- READ MORE: The 25 best K-pop songs of 2021
In a statement released by the label on December 23 via Sports Kyunghang, MLD Entertainment announced plans to launch a brand-new girl group sometime in the first half of 2022, marking the company’s first female idol group since Momoland’s debut in 2016.
Notably, the agency announced that Girls Planet 999 contestant Nonaka Shana would be joining the line-up for the upcoming group. She had previously emerged as one of the finalists on the popular Mnet-produced idol survival reality series, which aired its final episode in October. The remaining members of MLD’s new group have yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, Kep1er, the group that formed through the top nine contestants of Girls Planet 999, had their highly-anticipated debut delayed after members had come into contact with a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19, with members Xiao Ting and Mashiro later testing positive for the virus themselves earlier this month.
The group’s original debut date of December 14 was pushed back to January 3, 2022 as a result, and their previously scheduled debut performance at this year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards was also cancelled.
Mnet had also announced an all-male edition of the reality show that will be taking place in 2022, for which applications are now open to all male applicants born before 2009, regardless of nationality and for individuals who aren’t currently signed to an agency. The application period is currently running until February 11, 2022, but is subject to change.