Between August 2017 and the end of January of this year, Wanna One became a major power player in the K-pop industry. Formed in June 2017 during the final episode of the second season of Mnet’s Produce series — the first Produce 101 series to feature male K-pop star hopefuls — the 11-member boy band spent its temporary reign selling millions of albums. Wildly popular from the get-go, they put out hit after hit, beginning with their debut single “Energetic” and closing out with their sixth and final one “Spring Breeze,” with five albums landing on the World Albums chart during their tenure.
The group held a finale concert series six months ago, Jan. 24-27, in Seoul, and since then, each member of Wanna One has resumed solo activities in the K-pop industry, with some pursuing activities in a group and others going down their own path.
Here’s a brief look at what the group’s members have been up to.
Bae, who is signed to Korean company C9 Entertainment, spent the immediate months following Wanna One’s breakup more or less quiet, and then returned with a one-two punch in recent months. First, on April 26, he released his single “Hard to Say Goodbye,” and then this month he debuted in a new boy band known as CIX, which stands for "Complete in X." After a lead-up period throughout the first half of the summer, the quintet released their first EP HELLO Chapter 1: Hello, Stranger on July 23, which was fronted by the single "Movie Star."
Ha began a career as a soloist in February with the release of his first EP My Moment, which was followed by July's BXXX. Between the pair, he has released four singles, including his first one "Bird," which had been preceded by the release of "Don't Forget" with fellow former Wanna One bandmate Park Jihoon. He most recently returned with the song "Blue," and has also released music for South Korean television show soundtracks. Though he’s currently pursuing a solo career, Ha is also a member of boy band Hotshot, though that act has been on hiatus for the entirety of 2019.
One-fifth of boy band NU’EST prior to Wanna One’s formation, Hwang returned to his former team. He released his solo song “Universe” in April, which led into the release of the act’s Happily Ever After EP and completed an album trilogy that the group had begun in 2016 with their Q Is. album and put on hold while Hwang was in Wanna One and the rest of the group promoted as sub-unit NU’EST W. Hwang has since performed Stateside at KCON 2019 NY with NU’EST, and they’ll return to the U.S. next month for an appearance at KCON 2019 LA.
The “center,” or No. 1-ranked member of the group at the end of the Produce 101 final episode, and a popular television personality, Kang was expected to have a major impact in the South Korean entertainment world following the group’s end. However, his solo career was put on hold for some time due to a legal issues with his former company, LM Entertainment, which resulted in Kang suing the label to suspend his contract due to a variety of business dealings without his consent, including allegations that the company sold his contract rights to third parties. The Seoul Central District Court approved and later upheld the suspension. Kang started his own agency Konnect Entertainment as a result. He released his first solo EP Color on Me fronted by the single “What Are You Up To?” on July 25.
After appearing on Produce 101 unsigned to any company, Kim is now a soloist under Swing Entertainment, the company formed to manage Wanna One and is currently guiding this year’s Produce group X1. In May, he released his first single “Begin Again” and his debut EP Another. Most recently, he released the song “Black Sky” for the soundtrack of the first season of the Korean television show Chief of Staff in June.
The youngest member of Wanna One, Lai, who hails from Taiwan, focused his attention on the Chinese market, appearing in variety shows and gaining a lead role in the upcoming television drama, A Little Thing Called First Love. In March, he performed alongside Cube Entertainment labelmate Wooseok of Pentagon as a duo known as Wooseok X Kuanlin and released an album 9801, led by the single "I'm a Star." In recent weeks, Lai filed to terminate his contract from Cube due to allegations that they sold his management rights to a third party — similar to what Kang suspended his contract for — though Cube has since denied the claims and a legal battle is on-going.
Lee Daehwi & Park Woojin
The only members of Wanna One to remain together formally in the aftermath of the group, Lee and Park are both signed to Brand New Music, and are currently members of new boy band AB6IX, which made its Stateside debut at KCON NY earlier this summer where it performed several songs including their first single "Breathe." They will appear at the west coast leg of KCON next month. Along with their activities in their new five-member team, the pair also released their song "Candle" earlier in the year.
Beyond their joint work, Lee has also started to write for both his own acts and other artists in the industry, and is currently serving as the co-host of Mnet's M Countdown weekly music show and is set to appear in a mobile television show later in the year, Yeonnamdong Global House. Park, meanwhile, collaborated with A Boogie wit da Hoodie for a Korean version of "Look Back At It" in March, and has also begun appearing on Korean reality shows.
Ong, who is signed to the actor-heavy company Fantagio, has spent much of his time since the final Wanna One concert focusing on acting and promotional events, holding his own fanmeeting earlier this year and releasing the song "Heart Sign" in collaboration with a Pepsi campaign. He is currently starring in the JTBC television show Moment at Eighteen (also known as At Eighteen and just Eighteen), which began airing earlier this month.
Just two months after Wanna One went separate ways, Park released his solo debut album O’CLOCK. Fronted by the single “L.O.V.E,” it also featured the song “Young 20,” which was produced by Lee. A former child actor, Park also is pursuing acting, and is set to appear in JTBC's Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency. Earlier this month, he shared a behind-the-scenes photo wearing part of his historic costume on Instagram.
The eldest member of Wanna One had a whirlwind of a first-half of 2019: he appeared in the musical The Days, and released his first EP on Feb. 20, Aside, with the single "In The Rain." Yoon then held a multi-country fanmeet throughout Asia, before releasing a second album, Dear Diary on April 25 fronted by the song "I'll Be There." He followed this up with the release of "Winter, Flower" on May 19, which had been preceded by his enlistment in South Korea’s military; as a male born in 1991, he reached the age-limit where men could no longer put off their mandatory military service in the country. Fans will be able to hear him perform alongside several other popular, currently-enlisted K-pop stars from SHINee, EXO, INFINITE, 2AM, BTOB, and actor Kim Minseo in an upcoming song set to be released by South Korea’s military.