SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Girl group KARA will dissolve next month with the departure of three of its four members, sources in the K-pop industry said Monday.
Park Gyu-ri, Han Seung-yeon and Goo Ha-ra won’t be renewing their contracts with the agency DSP Media come February, according to the sources.
The three have been looking for new agencies since late 2015, and their departure is now just a matter of time, one of the sources said, although DSP media claims the contract renewals remain “up in the air.”
The trio’s exits leave only Heo Young-ji, who joined the group in 2014, behind. It remains unclear whether DSP Media will launch a new group and keep the name KARA, but Feb. 2 will be the end of the four-member act as we know it.
The group’s contracts in Japan are also known to have expired last month.
Goo, who has been more active in Japan and China than in South Korea, is likely to move to an agency that has a strong overseas presence, such as Keyeast Entertainment, S.M. Culture & Contents or JYP Entertainment. Among the three, Keyeast appears the likeliest candidate, although the agency says nothing has been set in stone.
Han and Park are rumored to be searching for agencies that are most capable of backing their acting careers, according to the sources.
KARA, which debuted in 2007, is one of the groups that started the girl group trend in K-pop.
The group is most noted for its activities in Japan — KARA surpassed Girls’ Generation to take first place in the Japanese yearly chart by Oricon in 2010. A year later, it sold a record number of CDs and DVDs for a South Korean artist in Japan. It also became the first South Korean girl group to perform at Tokyo Dome in 2013.
The group, however, has undergone some rough patches in its nine-year existence.
Member Kim Sung-hee left the quartet in 2008, followed by the recruitment of Goo and Kang Ji-young. Between 2013 and 2014, Kang and Nicole left to become a solo artist and an actress, respectively.’