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Monsta X

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Monsta X
Monsta X Promoting The First Asia Fan Meeting in Bangkok 2017.png
Monsta X in 2016
Left to right: Wonho, I.M., Minhyuk,
Shownu, Jooheon, Kihyun, and Hyungwon
Background information
Years active2015 (2015)— Present
Associated acts
  • Starship Planet
  • Y Teen

Monsta X (Hangul몬스타엑스; stylized as MONSTA X) is a South Korean boy band formed in 2015 by Mnet survival show No.Mercy. The group is employed by Starship Entertainment and is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon, and I.M.

The group debuted on May 14, 2015 with their first EP Trespass. In March 2017, Monsta X released their first studio album and final part of "The Clan" series, The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter. In May 2017, the group signed with Mercury Records and debuted with the single "Hero" in Japan. In April 2018, Monsta X's Japanese single “Spotlight” received an official gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.


2014–2015: Formation and debut

The group was formed as the result of a survival program called No.Mercy, which was launched by Starship Entertainment and Mnet in December 2014.[2][3] For the show the participants worked directly with the artists of Starship Entertainment including Rhymer, San E, Giriboy and Genius Nochang.[3] For the concluding mission, nine of the remaining members had to form three groups of three and the final seven members of the group, Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon, and I.M, were determined on the last episode of the show.[4] Member I.M was the only participant who was added during the middle of the show and ended up being chosen for the group.[5] The group's name, "Monsta X", contains the double meaning of "monsters conquering the K-pop scene" and "my star" (Mon means "My" in French). The X symbolizes an unknown existence.[6] Jooheon, Hyungwon, and I.M also released their song "Interstellar" on February 12, which was produced for the final mission by producer Yella Diamond.[4]

The group performing at KCON Music Festival at Staples Center in July 2015.

Monsta X made their debut with the release of their first extended play, Trespass on May 14, 2015.[7] The title song of the same name is produced by Rhymer and described as a "strong and edgy track that reflects Monsta X’s unique character".[8] Trespass includes seven different tracks, rapper Jooheon was the most involved member in the production of the album and composed several songs, including "One Love," "Steal Your Heart," and "Blue Moon". Monsta X's other rapper, I.M was also involved in the rap making of several songs. Kihyun and Wonho also contributed song lyrics for the album.[9]

On September 1, the group returned with their second extended play titled Rush. The title track of the same name is described as a song representing the signature style of the group, produced by Giriboy. Keone Madrid choreographed the dance and Joo Hee-sun directed the music video.[10] Rush contains six tracks produced by Mad Clown, Crybaby and Rhymer. Jooheon also took part in rap making for five out of the six tracks, while fellow member I.M was involved in four songs, including the title track "Rush".[11] In 2015, Monsta X also performed at the KCON 2015 in Los Angeles making it their first U.S. performance.[12] At the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, Monsta X received the "Next Generation Asian Artist" award.[13] They were also awarded the "1theK Performance Award" at the 2015 Melon Music Awards.[14]

2016: The Clan 2.5 Part 1 Lost and The Clan 2.5 Part 2 Guilty

In January 2016, the group joined a new variety program titled "MONSTA X’s Right Now".[15] In April 2016, the group participated on a Chinese survival program called "The Remix", which was aired in June on Jiangsu Television. The show holds a remix competition in the program and each one of the participants receive a lesson from its assigned mentor and perform its stage by remixing representative Chinese music.[16] Monsta X also appeared in a Chinese web drama Good Evening, Teacher, receiving positive responses from local viewers.[17]

Monsta X's third mini album The Clan Pt. 1 Lost was released on May 18 with the title track "All In". The music video for "All In" was directed by filmmaker Shin Dong-keul, a former winner at the Canada International Film Festival, and is known for his dreamy and euphoric style in producing music videos.[18] The album debuted at No. 5[19] on Billboard's World Albums Chart and stayed for two consecutive weeks on it.[20] On May 9, the group pre-released one of the album songs, "Ex girl" featuring Wheein of Mamamoo.[21][22] The album is a starting of a large-scaled project called "THE CLAN", composed of two and a half parts.[18]

In July 2016, Monsta X held their first solo concert, MONSTA X The First Live "X-Clan Origins" from July 16 till July 17, which was successfully sold out in five minutes.[23][24] In August 2016, Monsta X joined label-mates Cosmic Girls for a project unit group to promote KT's phone fare service and to release music together.[25] Monsta X's fourth mini album and second part of The Clan series titled The Clan 2.5 Pt. 2 Guilty was released on October 4. The EP contains six tracks including the title track "Fighter".[26][27] In December the group was awarded the "Best of Next Male Artist Award" at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.[28]

2017–present: First studio album, Japanese debut, and world tours

Monsta X at a fan meeting in January 2017.

In January 2017, the group launched its own variety show called Monsta X-Ray through JTBC2.[29] In March 2017, Monsta X released their first studio album and the final part of The Clan series titled The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter with the title track "Beautiful".[30] The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart with more than 1,000 copies sold, which makes it the band's best sales week in America. Monsta X also ranked in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart and debuted at No. 10. Furthermore, the title track "Beautiful" debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.[31]

In May 2017, Monsta X made their debut in Japan under Universal Music Japan's new label Mercury Tokyo[32] with first Japanese single "Hero", which contains the Japanese version of the groups previously released Korean songs, "Hero" and "Stuck". First Japanese single "Hero" reached number two on the Oricon’s weekly single chart, Tower Records' chart, and Billboard Japan’s weekly charts to No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. “Hero” is the only album from a foreign artist who debuted in 2017 to make it into the top three of Oricon’s weekly charts.[33]

On June 19, Monsta X released a repackaged version of The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter called "Shine Forever" which features the original songs from the album and two extra songs "Shine Forever" and "Gravity". The music video teaser for "Shine Forever" was released on June 14. The title song, "Shine Forever" includes rap lyrics written by members Jooheon and I.M, which combines future base and hip-hop.[34][35] The group started their first world tour, The First World Tour - Monsta X Beautiful in June.[36] Monsta X aired the second season of Monsta X-Ray in July.[37] Monsta X released a summer song, "Newton" on July 27.[38] The music video for the song was produced by Yoo Sung-gyun of Sunny Visual.[39]

On August 23, their second Japanese single "Beautiful" was released. The single album contains the Japanese version of "Beautiful" and "Ready or Not". It reached number one on the Oricon’s daily chart.[40] On November 7, their fifth extended play titled The Code with title track "Dramarama" was released. On the day of the album release, MONSTA X COMEBACK SHOW-CON hold at Changchun gymnasium.[41][42] Following this on 14 November 2017, they won their first music broadcast award through SBS MTV's The Show, with "Dramarama". On December 18, the group released the special single "Lonely Christmas", as a surprise special holiday release for their fans. The song was written, produced and co-composed by Jooheon.

On 13 January 2018, the group served as torchbearers on the first day of the Seoul leg of the Olympic torch relay in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics torch relay. They showed their teamwork, with each of the seven members taking turns carrying the symbolic Olympic flame.[43] Accordingly, the group officially released their third Japanese single album and their first Japanese original song "Spotlight" on January 31, containing the Japanese version of "Shine Forever". They had previously performed this song in MONSTA X, Christmas Party 2017 . They also opened a collaboration cafe for a limited time from January 19 to February 18 at Shinjuku Box.[44][45]

On February 22, the group's official Twitter account revealed a poster for their second world tour, announcing that the first show will be held in Seoul at Jang Chung Arena on May 26 and 27.[46] On March 26, the group officially released their sixth mini album The Connect: Dejavu containing seven tracks with the lead title track "Jealousy", including "If Only," co-written by Wonho, and "Special," co-written by Jooheon. The title song of the same name is produced by Hayden Bell, Shane Simmons & Harry Sommerdahland.[47] In this comeback, they won music broadcast award again through SBS MTV's The Show.[48] Monsta X cooperated with Lens Town, a widely known global fashion eyewear and contact lens company as models on April 11. They actively participated in the release process with Lens Town to produced their lens as "Monsta X lens" or MnX and the members coordinated their design and detail points. The lens released officially in May.[49]

On April 25, they released their first Japan album Piece with the lead title track "Puzzle". This album contains ten tracks, featuring the original songs from their previous Japan single album and four additional songs. Piece reached No. 1 on Tower Records’ chart all store, No. 3 on the Oricon’s weekly album and Billboard Japan's weekly chart. Following this, on April 27, they started their first Japan live tour in Nagoya.[50][51] On May 2, they attended the cultural festival "C-Festival 2018" as official ambassadors for its promotion, held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Thailand (Embassy of the Republic of Korea), Gangnam-gu, the largest public-private partnership event in Korea hosted by COEX.[52]

On August 1, Monsta X released a music video for the title song of their most recent Japanese comeback, called "Livin' It Up". The single album was released on September 12.

On October 1, the group became a print model for Tony Moly's new lip tint cosmetic line. On October 4, it was followed by a partial sponsorship by Italian clothing company Moncler in conjunction with their new flagship store in Minato ward, Tokyo. On October 7, Monsta X announced their second full album Take 1: Are You There?, scheduled for release on October 22.[53] In addition, the group was selected by Capital One bank as the first K-Pop band to perform at the 2018 KIIS-FM Jingle Ball in Los Angeles on November 30, followed by San Francisco on December 1, Minneapolis on December 3, Boston on December 4, Philadelphia on December 5 and New York on December 7.


  • Shownu (Hangul셔누) – leader, vocalist[1]
  • Wonho (원호) – vocalist[1]
  • Minhyuk (민혁) – vocalist[1]
  • Kihyun (기현) – main vocalist[1]
  • Hyungwon (형원) – vocalist[1]
  • Jooheon (주헌) – rapper[1]
  • I.M (아이엠) – rapper[1]




Year Network Series Role Ref
2015 KBS2 The Producers Cameo [54]
Naver TV Cast High-End Crush [55]
2016 iQiyi Good Evening, Teacher [17]
2017 KBS2 Hit the Top [56]

Reality show

Year Network Show Ref.
2014–2015 Mnet No.Mercy [2]
1theK YouTube Channel Deokspatch
2015 Deokspatch X [5]
Deokspatch X²
2016 Right Now! [15]
2017 V Live No Exit Broadcast [57]
JTBC2 Monsta X-Ray [29]
Monsta X-Ray 2 [37]
2018 Monsta X-Ray 3 [58]
Rakuten Viki When You Call My Name (with Gallant) [59]

Tours and concerts

Asian tours

  • Monsta X The First Live "X-Clan Origins" (2016-2017)
  • Monsta X 1st Japan Live Tour (2018)

World tours

  • Monsta X The First World Tour "Beautiful" (2017)
  • Monsta X The Second World Tour "The Connect" (2018)

Awards and Nominations


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Taylor Glasby (May 15, 2017). "Monsta X Is the Hip-Hop-Loving K-Pop Group Already Charting on Billboard". Teen Vogue. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "JYP, Mnet team up to launch new girl group". Kpop Herald. February 12, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Park, Gyu-oh (November 13, 2014). "New idol group to be born through Mnet's 'No Mercy'". Kpop Herald. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  4. ^ a b 몬스타엑스, 데뷔 화보 속 '거리의 거친 반항아' 콘셉트 화제! [Monster X, the debut picture of the 'wild rebel street' concept!]. The Star Chosun (in Korean). May 7, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Glasby, Taylor (August 23, 2017). "From survival show rookies to K-Pop stars". Dazed. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  6. ^ 스타쉽 힙합그룹 몬스타엑스, 올해 상반기 출격 [Starship Hip Hop Group Monster X, Debut in the first half of the year]. The Star Chosun (in Korean). February 12, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  7. ^ "Monsta X goes for street style". Kpop Herald. August 6, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Lee, Jeong-hyeok (June 3, 2015). 몬스타엑스 '무단침입' 뮤비, 공개 20일만에 500만뷰 돌파. 대형 신인의 탄생 알려 [The music video of 'TRESPASS', the debut album of Hip Hop Group Monster X, breaks the 5 million views.] (in Korean). Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Herman, Tamar (May 11, 2015). "New K-Pop Boy Band Monsta X To Debut This Week With Self-Produced Songs". Kpopstarz. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Jang, Yunjeong (September 7, 2015). 몬스타엑스, 두 번째 미니앨범 '러쉬' 7일 발매 개시 [MONSTA X Returns With “Rush” Second Mini Album]. Ajunews (in Korean). Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  11. ^ Won, Ho-jung (September 7, 2015). "Monsta X returns with 'Rush'". Kpop Herald. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (August 2, 2015). "KCON 2015 Saturday Recap: Super Junior, GOT7, Monsta X & More Shake the Staples Center". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  13. ^ "[2015 MAMA] Monsta X Wins Next Generation Asian Artist Award at ′2015 MAMA′". Mwave.
  14. ^ Hwang Hye-jin. "Monsta X Rises to Top of Hanteo Chart". Mwave. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Kim Na-eun (December 30, 2015). "MONSTA X Joins in Its First Real Variety Show". BNT News. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  16. ^ Bae Jung-yun (April 20, 2016). "MONSTA X to Appear on Chinese Survival Program ′The Remix′". Mwave. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Kim Young-shin (February 1, 2016). "MONSTA X to Appear in a Chinese Web Drama". Mwave. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Lee Ji-seok (May 17, 2016). "몬스타엑스, 세번째 미니앨범 타이틀곡 '걸어(ALL IN)' 오늘 자정 공개" [Monster X, the third mini-album title song 'ALL IN' released at midnight today]. Naver. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  19. ^ "World Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  20. ^ "World Music: Top World Albums Chart". Billboard. June 11, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  21. ^ Susan Min (May 3, 2016). "Monsta X Announces 'EX girl' Release Date". Mwave. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  22. ^ Woorim Ahn (May 3, 2016). "MONSTA X Shows Collaboration Work with MAMAMOO Wheein". BNT News. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  23. ^ Jeewon Jeong (June 4, 2016). "몬스타엑스, 첫 단독콘서트 5분만 전석매진 '대세돌 입증'" [MONSTA X’s First Concert Sells Out In 5 Minutes]. Naver. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  24. ^ Woorim Ahn (May 31, 2016). "MONSTA X Holds Its First Concert!". BNT News. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  25. ^ Kwon Suvin (August 3, 2016). "몬스타엑스X우주소녀, 프로젝트 유닛 Y틴 결성" [Starship Entertainment Reveals Members For New Unit Group Y TEEN]. Naver. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  26. ^ Ahn Eun Kyung (October 10, 2016). "몬스타엑스(MONSTA X), 신곡 '파이터(Fighter)' MV 100만뷰 돌파…'기염'" [MONSTA X, new song "Fighter" MV reaches 1 million views ...]. Top Star News. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  27. ^ Lee Bora (October 5, 2016). "Monsta X Drops Engaging Music Video for ′Fighter". Mwave. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  28. ^ Lee Sang-won (December 4, 2016). "2016 MAMA award winners". Kpop Herald. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  29. ^ a b Jeewon Jeong (January 5, 2017). 몬스타엑스, 리얼 버라이어티 론칭…'몬스타엑스레이' 1월 첫선 [Monster X, Real Variety Launching ... 'Monster X-ray' debuts in January] (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  30. ^ Jie Ye-eun (March 7, 2017). "Monsta X gears up for fresh release". Kpop Herald. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  31. ^ Jeff Benjamin (March 28, 2017). "Monsta X Scores First No. 1 on World Albums Chart With 'Beautiful' LP". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  32. ^ Susan Min; Kim Jong-ra (April 3, 2017). 몬스타엑스, 5월 日서 정식 데뷔…새 레이블 설립 [Monster X debuts in May, ... Establish new label] (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  33. ^ Susan Min (April 3, 2017). "Monsta X to Debut in Japan with Title Track 'Hero'". Mwave. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  34. ^ "Monsta X releases "Shine Forever' MV". Yonhap News. June 30, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  35. ^ Susan Min (June 19, 2017). "Monsta X to Release Repackaged Album ′Shine Forever′". Mwave. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  36. ^ Susan Min (May 19, 2017). "Monsta X Sells Out of Tickets for First World Tour in Seoul". Mwave. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  37. ^ a b "Monsta-X, JTBC2 Exclusive Variety Program 'Monsta X-Ray 2' First Broadcast on July 13th". BNT News. July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  38. ^ Susan Min (July 18, 2017). "Monsta X to Release Surprise Summer Track ′Newton′". Mwave. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  39. ^ Sunmy Kyung-ki (July 28, 2017). 몬스타엑스의 특별한 청량미..'뉴튼' [Monsta X release special summer song 'Newton']. Chosun (in Korean). Retrieved July 28, 2017 – via OSEN. The music video of the summer song 'Newton' was directed by Yoo Sung-kyun (Sunny Visual), who has previously worked with Hyorin and Kisum, Highlight and B1A4.
  40. ^ 【先ヨミ】MONSTA X『Beautiful』が5万枚超売り上げて現在首位、僅差でFlowerのアニメEDシングルが続く [MONSTA X "Beautiful" sold more than 50,000 sheets] (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  41. ^ MONSTA X、新曲「DRAMARAMA」MV予告映像を公開…ショヌ&ウォノの剣道着姿に“胸キュン” [MONSTA X, a new song "DRAMARAMA" MV warning announcement released ...] (in Japanese). Kstyle. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  42. ^ Tamar Herman. "Monsta X Plays Up Their Funky Side on Propulsive New Song 'Dramarama'". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  43. ^ "MONSTA X, Jeon Somi, And VIXX's Leo Run As Torchbearers In Olympic Relay". Soompi. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  44. ^ MONSTA X初の日本オリジナル楽曲「SPOTLIGHT」MV公開 [MONSTA X First original Japanese song "SPOTLIGHT" MV released] (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  45. ^ "MONSTA X "Original original Japanese song" SPOTLIGHT "is our color itself"" (in Japanese). Kstyle. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  46. ^
  47. ^ Tamar Herman (March 27, 2018). "Monsta X Returns with 'Jealousy': Watch the Music Video". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  48. ^ "[Direct interview] Monsta X "Thank you for the first place" (in Korean). SBSFunE. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  49. ^ "Monsta X, 'Lens Town' model ... Released 'Monsta X lens'" (in Korean). OBSNews. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  50. ^ MONSTA X, JAPAN 1st Album「PIECE」発売記念イベント詳細決定のご案内 (in Japanese). Universal Music Jp. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  51. ^ Monsta X Japan [@Official_MX_jp] (2018-05-02). [#MONSTA_X] 4/25にリリースされた日本1stアルバム「#PIECE 」皆様の応援に支えられて、タワーレコード全店総合チャート 1位オリコン週間アルバムランキング 3位{...}ビルボードジャパン 週間チャート 3位{..}という成績をおさめることができました。本当に有難うございました。#MONBEBEありがとう (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved May 5, 2018 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ "Monsta X, COEX stage climb ... C-Festival Public Relations Ambassador" (in Korean). Daily Sport. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  53. ^
  54. ^ Park, Yu-ji (June 26, 2015). ‘두데’ 몬스타엑스 "‘프로듀사’ 출연…아이유 뒤에 서 있는 역할" ['Producers' Monster X appeared behind K.Will] (in Korean). TV Report. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  55. ^ '고품격 짝사랑' 진세연-몬스타 엑스, 알콩달콩 세레나데…아이컨택 포착 '심쿵' ['High-End Crush' Monster X ... Eye capturing performance] (in Korean). Kookje News. June 26, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  56. ^ Hwang Ji-young (June 2, 2017). [단독] 몬스타엑스, '최고의한방' 카메오…차태현 감독 만났다 [Monster X, 'best one-shot' cameo ...] (in Korean). JTBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  57. ^ 몬스타 엑스의 ‘출.없.방’, 출구 없는 매력 기대해(종합) [MONSTA X Reveals New Teaser for Reality Show 'No Exit Broadcast']. Korea Herald (in Korean). Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  58. ^ MONSTA X、単独リアリティ番組「MONSTA X-RAY」シーズン3の予告映像公開(動画あり)) [MONSTA X, single reality program "MONSTA X-RAY" preliminary announcement of season 3 video release (with animation)]. Kstyle (in Japanese). Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  59. ^ "Monsta X and Gallant Bring Their Worlds Together in 'When You Call My Name' Mini-Doc: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-11-03.

External links