Stellar was a South Korean girl group formed by The Entertainment Pascal in 2011. The group attracted attention because they were initially produced by Eric Mun of the boy band Shinhwa. They disbanded in 2018 after none of the members resigned with the agency.
2011–2014: Formation, debut and line-up changes
The formation of Stellar began as early as 2010, originally supposed to be a six-membered group with a former trainee from Japan, but Top Class Entertainment reported that member Kim Gayoung had signed an exclusive contract with the company and would be joining a five-member girl group.
Gayoung had gained attention for her appearance on the Viewers' Tour episode of 1 Night 2 Days and had been cast in the drama series Poseidon alongside Top Class Entertainment operator and Shinhwa member Eric Mun.
The final debut line-up of Stellar was Gayoung, true rookie Jeon-yul, and ex-Honeydew members Lee-seul and JoA.
The group officially debuted on August 28, 2011, with the release of the digital single "Rocket Girl". Their debut music video for “Rocket Girl” was restricted from airing at first because of restrictions from KBS because of its explicit content. However, neither MBC nor SBS had any issue with the music video.
Stellar’s agency stated, “The music video which contains flashy visuals has received criticism from a broadcasting company for explicit content, therefore some fighting scenes and also scenes containing the members in sexy outfits had to be edited out. We were able to pass through KBS’ second trial, however fans want the unedited version so we will reveal them via Youtube and Stellar’s official homepage.”
On January 26, 2012, it was announced that Leeseul and JoA were leaving the group and would be replaced by Minhee and Hyoeun for their first comeback track "UFO".
Once again, there was some controversy around the girls for allegedly deliberately showing their panties. Netizens stated, “Are they deliberately showing their panties?” “Is this noise marketing,” and “What are you doing with underage girls?”. Their agency responded by saying they were just normal clothes and that they wouldn't adjust the styling, just the choreography of the dance.
On July 11, 2013, Stellar released their third digital single "Study" which entered the top 100 chart for the first time.
On February 12, 2014, Stellar released their first extended play "Marionette". “Marionette” is produced by Sweet Tune, who has worked on many of Kara‘s hit songs.
The group received criticism for their "stripping game" promotional material, which involved fans having to "like" posts on Stellar's official Facebook page to reveal photos of the members' body parts. The group received further criticism for their 19+ music video and performances of "Marionette".
Despite the controversy, "Marionette" became their best selling single, peaking at number 35 and 34 on Gaon and Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 charts, respectively.
During the time they were promoting "Marionette" Shinhwa's Eric left the agency and would no longer be producing Stellar.
On August 21, 2014, Stellar released the digital single "Mask". Sadly enough, the digital single was a flop and most people didn't even know they released something in the first place.
2015-2016: Breakthrough and identical crisis controversy
On March 9, 2015, Stellar released the digital single "Fool" and its music video. The MV shows the members reacting to the negative comments of their past comebacks. This digital single performed even worse than "Mask" with less than 18000 downloads.
On July 20, 2015, Stellar released the single "Vibrato" and another controversial music video, gaining more recognition. The group responded to criticism of their revealing performance outfits with the explanation that "Vibrato"'s sexy music video was merely meant to be an expression of the group's unique identity.
While promoting "Vibrato", Stellar released a virtual reality clip of a July 27 performance. The video – created by virtual reality company Moovr – allows viewers to use their computer mouse or move their smartphone to scroll around a 360-degree rotating view of the stage as the four members perform.
On January 8, 2016, it was announced that the group would return on January 18 with their second mini-album titled "Sting". The album's creation was supported in part through a Makestar-hosted crowd-funding campaign. The campaign's original goal of $8,418 was reached in only three days, ultimately reaching 422% of its goal with $35,510. On January 18, 2016, the album and a music video for the title track "Sting" were released.
Stellar announced on April 1 that they would be holding their first solo concert, since their debut, on April 22, 2016, at Seoul's Yes24 MUVHALL. They brought to their fans a range of unique performances, including hit songs like "Marionette" and "Sting". The concert was live-streamed on various websites such as Allreh TV, Allreh TV mobile and Goliveconcert.com.
On July 10, 2016, it was officially announced that the group would be releasing their seventh single album called "Cry" on July 18, posting the date of release and the first teaser images for the single through their official Twitter account.
This project was also supported, in part, by a Makestar crowd-funding project which raised $53,593 (532% of its original goal).
They went on to hold a second concert, entitled 'Stellar 2nd Concert: After Story' on December 3, 2016, while also debuting in Japan with a showcase in Tokyo on August 27 and a concert on December 24.
2017: Stellar Into The World and disbandment
Stellar ended 2016 by launching a third Makestar fundraising event in support of their third mini-album on December 26. By the time the project finished they had reached 1,132% of their original goal, making them the first group on Makestar to achieve over 1,000%.
On March 25, 2017, Stellar held a special fansign in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil. On March 26, 2017, Stellar was the first Korean girl group to hold a solo concert in Brazil, playing for a sold-out crowd of almost 1,000 people.
On May 17, it was reported that their new mini-album was to be released in late June. It was also revealed that a new member could possibly join the line-up with their new release. On May 18, The Entertainment Pascal confirmed the addition of a new member, So-young, via Stellar's Makestar Project. On June 20, The Entertainment Pascal announced that the group's third mini-album was set to be released on June 27 and was titled Stellar Into the World, with the title track "Archangels of the Sephiroth".
On August 22, it was announced that the group would be holding a special anniversary concert titled "Interstellar: Time Travel Through 6 Years" on August 28.
On August 23, it was confirmed that Gayoung and Jeonyul would leave Stellar at the end of the month after they decided not to renew their contracts with The Entertainment Pascal.
On August 25, Stellar announced the addition of a new member, Youngheun.
On September 30, members Youngheun and Soyoung were seen in YG Entertainment's teaser for Mix Nine, a show that would create a temporary boy or girl group, but neither member made it past the auditions.
On February 22, 2018, the members posted to social media about how they had arranged a "final" fan meeting for the group, to be held on February 25, 2018. Also on February 22, Gayoung tweeted "People who play with other people's emotions are the worst!", to which Hyoeun replied "True". Many fans took this to mean that the members were expressing their dissatisfaction with the company.
On February 26, it was revealed that Minhee and Hyoeun had chosen not to renew their contracts with the company, and, as a result, the group would be disbanding.
Shortly after the disbandment, Minhee gave an interview where she apologized to the group's fans and assured them there was no discord among the members. She stated that Jeonyul and Gayoung were looking to move into acting, but she and Hyoeun had not decided what they were going to do yet.
2018: Post-disbandment, reunion, and revealing the difficulties as idols
On October 30, 2018 Minhee released a video of Stellar's first reunion party after disbandment through her YouTube channel "About Mini". Gayoung, Minhee, Hyoeun and Jeonyul attended the event. Minhee explained that the Reunion Party was created thanks to fans.
On October 29, 2018 An SBS Special Documentary was released about the life of idols. A segment on Gayoung and Stellar revealed the difficulties members faced while being a part of Stellar, as well as showing some of the story after the disbandment of the group. The segment focused on Gayoung and her pursuit of being an actress, while running a cafe.
In an interview with Insight on December 17, 2018, Gayoung revealed the difficulties that she and her members faced from performing the sexy concept, from both the perception of the public, as well as the pressure that their company placed on members to do what the company wanted, whenever the members said that they didn't want to do a particular thing (such as a particular concept). When asked if she would be an idol again, Gayoung responded that "I don't think I would do it again". She concluded the interview with advice to new aspiring idols, that while it is important to work hard, the direction in which you are pursuing is important too.
After the Insight interview there was an immense response in the comments left for members both on the Insight interview video, as well as the Stellar reunion party video. In a response to the comments left on Stellar's first reunion party video, Minhee released a Q&A video on January 13, 2019. In response to a question about how much members earned from their work during Stellar, it was revealed that each member earned less than 10,000,000 Won (~$9,000 USD) over the 7 years they worked under their company.
3 weeks after the release of their mini album “Stellar Into the World” was digitally released on June 27, the physical copy still hadn't hit stores yet. Member Gayoung spoke up about her concerns and ultimately may have let to lower sales because people couldn't buy a physical copy when they started promoting.
Minhee did an interview and said that group activities as "Stellar" would never happen because the name belongs to their former agency, but they got along well as a group and were talking about things they could do together for their fans.
Gayoung said their agency pressured them into doing sexy concepts. At one point they were so poor that the company only had their CEO and one manager. She also opened up about the spilled milk scene. Gayoung revealed that the members had not been entirely aware of just how provocative the music video would be. They also weren't aware that the photos and scenes they shot for Vibrato would make it in the official release after clearly stating they didn't want to wear them. Additionally, Gayoung explained, “Because of the contract that we signed with our agency, whenever we said, ‘We don’t want to do this or that,’ they would respond, ‘Don’t forget about your contract with the agency.’ For a young person, that was scary. I think we had this fear that ‘if I refuse to do this, then I’ll have to pay this entire penalty fee, and things will be difficult for me.'”
Former member Soyoung made her solo debut on August 20, 2019 with the single "Breath".
On August 28, 2019 it was revealed that former member Youngheun has become a member of Rania.
On the 11th of May 2020 Gayoung, Hyoeun, Jeonyul and Minhee, held another heartwarming reunion.
wikipedia, Mnet K-POP, MBCkpop, aminoapps, KBS Kpop, Stone Music Entertainment
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I'm back guys~ I broke my laptop, lost everything (therefore also all the stuff I had prepared for this series) so I had to buy a new laptop and start all over. Combined with health issues it took me a while to come back. This is not the group I hinted at last time, just to clear that up ;). I don't have anything prepared yet for next week, so no hint :(. I'll just see how it goes.
Onto Stellar; I miss those girls. Not their agency, but just them as a group. I loved Stellar! It's so sad to see they got forced into things they weren't comfortable with and I hated that they started adding members when they really didn't need any new ones. I still listen to Stellar a lot, their songs are fantastic. Marionette and Vibrato were so controversial but musically they are both gems. They could've done a sexy concept without oversexualizing the members. I'm glad they got to do diferent concepts later on though, like Sting and Crying.. they looked a lot happier during those times.
Let me know what you think about this week and who you want to see next? Hope you have fun and thank you as always for stopping by~ ♥