For a K-Pop fan, nothing hits harder than disbandment—especially when it comes as a surprise. This week, thousands of Korean netizens on polling platform Exciting DC voted for the groups with the most shocking disbandments in K-Pop, and this was their final top 10 ranking.
With 1% of the votes, S#ARP’s disbandment was ranked the 10th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
Co-ed group S#ARP (also known as SHARP) disbanded in 2002, just four years after their debut, for a pretty astounding reason: assault. Members Lee Ji Hye and Seo Ji Young were embroiled in an ongoing verbal and physical conflict, with Lee Ji Hye reporting that Seo Ji Young severely bullied her and encouraged the group’s other members to do the same. To this day, the scandal remains one of the biggest from K-Pop’s first generation.
9. Miss A
With 2% of the votes, Miss A’s disbandment was ranked the 9th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
Miss A officially disbanded in December 2017, seven years after their debut, but the group became inactive back in 2015 and member Jia left in 2016. Miss A was one of the biggest girl groups of its time with numerous no.1 hits—including their final song, “Only You.” As such, many were shocked when the group fizzled out unexpectedly.
With 2% of the votes, PRISTIN’s disbandment was ranked the 8th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
PRISTIN had one of the most anticipated debuts after several of the group’s members appeared on Produce 101‘s first season. However, they shockingly disbanded just three years later in 2019, at which point seven of the members terminated their contracts with Pledis Entertainment. Many fans blamed the company’s mismanagement for the split.
With 3% of the votes, X1’s disbandment was ranked the 7th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
X1 was formed on Produce X 101, debuting shortly after the finale in August 2019, so no one was expecting the group to disband just four months later in January 2020. Unfortunately, X1 became the victims of Mnet‘s vote manipulation scandal after the network was found to have committed fraud and unfairly eliminated six trainees from the season. After the X1 members’ agencies failed to agree on their future, the group ultimately disbanded.
6. Wanna One
With 6% of the votes, Wanna One’s disbandment was ranked the 6th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
Formed on the second season of Produce 101, Wanna One was always meant to be a temporary group. They disbanded after just over a year of promotions on their originally agreed date of December 31, 2018, though they did go on to hold a concert together the following month. While Wanna One’s disbandment was inevitable, many fans did hold out hope that the group’s contract would be extended given their overwhelming commercial success.
With 8% of the votes, SISTAR’s disbandment was ranked the 5th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
SISTAR disbanded in 2017, seven years after their debut. Known as the “Summer Queens” of the second generation, SISTAR is another group many fans expected to stay together for a long time because of their success. They were active all the way up to their disbandment, and every single they released from 2011 onwards peaked at no.1 on Gaon.
With 9% of the votes, 2NE1’s disbandment was ranked the 4th most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
After debuting in 2009, 2NE1 disbanded seven years later in 2016. Unfortunately, their penultimate single together came all the way back in 2014, shortly before member Park Bom came under serious fire for getting her amphetamine medication (which is illegal in South Korea) sent over from the United States. With numerous no.1 hits under their belt, 2NE1 was a group many wanted to see continue for a long time.
3. Seo Taiji & Boys
With 14% of the votes, Seo Taiji & Boys’ disbandment was ranked the 3rd most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
Seo Taiji & Boys is considered one of the first boy groups in South Korea, so it’s no surprise that their disbandment was one of the earliest shocks to fans. In fact, even the members (Lee Ju No and YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyun Suk) were shocked when Seo decided to disband the group. To date, their albums are still some of the highest selling in the country, reaching 2 million sales total.
With 15% of the votes, IZ*ONE’s disbandment was ranked the 2nd most shocking disbandment in K-Pop.
| Stone Music Entertainment
Like Wanna One, Produce 48 group IZ*ONE disbanded as scheduled in April 2021. However, fans were shocked that they didn’t continue on together for several reasons. Alongside achieving huge success, IZ*ONE also faced a hiatus of several months due to the Mnet vote manipulation scandal, which unfairly eliminated two contestants who should have been in the final lineup. As such, many fans hoped the group’s contract would be extended for a few months at minimum.
And with a whopping 37% of the votes, GFRIEND leaving Source Music was ranked the no.1 most shocking “disbandment” in K-Pop.
Since standard K-Pop contracts last seven years, many were left in shock when GFRIEND left their agency this May 2021, six years after their debut. It appears that GFRIEND had an atypical six-year contract, and none of the members chose to renew with Source Music at its end. As of yet, the members are yet to reveal just why they chose to split from the company. However, the company’s statement did not use the term “disband,” so it’s possible GFRIEND could continue together under a different name and agency.