Oliver Tree Controversy: He Expresses Regret for Using a Photo from Jonghyun’s Funeral

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Oliver Tree Nickell is an American singer-songwriter and filmmaker who was born on June 29, 1993. Tree signed to Atlantic Records in 2017 after his song “When I’m Down” went viral, and his debut studio album Ugly Is Beautiful was released in 2020. The tree was born in Santa Cruz, California. In 2021, he had more popularity with his song “Life Goes On.” On February 18, 2022, he released his second studio album, Cowboy Tears.


Oliver Tree, an American artist, has apologized for his controversial usage of a photo of late South Korean singer Jonghyun of SHINee.

The singer of ‘Life Goes On’ purportedly posted an image on his official YouTube community tab in 2019 to promote his ‘Goodbye Farewell Tour.’ The image was quickly identified as a shot from the funeral of SHINee member Jonghyun, who passed away in 2017, with Tree photoshopped in place of the late K-pop idol. The post was quickly taken down, according to reports.

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oliver tree controversy

However, archived screenshots of Tree’s 2019 post began resurfacing online over the last week, eliciting a barrage of criticism from followers, who began to hashtag “#apology Olivertree” on social media. One fan added, “I don’t understand how someone could be so inconsiderate.” “A proper apology is required.”

Through his Instagram Story post on October 11, Tree has since issued a personal apology for his use of the photograph. “I apologize to [Jonghyun] and anyone else who was offended by the image. He claimed that he and his colleagues “didn’t know where the image was stolen from” and that they “had no intention of hurting anyone.”

“Had we known, we would never have shared it,” Tree said, adding that the modified image was posted with “no malevolent intent.” “It was just the result of a lack of research, which resulted in a very silly mistake.”

Despite his regret, Tree has been chastised by fans for what they see as an “unacceptable” apology, owing to the transient nature of Instagram Stories. Some fans have also chastised the artist for “making[ing] this about him[self].”

SHINee paid tribute to Jonghyun earlier this year on April 8, which would have been the late singer’s 31st birthday. The K-pop boyband uploaded a photo of the late South Korean singer on their official social media profiles, along with hashtags in English and Korean for his name.

Members Key and Minho, for their part, paid tribute to Jonghyun on their own Instagram profiles. Backstage after a concert, Key shared a photo of Jonghyun striking a stance in a plaid suit. Minho’s tribute to Jonghyun, on the other hand, includes a stage shot of the late singer.


Ugly Is Beautiful Deluxe Edition with Cowboy Tears Deluxe Edition Despite professing to be retired, on February 4, 2021, he released the single “Out of Ordinary,” announcing the deluxe edition of Ugly Is Beautiful.

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Tree released a deluxe version of his debut album, Ugly Is Beautiful: Shorter, Thicker, and Uglier, on May 28, 2021.

oliver tree controversy

Later, he would collaborate with Russian rave band Little Big, releasing the single “Turn It Up,” which featured Tommy Cash, off their collaborative EP Welcome To The Internet, which was released on September 30, 2021. Tree released the single “Cowboys Don’t Cry” from his second album Cowboy Tears on January 12, 2022. On February 18, 2022, Cowboy Tears was released. Tree released “I Hate You” and “Cowboys Don’t Cry” as a single on May 20, 2022. He also announced a tour in support of Cowboy Tears.

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