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Goo Ha-ra (January 13, 1991 – November 24, 2019), also known mononymously as Hara, was a South Korean singer and actress. She was a member of the South Korean girl group Kara, and had also appeared in television dramas including City Hunter (2011). She made her debut as a soloist in July 2015 with the release of her EP Alohara (Can You Feel It?).

Goo Hara
"어딜 봐도 예쁘네" 구하라, 갈수록 예뻐지는 여신 미모 (2).jpg
Goo Hara in July 2018
Native name
구하라
Born
Goo Ha-ra

(1991-01-13)January 13, 1991
Gwangju, South Korea
DiedNovember 24, 2019(2019-11-24) (aged 28)
Seoul, South Korea
Cause of deathSuicide
Occupation
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active2008–2019
Musical career
GenresK-pop
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2008–2019
Labels
  • DSP Media
  • KeyEast
  • Production Ogi
Associated actsKara
Korean name
Hangul
Revised RomanizationGu Ha-ra
McCune–ReischauerKu Ha-ra
Signature
Hara's signature.png

Life and careerEdit

Early life and educationEdit

Goo was born on January 13, 1991,[1] in Gwangju, South Korea. She participated in SM Entertainment's youth appearance tournament in 2005. In 2007, she unsuccessfully auditioned to join JYP Entertainment.[2]

She attended Sungshin Women's University.[3]

2008–2015: Kara and solo activitiesEdit

Goo joined the girl group Kara in 2008, following the departure of former member Kim Sung-hee.[4] In October 2009, she became a cast member of the KBS' reality show Invincible Youth.[5]

In 2011, Goo made her acting debut in SBS City Hunter,[6] where she starred as Choi Da-hye, the daughter of South Korea's president.[7] On January 19, 2011, it was announced that Goo would be terminating her contract with her label DSP Media along with three other members of Kara, and a lawsuit was filed on their behalf. Later that day, it was announced that she would discontinue her involvement with the suit and had rejoined the company,[8] as she apparently was not fully aware of the lawsuit's details.[9] In November 2011, she and Nicole Jung became the new MCs for Inkigayo,[10][unreliable source?] and they left the show on August 19, 2012.[citation needed]

In 2013, she collaborated with Japanese musician and songwriter Fukuyama Masaharu to record a song called "Magic of Love" in Korean under the project group, Hara+. The song was used as a soundtrack for FujiTV's drama Galileo, which Masaharu starred in.[11] In October 2013, she was appointed as the blood donation ambassador for the Hanmaum Blood Bank.[12]

On December 29, 2014, she appeared in her own reality show titled On & Off, which aired on MBC Music.[13] In January 2015, she started hosting KBS' idol beauty show A Style For You along with Super Junior's Kim Heechul, EXID's Hani and Sistar's Bora.[14] In June 2015, she released a beauty book titled Nail Hara.[15]

In July 2015, Goo debuted as a solo artist with the release of the EP Alohara (Can You Feel It?), which peaked at #4 domestically. The lead single "Choco Chip Cookies" features South Korean rapper Giriboy.[16][17][18]

In October 2015, Goo joined the variety show Shaolin Clenched Fists.[19]

2016–2019: Solo career, personal struggles, and final projectsEdit

 
Hara in November 2009

On January 15, 2016, Kara disbanded due to Goo and fellow members Park Gyu-ri and Han Seung-yeon leaving DSP Media upon the expiration of their contracts with the company. Goo then signed with KeyEast a few days later to pursue a solo career.[20] In December 2016, she featured in Thunder's single, "Sign".[21]

In August 2017, Goo starred in a web movie titled Sound of a Footstep.[22] In November 2017, Goo joined the variety show Seoul Mate.[23]

In January 2018, she released a soundtrack for the drama Jugglers, titled "On A Good Day".[24] In April 2018, she hosted the JTBC's beauty show My Mad Beauty Diary.[25] In July, she was named honorary ambassador for the 6th Animal Film Festival.[26] In August 2018, Goo debuted as a soloist in Japan, releasing the song "Wild".[27]

Beginning in October 2018, Goo and her ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong-bum, got into a legal dispute that extended into 2019.[28][29] The nature of the dispute caused issues in both her professional and personal life, including Content Y (a subsidiary of KeyEast that Goo had been actively promoting under since 2017), declining to renew her contract following its expiration in January 2019.[30] After being on hiatus for the first half of 2019, Goo announced in June 2019 that she had signed with Production Ogi to continue her activities in Japan.[31]

Goo's final release prior to her death was the maxi single Midnight Queen, which was released in September 2019.[32] She also embarked on a mini tour, titled HARA Zepp Tour 2019 ~HELLO~, to support the album. The tour consisted of four concert dates held across Japan in November 2019, ending on the 19th.[33]

Personal lifeEdit

On January 5, 2010, during an appearance on the SBS reality show Strong Heart, Goo admitted to getting dental and minor facial cosmetic surgery. She stated that she had always had double eyelids, but had surgery to make them more defined.[34][35]

Goo dated hairdresser Choi Jong-bum after the two first met on the set of the beauty TV program My Mad Beauty Diary.[36] At around 1 a.m of September 13, 2018, Choi broke into Goo's house drunk while she was sleeping and started an argument that escalated into violent assault, when he allegedly tried to break up with her.[37][38] The police arrived at Goo’s house after Choi reported her for assault.[39] Goo claimed that the incident was two-sided and then both parties posted images of their injuries to the internet to explain their side of the story.[40][41] During the incident, Goo suffered from uterus and vagina hemorrhage, and was also diagnosed with “cervical sprain”, “facial contusions and sprain”, “lower leg contusions and sprain”, and “right forearm and additional sprains.”[42][43] Following this, Goo filed a lawsuit against Choi for threatening to release a sex video filmed without her consent in an attempt by him to end her career,[44][45][46][47] and the sex video was submitted to the court per the judge's request, where it was confirmed privately by him.[48] During the first trial held on April 18, 2019, Choi denied most charges but admitted that he was responsible only for the destruction of property.[49] In August, he was acquitted of the charge of filming the sex video without permission as the court agreed that the filming was done without her consent, but because she remained in the relationship they found him not guilty of illicit filming.[50] However, he was sentenced to one year and six months in prison, suspended for three years of probation after being convicted of threatening to upload the sex video, coercing, physically assaulting, and destroying Goo's property.[51] After news of her sex video went public, Goo was harassed online on social media, despite being a victim of a crime.[50]

On May 26, 2019, Goo attempted suicide in her apartment and was immediately taken to hospital, after which she apologized for worrying her fans.[52][53]

Death and impactEdit

On November 24, 2019, Goo was found dead at her home in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam,[54][55] with her cause of death a possible suicide.[56][57][58] Police found a suicide note written by Goo,[59] and concluded that there was no foul play as she was seen on CCTV footage returning home at 12:40 am, with no further visitors except for the housekeeper who found her body at 6 pm the same day.[60][61][62][63] An autopsy was not performed after the police consulted the prosecutor in-charge and took into consideration her family's request,[64] and the body was handed over to her family on November 26.[65] Goo's death occurred over a month after her close friend and fellow idol Sulli had committed suicide.[58][66]

Goo's funeral was privately held at Gangnam Severance Hospital by family members and friends,[67] while a separate memorial service for fans took place on November 25–26 in The Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary's Hospital [ko] in Gangnam.[68][69][70] Goo's body was cremated and her remains were enshrined at the Skycastle Memorial Park [ko] in Bundang, Gyeonggi-do.[71]

Following her death, a petition was submitted to the Blue House with over 200,000 signatures demanding a more severe punishment for filming sexual acts without consent and distributing it.[72] Moreover, it was revealed that Goo had helped reporter Kang Kyung-yoon investigate Jung Joon-young’s chatroom case prior to her death.[73][74]

DiscographyEdit

Extended playsEdit

Title Details Peak positions Sales
KOR
[75]
JPN
[76]
TWN
[77]
US World[78]
Alohara (Can You Feel It?)[79] 4 64 34 94
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

SinglesEdit

Title Year Peak positions Sales Album
KOR
Gaon

[81]
KOR
Hot 100

[82]
JPN
Oricon

[83]
"Secret Love" (시크릿 러브) 2012 68 74 Kara Solo Collection
"Magic of Love" (사랑의 마법)[85] 2013 N/A Galileo+[86]
"Choco Chip Cookies" (초코칩쿠키)
(feat. Giriboy)
2015 21 85 Alohara (Can you feel it?)
"How About Me?" (어때)
(feat. YoungJi)
"Wild" 2018 N/A TBA
"Midnight Queen" 2019 29
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Other appearancesEdit

Year Song Other artists Album Ref.
2011 "I Love You, I Want You, I Need You (Sweet Acoustic Ver.)" City Hunter OST Special [89]
2014 "Talk About Love" Various artists non-album song [90]
2017 "Sign" Thunder feat Goo Hara Thunder [91]
2018 "Shining Day" Jugglers OST [92]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Kara The Animation Herself Animation; Japanese dubbed version [93]
2017 Sound of a Footstep Yoon-jae Web film [94]

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Network Role Ref.
2008 That Person is Coming [ko] MBC Gang of school girls (cameo) [95]
2009 Hero Cameo (as part of Kara) [96]
2011 Urakara TV Tokyo Hara [97]
City Hunter SBS Choi Da-hye [98]
2013 Galileo 2 Fuji TV Cameo [99]
2014 Secret Love [zh] DRAMAcube Lee Hyun-jung [100]
It's Okay, That's Love SBS Cameo (Ep.16) [101]

Reality showEdit

Year Title Network Notes Ref.
2005
Unwavered Dreams
KBS
Documentary [citation needed]
2008
Check it Girl Season 2
M.Net
Fashionist Girl [citation needed]
2008–2009
Strange Casting – Season 2 Cast member [citation needed]
2009
Hunters
MBC
Cast member [102]
2009–2010
Invincible Youth
KBS
Cast member [5]
2014
ON & OFF: The Gossip
MBC
Her first reality show [103]
2015
A Style For You
KBS
MC [14]
Shaolin Clenched Fists
SBS
Cast member [19]
2017
Seoul Mate
tvN, Olive
Cast member [104]
2018
My Mad Beauty Diary
JTBC
MC [105]

Events shows hostingEdit

Year Title Network Role Ref.
2011 Dream Concert 2011 KBS Host with Kim Heechul and Song Joong-ki [106]
Seoul-Tokyo Music Festival SBS Host with Park Gyu-ri [107]
2012 Inkigayo Host with Jung Nicole and IU [10]
Korean Music Wave in Kobe MBC Host with Han Seungyeon and Hongki [108]
2013 Dream Concert 2013 KBS Host with Onew and Doojoon [109]
KBS Entertainment Awards Host [110]
2014 Hallyu Dream Festival 2014 Host with Seo Kang-joon and Dasom [111]
2015 Dream Concert 2015 Host with Dasom and Eunjung [112]
Show! Champion - Yokohama Special MBC Music Host with Heo Youngji [113]
2016 Power of K 2016 Korea TV Fes in Japan Host with Leeteuk [114]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2010 KBS Entertainment Awards Best Female MC Award Invincible Youth Won [115]
2011 5th Mnet 20's Choice Award Hot Campus Girl N/A Won [116]
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award City Hunter Won [117]
2013 '50th' Savings Day Saving Award N/A Won [118]
2015 2015 Korean Nail Star Award Singer Category Award Nail Hara Won [citation needed]
2015 SBS Entertainment Awards Best Challenge Award Shaolin Clenched Fists Won [119]

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