This year has seen dozens of new group debuts, but sadly, some older groups went in the opposite direction. A total of 11 K-Pop acts disbanded in 2020—and here’s why.
The first disbandment of 2020 was also one of the most shocking: X1. The group disbanded in January this year.
X1’s disbandment was all down to the infamous Produce X 101 voting manipulation scandal. In September 2019, police confirmed the Produce executives had rigged anywhere from two to eight members into X1 as part of a vote fraud plot.
Unsurprisingly, legal issues and public pressures quickly mounted against the group. The members met with management CJ E&M to discuss the future of X1, with many hoping they could stay together. However, they were unfortunately unable to come to a consensus, so X1 disbanded just four months after their debut.
After PRISTIN‘s own untimely disbandment, HINAPIA was a saving grace for the group’s fans. But sadly, the former PRISTIN members suffered the same fate again this August when HINAPIA disbanded.
That month, fans discovered that HINAPIA’s label OSR Entertainment had taken down their company sign and stopped updating their social media platforms. Rumors spread that the agency had ceased operations due to financial difficulties, perhaps as a result of the pandemic.
Fears became reality just days later when OSR Entertainment announced HINAPIA’s disbandment. The company revealed that they’d been communicating with the members for a substantial period of time, and ultimately came to the conclusion of terminating all contracts.
After debuting under PocketDol Studio in 2019, 1THE9 disbanded in August this year.
1TH9 was formed on the 2018 survival show Under Nineteen, releasing four mini albums in the time they were together. Of course, as on most survival shows, the group was only under a temporary 18-month contract. As such, they disbanded as expected to pursue their own careers after releasing their final album Goodbye 1THE9 in August.
4. Yellow Bee
Yellow Bee debuted under Addiction Entertainment in 2017 and disbanded in May this year.
Typically, when an idol is caught in a controversy, their company will come to their defense. However, in Yellow Bee’s case, the company staff were the ones throwing around accusations. Back in May, Addiction Entertainment announced they’d be disbanding the group because one of the members was leading a “rather slutty lifestyle“.
Of course, netizens sided with the members, noting how inappropriate it was for the company to act in such a way. Later, former member Ari issued her own statement detailing the suffering Yellow Bee went through at the hands of Addiction Entertainment.
She claimed that the members had to pay for plane tickets and video editing with their own money, were not provided with staff for international events, and were even assaulted by company employees.
Wynn Entertainment debuted boy group SPECTRUM in 2018. This July, they disbanded.
Sadly, SPECTRUM was one of several groups heavily afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. In a statement, Wynn Entertainment told disappointed fans that the pandemic was among several factors that lead to a worsening situation at the company.
As a result, the agency was forced to terminate all the members’ contracts in 2020.
6. Neon Punch
A100 Entertainment‘s Neon Punch disbanded in August this year, just over two years after their 2018 debut.
Again, the COVID-19 pandemic took Neon Punch away from fans too. After the country’s restrictions led to financial and staffing issues for the agency, members May and Dohee decided to depart from the group. With almost half of Neon Punch gone, the company decided to disband the group.
Luckily, that wasn’t the end of their story. Remaining members Dayeon, Baekah, and Iaan were able to re-debut together as a new trio group, XUM, this year.
Starting off as a duo in 2017 and growing to a trio in 2018, Banana Culture‘s TREI disbanded in June this year.
However, while they didn’t officially disband until 2020, fans had seen it coming for a long time. Back in 2019, the group suddenly went completely silent on social media, never to post again.
Neither Banana Culture nor TREI revealed why the group disbanded, but some believe the members chose to terminate their contracts due to the agency’s poor management. After all, sister group EXID left the company themselves just months before.
ANS (also known as Angel N Soul) lasted less than a year. They disbanded in August this year after debuting in September last year.
This August, member Haena left a series of worrying posts on Instagram telling fans her life and mental health had been ruined by bullying. Not long later, the remaining group members issued a statement revealing that they had filed to terminate their contracts due to ANS Entertainment‘s incompetence and “neglect“.
The members alleged that the agency laid off most of their employees early this year (including ANS’s manager), moved the group to a new dorm with no practice room, and failed to provide essential services like transportation. On top of that, they revealed they received no dance or vocal lessons and were paid just ₩10,000 KRW (about $9.14 USD) each per day. After the “extreme” neglect weighed down on them, they sought legal help to leave ANS Entertainment.
The members went on to claim that they never had a bad relationship with Haena and actually didn’t see her much as she was still attending high school. In their statement, they suggested that the bullying incident Haena referred to may have been a time when they tried to convince the maknae to return to school after a long period of truancy. They also noted that Haena’s mental strain was understandable given the difficulties imposed on them by the company.
WD Entertainment trio WhiteDay debuted in June 2019 and disbanded in October this year.
In the agency’s statement, they revealed that one member, Yujung, left the group due to health issues. Another, Jihye, left due to personal issues. With only one member left (Eunji), the company had no choice but to disband the group.
MASC made their debut under J Planet Entertainment back in August 2016, making them the longest standing group on this list. They announced their disbandment in October this year.
In a heartfelt video message on YouTube, the MASC members revealed that the group would be parting ways after four joy-filled years. Expressing their gratitude to fans, the members promised to repay their support as solo artists.
MASC had eight members in total, but just three remained by the time they disbanded. Moonbong left some time in 2020 for unknown reasons. 26 left in 2018 after deciding to become a film director instead of an idol. A.C.E left the group after Chibin (who also departed) accused him of physical assault in 2018. And, in the same year, Doeun left for personal reasons.
Former The Ark members Minju and Euna formed a duo by the name of KHAN in 2018. Fans were shocked in March this year when the Maroo Entertainment group’s disbandment was revealed.
Unlike the other groups on this list, KHAN didn’t disband with an official statement. Instead, Euna revealed their silent parting in a response to a fan on Instagram who inquired about upcoming activities.
In her comment, Euna told the fan that the company “did us wrong once again“, and that overlapping issues made it impossible for the duo to continue making music together.