Winner (band)

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Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres K-pop, Hip hop, R&B, rock, dance, electronic
Years active 2014–present
Labels YG Entertainment
YGEX (Japan)
Associated acts YG Family, BIGBANG, 2NE1
Members Jinwoo
Korean name
Revised Romanization Wineo
McCune–Reischauer Winŏ

Winner (Korean:위너; stylized as WINNER) is a five-member South Korean male group formed in 2014 by YG Entertainment. The group's five members are Kang Seung-yoon, Song Min-ho, Nam Taehyun, Kim Jinwoo, and Lee Seunghoon.

The group was first introduced in the reality-survival program called Who is Next: WIN as "Team A." Team A and their adversaries Team B were both formed from trainees within YG Entertainment. The teams competed against each other in order to debut as the first YG boy group in eight years, after Big Bang. At the conclusion of the program the title of "WINNER" was given to Team A after they won all three rounds of public voting.[1]

After several delays, the group made their Korean debut on August 15 at YG Family Concert and following their broadcast debut on August 17 with their first official stage on Inkigayo. On September 10, the group debuted in Japan.[2]



Prior to the group's debut, the leader Kang Seung-yoon was a former Superstar K2 contestant who reached the final four. He decided to sign with YG Entertainment in 2011. [3] In the same year, he made his acting debut in the sitcom High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged.[4] In 2013, he had made a solo debut releasing multiple tracks. The track "It Rains" reached the top spot in multiple charts.[5]

Lee Seunghoon, the group's main dancer, was also a former reality-show singing contestant. He was a contestant in K-Pop Star Season 1 where he came in fourth place. Yang Hyun-suk recruited Seunghoon.[6] On May 16 YG Entertainment announced they had signed an exclusive contract with Seunghoon.[7] Like Seung-yoon, Seunghoon returned to trainee status under the company.

Song Minho started out underground under the stage name "Mino" or "Hugeboy Mino" with other underground rappers-turned-idols, namely Block B’s Zico, Kyung, P.O and SPEED's Taewoon. Minho was initially a trainee intended for the male group Block B, but left the group before debut for personal reasons.[8] In 2011, he made his debut as a rapper with the ballad group BoM under Y2Y Contents Company, however the group was disbanded two years later due to its lack of popularity with the public.[citation needed] In 2013, he was recruited into YG Entertainment through private auditions after being recognized from his acting debut in the March 2012 cable drama The Strongest K-POP Survival in Channel A.[9]

Kim Jinwoo attended "Joy Dance – Plug In Music Academy". Seungri brought Jinwoo to YG Entertainment after seeing his potential and he was eventually accepted as a trainee in 2010.[citation needed] Jinwoo and Nam Taehyun – who was recruited in 2011 through a private audition – performed as backup dancers at the 2011 YG Family Concert.[citation needed]

Debut: WINNER (2013–2014)[edit]

As a result of "Team A"'s win on the reality show "YG's WIN: WHO IS NEXT" finale on October 25, 2013, the members were promised a debut as 'Winner' under YG Entertainment. At the conclusion of the show it was announced that Winner, along with Team B, would immediately release two self composed songs each on October 28 and then Winner would go on tour with Big Bang. Winner opened for their Japanese dome tour starting November 15.[10] On November 9, 2013, Big Bang's Taeyang released his Ringa Linga music video which featured Winner as backup dancers.[11]

Winner's "road to debut" in both Korea and Japan was broadcast in the form of a reality show entitled WINNER TV that began airing on December 13 on Mnet for ten episodes.[12]

During an interview with Star News on January 7, 2014, CEO Yang Hyun Suk revealed to the press that Winner would be making their official debut at the conclusion of "Winner TV." Debut album official promotions were slated to start by the end of February but were later delayed.[13] Kang Seung-yoon and Mino participated in a collaborative track for Yoon Jong Shin's March project.[14]

On June 10, 2014, Winner released a teaser called 'The Visitor'.[15] This was followed by a launching campaign plan from June 16 to July 6, entitled "Test Week" and "New York Week" respectively, which featured the release of individual and group teaser images.[16][17] The final week of the campaign was called "Winner Week" and released the individual members and group teaser videos, with the end of the last group teaser releasing yet another date for the "WINNER Debut Album 2014 S/S" grand launch teaser on August 1.[18] After two months of promotional stints, the said teaser finally confirmed the group's debut date in Korea with a launching showcase held on August 6 and a debut album titled 2014 S/S which was released on August 12 digitally and in physical stores on August 14. Winner's official debut stage was on Inkigayo on August 17.[19][20]

Following their album release, two music videos were uploaded on their official Youtube account for their alternative rock title track, 'Color Ring,' and the mid-tempo hiphop track 'Empty,' with the latter surpassing one million views in less than 24 hours.[21][22][23] Further solidifying their "monster rookie" status, the album achieved an all-kill on major music charts immediately after release.[24][25] It became a certified perfect "all-kill" on Melon.[26] The group also peaked at number one on iTunes in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan and entered the Billboard World Albums Chart ranking at first place.[27][28][29] On the day of WINNER's debut the stock price of YG Entertainment rose by 6.57%, a sign of investor belief in the debut's strength.[30] They achieved their first music show win on M! Countdown during their debut stage. This makes them the fastest male rookies to achieve a no. 1 on a music show. [31] On August 30, a music video for Mino's solo track, "I'm Him" was released with cameo appearances from the members.[32]

On September 10, the group commenced their Japanese promotions for their 2014 S/S: Japan Collection album and embarked on their first Japanese solo concert on September 11.[33] The group successfully wrapped up their tour in Tokyo on October 11, drawing 25,000 fans in total.[34]


Stage name Birth name Date of Birth Position
Romanized Hangul Romanized Hangul
Jin-woo 진우 Kim Jin-woo 김진우 (1991-09-26) September 26, 1991 (age 23) Vocal
Seung-hoon 승훈 Lee Seung-hoon 이승훈 (1992-01-11) January 11, 1992 (age 22) Rapper
Mino 미노 Song Min-ho 송민호 (1993-03-30) March 30, 1993 (age 21) Rapper, Composer
Seung-yoon 승윤 Kang Seung-yoon 강승윤 (1994-01-21) January 21, 1994 (age 20) Leader, Composer, Vocal
Tae-hyun 태현 Nam Tae-hyun 남태현 (1994-05-10) May 10, 1994 (age 20) Vocal, Composer


Main article: Winner Discography

Korean releases[edit]

Studio albums

Japanese releases[edit]

Studio albums
  • 2014 S/S: Japan Collection (2014)


Main article: Winner filmography


  • WINNER's official fan club name is the "Inner Circle" (IC, Incles) and its official color is "nebula," a mixture of blue, purple, and teal.



Awards and Recognitions[edit]

Overall, Winner has won six music program awards and two nominations.


  1. ^ 이지영 기자 (October 25, 2013). "'WIN' 강승윤 속한 A팀, 최종 우승...'WINNER'로 데뷔" ['WIN' Member Kang Seung yoon's A team won the final ... Debut as 'WINNER']. My Daily via Nate News (in Korean). My Daily via Nate News. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ YG Entertainment's Winner set to debut in Japan
  3. ^ Kang Seung Yoon Opens Up About Why He Chose Record Label YG Entertainment: They Insisted That He Got Better
  4. ^ New pictures of Krystal and Kang Seung Yoon from 'High Kick 3'
  5. ^ Kang Seung yoon to dominate daily music charts with his new single It Rains
  6. ^ "K-Pop Star" Contestant Lee Seung Hoon to Debut as Member of New YG Group
  7. ^ "'K-Pop Star' contestants Lee Ha Yi, Lee Michelle, and Lee Seung Hoon sign with YG Entertainment". Allkpop. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  8. ^ MTV Match Up – Block B with Mino
  9. ^ Mino CUT in Strongest Kpop survival drama
  10. ^ "Team A to release 4 songs and open up for Big Bang's Japanese Tour". Translated by allkpop. allkpop. October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ Ringa Linga – Taeyang MV
  12. ^ WINNER to Follow YG’s Star Making System.... On ‘Winner TV’
  13. ^ 길혜성 기자 (Gil Hye Seong) (January 7, 2014). "양현석 "위너 2월말 정식데뷔..자작곡 담은 첫미니"(인터뷰)" [Yang Hyun Suk "Winner to make official debut at the end of February... first mini-album with self compositions"]. 스타뉴스 (Star News) (in Korean). 스타뉴스 (Star News). Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ 한국경제TV 김지원 기자 (Kim JiWon) (March 20, 2014). "강승윤 윤종신 콜라보 기대감 폭발, 인증샷만 봐도 `두근 두근`" [Yoon Jong Shin's Collaboration with Kang seung Yoon Explosive expectations, 'Excited' after certification Shot]. 한국경제TV (Korea Economic TV) (in Korean). WowTV. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  15. ^ "[Video] YG Makes a Surprise Attack with Teaser for Winner". CJ E&M enewsWorld. Mwave. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  16. ^ campaign plan' YG Entertainment release their 'launching campaign plan' for new group WINNER
  17. ^ YG Entertainment gears up for WINNER debut
  18. ^ through WINNER to tease all this week as revealed through 'WINNER Week' schedule
  19. ^ WINNER to Hold a Launching Show for Their Awaited Debut
  20. ^ WINNER to hold launching show on August 6
  21. ^ WINNER's 'Empty' surpasses 1 million views
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ WINNER dominates charts + achieve an all-kill with their album '2014 S/S'
  25. ^ Winner's debut album sweeps music charts
  26. ^ WINNER achieves perfect all-kill on MelOn
  27. ^ WINNER's debut album ranks no. 1 in iTunes for five countries
  28. ^ Winner’s Debut Album Ranks No.1 on Billboard’s World Alum Chart
  29. ^ WINNER debut #1 on Billboard World Album Chart
  30. ^ YG Entertainment Stock Hits 15% Daily Limit on News of Louis Vuitton Investment
  31. ^
  32. ^ Winner's Mino is suave in teaser for solo MV 'I'm Him'
  33. ^ Winner to officially debut in Japan in September
  34. ^ Korean Winner ends Japan tour attracting 25,000 fans
  35. ^ WINNER Profile via NII Korea - About: WINNER
  36. ^ WINNER's official positions according to their own Facebook page
  37. ^ [3]
  38. ^ [4]

External links[edit]