It's a tough day in the K-pop community as one of its beloved groups announced that it will disband after seven great years together.
4Minute announced that the group will not continue forward and will disband when the group's contract expires on June 15. Member HyunA had renewed her contract with the group's label Cube Entertainment, but the other four members of Gayoon, Jiyoon, Jihyun and Sohyun have not made decisions on how to proceed. A representative for 4Minute explained the situation, saying (via a translation from Soompi):
"As the contract end date approaches, the members have been in discussions for renewal, but while the agency tried to persuade them to continue the group, it ended up accepting the decision by the five members that they will not continue as a group...Due to the different opinion of the members, for all intents and purposes, the group will disband."
Following the initial reports, the phrase "#4MinutePleaseStayTogether" trended worldwide on Twitter.
4Minute had a remarkable career, earning hits from the very start of their career when they debuted with the electronic-hip-hop thumper "Hot Issue" in June 2009. Throughout their careers, they began trying experimental sounds like the saxophone-led dance cut "Volume Up," embraced quirky electro-pop in "What's Your Name?," "Is It Poppin'?" and "Whatcha Doin' Today," before gaining an even more confident and powerful image with the aggressive bangers "Crazy" and "Hate" that mark their last singles released as a group.
The quintet was always loved by audiences at home and abroad. 4Minute is noted for being the headliners to the first-ever KCON festival, their collaborations with American artists like Skrillex and Ameriie, and loads of online viral videos that garnered more than 650,000 views on their official YouTube channel along with member HyunA co-starring in Psy's "Gangnam Style" video.
While specific terms to K-pop group contracts are typically not made public, it's known that many groups sign for seven years and upon the seventh year it's time to decide if the group will continue or not. June 2016 marks exactly seven years for the group.
Say farewell with "Volume Up," 4Minute's 2012 single that was one of the best pop releases of the year.