If there was any South Korean boy band that all signs and indications showed that they were going to enjoy unbridled success for the next decade if they stayed together, it would be CJ E&M’s Wanna One. The group came about following the conclusion of the second season of Mnet’s Produce 101 reality series before going ahead to become only the third band from the country to sell a million copies of their debut album. A rookie grand slam followed for the band after which it was decided that they disband as stipulated in their contract.
Lesser-Known Facts About the Boy Band
1. The band consisted of eleven members
Wanna One was composed of eleven members that were put together following the completion of the second season of the Produce 101 survival series that aired on Mnet between April and June 2017. The final eleven, which were chosen by audience voting and announced via live television broadcast, consisted of Kang Daniel, Ha Sung-woon, Ong Seong-wu, Park Woo-jin, Park Ji-hoon, Lai Kuan-lin, Yoon Ji-sung, Hwang Min-hyun, Kim Jae-hwan, Bae Jin-young and Lee Dae-hwi.
Singer and actor Yoon Ji-sung, who has since launched a solo career as an artist, served as the leader of the band.
2. Some members of the band were active in the entertainment industry prior to joining Wanna One
Four members of the band; Park Ji-hoon, Hwang Min-hyun, Kim Jae-hwan, and Ha Sung-woon, had already been active in the entertainment industry before their appearance in the Produce 101 reality show.
Between the four, Ji-hoon was the first to break onto the scene having worked as a child actor. Born in 1999, the Masan native made his debut as a supporting cast member on the MBC historical drama Jumong (2006). He subsequently went on to appear in other TV series and musicals like MBC’s Kimchi Cheese Smile (2007-2008), SBS’s The King and I (2007-2008), Peter Pan (2007–2009), and The Harmonium in My Memory (2010). During the 2010s, he trained as a singer under SM Entertainment, Fantaigo before appearing in Produce 101 as a representative of Maroo Entertainment.
Hwang Min-hyun made his own debut in the entertainment industry as a member of the group NU’EST after having been scouted and made a trainee under Pledis Entertainment as a fifteen-year-old in 2010. Kim Jae-hwan, on the other hand, did not quite break onto the scene as he only got to appear on a few reality shows. They include Korea’s Got Talent 2 in 2012 where he managed a semifinal place and Vocal War: God’s Voice in 2016 where he came out as the winner.
The last member of Wanna One who had previously been active, Ha Sung-woon, gained prominence when he got accepted in the 8th Open Audition of JYP through his dancing audition. He would later go-ahead to join Star Crew Entertainment where he was made the main vocalist of the six-member band, Hotshot in 2014.
3. Wanna One has headlined their own world tour
On the 1st of June, 2018, Wanna One embarked on a world tour called One: The World that saw them visit 14 countries, including the United States, Australia, Thailand, Japan, and Singapore. They did so to promote their second EP titled 0+1=1 (I Promise You) and their special album titled 1÷x=1 (Undivided).
The band has since that time only performed once else, in January 2019, when they came together for the Wanna One Final Concert titled Therefore which was held across four days.
4. They have a number of awards to their name
In their two year span, Wanna One was able to garner a number of awards for themselves, receiving a total of 49 awards from 98 nominations from various award organizations. In 2018, after Billboard named them as the Best New K-Pop Act of 2017, they achieved the “Rookie Grand Slam” by winning Newcomer awards from the five major award-giving bodies; Mnet Asian Music Awards, Gaon Chart Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Melon Music Awards, and the Seoul Music Awards.
Other bodies to have further recognized them include the Soribada Best K-Music Awards, MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards and Korea Popular Music Awards.
5. Wanna One topped the boy group brand power rankings for four months
Wanna One proved to have huge marketing power as they ranked number one for a four-month period in 2017 on the Boy Group Brand Power Ranking published by the Korean Corporate Reputation Research Institute. The following year, as viewership ratings of the TV shows they appeared on went through the roof, Forbes Korea ranked them number two on the 2018 Power Celebrity list.