After School (애프터스쿨, アフタースクール) is a South Korean girl group formed by Pledis Entertainment in 2009. They are the first group to debut with a unique admissions and graduation concept in Korea, where members are added or withdrawn in a “natural” manner. The band currently consists of 6 members: Uee, Raina, Nana, Lizzy, E-Young and Kaeun. Former member Soyoung withdrew from the group in fall 2009, Bekah officially graduated from the group in July 2011, former leader Kahi graduated in September 2012, Jooyeon graduated in January 2015 and Jungah graduated in January 2016. Three members of After School have also formed a sub-group with a different concept known as Orange Caramel.
After School had their first performance alongside label mate Son Dam Bi in 2008 and their official debut occurred on January 2009 with the song AH. The group became popular with the release of their hit single, 너 때문에 (Because of You), which attained No. 1 and a triple crown on SBS's Inkigayo. After School went on to win various awards at the Billboard Japan Music Awards and the Seoul Music Awards. Other hits by After School include Diva, Bang! and Shampoo.
The group began a foray into the Japanese music scene in 2011 under Avex Trax with a remake of their Korean hits "Bang!" and "Diva". Their debut in Japan was quite a success, as the group managed to enter the Oricon Weekly Chart at 7th.
Park Kahi, After School's leader, had been as a back-up dancer for artists under both SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment, most notably for BoA. She has also been a trainee under JYP Entertainment. Kahi was part of a Korean-American girl group called S. Blush, whose first digital single peaked at #2 at the Billboard Hot Dance Chart. In 2008, Kahi was featured in 손담비's Bad Boy music video as a rapper, and Kim Jung Ah took part in Son Dambi's performances as a back-up dancer as part of her training.
Days before After School's debut, Pledis Entertainment officially announced that the group's music concept is heavily influenced by the Pussycat Dolls, and that they "will be a type of group that Korea has never seen before". On January 15, 2009, Pledis Entertainment released a 30-second teaser music video for Ah to the web, which reached 10,000 views on the first day. The girls, as a group, made an unofficial first appearance on December 29, 2008 at the SBS Song Festival 'S', performing Play Girlz with Son Dambi.
After School's debut single Ah was released with their first EP, "New Schoolgirl," on January 15, 2009. They made their debut performance on January 17, 2009 on MBC's music program, Show! Music Core.
In April 2009, it was announced by Pledis Entertainment that UEE (유이, real name Kim Yoo Jin) would be joining After School as a sixth member. She was first introduced to the public as a friend of Wonder Girls member Kim Yoobin on the television program "Introducing a Star's Friend," where they revealed that they were initially part of a five member girl group with Good Entertainment that was eventually disbanded due to financial reasons.
Their second single is Diva, an upbeat dance song. The track was released as their first digital single. Promotional activities began April 9, 2009, with their comeback performance on MNet's M! Countdown.
On May 21, 2009, After School released a cover of Morning Musume's Love Machine, titled Dream Girl.
Later on, it was announced that After School would collaborate with the popular Pledis artist 손담비. The digital single Amoled was released on July 23, 2009 as part of promotions for Samsung's phone, "Amoled".
On October 29, 2009, Yoo So Young announced her withdrawal from the group due to health reasons and the desire to further her education. Subsequently, two new members, Raina (레이나, real name Oh Hye Rin) and Nana (나나, real name Im Jin Ah) were added, making After School a 7-member group.
After School released their second EP on November 25, 2009, entitled "너 때문에" (Because of You). They made their comeback on the 27th on KBS's Music Bank with their title song 너 때문에. The song proved to be very popular, hitting #1 on various online charts as well as winning three Mutizen awards. A remix version of the single was released on January 22, 2010.
On March 25th, 2010, After School, with their new member Lizzy (리지, real name Park Soo Young) released their 3rd EP ("Bang!"). They had their comeback the next day, performing Let's Do It! and 뱅 (Bang)! on KBS's Music Bank. On December 31st, 2010, After School revealed that they were going to debut their ninth member Noh Lee Young, which is specialized on electric guitar and vocals, on KBS' Gayo Daejun, which during Bang!'s performance, she had a special guitar solo, officially becoming After School's ninth member, and announced their comeback as a nine member group with their first full-length album, Virgin, released on April 29, 2011.
On July 25th, 2011 After School was divided into two sub-groups, After School Red (애프터스쿨 레드) and After School Blue (애프터스쿨 블루). Both groups released a single and promoted their own songs at the same time. While A.S. BLUE (Jooyeon, Raina, Lizzy, and E-Young) features an innocent concept, A.S. RED (Kahi, Jungah, Uee and Nana) features a sexy and powerful concept. Both groups' debut singles were released as After School 4th single.
The group made their debut in Japan on August 17, 2011, with the release of their first Japanese single, "Bang! (Japan Ver.)", which peaked at number seven on the Oricon Weekly Chart. After School participated in the prestigious 'a-nation' concert tour as part of their Japanese promotions. After School's second Japanese single, "Diva", was released on November 23, 2011. The single was accompanied with a new Japanese song called "Ready to Love".
"Happy Pledis 2012", a follow-up of "Happy Pledis" charity single, was released on December 1, 2011. It is a family album that features all Pledis artists, including Son Dambi and an yet-to-debut band named Pledis Boys. A portion of the ‘Happy Pledis’ earnings will be donated to UNICEF to help look after those in need, and the album is also a gift to the fans who have shown the artists so much love and interest. The group will team-up with SHIBUYA109 for a “Christmas Campaign”, which includes an upcoming concert.
After School ended the year by headlining the MTV EXIT Live concert along with American band The Click Five on 17 December 2011 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
After School's third Japanese single was a double A-side single consisting of two songs, "Rambling Girls" and a Japanese remake of their 2009 hit "Because of You". The single was released on January 25, 2012, and debuted at number six on the Oricon Daily Singles Chart.
After School's first Japanese album, Playgirlz, was released on 14 March 2012. The album contains all their Japanese singles plus a Japanese version of their latest Korean single, "Shampoo", and 6 original Japanese songs. The regular edition of the album also includes a Japanese version of Orange Caramel's, a sub-unit of After School, "Shanghai Romance" as a bonus track. On February 29, 2012, After School digitally released a promotional single, "Just in time", to promote the new album which was released the following month. "Just in time" is also used in a Samantha Thavasa commercial featuring After School themselves. After School are also models for Samantha Thavasa.
In March 2012, After School, who are keeping busy in both Korea and Japan, were recently selected as representatives for the Japanese food company Hanryuen. The company presents Korean food, including Bibimbap (boiled rice with assorted mixtures) and a variety of fusion foods.
On March 14, 2012, After School's first Japanese album, Playgirlz, was released in Japan. The album debuted at number six on the Oricon Daily Album Chart, with estimated sales of around 13,000 on the first day, and number nine on iTunes Japan. The album debuted at number eight on the Oricon Weekly Album Chart with sales of 16,000.
After School will be starting their first Japanese tour titled Playgirlz in April. With a total of four dates, the tour is scheduled to kick off at the Zepp Tokyo on April 27, followed by the Zepp Nagoya on April 28 and Namba, Osaka on April 30. The tour will then finish on June 17 at Tokyo Dome City Hall.
On April 9, 2012, Pledis revealed a brand new member would be added to the group. The following day, the member was officially revealed to be Kaeun, who would join them for their fifth single, released on June 21, 2012. It was also confirmed that After School would release their sixth Korean single, in the Autumn.
Avex Trax announced through After School's official Japanese website on April 23, 2012, that they will release their fourth Japanese single, "Lady Luck/Dilly Dally", on June 13, 2012. The single is a double A-side single and the regular edition also contains an additional track, "Slow Love", which is the song used on the Eyefull Home commercial.
It was officially confirmed that Leader Kahi will officially graduate from the group to pursue a solo album and stay with the company and studying acting. She will stay with the group until September, before leaving the group.
Stage name: Uee (Hangul: 유이)
Birth name: Kim Yoo Jin (Hangul: 김유진)
Date of birth: April 9, 1988 (1988-04-09)
Position: Vocalist, Rapper
Stage name: Raina (Hangul: 레이나)
Birth name: Oh Hye Rin (Hangul: 오혜린)
Date of birth: May 7, 1989 (1989-05-07)
Position: Main Vocalist
Stage name: Nana (Hangul: 나나)
Birth name: Im Jin Ah (Hangul: 임진아)
Date of birth: September 14, 1991 (1991-09-14)
Position: Vocalist, Rapper
Stage name: Lizzy (Hangul: 리지)
Birth name: Park Soo Young (Hangul: 박수영)
Date of birth: July 31st, 1992 (1992-07-31)
Stage name: E-Young (Hangul: 이영)
Birth name: Noh Lee Young (Hangul: 노이영)
Date of birth: August 16th, 1992 (1992-08-16)
Position: Vocalist, Instrumentalist
Stage Name: Kaeun (가은)
Birth name: Lee Kaeun (이가은)
Date of birth: August 20, 1994 (1994-08-20)
So Young (소영)
Stage name: Yoo So Young (Hangul: 유소영)
Stage name: Joo So Young (Hangul: 주소영)
Date of birth: March 29, 1986 (1986-03-29)
Reason for leaving: Left due to health issues and to pursue education
Stage name: Bekah (Hangul: 베카)
Birth name: Rebekah Kim (Hangul: 레베카 김)
Date of birth: August 11, 1989 (1989-08-11)
Position: Rapper, Vocalist
Reason for leaving: To become a designer in Hawaii (reported). Conflict with group's management company(actual)
Stage name: Park Kahi (Hangul: 박가희)
Birth name: Park Ji Young (Hangul: 박지영)
Date of birth: December 25, 1980 (1980-12-25)
Position: Leader, Rapper, Vocalist, Choreographer
Reason for leaving: Graduated to become a solo artist.
Joo Yeon (주연)
Birth name: Lee Joo Yeon (Hangul: 이주연)
Date of birth: March 19, 1987 (1987-03-19)
Reason for leaving: Graduated to pursue a career in acting.
Jung Ah (정아)
Birth name: Kim Jung Ah (Hangul: 김정아)
Date of birth: August 2, 1983 (1983-08-02)
Position: Leader, Main Vocalist
Reason for leaving: Contract expiration.
Official website: http://a-school.co.kr