Monsta X (Hangul: 몬스타엑스; often stylized as MONSTA X) is a South Korean hip hop boy group formed by Starship Entertainment through the survival show NO.MERCY on Mnet in 2015. The group is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Hyungwon, Kihyun, Jooheon, Minhyuk, and I.M. Jooheon has also been a participant of Season 4 of South Korean TV series; Show Me The Money.
2014–2015: Debut with Trespass and Rush
The group was formed as the result of a TV program called No Mercy on Mnet, which began running in December 2014. A single released during No Mercy was "0 (Young)," on February 4, 2015 starring Giriboy, Mad Clown, and Jooyoung along with Jooheon, Kihyun, Wonho, Seokwon, and I.M. "Interstellar" was a single released on February 12, 2015 with Jooheon, Hyungwon, and I.M, featuring Yella Diamond. Monsta X signed an endorsement deal with apparel brand Litmus before debut.
On May 14, Monsta X's debut music video for "Trespass" was released. A reality web series titled Deokspatch, starring the 'NO.MERCY' trainees, was part of the promotional effort and ran for 2 seasons. The song "Rush" was released on September 1, 2015 followed by a music video for their second mini album, "Rush". During Trespass era, Monsta X got 2nd place on The Show and during Rush era, they ranked 3rd on Music Bank. With Hero, their mini-album 'Rush' was placed #1 on Hanteo Chart
At the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, Monsta X performed their songs "Trespass" and "Hero" on the red carpet before receiving the "Next Generation Asian Artist" award.
Monsta X filmed a commercial for My Little TVing Stick which aired on November 19. Monsta X's Hyungwon modeled on the Runway of SS 2016 Seoul Fashion Week. On December 11, The Korean Girl Scouts Association revealed that MONSTA X would be their 7th promotional ambassadors.
TopStarNews revealed that Monsta X was #22 on the Top Selling Artists Year-End Chart 2015 while #18 on Male Artists and #46 Rush #61 Trespass on Top Selling Albums Year-End Chart 2015 Monsta X won 'Best Rookie Award' on JAPAKO Music Monsta X won 'Rising Star Award' at the 2015 Daum Official Fancafe Awards Monsta X won 'Zeni Star New Face Award'
2016 : The Clan 2.5 Part 1 Lost and The Clan 2.5 Part 2 Guilty
Monsta X attended KCON 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on March 25, and Chiba, Japan on April 9. They also performed at part 2 of the KCON's Los Angeles event, on July 31. Monsta X returned as LITMUS models. Members Kihyun and Hyungwon made regular appearances on a radio show. Monsta X placed #10 on the Top 13 Best-Selling Idol Debut Albums from Year 2012-2016 with 31,085 albums sold in 2015 (debut year sales). They also had 1st generation official fan club recruitment. On 160616 Boy Group Fancafe Ranking, Monsta X was #23. Before the comeback, Monsta X was trending in Korea, Indonesia, and Japan on Twitter. Monsta X's third mini album The Clan Part. 1 'LOST' was released on May 18 with the title track "All In". The album was #5 on Billboard's World Albums Chart and stayed for 2 consecutive weeks on it. Monsta X surpassed 1 million views on YouTube in 24 hours, topped Hanteo Chart in Korea and US & Japanese iTunes's K-Pop Charts with The Clan Part. 1 'LOST', demonstrating increasing popularity. Also, they were placed on #4 on German K-pop monthly chart. They were nominated for #1 only after first week of comeback Monsta X ranked #9 on 2016 Gaon Chart 2nd Quarter Album Overall Ranking with 81,655 physical sales. All seats for Monsta X's first live concert MONSTA X THE FIRST LIVE "X CLAN ORIGINS" sold out in less than just 5 minutes right after ticket sales opened.
In June 2016, Monsta X placed #12 on Brand Big data Reputation for Kpop boy group and had the high-growth of 167.46%. MONSTA X tested their mainstream recognition by dressing up as employees of G25 convenient store in Sangam-dong. In July, Monsta X performed at Seoul Prime Concert in Bangkok. Monsta X's Chinese fan club Monstaxfree received an award at Yinyuetai. Monsta X appeared on Heroes of Remix. Their song "Love" ranked a close second to Wang Leehom's track that has over 100 million plays, and for the Top Track of each episode, Monsta X is top for the first episode with the same song.
In August 2016, Monsta X joined label-mates Cosmic Girls' Exy, Cheng Xiao, SeolA, Soobin, Eunseo, Yeoreum, and Dayoung in creating Y-Teen, a project unit group that will promote KT's phone fare service and release music together. The music video has surpassed 1 million views on YouTube. On August 7, Monsta X released a music video for the track "Stuck", from their album The Clan Pt.1 'LOST, as a special gift to their fandom, MonBebe. On the day of release, "Stuck" trended at number 3 worldwide on Twitter. As of August 9, Monsta X were in the top 10 of the charts for physical album sales for 3 months. Monsta X's MV on "Stuck" hit No.5 in America and No.6 around the world. Monsta X placed 11th on Brand Big Data Reputation for Kpop boy groups. In September, MONSTA X was the cover of Fans Magazine 粉絲誌. Also, Monsta X was featured in 《Easy音乐世界》 2016/09上刊 Vol.736.
Monsta X returned in early October with their fourth mini album and second part of The Clan series, titled The Clan 2.5 Pt. 2 'GUILTY'. The extended play was released on October 4, with the first single "Fighter", along with an accompanying music video. Monsta X entered the Top 10 Billboard World Albums Chart at #3 Monsta X's The Clan Part. 2 "GUILTY" was #1 in US and Japan's iTunes K-pop world album charts and #3 in Japan's iTunes k-pop top song. On 2016, Monsta X won 'Breakout Artist of The Year' in K-Ville Music Awards.
2017: The Clan Part 2.5 : The Final Chapter : Beautiful
Monsta X attended KCON 2017 in Mexico on March 18. In 2017 March 21, Monsta X released The first album "The Clan Part 2.5 The Final Chapter : Beautiful" as their last part of The Clan series. They release three versions for this comeback "BEAUTIFUL", "BESIDE", "BRILLIANT" and returned with the main single "Beautiful". "Beautiful" entered the Top 10 Billboard World Albums Chart at #1 in US and the album is #1 on Hanteo and Synnara's daily and real-time charts, #2 on Gaon Chart National Physical Albums Ranking for March 19 to March 25.
Monsta X will debut in Japan on May 5 with the Japanese version of 'Hero' from their second mini album Rush under label Mercury Records.
Wonho (Hangul: 원호), known as Shin Ho-seok (Hangul: 신호석), was born Lee Ho-seok (Hangul: 이호석) on (1992-03-01) March 1, 1992 in Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. He is one of the group's sub vocalist and lead dancer.
He was set to debut in the boy group Nuboyz along with future group mate Shownu, Jooheon and #Gun, prior to competing on NO.MERCY.
In June 2015, he and Shownu had a cameo appearance in SISTAR's music video Shake It.
Shownu (Hangul: 셔누), was born Son Hyun-woo (Hangul: 손현우) on (1992-06-18) June 18, 1992 in South Korea. He is the leader, lead vocalist and main dancer of the group.
He used to be a swimmer during elementary school, winning in various competitions. He later decided to become a singer after watching Rain. He was a JYP Entertainment trainee along with GOT7's JB and Jinyoung. In 2013, he was also a back-up dancer for Lee Hyori's Bad Girl. He was set to debut in the boy group Nuboyz along with future group mate Wonho, Jooheon and #Gun, prior to competing on NO.MERCY.
In July 2015, Shownu showed his swimming skills in KBS' sports show Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education. In March 2016, Shownu came out on Law of the Jungle in Papua New Guinea. In June 2015, he and Wonho had a cameo appearance in SISTAR's music video Shake It. On July 5, 2016 Shownu made an appearance on Running Man, was #1 search engine after his Running Man appearance. In July 2016, he was cast in Mnet dance competition Hit the Stage. He also was trending #3 on Naver real time search engine (11:40 PM KST) in August after Hit the Stage. In November 2016, he was confirmed to cast in On Style's show Lipstick Prince.
Minhyuk (Hangul: 민혁), was born Lee Min-hyuk (Hangul: 이민혁) on (1993-11-03) November 3, 1993 in South Korea. He is one of the group's sub vocalist.
He was part of the music video Hieut feat. Junggigo, Vasco, Nochang along with some of the No Mercy trainees. He and Kihyun made an exhibition Moments from November, presenting Minhyuk's drawings and Kihyun's photographs on November 26–27.
Kihyun (Hangul: 기현), was born Yoo Ki-hyun (Hangul: 유기현) on (1993-11-22) November 22, 1993 in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. He is the main vocalist of the group.
He released a digital single during NO.MERCY titled Pillow with SISTAR member Soyou and Just Music's rapper Giriboy. He recorded the song Attracted Woman with Jooheon for Orange Marmalade. He also recorded the song One More Step for She Was Pretty.
In January 2016, Kihyun made appearance in MBC's King of Mask Singer. In February, Kihyun made appearance in soloist Yoo Seung-woo's music video Whatever. In March, Kihyun was cast in MBC's variety show CEO Next Door. In April, Kihyun was confirmed to become a MC in MBC's beauty show My Type Beauty Plus. Kihyun and Minhyuk made an exhibition Moments from November, presenting Minhyuk's drawings and Kihyun's photographs on November 26–27.
Hyungwon (Hangul: 형원), was born Chae Hyung-won (Hangul: 채형원) on (1994-01-15) January 15, 1994 in Gwangju, South Korea. He is one of the group's sub vocals and is a lead dancer. He used to be a model before debuting.
He starred in a music video for fellow labelmate K.Will featuring Davichi in single you call it romance. In October 2016, he and Minhyuk modeled in S/S 2017 Seoul Fashion Week. In March 2017, he and Minhyuk too modeled again in 2017 F/W Seoul Fashion Week. Hyungwon played as Ik Soo in the KBS2 special sitcom "Please Find Her" (Hangul: 그녀를 찾아줘), a rising star in the neighborhood of Itaewon and a rival to the titular Kim Jeong Nam, who can't stand him.
Jooheon (Hangul: 주헌), known as Lee Joo-heon (Hangul: 이주헌), was born Lee Ho-joon (Hangul: 이호준) on (1994-10-06) October 6, 1994 in Daegu, South Korea. He is the main rapper of the group.
He was set to debut in the boy group Nuboyz along with future group mate Shownu, Wonho and #Gun, prior to competing on NO.MERCY.
On April 28, 2015 Jooheon released his first mixtape, entitled JUNG JI, which included a collaboration with JustMusic Entertainment's BlackNut. He recordeded the Attracted Woman with Kihyun for Orange Marmalade. He also appeared on season 4 of Show Me The Money and Hip Hop Nation.
I.M (Hangul: 아이엠), was born Lim Chang-kyun (Hangul: 임창균) on (1996-01-26) January 26, 1996 in Gwangju, South Korea. He is the lead rapper of the group.
He was set to debut in the boy group Nu'bility was composed of five members under labeled Special K Entertainment. On May 5, 2016 he released his mixtape track entitled Who Am I featuring YESEO. On October 19, 2016 he released the digital single Madeleine with labelmate Brother Su featuring rapper J.Han.