The media reported that Red Velvet’s leader Irene might not renew her contract with SM
According to Star News on September 13th, leader Irene has not renewed her exclusive contract with SM Entertainment after it expired. As such, SM has reportedly not been able to confirm any activities of Red Velvet, including album releases, performances, and events until now.
Once one of the most famous idols of her generation, but after the scandal in 2020, all of Irene’s activities have been restrained. Irene’s solo career has stalled compared to her contemporaries like Nayeon (TWICE) or Jennie (BLACKPINK). This information further fuels speculation among fans about the potential disbandment of Red Velvet. As of now, only Seulgi has confirmed contract renewal with SM.
Red Velvet’s re-contract period started with Seulgi. Last month, Seulgi announced her decision to renew her contract with SM. In fact, the contract periods of Red Velvet members are not the same even though they are in the same group. It is because each member joined SM and joined Red Velvet in a different year.
Red Velvet released “Fell My Rhythm” in March and “Birthday” in November last year. Since then, they have not released any new album. Due to the group’s long hiatus, Red Velvet’s fandom sent trucks protesting to SM building in July asking for the third full album and more promotional activities.
In their ninth year of their career, Red Velvet has been seemingly neglected by SM Entertainment in terms of their schedules and activities. The culmination of these frustrations came with the organization of the “World Tour R to V,” which left fans disappointed. The company chose smaller venues and rushed the tour without thorough promotion, leading to a lack of information and show cancellations. SM Entertainment also faced criticism for poorly planning the European leg of the tour, as tickets remained unsold for any of the locations just two weeks before the first show.
Last month, Red Velvet members held a live broadcast and revealed that they were preparing for the third full album to be released in the first half of this year. However, due to the contract renewal issue, it is unknown whether the comeback plan will proceed as scheduled.