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2AM's Jo Kwon Exits JYP Entertainment After 16 Years

by John Rosca / Sep 23, 2017 09:59 AM EDT
조권(Jo Kwon) - 횡단보도(Crosswalk) @인기가요

JYP Entertainment has issued the statement that Jo Kwon is cutting ties with the company after 16 years. The official announcement on the company's website implied that JYPE and Jo Kwon are parting on mutually agreeable terms, and will continue supporting one another in the future.

It also asked fans to keep offering their love and support to the singer as he considers his next career move. He has yet to find a new agency.

An inside source told Korea Joongang Daily that Jo Kwon found it a difficult decision to end his contract as the agency has been like a home to him. But the discussion with JYPE about his career direction apparently did not go as he expected, motivating the singer to leave the entertainment company to forge his own path.

Jo Kwon posted an image on his Instagram feed that expressed the message "Time for a Change" and captioned "2001 - 2017 JYPE," notes Soompi. Jo Kwon's career path under JYPE began in 2001 when he joined the agency as a trainee. After seven years of training, he debuted with the male ballad group 2AM on July 21, 2008. He was chosen to be the leader of the group.

2AM was active from then until 2014. In that time, 2AM released a number of singles that made it to number one on the Gaon Chart, including "Can't Let You Go Even If I Die," "You Wouldn't Answer My Calls" and "I Wonder If You Hurt Like Me."

The exclusive contracts between JYPE and the 2AM members expired in 2015. Members Jinwoon and Seulong declined to renew their contracts, and Changmin soon followed them in exiting the agency. Only Jo Kwon opted to renew his contract with JYPE at the time.

Jo Kwon's departure makes him the fourth and last member of 2AM to part ways with JYPE. Members of the group have previously emphasized that 2AM has not yet been formally disbanded. But with the members signed to different agencies, a future 2AM comeback stands to be a difficult prospect.

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