Many former members of international girl bands and boy bands have found success as soloists. Not only in the kpop music scene, this phenomenon has also occurred in the western music industry since the 90s. Some break away from the group because they want personal freedom in music, some are already contractually disbanded. Not wanting to end their careers in entertainment, not many have ventured to debut as soloists. Many former girl band and boy band members have also managed to continue to exist or even be more successful as soloists.
In the kpop scene itself, it’s even common for active members to have solo projects on occasion. For example, Jennie and Lisa from Blackpink, to recently Nayeon from Twice who released a solo single titled ‘POP!’. Boyband BTS is currently on ‘off’ as a group, where the agency gives each member the space to have a solo career without having to disband. Here are a series of singers who are former members of girl bands and boy bands who have successful solo careers. These singers are from groups that have disbanded, some have left groups that are still active.
Table of Contents
Starting from the most popular and iconic, Beyonce could be the best pop diva of this era. Her fame on the global stage as a solo artist might make us forget that this female singer is a former member of the 90s girl band, Destiny’s Child. The American girl band consists of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. Beyonce has been shining in solo projects since 2003 with the hit ‘Crazy in Love’ with rapper and future husband, Jay-Z. Until Destiny’s Child disbanded in 2006, Beyoncé was steady and experienced success after success in each of her releases. After a long vacuum, Beyonce has just released a new album titled ‘Renaissance’ in July 2022.
2. Jackson Wang
Jackson Wang is also a former member of boy band GOT7 under one of the biggest kpop agencies, JYP Entertainment. Jackson is a talent from Hong Kong who became an idol in South Korea. Even while still active in GOT7, Jackson often made solo projects with his own label, Team Wang. Her first solo album ‘Mirrors’, was released while she still had a contract with JYP. He also often does international collaborations, especially with 88rising talents such as Joji and Stephanie Poetri. Until finally Jackson Wang officially left GOT7 and JYP in 2021. He recently released his second album ‘Magic Man’, which successfully showcased the new musical standards of Jackson who is becoming more established as a solo artist under his own label.
Sunmi is a former member of the famous kpop girl band of her time, Wonder Girls. JYP’s best girl band finally disbanded in 2017. But Sunmi is still part of the agency and continues her career as a soloist. ‘Gashina’ became her debut single as a solo artist and was an immediate success. Not only a momentary success, until now Sunmi has always consistently released quality new singles with interesting concepts. One of the best is ‘Noir’ in 2019 where he talks about the influence of social media on the mentality of its users. Sunmi recently released a new single titled ‘Heart Burn’.
4. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is a former member of the boy band NSYNC, which was popular in the 90s. He once wrote a song called ‘Gone’ to give to the legendary singer, the late Michael Jackson in 2001. Despite the song being rejected (it was later recorded for NSYNC), Michael Jackson reached out to Justin for a chat. Through this conversation, Justin mentioned that this was one of the moments of conversation that made him more determined to have a solo career. In May 2022, Justin Timberlake reportedly sold all of his music catalog, including his hits such as ‘Cry Me to River’, ‘Sexy Back, to ‘Mirror’ to Hipgnosis, which was estimated to be sold for 100 million dollars.
CL is a former member of YG Entertainment’s girl band 2NE1, which debuted in 2009. Just like Blackpink, 2NE1 is also made up of four beautiful girls, including CL as one of the most prominent members due to her rap skills and strong stage presence. While still part of her girl band, CL also often releases solo projects. Successful with the hits ‘The Baddest Female’ and ‘MTBD’. When 2NE1’s future became unclear due to the hiatus, CL remained active as a soloist by continuing to release the single ‘Hello Bitches’. Until finally 2NE1 disbanded in 2016, and CL left YG in 2019. Now CL looks more comfortable as a soloist who is free to make music on the international stage. She also recently reunited with 2NE1 on the Coachella 2022 stage in April.
6. Harry Styles
One Direction was a phenomenal British boy band during the 2010s. Each member has now had a solo career since 1D disbanded in 2016. Harry Styles himself has been the most striking member since the beginning and is aware of his potential. Besides Zayn Malik who decided to leave 1D first. Unlike the other members, Styles has a solo discography that stands out and surprises music listeners, even appealing to new fans. From the alternative debut single ‘Sign of the Times’, to the rock track ‘Kiwi’. Harry Styles has also expanded his career into acting. He made his debut as a supporting character in Christopher Nolan’s movie, ‘Dunkirk’. Recently, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ became a phenomenal new movie where she co-starred with Florence Pugh.
7. Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello as a former girl band member has a pretty sad story. Despite her success with Fifth Harmony, there were rumors that she was the most ostracized member in the group by the other members. He finally decided to leave the group that made his name in 2016. But Camila’s music career is not dead, she has released several popular solo singles such as ‘Havana’ and ‘Senorita’ in collaboration with her ex-boyfriend, Shawn Mendes. Camila has also been in the musical movie, ‘Cinderella’ the latest version in 2021.
HyunA is a former member of the girl band Wonder Girls, the same as Sunmi. Not immediately becoming a soloist after leaving JYP, she rejoined the girl band 4Minute made by Cube. Still carrying the luck of her status as a former member of girl band Wonder Girls, HyunA’s career is still skyrocketing even though she is now under another agency. Until finally he became more successful in his solo project with the release of ‘Bubble Pop!’ in 2011. In 2018, he finally left Cube and joined P Nation owned by Psy (of ‘Gangnam Style’ fame). Despite having moved agencies many times, HyunA continues to make music smoothly because she already has a personal charisma as a soloist.
Chungha is a former girl band member from the idol survival show, Produce 101. In the event, she got 4th place and was entitled to enter the girl band I.O.I. Actually, while in the group, Chungha was not one of the striking members. Even when I.O.I disbanded in 2017, Chungha’s desire for a solo career was doubted by fans of the girl band. But the proof is, Chungha is now the most famous former girl band member when compared to other former members. He has been gaining popularity since his single ‘Gotta Go’ in 2019. Chungha also collaborated with Indonesian rapper Rich Brian on the single ‘These Nights’.
10. Kang Daniel
Quite similar to Chungha, Kang Daniel is also an alumnus of Produce 101 who is now a successful soloist. But unlike Chungha, Kang Daniel’s success was more obvious as he topped the event and then became the center of Wanna One. Despite experiencing difficulties before his solo debut due to a legal case with his agency, Kang Daniel is now successful under his own label, Konnect Entertainment. Not only does she exist as a singer, but she has also branched out into the world of hosting and became the host of a Korean professional dancer competition on Mnet.
That was a series of singers who were former members of girl bands and boy bands who had successful solo careers. Which one is your favorite?