Wanna One has been a force to reckon with in the K-pop world since they debuted. The 11-member group has been commercially successful since their launch on Aug. 7 last year. In that short period of time, they became endorsers of at least 20 brands including Innisfree.
The names of their three albums make the most difficult mathematical equations but they make sense to Wannables (that’s what their fans call themselves). They are 1X1=1, 0+1=1 and 1÷x=1. Some of their hit songs include “Naya Na (Pick Me),” “Energetic” and “Light.”
They were included in the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list for 2018. They placed second to boy band BTS and ahead of K-pop groups Twice and EXO. They won New Artist of the Year at the Golden Disc Awards and the Rookie Award at the Asia Artist Awards.
They have been unstoppable since they were formed but their contract is about to expire on Dec. 31. After that date, the members need to return to their respective agencies and establish their career whether as part of another boy band or as a solo artist.
‘Produce 101’ alumni
Wanna One was formed through the TV survival competition “Produce 101 Season 2.” It had a total of 101 aspirants. The trainees had to live together in a dorm. They had to go through challenges that showcase their vocal, dancing, rapping skills and charms.
The audience voted for their favorites during the eliminations until the 11 members of the new group were finally chosen. Audience members were called “national producers.” The show gives us a glimpse of the hardship aspiring idols go through before their debut.
Here is a quick rundown on the idols/kings that make up Wanna One.
Birthday: Dec. 10, 1996
Position: Center, main dancer, lead rapper, sub vocals
Agency: MMO Entertainment
Daniel loves cats. He is obsessed with jellies. He carries a bag of jelly in almost all the episodes of “It’s Dangerous beyond the Blankets.” He likes the B-boy style of dancing. The entire room lights up whenever he smiles. Thank goodness that it is so easy to make him laugh.
On “Produce 101” (PD 101), he was so easy to spot because of his pink hair and good looks. The cameras loved him and so did the national producers who voted for him and made him center of Wanna One.
His fellow Wanna One members say that he has kept himself grounded despite the sudden popularity he gained.
Birthday: May 29, 1999
Position: Visual, main dancer, sub vocals, sub rapper
Agency: Maroo Entertainment
Ji-Hoon loves the color pink so much that he even has pink underwear. He once appeared on PD 101 in an all-pink tracksuit like his co-member Park Woojin. The tandem has been called the Pink Sausage team ever since.
He has the finest visual in the group. One of the few men you will encounter who can get away with wearing lip tint. He thought of the jeojang (save) aegyo (signature move) after he stole the spotlight with his wink.
He is called a “fashion terrorist” because he is unafraid to be original. In the first few episodes of PD 101 he wore oversized sweaters, capri pants, beret and glasses. He was teased for this dorky style and it made him confused. He likes the popping style of dancing. He looks up to BTS’ V.
Birthday: Jan. 29, 2001
Position: Lead vocals, lead dancer, sub rapper, maknae line
Agency: Brand New Music
Dae-Hwi is one of the most talented members in the group. He’s good in singing, dancing and composing songs. He was chosen as the first center for “Pick Me.” He intimidated the older trainees in PD 101 with his smarts and talent.
He is attending the School of Performing Arts in Seoul and taking up stage design. He is cute even without making an effort.
Birthday: May 27, 1996
Position: Main vocals
Agency: He is an independent artist.
He is the powerful voice behind the group’s hit songs including “Boomerang.” He looks so serious when he is singing that you almost forget about his infectious laughter. He loves to tease his co-members. He jokingly said in the show “Happy Together” that he is also the main rapper, main dancer, main fashionista and visual of the group. He is the boy in Momoland’s “Freeze” video.
Birthday: Aug. 25, 1995
Position: Main dancer, lead vocals
Seong-Woo’s comedic timing is always on point. He has a natural talent in making people laugh and setting the atmosphere for good times. He is a very talented dancer and he favors the popping style. He is so strongly visual that he made the ladies swoon on the evaluation part of PD 101. They refer to the three moles on his cheeks as a constellation. He is currently one of the hosts of the TV show “Music Core.”
Birthday: Nov. 2, 1999
Position: Main rapper, main dancer
Agency: Brand New Music
Woo-Jin is in charge of the rap in Wanna One’s songs. He charms his fans with his snaggletooth and dolphin sounds. He and Ji-Hoon are attached at the hip. They even went on a “Battle Trip” to Hadong together. We’ve seen the two consume large amounts of meat between the two of them.
Birthday: Sept. 23, 2001
Position: Lead Rapper, maknae
Agency: Cube Entertainment
Although he came from a big agency, he described himself as a chick during the evaluation of PD 101. But this idol from Taiwan also charmed his fellow trainees. Even Nu’est’s Baekho became protective of him. He stands six feet tall which prompted his co-members to say that if he is not around, the group’s average height will go down.
Birthday: March 8, 1991
Position: Leader, sub vocals
Agency: MMO Entertainment
Ji-Sung is often seen as the nagging mom who tries to make the unruly boys behave. He always says kind words about his co-members even when they are savagely teasing him. He is good at solving games and decoding clues. He says it’s because he worked in an escape room café. Ji-Sung is the loudest and most talkative of the group, but he is also one of the funniest.
Birthday: Aug. 9, 1995
Position: Lead vocals
Agency: Pledis Entertainment
Nu’est has a “W” attached to their group’s name to stand for the word “waiting.” They are waiting for Min-Hyun to rejoin them after his stint with Wanna One. He is the only one of the four members who made it to the final 11. He is called the “dad” of Wanna One. He cleans after his members, often lecturing them about cleanliness. The dorm is a mess without him, making Dae-Hwi state that Wanna One needs Min-Hyun in their lives.
Birthday: May 10, 2000
Position: Visual, sub vocals, maknae line
Agency: C9 Entertainment
Jin-Young is one savage youth. Truth bombs just come out of him one after the other. He adorably reveals his thoughts on his co-members with a straight face. He is part of the maknae line (youngest), but he teases the older members mercilessly. MinHyun finds him cute that he constantly sends him air kisses. Jin-Young finds this most annoying.
Birthday: March 22, 1994
Position: Main vocals
Agency: Star Crew Entertainment (formerly Ardor & Able)
A student in “School Attack” said that Sung-Woon is the most good-looking member in real life. He used the “Harry Potter” concept during the pre-evaluation stage in PD 101. And for his magic trick? He did the Echo magic. It’s a trick where he uses his voice to recreate a microphone’s feedback. The effect is that the song sounds like it is being sung inside a karaoke room. He taught this trick to one other person—SHINee’s Taemin.