Wonder Girls’ 10-year-long run will come to an end, the group announced on Thursday (Jan. 26). The band will release a final single on Feb. 10 to to mark both their 10-year-anniversary and their breakup.
Since debuting on Feb. 13, 2007 with their The Wonder Years album, Wonder Girls quickly grew to become one of K-pop’s most prominent acts, notable for their sleek retro-pop sound. Their 2007-8 trifecta of singles — “Nobody” (the first-ever K-pop song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100), “Tell Me” and “So Hot” — were career-changing hits that garnered global attention. Originally a dance group, the act restructured itself as a band in 2015, and released their most recent single, the ‘70s-esque “Why So Lonely,” in 2016.
Along with the announcement came a music video titled “Thank You For Being So Wonderful,” which features footage from the group’s decade-spanning career, and audio messages from the final four members of Wonder Girls. The video featured the song “This Moment” from their 2015 Reboot album, which served as a poignant backdrop (“Baby I’ll always remember your love”) to the foursome thanking their fans, known collectively as Wonderful, for all of their support.
“Thank you, thank you, and thank you again,” the foursome jointly say at the end of the video. “We were so happy. Those days were like a dream. Remember us… We are Wonder Girls.”
The Korean girl group’s breakup was announced by their agency, JYP Entertainment. In the statement, JYP revealed that members Hyelim and Yubin would remain under the agency, while Yeeun and Sunmi have chosen to not renew their expired contracts with the company. Sunmi and Yeeun were the only original Wonder Girls members still signed to JYP Entertainment after multiple lineup changes. Yeeun is the only member of the group to have remained with the team continuously as Sunmi left the act in 2010 before returning in 2015.
Wonder Girls debuted as a quintet in 2007 with a five-member lineup. Original member HyunA (formerly of 4Minute) left the group prior to Wonder Girls’ 2008 string of successes, and their most iconic lineup featured members Sunye, Yeeun, Sunmi, Sohee, and rapper Yubin.
Wonder Girls became one of the first internationally acclaimed K-pop acts after their music videos and easy-to-learn choreography went viral in 2008. In 2009, Wonder Girls focused their career on America’s music market, and were featured as an opening act at several Jonas Brothers shows around the U.S. The English-language version of their hit song “Nobody” debuted on the Hot 100 chart at No. 76 on Oct. 31, the first-ever Korean song to appear on the chart.
Between 2009 and 2012, the group held concerts in multiple countries, starred in their own Nickelodeon made-for-TV movie, and released music in Korean, English, Japanese, and Mandarin. They released two original English songs — “The DJ Is Mine,” featuring School Gyrls, and “Like Money,” featuring Akon — in 2012.
Later that year, Wonder Girls went on hiatus and returned in 2015 with their revamped ‘80s pop-rock Reboot album, and their final lineup: Yeeun, Sunmi, Hyelim, and Yubin. (Sohee and Sunye officially left the group in 2014 during the break.) Wonder Girls saw a revival of their popularity through their most recent singles “I Feel You” and “Why So Lonely,” but rumors of their potential end spread throughout Korean news outlets in 2016 after it became known that the members’ contracts were set to expire.
Although the news of their break up came just weeks before their 10th anniversary, Wonder Girls remains one of the few Korean girl groups to mark a decade together, and will be remembered as one of K-pop’s most influential acts.
Watch the poignant “Thank You For Being So Wonderful” here: