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Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Rating Rating more Two Stars

2011.09.23 10:55 Mwave Kim, JiYeon

After dealing with rumors of disbandment and lawsuits, Kara returned with a Korean album for the first time in 10 months, and managed to stomp out all negative things in the past with just one ‘step.’

The group, who won no.1 on the day of its first comeback stage on Mnet’s M Countdown on September 15, hasn’t lost its spot at the top of the music charts since releasing its album. While the girls were beloved before, the fandom now is almost incomparable now. At the brink of ending, the idol group managed to reunite and work through the crisis – laudable if only because K-pop has a history of fallen idols and broken groups, who never quite manage to bring themselves back up.

In 2011, five years after the groups debut, Kara became one of the biggest hallyu stars, thanks to its success in Japan. But almost immediately after conquering Japan, Kara was hit with problems no one saw coming, and, due to discord between members’ parents and the group’s agency, DSP Media, it looked as if the pretty girl group would, at the very least, shrink in size, and probably popularity.

Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Kara’s Han Seungyeon, Jung Nicole, Goo Hara and Kang Ji Young notified DSP via an attorney on January 19 that they would be cancelling their contract with DSP. Leader Park Gyuri learned of the suit the same way thousands of fans did – through newspaper reports. Soon after, Goo Hara, claiming she wasn’t aware of the specifics of the problem, withdrew her own suit the same day it was announced, and the group was left divided, three to two.

Many became concerned that Kara, like many of its idol group predecessors, would, in the end, break up, and some murmured that perhaps Park Gyuri was an outcast in the group. Though DSP and the girls’ representatives insisted they were having talks, it seemed as if reconciliation wasn’t an option, thanks to sharp differences in their opinions.

Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Even new Japanese fans shook their heads, cause many wondering if the group that had reignited the flame of hallyu in Japan would extinguish the Korean wave.

But exactly 100 days after the issue first came to light, on April 28, DSP issued an official press release that said, “We have resolved all conflict with the three Kara members. We have spoken with the members about their future, and they have agreed to drop their case against DSP with no conditions.”

And so the new booming hallyu group Kara avoided disbandment. After five months of preparations, Kara came back as if nothing had happened with a stronger and brighter performance. In just one week, the group showed it was still the strong girl group it used to be, by immediately rising to the top of various music charts with the title song, Step, off its third album.


Kara ′Steps′ On Past Discord

Perhaps because their happiness had come after such hard times, the members of Kara celebrated their win on September 22 even more joyously.

DSP’s director Lee Ji Hoon told enews on September 23, “To Kara, winning first place this time means more than just first place. It means a new start. The members are happy to have started off on such a happy note.”

Pop culture critic Kang Tae Kyu said on the issue, “That Kara hasn’t disbanded and that it has come back again is encouraging for K-pop in general. Rather than concentrate on the past, when the group came near disbandment, we should concentrate on what more the group will be able to show us, and what positive effects it will have on K-pop.”

Photo credit: DSP Media

Kara 20110923
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