MONSTA X turns 9: Walking through group's inspiring journey from No.Mercy to Beautiful Liar

As MONSTA X mark their 9th debut anniversary, here's a walkthrough their incredible journey from their inception on No.Mercy to their latest group release Beautiful Liar. Read on!

Updated on May 14, 2024  |  03:35 PM IST |  67.9K
MONSTA X; Image Courtesy: Starship Entertainment
MONSTA X; Image Courtesy: Starship Entertainment
Key Highlight
  • All about MONSTA X
  • Walking down MONSTA X's journey on their 9th anniversary

MONSTA X is a South Korean boy group formed by Starship Entertainment through the reality survival program No.Mercy. The sextet, consisting of Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M., debuted on May 14, 2015, with their EP Trespass. Known for their fusion of hip-hop, EDM, and pop, they've left an indelible mark on the K-pop landscape, earning numerous accolades.

A deeper dive into MONSTA X

Their sound, described as a blend of American rap, rock, and pop, has influenced the fourth generation of K-pop. MONSTA X's discography comprises intense tracks with softer ballads, showcasing their versatility and artistry. Conceptually, they've explored diverse themes, from youth growth in The Clan series to love and relationships in All About Luv and the darker side of romance in Fatal Love. Their stage presence breaks gender norms, featuring intense aesthetics like smokey eye makeup, leather attire, and traditional Korean-inspired elements.

Beyond music, MONSTA X's impact extends globally, earning them titles like Global K-pop Group and Next Generation Beast Idol. They've made historic appearances, such as being the first K-pop group at iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball Tour and guest-starring on Cartoon Network's We Bare Bears.


With an impressive array of achievements, including multiple music program wins and Bonsang and Daesang awards, MONSTA X continues to captivate audiences globally. As ambassadors for organizations like the United Nations' Goal 16, they leverage their platform for positive change. MONSTA X's journey exemplifies resilience, creativity, and a steadfast dedication to their craft, solidifying their status as K-pop icons.


Reminiscing MONSTA X’s inspiring journey through 9 years 

Inception from No.Mercy and debut

MONSTA X's inception via the intense survival program No.Mercy in 2014 marked the genesis of their meteoric rise. Selected from a pool of talented trainees, Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon, and I.M. emerged as the dynamic septet. The show not only showcased their raw talent but also their resilience in the face of fierce competition.

Their debut EP, Trespass, in May 2015, immediately asserted their presence in the K-pop scene with its edgy sound, symbolizing their distinctiveness. Subsequent releases, like Rush, further solidified their signature style, garnering acclaim both domestically and internationally. 

Notably, their debut at KCON 2015 in the U.S. signaled their global aspirations. Awards such as the Next Generation Asian Artist at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and the 1theK Performance Award at the Melon Music Awards underscored their rapid ascent and promising future. 

MONSTA X’s first concert and world tour

In July 2016, MONSTA X made history with their sold-out debut solo concert, The First Live X-Clan Origins, showcasing their immense popularity and stage prowess. This marked the beginning of their global journey. Following their successful concert, they embarked on their first world tour, Beautiful, in 2017, captivating audiences worldwide with their electrifying performances and dynamic stage presence. 

Concurrently, they expanded their horizons by venturing into new territories, such as Japan, and debuting with impressive chart rankings. Throughout 2017, MONSTA X continued to elevate their status with notable achievements, including the release of hit singles like Newton and Beautiful in Japanese. Their growth was further underscored by winning their first music broadcast award for Dramarama, affirming their rising prominence both domestically and internationally.

MONSTA X’s rise on global platform and Wonho’s departure

MONSTA X's rise on the global platform has been meteoric, marked by chart-topping releases, historic performances, and ambassadorial roles. Their partnership with Epic Records for English-language recordings expanded their reach, highlighted by hits like Who Do U Love? featuring French Montana and Love U. 

Despite challenges, including member departures like Wonho's amid controversy, MONSTA X maintained their momentum. Their resilience shone through with successful ventures like their All About Luv album, which debuted impressively on the US Billboard charts. 


Their international appeal was further solidified with collaborations with artists like Sebastián Yatra and appearances at prestigious events like the Mnet Asian Music Awards. Despite setbacks, MONSTA X's trajectory continues upward, propelled by their unwavering dedication and global fanbase known as MONBEBEs.

How MONSTA X overcame COVID, followed by members’ military enlistment

In recent years, MONSTA X has navigated both triumphs and challenges, solidifying their status as global K-pop icons. From the success of their all-English album All About Luv, which debuted impressively on the US Billboard charts, to their resilient spirit amid challenges, the group has showcased unwavering dedication. 

Despite challenges like Shownu's enlistment and health concerns due to COVID-19, MONSTA X continued to captivate audiences with releases like No Limit and their second English-language album, The Dreaming.

Their journey also saw them embark on international tours, participate in prestigious events like KCON, and even headline festivals such as the We Bridge Music Festival & EXPO. Alongside their musical endeavors, MONSTA X ventured into the metaverse and self-produced content, further engaging with their global fanbase.

As individual members fulfill their mandatory military service, the group's solidarity remains intact, with members renewing contracts and continuing to pursue their shared dreams. MONSTA X's story reflects resilience, growth, and an unwavering commitment to their craft, cementing their legacy in the annals of K-pop history.

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ALSO READ: MONSTA X's I.M prepares for first world tour OFF THE BEAT across 18 cities, says 'Expect the unexpected'

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About The Author

Saumya is Journalism & Mass-Communication graduate with a specialization in digital journalism. She comes with nearly a


Credits: Starship Entertainment

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