In what should probably be received as bittersweet news, Star Empire has announced that Nine Muses members Minha and Euaerin have decided to not
work under such an insufferably grueling label “graduate” from the group.
Judging by the label’s statement on the matter, it sounds like this decision was more so made by the artists themselves than by Star Empire.
“Hello. This is Star Empire.
“We would like to inform you about the reports regarding Euaerin (birth name Lee Hye Min) and Minha (Park Minha).
“9MUSES members Euaerin and Minha’s exclusive contracts have expired and they decided to graduate from 9MUSES.
“This was not an easy decision for them and the other 9MUSES members. However, we respect their decisions as they have promoted under 9MUSES for seven years and we understand their situations.
“We wish the best for Euaerin and Minha who are graduating and starting a new path.
“9MUSES is preparing for a summer comeback through unit group promotions and we will inform you of the unit group details soon.
“We will do our best for the fans who always love and support 9MUSES. Thank you.”
On the one hand, as a selfish consumer of music, this is not the best news. Sure, Minha could sometimes get lost in the sea of staggeringly tall singing models that Nine Muses brought to their comebacks but losing Euaerin has got to be the biggest blow to the group musically since Ryu Sera “graduated” from Nine Muses in 2014. K-Pop rappers may be somewhat interchangeable but there is no doubt in my mind that Euaerin is going to be a hard act to follow.
On the other hand, as an empathetic (I think?) human being (I think?), it’s got to be a relief to get out from under the thumb of Star Empire. Leaving aside the documentary that didn’t paint the agency in a positive light at all, one only has to look at Nine Muses’ retention rate to realize that it’s most likely not the most entertainer-friendly workplace in K-Pop. To put things in historical perspective, Nine Muses was founded towards the end of 2010. Since then, eight members have left (A roster of retired Nine Muses members would outnumber the current group) and only one original member remains (Stay strong Hyemi!). So, it’s not outrageous to think Euaerin and Minha are probably going to wind up in better careers than the ones that they had with Star Empire anyways.
Their musical contributions and stage presence will be missed though.
Waifu Wednesday will return next week. Nine Muses losing two (more) members takes precedence over that.