||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (July 2013)|
|Also known as||Tara, Tiara|
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
|Genres||K-pop, nu-disco, electropop, J-pop, R&B|
|Associated acts||SeeYa, Davichi, T-ara N4, QBS|
T-ara (//; Korean: 티아라; Japanese: ティアラ; often stylized as T-ARA, T♔ARA, or recently, TΛRΛ) is a South Korean girl group that debuted in 2009 under Core Contents Media, now known as MBK Entertainment. Before their debut, there was a high level of interest in the group as they were called the "Super Rookies" and had been training for three years prior.
Originally a five-member group composed of Jiae, Jiwon, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon, they released their first song "Good Person" (좋은 사람, Joheun Saram) for the soundtrack of the Korean drama Cinderella Man in April 2009. After Jiae and Jiwon withdrew from the group two months later, T-ara debuted as a six-member group with the addition of Boram, Soyeon, and Qri in July 2009, releasing their first single "Lies" (거짓말, Geojitmal).
Their debut studio album Absolute First Album was released in December 2009 and spawned several hit singles including "TTL (Time to Love)", "Bo Peep Bo Peep", and "I Go Crazy Because of You" (너 때문에 미쳐, Neo Ttaemune Michyeo). The album was followed by the group's first extended play, Temptastic, in 2010. Their second extended play John Travolta Wannabe (2011) produced "Roly-Poly", which was nominated for several awards and went on to become the Gaon chart's number one single of the year. In less than six months, the group released their third extended play Black Eyes (2011), which spawned three number one singles: "Cry Cry", "We Were in Love" (우리 사랑했잖아, Uri Saranghaetjanha) and "Lovey-Dovey".
In 2011, T-ara signed a $4.3 million contract with management company J-Rock for their Japanese debut, the highest out of all the Korean girl groups debuting in Japan. The group's first single was a remake of their 2009 hit "Bo Peep Bo Peep". It ranked at number one on the Oricon weekly charts.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early beginnings and pre-debut projects
- 1.2 2009–10: Debut, Absolute First Album, and Temptastic
- 1.3 2011: John Travolta Wannabe, Japanese debut and Black Eyes
- 1.4 2012: Jewelry Box, Day by Day and line-up changes
- 1.5 2013: Sub-unit activities, Treasure Box, Areum's departure and Again
- 1.6 2014: Solo debuts, Gossip Girls, And & End and "Little Apple"
- 2 Members
- 3 Subgroups
- 4 Endorsements
- 5 Philanthropy
- 6 Discography
- 7 Concerts
- 8 Published works
- 9 Filmography
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early beginnings and pre-debut projects
The original five T-ara members (Jiae, Jiwon, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon) were trained together for three years under Mnet Media. The meaning behind the group's name, which is based on the word "tiara", comes from the idea that they will become the "queens of the music industry". In April 2009, they released their first song "Joheun Saram (Ver. 1)" (좋은 사람, "Good Person") for the Cinderella Man soundtrack. Jiyeon teamed up with labelmates SeeYa and Davichi for a collaboration single titled "Yeoseong Shidae" (여성시대, "Women's Generation"), which was released in May 2009.
In June 2009, Mnet Media announced that Jiae and Jiwon would be leaving T-ara due to differences in music style. The first new member to be added to the group was Boram, the daughter of singer Jeon Young-rok and actress Lee Mi-young. Soyeon, a former trainee of S.M. Entertainment who was supposed to be the leader of Girls' Generation, and Qri was added to T-ara three weeks prior to debut. In early July 2009, the group was moved from Mnet Media to its subsidiary company Core Contents Media.
2009–10: Debut, Absolute First Album, and Temptastic
T-ara made their debut on MBC's Radio Star talk show on July 29, 2009. Their first performance was on Mnet's M! Countdown music show on July 30, where they performed "Geojitmal" (거짓말, "Lies") and "Norabollae?" (놀아볼래?, "Wanna Play?") from their debut single. Their debut was looked upon negatively by webpostings, where people stated that it was lipsynched and commented that it seemed like an "elementary school" performance. The group announced afterwards that future performances would be live. In September 2009, Eunjung, Soyeon, Hyomin and Jiyeon collaborated with labelmates Kwangsu, Jihyuk, and Geonil of Supernova for the single "TTL (Time to Love)". It was released on September 15, 2009, and became both groups' first number one song as it topped many of the online charts. T-ara and Supernova collaborated again for "TTL Listen 2", a sequel to "TTL (Time to Love)", which was released on October 9, 2009, and included all the members from both groups.
T-ara released their debut studio album, Absolute First Album, on November 27, 2009. In order to determine the album's title track, Core Contents Media held a survey in which the public had to choose between "Bo Peep Bo Peep" or "Cheoeum Cheoreom" (처음처럼, "Like the First Time"). 9,000 people took the survey on various music portals with 53% (4,770 people) choosing "Cheoeum Cheoreom" over "Bo Peep Bo Peep". However, the latter was promoted on music shows instead for unknown reasons. "Bo Peep Bo Peep" peaked at number four on the Gaon chart, while "Cheoeum Cheoreom" peaked at number ten. They held their comeback performance on Music Bank on December 4, 2009. At the 24th Golden Disk Awards, T-ara was awarded Rookie of the Year along with girl group 4minute.
The group won their first-ever music show award with "Bo Peep Bo Peep" on the New Year's Day episode of Music Bank. The song went on to win five awards in total: two on Music Bank and three on Inkigayo, earning them a "Triple Crown". Later in January 2010, the group announced promotions for their follow up single, "Cheoeum Cheoreom", which ended quickly as Soyeon was diagnosed with H1N1. The same month, T-ara made a cameo appearance on the seventh and eight episodes of God of Study, in which Jiyeon played a lead role.
In February 2010, the group announced a re-release of their debut album under the title Breaking Heart. The two lead singles, "Neo Ttaemune Michyeo" (너 때문에 미쳐; "I Go Crazy Because of You") and "Naega Neomu Apa" (내가 너무 아파, "I'm Really Hurt"), were digitally released on February 23, 2010, and peaked at number one and number thirty-one on the Gaon chart, respectively. T-ara held their comeback performance on the same day on M! Countdown, and won several music awards for "Neo Ttaemune Michyeo" over the course of their promotions: two consecutive Mutizen wins on Inkigayo and one first place award on M! Countdown. Breaking Heart was released physically on March 3, 2010, peaking at number two on the weekly Gaon chart and number thirty-five on the yearly chart; selling 40,695 copies. After promotions for "Neo Ttaemune Michyeo" ended, T-ara performed "Naega Neomu Apa" on music shows until early April 2010. In June 2010, the group donated all the proceeds of the World Cup merchandise sold on their online clothing shop T-ara Dot Com to a charity for African children.
In November 2010, The group starred in the third season of the reality show Hello Baby, in which they took care of Moon Mason and his two brothers. T-ara released the digital download for "Wae Ireoni" (왜 이러니, "Why Are You Being Like This"), the lead single for their first extended play, Temptastic, on November 23, 2010. Temptastic was released in digital format on December 1, 2010, along with their second single, "Yayaya". The album's physical release was delayed until December 3 due to the bombardment of Yeonpyeong earlier in November 2010. T-ara held their first comeback performance through Music Bank on December 3 and began promotions with their new seventh member, Hwayoung, and new leader, Boram, and received two consecutive wins for "Wae Ireoni" and "Yayaya" on M! Countdown.
2011: John Travolta Wannabe, Japanese debut and Black Eyes
The group's second extended play John Travolta Wannabe was released on June 29, 2011, and peaked at number three on the Gaon charts. The only single from the album, "Roly-Poly", was released on the same day and peaked at number two on the Gaon charts and number four on the newly created Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100. The single went on to attain great success, becoming the top grossing and most downloaded song of 2011 in Korea according to Gaon, with a record $2 million in sales and over 4.68 million downloads. "Roly-Poly" was awarded Best Music Video at the 3rd Melon Music Awards and Singer of the Year (July) at the 1st Gaon Chart Awards, and was nominated Best Dance Performance by a Female Group and Song of the Year at the 13th Mnet Asian Music Awards.
The group released a limited edition re-issue of John Travolta Wannabe, titled Roly-Poly in Copacabana, on August 2, 2011. The title track, "Roly-Poly in Copacabana", is a eurodance remix of "Roly-Poly", named after the song "Copacabana" which was popularized in the 80's in Jongno disco clubs. The album peaked at number three, while the single peaked at number forty and forty-five on the Gaon and Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 charts. The group began follow up promotions for the remixed single on Music Bank.
T-ara released their debut Japanese single "Bo Peep Bo Peep" on September 28, which peaked at number one on the Oricon weekly singles chart with over 49.7 thousand copies sold, making them the first non-Japanese girl group to rank at number one for a debut single in Oricon history. The single peaked at number one on the Billboard Japan Hot 100, and was certified Gold by the RIAJ for both full-length cellphone downloads and PC downloads.
In November 2011, T-ara released their third extended play Black Eyes which charted at number two on the Gaon charts. The album was preceded by the release of "Cry Cry", which peaked at number one on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 and won two consecutive first-place awards on M! Countdown. The music video for "Cry Cry" was noted for having a million Korean won production budget and a thirty-minute drama story line. The group released their second Japanese single, a remake of "Yayaya" from their Temptastic EP, on November 30. The single peaked at number seven on the Oricon charts and number six on the Billboard Japan Hot 100.
In December 2011, Core Contents Media announced that T-ara's third leader Hyomin would be passing on her leadership to Soyeon. The group performed a three-day mini-concert tour titled X-mas Premium Live, that was held at the Shinagawa Stella Hall in Tokyo, the Zepp in Nagoya, and the Zepp in Osaka. T-ara rose to become the second biggest girl group in Korea in 2011 by ranking at number eight on the Gallup Korea poll. T-ara and Davichi released their Christmastide ballad, "Uri Saranghaetjanha" (우리 사랑했잖아, "We Were in Love") on December 23, 2011; which was later included on T-ara's Funky Town re-release album. The single reached number one on the Gaon Chart and peaked at number two on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100. Both groups performed the song weekly on SBS's Inkigayo in the midst of T-ara's heavy preparations for their year-end ceremonies.
2012: Jewelry Box, Day by Day and line-up changes
T-ara re-released Black Eyes under the title Funky Town on January 3, 2012. The album peaked at number one on the Gaon weekly album chart and number two on the monthly album chart, selling 43,049 copies. "Lovey-Dovey" was released as the second single from the album, which peaked at number one on both the Gaon and Billboard Korea K-pop Hot 100 charts. The single has sold more than 3 million digital copies in South Korea alone.
In February, Forbes Korea, in celebration of their ninth year of establishment, reported the year's list of the "Top 40 Power Celebrities". T-ara ranked on the list at number seventeen, thus making them as the third most powerful girl group and the seventh most powerful female celebrity in Korea.
In April, Core Contents Media announced that two new members were to be added to T-ara's line-up in July, thus transforming T-ara into a nine member group. On May 30, 2012, 14-year-old Dani was announced as one of the group's new members. She later starred in the drama version of T-ara's "Day by Day" music video. However, as of January 2015, Dani is still a trainee and has not debuted as a member of T-ara. On June 14, 2012, Core Contents Media introduced 18-year-old Areum as the new mangnae (막내, youngest member) and last of the group's two new additions.
The group released their first Japanese album Jewelry Box on June 6, 2012. The album debuted at number two on the Oricon weekly albums chart with sales of over 57,000 copies. They embarked on their first Japanese concert tour T-ara Japan Tour 2012: Jewelry Box in Nagoya on June 19; the tour's attendance was expected to exceed 40,000 people. Four singles had been released prior to the album: "Bo Peep Bo Peep", "Yayaya", "Roly-Poly" and Lovey-Dovey".
In July, T-ara released their fourth extended play, Day by Day, which charted at number five on the Gaon chart. The title track, "Day by Day", was released as a single on the same day, peaking at number two. The first comeback performance for "Day by Day" was held on July 7, 2012, on Music Core, which was backed by a 70-person orchestra and featured the stage debut of the group's eighth member, Areum.
Core Contents Media officially announced Hwayoung's immediate departure on July 30, 2012, after being with the group for one year and eight months. Core Content Media's CEO, Kim Kwang-soo, claimed that Hwayoung's contract was terminated "in deference to the complaints by T-ara's staff of nineteen people,". He has also stated that the bullying controversy was not the reason for her departure. The controversy caused the group to temporarily suspend activities, while the members continued with their individual activities. Both Hwayoung and the other members of T-ara have said that facts about their bullying issue were distorted by netizens, but on the other hand confirmed there were conflicts and negative feelings between Hwayoung and other members.
It was later announced that there would be no changes to T-ara's upcoming comeback, however, their agency took the statement back and announced that their comeback would be postponed indefinitely. Their Day by Day extended play re-issue, Mirage, was eventually released on September 3, 2012. Two singles, "Sexy Love" and "Najgwa Bam (Love All)" (낮과 밤, "Day and Night"), were released from the album on the same day, with "Sexy Love" peaking at number four on the Gaon charts and number three on the Billboard Korea K-pop Hot 100 charts. "Najgwa Bam (Love All)" was a collaboration single featuring T-ara's Areum with Gun-ji of Gavy NJ and Shannon.
On September 10, 2012, it was announced that the group would release a best of album in Japan consisting of all of their Korean singles to date (excluding "Day by Day" and "Sexy Love") in celebration of one year since their Japanese debut. The album was eventually released on October 10. On September 25, T-ara released the Japanese version of "Day by Day", which is mainly composed of scenes from their Korean music videos for that song.
2013: Sub-unit activities, Treasure Box, Areum's departure and Again
T-ara released their sixth Japanese single "Bunny Style!" (バニスタ! Banisuta!?) on March 20, 2013. The A-side "Bunny Style!" is their first single composed specifically for the Japanese market. The single was released in ten different editions each with a different B-side: seven regular editions that contain a solo song by one of the members, and three limited editions which contain a song performed by a sub-unit. To promote the single, the group held special showcases in fifteen Japanese cities, starting on February 20, 2013, at the Sapporo Factory Atrium and ending on March 9, 2013, at the Seagull Square in Nagasaki.
In early April 2013, it was announced that T-ara would be forming a sub-unit with members Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, and Areum called T-ara N4. This is a shortened form of 'T-ara Brand New 4', signifying the transformation of the four members. The sub-unit debuted on April 29, 2013, with the song "Jeon Won Diary" (전원일기), produced by Duble Sidekick. T-ara performed at the Nippon Budokan on July 12–13, 2013, to celebrate the release of their second Japanese album Treasure Box due August 7, 2013. The title for Treasure Box was revealed on June 15, 2013, along with the album's track list of thirteen songs. The group's concept for the album will be "treasure hunting" (宝探し?, "takarasagashi"). T-ara released the music video "Painkiller" as a digital single song. The song was a collaboration with T-ara, Davichi, See Ya, 5dolls and Speed. Jiyeon appeared as the main character in the music video.
On July 10, 2013, it was confirmed with a video released by Core Contents Media that Areum would be leaving the group to pursue a solo career "towards the beginning of next year". In August, T-ara released the music video "Bikini" featuring Davichi and Skull. At their Budokan Concert, it was announced that Qri would be the new leader of T-ara.
On September 15, Core Contents Media announced that T-ara would hold their long awaited Korean comeback on October 10. On October 6, T-ara performed "Number 9" for the first time at "Hallyu Dream Concert" along with "Sexy Love". "Number Nine" has been introduced with T-ara's mini album named Again which features a listing of about six songs. T-ara achieved first place on three different music charts just hours after release of the album Again. Within just a few hours after the release of their eighth mini-album Again on October 10, T-ara's "Number 9" topped Bugs, Soribada, and Cyworld Music while "I Know the Feeling" also ranked in 2nd or 3rd place on various charts.
T-ara also released a Japanese album to promote a Japanese movie, Jinx, featuring Hyomin named Kioku ~Kimi ga Kureta Michishirube~, in November. The album was released according to the date on which the movie will premiere.
T-ara had a Korean comeback on December 2 with the song "Do You Know Me". Their concept for this comeback and music video according to theater concept with retro style. They also release a repackage album named Again 1977 which contains the best songs from their album, Again. The group also released a ballad version of "Do You Know Me". On December 13, T-ara released a Christmas song, "Hide & Seek".
2014: Solo debuts, Gossip Girls, And & End and "Little Apple"
T-ara was ranked #7 as the group with most #1 hit songs on digital music charts in the past decade (despite debuting 4.5 years ago), with 13 songs. On January 19, T-ara had their second concert in Chengdu, China, one out of five concerts they are planning to stage China in 2014. It was revealed that T-ara would be making a Japanese comeback with Double A-side single 'Lead The Way' and 'LA’booN' on March 5. On February 14, T-ara held a joint concert with label-mates SPEED in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
It was revealed that Jiyeon and Hyomin would be making solo debuts, they are considering promoting simultaneously, but also considered having Jiyeon promote in early April and Hyomin promoting in early May. On March 21, CCM Japan announced that T-ara would release their 3rd Japanese album Gossip Girls on May 14. On March 28, it was announced that Jiyeon would start promoting on May 20. Jiyeon's first EP Never Ever was released on May 20, with the title track "1 Minute 1 Second".
On September 11, T-ara's sixth mini album And & End was released along with two music videos for the title track, "Sugar Free". The song was inspired by EDM and is part of the big room subgenre of electro house music. On September 24, a remix album was released called EDM CLUB Sugar Free Edition. This album included an English version of "Sugar Free", which was the first song T-ara had recorded in English.
On October 13, T-ara signed a management contract with influential Chinese entertainment company, Longzhen Culture Development. The contract worth 5 billion KRW (~4.8 million USD). On November 24, T-ara released a Korean/Chinese cover of "Little Apple" by Chopstick Brothers, as well as a music video. This video featured Jiyeon, Eunjung, Qri, and Hyomin, as well as Seunghee from F-ve Dolls and Dani. The video hit ́8 millions views within two days on website Tudou.
On December 25, T-ara held their first ever domestic concert named "Dear My Family" at COEX Auditorium in Samseongdong, Seoul. In order to be close with fans and spend a meaningful time with them, the concert was small with 1100 seats. On December 27, T-ara held their concert in Shanghai as the beginning stop of their 2014–2015 China tour.
On April 12, 2013, Core Contents Media announced the launch of the group's first sub-unit, T-ara N4 (티아라 엔포), which stands for "T-ara Brand New 4", consisting of four members: Jiyeon, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Areum. T-ara had previously tried sub-units with the promotions of their sixth Japanese single "Bunny Style!", in which the B-sides were sung by units of two and three members; however this was their first time doing formal unit activities. The group's debut song, "Jeon Won Diary" (전원일기; Jeon-won Ilgi), was inspired by the 1980s drama of the same name. Produced by Duble Sidekick, it is a "funky and intense" dance song with elements of hip-hop. with the main motif of "Jeon Won Diary" being about breaking away from the same everyday routine. T-ara N4's extended play, Jeon Won Diary, and the music video for the title track were released on April 29, 2013.
A Japanese sub-unit called QBS was announced in May 2013, featuring members Qri, Boram and Soyeon. The group focused on the Japanese market. The sub-unit released their debut single "Kaze no You ni" (風のように, Like the Wind) on June 26, 2013.
Before their debut, T-ara had been receiving endorsement proposals from refreshments, apparel, cosmetics and communications sellers. In October 2009, The group signed a contract for their first commercial-film with Nonghyup Apples. They recorded the song "Apple Song" especially for the CF, which was later included and retitled as "Apple is A" on the group's debut studio album Absolute First Album. In 2010, the group modeled for such companies as Mentholatum Korea, Tedin Water Parks, and Olympus cameras. T-ara was chosen to model for Tedin Waterpark again in 2011. In February, T-ara and their labelmate Supernova signed an endorsement contract with Japanese family restaurant chain Gusto.
In 2011, T-ara modeled in commercial films for sports brand Spris, electronics brand iRiver, software company Windysoft, optical store Look Optical, instant noodles brand Shin Ramyun, Crown Mountain and many others. T-ara launched their own café franchise called Cafe Page One that will expand into a chain of 500 nation-wide stores. The name of their café was influenced from the cafe that member Eunjung ran in her drama Coffee House. Cafe Page One was opened on July 1, 2011, where the members were present to greet the customers. The same year, T-ara was chosen as the new advertisement models for cosmetics brand Tony Moly. The group is expected to model for the brand in not only South Korea, but China, Japan, and other Asian countries as well. T-ara is also the first idol group to sign a contract with online shopping mall Hi-Mart. In February 2012, T-ara became models for the chicken chain Brilliant Chicken.
In September 2013, T-ara signed their first endorsement contract since their scandal the previous year, becoming models for Japanese fashion label DPG.
T-ara held a charity event on Dec, 14 in Eunjung's mothers cafe Cafenne, T-ara's old clothing, stage costumes and donations from Davichi, Ha Seokjin, Hwang Jungeum and Son Hojun were to be auctioned off. T-ara raised a total of 12.5 million won (~US$11,500) from the sales and donated about 2.5 million won (~$2,400) directly on the day. On 27th, T-ara donated the remaining 10 million won (~$10,000) to the Sharing Campaign "Hope Windmill" organized by the Red Cross by directly visiting the event. T-ara said, "We are able to end the year with a warm heart thanks to the many people who took part in the charity event and we give thanks to those who helped T-ara take the steps necessary for it."
- 2012: T-ara 1st Lovey Dovey Roly Poly Live in Bangkok
- 2012: T-ara Showcase in Hong Kong
- 2012: T-ara Showcase in Kuala Lumpur 
- 2013: It's T-ara Time Live in Hong Kong 
- 2013: T-ara Showcase in Beijing 
- 2013: T-ara's On Air in Guangzhou 
- 2014: T-ara's On Air in Chengdu
- 2014: T-ara Concert in Phnom Penh 
- 2014: T-ara's summer school in Osaka & Tokyo
- 2014: Dear My Family in Seoul
- 2014: T-ara 2014-2015 Tour in Shanghai
- 2015: T-ara 1st Fan Meeting in Viet Nam
- 2015: T-ara Live in Manila 2015
- 2011: T-ara X'mas Premium Live
- 2012: T-ara Japan Tour 2012: Jewelry Box
- 2013: T-ara Japan Showcase "Banisuta"
- 2013: T-ara Japan Tour 2013: Treasure Box
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- (Japanese) 遅くなりましたが・・・
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- (Korean) 티아라, 첫 CF 3억대 가까운 개런티 보장 받아
- (Korean) 티아라, 한국멘소래담 화장품 모델 발탁
- (Korean) 큐티 섹시 티아라, 워터파크 모델로 선정!
- (Korean) 림푸스, 티아라와 함께 한 이색출사 진행
- (Korean) 테딘워터파크, 티아라의 두 번째 워터스캔들!
- (Korean) 티아라, 3개월간 30억! CF 대박 홈런
- (Korean) http://news.nate.com/view/20110602n12626
- (Korean) 토니모리, 걸 그룹 티아라 전속 모델 발탁
- (Korean) 티아라, 수억원대 주류광고 모델로 발탁
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