Hyeyeon’s Departure From Gugudan
Starting on May 17, 2018, Gugudan’s Hyeyeon had been on hiatus. Jellyfish Entertainment explained the idol went on a break due to her health. Five months later, the agency announced that Hyeyeon was no longer a member of Gugudan, as she left the group to focus on her studies and health. “The decision was made after frequent discussions about the future career path and activities in the entertainment industry for Hyeyeon”. Despite no longer being a Gugudan member, Hyeyeon is still under the agency’s auspices and may continue her career as an idol of a new group.
On the same day, Hyeyeon posted a handwritten letter to fans regarding her withdrawal from Gugudan. The former member expressed her sorrow and gratitude to the fans who are known as Dear Friends, “Thanks to your support, my health is recovering well, and I am doing well in school. During my time as a member of Gugudan, I have been able to have such a wonderful time and create so many great memories and priceless experiences thanks to our Dear Friends, our members, and many others. I want to thank you once again for always being by my side and sending me your support”. In addition, Hyeyeon said that she will cheer Gugudan on with the rest of the fans.
During the release of their album Act. 5 New Action, Gugudan members shared what they felt about Hyeyeon’s departure, “We started with nine members, but just like Hyeyeon wrote in her letter, she will continue to support us as a fan. She listened to our new album and said she liked it. We are also cheering on Hyeyeon in her new focus on her health and studies”. Regarding the meaning of their group name, which represents nine girls with nine distinctive characters, Gugudan affirmed that the meaning has not changed because Hyeyeon is still with the group as one of their fans. Best of luck for Gugudan and Hyeyeon!
Soon after Jellyfish Entertainment’s announcement about their first girl-group, Gugudan made their debut late in June, 2016. Two of the I.O.I members, Sejeong and Mina, were included in the line-up along with Nayoung, Hana, Mimi, Soyee, Sally, Haebin, and Hyeyeon. Gugudan greeted the music industry with a mermaid concept, shown in their debut song Wonderland, as well as their first mini-album Act. 1 The Little Mermaid.
In mid-December, Gugudan participated for the first time on the agency’s annual winter project, along with their labelmates such as VIXX, Seo In-guk, Park Yoon-ha, Park Jung-ah, and many more. Two months later, Gugudan released their second mini-album, Act. 2 Narcissus, with their title track, A Girl Like Me.
In November, 2017, Gugudan returned to the music industry as an eight-member group due to Soyee’s temporary hiatus to heal her injured shoulder. Unlike the previous releases, Act. 3 Chococo Factory is Gugudan’s first single album which sold over 20,435 copies.
Three months passed, and Gugudan came back once again with just eight members as Hyeyeon went on hiatus because of health issues. Act. 4 Cait Sith became Gugudan’s second single album, which sold in similar numbers as the previous release, for more than 20,933 copies.
On September 19, Gugudan made their official debut in Japan with Stand By. A month later, the agency announced Hyeyeon’s departure from the group, as well as Gugudan’s comeback plan by releasing the mini-album, Act. 5 New Action, on November 6, 2018. The title track Not That Type got a lot of attention from K-Pop fans, as it was very different from the usual genre that Gugudan is known for.
Besides their own album, Gugudan also lends their voices to various television series soundtracks, which we have compiled below.
2017 – Perhaps Love (original soundtrack of Story About: Some, One Month Episode 1)
2017 – Believe in This Moment (original soundtrack of School 2017 )
2017 – Diary (2001 Remix Version) (sung by Mimi, Hana, Nayoung, and Mina for the original soundtrack of Children of the 20th Century)
Before Gugudan’s official debut, the general public was able to get to know the group through their first reality show, Gugudan Project: Extreme School Trip. The program was aired on MBC Music for five episodes. Notably, Gugudan carried out several missions, as well as showing their fun activities in the show.
Gugudan also made their first appearance on MBC Every1’s Weekly Idol on episode 259. In the show, Gugudan appeared along with the girl-group GFriend, who challenged them in a match.
Two years later, Gugudan’s sub-group SEMINA appeared on the show, on episode 365. Alongside girl-group Apink and solo female singer Kim Chungha, Gugudan Semina notably had exciting competitions and a relaxing interview.
In 2017, Gugudan released their second mini-album, Narcissus, and held a meet and greet, which was aired on Mnet. The selected fans were able to attend the event and watch the girls doing various activities.
Finally, Gugudan’s latest variety show is JTBC’s Idol Room, which is hosted by the famous former MC of Weekly Idol, Jung Hyung-don (Dony) and Defconn (Cony). In the show, Gugudan introduced their most recent song, Not That Type, in the nano dance challenge, as well as doing other games.
Gugudan’s Awards and Nominations
Soon after their debut, Gugudan was nominated for, and even won, awards on various award shows, such as the Asia Artist Awards and Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards. As they grew musically, Gugudan became regular nominees among other idol groups at prestigious award events, such as the Seoul Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, and Mnet Asian Music Awards. Here’s the list of Gugudan’s awards and nominations!
2016 – Popularity Award (Singer) on Asia Artist Awards (Nomination)
2016 – Best New Artist (Female Group) on Mnet Asian Music Awards (Nomination)
2016 – Artist of the Year on Mnet Asian Music Awards (Nomination)
2016 – Cultural Technology – Awesome Style Award on Rookie Asia M-style Show (Winner)
2017 – K-Pop Award on Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards (Winner)
2017 – Bonsang Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
2017 – New Artist Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
2017 – Popularity Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
2017 – Hallyu Special Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
2017 – Performance Award on Soribada Best K-Music Awards (Winner)
2017 – Popularity Award on Soribada Best K-Music Awards (Nomination)
2017 – Rising Star Award on Asia Artist Awards (Winner)
2017 – Popularity Award (Singer) on Asia Artist Awards (Nomination)
2017 – New Artist of the Year on Gaon Chart Music Awards (Nomination)
2017 – New Artist of the Year on Golden Disc Awards (Nomination)
2017 – Popularity Award on Golden Disc Awards (Nomination)
2017 – Asian Choice Popularity Award on Golden Disc Awards (Nomination)
2018 – Popularity Award (Singer) on Asia Artist Awards (Nomination)
2018 – New Wave Award (Music) on Asia Artist Awards (Winner)
2018 – Bonsang Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
2018 – Popularity Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
2018 – Hallyu Special Award on Seoul Music Awards (Nomination)
Gugudan’s Concerts and Tours
Ever since their debut, Gugudan has held showcases every time they release new albums. In 2017, Gugudan held their first fan meeting, Gugu Best Friends, on September 9 at the Seoul Woori Financial Art Hall. Notably, the fan meeting tickets sold out in one minute. Not only in their own country, but Gugudan also had their first showcase and fan meeting, Dear Friend, at Tokyo Akasaka Blitz and tour PLAY in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka), which were held in 2018.