2021, and the virus is still here. There’s a little hope with the vaccine but still, we are not yet back to how we used to be. This year will be a year full of uncertainty in K-Pop as well because some of our favorite groups will either disband, separate ways or change career paths. We don’t know yet what these idols will do when their contracts with their original agencies expire. And us fans are just here, supporting them in whatever they plan for the future. And hopefully, we can still cheer them as a group and they break the 7 year curse in K-Pop.
Here’s the list of K-Pop groups with contract expirations in 2021:
January 19, 2021 was a roller coaster ride for iGOT7s (Ahgases), GOT7 fans. It was officially the end of GOT7’s contract with JYP Entertainment and all GOT7 members did not renew with them. Fans are stating that the 7 members of the 7 year old group finally got their freedom. It was indeed a celebration because the boys are finally free from the mistreatment (as observed by fans) and they are now able to grow as an individual and as a group. Fans are happy that they decided to not renew but there’s also a bit of sadness because they are not together in one company. GOT7 members promised fans that their separation is not equal to disbandment and they will surely promote as a group in the future. Recently, Youngjae and Jackson signed under Sublime Artist Agency. Jinyoung will continue his acting career with the help of BH Entertainment. Yugyeom on the other hand is signed under Jay Park’s label, AOMG. Mark also went home to Los Angeles and established his own studio. BamBam will continue his promotions both in Thailand and Korea. Last but not the least, JB created his own Youtube channel and he’s in talks with several entertainment companies. GOT7 debuted on January 16, 2014.
MAMAMOO’s contract is due in 2021 as well. Back in January 22, 2021, RBW Entertainment announced that members Solar and Moonbyul already renewed their contracts with them. Wheein and Hwasa are still in negotiations to renew their contracts. The four member group debuted in June 2014 with “Mr. Ambiguous”. They rose to stardom right after their debut and the members all have successful individual careers. There’s divided opinion on their contract renewals. Some want them to go to a different agency and some want them to stay together and continue promoting as a group and as an individual. There’s no definite date on when their contract will expire so fans are on the lookout on news whether they will renew or go to other agencies.
Unlike any other kpop group, IZONE knew their ending even before they started. The group was created from “Produce 101” and they knew from the start that it would be a temporary group. They are set to separate ways in April 2021 after 2 and half years of actively promoting. There are reports early this year that members’ agencies are discussing on contract extension but nothing is confirmed yet. This is similar to I.O.I and Wanna One’s position before. Rumors of them extending contracts were circling around but eventually, the temporary groups disbanded.
Red Velvet debuted in August 2014 and their contracts will most likely expire in August 2021. They belong to SM Entertainment and the company is known for not disbanding their group. But that does not mean also that the group will still promote actively. Especially if some members are not signed with SM Entertainment anymore. Fans are worried that one or few of the five members will not renew their contracts with the agency. Although the friendship of Irene, Wendy, Seulgi, Joy and Yeri is evident, fans are not sure whether they will still renew and promote together or the members will pursue individual careers or they will pursue another career path, like acting. Red Velvet is currently active with their individual promotions. In November 2020, SM Entertainment stated that the group is preparing for a comeback and fans are still anticipating it.
It was not an easy ride for Winner to achieve 7 years together. There have been lots of ups and downs but the four members remained intact and held on to their music and friendship. Winner’s contract will expire in August 2021. Each member of Winner is individually popular with the public. Aside from being in Winner, each member is outstanding in acting, variety, and their solo music. Many are speculating that although the boys are close like brothers, they will not renew their contracts with YG Entertainment. They’ve commented before on YG’s management and the agency has a bad reputation recently because of some issues. Fans also want Winner to not renew their contracts and sign on a different agency. InnerCircles are disappointed with how YG Entertainment mistreats Winner with the lack of promotion and other things.
Another girl group who debuted in 2014 is Lovelyz from Woollim Entertainment. They are the first girl group of their agency and their contracts will expire in November 2021. Lovelyz is composed of 8 members. They’ve released hit songs and some members are well known not only as an idol but also in variety programs. Many are speculating that the reason why other members will not renew (if ever that will be the case) is because Woollim is pushing only their “favorite” members that’s why their popularity is not equal or other members are not known by the public although they are as talented as the others. There’s no news or rumors yet on what Lovelyz will do after their contracts expire.
Last but not the least, is the five member group Laboum. They debuted in August 2014 and they may or may not disband in 2021. These girls have been promoting for the past 7 years but they are still struggling to get a strong fan base in Korea and overseas. Many are speculating that the members will separate way and choose to promote as an individual or will pursue another career.
How about you? Do you wish for your favorite group to renew their contracts with their current agency or do you want them to have a new start with other agencies?