KOREA - The embattled K-pop idol group Girls' Generation shed tears at a fan meeting held Tuesday in China, hours after their member Jessica's removal from the group was made public.
The group's eight members - Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung and Yoona - held the fan event "2014 Girls' Generation First Fan Party" in Shenzhen, China, on Tuesday, without Jessica.
Earlier in the day, the band's agency SM Entertainment confirmed that Jessica would no longer be part of the formerly nine-member girl group after the idol revealed on her Weibo account that SM had unilaterally dismissed her from the group without "justifiable reason."
At the fan event scene, large placards featuring the nine members of the group including Jessica fluttered in the wind, and the group's fans held J-shaped glow sticks to support Jessica, local news outlets reported.
The atmosphere, which was rather joyful despite the absence of Jessica, took a sorrowful turn when the girls performed the final song "Complete" onstage.
During the group's performance, fans sang Jessica's parts instead of her. Seohyun, the youngest of the group, eventually shed tears, which prompted other members to sob.
The news about Jessica's exit sent shockwaves through the K-pop scene as it was previously reported that all nine members of the group had renewed their contracts with SM to continue on as Girls' Generation, after their seven-year contract expired in August.
SM officials stated that they could not find a way to keep the nine members together due to clashes in priorities and interests over Jessica's personal fashion business and the group's activities.
Although Jessica will no longer participate as a member of Girls' Generation, she will continue to pursue solo activities under the management of SM Entertainment, the agency said.