2021 is coming to a close, and with the end of the year only a few weeks away, it’s a good time to reflect back on the last twelve months and both the good and bad times that came with it. While many K-Pop groups debuted this year to great success, others sadly disbanded for an assortment of reasons. Here are 9 K-Pop groups that went that route in 2021.
100% originally debuted with 7 members on September 21, 2012 under TOP Media. The group was formed by Shinhwa member Andy Lee, and they began their career with the album We, 100% and title track “Bad Boy”. Over the years, they lost three members every couple of years: Sanghoon left in 2014, Changbum in 2016, and Minwoo tragically passed away due to cardiac arrest in 2018.
During their career, the group released 9 albums overall and several digital singles. Their best-selling album was the 2016 release Time Leap with the title song “Better Day”, which sold just under 15k copies. The remaining four members — Rockhyun, Jonghwan, Chanyong, and Hyukjin — decided to let their contracts expire on October 9 this year, officially disbanding.
B.O.Y was a K-Pop duo comprising of former Myteen members Kookheon and Yuvin. They were formed by The Music Works and debuted on August 24, 2019 with the single “Blurry” after both members participated on Produce X 101 but didn’t make it into the group formed from the show, X1.
After their debut digital single, the duo released two other albums, the best-selling of which was Phase One: You with the title track “My Angel”. They also participated on Immortal Songs in late 2020, where they actually won the episode and became the second fourth-generation group to achieve this (after ATEEZ)! Unfortunately, however, Yuvin’s contract expired on April 30 this year, and with his decision to start his military enlistment, the duo disbanded.
3. Berry Good
Berry Good started out as a five-member girl group that debuted under Asia Bridge Entertainment on May 21, 2014 with the single album Love Letter. Shortly after their debut, however, three of the members decided to leave to concentrate on their studies, and three new members joined instead. A sixth member, Johyun, was also added to the group in late 2016.
They released six albums over the course of their career, with the best-selling one being Free Travel, which sold just under 1.5k units. After members Gowoon and Seoyul let their contracts expire in February of this year, the remaining members decided to disband on May 12.
ENOi was a seven-member boy group that debuted on April 19, 2019 under KiTheWhale with the single “Bloom”. During their short time as a group, they released three albums, the best-selling of which was W.A.Y (雨), which sold about 5.8k copies.
Unfortunately, the group didn’t last even two years, and decided to disband on January 22 this year.
Arguably the biggest and most shocking disbandment of the year, GFRIEND originally began their career as a group on January 15, 2015 under Source Music with the EP Season of Glass and accompanying title track “Glass Bead”. They won several awards during their time together, including the “Best New Female Artist” award at the 2015 Melon Music Awards and even a Grand Prize (Daesang) award at the 2016 Korean PD Awards. Overall, they also received 71 music show wins, making them the 6th highest-winning artist in K-Pop history.
They released a total of 16 albums during their career, the best-selling of which was the 2019 release Time For Us with the title track “Sunrise”. It sold just under 100k units. It came as a shock to everyone when the group suddenly disbanded on May 22 this year with all of the members leaving Source Music after the completion of their six-year contract.
HOTSHOT was a six-member boy group that debuted on October 29, 2014 under Star Crew Entertainment with the digital single “Take A Shot”. Member Timoteo was a former SM Entertainment trainee that was supposed to be a member of EXO, but ended up leaving the company to join HOTSHOT instead. Members Taehyun and Sungwoon participated on the second season of Produce 101, with Sungwoon ranking 11th and making it into Wanna One (and, later, a successful solo career). Members that joined other temporary groups include Taehyun in JBJ and Hojung in UNB.
They released three albums during their career, the best-selling of which was Early Flowering with the title track “I Hate You”, which sold around 17k copies. On March 30 this year, however, Star Crew Entertainment announced that the group had officially disbanded.
While IZ*ONE’s disbandment was anticipated, it was still hard to see this talented girl group go their separate ways this year! The twelve-member girl group was created through Produce 48 and co-managed by Off The Record and Swing Entertainment, and debuted on October 29, 2018 with the album COLOR*IZ and title track “La Vie en Rose”. They went on to win a total of 24 awards at shows such as the Golden Disc Awards and MAMAs, and also received 26 music show wins.
They released six albums during the course of their career, with their best-selling album being the 2020 release Oneiric Diary with the title track “Secret Story of the Swan”. It sold an impressive over 550k total units! Unfortunately, however, the group did complete its planned disbandment on April 29 this year, with the members all going to various other projects such as new girl group IVE and solo careers.
Lovelyz was an eight-member girl group formed by Woollim Entertainment and debuted on November 17, 2014 with the album Girls’ Invasion and lead single “Candy Jelly Love”. Overall, they ended up receiving four music show wins, one for each of the following songs: “Now, We” (in 2017), “Twinkle” (in 2017), “That Day” (in 2018), and “Obliviate” (in 2020).
The group released 13 albums during their career, the best-selling of which was the 2019 album Once Upon a Time with the title track “Beautiful Days”, which made around 55k total sales. On November 16 this year, all of the members except for Baby Soul did not renew their contracts with Woollim Entertainment, and their disbandment was announced.
9. Seven O’Clock
Seven O’Clock debuted under Staro Entertainment and KDH Entertainment on March 16, 2017 with the EP Butterfly Effect and title track “Echo”. They went through several member line-up changes during their career, with a total of 9 members being part of the group at some point.
They released five albums as a group, the best-selling of which was White Night with the title track “Midnight Sun”, which made around 1.8k sales. They officially disbanded on March 2 of this year, with Hangyeom moving on to become a member of OMEGA X, and 2Soul and Taeyoung planning to debut with new K-Pop group Black Level.