Thank u, next: K-pop divorces that did more good than harm

PHOTO: Instagram/kriswu & 7_luhan_m

Separation is never easy for anyone. 

Though most K-pop fans would wish for their groups to stick together for a long time, there are always several groups that don't last. 

Be it a difference in musical direction, or members that face controversy, groups splitting up is always heartbreaking for the fans. 

But for some idols, it seems that leaving might sometimes bring more good than harm. Here are some of the best win-win examples. 

EXO'S EX-MEMBERS KRIS, LUHAN, TAO

EXO as 12 members in 2013.Photo: SM Entertainment

Originally, EXO was a 12-member group with four members from China. However, a series of departures saw the group reshuffle to its nine-member lineup it has today. 

In 2014, Kris (Wu Yifan), who was the leader of the Chinese subunit EXO-M, filed for a contract termination against SM Entertainment citing unfair contract agreements. The announcement came as a shock to fans, as the group was reaching their peak in popularity.

That same year, another member Luhan followed suit, citing health problems and mistreatment from the company.

In 2015, Tao also announced that he was filing a contract termination citing health problems as well. 

While facing a lawsuit against SM meant that they might never promote in South Korea as an idol again, the Chinese members found success in their home country.

Tao established his own agency in China and carried on promoting as a singer and an actor. 

Kris started a successful rap career and even collaborated with US rapper Travis Scott for the single, Deserve. 

Luhan continued as a successful singer and actor in China where he was voted All-round Artist of the Year in 2018 by video-streaming website iQiyi. 

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Even though EXO was plagued by lineup changes, their popularity did not waver as they continued to rise. In 2018, the group was awarded the Guinness World Record for the most number of Grand Prizes won at Mnet Asian Music Awards after they won five consecutive Album Of The Year awards.

2PM'S EX-LEADER JAY PARK

If you are a K-pop fan, you've probably heard of the boy group 2PM. But did you know that rapper Jay Park was once 2PM's leader? 

Debuting with them in 2008 with the song 10 Out Of 10, Jay had received the most number of fan votes after the members of 2PM participated in a documentary called Hot Blood Men prior to their debut. 

However, he faced controversy after hateful comments from his Myspace account resurfaced amongst Korean netizens. In 2010, JYP Entertainment announced that Jay had left 2PM and that the group would not appoint a new leader.

2PM still enjoys commercial success after his departure, going on to win Best Male Group at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in the same year. 

Though Jay moved to the US after leaving the group, he later returned to South Korea to start his own hip-hop label, AOMG, where he is now one of South Korea's top hip-hop artist and a judge on Asia's Got Talent. 

EXID'S EX-MEMBERS DAMI, YUJI, HYERYEONG

Did you know that EXID was once a girl group with six members? The outfit started off as a collaboration between famed producer Shinsadong Tiger and entertainment company AB Entertainment. 

Together, the companies scouted for trainees and put together a team consisting of members Dami, Yuji, Hyeryeong, Hani, LE and Junghwa. 

Facing a lukewarm response, AB soon pulled members Dami, Yuji, Hyeryong in 2012, just one year after debuting. 

The remaining members of EXID were regrouped with new additions Solji and Hyelin and saw a sudden rise to fame with the song Up and Down after a fan-taken video of Hani went viral

Unfortunately, their fairytale has come to an end after Hani and Junghwa announced that they would be leaving EXID this year once their contract ends. 

With one last comeback this month, the members have assured fans that their bonds would still be strong even after they part ways. 

Guess not all goodbyes are bitter after all. 

kimberlyfoo@asiaone.com

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