With all the disbanding news of some of our favorite Kpop acts this year, it can be a bit disheartening to continue supporting some groups, knowing they may disband one day, or thinking your favorite member may leave one day. Despite this, there are many groups still going strong even after gaining or losing members. Some of these groups have had to go through major changes while others breezed by, but despite their setbacks, they are still pushing forward. Let's take a look back at some groups who've gone through member changes, but still haven't lost their footing.
This group has stirred much controversy since three members left due to health reasons, and have gone on to pursue solo careers. As of 2017, the originally twelve member group is down three members, as members Kris, Luhan, and Tao all filed lawsuits against SM Entertainment, ultimately leaving EXO. Even though many fans were heartbroken and the group experienced setbacks in China with EXO-M losing half their members, the group never strayed away from making good music and keeping their fans happy.
Although EXO-M is no longer active, the nine members of EXO continue to release Mandarin versions of their songs, and the last Chinese member, Lay, has even released a solo album. EXO has also debuted EXO-CBX, a subunit with Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin, and several members have released solos through SM Station. Aside from their music, EXO members have also been seeing much success with their acting, musicals, variety show appearances, modelling, and more.
2. RANIA / BP RANIA
These girls have been a hot topic since member Alex joined as the first African American artist to be part of a Kpop group. Even before the addition of Alex, though, this group has had many member changes before finally getting to a comfortable spot. RANIA has seen six members leave between 2011 and 2015, with all original members leaving the group, two of which returned later on. In 2015, to complete the current lineup, members Hyemi and Seulji, along with Alex, were added to the group. These girls have now gained international attention, and have been soaring as a six member group.
If it wasn’t for Hani’s legendary fancam gaining national and international attention for their song "Up & Down," this group may have been disbanded already. Before their sudden rise to fame, EXID was a six member group who lost three members shortly after their debut in 2012. Current members Solji, formerly of 2NB, and Hyerin were added into the group, and former members Yuzi (now known as Uji), Dami (now known as Hyeyeon), and Haeryung went on to form group BESTie.
EXID were slowly losing hope of reaching the top, when their song Up & Down hit number one on the charts three months after they had already finished promotions for the song. After the success of the song, the group went on to release several more number one hits, including "Ah Yeah," "Hot Pink," and "L.I.E." Even with their setback, they came back stronger with two new members, and are now more successful than they had ever imagined.
4. Super Junior
*Yesung is not pictured, as he was enlisted during Mamacita promotions
Even one of South Korea’s hottest boy groups had to go through member changes, and yet they were still able to succeed without hitch. Though their changes were minor compared to other groups, it is still sad to see a beloved member leave or not renew their contract. For Super Junior and ELFs, that is what happened with Kibum, who had originally decided to go on hiatus to pursue his acting but decided not to renew in the end.
Before Kibum's departure, however, was the departure of Hangeng, who left the group due to contract issues early in 2009. This change hit member Heechul particularly hard, as they were known to be close. The Super Junior members have kept good relations with the Chinese member, however, and Hangeng has gone on to pursue acting in China. With the loss of two members, youngest member Kyuhyun, who was originally going to be a rotating member, was added into the group permanently.
Despite these member changes, Super Junior still remains as one of the top groups in Kpop, releasing several hit songs, and seeing success with several subunit and solo debuts. The group also boasts several successful musical actors, actors, variety show stars, MCs, and more. Super Junior, with or without member changes, is a force to be reckoned with, and they'll be making their first comeback since 2015 later this year.
5. Red Velvet
The originally four member group debuted in 2014 with song "Happiness," and already garnered plenty of attention right from the start. Following their successful debut, SM Entertainment added a fifth member just in time for their 2015 "Ice Cream Cake" comeback. Yeri joining the Red Velvet lineup was met with mixed reactions, but ultimately, the addition of their youngest member only helped the group gain momentum.
Yeri fit right into the group, and the comfortable transition from four to five members only increased their popularity as time went on. The group is now one of the top rookie girl groups, with several hit songs such as "Dumb Dumb" and "Russian Roulette."
6. Girl's Day
Out of the current lineup, only Sojin and Minah have been with Girl's Day since the beginning. Debuting with five members, Jisun, Jiin, and Jihae left the group shortly after debut, and Hyeri and Yura were added to the group. The now four member group was originally meant to become five again, but with the success the quartet has seen, a new member was not added. Girl's Day's current lineup quickly shot to fame with several hit songs such as "Female President," "Expectation," "Something," and, most recently, "I'll Be Yours."
Unlike their debut, which didn't do so well, the girls are at the top of their game now, with their music topping charts as a group, Minah having had a successful solo debut, and Hyeri making waves with her renowned acting skills. Despite a few minor scandals here and there, with a female empowerment theme to several of their catchy songs, Girl's Day can only go up from here.
7. Nine Muses and After School
*Sungah is not pictured in the second photo as she is currently on hiatus
These two groups have decided to use a graduating system to change out members who decide not to renew their contracts and go on to pursue different activities. Even with these huge member changes, these two groups have still seen incredible success.
Nine Muses' member timeline
Nine Muses has had several hit songs as a group, such as "Wild," "Doll," and "Hurt Locker," debuted a subunit, Nine Muses A, and members such as Kyungri have been garnering attention through modelling and variety shows.
Nine Muses A
Similarly, After School's members have been keeping busy with solo activities, despite their group hiatus. Member Raina shot to the top of the charts with her duet with San E, "A Midsummer Night's Sweetness," Lizzy has made a solo debut and is known for her wit and charms on variety shows, and Nana is known for her modelling, having even won the title of "Most Beautiful Face in the World" two years in a row.
The group as a whole has had big hits such as "Diva," "Bang," "Flashback," and "First Love," known for their unique concepts and choreography. Along with their individual success, members Raina, Lizzy, and Nana have also promoted as subunit Orange Caramel, known for their quirky concepts.
After School's member timeline
Most recently, former After School member Uee graduated from the group to pursue her acting career.
Oftentimes, with the graduation system these two groups have in use, fans can become restless and frustrated at their constant lineup changes, but the talent and determination they have prevent fans from leaving them behind.
With how strong these groups and their fanbases are, it's no surprise how far they've come, despite these lineup changes. Who are some of your favorite groups that have had members leave the group, or be added in?
*C.H.D Entertainment is in no way affiliated with any of the above mentioned artists, their companies, or their partners. This article does not reflect the thoughts and opinions of C.H.D Entertainment as a whole.