H.O.T. (band)

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H.O.T. reunion concert at Seoul Olympic Stadium (Oct 13, 2018).jpg
H.O.T. reunion concert at Seoul Olympic Stadium in 2018.
From L-R: Jaewon, Heejun, Kangta, Tony, and Woohyuk
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Years active
  • 1996–2001
  • 2018–present
LabelsSM Entertainment
Associated acts

H.O.T. (Hangul에이치오티; pronounced "H. O. T.", acronym for Highfive Of Teenagers) is a South Korean boy band that was created by SM Entertainment in 1996. They are considered to be the first K-pop "idol group," and their successful formula became the model for many K-pop groups that followed them.[1][2] H.O.T. consisted of five members: Moon Hee-joon, Jang Woo-hyuk, Tony An, Kangta, and Lee Jae-won.[3]

H.O.T. sold over 12 million records in South Korea during their career.[3] They were also commercially successful in China and Japan, and were among the first stars of the Korean Wave in Asia.[4][5]

The group broke up in 2001 following a contract disagreement with S.M. Entertainment, prompting hundreds of fans to stage protests against the company.[6][7]


H.O.T. was formed in 1996 by record producer Lee Soo-man, the founder of SM Entertainment. Lee had polled high school students to find out what their ideal pop group would be like, and he used this information to create H.O.T.[3]

The first member to join the group was Kangta, who Lee discovered at an amusement park. Next to join were friends and singing partners Moon Hee-joon and Lee Jae-won. The fourth to join was Jang Woo-hyuk who attracted Lee's attention after winning first place in a dance contest. Finally, Tony An joined the group after auditioning for Lee in Los Angeles.[3]


1996–1997: Debut and breakthrough[edit]

H.O.T. debuted in September 1996 with the album, We Hate All Kinds of Violence, which was a success, selling 1.5 million copies.[5] Their first single, "Descendants of Warriors," was a critique of schoolyard bullying, while their second single, "Candy," was a cheerful bubblegum pop song that established H.O.T.'s popularity, especially among teenage girls.[5][8] That year, H.O.T. won Best New Artist at the Golden Disc Awards.[9]

In July 1997, H.O.T. released their second album, Wolf and Sheep, which sold 1 million copies in ten days.[10] The album included the singles "Wolf and Sheep," "Happiness," and "We Are the Future," the first of which was banned from airplay due to its use of strong language.[3] Nonetheless, the album was both commercially and critically successful, winning the Grand Prize at both the 1997 Golden Disc Awards and the 1997 Seoul Music Awards.[9][11] Additionally, "We Are the Future" was nominated for an International Viewer's Choice Award at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.[3]

By this time, H.O.T. had become a "social sensation" in South Korea,[2] and with their success came the rise of K-pop fan culture.[12]

In 1997, H.O.T. also released their first Chinese album, the sales of which helped the group survive the slump in South Korean record sales that followed the Asian financial crisis.[13]

1998: Resurrection and controversy[edit]

H.O.T. released their third album, Resurrection, in September 1998. The album, which featured a variety of styles including hardcore hip hop, sold more than 1.1 million copies by the following year.[14][10] At the 1998 Seoul Music Awards, Resurrection was awarded the Grand Prize, which it shared with Special Album by Sechs Kies.[11]

Netizens accused the album of plagiarism on account of alleged similarities between the album's lead single "Line Up!" and "Killing In The Name," a song by American rock band Rage Against the Machine.[10] However, the song won the International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Korea at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.[citation needed]

1999–2000: I Yah!, Outside Castle and Age of Peace[edit]

H.O.T. released a live greatest hits album in April 1999.[15] On June 25, H.O.T. performed alongside Michael Jackson and popular South Korean girl group S.E.S. at a benefit concert in Seoul arranged by Jackson.[16]

In September 1999, H.O.T. released their fourth album, I Yah!.[17] The album's title track was about a 1999 fire that killed kindergarten students at the Sealand Youth Training Center in South Korea.[18] The album sold more than 1.3 million copies.[19] That same month, H.O.T. became the first K-pop group to perform at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, where 72,000 fans saw them perform.[3]


In February 2000, H.O.T. performed for 13,000 fans in Beijing at their first concert in China. The group became immensely popular among Chinese teenagers, and their success inspired S.M. Entertainment and other South Korean entertainment companies to promote their artists in China.[5]

H.O.T. released their fifth, Outside Castle, in September 2000.[20]

That year, the group also starred in the sci-fi movie Age of Peace, in which they portrayed soccer players living in a futuristic society.[3] Despite H.O.T.'s popularity at the time, the movie was not a hit.[21]

2001: Disbandment[edit]

H.O.T. announced its disbandment at a press conference in Seoul in May 2001. Members Tony, Jae-won and Woo-hyuk told the press that they were leaving S.M. Entertainment because they could not come to an agreement with the company over a new contract. In the following days, hundreds of the group's fans protested outside of S.M. Entertainment headquarters. Some fans blocked roads and threw rocks at the company headquarter's windows to protest what they believed were unjust actions against H.O.T. on the part of S.M. Entertainment.[6][7] It was later reported that the contractual disagreements between H.O.T. and S.M. Entertainment concerned the group members' pay, which was only about $10,000 USD for every 1 million albums they sold.[22]

After the split, Kangta and Hee-joon were offered lucrative contracts by S.M. Entertainment as solo artists.[citation needed] Tony, Jae-won and Woo-hyuk signed to Yejeon Media and formed a three-member group called jtL, which experienced moderate success before they disbanded in 2003.[23] All five former H.O.T. members have since pursued solo careers and are still active in the entertainment industry.[24]

2018: Reunion[edit]

In February 2018, H.O.T. was featured on the South Korean variety show Infinite Challenge in the "Saturday, Saturday is for Singers" (토토가) special, a recurring segment on the show which showcases famous singers from the 1990s and was notably responsible for the reunion of their first-generation counterparts Sechs Kies. All five members appeared on the show, marking their first appearance as a complete group since 2003.[25]

During the years in between disbandment and the reunion, the possibility of a reunion had been repeatedly brought up.[26] Following the successful reunions of their fellow first-generation groups g.o.d and Fly to the Sky in 2014, a Naver online poll revealed that H.O.T ranked first as the first-generation idol group K-pop fans most wanted to see again.[27][28] In 2016 it was reported that the members had been in contact with one another and met with Lee Soo-man to discuss the possibility of reuniting for the 20th anniversary of their debut but it ultimately did not come to fruition.[29]

On August 31, it was announced that H.O.T. would be independently holding their reunion concert, 'Forever [Highfive Of Teenagers]', on October 13 and 14 in Seoul Olympic Main Stadium with 100,000 attendees.[30][31]


  • We Hate All Kinds of Violence (1996)
  • Wolf and Sheep (1997)
  • Resurrection (1998)
  • I Yah! (1999)
  • Outside Castle (2000)


  • Age of Peace (2000)[32]

Concert and tours[edit]

  • 1998 - H.O.T. The 1st Concert, Olympic Gymnastics Arena
  • 1998.Feb.21 ~ Mar.31 - USA Live Tour, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Hawaii
  • 1999.Jan.22 ~ Feb.3 - H.O.T. The 2nd Concert, Seoul Sejong Center, Busan, Gwangju (65,400 attendees)
  • 1999.Sept.18 - 99 Live In Seoul, Seoul Olympic Main Stadium (45,000 attendees)
  • 2000.Feb.1 - 2000 H.O.T. Live Concert In Beijing
  • 2001.Feb.27 - 2001 H.O.T. Live Concert - H.O.T. Forever, Seoul Olympic Main Stadium (80,000 attendees)
  • 2018.Oct.13 ~ 14 - 2018 Forever [High-five Of Teenagers] Concert, Seoul Olympic Main Stadium (100,000 attendees)


Golden Disc Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result[9]
1996 Best New Artist H.O.T. Won
1997 Grand Prize (Daesang): Best Album Wolf and Sheep Won
Main Prize (Bonsang): Best Artist H.O.T. Won
1998 Won
1999 Won

Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
1999 Best Popular Music Video (Daesang) "I Yah!"[33] Won
Best Group Won
Best Dance Performance Nominated
Best Music Video Director Hong Jong-ho for "I Yah!"[33] Won
2000 Best Popular Music Video (Daesang) "Outside Castle"[34][35] Won
Best Dance Performance Nominated
Best Male Group Nominated
2008 10th Anniversary Remember 1999 H.O.T.[36] Won

MTV Video Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
1998 International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Asia "We Are the Future"[3] Nominated
1999 International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Korea "Line Up!" Won

Seoul Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result[11]
1997 Grand Prize (Daesang) H.O.T. Won
Main Prize (Bonsang) Won
1998 Grand Prize (Daesang) H.O.T. (shared with Sechs Kies) Won
Main Prize (Bonsang) H.O.T. Won
1999 Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chung, Joo-won; Lee, Eun-jung (2016-09-20). "K-pop idol groups draw world's attention to Korean culture". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  2. ^ a b Lie, John (2014). K-Pop: Popular Music, Cultural Amnesia, and Economic Innovation in South Korea. University of California Press. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0520283112.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kallen, Stuart A. (2014). K-Pop: Korea's Musical Explosion. Twenty-First Century Books. pp. 18–23. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  4. ^ Ben-Ari, Eyal; Otmazgin, Nissim, eds. (2012). Popular Culture Co-Productions and Collaborations in East and Southeast Asia. NUS Press. pp. 138–139. ISBN 9971696002.
  5. ^ a b c d Fuhr, Michael (2015). Globalization and Popular Music in South Korea: Sounding Out K-Pop. Routledge. pp. 74–76. ISBN 1317556917.
  6. ^ a b "Pop Group H.O.T Breaks Up". The Chosun Ilbo. 2001-05-14. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  7. ^ a b Kim, Hyun-kyung (2001-05-15). "Pop Group Unleashes Protest With Break-Up". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  8. ^ Jackson, Julie (2013-08-13). "Then & Now: A look back at the changing tides of K-pop". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  9. ^ a b c "역대수상자" [Previous winners]. Golden Disc Awards (in Korean). Ilgan Sports & JTBC Plus. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  10. ^ a b c "H.O.T 소개" [H.O.T. Profile]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  11. ^ a b c "History of SMA: Winners". Seoul Music Awards. 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  12. ^ Hemmeke, Katelyn (2017-02-20). "Planting Rainforests and Donating Rice: The Fascinating World of K-pop Fandom". KOREA EXPOSÉ. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  13. ^ K-POP: A New Force in Pop Music (PDF). 2013: Korean Culture and Information Service (South Korea). pp. 64–65. ISBN 8973751662.
  14. ^ "1월 국내음반 판매량집계" [January K-Pop Sales Volumes Figures]. Music Industry Association of Korea (in Korean). January 1992. Archived from the original on 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  15. ^ "Greatest H.O.T. Hits Song Collection Live Album". Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  16. ^ "S.E.S and H.O.T to Star with Michael Jackson". The Korea Times. 1999-06-06. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  17. ^ "I Yah!". Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  18. ^ Stanley, Adrienne (2014-06-21). "K-Pop Rewind: H.O.T 'I Yah!'". KpopStarz. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  19. ^ "1999.10월 - 가요 음반 판매량" [October 1999 K-Pop Record Sales]. Music Industry Association of Korea (in Korean). 1999. Archived from the original on 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  20. ^ "Outside Castle". Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  21. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (2007-07-08). "Super Junior Hits Big Screen". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  22. ^ MacIntyre, Donald (2002-06-29). "Show Me the Money". TIME Asia. Archived from the original on 2002-12-13. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  23. ^ "JTL 소개" [jtL Profile]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  24. ^ "Popular 1990s groups". The Straits Times. 2015-09-27. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  25. ^ Hong, You-kyoung (2018-01-30). "H.O.T. to reunite on MBC's 'Infinite Challenge'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  26. ^ Cho, Hejin (2016-06-28). "Kangta Talks About a Possible H.O.T Reunion | Mwave". Mnet. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  27. ^ "다시 뭉쳤으면 하는 아이돌 그룹은?". 10Asia (Korea Economic Daily) (in Korean). July 15, 2014.
  28. ^ "HOT·젝스키스 재결합? 팬들은 원하는데 현실이…". The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). July 18, 2014.
  29. ^ "'끝판왕' H.O.T. 컴백하나… "멤버들+이수만 회동"". Kukmin Ilbo (in Korean). April 18, 2016.
  30. ^ https://m.entertain.naver.com/read?oid=109&aid=0003854587
  31. ^ https://m.entertain.naver.com/read?oid=112&aid=0003068018
  32. ^ Lee, Nancy (14 November 2012). "Six Cheesy Idol Movies to Watch on Movie Day". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Winners From Past Years: 1999". 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (in Korean). 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  34. ^ "Winners From Past Years: 2000". 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (in Korean). 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  35. ^ "2000 MMF Part 1" (video). Mnet KM Music Festival. 2000-11-24. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  36. ^ "Winners from Past Years: 2008". 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (in Korean). 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-12-25. Retrieved 2013-01-10.

External links[edit]