1. Super Junior suffers from multiple serious car accidents, member departures, and scandals.
Super Junior has experienced a plethora of scandals and accidents that have severely hurt the group. In 2006, Heechul was involved in a severe car accident where it took over 10 years for him to fully recover the ability to dance.
A year later in 2007, Kyuhyun, Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Shindong were involved in a serious car accident. Kyuhyun suffered the worst injuries and was given only a 20% chance to live, and even if he did survive he was not expected to be able to sing again. With the help of a surgeon, who found an alternative treatment for him, he fought through and was discharged from the hospital 78 days after the accident.
2009 was also a very bad year for Super Junior. When the group released “Sorry Sorry”, Heechul felt like he was not useful to the group and seriously considered leaving. It took the persuasion of Eunhyuk to keep him in the group.
Kibum announced he would take a hiatus from the group to focus on acting, which later became a permanent hiatus. Kangin was involved in his first DUI accident in October, and Han Geng filed a lawsuit to terminate his contract with SM Entertainment in December.
More recently, Sungmin‘s marriage in 2014 still sits poorly with ELFs, with some calling for his removal from the group. This caused Sungmin to announce he would be sitting out of Super Junior’s promotions in 2017.
Siwon was also forced to sit out of promotions after his dog Bugsy bit a neighbor and she passed away a few days later. Currently, only 7 out of 9 active members are promoting with the group.
2. SHINee Onew‘s sexual harassment scandal and Jonghyun‘s death.
Onew was involved in a sexual harassment controversy, after which some Shawols demanded he should leave the group because of his actions. Even after the situation was cleared as a misunderstanding, there were people who still felt that he should leave the group. He took a hiatus from group activities following this incident.
Just a few months after Onew’s scandal, SHINee had to deal with the unfortunate loss of Jonghyun.
The group could have chosen to disband or not perform their concerts after the loss of their brother, but they decided to persevere, stay strong, and continue on, for him.
3. EXO loses 3 members in the span of a year.
A 12 month stretch between May 2014-2015 was EXO’s darkest time as a group. Starting in May 2014, Kris filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment for termination of his contract. Just 5 months later, Luhan filed the same lawsuit, citing unfair treatment between the Chinese and Korean members of EXO.
It was to the point where Lay‘s speech after EXO received the Artist of the Year Daesang at 2014 MAMA touched on the bad year EXO had.
“Everyone thought that 2014 was a black (bad) year for EXO. But starting from this stage at MAMA, we will change that color.”
On April 2015, Tao‘s father posted on Weibo that he wanted his son to leave EXO and return to China. This ultimately led to Tao also filing a lawsuit for contract termination in August 2015.
4. B.A.P collectively sue their own agency for slave contracts and mistreatment.
B.A.P’s debut in 2012 with “Warrior” made them one of the most hyped rookies of the year, in competition with EXO. However, with this, came overwork and packed schedules. TS Entertainment had B.A.P promoting non-stop through album releases and concerts while mistreating them the entire time.
TS Entertainment would force members to persevere even when they were hospitalized. Daehyun was seen performing right after being forced out of the hospital in 2014.
This led to the entire group suing TS Entertainment for multiple reasons, including slave contracts and mistreatment. What was revealed through the lawsuit was embezzlement from executives, no payments, and no company support for bills or equipment such as in-ears.
The group was not expected to return but managed to strike a deal with TS Entertainment.
5. BIGBANG members go through multiple big scandals
BIGBANG has had their share of scandals that have greatly affected the group’s image. Daesung was involved in a car accident in 2011 where a motorcyclist died. He was cleared of charges, but Daesung had to take time off to reflect on his actions.
G-Dragon was involved in a marijuana scandal after testing positive for the banned substance in 2011. He said he does not remember accepting a marijuana cigarette, however, he still receives negative attention for this event.
Seungri was involved in a sex scandal with a Japanese woman in 2012 where he was seen shirtless and in bed. While the issue has greatly died down, many people wondered what would happen to the group at the time.
Most recently, T.O.P‘s marijuana scandal with Han Seo Hee caused him to be re-assigned in the military and he also received a sentence of 2 years probation, with 10 months in prison if he violates probation.
6. Fiestar loses their momentum and never gets it back.
Fiestar was considered a middle of the pack girl group with their songs “Vista”, “I Don’t Know”, and “We Don’t Stop”. They were doing relatively well for a girl group, however member Cheska chose to leave.
The group had planned to release another single, “One More” but due to the sinking of the Sewol Ferry, postponed the release several months. Because of the delay between the release of “One More” and their previous single, results didn’t show for this comeback.
Even though the members individually showed success, such as Cao Lu on Radio Star and Real Men and Yezi on Unpretty Rapstar 2, the group was never able to promote as a whole properly. Their most recent release together was back in March 2016 but it does not seem likely that they will release new songs.
7. SEVENTEEN struggles through years of unfulfilled debut promises
SEVENTEEN was planned out in 2013, starting with their reality show SEVENTEEN TV. However, their debut continued to get pushed back by Pledis Entertainment. During this time, the trainee count went from 17 to 13, as Samuel, MingMing, Doyoon, and Dongjin all left.
Because of their extended pre-debut period, the members learned to produce songs and work by themselves, since Pledis Entertainment was not giving them anything to do. Hoshi even choreographed NU’EST‘s “I’m Bad” and sent it to the company anonymously.
Lucky for them all their hard work paid off!
8. EXID nearly disbanded until one fancam saved the group
EXID was on the verge of disbandment before Hani‘s fancam of “Up and Down” blew up and went viral. Their previous title tracks “Every Night” and “I Feel Good” did not chart very well and “Up and Down” was their last chance of hitting it big or risk disbandment.
Since then, EXID has seen great success with their members all being active in various other fields as well. However, EXID hit another roadblock when Solji was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in 2016 and has been inactive from promotions for over a year.
9. WINNER‘s 18-month hiatus culminates with Nam Taehyun leaving
WINNER was expected to become YG Entertainment‘s next biggest star after their victory as “Team A” on YG’s survival show WIN: Who Is Next. They lived up to that expectation with their debut album 2014 S/S, however, the next 18 months for them were full of struggles.
The group went on hiatus for 18 months, not releasing anything and only promoting solo, save for a Japanese tour in late 2015. The members admitted their long hiatus took a toll on them. During their hiatus, Nam Taehyun chose to leave the group.
WINNER also planned the 4-part album series EXIT and released EXIT: E in February 2016. However, the results may not have been good enough, as the remaining 3 albums from the project were placed on indefinite hiatus.
10. AOA members get hit with history scandal, popularity is not the same as before.
AOA originally debuted with a band concept and songs such as “Elvis” and “Get Out”. FNC Entertainment realized this concept was not working and changed their concept to sexy, and the group achieved major success with their next releases “Miniskirt”, “Short Hair”, and “Like a Cat”.
Their roadblock came in 2016 when Jimin and Seolhyun were trying to fill out names of historical figures on their reality show Channel AOA. The two didn’t know the names of people such as Ahn Jung Geun or Lee Soon Shin. Jimin called Ahn Jung Geun, Kin Dok Kang, which sparked outrage from netizens.
Choa left the group in June 2017, which left fans worried about the direction the group would head, as Choa was their main vocalist.
11. Ladies’ Code loses 2 members in tragic car accident
One of the darkest nights in K-Pop history was September 3, 2014. A car carrying the Ladies’ Code members crashed on the highway. EunB was declared dead upon arrival to the hospital. Rise and Sojung sustained severe injuries but unfortunately, Rise died due to her injuries on September 7.
It took the group 17 months to make their first comeback as a trio, and even then, they admitted it was hard to decide on making a comeback as 3, without EunB and Rise.
“It’s still hard to accept they aren’t with us anymore. We had a difficult time deciding if we should return to the stage again or not.”
12. f(x)‘s future is unknown with no Korean promotions since 2015.
f(x) was one of SM Entertainment‘s biggest artists, with multiple consecutive hits such as “Electric Shock”, “Rum Pum Pum Pum”, and “Red Light”.
Even though Sulli left the group in April 2015, the group still successfully completed promotions for their fourth full album 4 Walls in October of the same year.
However, since then, they have not had any Korean promotions as a group, leaving their future in question as many fans wonder, where is f(x)?
13. Girls’ Generation have a difficult 2014 with Jessica‘s departure and 5 dating scandals.
In 2014, it seemed like there was dating news involving Girls’ Generation every single month. On new years day, news about Yoona and Lee Seung Gi being in a relationship took the industry by storm. Just a few days later, Sooyoung and Jung Kyung Ho were confirmed to be dating.
In April, Tiffany and 2PM‘s Nichkhun were confirmed to be dating. On that same day, Hyoyeon was reported to be dating a CEO and writer. Hyoyeon later revealed she already broke up with him. But the most surprising dating news of the year was Taeyeon and EXO‘s Baekhyun on June 19.
With each of these dating news, the public and fans started to lose their interest in the group. Just 3 months later, Jessica announced on social media she was being kicked out of the group, further fragmenting the fanbase.
More recently, members Tiffany, Seohyun, and Sooyoung chose not to re-sign contracts with SM Entertainment, leaving fans worried whether Girls’ Generation would ever promote together again as a group. While Sooyoung’s new agency Echo Global Group said they would support her if Girls’ Generation chose to promote together again, SM Entertainment still has not commented on such a possibility.
14. BEAST loses a member and their group name
BEAST was always considered a top boy group. After gaining popularity with “Shock” in 2010, they continued right through 2016 with constant hits, always ranking within the Top 5.
However, in 2016, Hyunseung announced his departure from the group, citing differences in musical styles. Just a few months later, the remaining 5 members all decided to leave Cube Entertainment. Because they all left, they were unable to keep their group name and were forced to change it to Highlight.
Highlight currently is still on the same path to success as BEAST was, proving they haven’t missed a beat since leaving Cube.
15. T-ara becomes the nation’s punching bag for years before it’s revealed the entire scandal was a lie
In 2011, T-ara hit their peak with “Roly-Poly” ranking as the #1 song of the year on many charts. Just one year later though, everything came crashing down on them due to a bullying scandal.
The entire situation started with the T-ara members agreeing there was a need for determination in Hwayoung. Soon after, Koreans began gathering evidence of the T-ara members bullying Hwayoung, such as stuffing rice cakes in her mouth and purposely ignoring her both during events and on broadcasts.
For over 4 years, T-ara was labeled as bullies and basically exiled from much of the industry. But following Hwayoung appearing on a TV show in 2017, a former T-ara manager shed new light on the “determination” incident, where Hwayoung was exposed for faking an injury and skipping out on group practice for trivial things like manicures. Hwayoung’s sister Hyoyoung even sent threats to Areum, saying she’d beat her, cut her and make her unable to appear on TV, in an attempt to protect her sister.
16. NU’EST suffers for years with the title “failed boy group”
Before 4 of the NU’EST members appeared on Produce 101 Season 2, many people considered NU’EST a failed boy group. Following their debut, each of their comebacks in the next 5 years was less and less successful, leaving the members thinking Produce 101 was their last chance.
Thanks to Produce 101, NU’EST became reborn. While Minhyun is currently away from the group since he is promoting with Wanna One, all of the NU’EST members have found success as NU’EST W.