When I first got into Kpop, thanks to PSY, I was searching for other Kpop artists and I discovered Kara and Wonder Girls. These two girls groups led me to finding out more amazing Kpop musicians.
This week I woke up to the news I didn’t want to read, Wonder Girls are officially disbanding. I’ve heard and read rumors about their so called disbandment, but I disregarded it because they had a successful comeback. Why would a group disband if they did well? It was upsetting to read the news, especially when I’ve been listening to their music since 2012. That’s a long time.
For those of you who haven’t heard Wonder Girls, they are a South Korean girl group who debuted in 2007 with their album “The Wonder Years”. The original members of the group were Sunmi, Sohee, Sunye, Yeeun and Hyuna. Hyuna was not part of the group for too long, due to problems with chronic gastroenteritis and fainting spells. However, Hyuna ended up being part of another popular Kpop band, 4 Minute which also disbanded last year. Following Hyuna’s exit, in autumn 2007, the talent agency Good Entertainment sent their trainee Yubin to JYP Entertainment to replace Hyuna. Yubin made her debut in their popular music video, “Tell Me”.
Wonder Girls have quite a legacy in South Korea, they are known as one of the top girl groups in the Kpop industry, along with other legendary groups. Wonder Girls had a tremendous success, very quickly they began to release chart topping hits like “Tell Me”, “So Hot” and “Nobody”. They were unstoppable and ready tot take over the world with their music. In 2009, it was announced they would go and try to breakthrough the US music market. They debuted with an English version of their song, “Nobody” and recording a new album. In that same year, JYP announced Wonder Girls will be joining the Jonas Brothers on tour. Considering their successful career, there have been a number of member lineup changes. In 2010, Sunmi postponed her music career to pursue her academic career, it was not certain when she would return to JYP again. Following her departure, Hyerim (Lim) a JYP trainee was chosen as Sunmi’s replacement. The group continued to promote their music, while actively working in South Korea and America.
In 2012, Sunye announced she would be getting married in January 2013! JYP, the CEO of the JYP Entertainment announced the group would go on hiatus. Many fans feared the group will disband, but JYP reassured there was not such thing. On June 24, 2015, it was announced the Wonder Girls would be making a comeback as a band. Yet again, more lineup changes happened with Sunmi returning to the Wonder Girls and Sunye and Sohee ending their contracts with JYP Entertainment. On August 3 2015, they released their comeback album, “Reboot”. To this day this is one of my favorite albums by the Wonder Girls, with their 1980s inspired tunes. The girls took their talent one step further by learning to play an instrument, compose and write their own songs. “Reboot” was a successful album earning a number five spot of the Gaon Album Chart and number two on the Billboard World Albums. Following the success of the their previous album, the Wonder Girls released a new single, “Why So Lonely”, in the summer of 2016.
Now it is time to say goodbye! There are many questions as to why the group is disbanding, some have stated it is because JYP invests more time and money to promote newer groups. Yubin and Hyerim have renewed their contacts, while Sunmi and Yenny did not. According to some reports, Sunmi and Yenni are meeting with new agencies to continue working as musicians and hopefully continuing their activities as the Wonder Girls. It’s not certain how that would work out, considering they might be with different companies. Nevertheless, I know they will do what’s best for them and their career.
We are saying goodbye to ten wonderful years with the Wonder Girls, they have left behind wonderful music and memories. I may have not followed them from their debut days, but I am happy I got to know them before their disbandment. The girls will be releasing their final single on February 10.
Good luck and thank you for everything Wonder Girls, you were wonderful! We will miss you.