Top 10 Influential K-pop Idols That Left Their Groups

Tags: #kpop ,   #kpopidol ,   #kpopl4l ,   #hyuna

Scarlett Goldstein

Scarlett Goldstein

Last updated:  2023-07-03 07:43:28

You know that terrible moment when an actor leaves their role, and another one comes to replace them? No one loves and supports the new face that came to substitute the one you loved endlessly. That's how it goes with K-pop groups and members leaving them – nothing remains the same, and many future projects have to suffer. Let's see which ten faces that left their group made their fans the saddest!

10. Ravn (ONEUS)

He's back, and his future isn't ruined!
The group debuted in: 2019
The member left in: 2022
Was he the most popular member? Not really
Is the member making music solo now? Yes, hopefully!

As you probably already know, many member departures in K-pop are a consequence of several disgraces that in Western culture wouldn't even be problematic for one's career. However, if you thought cheating scandals don't exist in the K-pop world because of their strict rules… A ONEUS member proved you wrong!

Unfortunately, ONEUS lost Ravn in 2022 because they feared his scandal would affect the group's popularity. He was the one who offered to leave, which left many fans devastated. Still, he was under a lot of pressure. His ex-girlfriend had enough material to ruin his career, but it is how it is – celebrities in K-pop must stay careful!

9. Gyuri (fromis_9)

She'll be better off as an actress
The group debuted in: 2017/18
The member left in: 2022
Was she the most popular member? Almost
Is the member making music solo now? No, she's an actress now

Although Jiwon is the powerhouse vocalist and face of fromis_9 because of her talent, charisma, and participation in "Sixteen," the member that usually catches your eye right after is Gyuri. That girl is drop-dead gorgeous, looks like an actress, and usually gets the best parts of the songs. However, she decided to leave for acting!

It's insane how 2022 was the "departure year" in K-pop, and the day Gyuri left fromis_9 was already way too much for K-pop fans. At this point, everyone felt devastated and afraid some other groups would experience several members' departure. However, when artists have reasons to leave like Gyuri, we should support them!

8. Naeun (Apink)

This was a more serious drama than it seemed at first
The group debuted in: 2011
The member left in: 2022
Was she the most popular member? Almost
Is the member making music solo now? She's focused on acting

It isn't usual for K-pop idols to leave a group after a feud or any dramatic circumstances among the members because they usually learn how to work together in every situation. Most reasons for leaving a group are "personal" or scandals that have nothing to do with the group itself. However, Naeun left her beloved Apink after a long drama regarding their comeback.

It's also unusual to leave after 11 years and after going through a lot of things together, but Naeun was under severe pressure because she couldn't manage to participate in the group's 2022 comeback "Horn." Rumors kept flying, the ongoing drama was unbearable, and she finally left. Sometimes it's the best decision, after all.

7. Jiyoon (Weeekly)

She went viral for her English so many times
The group debuted in: 2020
The member left in: 2022
Was she the most popular member? Not at all
Is the member making music solo now? No

We tend to forget that mental health stands above everything else in our lives – if you're not mentally stable and content, nothing matters more than your recovery. Unfortunately, a day in the life of a K-pop idol is a serious challenge, and not many can maintain that lifestyle without issues. Weeekly's Jiyoon couldn't take it anymore, so she left.

Jiyoon stayed in the group for two years, but she used to take breaks between the projects and even during the promotions because of her anxiety. To make it even worse, the group changed their appearance and concept a lot after her departure. Furthermore, the girls aren't the main girl group power anymore, the way they were during the first years.

6. Woojin (Stray Kids)

Woojin has released a lot of solo material so far!
The group debuted in: 2017
The member left in: 2019
Was he the most popular member? Not really
Is the member making music solo now? Yes!

Stray Kids remained relevant even in the "girls generation" that has been going on in the past years – the intense growth of girl groups and chart domination of girls only. That means that the group is safe and will also be influential in the future. Still, the moment that shook up their world was their oldest member's departure, Woojin.

Luckily, unlike some idols from this list, Woojin went on with his career, so his fans aren't suffering much. However, as the oldest member and the lead vocalist, his role in Stray Kids was crucial. Why did he leave, actually? No one confirmed anything specific, but JYP Entertainment stated he did it for personal reasons.

5. Hyuna (Wonder Girls)

She's doing great solo, in her relationship, and in a group – she's unstoppable in general
The group debuted in: 2007
The member left in: 2007
Was she the most popular member? Absolutely
Is the member making music solo now? Yes, and not only solo!

Some women are unstoppable, and the K-pop industry has many independent ladies that tried it all and remained relevant for ages. That's the best way to describe Hyuna – she's been in several groups and companies, leaving Wonder Girls at first. Still, she's by far the most famous Wonder Girl ever, and no one can top her in that category.

Moreover, she is among the few idols that normalized having a healthy relationship in the industry because it's always been controversial in K-pop. Her relationship with Dawn, and their countless music collaborations, brought something fresh to the scene. It's safe to say Wonder Girls didn't make as massive success as the woman who left!

4. Junhyeok (Day6)

A lot of people are heartbroken for him in this comment section
The group debuted in: 2015
The member left in: 2016
Was he the most popular member? Not really
Is the member making music solo now? Not actively

Day6 started ambitiously, but the worst thing about the group was its name. What seemed an iconic title makes no sense anymore because not one but two members left. Jae and Junhyeok ruined the "six" concept, but in some moments, Junhyeok's withdrawal was even more "dramatic" than Jae's, even though both members left fans devastated.

While Jae's departure seemed silent and spontaneous since it was announced as hiatus first, Junhyeok spent only a year in the group. He left for personal reasons, and many fans concluded he didn't want to make music anymore. Still, his dating scandal was the final nail in his coffin, and there was no turning back.

3. Jinni (NMIXX)

She slayed this performance as if she had been in the industry for ages
The group debuted in: 2022
The member left in: 2022
Was she the most popular member? Before the debut, yes, but after the debut, things changed
Is the member making music solo now? Not yet, unfortunately

She is living proof of how unpredictable K-pop idol's future is – Jinni left NMIXX without explanation, without a valid reason, and without any scandal going on. Some rumors say she wasn't satisfied with the group's concept, but this scenario shocked the world and changed many things!

So, what is the most unpredictable factor here? If you watched the first NMIXX teasers and pre-debut videos, Jinni was almost as famous as Lily, primarily for her charisma and stage presence. Her pre-debut performance made people believe she was the next IT girl, but where is she now? She had it all except the bright future we all expected.

2. Garam (LE SSERAFIM)

She was a talented performer, and it's sad how her story ended
The group debuted in: 2022
The member left in: 2022
Was she the most popular member? Not really, because ex-IZ*ONE members stole most of the spotlight
Is the member making music solo now? No

Not everyone has a chance to spend years doing what they love. Garam wasn't that lucky – she even stated that being a K-pop idol was beautiful while it lasted. That broke many hearts since the girl literally didn't have a year to enjoy her hard work. All the accusations against her were so harsh that there was no future for her.

Sadly or luckily, LE SSERAFIM are more prominent than any 4th gen girl group right now (except maybe NewJeans), and their smash hits are viral among K-pop fans. They continued with their success after Garam's school scandal, but this story shook up the world of K-pop and remained one of the industry's greatest mysteries.

1. Soojin ((G)I-DLE)

This video is influential on its own!
The group debuted in: 2018
The member left in: 2021
Was she the most popular member? Certainly the most beloved one
Is the member making music solo now? Unfortunately not

Her "Artist of the Month" video is more influential than some main dancers' videos still active in the industry. Her name is trending time after time, even after months and years. She is the name that "ruined" the K-pop future after she left. (G)I-DLE is still doing fantastic, and the other members keep shining, but people indeed miss Soojin.

Jokes aside, there are several theories about how Soojin's end was the end of K-pop. These people might have a point since many members left their groups, and many companies experienced flops and failures after Soojin quit the industry. Hence, ditching Soojin for her past (which also might be a lie) was a massive mistake!

After all, we must remain positive and say that all of these idols had their personal reasons to leave, and that's how it had to be. The only thing we can do is support their (or their company's) decision because sometimes the absolute truth doesn't even reach us. We hope none of these were your bias members, though, because that would hurt!

Which member made you cry when they announced their withdrawal? Has your K-pop bias ever left their group? Let us know how it feels!

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