A buzz swept through HIGH4’s fandom on Jan. 31 following the sudden announcement that the group’s leader, Sunggu, will be going his own way in March. Their upcoming mini album, which was originally intended to be finished in November of last year, was finally given a firm release date as well.
N.A.P. Entertainment first revealed plans for HIGH4’s new album in April 2016 via a Makestar campaign. Fans rallied, and more than $37,000 USD was raised by the June deadline. In the months following the project’s completion, members Alex and Youngjun formed the sub-unit HIGH4:20 and released their first single, “HookGA.”
N.A.P. later posted a statement through Makestar in November 2016 saying that HIGH4’s album would need to be postponed due to Myunghan having developed vocal cord nodules. The company added that doctor’s orders demanded him to rest, and they admirably wrote, “The first and the last should always be the welfare of artists.”
After a period of silence, another message from Makestar went out on N.A.P. Entertainment’s behalf with a translated version of their fancafe announcement. The correspondence apologetically states that Sunggu has decided to separate from the group after one last concert in Japan this March. So far, no details regarding his reasoning have been made public. The release date of HIGH4’s mini album — Feb. 27, 2017 — was revealed in the same notice.
N.A.P. has written, “We extend our apology to the fans who have waited a long time for the album, and the time it has taken to deliver the news concerning Kim Sung Gu’s decision to leave the group. We wanted to be absolutely clear on his position.” They have also requested fans’ support for the Japan concert, which “will be the last time the [four] HIGH4 members will perform as a group.”
Dear HIGH5s, we received some sad news… N.A.P ent. posted on the HIGH4 fancafe and I got an email from MakeStar with the translation 😢😢 pic.twitter.com/FXP2ZNmxvA
— #ThankYouSunggu (@High4intl) January 31, 2017