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T-ara (/tiˈɑːrə/; Korean: 티아라; Japanese: ティアラ; often stylized as T-ARA or T♔ARA) is a South Korean girl group that debuted in 2009 under Core Contents Media. Before their debut, there was a high level of interest in the group as they were called the "Super Rookies" and had been training for three years prior.
Originally a five-member group composed of Jiae, Jiwon, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon, they released their first song "Good Person" (좋은 사람, Joheun Saram) for the soundtrack of the Korean drama Cinderella Man in April 2009. After Jiae and Jiwon withdrew from the group two months later, T-ara debuted as a six-member group with the addition of Boram, Soyeon, and Qri in July 2009, releasing their first single "Lies" (거짓말, Geojitmal).
Their debut studio album Absolute First Album was released in December 2009 and spawned several hit singles including "TTL (Time to Love)", "Bo Peep Bo Peep", and "I Go Crazy Because of You" (너 때문에 미쳐, Neo Ttaemune Michyeo). The album was followed by the group's first extended play, Temptastic, in 2010. Their second extended play John Travolta Wannabe (2011) produced "Roly-Poly", which was nominated for several awards and went on to become the Gaon chart's number one single of the year. In less than six months, the group released their third extended play Black Eyes (2011), which spawned three number one singles: "Cry Cry", "We Were in Love" (우리 사랑했잖아, Uri Saranghaetjanha) and "Lovey-Dovey".
In 2011, T-ara signed a $4.3 million contract with management company J-Rock for their Japanese debut, the highest out of all the Korean girl groups debuting in Japan. The group's first single was a remake of their 2009 hit "Bo Peep Bo Peep". It ranked at number one on the Oricon weekly charts with 49,712 copies sold, the first time a debuting Korean girl group has done so in the charts' history. T-ara released their debut Japanese studio album Jewelry Box in 2012, which peaked at number two on the Oricon charts.
The group has added two members to their lineup since debut: Hwayoung in July 2010, Areum in June 2012. The group also intended to add a ninth member, Dani, in December 2012, however her debut was pushed back indefinitely until it was announced she would be added to T-ara N4 instead. Hwayoung later departed the group in July 2012. Areum left in July 2013, only one year after joining. T-ara uses a rotating leader system in which a different member of the group is elected as leader each year, in order to give both the group and the individual members the opportunity to grow in a new direction. Their current leader under this system is Qri.
1.1 Early beginnings and pre-debut projects,
1.2 2009-10: Debut, Absolute First Album, and Temptastic,
1.3 2011: John Travolta Wannabe, Japanese debut and Black Eyes,
1.4 2012: Jewelry Box, Day by Day and line-up changes,
1.5 2013: Sub-unit activities, Treasure Box, Areum departure, Number 9 and Kioku ～Kimi ga Kureta Michishirube,
3.1 T-ara N4,
5.1 Korean discography,
5.2 Japanese discography,
7 Published works,
8 See also,
10 External links,
Early beginnings and pre-debut projects:
The original five T-ara members (Jiae, Jiwon, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon) were trained together for three years under Mnet Media. The meaning behind the group's name, which is based on the word "tiara", comes from the idea that they will become the "queens of the music industry". In April 2009, they released their first song "Joheun Saram (Ver. 1)" (좋은 사람, "Good Person") for the Cinderella Man soundtrack. Jiyeon teamed up with labelmates SeeYa and Davichi for a collaboration single titled "Yeoseong Shidae" (여성시대, "Women's Generation"), which was released in May 2009.l
In June 2009, Mnet Media announced that Jiae and Jiwon would be leaving T-ara due to differences in music style. The first new member to be added to the group was Boram, the daughter of singer Jeon Young-rok and actress Lee Mi-young. Soyeon, a former trainee of S.M. Entertainment who supposed to be leader of Girls' Generation, and Qri were added to T-ara three weeks prior to debut. In early July 2009, the group was moved from Mnet Media to its subsidiary company Core Contents Media.
2009-10: Debut, Absolute First Album, and Temptastic:
T-ara made their debut on MBC's Radio Star talk show on July 29, 2009. Their first performance was on Mnet's M! Countdown music show on July 30, where they performed "Geojitmal" (거짓말, "Lies") and "Norabollae?" (놀아볼래?, "Wanna Play?") from their debut single. Their debut was looked upon negatively by webpostings, where people stated that it was lipsynched and commented that it seemed like an "elementary school" performance. The group announced afterwards that future performances would be live. In September 2009, Eunjung, Soyeon, Hyomin and Jiyeon collaborated with labelmates Kwangsu, Jihyuk, and Geonil of Supernova for the single "TTL (Time to Love)". It was released on September 15, 2009, and became both groups' first number one song as it topped many of the online charts. T-ara and Supernova collaborated again for "TTL Listen 2", a sequel to "TTL (Time to Love)", which was released on October 9, 2009, and included all the members from both groups.
T-ara released their debut studio album, Absolute First Album, on November 27, 2009. In order to determine the album's title track, Core Contents Media held a survey in which the public had to choose between "Bo Peep Bo Peep" or "Cheoeum Cheoreom" (처음처럼, "Like the First Time"). 9,000 people took the survey on various music portals with 53% (4,770 people) choosing "Cheoeum Cheoreom" over "Bo Peep Bo Peep". However, the latter was promoted on music shows instead for unknown reasons. "Bo Peep Bo Peep" peaked at number four on the Gaon chart, while "Cheoeum Cheoreom" peaked at number ten. They held their comeback performance on Music Bank on December 4, 2009. At the 24th Golden Disk Awards, T-ara was awarded Rookie of the Year along with girl group 4minute.
The group won their first-ever music show award with "Bo Peep Bo Peep" on the New Year's Day episode of Music Bank. The song went on to win five awards in total: two on Music Bank and three on Inkigayo, earning them a "Triple Crown". Later in January 2010, the group announced promotions for their follow up single, "Cheoeum Cheoreom", which ended quickly as Soyeon was diagnosed with H1N1. The same month, T-ara made a cameo appearance on the seventh and eight episodes of God of Study, in which Jiyeon played a lead role.
In February 2010, the group announced a re-release of their debut album under the title Breaking Heart. The two lead singles, "Neo Ttaemune Michyeo" (너 때문에 미쳐; "I Go Crazy Because of You") and "Naega Neomu Apa" (내가 너무 아파, "I'm Really Hurt"), were digitally released on February 23, 2010, and peaked at number one and number thirty-one on the Gaon chart, respectively. T-ara held their comeback performance on the same day on M! Countdown, and won several music awards for "Neo Ttaemune Michyeo" over the course of their promotions: two consecutive Mutizen wins on Inkigayo and one first place award on M! Countdown.Breaking Heart was released physically on March 3, 2010, peaking at number two on the weekly Gaon chart and number thirty-five on the yearly chart; selling 40,695 copies. After promotions for "Neo Ttaemune Michyeo" ended, T-ara performed "Naega Neomu Apa" on music shows until early April 2010. In June 2010, the group donated all the proceeds of the World Cup merchandise sold on their online clothing shop T-ara Dot Com to a charity for African children.
In November 2010, The group starred in the third season of the reality show Hello Baby, in which they took care of Moon Mason and his two brothers. T-ara released the digital download for "Wae Ireoni" (왜 이러니, "Why Are You Being Like This"), the lead single for their first extended play, Temptastic, on November 23, 2010.Temptastic was released in digital format on December 1, 2010, along with their second single, "Yayaya". The album's physical release was delayed until December 3 due to the bombardment of Yeonpyeong earlier in November 2010. T-ara held their first comeback performance through Music Bank on December 3 and began promotions with their new seventh member, Hwayoung, and new leader, Boram, and received two consecutive wins for "Wae Ireoni" and "Yayaya" on M! Countdown.
2011: John Travolta Wannabe, Japanese debut and Black Eyes:
The group's second extended play John Travolta Wannabe was released on June 29, 2011, and peaked at number three on the Gaon charts. The only single from the album, "Roly-Poly", was released on the same day and peaked at number two on the Gaon charts and number four on the newly created Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100. The single went on to attain great success, becoming the top grossing and most downloaded song of 2011 in Korea according to Gaon, with a record $2 million in sales and 4,680,253 downloads. "Roly-Poly" was awarded Best Music Video at the 3rd Melon Music Awards and Singer of the Year (July) at the 1st Gaon Chart Awards, and was nominated Best Dance Performance by a Female Group and Song of the Year at the 13th Mnet Asian Music Awards.
The group released a limited edition re-issue of John Travolta Wannabe, titled Roly-Poly in Copacabana, on August 2, 2011. The title track, "Roly-Poly in Copacabana", is a eurodance remix of "Roly-Poly", named after the song "Copacabana" which was popularized in the 80's in Jongno disco clubs. The album peaked at number three, while the single peaked at number forty and forty-five on the Gaon and Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 charts. The group began follow up promotions for the remixed single on Music Bank.
T-ara released their debut Japanese single "Bo Peep Bo Peep" on September 28, which peaked at number one on the Oricon weekly singles chart with 49,712 copies sold, making them the first non-Japanese girl group to rank at number one for a debut single in Oricon history. The single peaked at number one on the Billboard Japan Hot 100, and was certified Gold by the RIAJ for both full-length cellphone downloads and PC downloads.
In November 2011, T-ara released their third extended play Black Eyes which charted at number two on the Gaon charts. The album was preceded by the release of "Cry Cry", which peaked at number one on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 and won two consecutive first-place awards on M! Countdown. The music video for "Cry Cry" was noted for having a 1,000,000 Korean won production budget and a thirty-minute drama story line. The group released their second Japanese single, a remake of "Yayaya" from their Temptastic EP, on November 30. The single peaked at number seven on the Oricon charts and number six on the Billboard Japan Hot 100.
In December 2011, Core Contents Media announced that T-ara's third leader Hyomin would be passing on her leadership to Soyeon. The group performed a three-day mini-concert tour titled X-mas Premium Live, that was held at the Shinagawa Stella Hall in Tokyo, the Zepp in Nagoya, and the Zepp in Osaka. T-ara rose to become the second biggest girl group in Korea in 2011 by ranking at number eight on the Gallup Korea poll. T-ara and Davichi released their Christmas ballad, "Uri Saranghaetjanha" (우리 사랑했잖아, "We Were in Love") on December 23, 2011; which was later included on T-ara's Funky Town re-release album. The single reached number one on the Gaon Chart and peaked at number two on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100. Both groups performed the song weekly on SBS's Inkigayo in the midst of T-ara's heavy preparations for their year-end ceremonies.
2012: Jewelry Box, Day by Day and line-up changes:
T-ara re-released Black Eyes under the title Funky Town on January 3, 2012. The album peaked at number one on the Gaon weekly album chart and number two on the monthly album chart, selling 43,049 copies. "Lovey-Dovey" was released as the second single from the album, which peaked at number one on both the Gaon and Billboard Korea K-pop Hot 100 charts. The single has sold more than 3 million digital copies in South Korea alone.
In February, Forbes Korea, in celebration of their ninth year of establishment, reported the year's list of the "Top 40 Power Celebrities". T-ara ranked on the list at number seventeen, thus making them as the third most powerful girl group and the seventh most powerful female celebrity in Korea.
In April, Core Contents media announced that two new members were to be added to T-ara's line-up in July, thus transforming T-ara into a nine member group. On May 30, 2012, 14-year-old Dani was announced as one of the group's new members. However, she will not officially debut with T-ara until she feels 'ready' to join, and is currently in training. She later starred in the drama version of T-ara's "Day by Day" music video. On June 14, 2012, Core Contents Media introduced 18 year-old Areum as the last of the two new additions to the group.
The group released their first Japanese album Jewelry Box on June 6, 2012. The album debuted at number two on the Oricon weekly albums chart with sales of over 57,000 copies. They embarked on their first Japanese concert tour T-ara Japan Tour 2012: Jewelry Box in Nagoya on June 19; the tour's attendance was expected to exceed 40,000 people. Four singles had been released prior to the album: "Bo Peep Bo Peep", "Yayaya", "Roly-Poly" and Lovey-Dovey".
In July, T-ara released their fourth extended play, Day by Day, which charted at number five on the Gaon chart. The title track, "Day by Day", was released as a single on the same day, peaking at number two. The first comeback performance for "Day by Day" was held on July 7, 2012, on Music Core, which was backed by a 70-person orchestra and featured the stage debut of the group's eighth member, Areum.
Core Contents Media officially announced Hwayoung's immediate departure on July 30, 2012, after being with the group for one year and eight months. Core Content Media's CEO, Kim Kwang-soo, claimed that Hwayoung's contract was terminated "in deference to the complaints by T-ara's staff of nineteen people,". He has also stated that the bullying controversy was not the reason for her departure. The controversy caused the group to temporarily suspend activities, while the members continued with their individual activities. Both Hwayoung and the other members of T-ara have said that facts about their bullying issue were distorted by netizens, but on the other hand confirmed there were conflicts and negative feelings between Hwayoung and other members.
It was later announced that there would be no changes to T-ara's upcoming comeback, however, their agency took the statement back and announced that their comeback would be postponed indefinitely. Their Day by Day extended play re-issue, Mirage, was eventually released on September 3, 2012. Two singles, "Sexy Love" and "Najgwa Bam (Love All)" (낮과 밤, "Day and Night"), were released from the album on the same day, with "Sexy Love" peaking at number four on the Gaon charts and number three on the Billboard Korea K-pop Hot 100 charts. "Najgwa Bam (Love All)" was a collaboration single featuring T-ara's Areum with Gun-ji of Gavy NJ and Shannon.
On September 10, 2012, it was announced that the group would release a best of album in Japan consisting of all of their Korean singles to date (excluding "Day by Day" and "Sexy Love") in celebration of one year since their Japanese debut. The album was eventually released on October 10. On September 25, T-ara released the Japanese version of "Day by Day", which is mainly composed of scenes from their Korean music videos for that song.
In October, T-ara released the Japanese version of "Sexy Love" and shortly after, the group departed to Japan to promote for their upcoming single.
2013: Sub-unit activities, Treasure Box, Areum departure, Number 9 and Kioku ～Kimi ga Kureta Michishirube:
T-ara released their sixth Japanese single "Bunny Style!" (バニスタ!, Banisuta!) on March 20, 2013. The single was released in ten different editions: seven regular editions that contain a solo song by one of the members, and three limited editions which contain a song performed by a sub-unit. The A-side "Bunny Style!" is their first ever original Japanese single. To promote the single, the group held special showcases in fifteen Japanese cities; starting on February 20, 2013, at the Sapporo Factory Atrium and ending on March 9, 2013, at the Seagull Square in Nagasaki.
In early April 2013, it was announced that T-ara would be forming a sub-unit with members Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, and Areum called T-ara N4. This is a shortened form of 'T-ara Brand New 4', signifying the transformation of the four members. The sub-unit debuted on April 29, 2013, with the song "Countryside Life" (전원일기) produced by Duble Sidekick. T-ara will be performing at the Nippon Budokan on July 12-13, 2013, to celebrate the release of their second Japanese album Treasure Box due August 7, 2013. The title for Treasure Box was revealed on June 15, 2013, along with the album's track list of thirteen songs. The group's concept for the album will be "treasure hunting" (宝探し, "takarasagashi"). T-ara release a music video "Painkiller" as a digital single song. The song was a collabration with T-ara, Davichi, See Ya, 5dolls and Speed. Jiyeon appeared as the main character in the music video.
On July 10, it was confirmed with a video released by Core Contents Media that Ahreum would be leaving the group to pursue a solo career "towards the beginning of next year (2014)". Currently T-ara will return to its original 6-member line-up for their upcoming Japanese activities and possible July Korean comeback. On August T-ara release a music video "Bikini" featuring Davichi and Skull. According to their agency, T-ara had no time to comeback on that time because they were busy doing a showcase in Japan. T-ara also didn't attend any media to promote that music video. Currently, "Core Contents Media is also currently deciding whether to replace Ahreum with Dani, who fans were also introduced to last year as an upcoming member, in T-ara". Currently, "CCM is also planning on introducing their long term trainee Dani", active as a member of T-ara's sub-unit after the departure of Areum. She will be in T-ara N4 for their U.S. activities and domestic activities as T-ara N4.
At their Budokan Concert, it was announced that Qri would be the new leader of T-ara.
On the 12th of July, CCM had announced that Dani will be replacing Areum in T-ara N4 for international and domestic promotions but will not be replacing her as a member in T-ara. Dani will "be promoting with Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon as a member of T-ara N4" because of her fluent English.
On September 15, CCM announced that T-ara will hold their long awaited Korean comeback on October 10. On October 6, T-ara performed "Number 9" for the first time at "Hallyu Dream Concert" along with "Sexy Love". "Number Nine" has been introduced with T-ara's mini album named Again which features a listing of about six songs. T-ara achieved first place on three different music charts just hours after release of the album Again. Within just a few hours since the release of their 8th mini album Again on the 10th, T-ara's "Number 9" topped Bugs, Soribada, and Cyworld Music while "I Know the Feeling" also ranked in 2nd or 3rd place on various charts.
T-ara will also release a Japanese album to promote a Japanese movie, Jinx, featuring Hyomin named Kioku ～Kimi ga Kureta Michishirube this November. The album will be released according to the date in which the movie will premiere.
T-ara also decided to have Korean comeback on 2nd December entitled "Do You Know Me?".