Lia Is "Not Shy" About Taking a Break — Why She Isn't Part of ITZY's 2024 Album

Jamie Lerner - Author

Dec. 20 2023, Published 9:37 a.m. ET

Lia from ITZY
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Lia, one of ITZY's main singers, took a break in September 2023 due to extreme tension and anxiety related to her schedule, as announced by JYP Entertainment.

  • The decision was influenced by the demanding nature of the K-pop industry, emphasizing the importance of self-love and mental health in Lia's handwritten note to fans.

  • Lia won't be part of ITZY's 2024 activities as she continues to work on her health.

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We look up to our pop idols, but sometimes it’s easy to forget they’re real people too. K-pop group ITZY has risen to fame since their 2019 debut release, “Dalla Dalla,” which translates to “Different Different” in Korean. Fans fell in love with ITZY’s catchy tunes and stellar performances, as they became the biggest K-pop girl group since JYP’s Twice.

But in the last few months of 2023, Lia, one of their main singers, hasn’t been performing with ITZY. And now that ITZY is set to release their next album, BORN TO BE, on Jan. 8, 2024, it has been announced that Lia isn't even on the album. What happened to Lia? Keep reading for all of the details.

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Lia (center) and two other members from ITZY
Source: Getty Images

Lia took a hiatus from ITZY to manage her mental health.

In September 2023, JYP Entertainment announced that Lia would be taking a hiatus to manage her health. JYPE announced on the ITZY fan site (translated from Korean):

“We would like to provide an update regarding the health status and future activities of ITZY member Lia. Lia is currently experiencing extreme tension and anxiety related to her schedule. She has undergone medical consultation and examination, and it has been advised by healthcare professionals that she requires rest and treatment.”

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“Considering the artist's health as a top priority, we, along with the other members, have carefully deliberated and decided that Lia will not be participating in any upcoming schedules for the time being,” they continued. “She will take a break and focus solely on her treatment. The decision on when Lia will resume her activities will be made after thorough discussions between Lia herself and the other members of ITZY.”

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We can’t imagine being in Lia’s shoes — she and the other members of ITZY perform hundreds of shows per year, record music nonstop, rehearse, and write, all while maintaining a “perfect” image for their millions of fans aka MIDZY. Plus, they have to deal with online hate and criticism from internet trolls, so it isn't easy to be a K-pop icon.

Lia added at the time in a handwritten note shared to Instagram, “MIDZY worries about me even if I get a little sick, so I was worried MIDZY would be upset and heartbroken after hearing this news. But at the same time, I was able to gain courage because I knew that MIDZY would understand and wait for me because they know and trust me better than anyone else.”

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The note continued, “It's already been 6 years since I met the members and ran together with the same dream … It really seems like we've been going through a lot of things over and over again, and of course it's full of memories and happy moments we had together. It was such a precious time, but I realized that I was losing track of myself … I think I need to take some time now to love and fill myself first.”

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“As I always say, I sincerely hope that our MIDZY are happy. I will come back in good health so that I can repay MIDZY for waiting and worrying for me.”

Lia will return to ITZY, although the timeline isn't clear.

Although Lia’s hiatus means that she isn’t part of the 2024 album, promotion, and tour, it seems like she’ll return in due time. When the news was announced, MIDZY took to Reddit to share their thoughts and wish Lia well.

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ITZY without Lia
Source: Getty Images

Some even called out people who had bullied ITZY (and Lia) online after she was rushed to the hospital. During a performance in 2020, she wasn’t as on-point as usual, although she powered through. Afterward, she was rushed to the hospital, which scared her loyal fans. MIDZY has noticed that ITZY has been completely overworked in the past few years, which explains why each member has taken their own hiatus. Now, it’s Lia’s turn, but hopefully she’ll be back soon.

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