- Three members of the K-pop group FIFTY FIFTY have been dropped by their label ATTRAKT over contract disputes.
- The members of the group claim that ATTRAKT violated their contract because of accounting issues and because they neglected the group's mental health.
- ATTRAKT claims that a rival management group interfered and attempted to poach the group.
An ongoing dispute between K-pop group FIFTY FIFTY and their agency ATTRAKT continues to get more heated. In October 2023, news broke that ATTRAKT had terminated its contract with three of the group's four members over an apparent contract dispute.
Following the news that the contract had been terminated, many naturally wanted to learn more about what exactly was going on with FIFTY FIFTY. As you may have guessed, ATTRAKT's side of the story is far from a full account of the ongoing battle the group was waging against them.
What happened to FIFTY FIFTY?
The contract dispute first arose in June 2023, when the group alleged that ATTRAKT had breached its contract by "failing to provide accounting data” and neglecting the group's mental health. The reason that only three of the members were dropped by the agency is that Keena, the fourth member of the group, dropped her lawsuit and agreed to rejoin the agency. The other three, Aran, Sio, and Saena, have all had their contracts terminated.
FIFTY FIFTY achieved some mainstream success in 2023 with their song "Cupid," which caught on first on TikTok before it began climbing charts around the world. The song reached a peak position of No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was even more popular in other countries. FIFTY FIFTY was first formed by ATTRAKT in 2022, and they signed a deal with Warner Records/Warner Music Group Korea in April 2023.
ATTRAKT released a statement announcing the termination of the contracts and claimed that there was a "conspiracy" between the three members of the group and Sung-il Ahn, a K-pop consultant who also goes by SIAHN and co-managed the group alongside ATTRAKT. SIAHN also produced "Cupid." ATTRAKT has reportedly filed a lawsuit against SIAHN for damage, claiming that they tried to poach the group away from ATTRAKT.
This isn't the first time a K-pop group has had issues with its management.
The news that FIFTY FIFTY and ATTRAKT were in a contract dispute may not have seemed all that surprising to anyone familiar with K-pop in general. Many groups in this space have had issues with management that they claim are abusive or work their artists too hard. These groups, which are often created with a high level of oversight, are also managed quite carefully, which has led to issues with other groups in the past.
It remains to be seen whether FIFTY FIFTY will have any future as a group now that the core members are split across multiple agencies. For the time being, at least, there's a major fracture inside the band.