Singer Lee Woo's Agency Denies Accusations Of Chart Manipulation

The agency of Lee Woo, a ballad singer and former MADTOWN member, has responded to allegations of chart manipulation.

On November 17, Lee Jin Ho, a former entertainment news reporter, shared a video on his personal YouTube channel titled, “The reason that ballad singer Lee Woo surpassed Jang Beom June and TWICE.” The video was about a song that Lee Woo released in August 2019 titled “My Regards.” It is the sequel to Song Ha Ye’s song “Your Regards.” According to Lee Jin Ho, the song rose to No. 29 on the music chart Melon.

Lee Jin Ho then revealed a recording that he said was from a representative from Lee Woo’s agency. In the recording, this person said, “We didn’t try to push it to No. 1, so we didn’t get caught. I wondered why Song Ha Ye said she was going to sue, but now I know. There’s no way to prove it. The money didn’t even come from the company account, it was all paid for with cash.”

This person continued, “The money isn’t paid all at once, but divided up when the royalties come in. In Lee Woo’s case, we borrowed about 100 million won [about $90,300] in advance from the company Soribada. Lee Woo is going to the military in November [2020].”

Lee Jin Ho said that this recording had taken place at the beginning of this year. Although he acknowledged that people might be suspicious of its authenticity, he stated that faking a recording could lead to a prison sentence and avowed that it was not a fake. He added, “If you feel unfairly treated, let’s go to court and find out the truth behind sajaegi.”

On November 18, the CEO of KH Company gave a statement to Newsen denying Lee Jin Ho’s claims. The CEO said, “It is not true that Lee Woo rose high on the music charts through sajaegi. We are not on familiar terms with the company that the YouTuber mentioned in his video. Everything in the video is wrong.”

The CEO continued, “The person in the video claims to be someone from the agency, but we have no idea who it is. We have a mind to report them. Lee Woo has been carrying out his scheduled activities without even a manager, driving himself to events. I’m in charge of producing his music, and I’ve never requested sajaegi. We’ve been working on such a small and modest scale that it’s ridiculous that we’re being accused of sajaegi.

In regard to the claim that KH Company received 100 million won from Soribada, the CEO said, “When Lee Woo and I first signed a contract, he needed to put out an album but I had no money. I was introduced to Soribada, which advanced us 100 million won on the condition that he release four digital singles. I used the money to produce those singles. As of October, all of the investment in his albums have been repaid.”

KH Company’s CEO, whose name is Park, also gave a statement to Maeil Business Newspaper. In a phone call, Park stated, “Lee Jin Ho uploaded the video without even checking to see if it was true. He says he has evidence, but he doesn’t say who the source is. Lee Woo and I make all his music ourselves, just the two of us. He’s a kid who just wants to sing however he can. The person in the recording isn’t me, and it isn’t him, and it isn’t anyone I know. So I have no idea who can claim to be speaking with such authority about him.”

Park continued, “I really loved Song Ha Ye’s song ‘Your Regards,’ so I asked a close acquaintance if I could make a male version of the song and give it to Lee Woo. Time passed and the male version went to someone else, but they said we should make a sequel song. That song became ‘My Regards.’ Since ‘Your Regards’ did well, we promoted our song as the response to Song Ha Ye’s song.

“Lee Woo has gone through a lot after debuting in MADTOWN. Despite that, he really wanted to sing, so he signed with me. Our company isn’t able to get him a lot of TV appearances, so we promoted his music on Facebook. I’ve been in charge of producing and promoting his music since the first. I’ve never requested sajaegi, so it doesn’t make sense that we’d be accused of it.”

Lee Woo enlisted in mandatory military service on November 12.

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