The K-pop music industry is fast-paced with a horde of new groups debuting every year, of which the majority remain unknown up until they disband.
Out of those that do gain some semblance of popularity, many groups end up with a reduced number of members than they started out with due to scandals, medical issues, and problems within the group or with the company.
Some idols leave to pursue a solo career as they believe they’d do better off by themselves than they ever would’ve in a group.
Leaving the group is a tough decision, some choose it, and some are kicked out. Here are a few idols who left their groups for devastating reasons.
Seungri and 3 other K-pop idols who had to leave their groups due to controversies
1) Wonho from MONSTA X
Wonho was a member of the now six member group MONSTA X. He took part in the survival show that formed the group and stuck it out with the group for four years until he made the decision to leave the group in 2019 amid a drug scandal.
He was accused of being a cannabis user, allegations which he initially denied, however, as more reports came forward, he and the group ended up receiving a lot of negative reactions.
To not further tarnish the reputation of the K-pop group, Wonho penned a handwritten letter to fans announcing his departure from the group. In the middle of 2020 he was cleared of all drug-related charges and soon made his debut as a solo artist.
2) Seungri from BIGBANG
Seungri was the youngest member of the second generation K-pop group BIGBANG. He was deeply involved in the Burning Sun scandal, slated to be the worst scandal in the history of K-pop.
The disgraced idol was one of the directors of the infamous Burning Sun club which was a front for a nexus of pr*stitution and s*x trafficking. He was charged on nine counts for his involvement in embezzlement of funds, gambling, and providing pr*stitues to business investors in foreign countries.
The former BIGBANG member retired from the K-pop industry, leaving his group and served 18 months in jail for his crimes.
3) Soojin from (G)I-DLE
Soojin was the sixth member of CUBE Entertainment’s girl group (G)I-DLE. She was a front-runner and one of the most popular members until her reputation came crashing down due to bullying allegations levied against her by a classmate from high-school.
CUBE Entertainment and Soojin denied the allegations, but when the classmate refused to back off, the company terminated Soojin’s contract, removing her from the group.
This further rooted the belief in the minds of the fans that Soojin was definitely a bully, although a concrete judgment is yet to be made on this matter.
4) Jessica from Girls’ Generation/SNSD
One of the most shocking withdrawals from a group was Jessica's when she decided to leave Girls’ Generation. Fans of the girl group were in shock at the news of the sudden departure, but it wasn’t as sudden for people behind the scenes.
Jessica had always been more interested in growing her business, a plan that could not continue in parallel with the hectic schedules of SNSD, a fact SM Entertainment had informed her about.
She also had plans of getting married and studying abroad, all of which could only be achieved if she left the group. Although the departure was abrupt to her as well, the process was set in motion long before the final decision was made in 2014.
Whatever the reason may be for a K-pop idol to leave their group, the major brunt of it is emotionally felt by fans who are usually completely left out of the process and are always the last to know.