One of K-pop's best-recognised acts, Girls' Generation, has announced the departure of one of their members, Jessica.
The news was first revealed by Jessica herself on her Weibo account, who said she was being "forced out". Fans thought her account was hacked.
SM Entertainment confirmed her exit in a press release a few hours later.
Here are 5 things to know about Jessica and the popular girl group.
1) Who is Jessica?
Born in San Francisco, California, Jessica Sooyeon Jung was street-casted by SM Entertainment when she was 11, after which her family moved to South Korea.
The 25-year-old was the first member to sign with SM Entertainment before being selected to debut with Girls Generation in 2007.
Jessica is known as Ice Princess, Sergeant Sic, and Sica-sama to her fans. Her sister Krystal is also with SM Entertainment, in girl group f(x).
2) Why is Jessica so popular?
Aside from being the main vocalist in the group, Jessica is also as singer-songwriter, dancer, actress, model and fashion designer.
Jessica launched her own fashion line BLANC in August, designing clothes inspired by her own style.
Unfortunately, her foray into the fashion industry was cited as one of the reasons why she was released from the group. SM Entertainment insisted Jessica had expressed an intention to quit earlier this year to focus on her newly launched fashion business.
As the band had conflicting priorities and interests and Jessica started her own fashion business... we came to a conclusion that we can no longer continue the band like this," SM said in a statement.
3) Jessica's still in the entertainment industry
SM Entertainment said that even though Jessica will no longer participate as a member of Girls' Generation, she will continue to pursue solo activities under the management of the agency.
No news yet about the future of OnStyle's Jessica & Krystal, a variety show that she hosts with her sister, and celebrity endorsements.
4) Business as usual for 8-member Girls' Generation
Life goes on for the other eight members of the group - Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung and Yoona.
They left for Shenzhen, China, on Tuesday, without Jessica, to attend a fan meeting.
5) Fans will still root for the Girls
Following the announcement of Jessica's departure, fans took to social media to express their feelings.
Many said they will still support 8-member Girls' Generation and Jessica's solo career.
This article was first published on September 30, 2014.
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