From being crowned the winners of Kingdom to being praised by A-list celebrities, it was only a matter of time before Stray Kids finally got the attention they deserve.
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When you think of global K-Pop superstars, what comes into mind would usually be the groups BTS, TWICE, EXO, and Blackpink. These are groups that have truly permeated pop culture and are very well known worldwide. Among the current generation of groups, you then have a group like Stray Kids who may not be as popular as some of their peers, but absolutely show potential in being the next big K-Pop act. If the past year has proven anything, Stray Kids are on the verge of global superstardom and TBH, it was only a matter of time.
To see the success Stray Kids has received today is a contrast to how they started out. The group, composed of members Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hynjin, Han, Seungmin, Felix, and I.N, was formed by JYP Entertainment in a reality show of the same name as the group in 2017. The reality show followed the boys on their road to debut and two of their members, Felix and Lee Know, were actually eliminated before they were brought back for the final episode. They released their debut EP Mixtape in January 2018.
They then followed up the rest of 2018 with the I am series in the form of three EPs; I am NOT, I am WHO, and I am YOU. If you’re a fan of Stray Kids, also known as Stay, you may remember this time well. If you just got into them recently, you might not remember a lot of the songs released during this time. Their initial releases didn’t necessarily set the world on fire and they received zero music show wins for all of 2018. That doesn’t mean though the songs were bad as they had some nice bops like Hellevator, District 9, and My Pace.
It was in 2019 when the group really hit their stride. In March 2019, Stray Kids released the EP Cle 1 : MIROH. The album’s lead single MIROH got the group critical acclaim and they earned their first music show win on M Countdown for the song. MIROH is one of their best songs and biggest hits of their career. They then continued their momentum with releases like Side Effects, Double Knot, and Levanter.
If 2019 was a great year for Stray Kids, 2020 was when they finally hit the mainstream. They first released their comeback single God’s Menu, one of the best K-Pop songs of 2020. The song is arguably their biggest hit to date and is currently their most viewed music video on YouTube. They also released their first full-length studio album called Go Live which went on to become their best-selling album to date. It was then followed that up with a repackage of their album called In Life that featured lead single Back Door, another complete smash, and was even recognized by Time magazine as one of the 10 best songs of 2020.
Kingdom And A-list Recognition
We then reach today. Stray Kids participated in the first season of Kingdom along with boy groups ATEEZ, THE BOYZ, SF9, iKON, and BTOB. Every week, Stray Kids would deliver memorable performance after memorable performance that showcased their skills and stage presence. It is no surprise then that they ended up winning the season. But it’s also what happened outside of Kingdom that showed Stray Kids have truly made it.
During one episode, the group performed a mash-up of their song God’s Menu with Blackpink’s DDU-DU-DDU-DU. The performance was Deadpool-themed, and it caught the attention of Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds. Things went a step further when Ryan tweeted that he signed a bottle of his Aviation Gin and was going to send it to Bang Chan and asked for his autograph. Bang Chan then replied on the Stray Kids account saying that he autographed a copy of their In Life album and was going to send it to him. He then apologized to Hugh Jackman since Ryan called Chan his new favorite Australian.
Hugh Jackman then replied to the tweet and even said hello to the other Australian member of the group Felix. To top it all off, Jason Earles, the actor who played Jackson in Hannah Montana, jumped in on the thread and said that he and his wife were fans of the group. The Deadpool Movie Twitter account even got in on the action when they tweeted about Bang Chan wearing a Deadpool mask during one of his Vlives.
One To Watch Out For
The praise and attention that Stray Kids have been receiving as of late are not that surprising when you take a deeper look into the group and who they are, and what they stand for. They always bring it in terms of performance and deliver on the looks, visuals, and production. You’ll never be going to get a dull moment when you watch Stray Kids. Their songs are so good, even their non-single songs are worth listening to.
The best part is that most of their songs are self-produced by the group’s song-making trio 3Racha, who are composed of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han. Watching and hearing them talk about their music, you can tell they really know what they are doing and have a firm grasp on their musicality. All the members are individually talented and have their unique charms and personalities as well. Aside from the songwriting trio, you have amazing dancers in Felix, Hyunjin, and Lee Know and stunning vocalists in Seungmin and I.N. Their songs also touch and talk about important and relevant issues for Gen Z and young Millennials. The group likes to sometimes include the phrase “Stray Kids World Domination” in some of their performances, and with what Stray Kids has achieved so far, that might just happen.
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