Girls’ Generation’s Sunny is leaving SM Entertainment. Her fellow members and fans are showing support for her decision.
On August 8th, Sunny wrote, “Hello, this is Girls’ Generation’s Sunny. Along with the gratitude for the 16th anniversary of Girls’ Generation’s debut, I have a story I want to share, so I am writing this.”
Sunny expressed her gratitude to SM Entertainment for helping her debut as Girls’ Generation Sunny when she was 19, “I want to convey my gratitude and greetings to the managers and staff who have been with me for 16 years.”
She continued, “Debuting as ‘Girls’ Generation’ and meeting the members and SONEs have made me incredibly happy every day. Now, I gather the courage to see myself from a different perspective in a new environment. Thanks to the attention and affection of the fans who have supported me unwaveringly and the kind individuals.”
On the same day, an SM Entertainment representative said to MyDaily, “Sunny’s exclusive contract with us has ended. We express our gratitude to Sunny, who showed fantastic activities while being with us for a long time, and we ask for a lot of support for Sunny’s new path.”
Sunny debuted under SM Entertainment as a member of Girls’ Generation in 2007. Girls’ Generation rose to prominence as a second-generation top idol group with hit songs like ‘Into the New World’, ‘Girls’ Generation’, ‘Kissing You’, ‘Gee’, ‘Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)’, ‘Oh!’, ‘Run Devil Run’, ‘Hoot’, ‘The Boys’, ‘I Got a Boy’, ‘Lion Heart’, and more.
Since then, Tiffany, Sooyoung, and Seohyun left SM Entertainment in 2017. With Sunny’s departure, only Taeyeon, Hyoyeon, Yuri, and Yoona remained under SM Entertainment from the original Girls’ Generation lineup. However, the group’s activities as a complete unit remain strong. Just last year, they celebrated their 15th anniversary with the release of their 7th full album ‘Forever 1’. Their tight friendship and mutual support continue as they pursue their individual activities.
Sunny’s departure from SM Entertainment has attracted much attention. This is due to her 16-year history with the agency, her association with Girls’ Generation, and her identity as Sunny. Furthermore, there’s another reason – she is the niece of the founder, Lee Soo Man. Lee Soo Man, the founder, is the third and youngest son, and Sunny’s father, Lee Soo Young, is the second son.
However, Sunny has clarified multiple times through various broadcasts that she is not particularly close to Lee Soo Man. During her appearance on MBC’s ‘Radio Star’ in 2009, she dispelled rumors that she joined Girls’ Generation through Lee Soo Man’s influence, “The person who cast me didn’t know that I was his niece. I was originally with another company, but when that company faced difficulties, I auditioned for SM. Someone cast me without knowing that I was his niece. I wonder who that was. How am I supposed to deal with the fact that he’s my uncle?”
Most recently, on JTBC’s ‘Knowing Brothers’, Sunny mentioned, “I’ve never called Lee Soo Man Teacher ‘uncle’. I called him Teacher Lee Soo Man. We hardly interacted when I was young.”
The fact that Sunny is Lee Soo Man’s niece has caused some sparks. Last February, there were talks of Kakao and HYBE’s acquisition battle for control of SM Entertainment. Lee Soo Man sold a considerable amount of his SM shares to HYBE. This led to a standoff between the current management of SM, Kakao, HYBE, and Lee Soo Man that lasted for about a month.
Addressing this, Sunny shared on the paid communication platform Bubble, “These days, there are so many noisy news articles, making every day chaotic, right? I also come across a lot of things in the news, so I have nothing to tell my friends. But maybe it’s not something that matters much in our relationship.”
She continued, “It took me ten days to send this message… I tend to overthink things. But I keep my word once I say something! Just relax and watch, like observing a fire from across the river. So if you ask about what will happen to SM, what will happen to Girls’ Generation? I worry about whether you’ll hear noisy rumors…” She also expressed her affection for her fans.
Sunny also said, “Sigh, I should have known, then I could have told you… I want to help you make money through stocks too…” and then exclaimed, “I don’t have any SM stock. How can I tell you about something I don’t know?”
Now, Sunny is leaving SM Entertainment. In her lengthy post, Sunny received supportive comments from her fellow member Seohyun, who wrote “Cheer up, our Sunny!” Yoona also supported her with “Sunny, always support and stay together,” and senior artist and SM director BoA added, “Always support you, Sunny.” This once again proves Girls’ Generation’s unwavering strength.
As Sunny embarks on her second act, she expressed, “No matter what kind of days lie ahead, I will continue to move forward with the energetic Sunny-like appearance. I will continue to share good news in the future. Thank you.”