EXO member Lay Zhang (张艺兴) has announced that he’s parting ways with SM Entertainment following the end of his exclusive contract with the company. What’s more, the sad news came amidst the boy group’s 10th debut anniversary celebration today (Friday, 8th April).
The singer took to his Instagram just an hour ago to share a handwritten letter. In the post, he revealed that he’s now bidding farewell to his home label after 10 years. “This decade is one of the greatest gifts I could’ve ever received,” Lay captioned the post.
The letter reads:
“Ten years of growth. Thank you all. Thank you to my EXO brothers for your company and encouragement. Thanks to my colleagues at SM for witnessing every step of my growth and achievement. Thank you to all of my fans for your unconditional love and support.
It’s time to say goodbye as an employee of SM. This also marks my new beginning as a 30-year-old. But I will always be the Lay when my members need me. I’m your family member in China, Zhang Yixing. Love you forever. EXO, 사랑하자 (let’s love).”
Many fans commented that they weren’t surprised by the news surrounding Lay’s departure. To quote one commentator on Soompi, “Not surprised he didn’t renew the contact. This man is better off alone with his new company than with anyone else at this point. Good for him.” Another commented that he doesn’t mind Lay leaving SM, as he has already achieved a lot on his own without the help of his (now former) company.
While remaining as a member of the K-pop group, the Hunan-born artiste has been keeping himself busy by exploring various entertainment avenues in his home country of China. Apart from releasing his collab single with 24kGoldn called “Dawn To Dusk”, Lay was recently chosen as an ambassador for the Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot.
It’s safe to say that the idol is keen on focusing solely on his solo activities in China after leaving SM. With that, we wish Lay all the best on his future endeavours. And also, happy 10th anniversary EXO! Hopefully, we’ll be able to see OT9 EXO reunion at some point in the near future!
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