Loona - a girl group worth waiting for!

by Helen Bosch
loona photoshoot imageloona photoshoot image

It is not uncommon for individual or multiple members of K-pop groups to appear on television together or alone before their debut, where they have already attracted fans' attention. The members of girl group Loona were also active as a group before their debut, but their pre-debut story is unique. Since October 2016 until May 2018, a total of 17 albums have been released over a period of 20 months, all of which count towards Loona`s discography! And this despite the fact that the girl group only officially debuted on August 19, 2018!

"Girl of the Month" Project

In March 2016, Polaris Entertainment, an agency that mainly signs actors and solo artists, launched a sublabel with the aim of creating a girl group. The sublabel "Blockberry Creative" launched the "Girl of the Month" project back in October. As part of the project, all members of the group were introduced individually. Introducing in this case meant that each of the girls released their own single album!

Like the project, the future girl group is called "이달의 소녀" ("Idarui Sonyeo" = Korean for "girl of the month"). The English name "LOONA" is derived from the first Korean letter of each sylphabetic block: ㅇㄷㅇㅅㄴ. Arranged differently to ㄴㅇㅇㄷㅅ, the letters resemble "LOONA" in the Latin alphabet.

As the name of the project suggested, an album was then released every month. Until January 2017, fans got to know HeeJin, HyunJin, HaSeul and YeoJin. Each album is named after the respective member and contains two tracks. However, while the second track on Hee Jin's album is just an acoustic version of the title track, each of the other albums usually features a collaboration with one or more other members who have already been introduced, in addition to the title track. Yeo Jin's album is the only one that even contains three songs, including two duets!

HeeJin (October 2016)

Title Song: ViViD
Collaboration: None

HyunJin (November 2016)

Title Song: Around You
Collaboration: I'll Be There (with Hee Jin)

HaSeul (December 2016)

Title Song: Let Me In
Collaboration: The Carol (with Hee Jin and Hyun Jin)

YeoJin (January 2017)

Title Song: Kiss Later
Collaborations: My Melody (with Haseul), My Sunday (Hee Jin and Hyun Jin)

loona 1/3 love & evil album cover

In February there was a break and in March, instead of a new single album, the debut of Loona's first subunit "Loona ⅓" followed with an album called "Love & Live"!
The members of the unit include Hee Jin, Hyun Jin, Ha Seul and Vivi. The latter was still unknown to the fans at that time. "Love & Live" was even followed by a repackage in April called "Love & Evil".

In the same month Vivi introduced herself with a single album. From May to July, further single albums were released every month; this time by Kim Lip, JinSoul and Choerry.

Loona ⅓ - Love & Live (March 2017)

Title Song: Love & Live

Loona ⅓ - Love & Evil (April 2017)

Title Song: Sonatine

Vivi (April 2017)

Title Song: Everyday I Love You (with Ha Seul)
Collaboration: Everyday I Need You (with Jin Soul)

Kim Lip (May 2017)

Title Song: Eclipse
Collaboration: None

JinSoul (June 2017)

Title Song: Singing in the Rain
Collaboration: Love Letter (with Kim Lip)

Choerry (July 2017)

Title Song: Love Cherry Motion
Collaboration: Puzzle (with Jin Soul)

loona odd eye circle loonatic

After four single albums, a break follows again. Then in September, a second subunit called "Loona Odd Eye Circle" debuted, consisting of Kim Lip, Jin Soul and Choerry. This time, too, a repackage was released a month later.

Loona Odd Eye Circle - Mix & Match (September 2017)

Title Song: Girl Front

Loona Odd Eye Circle - Max & Match (October 2017)

Title Song: Sweet Crazy Love

Also in September, HeeJin, HyunJin and HaSeul applied to the survival show "Mix Nine". HeeJin and HyunJin passed the audition; HyunJin was eliminated in 18th place, while HeeJin actually placed 4th! With this, she was supposed to debut in the project group, however, the debut was cancelled due to disagreements between the agencies involved.

In November the next single album was released and according to the previous pattern three more followed until March. Out of line this time, however, is that after three single albums in February is again break.

Yves (November 2017)

Title Song: new
Collaboration: None

Chuu (December 2017)

Title Song: Heart Attack
Collaboration: Girl’s Talk (with Yves)

Go Won (January 2018)

Title Song: One & Only
Collaboration: See Saw (with Chuu and Kim Lip)

Olivia Hye (March 2018)

Title Song: Egoist (with JinSoul)
Collaboration Rosy (Go Won & Hee Jin)

loona yyxy beauty & the beat

So in March 2018, the time had finally come. All twelve members of Loona released their own single album! However, the "Girl of the Month" project only ended in May with the formation of the third subunit "Loona yyxy". The unit consists of Yves, Chuu, Go Won and Olivia Hye.

Loona yyxy - Beauty & the Beat (May 2018)

Title Song: love4eva

"Beauty & the Beat" reached No. 4 on the Korean Gaon Album Chart, the highest chart position of Subunit albums to date. Previously, for example, "Love & Live" reached #10 and "Max & Match" reached #7.

After now 20 months, 12 single albums, 5 unit albums and fan events in different constellations, the tension among the fans gathered until then must have been enormously high. Each of the girls had proven their talent, but how will it look when all 12 members come together and present themselves as a group?

That question was answered on August 7, 2018, just three months after the Girl of the Month project ended, with the pre-debut single "Favorite"!

The single reached #4 on the US World Digital Song Sales chart and was later included on the debut album [++].

The members

Stage nameReal nameBirthdaySubunit
ViviWong Gaahei09.12.1996Loona 1/3
YvesHa Soo Young24.05.1997Loona yyxy
JinSoulJung Jin Soul13.06.1997Loona Odd Eye Circle
HaSeulJo Ha Seul18.08.1997Loona 1/3
Kim LipKim Jeung Eun10.02.1999Loona Odd Eye Circle
ChuuKim Ji Woo20.10.1999Loona yyxy
HeeJinJeon Hee Jin19.10.2000Loona 1/3
HyunJinKim Hyun Jin15.11.2000Loona 1/3
Go WonPark Chae Won19.11.2000Loona yyxy
ChoerryChoi Ye Rim04.06.2001Loona Odd Eye Circle
Olivia HyeSo Hye Joo13.11.2001Loona yyxy
YeoJinIm Yeo Jin11.11.2002

[+ +]

On August 20, Loona finally made their official debut with their first album. [+ +] entered the Gaon Album Chart at #2 and became the second best-selling debut album by a girl group in 2018! The title track "Hi High" placed like "Favorite" on the US World Digital Song Sales chart, though not quite as high at #11. The music video for "Hi High" was viewed three million times in three days and more than ten million times eight days after its release.

After the successful debut, however, fans had to wait almost half a year for the girl group's first comeback.

[x x]

On February 19, 2019, Loona finally released their second album [x x], a repackage of [+ +]. Fans probably expected two to four new songs at most, since it's "only" a repackage, but the girl group presented six brand new songs at once, including the title track "Butterfly"! So it was worth the wait!

This time it took a whole year until a new album was released in February 2020. In the meantime, however, fans could at least enjoy the single "365", which Loona released in December 2019.

[#]

In early January 2020, Blockberry Creative announced that due to mental problems HaSeul would not participate in the promotions for the new album [#] , which was released a month later, on February 5. Although HaSeul was not involved in the title track "So What," as expected, she was featured in three other songs on the album to the delight of fans! The album entered at No. 2 on the Gaon Album Chart and "So What" earned Loona their first win in a music show!

[12:00]

On October 19, the fourth album [12:00] was released with the title track "Why Not?"; again without HaSeul, who wanted to continue focusing on her health.

Loona made the Billboard 200 chart for the first time with [12:00] and the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 with "Star," a song from the album for which a music video was also released in November. The latter is a special achievement, as Loona was only the second K-pop girl group to place in the Mainstream Top 40!

[&]

On June 12, 2021, there was a reason to rejoice for the fans of the girl group, because in the first image teaser for the new album [&], there were twelve eyes to be seen. HaSeul is back after more than a year! As if to celebrate the reunion, Loona broke a number of their personal records with the album. Among other things, [&] sold more copies than any other album by the group before; in addition, the girl group placed in the Japanese charts for the first time. Furthermore, all seven songs from the album made it onto the Gaon Download Charts, and the title track "Paint the Town" became the group's first song to enter the Gaon Digital Charts!

The same day [&] was released, Loona announced their Japan debut!

Hula Hoop / StarSeed -Kakusei-

The first Japanese single album, which includes the two singles "Hula Hoop” and “StarSeed" as well as a Japanese version of "Paint the Town", was recently released on September 15.

Loona has proven several times that the months of waiting for the official debut was worth it! We hope that they will release music again very soon and we can celebrate further successes together with them! What is your favorite Loona album? Feel free to write it to us in the comments! ^-^

loona ++ al

Bonus

You must have noticed that YeoJin is the only member of Loona who does not belong to a subunit. At just 14 years old, she was probably too young and wanted to focus on school before being active in a unit as well. Some fans think that she would have otherwise debuted in Loona ⅓ and Vivi in Odd Eye Circle.

Have you ever noticed that the twelve members on the cover of the debut album [+ +] are standing together, divided by unit? YeoJin is the only one standing alone.

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