Big Hit Entertainment audition requirements clearly specify that the agency is only looking for male trainees. While producer Bang Shi Hyuk never confirmed, his boys-only policy may have stemmed from the complete and utter failure of GLAM, Big Hit Entertainment’s first girl group ever.
Before BTS happened, producer Bang Shi Hyuk, in partnership with Source Music, decided to create a girl group. In July 2012, GLAM debuted as a collaborative work, with Big Hit Entertainment producing and Source Music managing the group.
The initial debuting group consisted of five members. GLAM performed Bang Shi Hyuk’s and Pdogg‘s debut title track “Party(XXO)” with SeeU, a “vocaloid” whose voice belongs to one of the group members, Dahee.
Post promotion, member TRINITY abruptly left the group in 2012. While Source Music explained the reason was personal, fans were aware of the fact that she was rumored to have been a “sasaeng (사생, extreme fan)” of Super Junior‘s Leeteuk. TRINITY is said to have harassed Leeteuk until shortly before debuting.
As a four-member group, GLAM returned in 2013 with “I Like That” produced by Bang Shi Hyuk, Pdogg, and BTS‘s RM. The group promoted this song and one other, “In Front of the Mirror”, without much success.
By February of 2014, GLAM released “Special Gift [Give it 2 U]”, a track that became the group’s last.
While the group was not excelling, the members were working hard to stay together. This effort shattered when member Dahee was found to be involved in one of the nation’s biggest scandals of the year with the married actor Lee Byung Hun.
By September of 2014, Dahee, also referred to as her real name Kim Si Won throughout the investigation, was arrested for threatening Lee Byung Hun. She, and an accomplice who was found to be model Lee Ji Yeon, requested the actor to pay 4.5 million US dollars in exchange of a video recorded at a private gathering. This “video” was said to show Lee Byung Hun making lewd comments and being inappropriate.
When Lee Byung Hun reported Dahee to the police, she looked up flight tickets to escape the investigation. The authority issued a warrant, officially arresting Dahee on September 3rd, 2014. From then on, Dahee submitted multiple written statements reflecting on her actions and asked for leniency.
By January of 2015, the case found Dahee guilty of attempted threat. During the first trial, she was sentenced to a year of imprisonment. When she appealed, the court re-sentenced her to a year of imprisonment and two years of probation. She ended up getting out on a $20,000 USD bail, made possible because Lee Byung Hun didn’t want harsh punishment.
At this point, Big Hit Entertainment confirmed the group has nullified the contract and officially disbanded, stating “With one of the members involved in a legal controversy, the agency no longer finds it possible to keep this group going and decided to release the members as requested.”
In May 2018, Dahee became a broadcast jockey on Afreeca TV, with a little over 4,000 channel followers.
I’ve been working part time gigs and modeling. I’ve missed singing though. I used to do Instagram lives, but a couple of my friends helped me set this up.
The agency’s supporters also believe, aside from the whole GLAM issue, that there is no reason for Big Hit Entertainment to risk producing a girl group again, especially when it now has the know-how of managing a boy group like BTS into global success.
Now, however, Big Hit Entertainment is looking to once again open their doors to female trainees. They have partnered up with Source Music once again to create a new girl group, with the hopes of debuting them in 2021.