10 Idol Groups Who Have Suffered Through Member Departures

Fans and idols both mourned when these groups lost their members.

1. Cross Gene

Cross Gene is currently a five-member boy group that consists of four Korean members, Shin, Sangmin, Yongseok, and Seyoung, and one Japanese member, Takuya. The group also used to have two Chinese members, J.G. and Casper. A year after Cross Gene’s 2012 debut, J.G left to start a career as a solo artist. Last year, Casper also left the group to pursue a new path.



TEEN TOP debuted in 2010 as a six-member boy group but is now a member short. In February 2017, L.Joe filed a lawsuit against TOP Media in order to terminate his contract. His contract remained active until January 2018, but L.Joe dropped out of group activities and pursued his own career as a musical actor.


3. Girls’ Generation

Girls Generation began with nine members but went down to eight after Jessica abruptly left the group to pursue other life goals, such as starting a business or getting married. Her decision to leave Girls’ Generation stunned fans and stirred up controversy in 2014.  Industry insiders have since revealed more details about Jessica’s departure. In October 2017, Sooyoung, Tiffany, and Seohyun decided not to renew their contracts with SM Entertainment. Even though they left the company, they maintain that they are still part of the group.


4. Oh My Girl

This eight-member girl group became seven in 2017. Last October, JinE wrote a handwritten letter to officially announce her departure from Oh My Girl. JinE had been on hiatus from promotions since August 2017, to focus on treating her anorexia nervosa.



WINNER debuted as a five-member YG Entertainment group in 2014 after winning the reality survival show WIN: Who is Next. In November 2016, Nam Tae Hyun left WINNER, due to health problems. The singer now continues his music activities under his own personal label South Buyers Club with his band, South Club.


6. April

This eight-member girl group lost two members, Somin and Hyunjoo. Somin, April‘s former leader, left the group in 2015 and eventually joined the co-end quartet, KARD. After taking a hiatus in May 2016, Hyunjoo too left the group. In her handwritten letter, she cited health issues as one of her main reasons for leaving. Hyunjoo will soon be debuting again as part of UNI.T., a nine-member girl group formed through the survival show The Unit.


7. DIA

This girl group made their debut as a seven-member group in September 2015, has undergone several line-up changes. Eunchae joined the group in 2016, followed by Jueun and Somyi. Even so, both DIA and fans felt the loss when two of their original members, Seunghee and Eunjin, left. Seunghee decided not to renew her contract when it expired in April 2016, and has pursued an acting career. On May 7, Eunjin announced her departure by posting a handwritten letter to her fan cafe. In the letter, she said that she had decided to leave DIA because of ongoing health issues and struggles with anxiety.


8. AOA

AOA debuted as an eight-member girl group in 2012, but has since lost two members. Youkyung, the drummer of AOA‘s subunit, AOA Black, left in 2016. AOA lost their second member in 2017. Choa shocked fans when she announced she would be leaving the group, due to insomnia and depression.


9. EXO

This nine-member SM Entertainment group originally had twelve members when they debuted in 2012, but has since lost three of its members through a series of legal battles. In May 2014, Kris filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment to terminate his contract. In October of the same year, Luhan filed his own lawsuit to terminate his contract. In the following August, Tao also filed to terminate his contract. All three members cited health, financial, and personal issues as their reasons for leaving and have gone on to pursue solo careers.


10. Super Junior

This boy group debuted with twelve members and had thirteen members at its peak. Both fans and members were heartbroken when Hangeng left from group in 2009 after filing a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. When Kibum‘s contract expired in August 2015, he too decided to go his own way. Super Junior M‘s Henry is the most recent member to leave the group. After a decade with the group, he decided not to renew his contract when it expired earlier this year.