K-Pop Star Hongbin Quits VIXX Following Controversial Comments About K-Pop Groups
By Liz Calvario
Greg Doherty/Getty Images
Hongbin is no longer a member of the K-pop group VIXX. His agency, Jellyfish Entertainment, confirmed in a statement Friday that the 26-year-old South Korean singer -- whose full name is Lee Hong-bin -- had quit the group, following his controversial comments about other K-pop stars during a livestream.
"First, we express our sincere gratitude to fans who love VIXX a lot, and we are conveying sad news. On August 7, Hongbin shared his intention to withdraw from VIXX. After careful discussion with the VIXX members and Hongbin, we are respecting his wishes and so it’s been decided that he will leave the group," the statement reads. "It’s planned that VIXX will promote as a five-member group in the future. We are very sorry to fans for causing concern with this sudden news, and we ask you to continue to love and support the VIXX members."
In February, Hongbin upset many fans when he criticized a number of K-pop singers during a Twitch livestream. The singer called SHINee’s "Everybody" "lousy" and said he would have "hit the choreographer" of the video for Infinite's "Be Mine."
After the event, Hongbin issued an apology, per Soompi, he wrote, "I sincerely apologize to the artists and the fans of those artists who were hurt by my improper words and actions from my previous late-night live broadcast."
He also apologized to his group members and fans "for causing them to worry. There is no room for excuse. No matter what reason it was for, I am deeply reflecting on acting carelessly and not thinking deeply."
VIXX was formed in 2012 on the reality show MyDOL and are known for songs such as "Super Hero," "Love Equation" and "The Closer," among many others. As of now, VIXX will consist of N, Leo, Ken, Ravi and Hyuk.