Despite being voted the most popular singer, Junsu, musician of Korean male trio JYJ, was not extended an invitation for the 2016 Seoul Music Awards Thursday, sparking debate whether his estranged former agency SM Entertainment is still wielding its power in the local music industry.
Below is the timeline of the trio’s years-long legal battle for independence from the record label giant.
— July 2009: Three members of the quintet K-pop boy band TVXQ — Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yuchun, and Xiah Junsu — nullify their contracts with SM Entertainment, citing unfair distribution of profit and the excessively long 13-year contract. SM responds saying their claim was deviant and reckless.
TVXQ, before Xiah Junsu, Micky Yoochun, Hero Jaejoong (from the left) split (OSEN)
— September 2009: Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yuchun, and Xiah Junsu change their stage names to Jae-joong, Yu-chun and Jun-su, respectively, and establish a trio called JYJ.
— October 2009: Court grants injunction to protect JYJ’s activities, regardless of SM Entertainment’s objection.
— June 2010: JYJ holds Japan concerts in Osaka and Tokyo.
— September 2010: JYJ release their debut album “The …” in Japan, topping the Oricon Weekly Chart. A week later Avex Entertainment, former agency of JYJ for their Japan activities, halts all Japan activities.
— October 2010: JYJ releases its debut album, “The Beginning,” whose domestic sales exceed 300,000. SM Entertainment files injunction against its release in the Korean market
JYJ’s 1st album, “The Beginning” (C-Jes Entertainment)
— January 2011: JYJ releases “Their Rooms ‘Our Story.’”
— Feb. 2011: The Seoul District Court rules in favor of JYJ’s Korean activities, legally nullifying the contract between JYJ’s three members and SM Entertainment.
— April-June 2011: JYJ goes on first world tour in Thailand, Taiwan, China, Canada and the United States.
— July 2013: The Fair Trade Committee orders the Union of Korean Pop Culture and Arts Industry, a collective federation of artists promoting Korean culture and arts to withdraw its act of relentlessly hindering JYJ’s activities in Korea, which was revealed to have been done in collusion with SM Entertainment.
JYJ in Japan tour in Fukuoka Dome in 2014 (C-Jes Entertainment)
— March 2015: Jae-joong was enlisted to army
— April 2015: JYJ Jun-su makes first TV appearance through “EBS Space,” a live music performance show, six years since debut as JYJ.
— Aug. 2015: Yu-chun was enlisted to army
— November 2015: The so-called “JYJ Act,” to protect musicians from being hindered by dominating powers, passes the National Assembly
Junsu in his first TV appearance in “EBS Space” (EBS)
— January 2016: Jun-su bags “the most popular singer” at the 25th Seoul Music Awards, yet was not invited to the venue.
By Son Ji-hyoung (email@example.com)