Fans of K-pop boy group TO1 were saddened to learn today of a permanent change to its lineup. On April 30, TO1’s agency, WAKEONE Entertainment, announced that member Chi Hoon had left the group and their agency on the official fan cafe. Below is the agency’s complete English statement on his departure via Soompi:
“Hello, this is WAKEONE. Due to the cancellation of the exclusive contract, TO1 member Chi Hoon has left the team at the same time as he terminated the exclusive contract with us,” the message read. “We apologize for causing concern to TOgether with the sudden news. TO1 will continue to meet you with more mature music and performances. We ask for your warm support for the TO1 members in the future. Thank you.”
Incase anyone needs this 🙁 pic.twitter.com/HfCFU7jRRs
— brebre🐥 (@brebrestraw) April 30, 2022
TO1 devotees on Twitter were collectively saddened, while some even speculated as to the reasons why Chi Hoon left the group. Collectively, fan posts were disappointed, appreciative, and concerned as they wondered what was next for the boyband.
Who Is TO1 for You?
before the day end, i want to know “who is TO1 for you” with wholeheartedly replies ❤️
i’ll read everything and screenshot it, and save for later.#TO1 #티오원 #TOgetherAs1 pic.twitter.com/rCFhPV82P8
— jami 💤 (@exolgether) April 30, 2022
Despite the rocky future ahead, TO1 fans have turned to each other for companionship and support in uncertain times. Under a thread in which the original Twitter poster wrote, “I want to know ‘who is TO1 for you,” the answers were more passioned and thoughtful than one might expect for fans of a two-year-old boyband.
“TOO/TO1 became my reason going back into K-pop after taking a long break from it. It sparked joy and motivation after feeling lost and confused for so long. It all started with one random video recommendation… and then I came to love these folks and their journey along the way,” replied one user.
“They are my proud kids… I am thinking about them nearly every second, wondering what they are doing and whether they are taking good care of themselves,” another tweeted. “And I will become a proud mom when mentioning them to other people or when they receive some achievements. That’s TO1 to me.”
FOr one fan, “TO1 is my safe place, my home, I’ve seen them, all the effort, the tears, and just as they made their debut, I entered the university, and I’d almost say that I achieved it along with them, so… I’m proud of seeing them fighting for what they dream day by day.”
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WAKEONE WAKE UP#WakeOneAnswerGethers
🔗 https://t.co/hvztYfyE4i pic.twitter.com/5thDq4qhcZ
— TO1 PROTECTION TEAM (@Protect_TO1) April 28, 2022
In light of the group’s recent turmoils, TO1 fans (or as they call themselves, TOGETHERs) took to Twitter on April 27 to trend #WakeOneAnswerGethers, demanding updates from the agency on TO1 and their situation. Fans noted that the group has been eerily silent and had very few social activities for over a month. Additionally, though they are one of the headlining artists for KCON 2022 in the United States, their group photo did not appear on KCON merchandise.
April 1 is WAKEONE’s second anniversary, but they didn’t do anything special to celebrate. Instead of hosting a live stream, they only shared photos via Twitter. Many fans found this alarming since debut anniversaries in K-pop are often big occasions. TO1’s last musical release was their second mini-album, Re: Alize, and its title track “No More X,” on November 4, 2021.
Fans are demanding better treatment for TO1 and information on TO1’s schedule and plans. They assert that TO1 should not be kept hidden away when they are WAKEONE’s first and only boy group.
Kindly use this korean hashtag in your tweets along with the first tag on May 1st, “#/웨이크원_티오원한테_잘해줘” and check this photo below if you’re wondering what’s happening. Thank you!
thank you so muchhh for this photo and korean tag @NU_TO1_bgh!! #WakeOneAnswerGethers pic.twitter.com/jbOaJwfLXl
— 🐬 (@oneoftogether) April 29, 2022
As one critical TOGETHER put it, “I support Chi hoon terminates contract with WAKEONE but you should bring your 9 brothers too and [leave] together.”
I support chihoon terminates contract with wakeone but you should bring your 9 brothers too and leaving together.. #TOgetherAs1 #Thank_You_TO1_Chihoon
#빛나는_치훈이_앞으로_꽃길만_걷길#CHIHOON #TO1 #치훈 #티오원 @TO1_offcl @TO1_members pic.twitter.com/32Ifq2db3Z
— TO1 forever OT10 (@LEESAXTO1) April 30, 2022
TOO to TO1
TOO announces that they are changing their name to TO1, marking a new start for the group
Source: https://t.co/OwUQ6XGXlh pic.twitter.com/UAZf8kD5WY
— The Seoul Story (@theseoulstory) March 28, 2021
In 2020, TO1 launched as TOO, an acronym for “Ten Oriented Orchestra.” Their record label n.CH Entertainment and the label’s company CJ ENM were involved in a management dispute in January 2021, where CJ ENM reportedly terminated their management contract with n.CH Entertainment. One day later, n.CH Entertainment responded to the dispute by stating that their contract had not been signed for months and no expenses had been paid. CJ ENM announced on January 19 that they terminated their contract with n.CH Entertainment due to an inability to reach an agreement and would take total management over the group. It was announced the following March that the group had changed its name from TOO to TO1.
#WOONGGI Together we’ll see as one, and smile on 💕#햇살처럼_피어난_웅기야_생일축하해 #OurLovelyMaknaeWoonggiDay
#티오원 @[email protected]_offcl #TO1 #웅기 pic.twitter.com/honbd9pVU9
— thinking about to1 (@thinkabouto1) April 23, 2022
Before Chi Hoon’s departure, TO1 was already down a member after the youngest, Woonggi, went on hiatus to receive treatment for anxiety. Wake One posted the following statement to their fan cafe on December 2021 in Korean and English: “Hello, this is WAKEONE. “We would like to inform you about the health status and activities of TO1 member WOONG GI. “Recently, WOONG GI underwent a thorough examination due to sudden anxiety and received a prescription from a specialist that he should refrain from excessive activities and get rest.
“Accordingly, after a long discussion with WOONG GI and other TO1 members, we decided to temporarily suspend WOONG GI’s activities and focus on his treatment and recovery,” the note continued. “For the time being, TO1 will be promoting as a 9-member group. We will inform you about the return of member WOONG GI at a later date depending on the state of his recovery.”
In addition to Chi Hoon, Woongi celebrated his birthday in April, and fans were concerned when WAKEONE only posted a poster on Twitter. The agency did not share the photo on Instagram. Many others also pointed out that the members did not post about his birthday.
Chi Hoon Focuses on the Present
Chihoon thank you for everything! We’re still learning to move forward but please be healthy and happy to whatever path you may choose,We will miss you and We will always love you!
PLEASE BE BACK SOON!#Thank_You_TO1_Chihoon #꽃길만_널_기다리고_있어_치훈 #TO1 #티오원 #CHIHOON pic.twitter.com/PhESBIfI25
— 𝐒𝐘𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐄_𝓧 (づ ◕‿◕ )づ (@in2to1jeyoureka) April 30, 2022
The oldest member in the group, 23-year-old Chi Hoon, was listed as a “rapper, vocalist, and producer” in TO1. According to a fan translation of his profile, he can also play the piano and “is TO1’s self-proclaimed ‘Sexy Guy.'” A Chick is his representative animal in the Fan Cafe. Chi Hoon’s personal motto is, “Focusing on the past will disrupt the future, but focusing on the present will complete the future.”
Fans were worried about Chi Hoon’s status with the group after WAKEONE did not release anything for his birthday is on April 27. No celebratory post was made on any social media, and the members did not post anything about his birthday. Additionally, Chihoon has been silent on all social media since March 2022. Many were asking about his whereabouts and his future activities.
the way his last fancafe update was about communicating with fans 😢 we all know how he loves talking with gethers. Before, he always replied to gethers letter for him on fancafe after his work, i love him sm :(#꽃길만_널_기다리고_있어_치훈#Thank_You_TO1_Chihoon pic.twitter.com/yzNoXvIaTO
— ella (@jeromedoongi) April 30, 2022
i respect his decision to leave the group and i believe he has his own reason, but as we all know, chihoon really loves gethers, to1, and music, im just wondering how badly wakeone treated him that he decided to leave everything he loves
— flow loves chihoon (@TO1_chihoon) April 30, 2022
TO1 Has a Troubled History
someday by to1 is just too good ,, im never gettin tired of this performance
— spidey misses chi+woonggi 🙁 (@KYUNGHOSAWR) March 4, 2022
TO1 originally debuted under the name TOO in 2020 after being formed on the Mnet survival show “World Klass,” and they rebranded as TO1 in March of last year. One Twitter fan bemoaned the group’s luck. “Ever since they debuted, all they ever experienced were hardships and something worse. TO1 don’t deserve any of this,” the post said.
ever since they debuted, all they ever experienced were hardships and something worse. TO1 don’t deserve any of this 🙁
— nesa | ily chihoon (@0320WRLD) April 30, 2022
Another user got more specific, saying, “TO1 has been through survival shows, company switches, a rebrand, long hiatuses, so much uncertainty, and now is parting ways with a family member. The strongest people on this planet.”
TO1 has been through survival shows, company switches, a rebrand, long hiatuses, so much uncertainty, and now is parting ways with a family member. The strongest people on this planet.
— emily ♡ │ilysm, chihoon! (@amaijaeyun) April 30, 2022