After School (Hangul: ě• í"„í„°ěŠ¤ěż¨), stylized as AFTERSCHOOL in Japan, is a South Korean girl group with an admissions and graduation concept formed by Pledis Entertainment. As of December 2019, After School only has one member under the label. According to the groupâ€™s website however, Lizzy, Raina, E-Young and Kaeun are still members of the group.After School officially debuted in January 2009 with "AH!" from the single album New Schoolgirl. Following the addition of Uee in April of that year, they released "Diva", which won the "Rookie of the Month" award at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards. Pledis Entertainment then announced the graduation of Soyoung, before adding Raina and Nana for the release of "Because of You" in November 2009, which was an instant hit and became a commercial and critical success for the group, with the song winning a "triple crown" on Inkigayo and was the best selling song of December 2009, eventually becoming one of the best selling K-Pop singles of all time. Follow-up singles "Bang!", "Shampoo", "Flashback" and "First Love" further consolidated their domestic and international popularity and saw the additions of Lizzy, E-Young and Kaeun, as well as the graduations of original members Bekah and Kahi. In 2010, the three newest members at that time formed the groupâ€™s first subunit, Orange Caramel, and in 2011 a second subunit was formed when the group was split into two teams, A.S. Red and A.S. Blue, for the release of their fourth single album.
In the beginning of 2011, the group signed with Avex Trax to begin their promotions in Japan. The group made their first official appearance in Japan by collaborating with singer Namie Amuro for a song from her collaboration album Checkmate!, titled "Make it Happen". The song went onto win Best Collaboration at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan. The groupâ€™s debut single, a remake of their Korean hit "Bang!", was released in August that year and charted at number seven on Oriconâ€™s Weekly Singles Chart. Follow-up singles "Diva" and "Rambling Girls" / "Because of You" had similar success and helped to establish a fanbase in Japan before the release of the groupâ€™s debut Japanese album, Playgirlz (2012). Their second Japanese album, Dress to Kill, fronted by the Shinichi Osawa produced singles "Heaven" and "Shh", was released in 2014.
After School received attention for their unique live performances, often incorporating different performance styles into their songs, including drums, tap dancing and pole dancing, which garnered praise from Billboard who referred to the group as the "top performers in K-pop". The group also ranked number five in Billboardâ€™s list of the "Top 10 K-Pop Girl Groups of the Past Decade". They have also won numerous awards throughout their career, including the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award and the Idol Music Best of the Best Award in the 19th South Korea Culture & Entertainment Awards, and have sold over 12 million copies of their singles domestically.From 2015 onward After School halted group promotions and the members have embarked on individual music, acting and modeling careers. In 2019, Lizzy revealed that all members had gradually gone their separate ways, however the group has not officially disbanded.