K-Pop in 2019 has had numerous impactful losses of well-known and highly influential idols. The culmination of these tragedies has given a much-needed spotlight to mental health within the K-Pop industry, but at the huge cost of losing many precious lives. With Goo Hara's recent passing, the staff at allkpop would love for readers to reflect on the positive impacts she has made to the industry and K-Pop culture as a whole. Here is a tribute to Goo Hara's iconic and unforgettable career in K-Pop:
Goo Hara was born on January 13, 1991, in Gwangju, South Korea. As a budding K-Pop star and idol trainee, Hara attended Sungshin Women's University and took part in SM trainee programs and activities. Eventually, Hara's natural knack for performance shone through to record label executives when she joined KARA in 2008 to take departing member, Sunghee's place.
The public got their first taste of Hara's unique attitude and lovable personality on Invincible Youth's pilot season. The show depicted a number of idols going into the countryside to learn about life in rural Korea. Hara continually garnered attention for her competitive antics and charm.
In 2008, Hara joined KARA as an official member following the wake of Sunghee's leave. KARA paved a huge path for K-Pop girl groups to follow as they were one of the first notable female artists to rise to international acclaim. Hara promoted as a part of the group until the group's eventual disbandment in 2016 and significantly left her mark on the industry over the course of her decade with the group.
SBS 'City Hunter' and Television
Hara kickstarted her acting career with her first major role in SBS's 'City Hunter'. To this day, many K-Pop fans recall 'City Hunter' as one of the most iconic series in K-Dramas. Starring as Choi Dahye, the daughter of the South Korean president, Hara's acting has instilled nostalgic memories into the hearts of many of us older K-Pop fans. 'City Hunter' was the first major indication of Hara's incredible acting career. Later in 2011, Hara was chosen to be a regular MC for 'Inkigayo' only to finally leave as one of the show's resident MCs in late 2012. Hara even went on to create her own television show on MBC Music in 2014 called 'On & Off'.
Beauty and Fashion
In 2015, Goo Hara became the host for KBS idol beauty show 'A Style For You' alongside Super Junior's Heechul, EXID's Hani and SISTAR's Bora. She even went on to release a beauty book titled 'Nail HARA'. Hara's contributions to modern K-Pop fashion are immense, as she was an "it girl" and muse for many fashion designers in the earlier beginnings of K-Pop's breakout as a relevant international music genre.
Just prior to KARA's official disbandment, Hara debuted with her solo EP 'Alohara (Can You Feel It?)' with a title track produced by GIRIBOY. "Choco Chip Cookies" became a huge hit in South Korea and launched her first EP into the top 10 on the charts. After leaving DSP Media due to expiration and subsequent termination of her KARA contract, she joined KeyEast and was a feature in MBLAQ Thunder's single, "Sign". Hara continued to make an impact through the years with web movies, variety shoes, OST songs, and in July of 2018 became an honorary ambassador for a film festival.
As we reflect on K-Pop in 2019, there has been an abundant number of highs; however, the tragic circumstances that have occurred this year alone should be enough to spark widespread awareness that change is needed. K-Pop fans globally must pay careful attention to Hara's words before speaking ill of others and remain vigilantly cognizant of how actions affect others. Take Goo Hara's words to heart: "Public entertainers like myself don’t have it easy - we have our private lives more scrutinized than anyone else and we suffer the kind of pain we cannot even discuss with our family and friends. Can you please ask yourself what kind of person you are before you post a vicious comment online?” As we move into K-Pop in 2020, K-Pop fans must band together to create a safe space for all, not just those whom we favor over others.