It is almost the end of 2019, yet it seems the year keeps hitting K-pop fans with news of their favorite members of K-pop acts leaving the industry, either by force or by choice.
F.T. Island was probably on the chopping block more so this year as Jonghoon and Seunghyun both left for their own reasons. Seungri has also left Big Bang, and both Taeha and Yeonwoo have left Momoland.
Now we have news that another K-pop idol decided to leave her agency. Raina of Orange Caramel and formerly of After School has decided not to renew her contract with Pledis Entertainment.
Pledis Entertainment announces Raina is leaving them
Pledis Entertainment announced the news of Raina leaving Pledis Entertainment after her exclusive contract. On Friday, December 27, 2019, KST, the company released an announcement which including the following (translated from Hangul/Korean):
“We wish to notify you that as of December 27, 2019, our exclusive contract with Raina has ended. Our agency has had deep conversations with Raina over a long period of time and both sides have come to an agreement to not renew her contract.”
Raina has been with Pledis Entertainment since she debuted as one of the second set of members added to After School. As part of the girl group, she released three studio albums, two compilation albums, one video album, and 17 singles.
Along with Nana and Lizzy, she would be a part of After School’s first sub-group, Orange Caramel, that was very popular on their own. To this day, the music video for Catallena is still considered one of the most unique (and weird) music videos in K-pop.
What will Raina do after leaving Pledis Entertainment?
Right now, there is no news of what Raina, who might have to go by her real name Oh Hye-Rin if Pledis Entertainment owns the trademark to her name, will do after her contract expires.
However, ten years of entertaining in the K-pop industry is more than enough experience for her to find a new label if she chooses to continue her music career.
Raina also has a successful solo career outside of being a K-pop idol for After School and Orange Caramel. She could continue as a soloist if need be.
If there is anyone the K-pop community is concerned about after Raina leaves, it is both After School and Orange Caramel. Following Raina’s departure, After School only consists of two members, Nana and E-Young.
Orange Caramel is technically “done” as Nana is the only remaining member unless Pledis Entertainment decides to add more members to the sub-unit.
No matter what happens in the future, the K-pop community wishes Raina the best in her future endeavors.
Let’s hope she stays in the music industry so we can hear more music from her. If not, Raina will do well wherever she decides to go.