The End of the 7-Year Jinx: K-Pop Idols Choose Coexistence over Disbandment
The 7-Year curse? K-pop idols now gradually overcome the 7th year together.
The “7-year jinx” of the Korean idol industry is gradually disappearing. In the past, when K-pop idols reached the 7-year mark, which was typically based on the expiration of their agency’s exclusive contract, they faced the possibility of disbandment. However, these days, they are finding various ways to continue as a team. It is not uncommon for groups to continue using their team name without disbanding, and there have also been cases where all members gather under a new agency to maintain the team. K-pop idols are now choosing coexistence without disbandment, rather than sticking to the old concept of the “7-year jinx.”
One example is the group GOT7, who made a comeback as a full group in May last year. After their exclusive contract with JYP Entertainment expired in January 2021, the members of GOT7 went their separate ways. However, after a year and three months, they released a full group album and kept the team together. The fact that all the members, who had been pursuing individual activities and working overseas, came together again was significant. Although it was expected that GOT7 would disband after leaving JYP, they ultimately decided to maintain the team by gathering all the members under new agencies.
What’s more, their comeback was significant because they were able to continue using the name “GOT7” even after leaving JYP. JB, in particular, prepared for the team’s comeback by acquiring the trademark rights from JYP. It was reported that JYP willingly transferred the trademark rights to the members.
Another group in a similar situation is Infinite, who announced their comeback this year. Since their debut in June 2010, Infinite had entered a period of rest as their exclusive contracts with their agency, Woollim Entertainment, expired one by one. In 2017, member Hoya decided not to renew his contract and left the group, leading to a reorganization as a six-member group. However, due to the members’ military service and contract expirations, it was not easy for them to continue as a full group.
Especially last year, when Sungjong left Woollim Entertainment, it seemed like they would disband. However, Infinite regrouped. On the 6th of this month, they officially announced the establishment of Infinite Company and announced their comeback as a six-member group. Leader Sunggyu became the representative of Infinite Company, and they were able to keep their team name by acquiring the trademark rights from Woollim. Like GOT7, even though the members are now under different agencies, they chose to maintain the team instead of disbanding.
Similarly, the group Brave Girls, who led a reverse surge with their song “Rollin’,” also chose to continue as a team. In February, when their exclusive contract with Brave Entertainment expired, each member went their separate ways. Despite not receiving much attention for a long time after their debut, they gained recognition in 2021 with the resurgence of “Rollin’.” It was disappointing to think that they might disband without overcoming the 7-year hurdle. However, all four members moved to Warner Music Korea and decided to continue as a team. However, due to Brave Entertainment holding the trademark rights, they changed their team name to “Brave Girls.” They are now making their second debut with the same members at a new agency.
In addition to these groups, there are senior artists such as Shinhwa, god, and Girls’ Generation who continue their group activities despite being under different agencies. The notion of the “7-year jinx” for K-pop idols is no longer valid.