SM's Lee says SM's Lee era over, bids farewell to his creation

SM founder Lee Soo-man [NEWS1]

SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man said his SM era has “now ended” in a letter to the media before the general shareholder meeting, which was held without Lee, on Friday.

“The era of SM, which I founded and named with my initials, has ended as of today,” Lee said. “I believe that all the processes that I went through can be summarized by lyrics from a song called ‘Happiness,’ which I had sung during my days as a singer.”

The lyric goes something like “close my eyes and turn away from everything, that I have loved and hated, regard my past days as poverty and spend today wishing for happiness.”

Lee stressed the importance of K-pop’s expansion overseas.

“I go forward to the future. K-pop should go beyond the national borders to the world, and evolve to global music.”

Lee revealed his intentions behind selling a large chunk of his shares to HYBE. Lee still owns 3.65 percent of SM. He had previously said that HYBE is “the best” option as an acquirer for SM Entertainment.

“When I sold my stake to HYBE’s Bang Si-hyuk, I was able to make my decision because I knew our intentions to connect music to the sustainable world,” Lee said.

Lee says that he’s currently overseas and did not participate in the general shareholder meeting held at SM headquarters in Seongsu District, eastern Seoul, on Friday.

“I am overseas. I am immersed in the world of global music,” Lee said.