Elkie Chong Ting-yan, a Hong Kong-born member of K-pop girl group CLC, has left the outfit amid allegations that her label violated the terms of her contract.
The 22-year-old singer, a former child actress in Hong Kong, made her debut as a K-pop singer in Cube Entertainment’s girl group in 2016, joining the group a year after its formation in 2015.
“The exclusive contract with our artist Elkie has been terminated,” Cube announced in a statement on social media. “With this termination, Elkie is now withdrawn from the group CLC.
“This conclusion follows a mutual agreement between both parties. We extend our gratitude to the fans who had sent love for Elkie. Please wish Elkie the best in her future endeavours.”
In December, Chong, who usually is known just as Elkie in the K-pop world, requested the termination of her contract with Cube, alleging that the company had violated the terms regarding its support for her as a singer and actor.
According to legal documents filed on Elkie’s behalf in late December, Cube failed to provide formal income statements to Elkie regarding money it accepted on her behalf for various activities, and she was never paid for acting roles. CLC was also said to have been told the company would no longer support the group’s development in 2020.
The news comes after Elkie posted a series of handwritten letters to Instagram on December 30, in Chinese, English, and Korean, thanking fans for their support over the years and sharing her perspective.
“I feel that I haven’t been a successful artiste, at least I am not very satisfied with what I have done for you,” she wrote. “That’s why I realised that I can’t let it be any more. I want to do more for my loved ones, and I would like to show you all I have.
“In the last five years, I had lots of precious moments and great experiences. I’m looking forward to putting some of this learning into practise.”
While CLC won critical acclaim for many of their releases, and their empowering themes, the girl group never achieved widespread success. In her statement on the contract termination, Elkie alleged the company had stopped supporting the group’s development.
CLC released their latest single, Helicopter, in September – the music video has received more than 42 million views on YouTube. Their most recent album was No. 1, their 10th mini album, which arrived in January 2019.
This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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