iKON were officially formed in 2015 and currently have 7 members. These members are; B.I, Bobby, Jinhwan, Junhoe, Yunhyeong, Donghyuk and Chanwoo. After iKON’s formation, the CEO of YG Ent (Yang Hyun Suk) revealed that they had been originally named ‘ICON’ but that the letter ‘C’ had been changed to a ‘K’ as he wanted them to become ‘icons’ for Korea.
Prior to their 2015 September debut; Jinhwan, Bobby and B.I were original members of the trainee group ‘Team B’ with Junhoe, Yunhyeong, Donghyuk & Chanwoo added after they joined the ‘Who Is Next: Win’ TV program. ‘Team B’ were initially seen on TV in 2013 on the reality survival program ‘Who Is Next: Win’ which they went on to lose to Team A and continued as YG trainees. ‘Team B’ released 2 singles while on the program and they are Just Another Boy and Climax.
In 2014, Bobby and B.I went on to compete in ‘Show Me The Money 3’ which boosted both their own and the show’s popularity. B.I was eliminated in episode 7, as a top 8 contestant, while Bobby went on to eventually win the show. They both released singles while filming ‘Show Me The Money 3’ and became highly popular around Korea.
In June of 2014, ‘Mix & Match’ aired, which was focused on the rearranging of the line up of the group, from ‘Team B’ and trainees, to iKON. It was then revealed that Bobby, B.I and Jinhwan were already existing members of iKON and that the 3 remaining members of ‘Team B’ and 3 new trainees, (Chanwoo, Jinhyeong and Hongseok), were to battle for the last 4 places. The final line up for iKON was announced at the end of 2014.
Before their debut, iKON were announced to be involved in working with some of their labelmates, such as Big Bang, Epik High and Winner. They featured as back up dancers in Taeyang’s ‘Ringa Linga’, helped to compose and write Winner’s ‘Empty’, and starred and created the melody to Epik High’s ‘Born Hater’. They also featured on 2 chart toppers by Masta Wu and Dok2 with ‘Come Here’ from the ‘YG 2nd HIP HOP PROJECT’ and Hi Suhyun’s ‘I’m Different’.
From the 15th December 2014, iKON were announced to be the opening act for BIGBANG on their Japan tour. On January 28th 2015, Billboard announced that iKON were on the list for ‘Top 5 K Pop Artists to Watch in 2015’ and were the only group that had yet to debut from the entire list.
On September 8th 2015, YG posted on their website that iKON’s official debut would be made sometime within the coming month. It was then revealed that a total of 5 songs among the 12 long tracklist would be title tracks. Additionally, it was also noted that their debut album, Welcome Back, would be split into 2 parts.
The first half of the album, Debut Half Album, was released on October 1st with the second half of the album due to be released on November 2nd. On October 28th it was revealed that the album would be delayed until December 14th 2015 with 2 additional digital singles to be released on November 16th.
iKON’s debut single, My Type, was released on 15th September and hit top spot on 8 different major music charts in Korea. They won their first music show award from Mnet a week before they made their official music show debut. iKON also held their debut concert ‘SHOWTIME’ on October 3rd 2015 and was broadcast on Naver’s ‘V’ app, with over 500,000 viewers streaming the concert in real time. It was also through the ‘V’ app that the fan club name was to be ‘iKONIC’.
iKON’s ‘Debut Half Album’ was then released digitally on October 1st and topped the iTunes charts in 11 different countries such as Taiwan, Panama, Laos and Vietnam. The album also took 24th and 26th on the iTunes charts in Canada and the United States respectively. In Korea, all of the tracks were in the top 10 on the music charts, with ‘Rhythm Ta’ notably topping the Genie, Olleh, Naver and Soribada charts.
During October 2015, iKON took 2 music show wins on Mnet’s M!Countdown and SBS’s Inkigayo and took the top spot for the weekly album sales charts on the Gaon Music Chart for the 1st week of October. From the beginning of October, iKON also began their Japan fan meetings ‘iKON FAN MEETING 2015 in Japan-iKONTACT’ in Tokyo, Aichi, Fukuoka and Osaka and saw 26,600 fans.
‘Debut Half Album-Welcome Back’ reached sales of 83,208 for the month of October 2015. iKON then released their next digital singles, Anthem and Apology, on November 16th and took No.1 and No.2 respectively of 7 different music charts such as Melon, Olleh, NAVER Music and Soribada. ‘Apology’ also took the No.1 position of Gaon’s digital and download chart for the 48th week of 2015.
We hope that iKON gain some more popularity and that they eventually come to Europe for some concerts. We hope that you continue to show lots of love for iKON and that they get the love they deserve for all their hard work!!
Kirsty – February 2016