T-ARA or T♔ARA) is a South Korean girl group that debuted in 2009 under Core Contents Media. Before their debut, there was a high level of interest in the group as they were called the "Super Rookies" and had been training for three years prior.
Originally a five-member group composed of Jiae, Jiwon, Eunjung,Hyomin, and Jiyeon, they released their first song "Good Person" (좋은 사람, Joheun Saram) for the soundtrack of the Korean drama Cinderella Man in April 2009. After Jiae and Jiwon withdrew from the group two months later, T-ara debuted as a six-member group with the addition ofBoram, Soyeon, and Qri in July 2009, releasing their first single "Lies" (거짓말, Geojitmal).
Their debut studio album Absolute First Album was released in December 2009 and spawned several hit singles including "TTL (Time to Love)", "Bo Peep Bo Peep", and "I Go Crazy Because of You" (너 때문에 미쳐, Neo Ttaemune Michyeo). The album was followed by the group's first extended play, Temptastic, in 2010. Their second extended play John Travolta Wannabe (2011) produced "Roly-Poly", which was nominated for several awards and went on to become the Gaon chart's number one single of the year. In less than six months, the group released their third extended play Black Eyes (2011), which spawned three number one singles: "Cry Cry", "We Were in Love" (우리 사랑했잖아, Uri Saranghaetjanha) and "Lovey-Dovey".
In 2011, T-ara signed a $4.3 million contract with management company J-Rock for their Japanese debut, the highest out of all the Korean girl groups debuting in Japan. The group's first single was a remake of their 2009 hit "Bo Peep Bo Peep". It ranked at number one on theOricon weekly charts with 49,712 copies sold, the first time a debuting Korean girl group has done so in the charts' history. T-ara released their debut Japanese studio album Jewelry Box in 2012, which peaked at number two on the Oricon charts.
The group has added two members to their lineup since debut:Hwayoung in July 2010 and Areum in June 2012. A ninth member, Dani, was planned for the group, however, her debut was delayed indefinitely and she has since been reassigned to the sub-unit T-ara N4. Hwayoung later departed the group in July 2012, and Areum left in July 2013, only a year after joining. T-ara uses a rotating leader system in which a different member of the group is elected as leader each year, in order to give both the group and the individual members the opportunity to grow in a new direction. Their current leader under this system is Qri.