In a rather shocking move, Lay Zhang, a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo, has announced his departure from SM Entertainment.
He has reportedly quit the media agency after a decade of his 10-year-contract ended. The musician shared a handwritten letter on his Instagram handle on Friday sharing his decision.
Zhang Yixing, better known as Lay Zhang or Lay, shared pictures of the letter, written in English and Korean and captioned it, "This decade is one of the greatest gifts I could’ve ever received."
The note read, "Ten years of growth. Thank you all. Thank you to my EXO brothers for your company and encouragement. Thanks to my colleagues at SM for witnessing every step of my growth and achievement. Thank you to all of my fans for your unconditional love and support."
He continued in the letter, "It's time to say goodbye as an employee of SM. It's also my new beginning as a 30-year old. But I will always be the Lay when my members need me. I'm your family member in China, Zhang Yixing. Love you forever."
Meanwhile, fans rushed to the comments section and expressed their support. One wrote, “Thank you Lay. We will love and support you always." Another commented, "You'll always be the ZHANG YIXING we all know and love."
Lay's exit coincides with the 10th anniversary of Exo, which consists of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun.
The K-pop band had originally debuted with twelve members separated into Exo-K (Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun) and Exo-M (Xiumin, Lay, Chen, Kris, Luhan, and Tao). However, it was turned into one single group of nine members in 2014 after members Kris, Luhan, and Tao left the group.
Image Source: Instagram