Debuting is a big deal for trainees who spend their teenage years working hard to get to that moment of being revealed to the K-pop scene and shine as a rookie group. Yet, some of them find themselves debuting once again under different groups for many reasons.
Here are some idols who redebuted with new groups under different circumstances and experimented with various concepts and sounds.
1. DreamCatcher’s Jiyoo, Sua, Siyeon, Yoohyeon, and Dami
Originally debuting as MINX in 2014, the five members changed both their group name and concept three years later as they were joined by two new members, Handong and Gahyeon. Needless to say that this switch was a very successful move since DreamCatcher has become one of the leading K-pop groups who incorporate the rock genre in their music.
2. Khan’s Jeon Minju and Euna Kim
The Ark was one of the few hip hop-infused girl groups that made an impression in the music industry. Unfortunately, they disbanded in 2016 after only being active for a year. The Ark members Minju and Euna resurfaced in 2018 as a duo with their single “I’m Your Girl?” which was quite a hit, but they ended up parting ways in 2020.
3. WINNER’s Song Mino
To many, Mino is known for debuting as a WINNER member following his participation in Mnet’s “WIN: Who Is Next.” Actually, Mino debuted as a rapper in the ballad boy band BoM back in 2011, which only lasted a couple of years before he auditioned for YG Entertainment and launched his career as a member of a group and duo (with Bobby) as well as a soloist.
4. KARD’s Somin
Jeon Somin has had her fair share of debuts. She kickstarted her career in 2012 as a member of Japanese girl group Puretty, which disbanded two years later. She then was part of APRIL as the leader in 2015, but left the group three months later. Finally, Somin finally found her best fit as a member of co-ed group KARD in 2016.
5. APRIL’s Chaekyung
Chaekyung is another ex-Puretty member who has been part of other girl groups, namely the project-based group C.I.V.A from “The God of Music 2” and “Produce 101” fan-motivated group I.B.I, before eventually settling down as an APRIL member. The interesting part is that Chaekyung joined all three groups during the same year, 2016.
6. GOT7/JJ Project’s JB and Jinyoung
Being trainees at JYP Entertainment for a long time, JB and Jinyoung formed a duo in 2012 called JJ Project and debuted with their single “Bounce.” They joined GOT7 two years later and solely focused on group activities. Then in 2017, the pair made a comeback with their first mini album “Verse 2.”
7. EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai, SHINee’s Taemin, and NCT’s Taeyong and Mark, WayV’s Ten and Lucas
Four boy groups, seven members: this SM Entertainment K-pop bomb named SuperM has served looks and hyped crowds. This concept is definitely unprecedented since this is not only a collaboration between groups, but a distinct group that debuted with a proper discography and promotion that took place both domestically and internationally, all while the members remained part of their original groups.
8. Kwon Sohyun
Sohyun was barely a teenager when she debuted for the first time as a member of a girl group called Orange in 2005. Four years later, she joined 4Minute and was their maknae until she left Cube Entertainment in 2016 following her contract expiration.
9. EXID’s Solji
Solji’s story is quite interesting. She started her music career as a member of the ballad duo 2NB for four years since 2006, and then she worked as a EXID’s vocal trainer before she eventually joined the debut lineup in 2012.
This feature wouldn’t be complete without HyunA. She made her original debut as the main rapper of Wonder Girls in 2007 before she left the group due to health issues. She later debuted a second time under 4Minute in 2009, and while maintaining her position in the group, she formed a co-ed duo called Trouble Maker with Jang Hyunseung. In 2016, 4Minute disbanded, and HyunA focused on her solo career for a while. In 2017, she redebuted for the fourth time as part of a three-member sub-unit, Triple H, which eventually came to an end as well in 2018.
11. NATURE’s Kim So Hee
Another former C.I.V.A and I.B.I member is Kim So Hee. Following her departure, she launched her solo career in 2017, then went into hiatus. Two years later, Kim So Hee changed agencies and joined girl group NATURE. Recently, the group made a comeback with their title track “Girls.”
12. Former members of GOOD DAY
This time, not only one idol had a new start following their departure, but literally the entire group started anew. Having debuted in 2017 and disbanded two years later, the members of GOOD DAY went their own ways. Jeewon, Chaesol, Sunn, Belle, and Ye Ah redebuted through cignature, whereas ChaeA, Green, Ari, and Bomin redebuted through Redsquare. As for Heejin, she joined Solcire, a producing crew.
13. Kim Dong Han, Jang Dae Hyeon, and Kim Yo Han
These three idols have all stepped into the spotlight via the “Produce 101” reality show series, and they’re all joining forces as OUI Entertainment’s upcoming boy group WEi. Kim Dong Han is a former member of the project group JBJ, and Jang Dae Hyeon used to be part of the project boy group RAINZ. As for Kim Yo Han, he was the center of X1 before its disbandment.
Bonus: I.O.I, Wanna One, and X1 members
Mnet’s famous survival show series “Produce 101” allowed many group members to either make their first debut before debuting under their own agencies or to redebut under the show’s respective girl and boy groups.
After I.O.I, the members are now known as solo artists Chungha and Somi, actress Kim So Hye, gugudan’s Kim Sejeong and Mina, DIA’s Jung Chaeyeon, WJSN’s Yeonjung, Weki Meki’s Choi Yoojung and Kim Doyeon, and former PRISTIN members Kyulkyung and Nayoung.
Wanna One included members HOTSHOT’s Ha Sung Woon, NU’EST’s Minhyun, AB6IX’s Park Woo Jin and Lee Dae Hwi, CIX’s Bae Jin Young, and now soloists Kang Daniel, Park Ji Hoon, Kim Jae Hwan, Ong Seong Wu, and Yoon Ji Sung. Lai Kuanlin redebuted as the duo Wooseok X Kuanlin with PENTAGON’s Wooseok.
Finally, X1 welcomed UP10TION’s Kim Woo Seok, VICTON’s Han Seung Woo, and UNIQ’s Cho Seung Youn as well as Hyeongjun and Minhee who later debuted with CRAVITY. Lee Han Gyul and Nam Do Hyon joined forces as duo H&D. Prior to X1 and H&D, Lee Han Gyul used to be in a group called IM.
Did you know about all of these idols’ former groups? Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!
Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.
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