Sistar to disperse seven years after debut

The seven-year-old idol group Sistar will disband after dropping its last single album next week, the K-pop circle said Tuesday.

"I heard that the members have discussed their future path with the management agency for a long time and understand that the agency decided to respect their opinions in favor of finishing their seven years of activities as a group and taking a new challenge," an official in the K-pop industry said on condition of anonymity.

The four-member band is to drop a new single album in collaboration with Black Eyed Philseung on May 31. Its management contract with Starship Entertainment is scheduled to expire early next month.

The band and its agency reached an agreement to disband the group, but negotiations on the renewal of the contract are still under way, according to sources.

Chances are high, if the group is disbanded, Hyolyn and Soyou will begin solo careers, and Bora and Dasom, who have much experience appearing on TV shows, will turn to acting.

Sistar's disbandment is something quite unexpected as they have had good teamwork with their management agency and enjoyed steady popularity. The news will likely come as a surprise and disappointment to many of the group's fans and the K-pop scene.

"The time I spent with other members and the Star 1 as Hyolyn of Sistar was so precious that I wouldn't change it for anything, and it was a dreamlike moment," Hyolyn, the team leader, said in her handwritten letter posted on the group's Internet cafe for fans. "Now we, Sistar members, have decided to go our respective ways for a second life." Star 1 is the name of the band's official fan club.

In another handwritten letter, Bora said: "To me, the time that I had together with Star 1 and other Sistar members was really precious and happy. But it seems to me that my heart is not reaching more people than my efforts, and now I have more regrets for not being nicer to you while doing group activities."

Debuting in June 2010, Sistar has captivated fans for its vibrant dance songs, healthy beauty and splendid stage performances.

Sistar won the moniker "summer queen" for its popular summer tracks "So Cool," "Loving U," "Give It to Me," "Touch My Body," "Shake It" and "I Like That."

Sistar 19, a sub-unit composed of Hyolyn and Bora, also became popular for such hit songs as "Ma Boy" and "Gone Not Around Any Longer."