Imagine a scenario of a group with members that are iconic, members that represent every generation and members which everyone looks up to. This became a reality not too long ago thanks to the widely loved Korean variety show Hangout with Yoo which gave birth to the ever so iconic and feisty Refund Sisters.
Although a project born out of a reality program, the group still maintained to climb up the hype chart thanks to the members which consist of industry legends Uhm Jung-Hwa and Lee Hyo-Ri, Korean-American rapper Jessi and Hwasa of girl group MAMAMOO. The show’s concept paired with the iconic host and comedian Yoo Jae-Suk in the role of Jimmy Yoo, an eccentric music producer looking to form a group and him casting the four divas made the group and the show widely popular and viral.
The women take on unusual stage names, which are Manok (Uhm), Cheonok (Lee), Eunbi (Jessi) and Silbi (Hwasa), and go on a quest to debut as a real-life K-pop girl group, of course, filled with many laughs as you’d have it any Korean variety program. But what makes it different this time is the realness of the women and their relationship who don’t shy away to speak on subjects such as physical changes due to ageing or them gushing about dating and past dating experiences. Moreover, in a society which considers age, rank, seniority as prime factors, the friendship and the camaraderie between the members with such wide age gaps is as fresh as it gets.
It is not just the concept and the ladies that made this rookie supergroup popular, but the music itself is the cherry on top. The live performance of their debut song titled “Don’t Touch Me” racked more than 10 million views in a week before any official music video was released. Not only that, the track dominated digital streaming charts along with songs from the likes of BTS and BLACKPINK. And their official music video released last week is all things fashion and strong female power with multiple comments hailing them as “QUEENS”.
Their name, Refund Sisters, is derived from the fact that they’re the kind of ‘strong’ that no one can say no to when asked for a refund truly speaks for them and their aura. Here’s more on each member.
Uhm Jung-Hwa, the oldest of the quartet, is a South Korean singer and actress nicknamed the “evergreen”. She is one of the most influential women in the Korean entertainment industry, with many female artists hailing her as their role model. Even with a long hiatus from the music industry and with difficulties following a thyroid cancer surgery, she maintains her spot as one of the legendary singers to come from South Korea.
Lee Hyo-Ri, the second oldest and the leader of the group, has previously worked on the show and it was her suggestion that gave birth to Refund Sisters. Any person familiar with K-pop would know who Lee is with the kind of influence and popularity that she has. Often joking about living with her boyfriend on the show, her real-life husband musician Lee Sang-soon, she debuted as a member of girl group Fin.K.L and has since become another legendary solo artist to come from South Korea.
If you’ve watched the show and are familiar with the group, chances are that you wanted to watch Jessi do her thing. Since changing her label to PSY‘s P-Nation, she has been on a roll with producing major bops and appearances in multiple variety programs. Born in New York, raised in New Jersey and moving to South Korea at the age of 15, her long career and candid personality make her the most fun and outspoken member to tune in the show for.
The youngest of the group, she is the member of the wildly popular K-pop girl group MAMAMOO. Equally known for her candied and outspoken personality, she is also known for keeping it real in her multiple variety program appearances. Her unique vocals, exotic look and bold fashion choices make her the ultimate girl crush along with the gang.