Why Jang Gyu-ri Is Leaving Fromis_9 and What Happens Next

Jang Gyu-ri is leaving the K-pop band fromis_9, record label Pledis Entertainment has revealed.

The singer's contract with the nine-member girl group will end on Sunday, July 31, Pledis said in a statement.

From Our Memento Box—the group's fifth EP, released in late June—will be the final one to feature Jang.

The EP broke fromis_9's previous record for first-week sales, with 138,170 copies. Their previous mini-album Midnight Guest, released in January, had first-week sales of 104,438.

Why Is Jang Gyu-ri Leaving Fromis_9?

According to the Pledis statement posted on the group's social media accounts in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese, Jang's departure stems from contractual and corporate changes in their management.

The English-language version states: "Fromis_9 will become an 8-member group starting from this coming August … The eight members of fromis_9 signed a new exclusive contract with us when they transferred to Pledis Entertainment in August 2021.

"Jang Gyu-ri maintained the conditions of the original contract with her former agency and Pledis has been in charge of tasks including the management of her team and individual activities.

"The artist and the company made the decision after careful consideration and discussions on what would be the best path for everyone. Please continue to send your love and support to Jang Gyu-ri, who has always committed to do her best as a member of fromis_9 and to the eight members of fromis_9 who will start a new chapter of their careers."

The eight remaining members are Lee Sae-rom, Song Ha-young, Park Ji-won, Roh Ji-sun, Lee Seo-yeon, Lee Chae-young, Lee Na-gyung and Baek Ji-heon.

The group was put together on the 2017 reality show Idol School, which aired on Korean music channel Mnet, and the name fromis_9 is a play on the phrase "From Idol School." Their first release was the EP To. Heart, in January 2018.

Jang, 24, is also pursuing an acting career. Later this year, she will play a leading role in the K-drama Cheer Up. Broadcaster SBS describes the show as a "mystery romance" set on a university campus.

What Will Happen to Fromis_9?

Fromis_9 will continue as an eight-member group and "will meet their fans in their upcoming Japanese activities and other various activities scheduled for the second half of this year," Pledis said.

Fans are already speculating that the band's name might be changed to Fromis_8, to reflect the new line-up, but this has not been confirmed by the label.

Newsweek has reached out to Pledis Entertainment for further comment.

The original line-up of fromis_9 attend the 2018 Mnet Music Awards at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea, on December 10, 2018. Gettyimages