Photo: Lee Young-ho/Sipa USA/Alamy Stock Photo On April 5, Source Music and HYBE unveiled the second member of their brand-new girl group, Le Sserafim: 16-year-old Kim Garam. By May 20, the labels had announced that Garam would go on an indefinite hiatus due to bullying allegations that had metastasized on Korean internet forums and K-pop Twitter. Over the course of six weeks, Garam's new life as an idol — with intense schedules, image management, and fierce cyber adoration — would go up in smoke. How did we get here? The six-member girl group is the product of a collaboration between Source Music and HYBE — the conglomerate that owns Source Music as well as other subsidiary labels like Big Hit Music and Pledis Entertainment. HYBE saw Le Sserafim as a means to fill a girl group–shaped hole in its roster — which includes BTS, Seventeen, and Tomorrow x Together. Even before joining Le Sserafim, the group's members were pretty accomplished — one member is a ballerina while another is a classically trained opera singer — so the group was set to make waves on the competitive K-pop scene. "They are taking a daring stance and saying right from the outset… Read full this story
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