NCT Dream

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NCT Dream
NCT Dream at the 2018 Incheon Airport Sky Festival on September 2, 2018. (From left: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Jisung, Jaemin , Chenle , Haechan).
NCT Dream at the 2018 Incheon Airport Sky Festival on September 2, 2018.
(From left: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Jisung, Jaemin , Chenle , Haechan).
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Genres
Years active2016–present
Labels
Associated acts
WebsiteOfficial website
Members

NCT Dream (Korean엔시티 드림) is the third sub-unit of the South Korean boy band NCT, formed by SM Entertainment in 2016 as the then teen-aged unit of NCT, later evolving away from their youthful image and being re-branded in 2021 when all the members finally became legal adults in Korea. The group debuted on August 25, 2016 with the single "Chewing Gum", with a lineup consisting of seven members: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle and Jisung, with an average age of 15.6 years old. NCT Dream has been internationally recognised as among the most notable teen-aged artists of their time, known for music reflecting the growth of the youth. The narrative of their title tracks have conveyed thoughts following different stages of adolescent development, with transition from innocence to rebellion and growth.[3] So far, NCT Dream have released four extended plays, six singles, one studio album, and headlined one international tour in Asia. Commercial success of their 2019 EP release We Boom turned NCT Dream into one of the top 10 best physical sellers of South Korea in 2019 and earned them Bonsang Awards at the 34th Golden Disc Awards and 2020 Seoul Music Awards.[4][5][6]

Although NCT Dream was initially formed to follow an age-based admission-graduation system, in which members would move on from the unit after reaching the Korean age of 20 (19 internationally), in 2020 SM Entertainment announced the admission-graduation system was to be removed, with previously graduated member Mark set to return, and NCT Dream continuing future activities as a flexible-style group with all seven original members. The announcement was followed by over half a million copies pre-ordered for their fourth Korean EP, titled Reload, which was released in April 2020 to mark the shift in their concept.[7][8]

NCT Dream is the first and only Asian artist to have appeared three times consecutively on Billboard's "21 Under 21" list, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, at 20, 13 and 19 respectively, chosen for their industry impact on sales, streaming and social media.[9][10] In 2018, NCT Dream were included in Time's list of "25 Most Influential Teens" of the year, highlighting their connection as teenagers to teenagers.[3]

History[edit]

Pre-debut: SM Rookies[edit]

Prior to the group's debut, some of the members were already involved in the entertainment industry. Jeno had filmed various commercials. Jisung was previously a child actor and had filmed some movies such as Boys, Be Curious (2012), No Cave (2013) and Go, Stop, Murder (2013), also join as a member of Poppin' Hyun Joon kids crew. Chenle was exposed to the Chinese music scene as a child singer, had released three albums, headlined a solo concert in China, and participated in several Chinese programs that include China's Got Talent.

Mark was the first member to join SM Entertainment in 2012 through passing an SM Global Auditions in Canada. In 2013, Haechan was cast through SM Saturday Open Casting Audition, Jisung, and Jeno were cast by the company's casting system, Jaemin was street-cast by staff while doing volunteer work and successfully passed the audition. In July 2015, Renjun was cast through SM Global Auditions in China. Chenle was the last member to get cast in 2016, three months before NCT Dream's debut.[11]

Mark, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, and Jisung were previously part of SM Rookies, a pre-debut team of trainees under SM Entertainment. As part of SMRookies, in October 2014, they appeared on the Mnet-produced Exo 90:2014, a show starring labelmates Exo, where they get to do dance performances to 90s K-Pop songs. From July–December 2015, the five boys were Mouseketeers on Disney Channel Korea's The Mickey Mouse Club where they get to do musical performances, dance performances, play games, skits. SM Rookies Boys eventually had a regular concert, titled SMRookies Show, which started taking place in Seoul in September 2015 and later expanded to Bangkok, Thailand in February 2016.

NCT was first announced in January 2016 by Lee Soo-man at a presentation, where he talked about a group that would debut different teams around the world.[12] Mark and Haechan are two members who had previously debuted in other sub-units of NCT. Mark debuted in the group's first unit, NCT U, on April 4, 2016.[13] On July 7, Haechan made his debut in the second unit, NCT 127, alongside Mark.[14] These two members, together with five new members, Renjun, Jeno, Jaemin, Chenle and Jisung, made their debut under the unit NCT Dream which was announced as the third sub-unit of NCT on August 18, 2016.[15]

2016–2017: Debut, The First, and We Young[edit]

NCT Dream released their debut single "Chewing Gum" on August 24, 2016. Their debut stage was on August 25 on M Countdown.[16] The song was peaked at number two on the World Digital Songs sales chart and at 23 on the Spotify Viral 50 chart on its release.[17] The Korean and Mandarin version of the song would later be included in NCT Dream first single album.

On February 1, 2017, SM Entertainment announced NCT Dream would release their first single album. It was revealed Jaemin would not be participating in the release in order to have time recovering from an injury to his herniated disc.[18] The group's single album The First was released on February 9 with its lead single "My First and Last".[17] The album debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart.[19] The unit had their comeback stage on M Countdown, performing the title track "My First and Last" and the B-side track "Dunk Shot".[20] On February 14, NCT Dream won first place on the hundredth episode of The Show, marking the first music show win for an NCT unit.[21]

In the same month, NCT Dream was appointed as official ambassadors for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup which was hosted in South Korea in the summer of 2017. On March 15, NCT Dream released the official song for the U-20 World Cup tournament, titled "Trigger the Fever", and went on to perform the song at different promotional events and at the opening ceremony of the U-20 World Cup.[22][23]

NCT Dream released their first EP, We Young, on August 17, 2017.[24] The group's first comeback stage was held on M Countdown.[25] We Young peaked at number three on the Billboard World Albums chart in September.[26]

NCT Dream released their Christmas single "Joy" as part of SM Station on December 15, 2017.[26]

2018: NCT 2018, We Go Up and Mark's graduation[edit]

NCT Dream promoted alongside NCT U and NCT 127 as NCT 2018 for the first quarter of 2018. On March 4, 2018, NCT Dream released their single "Go" which was included in NCT's first album NCT 2018 Empathy.[27] The song marked a transition in NCT Dream's narrative, from the portrayal of innocence to a "more defiant attitude" of teenagers.[27] It also marked the group's first comeback with Jaemin since their debut.

SM Entertainment announced in late August that NCT Dream would be releasing an EP titled We Go Up in September.[28] On August 27, it was announced that the album would be the last comeback before Mark would graduate from the group in 2019 when he would turn 19, the age of adulthood in South Korea.[29] The EP was released on September 3, 2018 alongside the lead single of the same name.[30] We Go Up entered Billboard's World Albums chart at number five and Heatseekers Albums chart at number seven, which marks NCT Dream's then best sales week in the U.S.[31] The album also topped iTunes Albums charts in 15 countries.[3]

NCT Dream was featured on the "21 Under 21 2018: Music's Next Generation" list by Billboard as the only Asian artist for the year.[9] All members were listed on Time's 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018 list.[3]

On December 19, it was announced Haechan would be taking a hiatus from the group due to an injury, but he returned soon afterwards.[32] On December 27, NCT Dream released their third single of the year titled "Candle Light" for SM Station.[33][34] The song was a message of gratitude and love, with lyrics written by Mark, and was set to be the last song featuring the original seven members of the group before Mark officially graduated from the unit on December 31.[35]

2019: International collaborations, domestic breakthrough with We Boom and first tour[edit]

NCT Dream on Music Bank in August 2019

In March 2019, NCT Dream's Korean members Jeno, Jaemin and Jisung went to Malaysia to represent K-pop stars at the event "K-Wave & Halal Show", celebrating and meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and First lady of South Korea.[36]

On June 6, 2019, NCT Dream released "Don't Need Your Love", a collaborative single with English singer HRVY. The song displayed a more mature side for the group, and credited for highlighting their maturing vocals. Haechan did not partake in the single due to ongoing activities with NCT 127. The song was released as part of SM Station Season 3.[37]

In July 2019, NCT Dream was named as the first global ambassadors of the World Scout Foundation, with the group releasing the English-language single "Fireflies", the proceeds of which were used to fund Scout activities in low-income countries. The group also performed at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, United States on July 23.[38]

On July 26, NCT Dream released their third EP We Boom and its title track "Boom".[39] The album sold more than 300,000 units after a month of release.[40] It also debuted at number seven on the Billboard World albums chart and NCT Dream ranked at number three on the Billboard Social 50 Chart.[41] NCT Dream received two wins for "Boom" on The Show on August 6 and August 20 respectively.[42][43] The EP earned them Bonsang Awards at the 34th Golden Disc Awards and 2020 Seoul Music Awards.[4][5]

In September 2019, NCT Dream was included in Billboard's 21 Under 21 list for the second year in a row, being the first Asian artists to make the list for two consecutive years, this time rising to position thirteen.[10]

In November 2019, the group featured on American-Canadian boy band PrettyMuch's INTL:EP with the song "Up To You", with lyrics praised for promoting consent.[44]

The group staged their first international concert tour, The Dream Show, starting with three dates in Seoul and two dates in Bangkok from November to December 2019.[45][46]

2020: Japanese release with The Dream, Reload, reorganization and NCT 2020[edit]

On January 22, NCT Dream released a Japan-exclusive compilation album titled The Dream, consisting of all previously released singles in their original Korean language.[47][48] The album debuted atop the Oricon Albums Chart.[49]

In early 2020, NCT Dream continued with their international tour The Dream Show, with shows held in multiple locations in Japan as well as in South East Asia countries. From February 2020, several shows were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[50][51]

As the topic of graduation gradually became more concerning since the prior year,[52] on April 14, SM Entertainment announced that NCT Dream would release their fourth Korean EP, Reload with the current six members Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung to mark a new change in their concept. After the album's promotion period, the graduation system was abolished and NCT Dream will continue with all seven members, including Mark who had previously graduated at the end of 2018. NCT Dream will function as a more fixed group with diverse concepts in each promotion, similar to NCT U, and the seven original members would continue their activities under the name NCT Dream as well as have the possibility to take part in other activities including other NCT units in the future.[7][53][54]

By April 28, a day before release and within two weeks from the first announcement, Reload had garnered over 500,000 unit pre-orders, establishing itself as NCT Dream's release with the highest pre-order to date.[8] On April 29, NCT Dream released Reload with its lead single "Ridin'", an urban trap track with lyrics highlighting the aspirations of NCT Dream in their coming new path.[55] The music video for "Ridin" was released on the same day.[56] On release, the album topped the iTunes album chart in 49 countries including the U.S. as well as topping China's largest music site QQ digital album sales chart.[57][58] In South Korea, the title track Ridin reached number one on Korea's largest music site Melon, making it the first track released by an NCT unit to top the chart. All five songs from the EP peaked within the top 10 on Melon digital chart.[59] Within the following week, NCT Dream ranked number one on Billboard's "Emerging Artists" chart.[60]

After the release of their fourth Korean EP, NCT Dream was the third group from SM Entertainment to hold a live online concert, titled "NCT Dream - Beyond the Dream Show", as part of the world's first online-dedicated live concert series Beyond LIVE. The live concert was held on May 10.[61]

NCT Dream joined with the rest of NCT under the name NCT 2020 promoting the united group's second full-length album with two parts NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 and NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 2, which was released in October and November. By end of 2020, the two parts of Resonance had sold over 2.6 million copies, a new record for NCT. Included in the album is "Déjà Vu" performed by the seven members of NCT Dream, serving as Mark's return to the group following Dream's transformation into a permanent unit.[62] Metro described the track "Déjà Vu" as showcasing the youthful sound of NCT Dream blended with an edge, and ranked it among the top 20 K-pop comebacks of 2020.[63]

2021: Commercial success with Hot Sauce and Hello Future[edit]

NCT Dream attended SBS Power FM 'Cultwo Show' Radio for Hello Future promotion in June 2021

On May 10, the group released their first studio album Hot Sauce featuring the original seven members of the unit. The album consists of ten tracks including the title track of the same name.[64] Pre-orders for the album surpassed 1,716,571 copies, breaking their previous record for Reload with a 243% increase.[65][66] The album topped the Gaon Album Chart and "Hot Sauce" became their first single to peak at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart.[67]

On May 26, they earned the "double million sellers" title as the album sold more than 2,000,000 copies.[68]

On June 28, the group released the repackage of their first studio album Hello Future, which contains three new tracks, including the lead single of the same name.[69]

Members[edit]

  • Mark (마크)
  • Renjun (런쥔)
  • Jeno (제노)
  • Haechan (해찬)
  • Jaemin (재민)
  • Chenle (천러)
  • Jisung (지성)

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Shows and concerts[edit]

Headlining[edit]

Joint tours[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

nctdream.smtown.com (2020 archive)