, often stylized as KARA] is a girl group from South Korea signed with Daesung Entertainment
). The band name Kara comes from the Greek Word "chara" (χαρά, lit. "joy"
), which the group interpreted to mean "sweet melody
Kara started as a four-member group and debuted with their first album The First Blooming
in 2007. In 2008, Kim Sunghee
departed the group due to parental pressure, and two members were brought in; as such, the group consists of five members: Park Gyuri, Han Seung-yeon, Goo Hara, Nicole
and Kang Jiyoung
. The five-member band achieved their first number one song with "Honey
". Other singles include "Pretty Girl", "Wanna", "Mister"
, and "Lupin
The group has released two full-length albums The First Blooming
along with various EPs. Kara has won various awards, including the Best Dance Award at the M.net Asian Music Awards
and Best Female Singer at the 16th Korean Entertainment Arts Awards
Kara began to promote internationally in various Asian countries as of 2009.
Kara had their debut performance on March 29, 2007 with "Break It
" on M! Countdown
. Their first album was The First Blooming
, with which Kara presented a mature, independent, "strong-female"
image.They made two music videos from this album: "Break It
" and "If U Wanna
". Because of their similarity to Fin.K.L
and the fact that both were signed to the same company, the two were often compared; in response, Kara stated that they regarded the comparison as beneficial and inspiring. The album won the Best Newcomer Music Award in May 2007
.Despite the initial interest, Kara was largely overshadowed in both album sales and popularity by other hit girl groups that debuted the same year, notably the Wonder Girls
and Girls' Generation
. Years later, Seungyeon
would admit that the album wasn't of as big success as she and the group would have liked. Seungyeon
would go on to participate in many variety shows on TV at the time in order to keep Kara as a group recognizable to the public.
Rise in popularity
On November 29, 2008, DSP Entertainment
released a teaser video for their upcoming single, "Pretty Girl
", which received over 40,000 hits within 12 hours. The full video was released on December 2, 2008 online and was positively received by the public, while the EP was released on December 4. The mini-album is supposed to have a "party/fun
" concept. The group began its comeback on all major music shows on December 4, 2008, starting with M.Net Countdown
. During their first national performance on KBS's Music Bank
, member Goo Hara
accidentally slipped due to falling confetti and let out a scream; due to her embarrassment, she cried for an hour backstage. Netizens made it a "hot issue", but Goo Hara
received comfort instead of criticism from the public.
" became a successful single for the group. Leader Park Gyuri
attributed their popularity increase to their "pretty but natural" appeal, while media reports gave credit to the band finding their own identity and to older male fans, most notably singer Shin Hae-cheol
Due to the hectic promotional schedule, a few of the group's members were taken to the hospital on December 19 after a KBS Music Bank rehearsal, but a DSP representative said that it was not serious.
At the end of January 2009, DSP Entertainment
announced that it would commence voting on January 28 at Kara's official website for the follow-up single to "Pretty Girl
", which would end on February 2. By the deadline of February 2, "Honey
" was the clear winner, with 60% of the votes. The group filmed a music video for the song, which was released on February 16. The song was also first performed on KBS's Music Bank
program on February 13, 2009; a repackaged mini-album followed on February 19.
" became the group's first #1 single when it topped the M.Net M! Countdown
show. The song also won the "Mutizen
" ("music netizen") award on SBS's program The Music Trend
The group did its last round of promotional activities for this album on April 1012, 2009.
It was revealed in June 2009 that the group would return in late July, with their concept to be "upgraded". The first teaser pictures of the group were then released in mid-July, showing radical changes in the group's style.
Their single "Wanna
" was released on July 28, 2009. The song quickly charted on various digital music charts. The music video was released on July 29, with the full album, Revolution
, available online as of July 30. Comeback activities commenced on July 31, beginning with KBS's Music Bank
; the group performed both "Wanna
" and "Mister
". "Mister" proved to be popular with netizens due to a "butt dance
" that is featured prominently in the choreography. Due to the popularity of the song, Kara's overall popularity increased, with numerous advertisement requests coming in for the group; they had more advertisements in October 2009 than the previous two years. Ironically, while "Wanna
" was the title song of the album, "Mister
" ended up being the more popular song of the two among the general public ("Mister
" would later become their title song for the debut album in Japan).
" also became a #1 single for the girls, as it won the "Mutizen Song
" award on August 30, 2009 from Inkigayo
During promotions for Revolution
, the group also performed internationally, including Bangkok's Parc Paragon
After a short hiatus, DSP Entertainment
released two teaser photos of Kara's comeback concept on February 9, 2010. The photos garnered a lot of interest because compared to their past album concepts, the new photos displayed a more mature, dark and mysterious Kara
. The next day, the album jacket was unveiled with the concept named "Stealer
" and the title track "Lupin
", which became #1 on several online music charts after its release. The teaser video was released on February 12 on Naver
; the mini-album followed on February 17. Kara had their comeback starting on M.Net's M! Countdown
on February 25, 2010.
The music video was released on February 22, garnering more than 90,000 views in the first 2 hours.
On March 4, 2010, Kara won their first #1 award for "Lupin
" on M! Countdown
. On the following week, Kara won yet another #1 award on M! Countdown
, making it their second consecutive win on the music program. "Lupin
" also gave Kara their first #1 win on Music Bank
on March 12, 2010, making it the group's first win for the music show since their debut, holding onto the position for three consecutive weeks. The song also won the Mutizen
award from Inkigayo
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credit : wikipedia