The disappearance of this female soloist sparked several theories among Korean netizens.
Korea’s entertainment industry used to be stirred up by mysterious “missing cases” that sometimes took decades for reasonable explanations to be revealed. One of the most well-known cases is Ori (Baek Jihyun) – one of the female solo artists who “disappeared” not long after her debut and created a buzz in the industry.
Specifically, in early 2009, Ori, who was only 14 years old, made a solo debut performance on Music Bank. Having her first stage at a major music show, she had the potential to hit big as a solo singer.
But no one could have expected that Ori’s first stage was also the last performance of her career. When the performance was broadcast, Ori came under negative comments from netizens, calling her performance a “disaster” in Kpop history. Ori was also compared with IU – who also debuted at the time.
Due to the criticism towards Ori right when she first appeared, she then completely disappeared from the entertainment industry for more than 10 years. During this time, no one knew where Ori was, what she was doing or had any news about her.
Korean netizens also spread theories like Ori underwent plastic surgery to become Minah (Girls’ Day), causing Dream T Entertainment to correct the rumors. Girl’s Day’s agency said, “Minah and Ori are not the same person. Minah has been upset about this rumor for a long time.”
After more than 10 years since Ori’s mysterious disappearance, the Midnight Theories YouTube channel once uploaded a video interviewing a trainee related to Ori’s management company. This trainee revealed that Ori is not the daughter of a rich businessman or the director of a media company as rumored. On the contrary, she had to attend a 1-year training course and her singing ability was not as bad as what happened on Music Bank that year.