After eight years with the agency, Lee Hi will be parting ways with YG Entertainment.
“With the end of Lee Hi’s contract coming and after considerable discussions with Lee Hi, we’ve decided to cheer on our different paths,” YG said in a statement. “We wish to express our gratitude to Lee Hi for making a name for herself for the past seven years as a YG artist, and we will always be sincerely supporting her. We ask for even greater cheers and support from fans as Lee Hi embarks on a new beginning and activities.”
On December 31, 2019, Lee Hi posted a message on her Instagram announcing her departure as well.
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안녕하세요 여러분 이하이입니다. 2019년 마지막 날 조금은 낮설고 새로운 소식으로 인사드립니다. 저는 올해를 마지막으로 오랫동안 함께한 YG라는 둥지를 떠나려고 합니다. 돌아보면 함께한 시간이 긴만큼 제게 정말 많은 추억이 있네요. 16살의 저는 어쩌면 무모할만큼 커다란 꿈을 가지고 오디션에 나갔고 어릴적 동경하던 YG란 회사에 들어가 멋진 언니 오빠들의 도움으로 제 첫번째 싱글인 126.96.36.199와 First love 앨범을 완성해 발매했죠. 처음 녹음실에서 제 목소리를 들으며 스스로 신기했던 기억도. 떨리는 마음으로 발매한 앨범 모니터링을 하던 그해 10월도. 모든게 아직도 어제일처럼 남아있어요. 어린 제가 가수가되기까지 그때도 시간은 참 빠르구나 생각했지만 1집부터 최근 발매한 3집까지. 17살의 제가 24살이된 지금까지. 시간은 늘 빠르게 지나가는것 같아 한편으론 조금 아쉬운 마음도 또 한편으론 평생 잊지못할 소중한 추억으로 남아있습니다. 물론 늘 쉽지만은 않았지만 제게는 유난히 행운같은 일들이 많았던것 같아요. 특히 저를 위해 안보이는곳에서 늘 노력해주신 오랜 친구이자 가족같은 고마운 스텝분들과 함께 쌓아올린 멋진일들은 아마 제 평생 잊지 못할것같아요. 하루아침의 결정이 아닌 아주 오랜시간동안 수많은 고민 끝에 내린 결정인 만큼 저의 결정과 새로운 출발을 응원해주신 YG의 많은분들께 진심으로 감사드리며 앞으로 저도 더 좋은 음악으로 보답할수 있도록 노력하겠습니다. 8년이라는 긴 시간동안 저의 성장을 함께해준 회사를 떠나기에 현재 조금 더 신중하게 앞으로 함께할 회사를 고민중이며 여러분께 빠른 시일내 좋은 소식으로 인사드리겠습니다. 새해에는 더 좋은 일만 가득하기를 바라며.?
Hello, everyone. This is Lee Hi.
I’m here to greet you with news that is new and little unfamiliar on the last day of 2019. As of the end of this year, I will be leaving the nest of YG, a place I have been with for a long time.
As we have spent so much time together, I have so many memories when I look back. At 16 years old, I went to audition with a dream that was so big that it almost appeared reckless, I was able to join YG, an agency I’d looked up to when I was younger, and with the help of great people, I completed and released my first single “188.8.131.52” and album “First Love.” The memory of my first day in the recording studio and being amazed at hearing my own voice. That October, when I was monitoring the album I’d released with a racing heart. Everything is still fresh, like it happened yesterday.
Even when I was just starting as a singer, I thought time was going by so fast, and now I’ve gone from one album to three albums. I was 17 years old and I am now 24. It still feels like time is going by so fast, and though I feel a little sad on one hand, those times have also remained as precious memories I will never forget.
Of course, it wasn’t always easy, but I think I was actually quite lucky in a lot of ways. The staff, who always worked hard for me behind the scenes and who are like old friends and family to me, and the amazing things we built together will be something I will never forget.
As this is a decision I made after a long period of thinking it through, I want to sincerely thank the many people at YG who supported my decision and new start, and I will do my best to repay everyone with better music. As I am leaving the agency that I spent 8 years with, which is a long time, and was there for my growth, I will be even more prudent when choosing the next agency I will be with, and I hope to greet you soon with good news.
I hope the new year will be filled with even better things.
Lee Hi (Lee Hayi), who recently celebrated her seventh anniversary since debut, signed with YG Entertainment in 2011 after placing second on K-Pop Star’s first season. She was slated to debut in the girl group SuPearls, which also consisted of fellow K-Pop Star contestants including Lee Michelle, but YG disbanded the group to focus on Lee Hi’s solo career.
As we all head into new beginnings at the start of 2020, here’s to hoping Lee Hi will also find an agency that will adequately show off her talent!