Former Korean boy band Infinite member Hoya has written a letter to his fans after his agency announced that he has left the group after deciding not to renew his exclusive contract.
Woollim Entertainment said that Hoya is no longer a part of Infinite when he did not sign a new agreement after his contract expired last June 9.
He is the only member of the group who did not renew the contract. The remaining six members will still be in the boy band.
"Firstly, I'd like to apologize for causing worry to so many people with the sudden news. I also want to apologize to the fans who are probably tired from waiting so long," Hoya wrote in a letter posted on his Instagram account.
He added, "In my heart, I wanted to let you know first, but I thought the official statement should come before. I ask for your understanding for not being able to let you know for a long time."
Hoya debuted in Infinite in 2010 and left the group in its seventh year in the business with many describing as the "seven-year jinx," or the situation in which K-pop artists leave or disband after their seven-year contracts expire.
In his letter, Hoya apologized to his fellow Infinite members because of his decision.
"I thought a lot about what I can say to share my thoughts. First of all, to my INFINITE members... Sungkyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, Myungsoo (L), and Sungjong. I want to tell them I'm sorry and thank you once again through this letter," he said.
Hoya also thanked and apologized to Inspirits, or Infinite fans, for their support.
"I know very well that the reason I was able to receive such great love from INSPIRIT was because I was with INFINITE. I won't forget that in the future. I'll hold onto the precious heart that INSPIRIT gave to me with their sincere love. Thank you, and I'm sorry," he added.
He ended the letter by writing, "I also wanted to say once again in this letter that I sincerely thank Lee Joong Yup and the Woollim family for supporting me to grow from nothing to where I am now. From now on, I'll live with a humble mindset and work hard. I apologize for worrying so many people."
Hoya has not revealed any plans yet but many are expecting that he will pursue his acting career after starring in dramas such as "Reply 1997."