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Monsta X

South Korean boy band Monsta X are known for their aggressive, high-energy blend of hip-hop, EDM, and pop. They gained global attention with their 2017 debut, The Clan, Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter, which hit number two on the GOAN chart and topped the Billboard World Albums chart. They have remained chart favorites in South Korea, where each of their subsequent albums -- including 2018's Take.1 Are You There?, 2019's Take.2 We Are Here, and 2020's Fatal Love -- has hit number one. Monsta X have continued to exert their global influence, reaching number five on the Billboard 200 with their first English-language album, 2020's All About Luv. They also scored a Billboard Top 40 hit with "One Day" off 2021's The Dreaming. Formed in 2015 on the reality television competition NO.MERCY, Monsta X is composed of leader/vocalist/dancer Shownu, vocalist/dancer Wonho, vocalist Minhyuk Lee, vocalist Ki-hyun Yoo, vocalist/dancer Hyungwon Chae, rapper Jooheon Lee, and rapper I.M. On NO.MERCY, the group performed covers of songs by Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Jay Park, and others. They released their early singles -- "0 (Young)" and "Interstellar" -- during the show's run. The group's debut EP, Trespass, arrived in 2015 and peaked at number five on the Korean charts. The Rush EP followed months later, pushing Monsta X to number three. In 2016, they released a pair of mini-albums, The Clan, Pt. 1: Lost and Pt. 2: Guilty. The EPs became their first to break into the Billboard World Albums chart, at numbers five and three, respectively. The third Clan installment was issued in early 2017. Titled Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter (and later re-released as Shine Forever), it topped the Billboard World Albums chart and rose to the number two spot on the Korean chart. That year, Monsta X issued their fifth EP, The Code, and made their debut in the Japanese-language market with "Hero." That track was followed by "Beautiful," which topped the Japanese daily singles chart. In 2018, the group received the honor of serving as torchbearers for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics before continuing their drive into the Japanese market with the Japanese original "Spotlight," which later landed on their album Piece. Back in Korea, they issued another EP, The Connect: Dejavu, as well as their second full-length, Take.1 Are You There? The set soared into the Top Ten on the U.S. Heatseekers and World Albums charts, even peaking at number 24 on the Independent Albums list. They closed the year by becoming the first K-pop group to appear at Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM's yearly Jingle Ball concert. Monsta X kicked off 2019 with Take.2 We Are Here and a Steve Aoki collaboration "Play It Cool." In May, they signed with Epic Records and readied an English-language debut, which arrived in the form of "Who Do U Love?" featuring rapper French Montana. In October, they released their seventh EP, Follow: Find You. Late that year, Wonho left the group, and in early 2020 Jooheon Lee announced that he was taking a break to focus on his mental health. 2020 also saw the release of the group's first English-speaking effort, All About Luv, which debuted at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200. The EP Fantasia X arrived later that year, and a pair of Japanese back-to-back singles, "Wanted" and "Neo Universe," arrived in March 2021. That year, Monsta X also released their second English-language album, The Dreaming, which arrived that December and featured the Top 40 hit "One Day." It reached number 21 on the Billboard 200.
© Matt Collar & Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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