FNC Entertainment-owned girl K-pop band, Ace of Angels, popularly known as AOA made their debut in July 2012 and has since risen in prominence within and outside South Korea, their home base. Although the group now has only five members, it was not always that way. At its inception, the group was made up of eight members but one event led to another and the promising future of the members became tainted with doubts, making their fans ask questions such as whether or not they are disbanding and also what led to the departure of one of their members, Mina.
We answer the above questions and more in the article below, keep reading.
Is AOA Disbanding?
From the information available to us at the moment, AOA is not disbanding. However, the group today is not what it used to be, a lot has happened since it was formed and we will get into it soon enough. But before that, here is a little background information for those who are not already familiar with the group.
The group members are Jimin, Yuna, Mina, Hyejeong, ChoA, Seolhyun, Youkyun, and Chanmi and they started by promoting themselves both as a band (AOA Black, made up of 5 out of 8 members) and a dance group. Following the group’s introduction, Angels’ Story, which was supposed to be their debut album was leaked two days before its scheduled official release date, July 30, 2012.
They made their stage debut with Elvis from the aforementioned album and released their second album Wanna Be in October. AOA Black made a few appearances between that October and July of the following year when they released the group’s third album MOYA.
Unfortunately, none of these attempts got them the recognition they wanted despite their best efforts, thus, the group got rebranded. They decided to drop the band act, Black AOA and took on a new, sexier concept. The direct result of the revamp was Red Motion, their fourth single album with the lead song Confused. Red Motion was released in October 2013 and it peaked at #38 on K-pop Hot 100 (Billboard) and #12 on Gaon album chart respectively.
The sexy diva image stayed and AOA released hit album Miniskirt, and their first two mini-albums Short Hair and Like a Cat in 2014, all of which topped different notable charts. Debut in Japan, United States appearances, Reality Shows, other albums, 4th anniversary, Cream AOA subunit (made up of three members Yuna, Hyejeong, and Chanmi) and some other events later, things seemed to be running smoothly with the group until one of the members, Youkyun left on October 15, 2016.
The group kept promoting with seven members and released Angel’s Knock, their first full-length Korean album the following January. Angel’s Knock was quite the success, selling over 33,000 copies in its first month and reaching #3 at its peak on the Gaon Album Chart. Nevertheless, the group leader ChoA followed Youkyun and left on June 30, 2017, citing personal reasons.
Following an announcement by FNCE in April 2018 that AOA would keep promoting as a six-member group, they released their fifth mini-album, Bingle Bangle on the 28th of the following month. Bingle Bangle was the group’s only release as a six-member group as the announcement that followed was that of Mina’s departure on May 13, 2019, and this was the genesis of the disband rumors.
Why Did Mina Leave The Group?
The official reason stated by FNC Entertainment for Mina’s departure after seven years with AOA was so she could follow her dreams and pursue a solo career. The statement also said the decision to leave was a difficult one for the singer.
However, dedicated fans and insiders believe that Mina’s decision to leave may have been influenced by the fact that the label has a favorite among the group, Seolhyun, and that she [Seolhyun] was the label’s major focus when it came to promotion.
Most of the comments by their die-hard online fans also suggest that there has been a long-standing envy of Seolhyun among members since before the first 2 members left and they implied that their decisions may have also been influenced by the agency’s purported bias.
Whatever it was that drove her decision to leave, it remains to be seen whether Mina would still be pursuing a solo singing career or she would be facing her acting career squarely after signing up with acting management, O& Entertainment on July 2, 2019.