Probably the most popular genre of music exported by South Korea is the K-Pop, which has evolved over the years. Today, there are many groups that continue to excel in it, including the all-girl band, I.O.I. Short for Ideal Of Idol, the music group was put together by CJ E&M through a reality television show, Produce 101, which airs on the Group’s Mnet channel. The aim was to create an 11-girl music group from a pool of 101 artists or contestants who entered the competition from several agencies across South Korea. The group debuted on May 4, 2016, with an album titled Chrysalis.
Profile of the girl group I.O.I
The group put together at the end of Produce 101 consists of 11 members made up of the following artists:
1. Jeon So-Mi
Ennik Somi Douma or So-Mi is a Canadian-Korean singer, who came first on Mnet’s survival reality program Produce 101 while she was signed to JYP Entertainment. On May 4, 2016, she made her debut along with several other young ladies with the project girl group, I.O.I. She made her solo debut on June 13, 2019, releasing a single titled “Birthday”.
2. Kim Se-Jeong
Sejeong, as she is popularly known, is a singer and actress, who came in 2nd on Mnet’s reality show, Produce 101 and became a member of the girl group I.O.I. Her vocal strength more than compensated for her lack of dancing skills while on the show.
3. Choi Yoo-Jung
Yoojung became more popular when she took part in the reality show, Produce 101 where she emerged as the 3rd best. She stood out on the show with her singing, dancing and exquisite rapping skills. She penned down some of the rap lyrics in I.O.I’s songs.
4. Kim Chung-Ha
Chungha, came 4th on the reality show, Produce 101 and became a member of I.O.I. She is a songwriter, singer, dancer, excellent choreographer and has enjoyed an excellent solo career after the I.O.I. was disbanded.
5. Kim So-Hye
Sohye was actually training to be an actress when she was put into the program by her agency and she had no singing or dancing experience whatsoever; she, however, came 5th on the show and became a member of I.O.I. After the group was disbanded, Sohye took to acting full time and has featured in several television productions.
6. Zhou Jieqiong
The South Korean based Chinese singer participated in Produce 101 while being signed to Pledis Entertainment. She came 6th overall on the show and was named a member of I.O.I. After her time with the group, she joined Pristin – the girl band of her agency.
7. Jung Chae-Yeon
Chaeyeon originally was part of a girl group, DIA which released its debut album in 2015. She took part in the Produce 101 reality show and finished 7th, and effectively was part of I.O.I. band, but she pulled out of the group shortly after they released their debut album. She has won several awards as an actress including the Rookie Actor Award at the 31st Grimae Awards.
8. Kim Do-Yeon
Doyeon featured on the reality show, Produce 101 and her amiable personality and uniqueness helped her to 8th position on the show. She was a member of I.O.I and featured in their debut album and it’s promotion afterward. When the group was disbanded, she traveled to the United States with Fantagio to star in their reality television show. In 2017, Fantagio created a new girl group – Weki Meki and she was a member; releasing their debut album the same year.
9. Kang Mi-na
While signed with Jellyfish Entertainment, Mina entered for the Produce 101 reality show and by the end in 2016, she was 9th overall and was named as a member of the group, I.O.I. She did not take part in the group’s album promotions, but rather returned to her own agency and joined another girl group, Gugudan. She ventured into acting from 2017 and has appeared in a few television shows.
10. Lim Na-young
Nayoung is a singer as well as a rapper. She came to limelight after appearing in Produce 101 and finished 10th overall on the show; effectively she was named as a member of the group I.O.I. After the group’s members went their separate ways, she returned to her agency and joined another group, Pristin
11. Yeo Yeon-jung
The young singer represented Starship Entertainment on Mnet’s Produce 101 reality show, and she was 11th overall when it concluded. She was a part of I.O.I Girl band, and when they were disbanded she joined another girl group, Cosmic Girls – a move that fueled her popularity.
Info & Trivia
- What show created I.O.I? Produce 101 on Mnet
- Who was the leader of IOI? Im Nayoung
- What does IOI stand for? An indication of interest
- What was I.O.I’s first single album? Chrysalis in 2016
What happened to the group- I.O.I?
I.O.I. was made up of several individual artists who got into the Produce 101 show for their own individual reasons. After the conclusion of the show and the subsequent formation of the group and the release of their debut album, the members and their agencies had different ideas for their future.
Jun Chae-yeon was first to leave the group and joined another group in May 2016. A month later, Sejeong and Mina left the group as well to join Gugudan. On November 5, 2016 it was confirmed by YMC Entertainment that the group would be disbanded at the end of January 2017 – less than a year after it was formed. The group held its final concert titled Time Slip – I.O.I in January 2017. The group was finally disbanded on January 31st 2017, and each of the members went on to pursue their several dreams.
Studio Blu in July 2019 confirmed that the group would be coming back together, and would only consist of 9 members, as Jeon So-Mi and Yoo Yeon-jung would not be reuniting with their former group members. The comeback earlier slated for September 2019 has been pushed back till December, and fans of the group are eagerly awaiting the reunion of their favorite idols.