In an industry as competitive as K-Pop, there are, sadly, a lot of artists that never end up becoming as popular as their talent might lead a person to think they would be. Whether it’s due to bad marketing, scandals, loss of finances, or other complications, there are tons of artists that end up fading away after debut. Whether they only released one song or had a short period of time promoting before disappearing from the industry, these 16 K-Pop groups are all artists that fans on Reddit thought had great potential, and were sad to see disband.
1. Bob Girls
Bob Girls was a 4-member girl group that debuted in June 2014. While they came out with two singles, “No Way” and “Oh My Boy”, one of their members, Jina, had to leave the group due to encephalitis. Because of this, the group ended up disbanding in early 2015, though Chrome Entertainment, their company, was kind enough to forgive their trainee debts so the members wouldn’t them owe money.
2. The Ark (and KHAN)
The Ark is probably one of the better-known groups on this list, and became somewhat infamous for disappearing after their debut song “The Light” came out. They debuted under Music K Entertainment in April 2015, and caught the public’s eye especially when they covered BTS‘s “Boy In Luv”. Sadly, however, due to various issues such as the main vocalist getting vocal cord nodules and problems with the company, they had to disband.
However, former members Minju and Euna Kim formed a duo in May 2018 called KHAN, and came out with the really sweet, well-liked song “I’m You Girl”. Tragically, though, that was the only song they came out with, and in May 2020, Euna Kim confirmed that they, too, had disbanded.
Though it’s unclear if the group has officially disbanded, Playback has been MIA for long enough that they’re an appropriate addition to this list. They debuted with four members in June 2015 and came out with a couple of songs, “Playback” and “Want You To Say”, that were received decently well by the K-Pop fandom, though they never took off despite their gorgeous visuals and pretty vocals.
Their last song came out in 2017, after the addition of a fifth member, Eunjin, and some of the members even participated on Mix Nine the same year, but there hasn’t been any activity from them since. Additionally, leader Woolim debuted under a new group, Pink Ladies, in 2019, so it can be assumed that Playback is no longer.
History was a 5-member boy group that debuted in April 2013 under Loen Entertainment with the song “Dreamer”, which featured narration by IU. They came out with a couple of mini-albums, and member Yijeong featured in IU’s song “Friday” which hit the #1 spot on Billboard‘s K-Pop Hot 100 list. They’re probably most well-known for their song “Might Just Die” in which the group took a sexy turn by baring their toned abs, and a year later, they came out with another decently popular bop called “Queen”.
Unfortunately, despite their relative success, the group ended up disbanding in 2017 due to member enlistments, though the members are all still signed under Loen Entertainment, so who knows what could happen!
P.O.P is another group that still hasn’t officially disbanded, but no one really knows where they went or why they haven’t had any recent comebacks. The girl group debuted in July 2017 but one member, Yeonha, announced a break from the group less than a month later for health reasons. She officially left the company that October, leaving the group with five members, but there hasn’t been any promotions from them since.
This four-member girl group debuted in January 2014 and came out with two songs, “Domino Game” and “Bad Girl”. Member Haena left the group shortly after, however, and despite the songs being total bops, they disbanded only a few months later in August. Their leader, Bohye, is now a member of independent group Destiny, but they also haven’t had much recent activity. Haena joined the group Matilda, and some of the other members have become solo artists.
Hinapia is doubly tragic because of how much fans wanted them to succeed after the much-too-soon disbandment of the members’ former group, Pristin. The group consisted of former Pristin members Eunwoo, Minkyeung, Gyeongwon, Yaebin, and Bada, and they came out with their debut song, “Drip”, in November 2019. Sadly, just a couple weeks ago on August 21, their official disbandment was announced only 10 months into their debut, after the members decided not to renew their contracts with OSR Entertainment.
8. Queen B’z
Queen B’Z was a five-member girl group that debuted under JS Entertainment in October 2012 under the name P.O.P CON, but changed their name to Queen B’Z in 2013. Their debut song, “Bad”, was quite controversial and provocative, but their vocal talent was certainly there. Not much is really known about them or why they ended up disbanding in 2017, but they came out with a couple of songs in their time, and it’s disappointing that they never ended up becoming successful.
MADTOWN debuted in October 2014 with the company J. Tune Camp. Unfortunately, the company ended up dissipating, so the group moved to GNI Entertainment, but that eventually lead to the group suing their company (and winning!) in 2017 due to the CEO being arrested for fraud. After the lawsuit, the group sadly ended up disbanding, despite being a pretty promising group with hits such as “OMGT” that were well-received. Members Daewon and Lee Geon ended up on The Unit (and Daewon is now a member of UNB due to it, while Lee Geon, now going by Lee Woo, is a solo singer with Soribida), Jota and Heo Jun became actors, Moos became a DJ, and Buffy enlisted in the military.
Lunafly originally debuted as a trio in September 2012 with the easy-listening single “How Nice Would It Be”, which also had an all-English version. In fact, the group was well-known for creating English and Spanish versions of their songs, as well as covering a lot of songs in different languages. Despite their attempts to appeal to international audiences, though, their music never really took off.
Member Teo left the group in 2015, and in his place, two new members, Jin and Yub, briefly joined. However, they ended up leaving as well not too long after and now Lunafly just consists of original members Sam and Yun. Lately they’ve been pretty quiet, though there hasn’t been an announcement of their disbandment.
Lucente is a seven-member boy group that debuted under Noga Entertainment in September 2018. They came out with one mini-album, The Big Dipper, and even won a “Rookie of the Year” award, but after their debut, the group pretty much just vanished. Even more oddly, their company deleted the music videos from their channel, but not the promotional teasers or behind the scenes videos. According to Twitter user @parkhaly, Parkha and Kogun joined the Mnet Japan/Ameba TV K World program G-EGG, and U.Seong (also known as Moonseong) is currently serving in the military, but not much more is known about why the group never had a comeback, despite no official disbandment announcement.