Lay and a former EXO member’s actions on the group’s 10th anniversary draw controversy 

The spotlight on EXO’s meaningful 10th anniversary is taken by Lay and this ex-member. 

April 8 marks the 10th anniversary of EXO’s debut. But on this joyful occasion, member Lay (Zhang Yixing) decided to announce that he will officially part ways with SM Entertainment.

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Lay has been a member of EXO and an artist under SM for 10 years 

Through his SNS, Lay shared handwritten letters in 2 languages, ​​English and Korean, personally delivering this news. Following the announcement to leave SM, Lay released the single “Jiu” to commemorate the past decade since he debuted in EXO. The cover photo of the song has 9 stars, symbolizing 9 EXO members. Lay’s conversation with EXO members is also used as the intro of the song.

Jiu in Chinese has 3 homonyms with different meanings: wine, nine and long time.

Jiu – Lay
exo lay
The cover photo of Jiu has 9 stars that are believed to represent the 9 members of EXO

While Lay makes many EXO’s fans touched with his new song, he also came under controversy as netizens voice criticism at his decision to announce his departure on the group’s anniversary and accuse him of using EXO’s popularity to promote his own song. Some netizens even call Lay a “pigeon” like the other 3 former EXO members, Kris, Luhan, and Tao. 

  • Releasing a new solo song right after announcing to leave SM? Isn’t that too convenient? And all on EXO’s 10th anniversary? This is ridiculous. If he actually cared about EXO and fans, he would not have done this. 
  • Why are you using EXO’s fame for your solo when you have barely been active in the group for years? This is the first time I’ve seen someone announce their departure on the group’s anniversary. 
  • Why is EXO’s 10th anniversary of all days? Just so you can promote your new song? 
  • EXO has been promoting without Lay for so long, yet now, as he’s leaving, all of a sudden, the number 9 seems to mean a lot to him?
  • Many fans are actually being touched by what he does, while all I see is how selfish he is.
exo lay

While netizens are angry with Lay, another former EXO member who left the group a long time ago celebrated the 10th anniversary of his debut in an unexpected way. “Hello, I’m EXO’s Luhan…”, said Luhan’s studio in a post commemorating his ten-year career.

Netizens were extremely shocked by the actions of Luhan’s studio:

  • What day is today? It’s EXO-L’s day and EXO’s not Lay and Mr. pigeon’s day. This is a joke!
  • He got into a big lawsuit with SM and went back to China and now he still dares to call himself EXO Luhan
  • Luhan is a total *sshole He didn’t even feel sorry for his fans and EXO members who had to clean up the mess he left behind.

In 2014, only 5 months after Wu Yi Fan (Kris) left EXO, Luhan also expressed his desire to leave the group. The male singer filed a lawsuit against SM with similar allegations (disrespected health, unfair profit sharing).


However, SM filed a countersuit against Luhan because every film and advertising project he participated in during that time violated the contract and infringed on the interests of EXO and the company. After that, Luhan officially left the group and the company. Since then, the male idol has focused on the Chinese market and has achieved certain successes.

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