Group Name: WINNER (위너) Debut: August 12, 2014 Debut Album: 2014 S/S Members: Seungyoon, Mino, Seunghoon, Jinwoo, Taehyun
WINNER is a five member Kpop group signed under YG Entertainment. The group was formed via a 2013 survival audition program entitled WIN: Who Is Next. Seungyoon, Mino, Seunghoon, Jinwoo, and Taehyun were on “Team A” on the program, and competed and won against “Team B”, going on to debut as WINNER in 2014. The group became the fastest male group to ever win a #1 trophy following their debut by taking first place on their debut stage.
The group followed their Korean debut with a Japanese one, releasing a Japanese version of their debut album, 2014 S/S. WINNER’s Japanese debut was met with success, and the group went on to host a solo Japanese tour. In 2015, WINNER returned to Korea where the members pursued solo endeavors for much of the year. In 2016 the group announced a comeback by releasing a “warm up” single entitled “Pricked”. WINNER had originally intended a four-part release called the “EXIT Movement”, dropping the “E” part of the series with the release of double title singles “Baby Baby” and “Sentimental”. Despite the announced release plan, the “X”, “I”, and “T” parts of the series have yet to be released.
In September of 2016, WINNER member Mino paired up with iKON’s Bobby to form a unit called MOBB. A month later, YG Entertainment announced that Taehyun would be going on an indefinite hiatus due to his fragile mental state. According to YG’s statement, the company has known about his mental condition since his trainee days, but after observing his worsening state over the past few months, they have decided to play him on hiatus for the sake of his own health. As of yet there are no concrete plans for a WINNER comeback without him, but YG has stated that the group will remain together in Taehyun’s absence.