T-ara Areum Leaving

Someone once told me that what makes T-ara so great is that they somehow manage to be both the best and the absolute worst girl group all at once. I agree, and I love T-ara just as much when they’re topping the charts as I do when they’re embroiled in some kind of trashy tabloid scandal. So, when their newest member, Areum, announced last night that she was leaving T-ara after just one year to pursue a solo career in hip-hop or some shit, I wasn’t too worried.

Areum’s departure is both disappointing and hilarious, and the kind of thing that could only happen to T-ara. I found her to be an asset to the group and a perfect replacement for Hwayoung, but I’m not as attached to her as I am to the other members, so I can deal with her jumping ship at such an inconvenient time and allowing T-ara to keep their title as Asia’s most gloriously messy girl group.

If we’re to believe the reasons Areum gave us for her leaving as the truth, there’s nobody to really blame in this situation. CCM’s Kim Kwang Soo, as awful as he is, righted the wrongs he made with Hwayoung’s awkward entry into T-ara with Areum. He utilized her right off the bat, giving her a fair amount of lines in “Don’t Leave” and “Day By Day,” then giving her a special ballad single, “Day and Night,” during the “Sexy Love” promotions. He even stuck her in T-ara N4 alongside the most popular members of the group, so you can’t say that KKS did bad by her like he did with Hwayoung.

However, it’s not hard to see why Areum still wanted to split. When she joined T-ara, their popularity was at an all-time high. They had just come off the biggest K-pop single of 2011 with “Roly Poly,” and were about to repeat the feat with “Lovey-Dovey.” Multiple members had successfully crossed over into acting, they were all raking in money with CFs and endorsements, they’d made chart history in Japan, and were right on the brink of replacing 2NE1 as Korea’s second biggest girl group (after SNSD, obviously).

Then the Hwayoung scandal happened.

It took just a couple of days for T-ara to go from K-pop royalty to the most unfairly hated celebrities in South Korea, so of course Areum wanted out. Anyone would. It’s not what she signed up for when she joined T-ara, and she didn’t deserve to be dragged into something so big and nasty and out of her control.

Now T-ara’s returning to its original six-member lineup, which was last active back in early 2010 when Absolute First Album was re-released as Breaking Heart. Even better is that the group’s underage trainee member, Dani, is now replacing Areum in the T-ara N4 unit, but probably won’t join the main T-ara, which I’m sure we can all agree is the best decision for everybody involved.

Although my favorite T-ara lineup was 7-ara with Hwayoung, I’m excited to see the group go back to its original formation. Ever since Areum and Dani were announced as new members, there’s been a black cloud of confusion awkwardly hanging over T-ara, but now that things have finally been sorted out, both T-ara and the fans can have some peace of mind and look forward to a fresh start. And let’s just say, hypothetically, that T-ara finally burns-out by next year and decides to split for good (god forbid!), I know I’d feel better as a fan seeing the group go out just as they started, as the original six.

Now bring on Absolute Second Album!

  • lildarien

    I used to download the entire music show broadcasts, and I remember always watching Crazy because of you, it was just so catchy and who can ignore their sexy shadow! Definitely time for some original era hits!

  • ICONI3

    I never felt connected to Areum. She was always awkward to watch..personally 7-ara was my favorite, but I don’t mind 6-ara.

  • James Smith III

    Absolute Second Album needs to include: a sexy/electric sequel to “crazy because of you”, a catchy song like “roly-poly”, a new collab with “supernova” or some other fairly popular boy band, and to conclude they need an epic two hour “drama” music video that ties in all the songs on the album and reestablishes T-ara as a top tier girl group.

    • dnxo14

      i have a feeling that if ever they would have a collab with a boy group, it would be speed…

  • kpopalypse

    Oh look someone with a brain wrote an article about this. Excuse me while I repost this link everywhere.


    When she first debuted with them I immediately wrote her off, pouted and spun the Absolute First Album on repeat. But I soon realized Areum was a great asset. She has a great voice, she’s a great dancer and I love her tone when she raps. I honestly didn’t even think about how SHE may have felt being brought into such an intense scandal until T-ARA N4 was on Beatles Code 2. She just sat there so uncomfortable and quiet, my heart kinda sunk for her. I can actually see her doing a solo hip-hop thing so I’m happy for her (we’ll see if that ish actually happens). I’m glad they’re back to 6-ARA, lets all pray that this means an Absolute Second Album! Great article Jacques!!

  • Strawberryicon

    i think this ah reum case is the same as hwayoung’s!

  • Akie_Of_Winterfell

    Maybe she is being bullied as well.

    • She already came out with a message telling the media to leave her and CCM alone with their fake rumours.

      And hwayoung wasn’t bullied that was just tabloid rumors that got out of control

    • Hang Viseth

      yes, I think so.

  • Josh Chinnery

    I still can’t tell these chicks apart, so I wasn’t too saddened to hear this news. The only song where I knew it was Ahreum was her solo for the Bunny Style! single, which I happen to like a lot. Hip hop exactly the image I see her doing, but I didn’t think that either until I heard that rap track from Hwayoung (she ain’t the second coming of Christ, but she’s decent for an idol rapper). Anyway, best of love to the girl :D

  • we’re perfectly connected in our love for t-ara, i totally felt the same as you described. all i can hope now is that they leave the bad times and regain the popularity they had.

    i wish areum the best; she was a decent rapper although she deserved better rap lines, similar to the ones hwayoung got in “day by day”.

    as for dani, OMG her instagram account is BEYOND cute!!

  • ezequiel

    omg thanks for the IGCBOY video
    but ugh next year is too long for a comeback
    and they were thinking about removing Areum since 5 months ago which is stupid because they basically wasted everyone’s time keeping her for so long if she was eventually going to leave.

  • Emii Gems

    never really cared for them but roly poly was awsome

  • Hang Viseth

    Before I crazy with Tara. I love them so much. not only me but also all my siblings and cusins. But since Hwayoun left I feel very hurt instead of her because we love her and we think she’s very good rapper. and then even Areum can rap not as well as Hwayoung but we think it’s ok because she can sing very well and so cute. we love her. but now Tara is not in our eye anymore. But we’re waiting very hot to Areum’s solo hip-hop stage. oh cool. we hope to see Hwayoung too.

  • Eleyson Sane

    yeah, what ever happen Ahreum voice is really important to T-Ara

    she can song really good a balad and even a soft rock like Dj .

    But, Hwayoung ? I think Eunjung can take her place .

    what ever happen I hope no one in T-Ara member will leave the group .

    Because, I really a fans of T-ara .

    Jiyeon,Soyeon,Hyomin,Boram,Qri,Eunjung .. !!

    Fighting !

    I will support you forever !

    Gob bless T-Ara ^^

    From: Malaysia .

  • Eleyson Sane

    T-Ara now can’t sing Lovey Dovey,Day by day,Don’t leave and other old song ..
    if they want to sing that .
    Then call back Hwayoung and Ahreum .. :)

  • Fanatic

    Absolute pleasure reading this.

    The whole T-ara situation has been antis vs biases for years, each side hating and insulting one another left and right. This was such a refreshing read compared to all other articles about them.