By Maria Katrina Segui
South Korean entertainment company RBW confirmed on Friday that MAMAMOO’s lead vocalist, Wheein, has officially ended her seven-year contract with the agency.
“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.
Speculations on the group’s disbandment and Wheein’s withdrawal surfaced at the beginning of the year when the rest of MAMAMOO’s members renewed their contracts apart from Wheein. Earlier this week, the company also denied reports of Wheein’s departure from their management.
According to RBW, Wheein has been in in-depth talks with the agency and the members but decided not to renew her contract in the end. However, the two parties agreed to an ‘extended agreement’ where Wheein will remain with the K-pop act for the next two years.
“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 agency said, reassuring fans that Wheein won’t be leaving MAMAMOO just yet.
“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,” RBW added.
Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Hwasa debuted as MAMAMOO back in 2014 under RBW Entertainment and are known as a ‘power vocals group’ for their exceptional vocal range. MAMAMOO's hit tracks include, ‘HIP,’ ‘Starry Night,’ ‘Dingga,’ and ‘AYA.’ The K-pop quartet made their stellar return on June 2 with their 11th mini-album ‘WAW (Where Are We).’
Wheein also had a successful solo debut in April with the release of her mini-album ‘Redd,’ which featured the single, ‘Water Color.’