SHINee’s Taemin, Onew expected to leave SM but continue as group

SHINee members Taemin, left, and Onew / Courtesy of SM Entertainment

While it is anticipated that Taemin and Onew, members of the K-pop boy band SHINee, will part ways with their agency, SM Entertainment, the company assured fans that the group’s collaborative pursuits will continue.In an official statement released Tuesday, SM disclosed, “Taemin’s exclusive contract is set to conclude by the end of March. While his future plans remain unconfirmed, we are actively considering various options.” Similarly, the agency revealed that Onew’s trajectory is currently under exploration.SM further confimed that despite the members’ individual pursuits, the group’s activities with all four bandmates will continue.According to multiple reports, Taemin is considering joining BPM Entertainment once his contract expires. Although BPM stated that they “have not made any definitive decisions” regarding his recruitment, speculations suggest a probable transition to the new agency.Details regarding Onew’s future plans are currently undisclosed. However, reports point to a fresh start outside SM.

While SM has described contract renewals for Key and Minho as “positive,” industry analysts point out that there remains potential for adjustments. As SHINee is anticipated to continue group activities under SM’s management, this mirrors the paths taken by some of its predecessors, including Girls’ Generation, Super Junior and EXO.Previously, members of Girls’ Generation, including Tiffany Young, Sooyoung and Seohyun, chose to part ways with SM and pursue new endeavors with different agencies. Last August, Sunny also ended her affiliation with SM. Despite these changes, Girls’ Generation commemorated its 15th anniversary with an album release in August 2022.Super Junior members renewed their contract with SM last July, sustaining their partnership with the company. However, Eunhyuk, Donghae and Kyuhyun ventured into new paths outside of SM for individual activities. Baekhyun, Xiumin and Chen, members of EXO, have also struck out on their own following their departure from SM.Since debuting in 2008 with “Replay,” SHINee has earned acclaim with hit songs like “Ring Ding Dong” (2009), “Sherlock” (2013) and “Dream Girl” (2013). Alongside group activities, Taemin and Onew have ventured into solo music careers, while Minho focused on acting and Key on 메이저 variety show appearances.

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