t-ara feature
I always pity K-pop fans who only got into the genre in the past two years, because that means that they weren’t around for the almighty reign of T-ara. (I assume that’s how older K-pop fans feel about people who weren’t around for Wonder Girls’ “Tell Me” era, and so on and so forth.) Making it worse is that all the T-ara haters that popped up after the group’s career-destroying scandal try to downplay just how huge Slay-ara were at their peak, conveniently forgetting the 28 music program wins or the fact that T-ara is one of the best-selling K-pop acts of ALL TIME.

I thought it was only me and other nostalgic T-ara stans that liked to pine for the past, but it turns out that the folks over at Korean web portal Nate recently dedicated a whole thread to T-ara’s glory days. Check out some of the best translated comments below, via the awesome KpopKfans (a.k.a. the superior Netizen Buzz).

Seriously… Lies, TTL, TTL2, Bo Peep Bo Peep, Why Do You Act Like This, Like The First Time, I’m Really Hurt, I Go Crazy Because Of You, Yayaya, Roly Poly, Lovey Dovey, Cry Cry, We Were In Love, Day By Day, Sexy Love, they were no joke… What girl group can produce so many hit songs from 2009~2012, in just three years?

It’s almost equivalent to Nonono’s popularity. Roly Poly was a #1 nominator for 7 weeks on Music Bank. At that time, their competitors were Sistar’s So Cool and Miss A’s Good-bye Baby

What are you talking about? If you’re comparing T-ara’s peak, A Pink is not even close. T-ara’s public popularity was also really big. The public would know T-ara’s songs even if they don’t know who T-ara is

What’s funny is that T-ara’s scandal is just aegyo comparing to Bigbang’s but Bigbang is promoting well ㅋㅋㅋ So funny, fuck ㅋㅋ

Honestly T-ara used to be so popular. Roly Poly was daebak and Lovey Dovey was a hit so they were even mentioned on winning a daesang… They’re now pretty much dead but if they didn’t have the bullying scandal, then they must’ve been a top girl group similar to SNSD

Aren’t T-ara’s songs better than SNSD’s?

Yes to everything, basically.

Looking back at T-ara’s peak, the thing I remember the most is just how successful they were in so many different areas, with so many different demographics, in a way that only Girls’ Generation has ever really done. The way they dominated music, beauty rankings, acting, CFs, and variety made them virtually unrivalled, because whenever a girl group was more successful than they were at something, they could always just beat them at something else. Remember back when T-ara and IU were known as K-pop’s digital monsters for their unbeatable sales? For me to even get specific and list all of T-ara’s various rankings, income, chart positions, and all the random little achievements that only a hardcore fan like me would know would take up too much space, but most of the information can be found with some good Googling for anyone who is interested or dares to doubt T-ara’s former domination.

The most frustrating part of the whole scandal situation (besides how unjust and absurd it was) was that T-ara still hadn’t even peaked yet. Everybody knew that they were literally just one more hit era away from officially surpassing 2NE1 as K-pop’s second biggest girl group, and while it’s unrealistic to expect ANYONE to overtake Girls’ Generation, T-ara would’ve made a formidable runner-up. Unlike most idol groups that rely on either uncle fans or teenagers to support them, T-ara’s strength was that they appealed to all ages, in addition to having their claws in so many different parts of the entertainment industry, so their lifespan was already going to be much longer than their contemporaries.

Although, realistically, I have to admit that scandal or not, T-ara were bound to implode at some point. It’s a well known fact among both K-pop fans and the general public that they were the most overworked idol group around, and with their endless back-to-back comebacks, overseas expansion, acting gigs, and all the other shit they did on the side –like the touring Roly Poly musical, the clothing line, or THE FUCKING T-ARA COFFEE SHOP CHAIN— something was bound to give. I mean, they were already fainting on stage and shuffle dancing through sprained ankles, and Kim Kwang Soo clearly wasn’t going to give them a break until he’d made T-ara Asia’s biggest girl group.

Perhaps the scandal was Jesus’ way of slowing things down before one of the members died? Hey, it’s plausible!

Anyway, in memory of the forever legendary T-ara, here are a few choice moments from their glory days.

T-ara’s FLAWLESS performance of the biggest K-pop song of 2011, “Roly Poly.”

“Roly Poly” is so popular that a ‘Copacabana’ ’80s remix version is released.

T-ara performs “Lovey-Dovey,” the second highest-selling K-pop song of 2012 (after “Gangnam Style”), at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The first “Lovey-Dovey” comeback stage.

T-ara performs first group No. 1 single (and fifth highest-selling song of 2010) “I Go Crazy Because of You.”

“TTL,” aka collaboration of the millennium.

Eunjung’s hotness during the “Why Are You Being Like This?” era.

Jiyeon ranked best-looking female idol, surpassing SNSD’s Yoona.

Eunjung slays Suzy to hell and back.

T-ara makes Oricon chart history in Japan with “Bo Peep Bo Peep.”

T-ara performs “Bye Bye” from the best full-length Korean girl group album ever made, Absolute First Album!