Details on INFINITE’s Contract Renewal and the Reason Behind Hoya’s Departure From INFINITE

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Learn More About INFINITE, the Famous South Korean Boy-band

The famous K-pop group INFINITE, which debuted in 2010, has seven members: Hoya (Howon), Sunggyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, L, and Sungjong. INFINITE first debuted with a mini album called First Invasion in 2010, followed by Over the Top, released in 2011. Their popular song Comeback Again mesmerized many people and fans. They got more success with the mini album New Challenge, that was released in 2013. The group, which is lead by Sunggyu, held their first concert in 2012, called Infinite Concert “Second Invasion”, located in Seoul’s Olympic Stadium, and then held an encore concert called “Second Invasion Evolution”in the same place.

INFINITE, which is under the auspices of Woollim Entertainment, has also made their first world tour and launched a fourth mini album, New Challeng,e and a studio album, Season 2,  in 2013-2014. In 2015, INFINITE released Reality, their extended play, and one reality show called Infinite Showtime at MBC Every1, and another called Infinite: You are My Oppa on Mnet.

In this article, Channel-Korea will tell you all about the K-pop group INFINITE, their contract renewal and the reason behind Hoya’s departure from the group. So, stay tuned!

Woolim Entertainment’s Relationship with INFINITE

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Woolim Entertainment, which was founded by Lee Jung-yeop in 2003, has debuted some popular artists, includes INFINITE. Woolim Entertainment ultimately merged with SM Entertainment’s subsidiary, SM Culture, and Content, in the middle of 2013. Since then, some fans speculated that INFINITE would change, but it was a misunderstanding, and the boy-band said they will comeback and show more great music. INFINITE believed in Woolim Entertainment’s decision, and they believed their group would become better than before. They said their fans were their motivation and the reason why they were also moving forward. Although there were some rumors that said that one of INFINITE’s members’ data was sold to fans by the group’s manager, they still hadn’t lost their belief in their CEO for his decision to go ahead with the merger.

Road to INFINITE Contract Renewal

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INFINITE had a seven-year contract with Woolim Entertainment, which was set to expire in the middle of the year. Sunggyung, the leader of INFINITE, and all the members should make their decisions after a lot of hard thought, so they wouldn’t regret whatever they choose. Regarding the contract, usually Korean entertainment agencies who debut artists will offer to renew contracts for another 2-3 years, but it’s up to the artist to decide. INFINITE’s contract with Woollim Entertainment ends on June 9, the company said the renewal is still under discussion and going in a positive direction.

INFINITE with Six Members

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After discussion and negotiations, the INFINITE members who agreed to renew their contract were only six, including, the leader, Sunggyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, L, and Sungjong. They positively agreed to continue their group as INFINITE minus Hoya. It was concluded that the song The Eye would be the last song the group would produce with a full seven members.

Hoya Departure from INFINITE

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Hoya of INFINITE, or Howon, decided to not renew the contract with his group INFINITE. The other member of INFINITE said that they respected Hoya’s choice and decision to not renew the contract together again. Therefore, they would continue to promote as INFINITE with 6 members.

The Official statement of Woollim Entertainment:

Good morning. It’s Woollim Entertainment. 

First of all, We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the fans, who love the group INFINITE. 
We will give you the official position regarding the renewal of INFINITE member contracts. 

INFINITE’s Hoya (real name: Lee Howon) has been together with us for the last 7 years and his exclusive contract with us has expired on June 9, 2017 and is now officially over.

We want to say that we are sorry to the fans, who adore and support INFINITE and that we have to bring such sad news.

At the time of the expiration of the exclusive contract with Woollim Entertainment, in the beginning of June, the member Hoya (real name: Lee Howon) decided to walk a different way to fulfill his dream, while discussing the contract with us. We decided to respect it.

Because it is a big decision it took us a long time to make a careful choice. After the discussion, we decided to respect the choice of Hoya (real name: Lee Howon) and concluded that he will be withdrawing from INFINITE and his contract with us will remain terminated.

We completed the renewal of the contract with the rest of the members, and they plan to take on activities as a 6 member group from now on. We are hoping that you will actively support their group and individual activities as well. 

Infinite members will do their best for fans, who have always loved and supportrd INFINITE, and we will look forward to coming back to the fans with better music and activities in the future. 

It is important to note, that we are sincerely sorry, that we have been delaying delivering the news, in order to make a prudent decision, and that we have encouraged the fans so much.

Finally, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the fans and ask for their support of 6 INFINITE members and Hoya.

Thank you for your support.”

INFINITE and Hoya’s Relationship after contract Renewal

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Hoya wrote a letter to explain about not renewing his contract and apologized to their fans on his Instagram account. The leader, Sungyung, said he supported and respected Hoya’s decision, as well as the other members.

This is his written letter in translation,

First of all, I would like to apologize for making everyone worried with these sudden news and say sorry to my fans, who got tired of waiting for so long.

I really wanted to say this myself, but first official statements had to be released so I couldn’t say anything.

I’m sorry.

I was thinking really hard for a long time how to deliver my feelings.

First of all, our INFINITE co-members… Sunggyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, Myungsoo and Sungjong. Again, I wanna say thanks and sorry.

I was lacking a lot and I know the only reason INSPIRITS loved me is because of my co-members.

I will always remember sincere love of INSPIRITS for me. Thank you and I’m sorry.

I want to say thank you to CEO Lee Joongyeop and all Woollim staff for bringing me, who had nothing to where I am now.

I want to let them know again, that I am thankful from the bottom of my heart.

I’ll work hard from now on.

I’m sorry that I worried so many people.

Thanks for reading this long letter.”  

INFINITE Latest News

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Since then, INFINITE has continued their group with six members. Hoya also recently posted his cover of the song Thinking Out Loud on his YouTube account. He also did a V Live session talking about his plan for his solo debut. He is still preparing and practicing to his upcoming project under a new label, Glorious Entertainment. We, as their fans, are rooting for them all and for Hoya’s next career. Good luck to you. Keep spirit goes on as a new INFINITE.