2018 has been a tricky year for YG Entertainment filled with ups and downs.
In 2018, YG Entertainment has lost a couple of artists and trainees, some of which came as a huge shock to everyone while others were expected.
Lets take a look at all the artists YG Entertainment lost in 2018-so far.
To spectators, PSY departure with YG Entertainment was a huge shock. He peaked when he was with YG, many thought he would stay loyal to the company and stay with it.
On May 15, the agency released a statement confirming that their exclusive contract with PSY is over and after deep conversations with PSY; they have decided to respect his wishes to go separately.
“YG and PSY have been together with special trust for the past 8 years. We provided endless support to PSY’s overflowing energy and passion for music, we all shared the excitement as ‘Gangnam Style’ gained worldwide recognition.
Regardless of the contract period, we will remain close forever. We will be cheering on PSY’s new beginnings and wish him all the happiness. We also express our deep gratitude for the fans who supports and loved PSY as a YG artist until now.”
PSY had signed an exclusive contract with the label back in 2010, he then renewed his contract again in 2014, he spent a total of 8 years at the company.
Lee Jong Suk
Lee Jong Suk’s exclusive two-year contract with YG Entertainment came to an end in 2018; YG Entertainment released an official statement confirming that the artist is leaving the agency.
The statement reads,
“It was decided that his contract will not be renewed. As always, we will have confidence in him, we will always trust and support him.”
Lee Jong Suk’s contract ended on March 31. Shortly after the news was released various media outlets reported that the actor is moving to YNK Entertainment, the agency houses many top actors such as Shin Hye Sun, the female lead he’s currently shooting a short drama series with.
In response, YNK Entertainment released a statement confirming that they were indeed discussing an exclusive contract with Lee Jong Suk.
Not too long after that, Lee Jong Suk set up a new agency in partnership with YNK Entertainment.
YG Entertainment personally announced the news in an official statement on October 2nd. They wrote,
“YG Entertainment exclusive contract with Epik High has come to an end. After many discussions, YG and Epik High decided not to renew.
YG Entertainment is grateful to Epik High, who’ve made great music with us for the past 7 years. We’ll be cheering on and supporting their new start and activities.
We hope that they’ll always be in good health and wish them happiness all the time. We ask you to send your blessings for Epik High’s future. We’d also like to express our sincere thanks to the fans who loved Epik High as artists under YG.”
Epik High had signed a contract with YG Entertainment back in 2011 and released many hits under YG Entertainment. Fans have mixed responses about the exit; some love the news while others are a bit sad they left.
Epik High went on to receive international acclaim winning many awards; they also became the second Korean act to perform at Coachella.
The trio next move is still unknown, stay tuned for updates on the path they choose. However, its worthy to mention that Tablo had stepped down from his position as the CEO of his agency HIGHGRND back in 2017.
HIGHGRND is a sub-label of YG Entertainment that was headed by Tablo.
Jung Yoo Jin
Model Jung Yoo Jin, was under YG‘s modeling agency YG KPLUS, debuted as an actor in the SBS drama “Heard It through the Grapevine.”
Her exclusive contract with YG Entertainment came to an end in 2018 and in February 13, 2018 it was revealed that she signed with FNC Entertainment.
FNC Entertainment released an official statement,
“We have signed an exclusive contract with Jung Yoo Jin. As she’s an actress that’s in the spotlight, we will be supporting her the best we can in various areas.”
FNC Entertainment houses many talented actors such as Lee Dong Gun, Jung Woo and Jung Hae In.
Katie Kim was the winner of “K-pop Star 4” and had signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment back in 2014.
She was reported to have left the agency on May 24. However, Yang Hyun Suk clarified that she had recently moved agencies to one that was set up by a former YG executive SINXITY, but that YG Entertainment will still be involved in the production and distribution of her upcoming solo album.
She joined AXIS and made her official debut on June 6, 2018.
UNCONFIRMED: HIGHGRND Artists
The Black Skirts
HIGHGRND was a sub-YG label led by Epik High’s Tablo that was established back in 2015; however, in 2017 YG Entertainment revealed that Tablo stepped down from the CEO position to focus on Epik High’s comeback.
Since then nothing has been heard from the label. No activity on SNS or any announcements from YG Entertainment itself as well.
Back in April 2018, industry insiders talked about the label struggling, the company branch in Hongdae has also been shut down, adding speculation that the agency will soon close its doors.
An article published by SportSeoul talked about these points.
Some assume that the artists have also left though YG Entertainment has not yet issued an official statement on the subject.