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Tao Releases Debut Album, Talks About Leaving EXO: Listen to "ZTAO" Here

July 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm EDT

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Tao is moving on. The former EXO star has today, July 23, made his official solo debut in China.

The 22-year-oldformer EXO-M lead rapper -- real name Huang Zito -- released his first solo EP after leaving the group and Korea earlier this year.

Within minutes of release the China-born idol's new solo endeavour, titled "ZTAO", became a trending topic online and the number 1 search on Chinese social network Weibo.

Former EXO member Tao has released his debut album in China, called "ZTAO" Credit: Weibo

Former EXO member Tao has released his debut album in China, called "ZTAO"
Credit: Weibo

Along with his mini-album release, the superstar rapper revealed his sentiments after leaving the band via a letter to his fans on Baidu (a portal site) saying, "Thank you all for being there for me since day one of my debut. Thanks for not giving up on me, no matter how tough or tiring it was."

STORY: Kris Wu, Luhan Make Forbes Rich List After Leaving EXO -- See How Much They Earned

He added, "I will continue to word hard and move forward with our dreams. I miss the past but I look forward to the future more. Let’s work hard together. I love you all."

A press release for the star’s solo release states, "Breaking free from the chains of the past, Huang Zito’s starting afresh in 2015. After a period of silence, he has chosen to present this first solo mini-album full of his own personal style, to and, and at the same time, presenting a fuller image of himself."

It continues, "This brand new album is a release of the long-accumulated musical power from Zitao and is work looking forward to."

The 22-year-old looks serious and mature in new photos released to coincide with the EP Credit: Weibo

The 22-year-old looks serious and mature in new photos released to coincide with the EP
Credit: Weibo

The solo debut did not, however, go without hiccups. Today, a teaser video announcing Tao’s solo debut was swiftly removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim by SM Entertainment, who he is technically still contracted to.

Stay in the know about Tao by following IdolWow! on Twitter

As is the case with former members Kris and Luhan, it looks like SM Entertainment will not let go without a fight. Although, in the mean time, Tao will continue to focus on his music.

Take a listen to his EP "ZTAO"  below and let us know what you think.

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