K-Pop Star Goo Hara Dies at Age 28

Goo Hara was a prominent South Korean singer and actress. She was known for being a member of the popular K-pop girl group Kara and for her role on the television series City Hunter. Here are the details behind her life and untimely death at the age of 28.

Goo Hara | Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

The rise and fall of Goo Hara’s career

Goo was a successful entertainer who nevertheless lived a troubled life. Kara was one of the first K-pop groups to cross over to the international music scene. In 2015, Goo released a solo EP titled Alohara (Can You Feel It?), which reached No. 4 on the South Korean pop charts.

On Jan. 15, 2016, Kara officially disbanded. Since then, the singer appeared on a pair of reality television shows: Seoul Mate and My Mad Beautiful Diary. Her recent musical endeavors — namely the singles “WILD” and “Midnight Queen” — failed to make an impact on the charts.

Goo Hara among fellow K-pop singers Kim Hee-Chul, Bora, and Hani| Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

Goo Hara’s personal struggles

Since the breakup of her girl group, Goo also faced numerous personal hardships. According to the BBC, the singer’s manager found her unconscious at her home following an alleged suicide attempt in May 2019. Goo was hospitalized after the incident.

“In terms of health, I am recovering,” she said in a statement at the time, according to BuzzFeed News. “I had been in agony over a number of overlapping issues. But from now on, I will steel my heart and try to show up healthy.”

The singer filed a lawsuit in September 2018 against Choi Jong-bum, an ex-boyfriend who she said had assaulted her and threatened to post an explicit video of her on the internet. In August 2019, Choi was found guilty of assault and intimidation and given a suspended sentence. Goo’s lawyers reportedly felt the ruling was too lenient.

Goo Hara in Seoul, South Korea | Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

Variety reported Goo was extremely close friends with singer and actress Sulli, who died by suicide in October 2019. Goo was seen crying over her friend’s death, though she assured the world she would be fine and said it would cause her to work even harder on her career. She described her bond with Sulli as sisterly.

An untimely death

On Nov. 24, South Korean police reported Goo was found dead at her home. The cause of death is still under investigation. Fans of the singer are taking to social media to mourn her death, often posting pictures of her alongside her close friend Sulli.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.