Hong Jin-young to return to music industry after plagiarism scandal

Trot singer Hong Jin-young [YONHAP]

Trot singer Hong Jin-young, who was forced to take a break from her career for a little more than a year after coming under fire for plagiarizing her master’s dissertation in 2009, will resume her activities by dropping a digital single next month, her label IMH Entertainment said Monday. Hong is the CEO of the label.

“Hong Jin-young has decided to resume her career cautiously, with a heavy heart and atonement for making such a mistake and letting down many people as a public figure,” the singer's agency IMH Entertainment said in a statement. “She thanks her fans for showing unconditional love and support during the time.”

Hong was embroiled in a plagiarism scandal in 2020 and had two degrees revoked by the university that awarded them.

The label said Hong is currently filming a music video after completing the recording of her new song.

Hong also said through the label that she’ll not expect to receive instant love and support from the public.

“Rather than wishing for popularity, that I don’t even deserve, I will do my best to become a singer who delivers hope to the public,” Hong said in the statement.

Chosun University, where Hong had received both her master’s and Ph.D, concluded in late 2020 that Hong’s master’s dissertation paper was plagiarized and revoked both her master’s and Ph.D. degrees.

Allegations of Hong’s plagiarism came to light after local media outlet Kukmin Ilbo reported in November 2020 that Hong's dissertation titled "Study on the cultural content industry through Hallyu [Korean Wave," which she wrote for the graduate school of trade studies at Chosun University, scored a 74 percent plagiarism rate on Copykiller, an analysis service based on big data.

Hong denied the speculation at first but later on, admitted that she should’ve been more careful in adding citations.

Hong debuted as a trot singer in 2009 and became immensely popular with her first digital single “Love Battery” (2009).