Soyeon opened up about the hardship (G)I-DLE faced after Soojin’s departure.
“As the leader, I feel a sense of responsibility. Our team went through a lot of changes last year. The members all had a hard time as our lineup changed from 6 to 5 members.
So there is something I said to the members during that time. This album is our last chance. We have to stand up again. That’s why I decided to name the album title “I NEVER DIE” and started working on it”.
Considering this album as the last chance to revive (G)I-DLE, Soyeon still had the faith that it would be well-received. When asked if she is confident enough about the success of “I NEVER DIE”, Soyeon said, “I think so. Because this album is everything to us.”
In February 2021, former member Soojin was embroiled in a school bullying controversy. Soojin and Cube strongly denied the allegations at first, but the evidence released by the victim and public pressure caused Soojin to suspend her activities and eventually withdraw from (G)I-DLE in August of the same year. On March 5, 2022, CUBE officially terminated the contract with Soojin after the police concluded that Soojin’s accuser did not spread false information.
While Soojin‘s school violence accusations were under investigation, (G)I-DLE also temporarily ceased group activities and other members could only have solo schedules. “I NEVER DIE” marks the beginning of a new chapter for (G)I-DLE with a 5-member lineup. In particular, not only Soyeon, but Minnie, and Yuqi also participated in composing and writing the songs in the album.
Eventually, (G)I-DLE‘s expectations, hard work and efforts have paid off. “I NEVER DIE” sold 176,914 copies within the first week, a personal best in physical sales of (G)I-DLE since their debut. The title track “TOMBOY” topped different music charts and achieved Realtime All-kill 9 times on iChart surpassing 400,000 unique listeners on MelOn, hitting 44 million views on YouTube after a week and gaining many other remarkable achievements. This shows that although (G)I-DLE has lost a member, they still successfully gain the public’s love and support.