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Monsta X: Overview, History, Members, 12 Fun Facts & More

Overview of Monsta X

Monsta X is a South Korean boy group formed through the reality survival program ‘No. Mercy’ under Starship Entertainment. The group has six members: Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M. The former member Wonho left the group in 2019.

The group debuted with their first EP ‘Trespass’ on 14 May 2015. In 2017, Monsta X released their first studio album and the final part of The Clan series ‘The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter’.

Kdramalive Image of Monsta X
Credit: Pinterest

The group’s continuous success earned certification gold for their four Japanese singles by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Since 2019, nine of their Korean albums and extended plays have been certified platinum by the Korea Music Content Association.

Since the group’s debut, they have been recognised for their aggressive style, combining elements of hip-hop, EDM and pop. The group became influential across the fourth generation of K-pop and obtained the tag name ‘Next Generation Beast Idol’.

History, Formation & More of Monsta X

The group was formed as a result of the survival program ‘No. Mercy’ which was launched by Starship Entertainment and Mnet in 2014. The twelve trainees competed against each other and were ranked according to their performances.

The nine members were grouped into three and were to compete against each other. The final members of Monsta X were selected from the nine members in the final episode, as the seven members of the group were Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon, and I.M.

On 12 February 2015, Jooheon, Hyungwon, and I.M. also released their song ‘Interstellar’, produced for the final mission by Yella Diamond. On 14 May 2015, Monsta X debuted with the release of their first extended play ‘Trespass’.

Kdramalive Image of Monsta X
Credit: Pinterest

The group released their second extended play ‘Rush’, produced by Giriboy and choreographed by Keone Madrid. The music video for the EP was directed by Joo Hee-sun. The mini-album has 6 tracks produced by Mad Clown, Crybaby and Rhymer. In 2015, their first international appearance was performed in the U.S. at KCON 2015 in Los Angeles.

First Solo Concert

The group released a new variety program Monsta X Right Now and also appeared in the Chinese web drama Good Evening, Teacher. The group participated in the Chinese survival program called Heroes of Remix. O

The group pre-released the single ‘Ex-Girl’ featuring Wheein of Mamamoo. The group released their third extended play The Clan Pt. 1 Lost with the lead single ‘All In’ and was the first part of  The Clan series.

Monsta X held their first solo concert The First Live X-Clan Origins. Starship Entertainment formed a project group with Monsta X and their label-mates Cosmic Girls as part of a promotional project with KT. The project group released the single ‘Do Better’.

Japanese Debut and First World Tour

Monsta X released their fourth extended play and second part of The Clan series titled ‘The Clan Pt. 2 Guilty’. The group launched another variety show Monsta X-Ray through JTBC2. The group released their first studio album and the final part of The Clan series titled The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter.

Kdramalive Image of Monsta X
Credit: Pinterest

Monsta X made their debut in Japan under Universal Music’s new label Mercury Records Tokyo. The first Japanese single album had Japanese versions of ‘Hero’ and ‘Stuck’. Monsta X released a repackaged version of The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter is called Shine Forever. The group’s first world tour was titled ‘Beautiful’.

Monsta X aired the second season of Monsta X-Ray. The group also released a summer song ‘Newton’. Their second Japanese single ‘Beautiful’ contains the Japanese versions of ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Ready or Not’.The group released their fifth extended play ‘The Code’ and held a comeback performance at Jangchung Arena. The group released their special single ‘Lonely Christmas’.

Second World Tour and Japanese Album

Monsta X was the torchbearer on the first day of the Seoul leg of the Olympic torch relay for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. They released their third Japanese single album which included their first original Japanese track ‘Spotlight’.

The group’s second world tour was titled The Connect, which was performed at Jangchung Arena in Seoul. The group released their sixth mini-album ‘The Connect: Dejavu’, the lead title track ‘Jealously’, produced by Hayden Bell, Shane Simmons, and Harry Sommerdahland.

The group released their first Japanese studio album ‘Piece’ with the lead title track ‘Puzzle’. The group released a music video for their Japanese comeback ‘Livin’ It Up’. Monsta X released part one of their second studio album ‘Take.1 Are You There?’, with the title track ‘Shoot Out’. The group released the second part of their second studio album ‘Take.2 We Are Here’ along with its lead single ‘Alligator’.

International Expansion

The group collaborated with the music producer Steve Aoki for the ‘Play It Cool’. The group held the largest world tour ‘We Are Here’ with twelve countries and eighteen cities. The group signed with Epic Records for their English language recordings and distribution outside South Korea. They released a new English single titled ‘Who Do U Love?’ featuring French Montana. They released another English single titled ‘Love U’ and ‘Who Do U Love?’ remix version by will.i.am.

Kdramalive Image of Monsta X
Credit Pinterest

Monsta X released an English single ‘Someone’s Someone’, co-written by the ‘Before You Exit’ members and Shownu. The group released their seventh EP ‘Follow: Find You’.

Following the allegations of drug use, Starship Entertainment publicly declared Wonho’s departure from the group. In 2020, Wonho was cleared of drug charges and signed with a subsidiary of Starship Entertainment to pursue a solo career.

The group performed at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards at the Nagoya Dome in Japan. In collaboration with the Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra, the group released ‘Magnetic’. Alongside Steve Aoki, they attended and performed at the MDL Beast Festival in Saudi Arabia.

Virtual Concerts

Joohoney announced that he would take a break from the group to focus on his mental health. The group released their sixth studio album and first all-English album ‘All About Luv’. They released their seventh Japanese single ‘Wish on the Same Sky’. The group appeared on MTV Unplugged at Home, performing ‘Beside U’ and ‘You Can’t Hold My Heart’.

The group released their eighth EP ‘Fantasia X’, with the lead single ‘Fantasia’. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group was not able to perform their fourth world tour and was performed in a live-streamed KCON event KCON: TACT 2020.

The group released their third studio album ‘Fatal Love’, with the lead single ‘Love Killa’. The group collaborated with Snoop Dogg for the OST for the animated movie ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’.

The group is one of the artists to feature on NCSoft’s new platform Universe, beginning with an original series called Area 51: The Code. The group released a new Japanese single album with the lead single ‘Wanted’ and another original Japanese track ‘Neo Universe’. Following the release, the third Japanese studio album ‘Flavors of Love’ and the ninth EP ‘One of a Kind’ and its lead single ‘Gambler’.

Kdramalive Image of Monsta X
Credit: Pinterest

In partnership with BMG, Monsta X announced the launch of a new label. The label’s first two artists were Monsta X and Wonho. In partnership with Starship Entertainment, Monsta X’s two upcoming Korean releases.

Monsta X released the promotional single ‘Kiss or Death’ through Universe Music for the mobile application Universe. The group released their new single ‘One Day”, and their tenth EP ‘No Limit’ with the lead single ‘Rush Hour’.

Monsta X released their second English-language album ‘The Dreaming’ and a documentary film/concert film ‘Monsta X: The Dreaming’. The documentary covers the interviews of the members, clips from their U.S. activities, special stages, and footage of the group’s six-year journey.

U.S. Tour 

Monsta X announced their eleventh EP ‘Shape of Love’, with the lead single ‘Love’. The group also appeared in the KCON event KCON 2022 Premiere. Starship Entertainment released a statement announcing that all the members, except I.M, renewed their contracts. He decided not to renew his contract with the agency but will continue to participate in the group’s plans

Monsta X released the promotional single ‘If with U’ through Universe Music for the mobile application Universe. They also released a new single titled ‘Late Night Feels’ in collaboration with famous Dutch DJ Sam Feldt.

Kdramalive Image of Monsta X
Credit: Pinterest

The group performed at the LALAPA K-CONCERT, held at Union Hall in Bangkok, Thailand. They participated in the 2022 Korean Culture Festival, held at Seoul Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

The group released their twelfth EP ‘Reason’, with the lead single ‘Beautiful Liar’. The group took over the metaverse in iHeartLand’s State Farm Park. They performed their hit songs and shared the platform with global artists like Charlie Puth, Lauv, and Pentatonix.

They released their first ‘self-produced’ content MONMUKGO through their YouTube channel. Monsta X attended and performed at the We Bridge Music Festival & Expo, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center’s Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Members

Shownu

Sohn Hyun Woo, popularly by the stage name Shownu, is the leader, main dancer and lead vocalist of the South Korean boy band, Monsta X.

Born on 18 June 1992 in Changdong, Seoul, South Korea. He was a former JYP Entertainment trainee with GOT 7 and a member of the boy group NUBOYZ.

He creates most of Monsta X’s choreographies and on 9 June 2022, he renewed his contract with Starship Entertainment. It was announced in 2024 that he would be making his musical debut.

Shownu has 1.3 million Instagram followers and his ID is shownuayo

Minhyuk

Lee Min hyuk, widely recognised by his stage name Minhyuk, is the sub-vocalist and visualist of the South Korean boy band Monsta X.

He was born in Gwangju, South Korea on 3 November 1993. He was the last member to be confirmed for Monsta X, after the survival TV show ‘No Mercy’. He has participated in ‘Law of the Jungle’ in Chile and has starred in ‘High-end Crush’ (2018). He was the MC for Inkygayo.

He has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and his ID is go5rae

Kihyun

Yoo Ki Hyun, known by the stage name Kihyun, is the main vocalist of the South Korean boy group Monsta X.

Born on 22 November 1993 in Goyang, South Korea. He is the best vocalist in the group and debuted on 15 March 2022 with his solo single album ‘VOYAGE’. On 9 June 2022, he renewed his contract with Starship Entertainment. He likes to compose songs and write lyrics.

Kihyun has 1.7 million Instagram followers and his ID is yookihhh

Hyungwon

Chae Hyung Won, popular by the stage name Hyungwon, is the lead dancer, sub-vocalist, sub-rapper, visualist and centre of the South Korean boy group Hyungwon.

Born on 15 January 1994 in Gwangju, South Korea. Before joining Monsta X, he was a popular model and participated in several fashion shows.

He is also a DJ with his name DJ H.One. On 9 June 2022, he renewed his contract with Starship Entertainment.

Hyungwon has 2.2 million Instagram followers and his ID is coenffl

Joohoney

Lee Ho Joon changed his name to Lee Joo Hoon and is widely known by the stage name Joohoney. He is the main rapper and sub-vocalist of the South Korean boy band Monsta X.

Born on 6 October 1994 in Seoul, he grew up in Daegu. He was the best rapper among the trainees. He mainly wrote lyrics and was involved in song production. He was a member of the boy group NUBOYZ. On 28 April 2015, he released his first mixtape JUNG JI. He made his solo debut on 22 May 2023 with the mini album LIGHTS.

Joohoney has 1.3 million Instagram followers and his ID is joohoneywalker

I.M

Im Chang Kyun widely recognised by his stage name I.M is the lead rapper, sub-vocalist and maknae of the South Korean boy group MONTSA X.

Born on 26 January 1996 in Gwangju, South Korea. He spends his childhood mostly abroad. He used to be a part of the group Nu’bility. On 19 February 2021, he made his solo debut with the EP album ‘DUALITY’. It was announced on 8 August 2022, that I.M. left the agency but would continue his participation in group activities. On 15 November 2022, he signed with Sony Music Korea.

I.M has 1.8 million Instagram followers and his ID is imnameim

Wonho

Lee Ho Seok, known by the name Shin Ho Seok, is popular by the stage name Wonho. He is the lead vocalist, lead dancer and visual of the South Korean boy group Monsta X.

Born on 1 March 1993 in Sanbon-dong, Gunpo, South Korea. He was a member of the boy group NUBOY2 and appeared in Ulzzang Shidae Season 3.

He was caught in the whirlwind of rumours and was cleared of all charges. On 31 October 2019, he departed from the group and signed with Highline Entertainment. He made his solo debut on 4 September 2020 with ‘Love Synonym #1: Right for Me’.

Wonho has 2.7 million Instagram followers and his ID is iwonhoyou

Discography

Korean Albums

  • Fatal Love
  • Take.2 We Are Here
  • Take.1 Are You There?
  • The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter

Japanese Albums

  • Flavors of Love
  • Phenomenon
  • Piece

English Albums

  • The Dreaming
  • All About Luv

Awards

  • APAN Music Awards  (2020)
    Song of the Year
  • SBS MTV’s The Show (2017)
    First Music Broadcast Award
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards (2016)
    Best of Next Male Artist
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards (2015)
    Next Generation Asian Artist
  • Melon Music Awards (2015)
    1theK Performance Award

Interesting Facts about Monsta X 

  1. Shownu was a JYP trainee for about 2 years.
  2. Shownu participates in creating most of MONSTA X’s choreographies.
  3. Minhyuk likes cola, sweet potato, and pizza.
  4. Minhyuk is close with UNIQ’s Sungjoo, GOT7’s Mark, Seventeen’s Jeonghan, N.Flying’s Kwangjin and actor Park Bo Gum.
  5. Kihyun can play the piano.
  6. Kihyun likes composing songs and writing lyrics.
  7. Hyungwon is known for his thick lips.
  8. Hyungwon is also a DJ and he is known as DJ H.One.
  9. Joohoney was friends with ASTRO‘s Late member Moonbin, GOT7‘s Jackson, and EXO‘s Chanyeol.
  10. Joohoney was the best rapper among the trainees.
  11. I.M. can speak English fluently.
  12. Wonho has acrophobia.
FAQs
  1. Who is the youngest in Monsta X?
    I.M
  2. Why did Shownu leave Monsta X?
    Shonwnu left due to health problems.
  3. Why are there only 5 members in Monsta X?
    In August 2022, Monsta X’s agency Starship Entertainment announced that five of the six members: Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon and Joohoney, renewed their contracts with the agency, but I.M. decided not to and signed with Sony Music Entertainment. 

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