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The news was confirmed via Fantagio, as reported by Soompi. Fantagio wrote in its statement: “After a deep discussion with Rocky, who has been with us as a member of ASTRO for the past seven years, it has been decided that he will be ending both his exclusive contract with our agency and his activities as a member of ASTRO.”
“ASTRO will continue on as a fiver-member group in the future, and together with Fantagio, the members will be focusing on unit and solo activities for the time being. We plan to actively give them our unsparing support so that [the members] can be active in a wide variety of areas.”
Fantagio has also thanked Rocky “for doing his utmost for a long time as a member of ASTRO, and we will be sincerely rooting for Rocky in the future”. The agency also thanked its fans and encouraged them to “continue to give Rocky your unchanging interest and support as he makes a fresh start”.
Rocky has yet to comment on his departure from the group, or his career plans moving forward.
Prior to the news of Rocky’s exit from the band, Fantagio confirmed in late December that members Jinjin, Cha Eunwoo, Moonbin and Yoon Sanha had renewed their contracts with the agency. Apart from Rocky, the only other member to not have renewed with Fantagio at the time of publishing is MJ, who is in the midst of mandatory military service, and is set to discuss his contract renewal upon completion of his service.
ASTRO’s last release as a full group was their May 2022 album ‘Drive To The Starry Road’, which featured the title track ‘Candy Sugar Pop’. Despite releasing a week after MJ’s military service enlistment, the idol had participated in the recording of the album and the lead single’s accompanying music video.