K-pop group T-ara to stay intact

T-ara’s Qri (above), Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon.
T-ara’s Qri (above), Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM
T-ara’s Qri, Eunjung (above), Hyomin and Jiyeon
T-ara’s Qri, Eunjung (above), Hyomin and JiyeonPHOTO: INSTAGRAM
T-ara’s Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin (above) and Jiyeon.
T-ara’s Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin (above) and Jiyeon.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM
T-ara’s Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon (above).
T-ara’s Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon (above).PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

SEOUL • Fans of T-ara can breathe a further sigh of relief.

The K-pop group have not disbanded - even though two members quit last month - and now have released their 13th album called What's My Name.

The group are now a quartet of Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon who have committed to staying on till the end of the year.

"This album is different (from previous ones) in that a lot of our thoughts and opinions were reflected in it, from the choreography to the overall concept. Which is why we feel more attached to it," said Eunjung during a showcase in Seoul.

One song that stands out is 20090729, which alludes to the date of T-ara's debut eight years ago on July 29, 2009, the Korea Herald reported.

"It's regrettable that things turned out the way it did. Be that as it may, (the resigning) is a matter of choice and we just wish the best (for Boram and Soyeon who left), just as they did for us," said Hyomin.

It has not been a pain-free ride to fame during the eight years, Jiyeon noted. "I think people tend to remember our troubles more, but we did receive so much love too," she added.

The turmoil included a bullying controversy in 2012 that hit their popularity hard and ended with Ryu Hwa Young leaving the band. A recent Internet post by a self-proclaimed former staff member of T-ara, however, pinned the blame on Ryu.

Will December really mark the end of T-ara?

"So much time has passed and I am cautious about addressing the issue" is what Eunjung will say for now.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2017, with the headline 'K-pop group T-ara to stay intact'. Print Edition | Subscribe