SHINee Taemin’s Album Controversy— Is SM Entertainment Stealing BTS V’s Style?

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of K-Pop, it’s not uncommon for artists and agencies to be in the spotlight for a variety of reasons, from record-breaking achievements to controversies and scandals.

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In a recent turn of events, SM Entertainment, one of South Korea’s most prominent entertainment agencies, has found itself at the center of a heated debate and under fire for alleged plagiarism regarding the upcoming album design of SHINee Taemin.

Plagiarism or Coincidence? Addressing the Controversy 

The accusation has not only raised eyebrows but has also sparked anger among fans of the globally acclaimed boy band BTS.

Earlier this year, the K-Pop scene witnessed the release of BTS’s V’s debut album, “Layover,” which immediately made waves due to its innovative and distinct concept.

Fans, often referred to as ARMYs, marveled at the unique physical album that seemed to represent V in various artistic ways, breaking away from conventional design norms.


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The album’s design captured the essence of the artist’s individuality and creativity, earning it praise and admiration.

BTS Big Hit

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However, the controversy began when SM Entertainment started teasing the release of SHINee Taemin’s new album, “Guilty.”

On October 22, the official SHINee Twitter account unveiled a photo providing a glimpse into what fans could expect from Taemin’s upcoming album, which included previews of tracks, concept photos, and the album’s outer packaging.

SHINee Taemin

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ARMYs were quick to react, expressing their dismay and disappointment as they claimed that SM Entertainment had allegedly copied the concept and design elements of V’s “Layover” album.

SHINee Taemin

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The striking similarities that drew their attention included the resemblance of the outer album box, the style of the concept photos, and the fact that one of Taemin’s songs shared the title “Blue” with a track from V’s album.

Netizens’ comments:

  • “Woah, is this Inspired by Layover by V? Woahhhhh Kim Taehyung is the blueprint. Idol of Idol~”
  • “Seriously, SM Entertainment? Can’t you come up with something original? This is blatant plagiarism!”
  • “I can’t believe they would stoop so low as to copy BTS V’s album design. SM Entertainment needs to be held accountable for this!”
  • “It’s disappointing to see a company as big as SM Entertainment resorting to plagiarism. They should know better!”
  • “Whether it’s intentional or not, the resemblance between the two album designs is uncanny. SM Entertainment should address this issue.”
  • “I feel bad for Taemin because he doesn’t deserve to be caught up in this controversy. It’s the responsibility of SM Entertainment to ensure originality.”
  • “This is just another example of SM Entertainment’s lack of creativity. They need to learn to respect other artists’ work.”

The accusations of plagiarism have led to a vigorous online debate, with fans sharing their opinions and emotions on social media platforms, most notably Twitter.

This controversy highlights the intense loyalty and passion that fans have for their beloved artists and the willingness to stand up against what they perceive as unfair practices.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen whether SM Entertainment will address these accusations and offer clarity on the design choices for Taemin’s album.