Fifty Fifty cancels schedule due to contract dispute with agency

July 7, 2023

Up-and-coming K-pop girl group Fifty Fifty has canceled multiple plans, including participation in concerts abroad, mainly due to its ongoing legal dispute with its agency.

The quartet has garnered wide media attention since its new single “Cupid” charted on U.S. Billboard’s Hot 100 and the British Official Singles Chart for 14 weeks, an unprecedented achievement for a newcomer K-pop group just seven months into its career.

This file photo shows K-pop girl group Fifty Fifty. (Yonhap)
This file photo shows K-pop girl group Fifty Fifty. (Yonhap)

But the band had been on a temporary break since May, when one of its members, Aran, underwent surgery. Last month, it filed for an injunction seeking to terminate the members’ exclusive contracts with the agency, Attrakt.

Following the dispute, the filming of the music video for “Barbie Dreams,” a song the group sung for the original soundtrack of the upcoming Hollywood movie “Barbie,” was practically canceled, according to sources in the music industry Wednesday.

The shooting was initially delayed as the member was recovering from the operation.

“The release date for the film’s original soundtrack is Friday, but the group’s music video has yet to be filmed,” an industry official said on condition of anonymity. “We see the release date cannot be met practically.”

The group’s overseas scheduled events have also been canceled one after another, affected by the dispute.

It called off its participation in KCON LA 2023 set to open in Los Angeles next month and a K-pop concert to be held in London in November in commemoration of the 140th anniversary of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Britain.

Industry insiders say several other plans of the group that were under discussion will also likely be canceled, too.

The initial court hearing for the injunction was held at a Seoul court Wednesday.

The group argues the company lacked transparency in financial settlements and compelled the members to continue working despite their bad health conditions.

Separately, Attrakt is also in a dispute with its outsourcing production company The Givers led by music producer Ahn Sung-il.

Attrakt reported Ahn to police, alleging that he pushed for a 20 billion-won (US$15.3 million) contract to secretly recruit members and that he had transferred the copyright of “Cupid” to him. However, Ahn has denied the allegation.