Two members of the four-member girl group BLACKSWAN have graduated from the group. DR Music announced on July 31 KST that Judy and Youngheun were leaving the group “to fulfill their new dreams.”
Graduation is a system in K-pop that allows a member to leave the group without being bound in a contract peacefully. In some cases, it also depends on the age. After reaching a certain age, the members have to leave the group. Older members pass the baton to new members to fill up the spot, continuing their popularity.
Though Judy and Youngheun departed the group peacefully, fans were left disappointed. The duo held key positions in the group. Judy was the leader and main vocalist while Youngheun was the main dancer and lead vocalist. For many, they were the backbone of the group.
Moreover, fans believed that the group never had a “graduation” system. It went through numerous member and name changes but never mentioned graduation regulations. Some members left due to internal conflicts while a few others began a new journey. According to them, there must be some issues due to which the duo decided to part ways.
“What’s the point of BLACKSWAN without Youngheun and Judy?”: Fans enraged as agency announces the duo’s graduation
With the new change in DR Music’s girl group BLACKSWAN's lineup, Leia and Fatou are the only members remaining from the original lineup. New trainees Sriya from India and Gabi from Brazil have made headlines in the past and will be debuting as new members.
The company stated in their announcement that the decision was taken after careful consideration from both the members. The duo decided to “take a different path to fulfill their new dreams.”
However, the agency announcing the members' departure as graduating from the group did not sit right with fans. Though the group is introducing global members, apprehension over the two members’ departure has enraged the fandom.
Many fans believe that leaving Youngheun and Judy out of the group is a bad move, especially when it leaves Fatou, the first black K-pop idol, and Leia as the only remaining original members. This line of thought also stems from the infamous controversy and public arguments between Fatou and Leia.
Many fans commented that they will continue stanning BLACKSWAN only for Fatou. However, some even expressed their opinion that Fatou should leave the group and DR Music should just debut a new group.
Since its inception as RANIA in 2011, the group has rebranded twice with over 15 members leaving the lineup. With Youngheun and Judy’s departure, Sriya and Gabi will reportedly be joining the girl group as the newest members in October.
While fans are happy with the global recognition DR Music is giving the girls, many are apprehensive of the dynamics within the group. Many even called it the "Rania curse."
BLACKSWAN will continue promoting themselves as a four-member girl group for the time being.