One of K-Pop’s longest-running acts with no changes to its line-up won’t be able to boast that distinction for much longer.
Longevity and solidarity have always been among Girls’ Generation’s strong points, but now the group is bracing itself for a major change.
On September 30, Jessica Jung posted a message on her Weibo announcing her departure from Girls’ Generation.
Initially believed to be the result of hacking, it has now been confirmed by SM Entertainment that their top girl group will be losing a member.
Later in the day on September 30, SM Entertainment released a statement explaining that Jessica’s career as a fashion designer was conflicting with her role as a member of Girls’ Generation. “As Jessica embarked on her fashion business, the team could no longer stick together despite persistent discussion,” the company explained.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Jessica had alerted SM Entertainment earlier this year about her plans to stay with Girls’ Generation for only one more album, and began developing her fashion line without the company’s full support.
Her company, Blanc, launched this past August.
The change in the Girls’ Generation member line-up comes as a shock after SM Entertainment recently confirmed that all nine members of the group had resigned their contracts .
Jessica will reportedly remain under SM Entertainment’s management, even if she is no longer a member of Girls’ Generation.
The original message on Weibo explained the situation in both English and Korean, Jessica’s native languages.
“I was excited about our upcoming fan events only to shockingly be informed by my company and 8 others that as of today, I’m no longer a member.
I’m devastated – my priority and love is to serve as a member of GG, but for no justifiable reason, I am being forced out,” Jessica explained.
SM Entertainment said that Jessica posted the message from her own perspective while the company was discussing how to announce the news.
There is some speculation that Jessica’s personal relationships also caused the rift, as rumors continue to circulate regarding the singer’s friendship with Korea-American businessman Tyler Kwon.
The same day, Girls’ Generation’s other eight members were seen at the airport heading to a fan event in China, without Jessica.
The members did not answer any press questions.