Wanna One is a South Korean idol group formed by CJ E&M through the second season of the popular survival reality program Produce 101. The group consists of 11 members – Kang Daniel, Park Ji Hoon, Lee Dae Hwi, Kim Jae Hwan, Ong Sung Woo, Park Woo Jin, Lai Kuan Lin, Yoon Ji Sung, Hwang Min Hyun, Bae Jin Young, and Ha Sung Woon. Of the 11 members, 9 were still trainees at the time of Produce 101, while 2 have already debuted.
Wanna One officially debuted as a group on August 7, 2017 and will be promoting under CJ E&M and YMC Entertainment until December 31, 2018.
Pre-debut and Formation
Wanna One was formed from the top 11 finalists of the survival reality program Produce 101 Season 2. The show aired on Mnet starting April 7 and ended on June 6, 2017. From the initial count of 101 trainees from various agencies, contestants were eliminated every week based on audience votes. The top 11 voted for by the audience were announced on the show’s live final broadcast, where the official name of the group was also revealed.
Prior to their participation in Produce 101, several Wanna One members were already active in South Korea’s entertainment industry. Park Ji Hoon was a child actor and had appeared on drama series and variety shows in the past. Hwang Min Hyun debuted as a member of the idol group NU’EST in 2012, while Ha Sung Woon debuted as a member of Hotshot in 2014. Kim Jae Hwan was part of the second season of Korea’s Got Talent.
Debut, first album, and world tour
After the conclusion of Produce 101 Season 2, Wanna One signed with YMC Entertainment, the agency that also managed the all-female group I.O.I of Produce 101 Season 1. But unlike I.O.I., Wanna One members are not permitted to participate in any other activities with their original agencies. This new contract stipulation meant that Hwang Min Hyun of NU’EST and Ha Sung Woon of Hotshot will not be able to join their groups in promotions and other activities until the end of Wanna One’s contract.
On July 1 and 2, 2017, the group held a final concert at the Olympic Hall in Seoul to mark the end of Produce 101 Season 2.
Wanna One officially debuted on August 7, 2017 at an event called “Wanna One Premier Show-Con” held at the Gocheok Sky Dome. The following day, they released their debut extended play (EP), 1×1=1 (To Be One), with the title track “Energetic”. The song was originally composed by FlowBlow and Hui of Pentagon, with lyrics written by Hui and Wooseok of Pentagon. To mark the group’s official debut, they released two music videos for “Energetic” and “Burn It Up”.
On November 13, Wanna One released a repackaged version of their debut EP, 1-1=0 (Nothing Without You), along with the lead single “Beautiful”. Combining the sales for their first album and the repackaged edition, Wanna One became the first K-pop group to sell a million copies of their debut album.
The group won the Best New Male Artist award and Best Male Group award at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards. They were also chosen by Billboard as the Best New K-pop Act of 2017.
Wanna One was recognized in South Korea for their strong marketing power and brand recognition, topping the “Boy Group Brand Power Ranking” by the Korean Corporate Reputation Research Institute for four months since their debut. They are also known for affecting the viewership ratings of the TV shows they guest or appear on. In 2017, the group ranked second in the 30 “Power People” survey by Ilgan Sports, which recognizes their influence among broadcasting companies and advertisers. They were also 6th in the top 10 artists of Gallup Korea, and was chosen as Best K-pop Artist of 2017 in a survey conducted by Joynews24 among professionals in the entertainment industry.
In 2017, within four months of their debut, Wanna One has featured in 16 advertisements including clothing, cosmetics, mobile games, food and beverages, and more.