Wanna One (Hangul: 워너원) was a South Korean boy band formed by CJ E&M through the 2017 survival competition Produce 101 (season 2). The group was composed of eleven members: Kang Daniel, Park Ji-hoon, Lee Dae-hwi, Kim Jae-hwan, Ong Seong-wu, Park Woo-jin, Lai Kuan-lin, Yoon Ji-sung, Hwang Min-hyun, Bae Jin-young and Ha Sung-woon. The group debuted on August 7, 2017 under Swing Entertainment and CJ E&M. Their contract ended on December 31, 2018, but their final activity as a group was their last concert on January 24–27, 2019.
Wanna One was formed through the ‘survival’ competition series Produce 101 (season 2), which aired on Mnet from April 7 until June 16, 2017. Out of an initial 101 trainees representing various agencies, the final 11 were chosen by audience voting and announced via live television broadcast.
Before appearing on the program, several members had already been active in the entertainment industry. Park Ji-hoon was a child actor and had appeared on drama series such as Kimchi Cheese Smile and The King & I. He had also made appearances on several variety shows alongside the boy bands Big Bang and SS501. In 2012, Hwang Min-hyun made his musical debut as a member of the group NU’EST. Kim Jae-hwan made his first appearance on season 2 of Korea’s Got Talent but was eliminated during the semi-final. In 2014, Ha Sung-woon had previously debuted as a member of the group Hotshot.
Wanna One signed with YMC Entertainment (who previously managed season one’s winning group I.O.I). Unlike I.O.I, however, Wanna One members will not be permitted to participate in other activities with their original agencies.
The group participated in a final concert that took place on July 1 and 2, 2017 at Olympic Hall in Seoul to mark the end of Produce 101. Wanna One officially debuted at an event titled Wanna One Premier Show-Con that took place at the Gocheok Sky Dome on August 7, 2017. The group released their debut extended play 1×1=1 (To Be One) on August 8, 2017, with the title song “Energetic”, originally composed by Hui of Pentagon and FlowBlow, with lyrics written by Hui and Wooseok of Pentagon. Two music videos were released for their debut, for “Energetic” and “Burn It Up”.
On November 13, Wanna One released their repackaged album, 1-1=0 (Nothing Without You), with the title track “Beautiful”. With the combined sales of their first album and its repackaged edition, Wanna One became only the third Korean group to sell a million copies of their debut album, and the first since Seo Taiji and Boys did so with their eponymous debut in 1992.
In February, Wanna One posted a series of teaser images titled 2018 Golden Age Begins. On March 5, Wanna One released their special theme track, “I Promise You (I.P.U.)” along with its music video. It was also announced that the number of preorders for their second extended play, 0+1=1 (I Promise You) has surpassed 700,000 copies, breaking the previous record set by the group. The album was released on March 19, along with the title track “Boomerang”.
In April, Wanna One announced that the members will split into multiple units and collaborate with different artists such as Dynamic Duo, Zico, Nell and Heize for their upcoming special album. The album was later revealed to be titled 1÷x=1 (Undivided), which was released on June 4 along with the title track “Light”.
The group also announced their first world tour, titled “One: The World”, which would span 13 different cities around the world and begin from June 1.
Wanna One’s contract with YMC Entertainment expired on May 31. Starting from June 1, Wanna One would be managed under Swing Entertainment, a new agency exclusively established for the group. This new arrangement would still maintain the partnership with YMC.
On October 30, 2018, Wanna One released a teaser video and also revealed the title of their 1st studio album, 1¹¹=1 (Power of Destiny). The album was released on November 19, 2018.
On December 18, 2018, Swing Entertainment released an official statement that the group’s contract will end on its original planned date, December 31, 2018. Swing also stated that all agencies came to an agreement that will allow the members to attend scheduled year-end shows and award ceremonies throughout January 2019. The group concluded activities with a final concert (titled “Therefore”) held across four days, ending on January 27, 2019. The concert was held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, where the group held their debut showcase.
The group was recognized for their brand recognition and marketing power, having topped ‘Boy Group Brand Power Ranking’ published by the Korean Corporate Reputation Research Institute for four months; as well as viewership ratings of the TV shows they appear on. In 2017, they ranked second in the 30 “Power People” survey by Ilgan Sports, for their influence among broadcasting companies and advertisers; and sixth in the top 10 artist of Gallup Korea survey. The group was also chosen as Best K-pop Artist of 2017. For their achievements, Wanna One ranked number two on Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list for 2018, a list ranking South Korea’s most powerful and influential celebrities.
In 2017, Wanna One were featured in 16 advertisements including cosmetics, clothing, mobile games, foods and beverages and more.
Wanna One achieved the “Rookie Grand Slam” in 2018, having won Newcomer awards from major award ceremonies such as Mnet Asian Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Seoul Music Awards, Melon Music Awards and Gaon Chart Music Awards. Billboard chose them as the Best New K-Pop Act of 2017.