AfterSchool (애프터스쿨) is a South Korean girl group under Pledis Entertainment (플레디스). This group is styled after Japanese girl group Morning Musume in that it operates with a rolling ‘admission’ and ‘graduation’ system.
AfterSchool’s official fan club is called “Play Girlz”.
Official Balloon Color: Yellow
After School, as a group, made an unofficial first appearance on 29 December 2008 at the SBS Song Festival, performing “Play Girlz” with their label sister Son Dam Bi.
2009 – Debut: AH
Kahi, Jung Ah, So Young, Ju Yeon, Bekah
The group debuted with five members: Kahi, Jung Ah, So Young, Ju Yeon, and Bekah on January 17, 2009 with their single, “Ah!” and intro song “Play Girlz”. (After School had their first unofficial performance alongside label mate Son Dam Bi in 2008 at the SBS Song Festival, performing “Play Girlz” ) This single is apart of their single-album: New SchoolGirl which features one other song titled “Bad Guy“. Afterschool’s image/concept for their first single-album was modeled after American girl group The PussyCat Dolls. This powerful and sexy image/concept earned them the title of the ‘Korean Pussycat Dolls’.
Their debut sparked controversy due to their sexy image, and they received a call from Music Bank asking them not to perform “AH!” due to the program not having enough time to fit them in the schedule. However, on February 4, 2009, After School was chosen to endorse the Adidas ”Me, Myself” global campaign.
Following promotional activities for “AH!”, After School planned to continue to promote New Schoolgirl with “Bad Guy”, the third track from their single. However, the track was deemed unsuitable and was banned to broadcast because a single word of profanity was in the lyrics.
When AfterSchool first debuted they had a show called “Diary of AfterSchool” which lasted five episodes.
2009 – One new admit: Diva
Kahi, Jung Ah, So Young, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Bekah
In April 2009 U-ie joined AfterSchool and became their sixth member. Soon after the now six member group released “Diva” as a digital single. Another digital single AfterSchool released as six members was “Amoled” along with their label sister Son Dambi on July 22, 2009. The Video/CF was released the next day. The last digital single released from Afterschool as six members was “Dream Girl” released on May 22, 2009.
In July 2009, it was announced that U-ie would make her acting debut in the MBC drama Queen Seon Duk as the young version of Go Hyun Jung’s character “Misil”. In the same month After School formed a project group with Son Dam Bi and they released “AMOLED” for the Samsung HP model. The song was released on July 22, 2009 and the MV was released on July 23, 2009. U-ie popularity spiked to stardom with her appearances in the drama Queen Seon Duk, the SBS drama You’re Beautiful, and the MBC We Got Married variety show.
2009 – First ‘unofficial’ graduate
October 29, 2010 AfterSchool went through their first “graduation” when So young left the group. The reason for this was due to illness and the fact that So Young wanted to focus on her education. In August 2010 it was revealed that So Young joined a new entertainment company and would debut as an actress.
2009 – Two new admissions: Because of You
Kahi, Jung Ah, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Bekah, Nana
Before AfterSchool’s comeback they added two new ‘students’ named Raina and Nana in November 2009 (Officially debuted with the group on November 26th 2009). The now seven member group released “Because of You” in the same month. This single is apart of their single-album: Because of You which contains one other song. The song “Because of You” was AfterSchool’s first chart-topping single since their debut. This song marked a change for the group as their image/concept changed into something more mature and sophisticated.
The MV teaser for “Because of You“, their 2nd physical single, was released on November 23, 2009. Coincidentally, the song was leaked by Girls’ Generation Tae Yeon’s MBC Chin Chin Radio program. Towards the incident, Pledis Entertainment stated “It is true that the songs can be aired once it is approved, however, songs are usually aired after the official release date of the album. Considering the varying amounts of time each broadcasting company takes to review, we normally send the songs in early. Wouldn’t the pattern be broken if the broadcasting companies aired them beforehand?“
Nevertheless, “Because of You” was released on November 25, 2009 and the single reached #1 on the online charts. However, in response to Pledis Entertainment’s statement, Chin Chin Radio demanded an apology from the company; the radio program stated “The song had completed its review procedures so we didn’t pre-release it. It was already approved. People said Chin Chin has done this before. That is not true. They (other companies) apologized for their previous incidents and released corrections on false reports.“
The song became popular, winning three Mutizen awards and topping various online music charts. An official remixed version was released later on.
After School debuted “Neo Ttaemune” on MBC Music Bank on November 27, 2009. Following MBC‘s demand for an apology, Pledis Entertainment apologized on November 30, 2009 saying that the examination schedule had not been followed on their part and that they are very sorry for questioning the integrity of MBC.
The “Because of You” MV was released on November 30, 2009 and the song dominated online charts in less than 10 days. They won their first “Mutizen” on SBS Inkigayo on December 20, 2009. They won the “Best Style Icon” at the “2009 Korean Lifestyle Awards” on December 22, 2009.
2010 – One new admit: Bang!
(Fourth Generation – Also counted as Third Generation for Pledis)
Kahi, Jung Ah, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Bekah, Nana, Lizzy
In March 15, 2010, After School’s official website published a new picture of the group as a teaser for their upcoming comeback. In the photo, an unknown eight member appeared. This new member had her head down and no information about her identity was reveled. One day later the identity of the new member was revealed, a 19 years old newcomer named Lizzy. Also on the same date, After School official website stated the date for their comeback as for March 25, 2010.
On March 25, 2010 AfterSchool came back with a new single titled “Bang!” along with the brand new member Lizzy. With this new addition AfterSchool was now an eight member group.
2010 – Orange Caramel (오렌지캬라멜) Subgroup: Magic Girl
On May 31, 2010, Pledis announced that After School would be splitting up into two subgroups with three members each and one solo artist for promotion. U-ie would not participate due to her drama promotions.
The first sub-unit group was named Orange Caramel. On June 6, 2010, Pledis announced Nana as the first member of one of the 2 sub-units. On June 7, 2010, Pledis announced Raina as the second member of the same sub-unit. On June 8, 2010, Pledis announced Lizzy as the final member of this sub-unit. The trio released a new mini album entitled Orange Caramel. “The First Mini album” consists of 4 tracks, which are 2 songs and instrumentals of those tracks. The version released in Taiwan had a special song- “The Day You Went Away”. The song is released as a Special for Taiwan that is Mandarin Version and it’s a cover from Cyndi Wang, a Taiwanese singer who’s popular. The promoted song is Magic Girl (마법소녀). The second song is Love Does Not Wait (사랑을 미룰 순 없나요) which is Raina’s solo song. Orange Caramel’s concept is cheery and retro, or Candy Culture (cute and bright, while lovely and innocent at the same time). Their music video was released on June 16, 2010. Raina is the leader of this subgroup.
The group starred in their first dedicated TV show called “Playgirlz School” for cable channel MBCEvery1 starting in July 2010.
2010 – One New Enrollee? – - A~ing and Love Love Love
On November 13, 2010 it was revealed through fan sites but not confirmed by Pledis Entertainment that trainee Kim Hyung Min would be joining AfterSchool as their ninth member. A small article found in Kyung Min’s school paper talked about her being added to the group.
Orange Caramel released their second mini album on November 18, 2010. Their title track “A~ing♡” was produced by Wheesung and Jo Yeong Soo. Though some controversy surrounded the lyrics it went on to chart very well. Four songs in total are on the mini album: “A~ing♡“, “One Love“, 아직…(lyrics byRaina) and 이곳에 서서, including an instrumental for “A~ing♡”.
On December 5th it was confirmed through Jason who works at Pledis that After School would be debuting in Japan in 2011 through his twitter page. (@PledisJason)
On December 6, 2010 After School released their charity album titled ‘Happy Pledis 1st Album’. A portion of the profits will go to the ‘Save the Children’ organization. All the members participated except for Bekah who was on vacation in Hawaii for two months and wouldn’t join the group for promotions. The title song from this single album is ‘Love Love Love’. The second and last song on the album is “Someone is you”. Instrumentals for both of the songs are included on the album.
2010 – New Member Confirmed
(Fifth Generation – Fourth Generation for Pledis)
Kahi, Jung Ah, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Bekah, Nana, Lizzy, E-Young
On December 31st, 2010 it was revealed through Kahi’s twitter and South Korean News sites that No Yi Young (Stage name E-Young) was chosen as the ninth member of After School and would be performing for the first time at the MBC Gayo Daejun. E-Young studied at the K-Note Music Academy where she majored in Vocals and Electric Guitar. She officially debuted on December 31st, 2010 with After School at the 2010 MBC Gayo Daejun.
2011 – Full Album announcement + Kahi’s solo Debut + Japanese pre-debut
On January 1st it was announced through Pledis entertainment that After School would be making a comeback in March. On January 3rd, it was revealed that Kahi was in the final stages of preparation for her solo debut. A representative from Pledis revealed Kahi would start promotions in mid February. On January 7th, Pledis Boss (Sunghan) answered a fans question on twitter about After School putting out a “proper” full album. Pledis Boss responded and confirmed After School would indeed be releasing a full album in March. Without having an ‘announced’ final stage for their song “A~ing“, Orange Caramel started promotions with the song Raina wrote titled “Still” on January 21, 2011.
On January 26th Bekah sent out a tweet revealing she was back in South Korea to continue promotions with After School.
Kahi released her first solo mini album titled “Kahi: The First Mini Album” which contains four songs on February 14th. The songs featured on Kahi’s mini album are as follows “Gift“, “Come back you bad person“, “Roller Coaster” and “One Love“. Her first performance as a solo artist was February 18th on Music Bank where she performed her title song “Come back you bad person“.
On February 16, 2011 a user on JPM discovered a hidden RSS feed on Namie Amuro’s official website which revealed info on her upcoming BEST COLLABORATION album. Namie collaborated with After School on a song called “Make it happen”. The official preview to the mv was released on February 17, 2011 while the full video was released on February 20, 2011.
2011 – Bangkok City + After School’s full album release: Virgin
On March 25, 2011 it was revealed through a Pledis twitter account “PledisNews” that Orange Caramel would release a digital single titled “Bangkok City“. This single is said to be the first of Orange Caramel’s “One of Asia” singles/projects (think Happy Pledis) and was to serve as a gift for fans since After School’s Japanese debut was pushed back due to the tsunami that occurred in Japan on march 11, 2011. After School was now slated to release their full album mid April with Japanese promotions being held off until further notice. On March 31st the video for “Bangkok City was released. There was some scrutiny concerning the outfits the girls wore in the video with netizens commenting on how the clothes were too tight and revealed the girls body outline in a sexual way. But, this didn’t stop the song from being number one on various music charts (Bugs, Dosirak, Naver, Soribada). Due to the overwhelming popularity of the song Pledis released news on April 8th that the “Bangkok City” single would be made into a single album available for purchase with personal pictures from the group members.
On April 18, 2011 the first picture teaser for After School’s album was released. It featured Yi Young who was re-introduced with the stage name E-Young. The album title was also revealed on this date to be “Virgin”. Each day following this, a teaser picture would be released from each generation leading up to the album release on April 29, 2011. The album contained twelve songs: 1. Let’s Step Up 2. Shampoo 3. Virgin 4. 뱅(Bang)! (2011 New Recordings) 5. Play Ur Love 6. Dream 7. 너 때문에 (2011 New Recordings) 8. 시간에 기대어 (Raina’s Solo) 9. 잘 지내고 있죠 10. Funky Man 11. My Bell (Jungah’s Solo) 12. When I Fall (2011 New Recordings).
2011 First ‘official’ graduate + U-ie’s Solo Debut
Kahi, Jung Ah, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Nana, Lizzy, E-Young
On June 16, 2011 Pledis released news about Bekah ‘graduating’ from After School. Reasons for her withdrawal included a wish to go to school in order to study design. Bekah’s last day as a member of the group would be July 9, 2011 when she would leave for Hawaii. On July 11th Bekah’s solo song “Take me the place” was released. This song served as Bekah’s graduation gift to fans.
On June 20, 2011 U-ie released her first solo single ‘soksoksok 쏙쏙쏙’ featuring JongHyun from the yet to debut After School Boys. This song was released as a digital single for the sports brand Le Coq Sportif. U-ie was given another starring role in the Drama “Ojakgyo Brothers” previously titled “Golden Pond” playing the character of Baek Ja Eun. This weekend drama a long with her previous drama “Birdie Buddy” would start to air in August 2011 on tvN.
2011 – AS Red and AS Blue + Official Japanese debut + Shanghai Romance & Funny Hunny
On July 12th Pledis released their two new sub unit member lineups. AS Red (Sexy/Fierce) consists of Kahi, Jung Ah, U-ie and Nana while AS Blue (Sweet/Pure) consists of JuYeon, Raina, Lizzy and E-Young. Each sub unit would release a single album consisting of two songs. Tracks on each album included: AS Red – 1) In the Night Sky 2) Hollywood and AS Blue – 1) Wonderboy 2)Lady. These sub-units would promote for two weeks.
On June 2, 2011 it was revealed that After School would finally make their Japanese debut. After School’s first official Japanese performance was on July 17, 2011 at the Akasaka BLITZ in Tokyo, Japan. A teaser Japanese music video version of ’Bang!’ was also released on this day. on August 17th After School the Japanese version of ‘Bang!’ and debuted at number 7 on the Oricon music chart.
On October 4th it was revealed Orange Caramel would make a comeback on October 13th with their second “One of Asia” project song entitled “Shanghai Romance“. This song’s lyrics were written by Kim Heechul a member of the group Super Junior.
The Japanese ‘Diva‘ MV teaser was released on October 17, 2011. Ten days later on October 28th the full video was released. On November 21, 2011 After School attended the 2011 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award ceremony and received the Cultural Minister of Finance Award. JuYeon was admitted to the hospital on November 22, 2011 and treated for acute nephritis. Because of this she didn’t join After School for the start of their Japanese promotions. On November 23, 2011 audio for the new Japanese song ”Ready to Love“ featured on the ’Diva‘ single album was released.
Happy Pledis 2012, a charity single, is the follow-up of the first Happy Pledis album and was released on 1 December 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.
2012 - Rambling Girls/Because of You, Playgirlz and first Japanese tour
After School’s third Japanese single is a double A-side single consisting of two songs, an original song titled “Rambling Girls” and a Japanese remake of their 2009 hit “Because of You”. The single was released on January 25, 2012, and debuted at #6 on the Oricon Daily Singles Chart. After School will be starting their first Japanese tour titled Playgirlz in April. With a total of three dates, the tour is scheduled to kick off at the Zepp Tokyo on April 27, followed by the Zepp Nagoya on April 28. The tour will then finish in Namba, Osaka on April 30.
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 were keeping busy in both Korea and Japan, were 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 #6 on the Oricon Daily Album Chart, with estimated sales of around 13,000 on the first day, and #9 on iTunes Japan. The album debuted at #8 on the Oricon Weekly Album Chart with sales of 16,000.
2012 – New Student + Second Official Graduation
(Sixth Generation – Fifth Generation for Pledis)
Jung Ah, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Nana, Lizzy, E-Young, KaEun
On April 9th it was revealed through Pledis’ news twitter account (@pledisnews) that After School would reveal information concerning a new freshman the following day. On April 10th it was revealed though various news portals that After School’s newest student was name KaEun a 17 year old who is said to have the best vocal abilities of all Pledis trainees. It was also revealed that After School would make their Korean comeback on June 21st.
On April 23rd information about After School’s fourth Japanese single was revealed. The release date was set at June 13th with three new songs: 1. Lady Luck, 2. Dilly Dally, 3. SLOW LOVE.
On April 27th, the first day of After School’s tour, KaEun performed with After School for the first time during their “Bang!” performance.
On May 8th it was revealed that Jung Ah and Raina would form a sub unit through Jason Jejoon Park’s [ a managing Director at PLEDIS] twitter page (@visionmeister).
Pledis and Kahi surprisingly revealed her graduation on June 5th. This marks the second official graduation for After School. Kahi stated “To all the After School fans who have given so much love and to my members who have cried, laughed, and suffered with me since we debuted, I thank you all so much. I’ll try my best so that you can see a new side of Kahi.” [via AllKPop] The following day Kahi announced she would finish her group activities with After School by September and then begin work on her solo activities. The same day the After School’s 5th album was revealed to be a mini album set to be released on June 21st. The first teaser for After School’s 5th Maxi-Single Album was released on June 11th along with the title of the maxie-single album ‘Flashback’. Information about this maxi single was released later that day. The track-list is as follows: 1. Rip Off 2. Flashback 3. Eyeline (透視) * Performed by 나나 (Nana) 4. Wristwatch (손목시계) 5. Timeless *Performed by 정아, 레이나 (Jung Ah, Raina). Later that day Lizzy’s individual teaser was revealed. After the teasers were revealed as followed: U-ie, Jung Ah, Raina & Nana (combined), JuYeon, E-Young & KaEun (Combined). After speculation from fans Pledis announced After School’s new leader would be Jung Ah on June 13th. On June 13, The same day After School’s Japanese single Lady Luck/Dilly Dally was released and made it to number 3 on the Oricon daily singles chart. This was After School’s highest placement on the Oricon chart since debuting in Japan. The MV teaser for flashback was released through Pledis’ official Youtube channel on June 15th. At After School’s Encore concert in Japan on June 17th it was revealed that Orange Caramel would debut in Japan in Autumn. It was also announced that After School would hold their first fan meet in Japan in Autumn.
On July 30th’s Orange Caramel’s first teaser photo for “My Sweet Devil” was revealed. The second teaser image was released on August 3rd. The single was released on September 5th with the B-Side a Japanese version of their hit song “Magic Girl”. After Promotions for their Japanese debut Orange Caramel Released their first full length Korean album titled ‘Lipstick’. It was released on September 12, 2012 and contains 13 songs. The title track “Lipstick” was used as the albums lead single. The album includes previous released songs such as “Magic Girl”, “A~ing”, “Bangkok City (new recordings), “Close your eyes”, “Love does not wait”, “Not yet” and “Shanghai Romance”. The new songs on the album besides “Lipstick” are “bubble bath”, “Milkshake” and “Clara’s Dream”. The title track, “Lipstick”, was a commercial success having managed to stay in the top 10 of various Korean online music stores such as MelOn, Mnet and Olleh for over three weeks as well as reaching #1 on many music charts real-time ranking after a few hours of being released. It also managed to stay in the Top 10 singles on the Gaon Chart and Korea K-Pop Hot 100 for three weeks.
Since 2010 After School has donated a portion of their annual ‘Happy Pledis‘ sales to UNICEF and have participated in a few events to help promote UNICEF’s campaigns. In 2012 After School used their celebrity to promote and encourage vaccinations for children.
After School has also acted as ambassadors for MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) in 2011.
After School have endorsed many produces since their debut, both as a group and individually.
- After School participated in promotions for Samsung’s Amoled phone with label-mate Son Dam Bi. To promote the phone, they produced a song title “Amoled”. There was also a promotional music video to accompany the song.
- U-ie took part in the CF for “4tomorrow”, a cellphone, along with Ga-in (Brown Eyed Girls), Seungyeon (Kara) and HyunA (4Minute)
- U-ie has been chosen to be the model for HEAD, a sportswear brand
- U-ie participated in a CF for “Anycall” along with SS501′s Kim Hyun Joong, and Actor Lee Min Ho.
- U-ie and Kahi took part in the CF for the water park “Vivaldi Ocean World”.
- Kahi was featured in the “Fat Down” CF.
- U-ie participated in the CF for “Cool Soju”, a Korean beer.
- 2010: kahi featured in the CJ 팻다운 cf
- Cosmetics brand “The Saem” revealed that After School were chosen as models for the CF.
- The group helped promote a new range of shoes by “Landrover”.
- U-ie participated in promotions for golf sports wear for Le Coq Sportif.
- After School collaborated with Hello Kitty to promote the release of their Japanese debut single, “Bang!”.
- Lizzy participated in the CF for “New Balance”, a jacket brand, with label-mate NU’EST.
- After School were models for SHIBUYA109 and also starred in the “Christmas Campaign” CM which featured their third Japanese single, “Rambling Girls/Because of You”.
- After School were representatives for the Japanese food company “Hanryuen”.
- The group are official models for “Samantha Thavasa” and featured in the CM promoting a new range of handbags. The CM also featured their song “Just in time”.
- The girls once again promoted a new range of shoes for shoe brand “Landrover”.
- U-ie was a model for “BDlab Beauty & Diet”.
- After School collaborated again with Hello Kitty to promote their first Japanese album, “Playgirlz”.
- The group starred in the CM for deodorant brand “Rexena”. The CM also featured a preview of After School’s new Japanese single, “Dilly Dally“.
- U-ie modeled a new range of sports wear by Le Coq Sportif
- U-ie endorsed ‘Cantata’ coffee
- Nana endorsed ‘Juvis’ professional diet brand
- The group endorsed Japanese clothing brand ‘Cecil Mcbee’
- Rookie of The Month Award at Cyworld Digital Music Awards 34th with ‘Diva’
- Best Style Icon Award at 2009 Korea Lifestyle Awards
- Mutizen Awards at SBS Inkigayo Episode 558, 559 & 562 with ‘Because of You’
- K-pop New Artist of the Year 2009 at Billboard Japan Music Awards 2009
- Rookie Award at 19th High1 Seoul Music Awards
- Cultural Minister of Finance Award at the 2011 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award
- Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award at the 2011 Korea Entertainment News Award
- Amuro Namie & After School’s “Make It Happen” wins Best Collaboration Video at MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2012
*Credit for information: Pledis Entertainment, AfterSchool’s Official website, AfterSchoolCraze.com, mihyejung@soompi + sleepysa@soompi, en.wikipedia.org, Orange Caramel Wiki + generasia.com & AfterSchoolDaze