T-ara is a South Korean girl group, formed in 2009 by MBK Entertainment. A broad array of visual concepts have earned the group a "chameleon-like" reputation. The group officially debuted in July 2009 with the single "Lie". They went on indefinite hiatus on January 3, 2018 allowing the members to pursue their solo careers.
2013–2014: Subunits, Again, and And & End
T-ara released their sixth Japanese single "Bunny Style!" (バニスタ!, Banisuta!) on March 20, 2013. The A-side "Bunny Style!" is their first single composed specifically for the Japanese market.
In early April 2013, it was announced that T-ara would be forming a sub-unit with members Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, and Areum called T-ara N4. This is a shortened form of 'T-ara Brand New 4', signifying the transformation of the four members.
The sub-unit debuted on April 29, 2013, with the song "Jeon Won Diary" (전원일기), produced by Duble Sidekick.
Most fans believe this song was made as a response to all the hate they received after their bullying scandal. Their debut was really well received. Their title track "Jeon Won Diary" was downloaded more than 500000 times and they sold close to 30000 physical copies of their E.P.
T-ara N4 got invited to open for Chris Brown, but it ended with a lot of disappointment as the event turned out to be a pool party and Chris Brown interrupted their performance and cut them off halfway.
T-ara released their second Japanese album "Treasure Box", on August 7, 2013.
On July 10, 2013, it was confirmed with a video released by Core Contents Media that Areum would be leaving the group to pursue a solo career "towards the beginning of next year".
In August, T-ara released the music video "Bikini" featuring Davichi and Skull.
At their Budokan Concert, it was announced that Qri would be the new leader of T-ara.
On September 15, Core Contents Media announced that T-ara would hold their long-awaited Korean comeback. "Number Nine" was released with T-ara's mini album "Again" on October 10.
T-ara had a Korean comeback on December 2 with the song "Do You Know Me".
They also released a repackage album named "Again 1977" which contains the best songs from their album, Again.
T-ara was ranked seventh as the group with most number one hit songs on digital music charts in the past decade with 13 songs, despite debuting 4.5 years ago.
T-ara had a Japanese comeback with the double A-side single "Lead The Way" and "LA'booN" on March 5, and their third Japanese album Gossip Girls was released on May 14.
In April, Jiyeon released her solo extended play "Never Ever" along with the music video for the title track "1 Minute 1 Second (Never Ever)" and a dance practice video. "1 Minute, 1 Second (Never Ever)" is a medium-tempo song produced by Duble Sidekick.
On May 23, 2014, it was announced that Jiyeon had been forced to change the dance for "1 Minute 1 Second (Never Ever)" due to the hip dance being deemed too sexy and provocative for the public.
Hyomin had her solo debut with her E.P. "Make Up" and performed title track "Nice Body" to promote it. It was released on June 30. Just like Jiyeon, she had to change parts of her choreography as it was deemed too sexy.
Although her E.P. performed well, Nice Body received a lot of backlash for being offensive to women. Much later it was reveiled that even Hyomin herself didn't want to do this concept and felt too pressured but that her agency made her do it.
On September 11, T-ara's sixth mini album And & End was released along with two music videos for the title track, "Sugar Free". The song was inspired by EDM and is part of the Big Room subgenre of electro house music.
On September 24, a remix album was released called EDM CLUB Sugar Free Edition. This album included an English version of "Sugar Free", which was the first song T-ara had recorded in English.
On October 13, T-ara signed a management contract with influential Chinese entertainment company, Longzhen Culture Development. The contract worth 5 billion KRW (~US$4.8 million).
On November 24, T-ara released a Korean/Chinese cover of "Little Apple" by Chopstick Brothers, as well as a music video. This video featured Jiyeon, Eunjung, Qri, and Hyomin, as well as Seunghee from F-ve Dolls and Dani. The video hit ́8 millions views within two days on website Tudou.
2015–2016: So Good and Remember
The first half of the year T-ara as a group attended events and festivals and held concerts in South Korea, Vietnam and China.
On May 7, 2015, Eunjung, under her stage name "Elsie", released her debut extended play "I'm Good", featuring popular singer K.Will. She also released the Korean and Chinese version of the title track "I'm Good" on May 26, 2015.
On July 17, 2015, MBK Entertainment confirmed that the group will join the summer comeback lineup in the first week of August. On August 3, 2015, T-ara's seventh extended plays, "So Good" with title track "So Crazy" was released. It was composed by Brave Brothers, the composer of Hyomin's solo debut title track "Nice Body", and surpassed 1 million views in 2 days.
On August 13, T-ara held a press conference for their web-drama "Sweet Temptation" which features a total of 6 episodes for 6 separate stories.The drama was released on October 2015.
The rest of the year T-ara, alongside their main promotions, focused on promotions in Japan, their concert tour in China and other events and festivals in South Korea.
On October 15, the website "Insider Monkey" published a list of 16 best selling girl groups of all time where T-ara was placed N°10 with a total of 36.18 million sales recorded.
Hyomin released her second extended play "Sketch" on March 17, 2016.
In October 2016, MBK Entertainment announced that T-ara would be releasing a mini-album produced by Duble Sidekick in November. T-ara's eighth extended play, Remember, with lead single "TIAMO" was released on November 9. T-ara incorporated sign language in their choreography.
2017–2018: End of the bullying controversy, What's My Name? and hiatus
In February 2017, Hwayoung and her twin sister Hyoyoung appeared on a reality show and spoke about the controversy again; with Hwayoung saying her sister was the only person who had supported her during the incident, and how hard everything had been for her. Soon afterwards a former staff member stepped forwards and alleged that it had actually been the twins who had "bullied" the other members, and released texts that appeared to show Hyoyoung threatening former member Areum with physical harm for not supporting Hwayoung's behaviour. Soon afterwards, more and more staffers came forwards with evidence that Hwayoung had been disrespectful to the other members as well as stylists, and had faked how severe her initial injury was in order to get more sympathy. Hwayoung initially tried to deny the rumours, lashing out at the staffers in return, but eventually admitted that the texts were real. After suffering from an intense backlash, including being removed from several television shows, Hwayoung deleted her Instagram account.
Fans were releaved the truth finally came out so their names were cleared. MBK, however, wasn't happy about it because they didn't want to bring up the painful past again.
On March 6, 2017, MBK Entertainment announced that T-ara would be releasing their final album in May, with Soyeon and Boram terminating their contracts after its release. Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon would stay with the label until December 31, 2017. On May 7, MBK Entertainment revealed the group's plans had changed, and that the final album had been rescheduled to release in June 2017, with members Boram and Soyeon not being able to partake due to the expiry of their contracts.
On May 8, it was announced that T-ara's last performance as six-members would be in Taiwan concert on May 13.
The remaining four members continued as a group with releasing their ninth extended plays and last promotional album, "What's My Name?", on June 14, 2017.
After a five-year period without receiving any awards on music shows, T-ara won first place on The Show on June 20. Their win is seen as one of, if not the most emotional win on a music show ever.
T-ara has released track "My Love" on July 15 for KBS 2TV's drama Greatest One-Shot.
On November 4, the group held their first concert in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, which reportedly attracted 10,000 attendees. A portion of the ticket sales would be donated to charity in Vietnam in honour of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Korea.
On January 3, 2018, Hyomin took to her Instagram account to announced that herself, Jiyeon, Eunjung, and Qri had decided to not renew their contracts with MBK, thus leaving the company. The company later confirmed that the group had left the company, however they did not state that the group had disbanded.
MBK Entertainment later confirmed that they had been registered a trademark for T-ara on December 28. The members officially filed documentation outlining grounds for rejection of MBK Entertainment's trademark on January 19. On August 8, MBK Entertainment trademarks for T-ara had been denied by Trademark Act.
May 2018, Hyomin joined Sublime Artist Agency to pursue her solo career in South Korea and China.
On August 7, 2018, it was reported that Hyomin was aiming for a mid-September solo comeback with R&B Pop, working with producers from EXO's Ko Ko Bop and Twice's Dance The Night Away. On September 12, 2018, Hyomin released a digital single titled "Mango", followed by a showcase.
On January 20, 2019, Hyomin released her second digital single titled "U Um U Um" ahead of her 3rd mini album expected to be released in mid-February.
On February 20, 2019, Hyomin released her third mini album Allure. The album's title track is also called "Allure (입꼬리)"
On December 22, 2018, Jiyeon released music videos for the Korean and Chinese version of her winter ballad track "One Day".
On December 26, 2019, Park released her second EP Senpass, a portmanteau of "Sense" and "Compass". The EP consists of five-track including the title track "Take A Hike".
T-ara (Minus Boram and Soyeon) reunited for SBS’s Chuseok special ‘MMTG’ late 2020 and performed “Roly Poly” and “Sexy Love”.
Sources: TV-People , MBCkpop, wikipedia, inquisitr, Jiyeon wikipedia, Hyomin's wikipedia, MMTG, 1theK, asianjunkie, kultscene, reddit, gifer, giphy
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T-ara is my ultimate kpop girl group~ 👑 I still listen to them at least once, but usually multiple times a week. I just love how there's always a song that suits your mood. Stunning, talented, hard working women.
The way MBK treated T-ara... Their CEO kept playing and using them, making it look like they were easily replaceable if they didn't work hard enough and how they constantly forced T-ara into work they clearly didn't feel comfortable with. The way they handled the bullying scandal still makes me extremely angry. We, as T-ara fans, KNEW that Hwayoung lied but in the end, it didn't matter what we said, nobody believed us. There were times I didn't even feel comfortable saying I was T-ara's fan because of all the backlash I would receive. They did NOTHING to protect them. Or, after Soyeon got into a car accident and got permanent back problems, they didn't even make a statement about it and just let people critize her on her "lazy dancing". I also still can't believe their agency pushed them into Sexy Love after their scandal because wouldn't be able to show emotions and their CEO told them to "just do a robot concept". What a shady company.
These women have been through so much, I can't help but be proud of them. They have done well. Their reunion was adorable, so happy to see them again. I hope one day Boram and Soyeon don't feel traumatized anymore by their past. It would be great if, one day, they can re-join them. But more than that, I want them to find happiness.
I would love to hear what you think about these 2 installments! Favorite track, member, concept, album, performance, solo debut/performance? Do you miss T-ara? Because I really do...