These ten K-Pop groups had the potential to be huge but were severely mismanaged by their companies.
1. After School
Pledis Entertainment is famous for not knowing how to treat girl groups, and After School is a perfect example. Their last Korean comeback was in 2013 with “First Love,” and the group was then shipped off to Japan. After Japanese activities, they were left in the dungeon. Soon, members started leaving the company. Former maknae Lee Kaeun joined Produce 48 but didn’t make the final line-up, and left the company after the program ended. As of now, After School is not formally disbanded, but their only remaining member is Nana.
To this day, fans are upset with TS Entertainment for not taking care of B.A.P. When they first debuted, they were on the same level as BTS and EXO, and people had expected them to rise to be superstars in the K-Pop industry. Due to their mismanagement, however, B.A.P ended up in numerous lawsuits with the company and have since faded in popularity, with all of the members heading their separate ways.
MBLAQ was formed by Rain, and when they debuted, it was doing reasonably well and was even topping the charts. They had decent popularity, but with a company that didn’t know how to promote the members properly, they soon started leaving one by one. Their last comeback was in 2015, and the group has since been on a hiatus.
PRISTIN is another Pledis Entertainment girl group they couldn’t keep alive. The group had the potential to be a hit, with two members (Nayoung and Kyulkyung) coming from I.O.I. and with numerous members having appeared on Produce 101. But with member Kyla going to the States after their first comeback for health reasons, Pledis left the girls to rot in the dungeon. They formed a sub-unit in 2019 called PRISTIN V that had moderate success, but Pledis ended up disbanding the group as a whole soon after.
Many have stated that Cube Entertainment just let the girls rot away. The members themselves have stated that they had wanted to still sign with the company to continue as a group. Former member Jiyoon had said that before they could talk about activities beyond the group, their contract just ended, and it felt as if they were finding out about their disbandment through the reports. They weren’t thinking about dismantling but ended up having to disband because of the company.
6. Topp Dogg/Xeno-T
Topp Dogg‘s journey has been rough. Originally debuting with 13 members, things started getting messy after former members Kidoh and Gohn filed lawsuits against their company for mismanagement of their careers. Member A-Tom would withdraw from the group to participate in Produce 101 Season 2 and would then join JBJ, leaving Topp Dogg. The group’s last activity was a Japanese release in 2018.
YG Entertainment disbanding 2NE1 was a massive shock for everyone, even the members. 2NE1 is arguably one of the most prominent groups in K-Pop, and even to this day, their brand reputation ranking is consistently high. Fans agree that if YG had given Minzy the support she needed, she wouldn’t have left the company. The company should have also supported CL with her debut in America as well as Park Bom during her medicinal scandal. YG allegedly wanted to debut a girl group that had the same skills as 2NE1 but were “prettier,” despite how YG Entertainment had media-played 2NE1 as an “ugly” group with impressive skills.
8. The Ark
The Ark was shot down before they could truly shine, with their company disbanding them right after their debut. It’s a shame, as the girl was well-loved for being a powerful group with amazing dancers as well as solid vocalists. Many believe their disbandment because their main vocalist had developed vocal nodules and was unable to sing. Rumor has it, however, that the company had wanted to switch their concept to something flashy, and the members weren’t for it.
9. Crayon Pop
Crayon Pop is known as one of K-Pop one-hit-wonders, with people wondering why they didn’t get any bigger than they did. They hit the mainstream with their song “Bar Bar Bar,” but their company Chrome Entertainment did nothing with their newfound popularity, and soon the hype for them dwindled.
missA started going downhill when JYP Entertainment was struggling financially. Suzy had started becoming active in acting, and instead of promoting Miss A as a group, they started putting more activities onto Suzy instead. Soon, the group was known as “Suzy and friends,” many think that JYP Entertainment began to have the mentality of “even if we don’t give them a comeback, we still can make money with Suzy.” Soon, the members began leaving the company one by one, and the group disbanded.