YG Entertainment announced in May 2021 that they were preparing to debut a new girl group, their first since BLACKPINK‘s debut in 2016.
Their pre-debut reality program, Last Evaluation, teased that BABYMONSTER would “never be a seven-member group,” hinting that there would be trainees who were eliminated from the group’s final line-up.
In the end, YG Entertainment decided to move forward with all seven talented trainees, and members Ruka, Pharita, Rora, Asa, Chiquita, Ahyeon, and Haram were officially introduced as BABYMONSTER.
Before their official debut on November 27, 2023, netizens noticed that member Ahyeon seemed to be absent from the group’s more recent social media posts and hadn’t been spotted with her fellow members.
Suspicions grew when BABYMONSTER’s debut was delayed, leading to speculation she was no longer debuting with the group.
As reports circulated, YG Entertainment initially stated they would clarify the circumstances at a later date before revealing that Ahyeon would not be joining the group for their debut promotions due to her health, and they would continue to keep the public informed on the situation.
On January 24, 2024, YG Entertainment released a short video entitled “Surprise Announcement,” in which the company’s founder and executive producer, Yang Hyun Suk, revealed details of the group’s upcoming mini-album, which will be released in April, and the current status of member Ahyeon.
Yang Hyun Suk confirmed that Ahyeon was fully recovered and will be reuniting with her fellow members for a full seven-member comeback with “Stuck In The Middle” on February 1.
He also clarified that the group would be re-recording “Batter Up” as seven members, and they were currently in the studio working on songs as a full line-up.
From this mini-album onward, you can look forward to BABYMONSTER’s activities as a perfect seven member group.
— Yang Hyun Suk
Check out the full announcement below: