When many K-pop bands split, those that followed them throughout their time together are often sad, and while there’s usually a quick outpouring of support and condemnation of the decision, it’s not uncommon for things to end there. 2021 saw one girl group’s breakup create a massive stir in the community, with fans refusing to accept the bad news, and even going so far as to raise thousands of dollars in an effort to show their love for the band.
Sadly, throughout 2021, several beloved South Korean girl groups either decided to split or were forced to do so by the labels that ran their activities. These are the K-pop girl groups that disbanded in 2021.
Of all the K-pop acts that disbanded in 2021, GFriend may have had the largest discography. Throughout their years together, the girl group released four full-lengths, 10 EPs, one compilation and a reissue. On the Gaon Albums chart in South Korea, the outfit reached the No. 1 spot with four efforts, while 10 other titles broke into the top 10. The act landed several No. 1 hit singles as well, but after half a dozen years together, they all decided to move on.
Perhaps the most high-profile breakup of 2021 in the K-pop music industry, Iz*One fans were sad to hear that the South Korean/Japanese girl group was to be no more, as they had released an incredible amount of work since forming in 2018. All five of their titles aimed at the South Korean market reached the top two on the Gaon Albums chart, with a pair bolting to the summit.
When the news hit that Iz*One’s label was breaking them up, fans rushed into action, doing everything they could to save the band. Sadly, despite drumming up an immense amount of attention and even raising funds to support the cause, efforts to keep them together, or even to reform the group, failed.
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While some disbandments are surprising, when it became clear that Sonamoo was not going to exist anymore, it’s likely that not many were shocked. The girl group hadn’t released a project since 2017, and in 2019, two of the members sued their record label TS Entertainment to get out of their contracts. By the end of 2021, almost all of the former members had signed deals with other firms, so the act sort of fell apart, as opposed to being properly shut down.
Despite working hard for several years, the girl group Berry Good was never able to make a huge commercial impact in South Korea, which might have kept them going for a while longer. None of their releases broke into the top 20 on the Gaon Albums chart, and their last project, an EP titled Undying Love, couldn’t even reach the top 50.
Since forming a decade ago, AOA has experienced quite the lineup shift. In fact, five of the eight members have departed the outfit, and only three remain. While AOA remains intact, at least in some ways, one of the two sub-unit groups spun off of the outfit is no more. AOA Black was once made up of five singers, but now none of them are still signed to the label that runs AOA.