On April 8, the 28-year-old idol and actress broke the new on Instagram through a handwritten letter, where she shared more about her departure from the group. Son leaving Apink marks the end of her nearly 11-year-run as a member of the K-pop girl group.
“I made this difficult decision after a lot of debate, and though it wasn’t an easy decision, I plan to become a Panda (Apink’s official fanbase) and cheer on Apink starting from now on,” wrote Son, as translated by Soompi. She went on to thank her ex-bandmates and former agency IST Entertainment, as well as her fans.
“I will engrave the name ‘Apink’s Son Na-eun’ in my heart, and I think showing you better things in the future, so that I don’t bring shame to that name, is one way I can repay you,” she added.
The news comes close to a year after Son departed the group’s longtime agency, IST Entertainment (formerly known as Play M Entertainment) and signed with YG Entertainment. The star had remained part of the group, including for their February special album ‘HORN’, though she did not participate in promotional activities due to “scheduling conflicts”.
Apink’s leader Park Cho-rong has since also penned a letter addressing son’s departure. The idol shared that the members of the group have made “numerous sacrifices” over the years to keep the group together. “Since we know that so well about each other, this is a decision we’ve made after really thinking about what is best for each other,” she wrote.
“Please trust this once that our members are always worried about Pandas and have always prioritised Apink. Let’s cherish our past pretty memories and I hope we can make new happy memories together,” wrote Park, along with an apology to their fans.
Her post also included an official statement from IST Entertainment, which revealed that the members and staff from both IST and YG Entertainment had met up to discuss Son’s future with Apink. The agency shared that their decision was “not made lightly”, and apologised to fans once again.
Apink debuted in 2011 as a seven-member group with their first EP ‘Seven Springs of Apink’. Member Hong Yoo-kyung left the group in 2013 to further pursue her education, and they went on to release hits like ‘NoNoNo’, ‘Mr. Chu’ and ‘Dumhdurum’ as a six-member group over the years. The group now comprises members Park Cho-rong, Yoon Bo-mi, Jung Eun-ji, Kim Nam-joo and Oh Ha-young.