The pandemic hit the world hard and those in the entertainment industry faced an unprecedented set of consequences for the same. Especially in the world of K-Pop, with innumerable entertainment companies, each with idol groups of their own, sustainability just wasn’t possible. As a result, several K-Pop groups had to disband this year for several reasons. On the other hand, a number of groups also disbanded this year due to other reasons such as controversies, rigged competition results, and more. Even though it is unfortunate, we hope these artists find the courage to move forward with their careers once more.
On August 11, 2020, NeonPunch’s agency A100 Entertainment announced that the group had disbanded owing to the company’s financial issues and inability to support the members, which was further exasperated by the pandemic. It has been reported that members Dayeon, Baekah, and Iaan will be re-debuting under a new girl group called XUM sometime in the future.
1THE9 was created through the idol survival show ‘Under Nineteen,’ and the group completed their temporary contract of 18 months under PocketDol Studio in August of this year. Naturally, therefore, they disbanded and the members went their separate ways to pursue careers of their own.
Following the unfortunate disbandment of Pristin in 2019, members Minkyeung, Yaebin, Gyeongwon, and Eunwoo debuted along with Bada in a girl group under OSR Entertainment called HINAPIA. However, shortly after their debut, in August of 2020, OSR Entertainment announced that HINAPIA had disbanded and that all the members had their contracts terminated.
LIMESODA debuted in 2017 under D Maker Entertainment and underwent numerous line-up changes from the very start. Teeny was added to the line-up rather later, but she was also the first member to leave the group. Later Hyerim, Jangmi, and Seungji also left the group and the company and LIMESODA silently disbanded.
Within about one year of their debut, AZM is another group that had to silently disband despite their potential. While their disbandment was in speculation for the majority of their promotion period, it was finally confirmed by member Youkyung.
BaBa debuted on March 24, 2015, under PR Entertainment and had a semi-successful 5 year run before disbanding in 2020. Over the course of 5 years, the group has had 21 different members through various line-up changes. However, the group didn’t seem to find the formula to success and had to silently disband. This was signaled by their official Instagram account going private and the members removing “BaBa” from their bio.
Another group that had to disband due to their company’s worsening financial condition was SPECTRUM. The company Wynn Entertainment admitted to not being able to manage the group properly and terminated their contracts in July of 2020.
Alim, Sorin, and Chaeha from the original line-up of DAYDREAM left the company due to internal conflicts with the administration and management. Still, the remaining members could not hold out long either and the group disbanded in July of 2020.
All the TREI members released statements sharing that they had terminated their contracts with Banana Culture Entertainment, but the reason for their disbandment was not disclosed. However, it was implied that the decision was mutual. It was also rumored that Banana Culture Entertainment would be shutting down and is terminating all its contracts with its artists. However, the CEO of the company was quick to dismiss those rumors.
This group’s disbandment was a strange case of the management defaming its artists. Addiction Entertainment, the company under which Yellow Bee was created, alleged that one of the group members was engaging in promiscuous behavior. However, member Ari soon took to Instagram to refute the statement and further revealed that the group members themselves suffered sexual harassment and assault from the staff, which ingrained traumatic memories that will forever stay with them. Additionally, she also revealed that none of the members got paid and they were all mistreated. We hope the Yellow Bee members will bravely carry forward with their dreams despite facing such difficult times.
Four years after their debut in 2016, MASC disbanded in October of 2020. After several members left the group prior to disbandment, the remaining members revealed a heartfelt video message that the group would be disbanding and going their separate ways.
Finally, the most controversial disbandment of the year was also 2020’s first disbandment. X1 was formed as a result of the idol survival reality show 'Produce X 101'. However, it was soon revealed that the competition results were rigged as the executives manipulated the votes and inflated rankings to favor somewhere from 2 to 8 members. Just 4 months from their debut, the members were forced to disband because they could not reach a consensus about the group’s future and mounting legal pressure.