2020 has been filled with one hell of a roller-coaster ride, and the K-pop scene is no exception. So far, fans have been delighted with comebacks and debuts from numerous K-pop acts.
However, along with these thrilling news, there have also been several unpleasant ones. This include disbandment news. From scandals to the Covid-19 pandemic, find out what caused these 6 K-pop groups to sadly bid their farewell for good to their fans:
1. X1 (엑스원)
Kicking off the list, it is safe to say that “Produce X 101” project group X1‘s disbandment was one of the most shocking in K-Pop. For those who don’t know, it all began after the news about the TV show’s voting manipulation scandal made headlines.
Korean police confirmed in September last year that the results of the hit survival show had been manipulated. Initially, word has it that the votes for 2 or 3 of the winning contestants were allegedly switched with those who were eliminated. Investigative journalists later claimed that 8 out of the 11 members had their spots rigged.
The group still proceeded with their scheduled activities even after the news broke out. However, both legal issues as well as the pressure from the public weighed down on the members and companies involved. The 11 members also met up with their management company CJ E&M in November to discuss their future as a group, with reports circulating that some members did not want to continue promoting as x1.
On January 6, the members’ respective companies released a statement saying that they had been unable to reach a consensus to keep the group together. Eventually, X1 disbanded just four months after their much-anticipated debut.
2. Yellow Bee (옐로비)
Yellow Bee debuted in 2017 under Addiction Entertainment and disbanded in May 2020. In addressing the unfortunate news, the company claimed that a member of the group – referred to as B – had been living a “rather slutty lifestyle”. They continued, “Adding to the fact that the other members being unable to come to an agreement, we’ve decided that the group cannot stay together.”
Addiction Entertainment agency further revealed that Yellow Bee had been preparing for their comeback when the disbandment was decided. The agency had even considered the possibility of replacing all 5 members with new faces.
Despite their claims, K-netizens ended up bashing the entertainment company for slut-shaming the anonymous member, labelling their statement as “petty” and “uncaring”. Not long after that, group member Ari came forth to set the record straight on the matter.
According to her, the company staff were the ones that should be blamed for promiscuity. She further revealed that several staff members have sexually assaulted the members and acted indecently in front of them.
That’s not all! Ari also spilled that the company didn’t cover for any of the group’s necessities. She shared that the members had to fork out money – from editing their own music video and styling to travelling abroad. She even recalled that they once had to manage their entire event in Japan without any staff around.
3. NeonPunch (네온펀치)
Out of all the groups in the list, NeonPunch was the most recent one to undergo disbandment. The 5-member girl group debuted on 27th June 2018 and disbanded on 11th August 2020.
It was sadly revealed that the group disbanded due to the Covid-19 outbreak. After the current situation left the agency with some issues in their management, members May and Dohee decided to halt their activities in April.
In a more positive light, reports also announced that remaining members Dayeon, former “MIXNINE” contestant Baekah, and Iaan are slated to re-debut together as a trio called XUM later this month.
4. SPECTRUM (스펙트럼)
The 6-member boy group debuted in May 2018 and disbanded in July 2020. Another member, Dong Yoon, passed away on 27th July 2018. Similar to NeonPunch, SPECTRUM also disbanded due to the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus global spread.
SPECTRUM’s agency WYNN Entertainment stated that the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors, had worsened the situation for the company. As a result, they were forced to terminate their contracts with all 6 members of the group.
5. TREI (트레이)
TREI debuted as a duo in August 2017 under girl group EXID’s label Banana Culture, before they added a third member in May 2018. In June 2020, it was announced that they would be disbanding.
Since they weren’t active on social media last year, fans had been speculating about the group’s fate and eventually disbandment. In their respective statements, the members didn’t reveal the reason for terminating their contracts, but they implied that the decision was mutual.
Prior to that, many fans had already been urging the members to leave the company because of its poor management. The news came shortly after all the members of the “Up & Down” hit-makers left the company too. But still, many are crossing their fingers that the trio will remain together and make their comeback under a new company in the future.
6. 1THE9 (원더나인)
1THE9 was a temporary project group that was formed through the survival show “Under Nineteen”. They made their official debut and later disbanded on 8th August 2020. Several reports stated that the boy group was supposed to disband a month earlier. However, their final comeback was delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As a result, their finalised disbandment date had also been modified.
In doing so, their agency, Pocketdol Studio sent out the official document about the extension of 1THE9’s group activities to the members’ respective agencies. As a result of their home labels’ consensus, the 9-member group dropped their 3rd and last EP, “Turn Over” on 16th July.
While you’re here, check out the 5 groups that may face the possibility of disbanding in 2021 here.