It happens. A K-pop group debuts and after a while a member or two (or more) leave the band. This can occur for varying reasons: maybe the K-pop idol wanted to leave due to personal issues, their contract with the music agency expired, or, in some cases, they were kicked out of the group. Keep reading to see which K-pop stars left their group and why.
One of the more recent occurrences of a member leaving their K-pop band is Jinni from girl group NMIXX. Along with Jinni, members Lily, Sullyoon, Haewon, Jiwoo, Kyujin and BAE debuted under JYP Entertainment with their song “O.O” in February 2022.
Jinni’s sudden split from the rookie girl group was announced on December 9, 2022, in a statement from JYP, per Soompi, which said that she was leaving “due to personal circumstances.” It also confirmed that “her exclusive contract has been terminated” and that NMIXX would carry out all future activities as a six-member group. Before her departure, Jinni was known as the “center” of the band, which meant she was focal in NMIXX’s choreography, visuals and performance.
“We ask that you give lots of encouragement to Jinni, who will be walking a new path,” the statement read. “And we also ask that NSWER [NMIXX’s fans] give their warm support to the six members who will continue to grow and race towards their dreams.”
Another girl group who debuted in 2022 and had a member leave the group was Le Sserafim — however, the reason behind this departure was a bit more controversial.
Le Sserafim debuted under Hybe Entertainment (a.k.a. BTS’ label) on May 2, 2022, with members Kim Chaewon, Sakura, Huh Yunjin, Kazuha, Hong Eunchae and former member Kim Garam. The group’s lineup was announced in April of that year, which was monumental at the time due to this being Hybe’s first girl group since BTS’ debut. But within the same day, anonymous users on Korean blogs began accusing Garam of bullying, underage drinking, smoking and school violence.
It’s pretty common for K-pop idols to be accused of bullying, but the severity of the claims can vary dramatically — sometimes the claims are proven to be false and the member continues on with their group, but other times a music company will end their contracts with the K-pop idol in order to save the band’s image.
At first Hybe took the former option and debuted the girls with Garam as planned. However, things reached a pinnacle in May 2022 when an accuser of Garam’s came forward with a statement via a legal representative and photos of school documents indicating the disciplinary action taken against her. At the time, Hybe released their own statement disputing the accusations in detail.
The criticism came to a head until July 2022, when the announcement came of Kim’s contract termination in July. Since then, Le Sserafim has continued on as five-member group, making their first comeback without Garam in October 2022 with “ANTI-FRAGILE.”
Scroll through our gallery to see all of the K-pop group’s who have had a member or two leave the group and why.
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