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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hook Entertainment pays singer Lee Seung-gi 5.4 billion won

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Lee Seung-gi [HOOK ENTERTAINMENT]
Lee Seung-gi [HOOK ENTERTAINMENT]

Hook Entertainment revealed that it paid singer Lee Seung-gi 5.4 billion won ($4.12 million) for the digital streams and downloads of his songs through a statement Friday.

“We send our apologies to Lee Seung-gi, who has been having a difficult time due to the recent incident,” the statement began.

“There was too much of a large difference in the amount that Lee has demanded Hook and the amount that should actually be given,” Hook said. “So we have been unable to reach an agreement.”

The agency said that it finalized the payment of 5.1 billion won as it “does not want to continue the dispute with Lee over settlement issues.”

“Lee confirmed that we no longer have unpaid settlement debt and to conclude this dispute, we have currently taken a lawsuit to court to verify the elimination of debt.”

Also on Friday, Lee uploaded his first Instagram post in months, addressing the ongoing issue for the first time as well.

“This morning, I received a text saying that my bank account was deposited with around 5 billion won,” he said. “Hook Entertainment must think that I am taking legal action simply for the money. I’d never even gotten the most basic payment records […] Until now, I never knew that there was money I should have gotten for [the digital streams and downloads of] my songs.”

He continued that he “doesn’t know how the settlement was decided” and that he will “continue to fight in the court” against the agency.

Lee promised to donate every penny he is set to receive from Hook, starting with the aforementioned 5.4 billion won.

“It’s not something I came up with in a single day,” he said. “I decided to donate from the moment I started this battle with Hook. I made up my mind to use this money for those who are going through a hard time.”

Lee recently ended his contract with Hook Entertainment after the agency admitted that it failed to pay the singer his earnings. Lee has been a popular singer since his debut in 2004 and released a total of 137 songs over the past 18 years, but he claims he had not received any payment for the digital streams or downloads of his songs.

Hook Entertainment’s CEO Kwon Jin-young is currently facing accusations of embezzlement and misuse of the company credit card.

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [shin.minhee@joongang.co.kr]