How 5 K-pop groups were saved from disbanding


This photo taken on March 27, 2021 shows K-pop group Brave Girls performing during a rehearsal for a commercial event broadcast live on YouTube at a studio in Gwacheon. Jung Yeon-je, AFP

Not all K-pop groups have it easy. Even after “succeeding” there are countless obstacles to overcome, including premature breakups, which can occur for any number of reasons. But not all K-pop groups were victims of the breakup. Which bands were lucky and saved from early disbandment?

1. Nu’Est

Although Nu’Est sadly disbanded earlier this year after its 10th anniversary, we can look back on its success and the hardships the members had to endure, one being their previous near disbandment. According to Koreaboo, before four out of five members appeared on survival show Produce 101 season two – which produced popular boy band Wanna One – the group was going through commercial decline and was on the verge of disbanding.

But thanks to the members’ appearance on the show and Minhyun’s eventual debut with Wanna One, Nu’Est saw a sudden surge in popularity and was able to carry on as a group. he even won his very first award at the 2017 Asia Artist Awards, five years after his debut.

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2. Brave Girls

The so-called Brave Girls revival is one of two cases on this list that resulted from a viral fan video. In February 2021, a video of the girls performing their song Rollin’ went viral on YouTube – it has over 25 million views at the time of writing – which sent the song soaring up the music charts in real time.

It was so popular that after about a year of inactivity, the girls returned to Korean music shows to perform their song and won their first Korean music show 1,854 days after their debut, which to the era was the longest delay between debuts. and first win for any K-pop girl group. At the 2021 Mnet Asian Music Awards, the group revealed that they were actually set to disband that year, which made their sudden success even more significant. He even recently announced the dates for his first-ever US tour, which is set to kick off in July.


The second case of a group being saved from disbanding because of a viral fan video is girl group Exid, except the video was a fancam of member Hani. After several line-up changes and financial difficulties, the group was on the verge of disbanding.

Her song Up & Down was released in 2014, and despite charting poorly, Hani’s fancam went viral a few months later – with more than 36 million views at the time of writing – driving the the song on the charts. Like Brave Girls, the group was again invited to perform on Korean music shows and achieved commercial success with their subsequent releases.

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4. Infinite

The second-generation boy band, which is now known for its “knife-like” choreography, was actually supposed to disband in 2011 (a year after its debut) because its agency, Woollim Entertainment, was near bankruptcy. In fact, the CEO even sold his house to help produce the band’s album “Over the Top”, which thankfully achieved commercial success and allowed them to continue as a band.

The group earned their first win on a Korean music show with the title track Be Mine and even the choreography went viral among Korean audiences. The members went on to release more hit songs throughout their careers and ultimately saved their business from bankruptcy.

5. Dreamcatcher

The girl group known for their dark, rock style of music actually started out as quite the opposite. Five of Dreamcatcher’s seven members debuted as Minx in 2014, but amid the saturated market for bubbly girl groups, they failed to stand out.

They soon debuted with two additional members in 2016 as Dreamcatcher and with a darker, grungier vibe. And that change paid off, as the group enjoyed much more success and even scored their first music show win in April – 1,923 days after their debut, breaking the Brave Girls record.

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