By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
Korean girl group KARA will be left with only three members with the departure of Nicole and Jiyoung.
Nicole officially left KARA today with the expiration of her exclusive contract under DSP Media, the group’s agency.
|Nicole (left) and Jiyoung (Photos courtesy of www.newsen.com)|
DSP Media, KARA’s agency, said in a notice last Jan. 14 that Nicole, who was a member of KARA for seven years, will terminate her contract with the agency on Jan. 16.
The agency asked the public to continue supporting Nicole despite that she’s no longer a member of KARA.
Nicole will reportedly go to the US to start taking lessons in preparation for her solo career.
Last October, Nicole expressed her desire to stay with KARA despite that she would not renew her contract with DSP Media.
She said she didn’t want to renew her contract in order to pursue her personal career goals.
With her leaving, DSP Media said the remaining KARA members will focus on individual acting activities and releasing a new album.
Jiyoung, the youngest member, has also informed DSP Media that she will be leaving KARA when her contract expires in April.
Negotiations between Jiyoung and DSP Media were ongoing but Jiyoung was firm on her position to pursue an acting career and study abroad.
With this, KARA will have Gyuri, Hara and Seungyeon as remaining members. The three renewed their contract for another two years.
In January 2011, Nicole, Hara, Jiyoung and Seungyeon said they would file a court case to terminate their contract with DSP Media over alleged unfair income distribution and backbreaking schedules.
Hara withdrew from the planned lawsuit and days later, KARA and DSP reached a temporary agreement for the girl group to continue their activities so as not to derail their careers.
A month later, Nicole, Jiyoung and Seungyeon filed the case with the Seoul Central District Court.
The members and DSP Media reached an agreement to resolve the issues in April 2011 and KARA continued their activities as five members.
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