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T-ARA is a South Korean girl group that debuted in 2009. The meaning behind their name is based on the word “tiara” because they were going to become the “queens of the music industry.” Due to their longevity, they have acquired a large catalog of music and won many awards. They worked closely with record producer and songwriter Lee Ho-yang, aka Shinsadong Tiger. He is a prominent figure in the K-pop industry, and he influenced many careers and groups.
They’ve been called a “chameleon-like” group for always changing up their look and music. The group has also had several members come and go throughout their activities. Usually, the reason given is creative differences.
T-ARA’s debut album Absolute First Album, was released in 2009. There were three hit songs from the album including, “TTL (Time to Love,)” “Bo Peep Bo Peep,” and “You Drive Me Crazy.” They won their first music show award for that song.
Their next release was EP Temptastic in 2010, in digital format. There were two top-five singles from that album, “What’s Wrong,” and “Yayaya.” The group was also on the reality show “Hello Baby,” at the time of the release.
In 2011, the group released the single “Roly Poly,” which reached number two on the Gaon music chart. Because the single did so well, the group went mainstream and became a prominent group in the industry. T-ARA went on to sign the most lucrative contract up until that time. Under their management agency, J-Rock, they signed on for $4.7 million.
The single “Roly Poly,” and the mini-album John Travolta Wannabe, both hit number one the Oricon weekly chart and were certified gold. In late 2011, their album Black Eyes spawned three number one hits, “Cry Cry,” “We Were in Love,” and “Lovey-Dovey.” The group rose to become the second biggest girl group that year by ranking number eight on the Gallup Korea poll.
T-ARA collaborated with Davichi on a Christmas ballad title “We Were in Love,” released on December 23, 2011. The single reached number one on the Gaon music chart.
Their first Japanese album, Jewelry Box, was released in June 2012. It debuted at number two on the Gaion charts. T-ARA then embarked on their first Japanese tour. Over 40,000 people showed up for their first concert.
On July 3, 2012, they released their fourth EP titled Day by Day. It peaked at number five on the charts. The title single released that same day hit number two. There were some member changes during the year. Member Hwayoung was accused of bullying other members and her contract was terminated because they felt her behavior was interfering with the group’s morale. T-ARA released an album of their greatest hits that year also.
By 2013, T-ARA released the Japanese single “Bunny Style!.” The single was released in several different versions and they toured ten Japanese cities to promote it. There was a subgroup announced at this time called T-ARA N4. It included the members Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, and Areum and they released the song “Jeon Won Diary.”
The next Japanese album released was Treasure Box. It contained 13 songs. Later in the year, the group announced their Korean comeback after spending so much time in Japan with the single “Do You Know Me.” They released another compilation of their best songs in the album titled Again. There was also a Christmas song released.
In 2014, T-ARA was ranked seventh overall with the most number one hit songs in the past decade. The group toured in China, Cambodia, Japan, and Viet-Nam. They also signed on with influential Chinese agency, Longzhen Culture Development.
T-ARA was named as the main performer for the Malaysian celebration of Johor Bahru. The event drew 50,000 people. They did their first tour of China titled “Great China Tour.” All the venues sold out during 2014.
In 2015, they released the web-drama titled “Sweet Temptation.” It drew a large audience and they wanted to do more acting as a group. There two EPs released in 2016, Remember, and What’s My Name, both charted to number four on the Gaon music chart.
T-ARA was fond of re-issuing their music and over the years they re-issued six albums. In 2017, their last EP What’s My Name, along with the single of the same name was released.
Lee Ji Hyun
December 12, 1986
163 cm (5’4″)
Qri is a South Korean singer, dancer, and actress who goes by the stage name Qri. She was born in Seoul, South Korea. She attended Myungji University and majored in theatre arts. Before her debut with T-ARA, she was a popular model and bassist in the band Six Color.
Qri started with T-ARA in 2009. She performed and toured with the group through 2017. The group had a rotating leadership system and Qri became the leader in 2013. Also that year, Qri was part of the T-ARA subgroup QBS, which focused on the Japanese market. Their debut single was “Like the Wind.”
Qri made her acting debut in 2009 with the drama “Queen Seondeok.” Along with the variety shows “Law of Unchanging Love,” and “Mnet Scandal.”
She did more acting in 2010. That year she appeared in four television series, “Master of Study,” “Bubi Bubi,” “Southern Trader,” and “Giants.” There was also her film debut in “Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp,” in which she had a cameo.
In 2011, she did not do as much acting but did appear in a few shows. She was in the television drama “King Geunchogo,” as Princess Bu Yeo-jin, also the film “Gisaeng Ryung,” where she did a cameo. It was rounded out with three variety shows, “Win Win,” “Challenge 1000 Song,” and “1 vs. 100.”
There were fewer shows as the years went on. In 2012 and 2013, she was in the variety shows “Naughty Boys,” and “Let’s Go! Dream Team Season 2,” In 2014, she was in the variety show “Witch Hunt.”
From 2015 to 2016, she appeared in the web-drama “Sweet Temptation,” and the variety shows “Idol Star Athletic Championship,” and “Idol Intern King.”
Qri is very shy and sometimes gets overwhelmed with performing. She can speak Korean and Japanese.
Hahm Eun Jung
Main Vocalist, Lead Rapper
December 12, 1988
167 cm (5’6″)
Hahm Eun Jung is a South Korean singer and actor who goes by the stage name Eunjung. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and is an only child. Her mother is a piano teacher. At seven years old, Hahm was in the “Little Miss Korea” pageant and won. That same year she appeared in the youth drama “A Generation of New Adults.” There were appearances after that with minor roles in movies and television shows.
In seventh grade, Hahm started taking Taekwondo lessons and won three different competitions. She attended Dongguk University where she majored in performing.
When Hahm graduated from high school in 2007, her mother decided to quit her teaching job and manage her daughter’s career instead. That year she appeared in various music videos from artists SG Wannabe, and FT Island. She was also in the horror film “Death Bell” in 2008, where she played a student who was murdered by her teacher.
Hahm originally wanted to become an actress and she was trained to do so, but when she was asked to be a part of a new girl group called T-ARA, she decided to take that job. She was the first leader of the group as they debuted in 2009. She stayed with the group through their career of singing, touring and music videos until their last album in 2017.
In 2010 while performing with T-ARA, she juggled her acting career also. She appeared in the two dramas titled “Master of Study,” and “Coffee House,” in 2010. She won the “New Star Award” for her appearance in “Coffee House.”
In 2011, Hahm appeared in the films “White: The Melody of the Curse,” and also did a cameo in “Gisaeng Ryung.” There were two dramas she appeared in that year including “Dream High,” and “King Geunchogo.”
Hahm appeared in the variety reality show “We Got Married.” The show paired up celebrities and they would pretend to be married and have to perform different challenges together. She won the “Best Newcomer” award for that show.
In 2015, Hahm made her solo debut with the album I’m Good, under her new stage name Elsie. The music video for the title single was released in China and it got up to number two on their music charts.
Hahm left her agency, MBK, after her contract expired in 2018. She then signed with UFO Production as their first artist.
Park Sun Young
Main Rapper, Main Vocalist, Lead Dancer
May 30, 1989
167 cm (5’6″)
Park Sun Young is a South Korean singer, dancer, songwriter, and actress who goes by the stage name Hyomin. She was born in Busan, South Korea, and is an only child. She started her career early when she won the MiMi Princess modeling contest at 8 years old. She continued modeling until her debut as a music artist.
Park signed under JYP Entertainment and was put in several music videos for other artists. She also sang on some of her labelmates songs during 2007 and 2008.
In 2009, Park debuted with the new girl group T-ARA. They made their debut on M Countdown with their single “Lie.” She remained with the group until their last music release in 2017. She was part of T-ARA’s subgroup T-ARA N4.
Park’s first solo EP Make Up, with the lead single “Nice Body,” debuted on M! Countdown in 2014. There was another single released called “Fake It,” in July.
In March 2016, Park released her second EP Still. The singles “Still,” “Sketch,” and “Gold” were included in the EP. It reached number three on the Korean music charts. Her last EP Allure was released in February 2019. It debuted at number eleven. It contained the two singles “U Um U Um,” and “Allure.”
Park was also a busy actress. She appeared in over 20 television dramas and variety shows over her career. She was in two films titled “Gisaeng Ryung” in 2011, and “Jinx!” in 2013.
She also appeared in two musicals titled “I Really Really Like You” in 2009, and “Our Youth, Roly Poly,” in 2012. Park won the Best New Actress award for the show “Gyebaek,” and Best Korean Female Artist for her EP Sketch, in 2017.
Park’s hobbies include photography, cooking, and drawing. She is a big fan of Michael Jackson and she is known as the “sexy one” of her group T-ARA.
Park Ji Yeon
Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist, Visual, Maknae
June 7, 1993
167 cm (5’6″)
Park Ji Yeon is a South Korean singer and actress who goes by the stage name Jiyeon. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and comes from a family a four. She attended Heyhwa Girl’s School and graduated from Lila Art High School in 2012. She decided against going to college so she could focus on her career.
In 2008, when she was 15 years old, Park did some modeling for advertisements and pictorials. She collaborated with Davichi and SeeYa on the digital single “Women’s Generation,” released in 2009. She also appeared in two of SG Wannabe’s music videos.
Park made her debut with the new girl group T-ARA in 2009. The group became popular quickly after releasing several hit singles and EPs. They toured extensively worldwide and continued to make music until 2017. She was a part of T-ARA’s subgroup T-ARA N4.
She made her solo debut in 2014 with her EP Never Ever. It charted at number three on the Korean music charts. The single “Never Ever” debuted at 17 on the Korean music charts and made it to number one on the Chinese music charts. The video went to number two on China’s video website.
In 2015, she collaborated with singer Jun-hyung and they released “Summer Love.” No charting information is available for that record. Her last solo release came in late 2018 with the single “One Day.” She said it was her thank you gift to her fans.
Park said her first love was acting and she was anxious to get her career going even though she was still performing with T-ARA. She appeared in four different films including “Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp” in 2010, “Gnomeo and Juliet” and “Gisaeng Ryung” in 2011, and “Encounter” in 2015. Park appeared in over 20 television dramas and variety shows from 2007 to 2019.
She won three awards and was nominated for seven over her career. She won Best Teamwork for the “Heroes” variety show, the Popularity Award for the music television show “The Show,” and Best Korean Female Singer for her debut EP Never Ever.