NCT Dream is the third sub-unit of South Korean boy group NCT. The group follows an admission-graduation system, where they graduate from the unit after reaching the Korean age of 20 (19 internationally).
The group debuted on August 25, 2016, with the single “Chewing Gum” and with seven members: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung. Mark graduated from the group on December 31, 2018.
Mark, Haechan, Jaemin, Jisung, and Jeno were previously a part of SM Rookies. Chenle previously had a solo career and received two months of training prior to his debut with NCT.
NCT was first announced in January 2016 by Lee Soo-man at a presentation, where he talked about a group that would debut different teams around the world. Mark debuted in the group’s first unit, NCT U, on April 4, 2016. On July 7, Haechan made his debut in the second unit, NCT 127, alongside Mark. NCT Dream was announced as the third subunit on August 18, 2016.
NCT Dream released their debut single, “Chewing Gum”, on August 24, 2016. Their debut stage was on August 25 on M Countdown.
On February 1, 2017, SM Entertainment announced NCT Dream would release their first single album. It was revealed Jaemin would not be participating in the release due to complications from a herniated disc. The group’s single album, The First, was released on February 9 with its lead single, “My First and Last”. The album debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart. The unit had their comeback stage on M Countdown, performing the title track, “My First and Last”, and B-side track, “Dunk Shot”. On February 14, NCT Dream was revealed to have won 1st place on the 100th episode of SBS MTV’s The Show, marking the first music show win for a NCT unit.
On March 15, NCT Dream released their single, “Trigger the Fever”, as official ambassadors for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea.
NCT Dream released their first EP, We Young, on August 17, 2017. The group’s first comeback stage was held on M Countdown.
NCT Dream released their Christmas single, “Joy,” as part of SM Station on December 15, 2017.
NCT Dream promoted alongside NCT U and NCT 127 as NCT 2018 for the first quarter of 2018. On March 4, 2018, NCT Dream released their single, “Go”, which was included in NCT’s first album, NCT 2018 Empathy. It also marked the group’s first comeback with Jaemin since their debut.
SM Entertainment announced in late August that NCT Dream would be releasing an EP titled We Go Up in September. On August 27, it was announced that the album would be the last comeback with Mark, who would be graduating following the end of the group’s promotions. The EP was released on September 3, 2018 alongside the lead single of the same name. We Go Up entered Billboard’s World Albums chart at number five and Heatseekers Albums chart at number seven, which marks NCT Dream’s best sales week in the U.S. to date.
NCT Dream was featured on Billboard’s “21 Under 21 2018: Music’s Next Generation” list as the only Asian singer for the year. All members were listed on “TIME magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018”.
On December 19, it was announced Haechan would be taking a hiatus from the group due to an injury.
On December 27, NCT Dream released a single titled “Candle Light” under the SM Entertainment’s digital music project SM Station.
On December 31, Mark officially graduated from the unit.
NCT Dream follows an admission-graduation system based on the age of the members.