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T-ara at the Cyworld Dream Music Festival, July 23, 2011 (From left to right: Hwayoung, Qri, Hyomin, Boram, Jiyeon, Soyeon, Eunjung)
Background information
Also known as Tiara
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres K-Pop, dance-pop, electropop, R&B, teen pop
Years active 2009–present
Labels Core Contents Media, Mnet Media (South Korea)
EMI Music Japan (Japan)
Associated acts Choshinsung, SeeYa, Davichi, Coed School
Website Official Korean website
Official Japanese website
Past members

T-ara (Korean: 티아라, Japanese: ティアラ, often stylized as T-ARA or T♔ARA) is a South Korean girl group formed by Core Contents Media in 2009. Before their debut, there was a high level of interest in the group as they were called “Super Rookies” and had been training for three years prior to debut.[1]

Originally a five-member group, they released their first song “Good Person” for the soundtrack of the Korean drama Cinderella Man in April 2009. In June 2009, members Jiwon and Jiae left the group, delaying the group’s debut. The next month, T-ara regrouped to become a six-member group with the addition of Boram, Qri, and Soyeon, and released their debut single “거짓말” (“Lies”).[2]

In July 2010, T-ara introduced a new member, Ryu Hwayoung, to become a seven-member group.[3] T-ara uses a rotating leader system, and has a different member of the group elected as leader each year, in order to give both the group and the individual members the opportunity to grow in a new direction.[4]

In 2011, T-ara signed a $4.3 million contract with management company J-ROCK for their Japanese debut, the highest out of all the girl groups debuting in Japan.[5] Their major record label is EMI Music Japan while their management and promotional marketing takes place under J-ROCK.[6] The group’s first single, a remake of their 2009 hit “Bo Peep Bo Peep“, debuted at #1 on the Oricon weekly charts with 49,712 copies sold,[7] the first for a foreign group and an international female artist ever in history.[8]





The original five T-ara members were trained for three years, and released their first song “좋은 사람” (Good Person) for the Korean drama Cinderella Man soundtrack. In early 2009, Jiyeon was in a collaboration with SeeYa and Davichi for project single called “여성시대” (Women’s Generation).[citation needed]

In June 2009, Core Contents Media announced that Jiae and Jiwon left due to differences in music style. Soyeon, Boram and Qri were added. Later, it was revealed that Soyeon was originally cast to be a part of Girls’ Generation (SNSD), but six months prior to her debut Soyeon withdrew from the group due to personal circumstances. Her stint away from the music industry was relatively short as she quickly joined T-ara following open auditions to replace the departing members.[9] The group’s agency released promotional pictures in July 2009 in accordance with the new members. Afterward, T-ara released their debut single “거짓말” (Lies).

2009: Debut and Absolute First Album

T-ara made its debut on MBC‘s Radio Star talk show on July 29, 2009.[10] The music video was released that day. Their first performance was on Mnet’s M! Countdown show, where they performed “Lies” and “Wanna Play?”. Their debut was looked upon negatively by webpostings, where people stated that it was lipsynched and commented that it seemed like an elementary school performance.[11] The group announced afterward that future performances would be live.[12] A few members of T-ara (Eunjung, Soyeon, Hyomin and Jiyeon) were in a project group with Supernova, a six member male group for the digital single, TTL (Time to Love). The single TTL became the members first number 1 as it topped many of the online charts. On December 1, 2009, T-ara released their first full-length album, named Absolute First Album. The album had two lead singles, “Bo Peep Bo Peep” and “Like The First Time”, both with music videos.

2010: Breaking Heart and Temptastic

On January 1, 2010, T-ara’s single “Bo Peep Bo Peep” won an award on the New Year’s Day episode of Music Bank. Two days later, they won the Mutizen award on Inkigayo. The following week, T-ara won their second consecutive Music Bank and Mutizen awards. The following week, T-ara won their third consecutive mutizen award (Triple Crown).

T-ara performing “I Go Crazy Because of You” at the Mnet 20’s Choice Awards

Later in the month, Core Contents Media announced that Eunjung and Hyomin would take part, alongside label mates SeeYa and Davichi, in project group, ‘Wonder Woman’. Consequently, the T-ara announced promotions for their follow up single, “Like The First Time” (Korean: “처음처럼”). Promotions ended quickly as member Soyeon was diagnosed with H1N1.[13]

In February, the group announced the release of a repackaged version of their debut album, titled Breaking Heart. The music video for its lead single, “I Go Crazy Because of You” (Korean: “너 때문에 미쳐”), was released on February 24, 2010. The group performed their debut stage on Mnet’s M!Countdown. After promotions for “I Go Crazy Because of You”, T-ara promoted the next single off the repackaged album titled “I’m Really Hurt” (Korean: “내가 너무 아파”).

On November 23, 2010, a music video for their song “Why Are You Being Like This” (Korean: “왜 이러니”) was revealed.[14]

On December 1, 2010, T-ara released their Temptastic album in digital format. The music video for their title track, “Yayaya“, was revealed on the same day. The album’s physical release was delayed until December 3 due to the bombardment of Yeonpyeong in November.[15] The group held their first comeback stage through KBS’s Music Bank on December 3 and began promotions with their new 7th member, Hwayoung, and a new leader, Boram. T-ara received two consecutive wins for “Why Are You Being Like This” and “Yayaya” on Mnet M! Countdown on December 9, 2010 and December 16, 2010 respectively.

2011-present: Japanese debut, John Travolta Wannabe and Black Eyes

In June 2011, it was announced that T-ara would be making a comeback with the title track “Roly Poly” on July 1, 2011.[16] It was also announced that the group would be advancing into the Japanese market with a showcase on July 5.[17] As of June 14, 2011, Core Contents Media has announced that Hyomin shall be taking over the leadership for this album and for their Japanese promotions.[18] They further explained saying, “In order to instill a sense of responsibility in each of the members, we have decided to change the leader for each new album release. We will be passing the leader role onto members who have not been leader yet. The reason Eunjung was leader during their debut was because she and Hyomin had trained the longest with T-ara, and we felt that she would be the best fit”. They continued, “Likewise, Hyomin has been chosen for T-ara’s Japanese and ‘Roly-Poly’ promotions for the same reasons as Eunjung. We have made this decision after much discussions with both the members and our agency.”

T-ara performing “Roly-Poly” at the 2011 MTV Cyworld Music Festival

T-ara’s “Roly-Poly” music video and song was released on June 29 and reached #1 on Cyworld, GomTV, Bugs, Nate and Mnet real-time charts just after an hour.

On August 2011, T-ara released Roly-Poly in Copacabana. The song was named after “Copacabana” popularized in the 80’s in Jongno disco clubs. The new version shows T-ara’s new Eurodance moves and with the upgrade of the rhythm makes this version perfect for summer vacation songs.

T-ara released their debut Japanese single “Bo Peep Bo Peep” on September 28, which debuted at #1 on Oricon’s daily single chart with 20,068 sold on its first day of release.[19] The single is coupled with a Japanese remake of their song “I Go Crazy Because of You”.[20] The single also tops the Oricon’s weekly single chart with 49,712 copies sold in the first week,[21] a debut record for a Korean female pop group.

In September, it was announced that T-ara would be making a comeback in November. The album will contain a similar electronic sound to that of Absolute First Album and Breaking Heart. A 30-minute music video will be released in Early November which will have a drama-like storyline and a 1 billion won production budget.[22]

T-ara’s second Japanese single is a remake of “Yayaya” from their Temptastic mini-album, which was released on November 30.[23]

On November 9, 2011, T-ara released the track and music video for their comeback song “Cry Cry”. The 15-minute drama music video is part 1 of a longer story, which will be followed up with part 2 on December 24 with the music video for their upcoming song “Lovey-Dovey”. “Cry Cry” starred T-ara’s maknae Jiyeon and actor Cha Seung Won, along with others. “Cry Cry” hit #1 on various Korean charts including Gaon and Naver.[24] T-ara’s third mini album Black Eyes was released digitally on November 11, due to the overwhelming demand for “Cry Cry”.[25] The album was physically released on November 18, which charted at #1 on Hanteo and #2 on Gaon’s weekly album charts. Two additional music videos for “Cry Cry” were filmed, a dance version which was revealed on November 18 and a ballad version on November 21.

Core Contents Media announced on December 7 that T-ara’s 3rd leader Hyomin will be passing on her leadership to Soyeon. Soyeon was picked because of her “big personality”, position as main vocalist of the group and her responsibility. She will be leading T-ara with a strong image as follow-up promotions for their song “Lovey-Dovey” will be starting on January 1, 2012.[26]


Member Birth name Birth Date Position Leader Notes
Boram Jeon Bo Ram (전보람) March 22, 1986 Vocalist 2010–2011 Third generation artist.
Qri Lee Ji Hyun (이지현) December 12, 1986 Vocalist Formerly a model, shares the same birthday with fellow member Eunjung.
Soyeon Park In Jung (박인정) October 5, 1987 Leader, Main Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Spokesperson 2012–present Former SM Entertainment trainee. Was part of the project group that is now Girls’ Generation.
Eunjung Ham Eun Jung (함은정) December 12, 1988 Vocalist, Lead Rapper 2009–2010 Originally trained in acting.
Hyomin Park Sun Young (박선영) May 30, 1989 Lead Vocalist, Rapper 2011–2012 An ulzzang, Former JYP trainee.
Hwayoung Ryu Hwa Young (류화영) April 22, 1993 Main Rapper Joined in 2010. Her twin sister is Hyoyoung from Co-Ed School/5dolls.
Jiyeon Park Ji Yeon (박지연) June 7, 1993 Vocalist, Main Dancer, Maknae Originally trained to be a model and actress.

Former members

Member Birth name Position
Lee Ji Ae (이지애) Leader, Main Vocalist
Yang Ji Won (양지원) Vocalist


  • Official Japanese Fanclub: Sweet Treasure


Even before their debut, T-ara had been getting many proposals for endorsements ranging from sweets, beverages, apparel, cosmetics, and communications.

In October 2009, The group signed a contract for their first commercial-film with Nonghyup Apples. They recorded the song “Apple Song” especially for the CF, which was later included and retitled as “Apple is A” on the group’s debut studio album Absolute First Album.[27]

In 2010, the group modeled for such companies as Mentholatum Korea,[28] Tedin Water Parks,[29] and Olypmus cameras.[30] T-ara was chosen to model for Tedin Waterpark again in 2011.[31]

In February, T-ara and their labelmate Supernova signed an endorsement contract for Japanese family restaurant chain Gusto. Each group reportedly received a minimum of $1,000,000 USD.

The group opened their own online shopping mall “T-ara Dot Com” in March 2010. The girls had planned the concept and the setup of the shopping mall, including choosing the models and styling as well as handling the sales of the online transactions. A reality show of the same name was centered behind the business.

T-ara had launched their own café franchise called “Cafe Page One” that will expand into a chain of 500 nation-wide stores. The name of their cafe was influenced from the cafe that member Eunjung ran in her drama ” Coffee House“. “Cafe Page One” was opened on July 1, 2011, where the girls were present to greet the customers.[32]

In 2011, T-ara earned 3 billion won ($2.7 million) in the span of 3 months from modelling in commercial-flims for sports brand Spris, electronics brand iRiver, software company Windysoft, optical store Look Optical, instant noodles brand Shin Ramyun, Crown Mountain and many others.[33]

In July. the group had been chosen as the new advertisement models for cosmetics brand Tony Moly, which is high regonized by teens and women in their 30s and 40s. T-ara is expected to model for the brand in not only South Korea, but China, Japan, and other Asian countries as well.[34]

T-ara will be the first idol group to sign a contract with online shopping mall Hi-Mart. Actors advertised for the company in the past because they were able to appeal to adults and older ages, while T-ara was selected because they are “able to appeal to all people, mainly between the ages of 10-60.”[35]


Main article: T-ara discography

Korean discography

Studio albums
Repackaged albums
Extended plays

Japanese discography

Single albums

Music Videos

Year Title Notes
2009 “Good Person” [2] Pre-debut
“Women Generation” [3] Collab. between Jiyeon, Seeya and Davichi
“Lies” (Original, Ballad ver., Summer ver.) From Absolute First Album
“Apple is A” [4]
“TTL (Time To Love)” [5] Enjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, Soyeon and Supernova
“TTL Listen 2” [6] Enjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, Soyeon and Supernova
“Rolling” [7] Jiyeon solo
“Wonder Woman” [8] Eunjung, Hyomin, Seeya and Davichi collab.
“Bo Peep Bo Peep” (19+, 15+) From Absolute First Album
“Like the First Time” [9]
2010 “I Go Crazy Because of You” (Original, Z9 ver.) From Breaking Heart
“I’m Really Hurt” (Part.1,Part.2, Part.3)
“Bubi Bubi” [10] Collaboration with Yoo Si Yoon
“We Are The One” [11] Song for 2010 FIFA World Cup
“What Should We Finish?” [12] Soyeon solo
“Little By Little” [13] Jiyeon solo
“Why Are You Being Like This?” [14] From Temptastic
“YaYaYa” [15]
2011 “Beautiful Girl” [16] Hyomin feat. Electroboyz
“Song For You” [17] Soyeon with Ahn Young Min
“Roly-Poly” (Ver. 1, Ver.2, Ver.3) From John Travolta Wannabe
“Roly-Poly In Copacabana” [18]
“Cry Cry” [19] From Black Eyes

Other Activities

Reality Shows

Year Show
2010 T-ara World
2010 T-ara Dot Com
2010 T-ara’s Hello Baby
2010 T-ara Dream Girls
  • Soyeon joined the cast of Oh! My School/100 Points out of 100 at episode 12 and stayed to the very end.
  • Hyomin was part of the cast member of ‘Invincible Youth‘, a popular KBS variety show which was running from October 2009 until the show ended its first season in December 2010.
  • Jiyeon was part of SBS’s Good Sunday variety show ‘Heroes’ which aired from July 2010 until May 2011.

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Event Award Result
2009 Lies Cyworld Digital Music Awards Rookie of the Month – August[36] Won
TTL (Time to Love)(with Supernova) Ting’s Choice Artist Award Won
TTL Listen 2(with Supernova) Ting’s Choice Artist Award Won
T-ara Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Female Newcomer[37] Nominated
Golden Disk Awards Newcomer Award[38] Won
2010 “Wonder Woman” (with SeeYa and Davichi) Gaon Chart Grand Opening Awards Ringtone Award[39] Won
T-ara Seoul Music Awards Best New Artist[40] Won
Mnet 20’s Choice Awards Most Influential Artist[41] Won
Melon Music Awards Bonsang Award[42] Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Female Group Award[43] Nominated
Bo Peep Bo Peep Best Dance Performance – Female Group[43] Nominated
Breaking Heart Golden Disk Awards Disk Bonsang[44] Nominated
Popularity Award[44] Nominated
2011 T-ara Seoul Music Awards Bonsang[45] Nominated
Popularity Award[45] Nominated
Mnet 20’s Choice Awards Hot Balance Star[46] Nominated
Melon Music Awards Bonsang[47] Nominated
“Roly Poly” (directed by Cha Eun Taek) Best Music Video[47] Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance – Female Group Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
T-ara GSL Tour Awards Best Girl Group[48] Pending
SBS MTV Best of the Best Awards Best Music Video – Best Female[49] Pending
Best Live – Global Star[49] Pending
Best Live – Girl Group[49] Pending
Asia Jewelry Awards Diamond Award Won

Music programs

These are a collection of T-ara’s wins on Korea’s televised music shows. Inkigayo is aired on SBS, M! Countdown on Korean cable channel Mnet, and Music Bank on KBS.

Music Bank

Year Date Song
2010 January 1 Bo Peep Bo Peep
January 8


Year Date Song
2010 January 3 Bo Peep Bo Peep
January 10
January 17
March 21 I Go Crazy Because of You
March 28
July 24 Roly-Poly

Note: An artist may only win three times for one track in Inkigayo before they are taken off the ‘Take 7’ nominees list.

M! Countdown

Year Date Song
2010 March 18 I Go Crazy Because Of You
December 9 Why Are You Being Like This
December 16 Yayaya
July 14 Roly-Poly
July 21
December 1 Cry Cry
December 8

Note: An artist may only win three times for one track in on M!Countdown before they are taken off the nominees list.

T-ara (Tiara) Profile

Member Profile

Name: Park Sunyoung

Stage Name: Hyomin

Height: 167 cm

Birthday: May 30, 1989

Position: Lead Rapper, Lead Vocalist, Leader

Name: Jeon Boram

Height: 155 cm

Birthday: March 26, 1986

Position: Vocalist

Name: Lee Jihyeon

Stage Name: Q-ri

Height: 162 cm

Birthday: December 12, 1986

Position: SubVocalist

Name: Park Injung

Stage Name: Soyeon

Height: 163 cm

Birthday: October5, 1987

Position: Main Vocalist

Name: Ham Eunjung

Height: 167 cm

Birthday: December 12, 1988

Position: Lead Vocalist, Main Rapper

Name: Ryu Hwayoung

Position: Lead Rapper, Sub Vocalist

Birthday: April 22, 1993

Height: 168 cm

Name: Park Jiyeon

Birthday: June 7, 1993

Height: 167 cm

Position: Vocalist, Main Dancer & Maknae

* NOTE: The leader changes every time the group makes a comback

Last updated August 20, 2011

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