youkyung, Chanmi, Hyejeong, Seol-hyun, and Mina. Youkyung left the group on 15th October 2016 following the termination of her contract, leaving AOA to promote as a 6-member K-Pop idol girl group as Choa was on hiatus.
The group released their first full album, “Angel’s Knock”, in January 2017.
Although FNC Entertainment initially said that Choa’s departure was not confirmed, the agency has since released an official statement echoing Choa’s Instagram post. “The label will respect ChoA’s wishes to the best of our ability, and will come to a final decision after further discussion (with ChoA). For the present, we have matters to discuss regarding her desire to leave the group, her schedules from here on, and more, so we will release an official statement after we’ve come to a settlement. We ask that you please refrain from any more rumors and misunderstandings regarding this situation,” FNC wrote.
What matters most is you take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal, Choa. Fighting!