[Throwback Thursday] A Look Back on KARA


Current Members: 4 (Gyuri, Seungyeon, Hara, Youngji)
Former Members: Sunghee, Nicole, Jiyoung
Leader: Gyuri| Maknae: Youngji
Year of Debut: 2007
Fanclub: Kamilia | Official Color: Pearl Peach
Official Soompi Thread

The Rundown:

For this week’s Soompi Throwback Thursday, we take a closer look at DSP Media‘s power girl group KARA, who has grown since their debut seven years ago to be one of the most popular girl groups in Korea, and arguably the most successful Korean girl group to break into the Japanese market.


The original KARA, with former member Kim Sunghee

Despite having a rough start due to strong competition during their debut album “First Blooming” in 2007, the first line-up for KARA featured Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, Kim Sunghee and Jung Nicole. The group’s name comes from the Greek word “chara”, which they interpreted to mean “sweet melody.”

Unfortunately, member Sunghee left the group in early 2008, right before they were scheduled to make their comeback with a second album. Goo Hara and Kang Ji Young were added, and they released their first EP in July 2008.

The five-member lineup that many are familiar with.

The five-member lineup that many are familiar with.

In the next few years, KARA solidified their popularity by releasing a number of hit songs in the subsequent years, including “Mister,” “Lupin,” Jumping,” “Step,” “Pandora” and “Damaged Lady.” The group, who made their Japanese debut in 2010, has ranked high on the Oricon charts with every release.

The current KARA, with newest member Youngji

The current KARA, with newest member Youngji

In 2014, however, KARA experienced another line-up change, as members Nicole and Jiyoung left the group to follow their own dreams. Heo Youngji was added to the group after winning star-search “Kara Project” in June, bringing them back to a four-member group.

Just last month, the new formation made their highly anticipated comeback with “Mamma Mia.”

Flip through the pages below to see a comprehensive list of KARA’s “Firsts” (debut MV, first music show win, etc), and a look at what the ladies looked like before debut!

(The Rundown | Pre-debut | KARA’s “Firsts”)














Note: We had difficulty locating pre-debut photos for Sunghee – we will update this section as soon as we have found suitable images.

(The Rundown | Pre-debut | KARA’s “Firsts”)




KARA’s first emotional music show win came through their song “Honey,” which was their second promoted track from their “Pretty Girl” mini album.

The girls shed tears while thanking fans for their support – check out a video of their touching first win. The winning announcement is at 11:40 into the video. :


As they grew in popularity, 2009’s “Mister” quickly became KARA’s breakout hit song, joining the ranks to be one of K-Pop’s classics. Even though “Wanna” was the original title track off second album “Revolution,” fans fell in love with “Mister’s” iconic “butt dance” choreography.

(The Rundown | Pre-debut | KARA’s “Firsts”)

That’s it for this week’s Throwback Thursday! Be sure to let us know who you would like featured next, and stay on the lookout next week!

Previously: [Throwback Thursday] Happy Anniversary, U-KISS! Fans Look Back on the Past Six Years

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