Experts and the media suspect which artists would leave and stay with SM Entertainment
SM Entertainment artists and their fans are only being used as an excuse to fight for control of one of Korea’s biggest entertainment companies, critics said while discussing the situation at SM Entertainment.
Fans expressed their dismay at the HYBE-SM acquisition on online forums, and half of SM Entertainment’s employees also came together to make a joint statement against the deal with HYBE.
Still, there was no official communication channel for fans, staff, or more specifically, artists.
Finally, after discussion with Kakao, HYBE announced it was dropping its bid to acquire SM Entertainment, in which the two companies reached an agreement to “collaborate on issues related to their platforms.”
On March 16, Korean media outlet Insight released an expected list of SM Entertainment artists who are most likely to stay or leave the company. While this list isn’t official, it can give fans an idea of what to expect.
With the start of the SM 3.0 era guaranteeing independence and autonomy, such a big change draws attention to the fact that SM artists will stay or go.
The idols in danger of leaving SM Entertainment
According to K-Pop fans, media and networks, Girls’ Generation’s Kangta, BoA and Sunny are among the idols who should go to Lee Soo Man because of their loyalty.
Insight insists that BoA and Kangta are among the longest-serving artists in the industry, and in the process they’ve forged a unique relationship with Lee Soo Man, earning his trust to make them unofficial SM directors.
Sunny, Lee Soo Man’s niece, is also expected to part ways with the agency.
In addition to the high-level idols mentioned above, Kim Min Jong, one of the first to defend Lee Soo Man in internal battles, will surely also consider leaving along with Yoo Young Jin. These two are some of the mainstays of the business.
Artists who will definitely stay with SM Entertainment
On the other hand, Insight predicts that most artists will stay with SM Entertainment. These include TVXQ, Super Junior, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, NCT, aespa, YoonA, Yuri, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon from Girls’ Generation.
TVXQ is a second generation duo that has always believed in Lee Soo Man and SM Entertainment. In this regard, U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin, who have a close relationship, should stay or move in together to continue as a duo.
However, the media believes the duo will stay with SM.
Although the members of Super Junior are also close to Lee Soo Man, the group has long worked with current SM CEO Tak Young Joon and has developed a solid relationship. Also, the band is signed to Label SJ, a sub-label of SM, so they are expected to stay.
SHINee is also expected to stay with SM. Though Key has expressed concern about the management conflict, it’s widely accepted by industry experts that the team will stick together.
EXO and Red Velvet won’t be leaving either, according to fans, as they have no reason to part ways with the agency now amid their respective comeback preparations as a full group.
In the meantime, the members of SNSD, with the exception of Sunny, will likely stay with SM as they can only actively pursue their group activities at SM, excluding their respective individual careers.
Finally, aespa and NCT, which are considered the idols of the third and fourth generation, are likely to stay with SM. They are believed to be at the heart of SM 3.0 along with the bands and artists who will debut soon in 2023.
What do you think ?