Since the first quarter of 2021, there have been questions about the future of K-pop group MAMAMOO. K-pop music contracts typically last for seven years; speculations arose when oldest members Solar and Moonbyul renewed their contracts in January and Hwasa renewed in March, but the fourth member, Wheein, was still in negotiations.
Today, June 11, it was officially confirmed that Wheein would not be renewing her contract with RBW.
“We fully respect Wheein’s choice, and we sincerely wish Wheein, who is starting a new chapter in life, happiness and good fortune. We would like to thank Wheein for shining with us for the past 7 years,” the company wrote in a statement, Soompi reported. But RBW also confirmed that this does not mark the end for MAMAMOO, and Wheein won’t be leaving just yet.
“All four members have unchanging affection for MAMAMOO, so Wheein signed an extended agreement to participate in some activities, including albums and concerts, until December 2023,” the statement continued. “MAMAMOO’s music will continue as much as the great love fans have sent them, and we will inform you about the specific future activities later.”
Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Hwasa debuted as MAMAMOO under RBW Entertainment on June 18, 2014 with their song “Mr Ambiguous.” Earning a reputation as some of the best vocals in the industry, MAMAMOO gained domestic and international fame as a top-tier third-generation K-pop group, releasing favorites like “Hip,” “Egotistic,” “Dingga” and “Gogobebe.” The members have all had successful solo songs, including Wheein’s recent album Redd.
MAMAMOO are currently in the middle of promoting their 11th mini album WAW, which is an ode to each other on their journey as a group, and they are also preparing for a summer concert. While we are truly devastated that Wheein has ended her contract, we can at least take comfort that this is not disbandment news, and that she will be present for MAMAMOO activities for the next two years. We wish Wheein all the best.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue