S1E77: Why K-pop’s Fifty Fifty girl group suffers negative public opinion

  • 9 Sep 2023

Find out why netizens back their agency instead in an ongoing dispute.

Synopsis: Each month, The Straits Times examines the ins and outs of pop culture in the Asian entertainment and Hollywood scene.

If you are on TikTok, you might have a heard a viral song that goes like this: "I'm feelin' lonely/Oh, I wish I'd find a lover that could hold me." Those are the lyrics to Cupid, one of 2023's biggest songs, sung by rookie K-pop girl group Fifty Fifty.

Cupid is a record-breaking hit. Not only did it make the group the fastest K-pop act to debut on the Billboard Hot 100, it is also the longest-charting K-pop girl group song in history, on the Hot 100. They are even on the soundtrack of 2023's biggest movie Barbie, with their number Barbie Dreams.

Unfortunately, all promotions and new activities of the group have been suspended.

In June, Fifty Fifty's agency Attrakt accused Warner Music Korea of attempting to poach the group. Shortly after, Fifty Fifty announced that they had filed a lawsuit to suspend their exclusive contract with Attrakt, alleging a lack of transparency in finances and failure to fulfil contractual obligations.

The shocking departure of Fifty Fifty from their agency just as their careers were set to take off, has made headlines in South Korea.

While idols mired in legal disputes with their agencies would usually enjoy the support of their fans, public opinion for Fifty Fifty in this case has firmly soured. #PopVultures host Jan Lee examines why, in this episode.

Produced by: Jan Lee (janlee@sph.com.sg) and Paxton Pang

Edited by: Paxton Pang

Follow #PopVultures Podcast episodes here every month: 

Channel: https://str.sg/JWad 

Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWaA 

Spotify: https://str.sg/JWaP  

Google Podcasts: https://str.sg/Ju47  

SPH Awedio app: https://www.awedio.sg/ 

Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts 

Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

Follow Jan Lee on Instagram: https://str.sg/Jbxc 

Read Jan Lee's articles: https://str.sg/Jbxp 


Discover more ST podcast channels:

COE Watch: https://str.sg/iTtE

In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt 

Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7 

Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN 

Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf 

Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m 

ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE 

#PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad 

Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX 

Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts 


Special edition series:

True Crimes Of Asia (new): https://str.sg/i44T 

The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2 

Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn 

Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB 

Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa 


Follow our shows then, if you like short, practical podcasts!


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.