K-pop girl group KARA will switch to a four-member group as it introduces the winner of a TV audition program as a new member, the group's management agency said Wednesday.
The group has been working as a three-member band since the departure in January of two of its original five members -- Kang Ji-young and Nicole.
According to DSP Media, Heo Young-ji, 20, became a new member of the group, beating out three competitors in the final round of the cable TV MBC Music's "KARA project-KARA The Beginning," which was aired on Tuesday.
Heo, who has long been undergoing training by entertainment agencies to be a singer, received good marks in all categories of the contest -- physical appearance, dancing and singing -- the agency said.
"I'm really happy. I'll do my best and try to develop as KARA's new member in order not to cause any trouble to the group," Heo said during the program.
Under the four-member system, KARA will release a new album in August and focus on domestic activities before going on a concert tour in Japan in October, the agency said.
Debuted in 2007 with "Break It" from their first album "The First Blooming," KARA is one of the most influential K-pop groups with large followings in Korea and other Asian nations, including Japan. (Yohap)