Queen Ailee is Back!
Ever since her debut in the K-Pop music industry back in 2011, Ailee has made a name for herself with many of her hit songs such as “U&I,” “Singing Got Better,” “Mind Your Own Business,” and “If You,” which successfully dominated many of the digital charts. Prior to having a well-established career in South Korea, Ailee, who was born with the name Amy Lee on May 30th, 1989, was signed under an American label called Muzo Entertainment. It was just that in 2010, she moved to South Korea to begin her career where she passed an audition and eventually signed a contract with YMC Entertainment and has stayed ever since.
Sadly, after years of staying with YMC Entertainment, Ailee has decided to put an end to her 8-year exclusive contract with the agency in February 2019. Although she had to part ways with the agency that made her name, it is not the end of the diva’s career. She still shook the Korean music industry with comebacks after comebacks. Are you curious about her new journey? Check out the details in the article below!
Signing With A New Agency
After years of staying with YMC Entertainment, Ailee decided to end her 8-year exclusive contract with the agency in February 2019. But, even after her contract with YMC Entertainment expired, and despite her free-agent, Ailee briefly went through the promotions of her summer album which was released in July 2019 last year.
A few months later after her contract with YMC Entertainment ended, Ailee shared a post on her Instagram, introducing her new agency, Rocket3 Entertainment, on September 10th, 2019.
In said Instagram post, Ailee wrote in both Korean and English, “I wish to start fresh with an open mind and soul with my new home ‘Rocket3ENT’! Like the meaning of Rocket3, I will try my best and work my hardest to expand and rise like a rocket globally and to make you all proud through our arts, artists, and you the people who are willing to take this next step in the exciting new chapter of my life!”
Ailee also shared her excitement by saying that the agency’s official website had crashed due to excessive traffic, therefore she encouraged her fans to follow her new agency’s social media platforms.
Here’s Ailee’s original Instagram post:
Comeback With “Room Shaker”
On July 2nd, 2019, Ailee’s second studio album, titled Butterfly, was released. Within the first 24 hours after her newest album release, both the album and the album’s lead track, “Room Shaker.” have successfully dominated the real-time music charts, showcasing Ailee’s power and title as ‘digital music monster’!
The success of her album was not only stemmed from the lead song “Room Shaker”‘s success in climbing up the No. 1 position. But, aside from the album’s lead track, her other b-side songs like “LOVE” (feat. Chen), “Midnight,” “Want It,” “Headlock,” “Nothing At All,” “You Are So Precious,” “Fire,” and “Ain’t That Pretty” also appeared on the charts, something that didn’t happen quite often! As revealed on the real-time digital music charts of Mnet, Melon, and Soribada (as of 9 a.m. KST on July 3rd, 2019). This proved that Ailee held a strong position in both her fans and the public’s heart.
In this album, Ailee’s worked together with songwriters Jonathan Gusmark and Ludvig Evers a.k.a Moonshine who both composed the music of her title track, “Room Shaker”. Then, the unique and catchy lyrics was written by With Bull$EyE’s, whose main message seems to convey a deep longing for ‘you’ and ‘me’, as showcased with this piece of lyrics: “let’s have a lot of fun and shake cheerfully anywhere.”. It seemed like a strong combination of the team worked beautifully in Ailee’s favor!
Ailee also proved her humbleness and devotion to her fans when right on the release day, she organized a fan showcase to thank her fans for their special and loyal affection. In that event, she also shared her thoughts on jumped in first hand in the production of the entire album, “Despite being under a lot of pressure, I carried out the album with a sense of responsibility. As I focused on every single thing, a very satisfying album was born and I hope you’ll enjoy it. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting too long.”
Check out the “Room Shaker” MV below!
The Agency Didn’t Allow Ailee To Promote In Music Shows
Ailee released a comeback album, titled Butterfly, with the lead single “Room Shaker” on July 2nd, 2019. Her comeback can be considered as successful, seeing that most of the album tracks were dominating the digital music charts. But, as loyal fans, fans couldn’t help but notice that this comeback didn’t have a music show performance even though Ailee usually is active in promoting her songs.
One of the fans’ threads posted by Hadia Zafar on Quora in July 2019 wrote that the reason is that YMC Entertainment is preventing her from this promotion as a way of punishment because she didn’t choose to stay.
The original thread stated:
Fans believe Ailee’s label is preventing her from music show promotions, with her contract coming to an end soon
fans are growing concerned as rumors that YMC Entertainment is preventing the solo artist from any broadcast promotions continue to garner more and more attention on online communities.
Back on July 2nd, Ailee returned for the first time in approximately 2 years and 8 months with her 2nd full album, ‘ButterFLY’. However, after holding her comeback showcase on the day of her album release, Ailee has yet to appear on any music programs to promote her comeback title track, “Room Shaker.”
Fans of Ailee, also known as Aileeans, have gathered information floating around on various online communities, and believe that a high ranking figure affiliated with Ailee’s label YMC Entertainment is preventing her from successful promotions. The primary reason for this, fans believe, is that once Ailee completes promotions for ‘ButterFLY’, her contract with YMC will come to an end.
Fans have assumed that the singer was being punished by her agency due to her plans of leaving. This rumors started when the day before her comeback, Ailee made a V Live broadcasted and announced that she would not be able to perform in any music show promotions for her title track “Room Shaker.”, although she did not reveal more details nor specific reason for her decision to not perform. Well-known and active fans of Ailee’s fan club have noticed that this behavior was strange because Ailee has been known to spoil her fans by actively appearing in music shows promotion.
Some of Ailee’s loyal fans then took over SNS or online community accounts to share their conspiracy theory regarding Ailee’s decision to not promoting her music live. As quoted from Allpop, one fan posted, “There was a broadcast schedule planned before the comeback, but then it was abruptly canceled, and there was a reason…” Another fan also revealed, “I heard from a [KBS] writer that because the company is preventing it, [she] can’t go on music shows or Immortal Song or Sketchbook or anything. Do you know how many times I’ve seen her manager being ignored by the PDs.”
Following the rumors of this, Ailee then was also spotted wearing a sad expression when she appeared as a guest on KBS2’s Hello Counselor on July 6th, 2019. According to fans who showed up to see Ailee back when she attended the recording, the show took place before her comeback.
These fan accounts fueled the rumors that Ailee’s Hello Counselor guest’s appearance was confirmed before her leave, and so the recording had to take place under an uncomfortable atmosphere. Additional fan accounts online also claimed that Ailee was seen holding back her tears after finishing the show’s recording. She also was seen being comforted by Hello Counselor MC Lee Young-ja.
Prior to this year, YMC Entertainment has been noted as the former management company for project groups IOI and Wanna One, who were involved in hideous scandals regarding Produce 101 rigged votes. Fans believe that a former executive of the company, known as Jo was the key figure behind these scandals, simply because he held a lot of power in the entertainment industry
Some Korean media articles, which seem to be intentionally targeting Ailee’s comeback in a negative light, such as “Despite the strong presence of female solo artists on the music charts, Ailee’s scores remain poor… Not living up to the title of ‘Chart queen’.” also raised concerns amongst the fan.
Netizens have been reacting sympathetically after seeing the post becoming widespread.
Here are a few comments regarding Ailee’s leave as quoted from Allkpop: “I’ve been wondering why I haven’t seen her on TV, I had no idea TT,” “This is so evil,” “Heol… If this is true she must be feeling so horrible,” “Please move to a better company soon TT,” “How can they play so dirty,” “This is so sad… she is so talented and her songs are so good,” “I didn’t even know she made a comeback,” and more.