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Nuest 2016.jpg
NU'EST in April 2016
From left to right: Baekho, Aron, JR, Ren and Minhyun
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Years active2012 (2012)–present
Associated acts

NU'EST (Hangul뉴이스트; short for New Establish Style Tempo) is a South Korean boy band formed by Pledis Entertainment. The group debuted on March 15, 2012, with the digital single "Face". The group consists of five members: JR, Aron, Baekho, Minhyun, and Ren.[1] Minhyun is currently not promoting with the group as he was selected as one of the members of Wanna One after participating in the TV series Produce 101 Season 2.



Prior to their debut, NU'EST made appearances in their labelmates' music releases. They were backup dancers for After School Blue's "Wonder Boy", and featured in their label's Christmas release "Love Letter". They also released their own music video for "Love Letter" as Pledis Boys.[2] JR appeared in Orange Caramel's "Bangkok City" music video, and was also featured in Uee's solo song "Sok Sok Sok". Baekho appeared in After School's "Play Ur Love" music video, and Minhyun starred in Orange Caramel's "Shanghai Romance" music video.

JR, Minhyun, Aron, and Ren were also featured with After School's Lizzy in a commercial for New Balance. JR and Baekho appeared on the KBS television program Hello Counselor and were revealed by After School's Kahi as two members of the group. This drew attention from viewers and they became a topic of interest online.[3] Minhyun and Ren also gained attention modeling for designer Park Yoon-so's F/W 2012–13 Seoul Fashion Week show, titled 'Big Park'.[4]

2012: Debut with Face and Action[edit]

NU'EST in September 2012

NU'EST made their debut with their first single, "Face", on 15 March 2012.[5] Their debut stage was on M! Countdown on the same day.

The group began airing their own reality show, Making of a Star: NU'EST Landing Operation, during the promotional period.[6]

They returned with their first EP, Action, on 11 July,[7] and became ambassadors for Korea's Scout Association.[8] During their promotional period and the rest of the year, NU'EST began to expand to the global market, holding events in Japan, Australia, other parts of Asia, and the United States, including performances at KCON.[9] During December, NU'EST began endorsements with McDonald's.[10]

2013–2014: Hello, Sleep Talking, Re:BIRTH and Japanese debut[edit]

Baekho and Ren made acting appearances in the drama Jeon Woo-chi alongside label mate Uee in January 2013.[11] The group returned with their second EP, Hello, on 13 February.[12] They held their first exclusive concert, Show Time NU’EST Time, on the same day to commemorate the release.[13][14] During the promotional period, they were cast for SBS MTV Diary along with their then-label mate Hello Venus.[15] In March, NU'EST celebrated their first anniversary through a concert in Japan, NU′EST Debut 1st Anniversary Live Show Time.[14] On 8 April, Aron became a DJ for Arirang's Music Access.[16]

On 22 August 2013, NU'EST released their third EP, Sleep Talking, with the title track of the same name.[17]

To celebrate Music Core's 400th episode in March 2014, Ren performed Girl's Day's "Something" alongside BtoB's Minhyuk, A-Jax's Seungjin, and VIXX's Hongbin.[18]

On 9 July 2014, NU'EST released their first full album, Re:BIRTH, with the lead single "Good Bye Bye".[19] They also debuted in Japan on 5 November, with the single "Shalala Ring".[20]

2015–2016: Japanese promotions, Q Is and Canvas[edit]

NU'EST released the digital single "I'm Bad" on 27 February 2015,[21] with a limited edition physical release on 15 March to celebrate their third anniversary. Baekho did not participate in the title track as he was recovering from vocal cord polyps surgery, but he did contribute to the B-side track, "A Scene Without you." On 2 April, Minhyun collaborated with Korean indie artist Fromm on the single "The Aftermath". On 19 April, Aron ended his position as a DJ at Arirang's Music Access. The group held their first solo showcase in North America in Dallas, put together by My Music Taste, on 3 May.[22]

NU'EST released their second Japanese single, "Na.Na.Na", on 20 May.[23] On 14 August, Aron took up a position as a DJ on SBS PopAsia with his own show Aron's Hangout.[24] NU'EST released their first Japanese studio album, Bridge the World, on 18 November, after pre-releasing the tracks "Bridge the World", "Cherry", "Access to You", and "Eternal Rain".[25]

Their fourth EP, Q Is, was released on 17 February 2016 with the lead single "Overcome". They began promotions for the album the following day.[26]

NU'EST released their fifth EP Canvas and the accompanying single "Love Paint (Every Afternoon)" on 29 August 2016.[27] After four years of promotions, the group received their first music show nomination on The Show. On 6 October 2016, the music video for the duet track "Daybreak" from Canvas was released. "Daybreak" was a special unit track, sung by Minhyun and JR.[28]

2017–2018: Produce 101 Season 2 and NU'EST W[edit]

Four members (JR, Baekho, Minhyun, and Ren) participated in the reality television series Produce 101 Season 2 during the first half of 2017.[29] During their appearance on the show, previously released albums, including Q Is and Canvas, rose on South Korean album charts, reflecting a sudden surge in popularity of the group.[30][31] NU'EST's previous releases shot back up on music charts after the final episode of Produce 101 Season 2 aired, and topped the Gaon Chart.[32] The group returned to music shows to promote their single "Hello" (first released in 2013), and ranked number 11 on Inkigayo.[33] Produce 101 Season 2 concluded with one of the four competing members, Minhyun, ranking ninth and becoming a member of the temporary boy group Wanna One. On the final episode, Baekho ranked 13th, JR ranked 14th, and Ren ranked 20th. Due to the nature of the contract between Wanna One members and CJ E&M, Minhyun will promote as a member of Wanna One until January 2019, after which he will return to NU'EST.[34][35]

Following the conclusion of Produce 101 Season 2, JR and Ren became models for the cosmetics company Labiotte.[36] Subsequently, Baekho and Aron also joined their groupmates in promoting the brand. Ren joined the JTBC variety show Learning the Hard Way, of which he is a fixed member.[37] Aron featured on Raina's single "Loop".[38]

NU'EST W at MAMA 2017 in Japan

NU'EST continued to promote as a four-member special unit, NU'EST W, until Minhyun returns.[39][40] The "W" stands for "wait", meaning that the group will wait for Minhyun to return.[40][A] It also contains a second meaning of them having waited a long time to greet fans again following periods of inactivity. NU'EST W released their debut EP W, Here with the lead single "Where You At" on 10 October 2017.[41] The EP was well received, and they earned their first music show win with "Where You At" on 19 October 2017 on M! Countdown.[42] The following day, NU'EST W won first place on Music Bank. Since its release, sales of W, Here have surpassed 200,000 copies, making NU'EST W the fourth K-pop group to reach 200,000 copies sold in one week, and the only unit group to do so.[43] In October 2017, NU'EST W became models for the outdoor clothing company BLACKYAK's campaign, "Art of the Youth".[44]

On 23 December 2017, NU'EST W contributed to A Korean Odyssey's soundtrack with "Let Me Out", which is their first Korean drama song since their debut.[45]

In anticipation of the release of the album Who, You, Pledis Entertainment launched a one-day ad campaign for NU'EST W in New York City's Times Square to both promote the upcoming album and thank fans.[46] On 25 June 2018, NU'EST W released their second EP, Who, You, and began promoting the lead single titled "Dejavu".[47][48] Following its release, "Dejavu" topped three major Korean music charts.[49] They first performed "Dejavu" at their album showcase on 25 June 2018.[50][51]

On August 26, 2018, NU'EST W released an OST entitled "AND I" for the historical romance drama Mr. Sunshine. The "AND I" OST achieved #1 on Mnet, Naver Music & Soribada charts.[52] On October 1, 2018, NU'EST W and NC Soft's character brand, Spoonz , released a collaboration song called "I Don't Care."[53] NU'EST W together with their labelmate Seventeen became brand ambassadors of a fried chicken restaurant franchise Nene Chicken.[54]

On November 8, Gaon Chart announced that EP Who, You received the official platinum certification. Receiving a platinum certification means that the album reached 250,000 sales.[55]

On November 26, NU'EST W released their final EP as a unit group Wake, N with the title song "Help Me".[56][57] "Help Me" topped domestic music charts including Naver and Soribada. They earned their first win for "Help Me" on Music Bank on December 7.[58]


NU'EST M[edit]

On 8 October 2013, Pledis Entertainment announced to launch a sub-group formed to target the Chinese market, NU'EST M, consisting of six members: JR, Aron, Baekho, Minhyun, Ren, and one Chinese member from Yuehua Entertainment, Jason. NU'EST M is specially targeted to the Chinese market, and thus will only carry out promotions in China.[citation needed] The group recorded Chinese versions of the lead singles "Face" and "Sleep Talking".[citation needed] In 2014, Pledis Entertainment's contract with Yuehua Entertainment dissolved, so Jason left the group and they changed their promotional name to NU’EST China.[citation needed]



Reality television[edit]

  • Making of A Star : Landing Operation (MBC Every 1, 2012)
  • MTV Diary (SBS MTV, 2013)
  • Nu'est in Love (Mnet, 2013)
  • Nu'est's Latin Dream Show (MBC Every1, 2014)
  • Nu'est Private life (imbc, 2016)


  • Their Distance (or Two Strangers, Japanese: 知らない、ふたり,Romaji : Shiranai, Futari )[59]

Concerts and tours[edit]

Year Concert and Tour
2012 NU'EST "The 1st Face to Face"
2013 NU'EST Show Time In Seoul
NU'EST Debut 1st Anniversary Live Show Time
2014 NU'EST Debut 2nd Anniversary Live Show Time 2
NU'EST Japan Tour One L.O.∧.E
NU'EST Latinoamerica Tour
NU'EST Autumn Live
Re:Sponse Europe Tour
NU'EST Re:Birth In Thailand
2015 NU'EST Live Tour Show Time 3
NU'EST First Solo Show In Dallas
NU'EST Summer Vacation In Korea
NU'EST World Tour Concert RE:VIVE
NU'EST Japan Tour "Bridge the World"
NU'EST "Bridge the World Live"
2016 NU'EST Live Tour Show Time 4
2017 NU'EST W "Love & Dream" Fanmeeting at South Korea
NU'EST W Fanmeet and Concert at Taiwan
NU'EST W Fanmeet and Concert at Hong Kong
2018 NU'EST W at KWave 2 Music Festival Malaysia
NU'EST W Double U concert at Seoul, South Korea.
NU'EST W Double U concert at Bangkok, Thailand.
NU'EST W Double U concert at Taipei, Taiwan.
NU'EST W Double U Encore Concert at Hong Kong
NU'EST W Double U Encore Concert at Thailand

Awards and nominations[edit]

Asia Artist Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
Best Entertainer Award
Popularity Award
Artist of the Year
Best Music Award
Popularity Award

Gaon Chart Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
2018 Song of the Year – July "If You" Nominated
Album of the Year – 4th Quarter W, Here Nominated
Song of the Year – October "Where You At" Nominated
Hot Performance of the Year NU'EST W Won

Golden Disc Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
Single Album Award
Popularity Award
New Artist of the Year
2018 Disk Bonsang W, Here Won
Disk Daesang Nominated
Global Popularity Award NU'EST W Nominated
2019 Disk Daesang Who, You Nominated

Melon Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
Best Male Dance

Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
Best Male Group
Artist of the Year
Discovery of the Year
2017 Favorite KPOP Star Nominated
Global Top 10 Fan's Choice
Best Male Group
Best OST
Artist of the Year

Seoul Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
Best Rookie Award
Popularity Award
Daesang Award
Bonsang Award
Popularity Award
Hallyu Special Award

Soribada Best K-Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
Bonsang Award
New Hallyu Icon Award
Popularity Award (Male)

Other awards[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
Arirang's Simply K-Pop Awards
Super Rookie Idol
Migu Music Awards
Best Potential Group
V Live Awards
Global Artist Top 10
Asia Model Awards[60]
Popular Star Award (Singer)
Special Asia Award

Music programs wins[edit]

M Countdown[edit]

M Countdown is a South Korean music program broadcast by Mnet.

Year Date Song
2017 19 October "Where You At"

Music Bank[edit]

Music Bank is a South Korean music television program broadcast by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).

Year Date Song
2017 20 October "Where You At"
2018 6 July "Dejavu"
7 December "Help Me"


  1. ^ Excerpt: ‘W’는 ‘기다리다’라는 뜻을 가진 영문 ‘Wait’에서 따온 것이다. 멤버 민현을 기다리고, 뉴이스트를 기다려준 팬들을 위한 뉴이스트 W 유닛 활동으로 JR, 아론, 백호, 렌 총 4명 멤버가 어떤 새로운 모습을 선보일지에 대한 귀추 또한 주목된다.[40]


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External links[edit]