When we talk about catchy music, one girl group that comes to mind is KARA. The group has become one of the most sensational acts in KPOP when they debuted and throughout the years, they were well-received by fans. Even those that are not avid fans of the group recognize their songs because of the catchy hooks and distinct choreographies. It’s a little sad that we won’t be able to see KARA as a group. The group disbanded in 2016 after the members’ contracts have expired and they decided not to renew. However, fans will have to look forward to a possible reunion as some of the members have mentioned its possibility.
KARA was a South Korean pop girl group formed under DSP Media in 2007. The group underwent a few lineup changes. The final lineup of the group consisted of Gyuri, Seungyeon, Goo Hara, and Youngji.
The group originally started out with four members and made their debut with the song “Break It”. The concept for their debut showed a strong female image and mature R&B sound. At this time, there were a lot of expectations from the group because they were the juniors of the 90’s KPOP group, Fin.K.L.
The group released their debut album entitled “The First Blooming”. Unfortunately, their debut was not well-received and it was considered as one commercial failure. The following year, one of the original members, Seunghee, left the group because of parental pressure. Because of this, two new members were added, Goo Hara and Kang Jiyoung.
With the addition of the new members, the group made a 360-turn and changed their musical style. They were going for more of a “pretty but natural” appeal. They released their first mini-album entitled “Rock U” with the title track “Honey”. This time, the group achieved their first #1 song. A year after, they released their second full-length album called “Revolution”. This would then mark the biggest success in the group’s career. Their second album featured the title track called “Mister”. The song is by far the most famous song from the group mainly due to the catchy “butt dance” choreography. I would be a hypocrite if I said that “Mister” is not my favorite song. It just made KARA who they are now and fixed their position as one of the most legendary girl groups in KPOP.
Following the success of “Mister”, the group finally got their momentum and released more hits including “Lupin”, “Jumping”, “Step”, and “Pandora”. These songs have been so successful that it helped establish the group’s place in the music industry. The group was ranked at #6 and #5 in Gallup Korea in 2009 and 2010 respectively, making them the second best girl group in Korea for 2010. Aside from that, they were also ranked #4 and #13 in February 2012 and 2013’s Forbes Korea Power Celebrity.
After pegging their success in Korea, the group then started doing promotions in Japan. When they debuted in Japan, they were very successful. They were dubbed as “Japan’s #1 Rookie Artist of 2010” by Oricon. They also received the “New International Artist of the Year Award” from the Japan Gold Disc Award.
In 2014, Nicole and Jiyoung decided not to renew their contracts with DSP Media and ultimately left the group. Following the departures, the reality show entitled “Kara Project” was aired to choose members to join the group. In the end, HeoYoungji won and was the latest member of the group to join before they finally disbanded.
Name: Park Gyuri
Birthday: May 21, 1988
Position: Leader, Lead Vocalist, Sub Rapper
Gyuri was born in Seoul and has grown up there to become an idol trainee. Once, a psychologist said that her personality is more of a guy than a girl. According to the members, Gyuri is also the most embarrassing member to be with, most especially because she would say that she is pretty or the other members are pretty. Gyuri’s parents are very supportive and they respect her personal decisions. This might be one of the reasons why she had a very successful career while she was in KARA.
Name: Han Seungyeon
Birthday: July 24, 1988
Position: Main Vocalist
Seungyeon attended high school in the US. She graduated from Tenafly High School in New Jersey and pursued a career as an idol after. Seungyeon has also been active as an actress while she was a member of KARA. One of her most notable roles is in “Age of Youth”. This is actually where I grew a liking for her and she ultimately became my favorite member. She acted so well and her role was very memorable. She always looks so fresh and actually looks younger than her actual age. Aside from “Age of Youth”, Seungyeon also appeared in “About Time” where she and her on-screen partner SF9’s Rowoon brought cheesy feelings to the fans of the show.
Name: Goo Hara
Birthday: January 13, 1991
Position: Main Dancer, Vocalist, Face of the Group
As the group’s face, Hara has appeared in many variety shows and reality shows. She actually helped the group gain more popularity. She is close friends with SNSD’s former member, Jessica. Hara said that if she was not an idol, she would have become a flight attendant. However, her height was a little short than the requirement so she gave up on it and pursued a career as an idol instead.
Name: Heo Youngji
Birthday: August 30, 1994
Position: Lead Dancer, Rapper, Vocalist, Maknae
Youngji is the last member of the group to be added. Before being a trainee under DSP, she was a trainee for Core Contents Media before. Not much is really known about Youngji as she only spent a few years with KARA before the group disbanded. This is why she chose to appear in the second season of the SBS reality show entitled “Roommate”. The show hosted different celebrities in different fields in a big house where they try to live together with their schedules. Her appearance was well-received, especially that she and GOT7’s Jackson were always seen bickering like real brothers and sisters.