K-pop idols who left YG Entertainment in 2022

All present members of iKON huddled together in holiday-themed clothes.
All members of iKON recently exited YGE in 2022. (Image via Twitter/ @jiwoniverse_)

The year 2022 was not great for YG Entertainment as the label saw many K-pop idols choosing not to renew their contracts with them despite having been represented by them since their debut.

Although the company has been credited with the success of many K-pop groups such as BIG BANG, 2NE1, iKON, BLACKPINK, and TREASURE, among others, the recent exodus of groups has suggested that perhaps the artists being represented by the company are not completely satisfied with the management.

Nonetheless, YG Entertainment (YGE) remains one of the biggest K-pop labels in Korea, and each new group formed by them is highly anticipated.


iKON, T.O.P, and more K-pop idols who exited YG Entertainment in 2022

1) BIGBANG's T.O.P

One of the "Kings of K-pop," BIGBANG's T.O.P has seen the band's biggest hits since 2006 alongside releasing solo works such as Turn It Up and Doom Dada, while collaborating with G-Dragon for GD & TOP. The artist has pursued acting simultaneously, with his latest role being in the 2017 German-Chinese action film, Out of Control.

After 16 years with the agency, T.O.P left YG Entertainment in February 2022, after the decision was announced by the label. The idol expressed his wish to "expand his personal activities" and assured fans he would continue to be a part of BIGBANG, as he did in the group's comeback in April this year.

Since his exit, T.O.P has announced his plans to release his debut album, start a wine company, and talk openly about issues with the K-pop idol trainee system.


2) BIGBANG's Taeyang

The second BIGBANG member to bid adieu to YGE, Taeyang also left the label in December 2022. Best known for his 2014 single Eyes, Nose, Lips, which was released as part of his second studio album Rise, Taeyang is considered to be one of the best vocalists in South Korea.

However, the K-pop idol ended up joining a subsidiary of YG Entertainment called THE BLACK LABEL, headed by YGE producer and composer, Teddy Park. Taeyang recently teased his latest comeback, slated for January 13, 2023, in a collaboration with BTS' Jimin, titled VIBE.


3) BIGBANG's Daesung

The third member of BIGBANG to leave YGE, Daesung is known for his super-successful Japanese albums D'scover, D'slove, Delight, and D-Day. He is also known for his variety show presence on Family Outing. The K-pop idol's departure from YG Entertainment was announced within a few days after news of Taeyang not renewing his contract was made public.

With G-Dragon being the only member of BIGBANG to remain at YG Entertainment, the trio who exited the company have assured fans that they will continue to be a part of the group.


4) TREASURE's former member Mashiho

Despite debuting only three years ago, TREASURE already has members leaving the group. Mashiho, one of the Japanese members of this fourth-generation K-pop idol group, was announced to have left the group in November 2022. The K-pop idol, who was unwell, reportedly wanted to have enough time to recover, and left the group to prioritize his health.

Although his exit was only announced in November, the Japanese K-pop idol was on hiatus from the group since May of last year. Fans who were hoping to have him included in TREASURE's comeback were reasonably disappointed, but promised to support the group and Mashiho going forward.


5) TREASURE's former member Bang Ye-dam

Another member of TREASURE who left both the group and YG Entertainment in November 2022 is Bang Ye-dam. The singer secured first place on the 2018 reality show, YG Treasure Box, making him a part of the final lineup of the DARARI group. Prior to their debut, the K-pop idol released a single, Wayo, with a music video dedicated to fans who have supported him since his runner-up position in K-pop Star Season 2.

YGE announced that Ye-dam left because he wanted to focus on growing as a producer. Since the vocalist was quite popular, his departure made many fans sad, although they have continued to support the now ten-member group as well as the two members who've left.


6) iKON

In one of the biggest losses for YG Entertainment last year, all six current members of iKON exited the label in December following the end of their exclusive contract. Former leader B.I left the group and YGE in 2019, but iKON continued its activities under the company till 2022.

The Love Scenario group has since joined 143 Entertainment and announced an April 2023 comeback, which iKONICs are eagerly looking forward to.


Apart from the aforementioned K-pop idols, it is rumored that BLACKPINK, YG Entertainment's largest group right now, might also leave the company and join its affiliate, THE BLACK LABEL, after their exclusive contract expires in 2023. However, this has been denied by YGE, and only time will tell whether this move will take place or not.