YG Entertainment is known to come up with survival competitions that will pit their trainees against each other for a chance to debut as an idol. BIGBANG and iKON are both products of survival programs. But before iKON, there was WINNER.
Prior to having the members of iKON compete in MIX & MATCH, they actually participated in a previous survival show where they were defeated by another group of trainees.
WINNER is composed of four boys: Yoon, Jinu, Hoony, and Mino. In the show “WIN”, the four boys, together with former member, Taehyun, were part of TEAM A. They went through a series of performance missions and ultimately won and literally became “WINNER”.
Name: Kang Seungyoon
Birthday: January 21, 1994
Position: Leader, Main Vocalist, Maknae
Yoon is really musically-inclined. He already mastered playing the guitar when he was just in eighth grade. He joined Superstar K2 in 2010 and placed fourth. He then made a solo debut in 2013 and actually topped the charts with his songs. Yoon signed with YG and started training.
Name: Kim Jinwoo
Birthday: September 26, 1991
Position: Lead Vocalist, Visual
Prior to his appearance in WIN, Jinu was a backup dancer at the 2011 YG Family Concert. He was a trainee for five years. According to the members, he is the member who usually takes the longest to memorize the lyrics of a new song. In their variety show called WINNER TV, Jinu got the nickname “International Lost Kid” because it took him three hours to find Tokyo Tower from their hotel when in reality, it could have been just a ten-minute trip.
Name: Lee Seunghoon
Birthday: January 11, 1992
Position: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist
Hoony is the group’s mood maker. He has a carefree personality and likes to make the other members laugh. Like Yoon, he also placed fourth in a talent search called “Kpop Star”. He is very talented in dancing that he was chosen to be a coach in the dance battle show called “Dancing High”.
Name: Song Minho
Birthday: March 30, 1992
Position: Main Rapper, Vocalist, Face of the Group
Mino might have the most number of appearances out of all the members. He was in a lot of variety shows. He also joined “Show Me The Money 4”. He is also a very good artist. He loves to draw and is actually very good at it. He actually already had his first art exhibit in 2018.
Since their debut, the group has released many songs. One thing I like about WINNER is that their music style is very different compared to the other artists of YG. They are not heavily influenced by hip-hop. Most of their songs are groovy and just soft to the ears. The song I like the most from them is their latest single called “Millions”. The song just sounds so clean and pleasing to the ears. Plus, the lyrics are just very sweet.
When it comes to choosing a bias, I’d say that my most favorite member is Mino. It’s simply because he is the member I saw very often. On stage, he is very charismatic. He raps so well and his voice is perfect for any song. But offstage, he is a softie and he’s really playful.
Winner Fast Facts
If you have decided to become a fan of Winner, congratulations! You made the right choice! Now, aside from watching their music videos, variety shows, and live performances, here are some fun facts you should know:
- WINNER once held the record of the group with the fastest music show win since debut. They won their first music show award just 10 days after debuting!
- Wherever he goes, Jinu always gets complimented because of his good looks. Even in variety shows, the MCs would always comment that he would be suited more as an artist at SM Entertainment than at YG.
- Hoony dances so well and he has a very unique way of dancing to girl group songs. To know more, you have to check out is cover of Sunmi’s “Gashina”.
- This is not actually Mino’s first time debuting. He was in another group called “B.o.M” but because the group was unpopular, they disbanded shortly after.
- Mino was also set to debut as a member of Block B but he left because of personal reasons.
- Yoon had already tried his hand at acting. One of his more famous and memorable roles was in the 2015 web drama called “We Broke Up” where he starred beside 2NE1’s Sandara Park.
- Hoony grew up in the same neighborhood where YG’s building is located. He would often go up to the rooftop of the building where he lived and stare at the YG building and dreamt of making it big. Well, dreams do really come true!
- One of Mino’s nickname is “Song Finger”. He got it from playing a game when he appeared on “New Journey to the West 4”. He had to spin around 15 times and align his finger on a dot on a board. To everyone’s surprise, he actually did it with ease!
- Not many fans know this but Hoony is actually not just an idol at YG. He is also a senior manager and he overlooks and checks on how the other employees are doing. Now, that is what we call dedication!
- Hoony had an embarrassing but funny wardrobe malfunction moment. In one of their promotions, he was wearing expensive pants that were approximately worth $3,000 and he accidentally ripped it in the middle of his passionate dancing. Well, you know what they say about YG: they don’t care about the money!
- WINNER made the fans’ hearts flutter when they surprised a fan that was working at a department store. They secretly went in and made a live and on-the-spot performance of their song “Really Really”. If you want to be a fan, you should definitely check it out.