List of Artists Already Debuted Before Beginning Activities With Their Current Group, From JJ Project To Lee Gi-kwang

MINX

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Debut

Do you know the girl group DreamCatcher? It is a group consisting of seven girls under Happy Face Entertainment. Before their official debut, five of the members were actually already debuted under a different name called MINX.

MINX consisted of five members: JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Dami, and Yoohyeon under Happy Face Entertainment. On August 9th, 2014, MINX performed for the first time at Oak Valley Summertime Festival and brought their two original songs “Action” and “Why Did You Come To My Home.” Later, the agency introduced their new girl group on September 15th and released a teaser of their debut single the next day.

The group made their debut on September 18th by releasing the digital single “Why Did You Come To My Home” and made their debut stage on Mnet M! Countdown on the same day.

Comeback

Nine months after their debut, they made a comeback and released their first EP Love Shake which consists of five tracks including the title track “Love Shake” which is a remake version of their fellow group under the same agency Dal Shabet’s track “Love Shake.” The other tracks are “Superstar Superman,” “I Just Like You,” “Shut Up,” “Love Shake” (DJ Stereo Club Mix), and “Love Shake” (Instrumental). The teaser video was released at the end of June 2015.

Meanwhile, the music video was dropped on July 2nd. They bring out their youthful and energetic yet bubbly theme.

Re-Debut as Dreamcatcher

On November 26th, 2016, after a year of inactivity, Happy Face announced that MINX would be re-debuting as DreamCatcher and would add two members. Moreover, as cited by Soompi, the agency stated that the new group would be different than before, not only with the changed line-up and group name, the concept and music style would be a game-changer. DreamCatcher made their debut on January 13th, 2017, and released their first single album Nightmare with the title track “Chase Me.”

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XING

Back in 2007, there once existed a boy group called XING under XING Entertainment. The group originally consisted of four members but went through a lot of line-up changes along the way. Many of its former members re-debuted in other boy groups under different agencies.

Debut and Line-Up Changes

Xing debuted in December 2006 with four members: Kevin Woo, Marumir (now known as Kibum), Yume, and Chung Hye-sung. They released their debut single “In Your Hands.”

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After seven months, Marumir decided to leave the group and he was replaced by two new members Poppin’ Dragon (now known as Yoon Jun-hyung) and Zen. They released their second single “My Girl” in August 2007 with five members.

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In December 2007, Chung Hye-sung decided to leave and was replaced by Husky (now known as Hyunmin). Later, in January 2008, Poppin’ Dragon also decided to leave along with Yume. In the same month, three new members were added: White (now known as Mika), Yoon, and Gun; along with Kipalang (now known as Jay) who joined in February. The group released a repackaged edition of “My Girl” and a digital single “T Express” with seven members.

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In April 2008, Kevin, the only original member left, finally decided to leave the group and was replaced by two new members: Rising (now known as Karam) and Soul (now known as Injun). Due to its frequent line-up changes, the agency decided to make the group as a rotatory group and the eight-member line-up would be occasionally divided into subunits.

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In October, they released the single “Memorize” as XING OPERA featuring all the members. In December, they released a new version of “In Your Hands” as XING HARMONY featuring Soul, Rising, White, and Husky. In January 2009, they released the single “Sarang” as XING ARIA featuring White, Yoon, and Husky. There were actually two upcoming XING subunits but never finally made their debut. In June, they released another single “2009 HI-FIVE” as XING OPERA except for Zen who was studying abroad at the time.

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Disbandment?

In December, a teaser video was dropped with a completely new line-up, including Hyunjin (now known as Zin, member of X-5 and Lu:kus), Jinwan (now known as Sulhu, member of X-5 and Lu:kus), Wanchul, and Duhwan. Later, they added Dong Geun who did not appear in the group’s promotional photos because of the later addition. However, the new line-up never debuted and XING is considered disbanded unofficially due to inactivity.

Re-Debut Again

Months after leaving the group, Yoon Jun-hyung re-debuted as a BEAST member in October 2009 under Cube Entertainment. Meanwhile, Kevin joined Kibum who left earlier and debuted as U-Kiss members in August 2008 under NH Media. Karam, Hyunmin, Injun, Jay, and Mika were debuted in a group named The Boss (also known as Dae Guk Nam Ah) in March 2010 under Open World Entertainment. Wanchul and Duhwan debuted in a large boy group named Double B 21 or Double B (which was later renamed to Apeace) in October 2010 under Golden Goose Entertainment. Zin and Sulhu debuted in a group called Xenos-5 or X-5 in April 2011 under Open World Entertainment. Later, after inactivity of X-5, Sulhu changed his stage name back to Jinwan and re-debuted as a Lu:kus member in July 2014 under PAN Entertainment.

Five Girls

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Pre-Debut

Back in the past, there was a five-member girl group that was supposedly debuted in 2007. The group named Five Girls consisted of Gina (now known as G.Na), Yang Ji-won, UEE, Yubin, and Hyosung under Good Entertainment.

They had been seen appearing in a show and performing several songs. People expected them to be a huge group after they debuted. However, due to the company’s financial issues, the group didn’t make their debut and each of them went their separate ways in 2007.

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Re-Debut

After leaving the group, Gina changed her stage name to G.NA and joined Cube Entertainment. She debuted as a solo singer in 2010. Not long after her leave, Yubin joined JYP Entertainment and made her debut as a Wonder Girls member in 2007, replacing HyunA who left. She made her solo debut after Wonder Girls disbanded. Meanwhile, UEE joined Pledis Entertainment and debuted as the new 6th member of After School in 2010. Hyosung joined TS Entertainment and debuted as the leader of the girl group Secret in 2009. Jiwon joined CCM in 2009 and became a pre-debut member of T-ara but left and later joined B2M Entertainment. She debuted as a SPICA member in 2012 which disbanded in 2017. Later, she became part of The Unit‘s project group UNI.T in 2018.

BEAST

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Debut and Hyunseung’s Departure

BEAST debuted on October 16th, 2009, with six members: Doojoon (leader), Hyunseung, Junhyung, Dongwoon, Yoseob, and Gikwang. They released their first mini-album BEAST two days before debuting, on October 14th with the title track “Bad Girl.” They became the most successful rookie group at the time and managed to sell over 40,000 copies of their album. They have released albums and have held concerts in a lot of countries.

However, they had to deal with a rumor of Hyunseung’s bad attitude which received many netizens’ negative comments and demands to leave the group. Later, in April 2016, the agency announced that Hyunseung had officially left the group and the group would continue with the five remaining members.

Trademark Issues

In October 2016, it was rumored that BEAST would leave Cube Entertainment and start their new agency. Yet Cube denied and stated that they were still in discussion regarding the contract. Many rumors were conflicting with the Cube statement at the time and some assumed that it was most likely because of the trademark issues. It meant they probably were discussing the ownership of the “BEAST” trademark since the trademark was registered in many areas, such as music, commercials, and performances. Furthermore, the trademark was said to be expiring in 2026 and the agency may extend it.

As a result, if BEAST chose to leave the agency, they would not be able to use the name in promotions without the agency’s permission until it expires. If they want to perform their songs under Cube before the time, they must pass the royalties to the agency. As the issues were considered impactful in the future in many ways, it was reasonable that the discussion took a long time.

Rebranding and Re-Debut as HIGHLIGHT

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In December 2016, BEAST established their new agency called Around Us Entertainment and made an official announcement. Regarding BEAST’s trademark issues, they said that they were still discussing with the former agency. Even so, in February 2017, Cube made an announcement of a new-reformed BEAST consisting of its former member, Hyunseung and two added members. However, Around Us and Hyunseung himself claimed that they hadn’t been informed about it before.

Around a couple of weeks after that, Around Us made an official announcement that BEAST would be promoting under a new name, HIGHLIGHT, which was taken from their first album after Hyunseung’s departure. They decided to let go of the name BEAST after nine years so they could return to the fans quickly. They officially debuted as HIGHLIGHT on March 20th, 2017, by releasing their first mini-album Can You Feel It? with the title track “Plz Don’t Be Sad.”