On March 12, news outlet Sports Seoul reported that Kang Daniel has not been included in this year’s KCON lineups yet.
KCON is CJ ENM’s global K-pop convention that was first held in 2012. According to several industry sources, KCON will take place in Japan this May, in New York this July, in Los Angeles this August, and in Thailand this September. Kang Daniel’s name was reportedly not found on any of the lineups, although several other former members of Wanna One were included. The official lineups have not been revealed publicly yet.
Considering the ties Kang Daniel has with CJ ENM, it would be natural to see him listed in the KCON lineups. He made his first TV appearance through “Produce 101 Season 2” of CJ ENM’s broadcasting channel Mnet, had been a trainee of CJ ENM’s subsidiary MMO Entertainment, and then moved to LM Entertainment, which has a partnership with CJ ENM.
An industry source shared, “From CJ ENM’s position, there is no reason to exclude Kang Daniel from this event. His dispute with his agency must have affected the casting process. There is a high possibility that Kang Daniel will be included once the problem is resolved somehow. From Kang Daniel’s point of view as well, [KCON] is the optimal place for him to show his presence to global fans, so it will be a big loss for him if he doesn’t participate in it.”
Sports Seoul further reported that Kang Daniel and LM Entertainment had planned for a global fan meeting tour in May and that preparations had mostly been made already. If Kang Daniel’s conflict with LM ends up in court and the fan meetings don’t happen, a big issue will revolve around the compensation for damages to the agencies and local companies involved in the fan meeting preparations.
Previously, Kang Daniel had sent a certification of contents to his agency LM Entertainment requesting changes to his exclusive contract, and Yonhap News further reported that it included a condition stating that if the changes were not made by February 28, he would consider the contract to be terminated. Kang Daniel then appointed a lawyer to aid him in resolving the dispute.
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