Lee Seung Gi, a South Korean “Triple Threat Star,” recently claimed that his management company, Hook Entertainment, had never paid him a talent fee for any of his music-related endeavors.
According to Dispatch, Lee Seung Gi put out over “137 tracks,” yet the singer received “zero” compensation for these appearances.
Lee Seung Gi has made numerous hit songs since making his singing debut 18 years ago. More specifically on June 5, 2005, therefore this came as a surprise to his Fans.
In South Korea, Lee Seung Gi is referred to as the “King of Ballad”. He is well known for the song “Will You Marry Me? Along with others, these include “Love Taught Me To Drink,” “Shadow,” “Return,” “Tonight,” and “Lies.”
Because You’re My Woman, his first song, became an anthem in South Korea and is still performed there today.
He has seven Korean albums, one Japanese album, two album covers, and one extended play in his catalog (excluding his mini-albums, singles, and other music-related projects).
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Shocking Reveal from Dispatch
According to a local online media outlet called Dispatch on Monday, the musician Lee Seung Gi has not received a single payment for the digital streaming or downloads of his songs on internet music platforms.
According to the investigation, Lee earned 7.27 million dollars ($9.6 billion) via online streaming between October 2009 and September 2020. However, “lost data” caused him to lose his earnings.
Lee was eligible to receive 5.8 billion won from his streaming revenue under the terms of his contract with Hook.
The singer received criticism from the firm for being an “unprofitable singer who requests too many things (from the company),” according to Dispatch.
The artist’s legal representative has made a formal statement regarding the ongoing allegations that Lee Seung Gi hasn’t received any payment for any music releases over the past 18 years.
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Lee Seung Gi’s Complaint
This month, it came to light that Lee Seung Gi had sent his company Hook Entertainment a certification of contents asking for complete payment transparency.
Due to recent suspicions of executive embezzlement, the Severe Crime Investigation Division of the National Police Agency also recently confiscated and searched the agency’s office building.
On November 21, Dispatch published an article claiming that Lee Seung Gi had not received any of his music-related earnings and that statements for the five years between 2004 and 2009 were missing.
Kwon Jin Young, the CEO of Hook Entertainment, quickly responded and stated that fact-checking is being done.
On November 24, Lee Seung Gi’s lawyer formally admitted that Lee Seung Gi was unaware of the song’s earnings. Additionally, when he asked about the settlement, he was insulted and threatened.
Legal counsel for Lee Seung Gi issued the following statement on November 24:
Hello. This is Lee Seung Gi’s legal representative.
First of all, we are apologetic for causing many people concern with a problem between Lee Seung Gi and the agency. Regarding the recent reports of unsettled payment for his music, we would like to express Lee Seung Gi’s stance on his behalf.
As it has been reported, Lee Seung Gi sent Hook Entertainment a certification of contents regarding the unsettled payment for his music on November 15 through a legal representative. We requested that the profit breakdown from the distribution of all the albums Lee Seung Gi participated in be revealed and that the amount he has not been paid for his music be settled and paid.
Following his debut, Lee Seung Gi carried out [music and acting] promotions while under Hook Entertainment for 18 years. In the matter of his activities in the entertainment industry and statement of accounts, Lee Seung Gi fully trusted and followed Hook Entertainment. As representatives of Hook Entertainment did not bring up anything regarding payment for music in the slightest, he was not even aware of generating profits from music, and he recently became aware of the truth that music profits were being made due to a message accidentally sent by an employee. Afterwards, Lee Seung Gi requested settlement details numerous times, but Hook Entertainment gave excuses that were lies such as, “You are a minus singer (meaning negative profit margin),” and avoided providing details.
In this process, Lee Seung Gi heard insulting and threatening remarks that are difficult to even say from the CEO and others, so he eventually decided after much thought on sending a certification of contents through a legal representative because he determined that beyond just the issue of the payment settlement for his music, a relationship of trust could not continue with CEO Kwon Jin Young as well as Hook Entertainment, which he has relied on like family while being together for a long time.
Furthermore, in addition to [the issue of] Lee Seung Gi’s payment for his music, we also have plans to carry out a close examination of various legal relationships between Hook Entertainment including CEO Kwon Jin Young and Lee Seung Gi. Thus, we request Hook Entertainment to transparently reveal the details of sales and settlement of accounts over the course of Lee Seung Gi’s activities in the entertainment industry through several certification of contents, and we are currently expecting a sincere reply from Hook Entertainment.
Regarding the relevant matter, we are grateful and apologetic for the many people who are supporting Lee Seung Gi and taking interest in him. Lee Seung Gi will do his best so that this does not affect the projects he is working on in the future, and we will deliver a separate statement after examining the clear truths of the matter in greater detail.
Additionally, given that Lee Sun Hee,a seasoned vocalist, is identified as a director of Hook Entertainment, a lot of media outlets questioned their relationship
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Official Statement From Hook Entertainment
In response to Lee Seung Gi’s legal counsel, Hook Entertainment claimed that the singer had not receive payment. For the last 18 years’ worth of music releases.
On November 25, Hook Entertainment released the following statement outlining its position on the aforementioned issues:
Hello, this is Hook Entertainment.
First of all, we are ashamed and would like to apologize to everyone for the continuous negative news that has been coming out recently as well as the current issue between us and Lee Seung Gi. In particular, we would like to express our apology to Lee Seung Gi who is going through a tough time due to this.
We would also like to bow our heads and apologize to those who were hurt by CEO Kwon Jin Young’s inappropriate words and actions.
As previously mentioned in Hook Entertainment’s press release, we were in the process of securing and organizing accurate data to respond to the certification of contents that we have received from Lee Seung Gi’s legal representative. It is regretful that the media has been reporting information that has not been accurately verified.
When Hook Entertainment and Lee Seung Gi signed an exclusive contract again after originally ending our exclusive contract in 2021, both parties checked all the settlement details from [Lee Seung Gi’s] career, and we settled the financial bond-debt relationship between our company and Lee Seung Gi. Both parties also wrote an agreement confirming such facts.
Nevertheless, following Lee Seung Gi’s request, Hook Entertainment is once again closely reviewing with experts the considerable amount of profit settlement that Hook Entertainment has paid to Lee Seung Gi.
In addition, the recently released report by a certain media outlet regarding the content of Lee Seung Gi and Hook Entertainment’s contract such as profit distribution ratio, etc., as well as the report about Hook Entertainment never paying Lee Seung Gi once for his music revenue are different from the truth.
Currently, we are planning to organize things clearly and to correct and take responsibility for our mistake if there is proven to be any. As a celebrity management company that should have maintained relationships with its artists based on faith and trust, we once again apologize.
In addition, in the case of Lee Sun Hee, because she was an artist that has been with Hook Entertainment since the beginning, she was nominally listed as a director for courtesy, but from 2006 to 2021, Hook Entertainment was a single-person company owned by Kwon Jin Young’s shares 100 percent, and Lee Sun Hee was never involved in the matters of the company’s management or profit distribution.
Along with this, Hook Entertainment is also announcing that we will not tolerate the act of defaming and harming its artists due to speculation regarding this and will take strong legal action through our legal representative.
Assurance from Fans
By leasing five vehicles with LED screens, Seung Gi’s fans, known as “Airen,” have shown their support for the singer.
The LED screens demanded justice for Hook Entertainment’s failure to pay Lee Seung Gi’s music royalties, as translated into English:
“Lee Seung Gi’s contract with Hook Entertainment was a slave contract.
“They paid him ‘zero won’ for his music. Lee Seung Gi is not a ‘minus’ singer.
“Airen fully supports Lee Seung Gi. By Lee Seung Gi’s fan union Airen.”
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It is still unknown if management is the source of any other problems outside the ongoing controversy. Lee Seung Gi allegedly left Hook Entertainment on June 1 and started his own one-man company named Human Made.
However, a week later, Hook Entertainment declared that they had renewed their management agreement with him.
We hope justice will prevail and Seung gi will be able to do everything his heart desires!
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