List of Girl Group Members Who Rose Up Late: KARA’s Young-ji, T-ara’s Ah-reum and Others


Find Out About These Beautiful Late Bloomer Girl-Group Members

Korean girl-groups are debuted and disbanded almost at the same pace. New groups debut, with fresh faces and a unique musical style. After their debut performance, it is not uncommon for girl-groups to shake up and change their lineups. Some groups have changed members more than once. Line-up transformations, adding, switching, or changing, often brings the groups success because a new member can support the part a group was weak in, or simply because the new member recharges the group’s energy. It is incredibly difficult to find many girl-groups who have had exactly the same line-up since their debut.

The groups in this article have all had several members leave the group and have replaced them with new faces. The new member is usually younger than most of the other members. They either get recruited from talent auditions or from their agency’s pre-debut trainees. They overcame the difficulties of adapting with senior members, flaunted their talent to fans, and gained new fans for their groups. Only a few substitute members failed to establish themselves into the group and were dismissed not long after their debut performance.

In this article, Channel-Korea will explain girl-group members who joined established groups as a new members and become late bloomers, so stay tuned!

KARA Young’ji

Kara is a Korean girl group developed by DSP Media in 2007. Their debut album, The First Blooming failed to reach top music charts, but their second studio album, which included the hit single “Mister”, was a widespread success. Initially, Kara had seven members, but three members departed in 2008 and 2014. The final member formation was Goo Hara, Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, and Heo Youngji.

Youngji was the most recent member to join Kara, and was recruited after two members left the group. She was auditioned during a reality TV program called Kara Project and got the position as the new Kara member in 2014. Viewers admired her from among the other contestants because of her look. She looked pure and innocent but, at the same time, she looked proud and arrogant, too. From the final teaser performance before the announcement, Youngji showed her flexible body and excellent dance moves.

After being accepted as a KARA member, she suffered nasty leg injuries during a group practice session. Youngji debuted by appearing in Kara’s seventh mini album, “In Love”. Her first performance as part of the group was during the album showcase on May 26, 2015. The mini album consists of 6 tracks, with “Cupid” as their promotional track.

Youngji and her sister, TV program host Ho Song Yeon, announced their YouTube channel, Hong Sisters, on June 11, 2019. The sisters posted content about their daily activities for their fans to watch. However, her recent Instagram post brought concern from her fans, Youngji looked pale and dispirited, which is totally the opposite of her usual lively image. Her Instagram followers sent support and asked her to take care of health more.

T-ara Ah-reum

T-ara is a Korean girl-group formed by MBK Entertainment. T-ara debuted with the single ‘Lie’ in July 2009. During its career, the group went through several changes in its line-up. Pre-debut, T-ara started with seven members. Several members moved in and out from T-ara’s formation, and Ah-reum was welcomed as the group’s final new member on June 14, 2012. Ah-reum debuted on July 3, 2012 by appearing in T-ara’s latest mini album, titled Day by Day. She was recruited for her vocal and rapping skill. On July 10, 2013 Ah-reum decided to leave T-ara and pursue a solo career.

Ah-reum struggled and lost confidence after leaving T-ara. She lost much of her weight and stayed in her room all day. After receiving support from family members, she gained confidence and recovered her weight. She taught dance in foreign countries before returning to Korea. In 2018, she joined the variety show The Unit, an idol career restart show. Ah-reum got married to a businessman on October 20, 2019.


Red Velvet is a girl-group formed by SM Entertainment in August 2014. The group’s original members were Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, and Joy. Yeri participated in the SM Weekly Audition and became an SM trainee in 2011. As a member of the pre-debut group SM Rookies, she performed in the SM Town Live World Tour IV. The fifth member, Yeri, joined Red Velvet in March 2015. Her main talents are her dancing abilities and her ability to speak English. Yeri gained additional attention from Red Velvet fans due to her lovely smile.

Being known for her beautiful smile and warm personality, Yeri appeared in several variety shows, from JTBC4’s Secret Sister in 2018 to SBS’s Law of The Jungle in 2019. Yeri and Red Velvet are currently promoting their latest album, The ReVe Festival Day 2 which contains their hit single, ‘Umpah Umpah’. Recently, on October 26, 2019, Yeri showed her new pink hair color through her Instagram account. Wearing a chic autumn jacket, Yeri sat inside a restaurant and showed off her new hair.

Wonder Girls Yubin

Wonder Girls is a Korean girl-group that was formed in February 2007, by JYP Entertainment. Wonder Girls was debuted with five members: Yeeun, Hyuna, Sunmi, Sunye and Sohee. Hyuna left the Wonder Girls in July, 2007. a new member, Yubin, was added before Wonder Girls released their debut album, The Wonder Years, on September 12, 2007.

Yubin was famous for her heavy and sexy voice. She was responsible for the rap in the group’s songs. At first, fans were skeptical when Yubin joined the group. She was much older than Hyuna, and her look wasn’t very prominent. However, her rap and spirited performances won the fans’ approval. She was considered full member of Wonder Girls.

JYP Entertainment announced Wonder Girls’ were on hiatus in 2013, and later that year they announced Sunye and Sohee’s departure. Wonder Girls officially disbanded on January 26, 2017, after failure in negotiating contract renewals.

Yubin joined Mnet’s Unpretty Rapstar 2 in 2015 and won second place. Being a solo singer, in 2019, she participated in JTBC’s K-Pop Challenge Stage K and Mnet’s The Call 2.


Wonder Girls Hye-rim

The second member of Wonder Girls who left the group was Sunmi. In 2010, Sunmi left the group to pusue a career in academics. A new member, 17-year-old Hyerim, was added in 2010 prior to the release of the single album 2 Different Tears.

She masde her first appearance as a member of the group on February 5, 2010, while performing in a live concert for the commercial promotion of Sony Ericsson in China. Wonder Girls prepared and sung the English version of Nobody, Tell Me, So Hot during the concert performance.

Earlier, in January 2010, a video of her dance performance as a JYP trainee surfaced. It was the first time Hyerim’s face and performance was shown to public. Other than her talent in dancing, she was fluent in four different languages: English, Korean, Chinese, and Cantonese Chinese. She was designated as the main spokesperson for Wonder Girls to reach the Chinese market. Other than her language talents, she also has a permanent residency in Hong Kong.

Hyerim was famous for her looks, big eyes, and small face. Her face is pure and childish, but she can turn heads by wearing sexy and fashionable clothes.

She recently contributed her voice in the original motion picture soundtrack for the movie Hello, Stranger! The OST album was release on October 12, 2019. She contributed as the singer for the song ‘Closing’, which is the main track of the Hello, Stranger OST album.

GIRLS DAY Hye-ri and Yura

Girls Day was formed by Dream T Entertainment in 2010. Girls Day is one of the most popular girl-groups since the beginning of 2010. Before their disbandment, Girls Day consisted of four members: Park So-jin, Bang Min-ah, Kim Yura, and Lee Hye-ri. Two former members, Jisun and Jiin, left in 2010, while Jihae left in 2012. Two new members, Yura and Hyeri, were added before the release of Girls Day Party #2. The album was released on October 29, 2010, but the music videos for the album’s single, Nothing Lasts Forever, was released two days earlier, on October 27.

Choreographer Bae Yoon-jeong told a story about Hyeri’s dance skill during the shooting of tvN’s Taxy. She said that Hyeri lacked dancing skill even though she tried hard to dance well. However, she was very smart and able to memorize every dancing move. Even Bae Yoon-jeong, herself, asked Hyeri if she forgot the dance moves.

Hyeri has recently been preparing for her role in the drama, TvN’s Miss Lee. The drama will be aired on September 25, 2019. She plays the role of Lee Seon-shim, a young and modest worker whose character is able to encourage other people.

Other than drama, Hyeri also participated in a comedy movie which is set to premiere in October 2019. She plays Minji, who helped a former boxing champion to return after suffering a syndrome resulting from years of boxing.

Before her debut, Yura uploaded video of her dancing through her cyworld account. Her dance video gained widespread attention from entertainment agencies. Dream Entertainment contacted her and she signed a contract to become the new member of Girl’s Day. Other than her dance skill, she is also famous for her rap skill and sexy figure. Allegedly, her legs was her biggest asset and are believed to be worth $340.000.

In 2019, Yuna appeared in Channel A’s Cabin Crew from Episode 1 to Episode 12. She was challenged to work as actual stewardess. She had to pass interviews and undergo training before being able to work as a stewardess. She get to travel to foreign countries and experience other countries’ culture.

Yura’s other project is tvN’s Seoul Mate 3. The show is about foreigners traveling in Korea and being accompanied by Korean Celebrities. Yura appeared alongside comedian Kin Jun-ho and TV personality Bom.

EXID Sol-ji and Hye-rin

EXID is a girl-group formed by AB Entertainment in February 2012, who debuted by releasing a digital single titled ‘Whoz That Girl’m from their debut album Holla. EXID reached the peak of their popularity after their hit single ‘Up and Down’ was released in 2014. The single spent four months in the number one spot on the Gaon Singles Chart. EXID previously consisted of six members: LE, Hani, Jeonghwa, Dami, Jung Yoo-ji, and Na Hae-ryeong.

In April 2012, AB Entertainment released a statement announcing departure of three EXID members: Yoo-ji, Dami, and Hae-ryeong. Two new members, Solji and Hyelin, were added to EXID’s line-up. Solji was a former member of 2NB, a Korean vocal duo, while Hyelin was a previous candidate for EXID’s original lineup. Solji and Hyelin performed and contributed for EXID’s first EP, Hiipity Hop,which included the single ‘I Feel Good’. The teaser MV for Hippity Hop and the album was released on August 13, 2012.

Before joining EXID, Solji worked as vocal trainer for the EXID members. She was known for her wide vocal range and for being able to sing any type of song, especially ballads. Her voice is quite heavy for a girl of her petite size. After joining EXID, Solji became the group’s lead singer. In February 2015, she joined the pilot episode of MBC’s King of Mask Singer as a contestant and won the title by defeating another singer. She teamed up with another vocal trainer, Doo Jin-soo, to compete in MBC’s Duet Song Festival, and won the competition by a record 477 points, the highest score ever.

However, on December 21, 2016, Solji had to be treated for hyperthyroidism while the other EXID members continued their activities. After almost two years of hiatus and recovery, she announced her comeback brilliantly by reappearing in, and winning, again, in King of Mask Singer.

Hyelin and Solji were the newest members of EXID. Hyelin was famous for her small and unique face, which resembles a cute doll. Among the other members, Hyelin has the second-best vocal quality, after lead singer Solji. Hyelin has talent versatility and a feel-good personality. Her charm is the main attraction for her appearances in TV programs.

Hyelin has her own web variety show, aired on YouTube, Vlive, and naverTV since May 10, 2019. She also appeared on SBS Plus’s Rental Channel’s Out.