TV personality You Hee-yul to depart from 'You Hee-yul's Sketchbook'

Singer-songwriter, producer and TV personality You Hee-yul [JOONGANG ILBO]

Singer-songwriter, producer and TV personality You Hee-yul will be leaving his longtime post as the host of the local music program, "You Hee-yul's Sketchbook."

His departure comes 13 years and three months after he first began hosting the program. Episode 600, which will be pre-recorded on Wednesday and aired Friday, will be You's last appearance.

"I will take this time to think about the person that I am now and who I can be in the future," said You in a statement as he said that the recent issues, claims and comments that have been made have made him look back at his life.

Controversy first arose on June 15, a day after You's agency Antenna Music received a message via Instagram complaining that You’s song "A Very Private Night" (translated) was a “rip-off” of Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Aqua" (1999). Antenna Music admitted that the two songs were similar and issued a public apology. It said it instantly reached out to Sakamoto and said it received a response back and is “disclosing the content to show how the incident has been resolved.”

Sakamoto responded by saying he saw the similarity but he didn't think legal action was necessary. However, a string of claims that You plagiarized other songs such as "Please Don't Go My Girl (feat. Kim Yo-han)" (2013) and "Happy Birthday to You" (2002), surfaced.

Regarding the allegations of plagiarism, You said that he doesn't agree with all the claims, though he respects different people's opinions. In the future, You said that he will "be stricter on himself so that such controversies do not arise again," emphasizing that he will "not turn a blind eye to the controversies."

He concluded the statement with an apology to his fans. "I am sorry again for causing this controversy and apologize to all those who believed and cared for me," he said.

The program's broadcaster KBS released an official statement regarding You's departure.

"KBS has decided to respect You Hee-yul's decision to leave the show," it said on Monday. "For the past 13 years, the program has strived to give strength and joy to those who love music. The team of 'You Hee-yul's Sketchbook' would like to express our deep gratitude to the viewers who have loved the program. We will not forget your unwavering support for the past 13 years. Thank you."

You is a singer-songwriter and the founder of entertainment agency Antenna Music. He debuted in October 1994 under the stage name Toy.

"You Hee-yul's Sketchbook" is a late-night weekly music show on KBS. The show invites singers across a wide spectrum of genres who perform and discuss their music with host You.