aures (aures) wrote in omonatheydidnt,
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aures
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[⋆~Omona exclusive~⋆] Gone But Not Forgotten: AFTER SCHOOL

In this series I want to go through groups that are gone, but not forgotten. I will go from debut till disbandment or [indefinite] hiatus, remembering the time we had together and look back on their highs and lows.

After School



After School is a South Korean girl group with an admissions and graduation concept formed by Pledis Entertainment, with their official debut in 2009. As of December 2019, After School only has one member (Nana) under the label. According to the group's website however, Lizzy, Raina, E-Young and Kaeun are still members of the group.

Pre-debut
After School was first formed following Kahi's departure from Korean-American girl group S-Blush, as Kahi began planning to produce a new group together with the current CEO of Pledis Entertainment. The first member other than Kahi was Bekah, who was a trainee while Kahi was in S-Blush. With Kahi's recommendation, Bekah was brought from Hawaii to South Korea. They were then introduced to Jungah, followed by Soyoung and Jooyeon, forming a five-member group.
After School as a group first made an unofficial appearance on December 29, 2008 at the SBS Song Festival. Kahi and Jungah performed "Play Girlz" alongside Son Dam Bi whilst the remaining members, Soyoung, Jooyeon and Bekah served as backup dancers for Son Dam Bi's performance at the event.

2009: New Schoolgirl, "Diva" and "Because of You"
In the beginning of 2009, a few days before After School's debut, Pledis Entertainment announced that the group's music concept was heavily influenced by the Pussycat Dolls.

On January 15, the group released their debut single album "New Schoolgirl". The album had three songs: the lead single "Ah!", "Play Girlz" and "Bad Guy".



Following promotional activities for "AH!", After School planned to continue to promote "Bad Guy" from their debut single New Schoolgirl. However, the track was deemed unsuitable and was banned from broadcast because of a single word of profanity was in the lyrics.

In April 2009, a new member Uee joined the group. The group then released their second single, "Diva" on April 9, 2009. After School went on to win the "Rookie of the Month" award for the month of April 2009 at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards with the single.



On 21 May, the group released a cover of Morning Musume's "Love Machine", entitled "Dream Girl".



In July, it was announced that the group would collaborate with Son Dam-bi for digital single "Amoled". It was released on July 16, as part of a promotion deal with Samsung. After School also became the opening act for The Pussycat Dolls's Doll Domination Tour along with label-mate Son Dam-bi for the Asian dates of the tour.

On October 29, Soyoung officially graduated from the group to pursue an acting career. Two new members were then added to the group, Raina and Nana.

On November 25, After School released their new single "Because of You". The song marked a change for the group to a more mature and sophisticated concept, and became extremely popular, winning three Mutizen awards for the group on SBS' Inkigayo.



2010: "Bang!"
At the start of 2010, the group won the Best Rookie Award at both the Billboard Japan Music Awards and Seoul Music Awards.

On March 25, After School released their third single album "Bang!: with new member Lizzy where the group took on a marching band concept. Kahi revealed that she was inspired after watching the American film Drumline, and had always wanted to do a marching band concept ever since she took to the stage as an After School member. The group practiced playing the drums for five months with a trainer for the single. The title track entered the Gaon Weekly Chart at number 2 and reached number 29 on the 2010 Gaon year-end digital chart with 2,374,731 digital downloads sold.





2011: Virgin, line-up changes, Japanese debut and A.S. Red & Blue
On January 27, Pledis Entertainment announced that they had signed a contract with Japanese record label AVEX TRAX for After School to begin activities in Japan by the end of March.

A promotional campaign for Kahi's solo debut started in mid-February 2011. The mini-album was then released on February 14, 2011. The music video for "Come Back, You Bad Person" was released on February 14, 2011.



After School started their Japanese activities by collaborating with Namie Amuro; featuring in the song "Make It Happen" for her collaboration album. This was the first release to include new member E-Young, who was previously revealed to the public during the group's performance of "Bang!" at SBS' Gayo Daejun on December 31, 2010. In March 2012, the song won Best Collaboration at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2012.

After School's first Korean studio album, "Virgin", was released on April 29 with new member E-Young. The title track, "Shampoo", was composed by Japanese producer Daishi Dance and the music video was released later that day. The music video for "Let's Step Up", the intro track on the album, featured After School performing a tap-dance routine.





On June 17, 2011, Pledis Entertainment announced that original member Bekah was to 'graduate' from After School after concluding promotions for Virgin. Bekah released her 'graduation' song "Take Me to the Place" on July 11.

In July, Pledis Entertainment announced that After School would separate into two sub-units, A.S. Red & Blue, as part of the group's second comeback project for the year, with the units releasing "In the Night Sky" and "Wonder Boy" respectively.





After School officially debuted in Japan on August 17 with the release of their first Japanese single, "Bang!", which peaked at number seven on the Oricon Weekly Chart. After School's second Japanese single, "Diva", was released on November 23.

2012: Playgirlz, "Lady Luck/Dilly Dally", line-up changes and "Flashback"
After School's third Japanese single was a double A-side single consisting of two songs, "Rambling Girls" and a Japanese remake of their 2009 hit "Because of You". The single has sold over 17,000 copies in Japan.
On February 29, 2012, After School released a promotional digital single, "Just in Time", to promote the new album which was released the following month.

After School's first Japanese album, Playgirlz, was released on March 14, 2012. The album debuted at number eight on the Oricon Weekly Album Chart with sales of 16,000.

On April 23, 2012, Avex Trax announced that After School would release their fourth Japanese single, "Lady Luck/Dilly Dally", on June 13, 2012. As of the end of 2012, the single has sold over 17,000 copies in Japan.
After School started their promotion tour for Playgirlz in late April. The tour's first stop at Zepp Tokyo on April 27 marked the admission and first performance of new member Kaeun.

On June 5, Pledis Entertainment announced that Kahi would graduate from the group to pursue a solo career, as well as to study acting. After School's tour finished on June 17 at Tokyo Dome City Hall, which was also the last time Kahi performed with the group. She stayed with the group until September to help with promotion.

After School's fifth Korean single album, "Flashback", and a music video for the title track were released on June 20. This was the first release to include new member Kaeun, as well as being the first release to not include Kahi. Jungah, who was revealed to be the group's new leader after the departure of Kahi, said that the album's title refers to the group's desire to return to their original image and produce music for all ages.



2013–2015: "First Love", Dress to Kill, line-up changes
Their sixth Korean maxi-single, "First Love", was released on June 13, and was produced by Brave Brothers. Following a slew of concept images, it was confirmed the group would have a special "pole dancing" and "Las Vegas" style comeback performance, for which they trained for around 6 months to perfect.

Raina injured her hand while practicing and would not perform on the pole in the video or live stage.
It was also revealed that Lizzy had damaged a ligament in her ankle, and will not be able join the group's promotional activities until it healed. Following a performance on Show Champion, Nana fell off the stage and suffered from severe shock and contusion to her pelvic region, which meant that she would be absent from promotions until she had fully recovered and the group therefore finished promoting "First Love" as 6 for the time being.
The maxi-single marked the first main single release not to feature a line-up change for the group, as well as the group's last Korean release before going on an indefinite hiatus.



Their fifth Japanese single "Heaven", was released on October 2. "Heaven" debuted at number 6 on the Oricon Daily Singles Chart with over 18,596 copies sold during its debut week.

Pledis Entertainment announced on September 25, 2013 that Kahi would be releasing her second mini album, titled "Who Are You?", on October 10.



On December 19, the music video for "Shh", the group's sixth Japanese single, was released on YouTube.
After School's second full-length Japanese album, "Dress to Kill", was released on March 19, 2014.

On June 12, 2014, Raina and rapper San E released an R&B duet called A Midsummer Night's Sweetness. The collaboration topped all major music charts in South Korea soon after it was released, and it was No. 4 on the year-end Gaon Digital Chart



In October 2014, Raina became the first After School member to make a solo debut with the release her solo single titled Reset, which was released on October 8. The single consists of title track "You End, and Me" and b-side track Repertoire.



On December 31, Jooyeon's contract with Pledis Entertainment expired, and she announced her graduation from After School that same day. Jooyeon continued to promote as a member of After School in Japan, as her contract with AVEX TRAX had not yet expired.

On January 23, 2015, Lizzy debuted as a solo singer with the trot song "Not An Easy Girl".



On February 11, Lizzy released a duet song, "Goodbye PMS", with comedian Park Myung-soo.

2016–2019: Line-up changes and solo endeavors
On January 28, 2016, Pledis Entertainment announced that Jungah had graduated from the group after seven years of activity due to the expiration of her contract.

With the lack of group promotions, members Uee and Nana took a more active role as actresses. The other members also began solo activities.

On June 17, Raina's second duet with San E, titled "Sugar and Me", was released, peaking at number five on the Gaon chart.



On May 31, 2017, Pledis Entertainment announced that Uee had graduated from the group after eight years of activity due to the expiration of her contract. After School was to continue as five members for the first time in eight years since the group debuted.

Raina released her first single album, "Loop" on July 31. The single album contains three tracks, with title track Loop featuring NU'EST's Aron.



On May 1, 2018, Pledis Entertainment announced that Lizzy had graduated from After School after eight years of activity due to the expiration of her contract. Pledis Entertainment later stated that despite this, Lizzy would still continue to be a member of After School's subgroup, Orange Caramel.

Days later, it was reported that Kaeun would be the centre for the Korean group in "Nekkoya (Pick Me)", Mnet's Produce 48 official song, confirming her participation in the show. Despite never leaving the top 12 during the show's run, and ranking 1st for more weeks than any other contestant, Kaeun placed 14th during the finale of Produce 48 and therefore failed to make it to the final line-up.

Kaeun and Raina left the group in July and December 2019, respectively, following their contract expiration. On July 5, 2019 Kaeun released "Remember You" her first digital single that marked her departure from Pledis Entertainment.

In December 2019 E-Young announced on Instagram that she also left the group and company following her contract expiration and she is working on her solo album.

Miscellaneous:
* Kahi married an entrepreneur in 2016.
* Jung Ah also married and gave birth to a son in 2019.
* Ka Eun opened about After School's five year hiatus on Produce 48.
* Uee opened up about her 'belly fat controversy', traumatizing her to the point she only ate one meal a day for 8 years and has struggled with her weight all throughout her career because of the malicious comments. UEE also opened up about her mental health and the difficulties of being a celebrity.
* Lizzy also struggled a lot throughout her career with her weight. She also opened up about having done plastic surgery.
* Kahi claimed on the show Taxi that she got bullied in After School and said it was her main reason to leave the group. Netizens, however, did not believe her because she was known to be extremely harsh and mean and she disciplined the members a lot.

Sources:
Wikipedia: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
popjustice, MBC Kpop, stone music entertainment.

Previous:
Nine Muses, 4Minute, Girl's Day, Sistar, Secret, Orange Caramel, Rainbow, 2NE1, Dalshabet, Stellar, Miss A.

This one was highly requested, i put a lot of effort into it so hopefully i did them justice ;). I miss After School's fantastic and unique concepts! They truly put so much effort into their promotions: pole dancing, tap dancing, drumming. They were truly well-rounded and multi-talents! It's a shame they never got the true and full spotlight they deserved. Let me know what you think about this week? Favorite concept, member, comeback, song, line-up? What did you think about their graduation system? Would love to hear your honest opinions. Have fun and as always: thank you for stopping by ♥
Tags: !omona exclusive, after school, debut, disbandment, hiatus, kahi, orange caramel, pledis entertainment
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