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SM Rookies (Korean: 에스엠루키즈, stylized as SMROOKIES) were a pre-debut training team created by South Korean entertainment agency SM Entertainment in 2013. It comprises young trainees who have yet to debut in an idol group. The project has yielded artists such as Red Velvet and NCT.
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
2013–17: Formation, debuts of Red Velvet and NCTEdit
SM Rookies was formally announced on December 2nd, 2013, featuring members Seulgi, Jeno and Taeyong. On December 9th, Irene, Jaehyun and Lami were introduced. On December 16th, the members Mark, Hansol, and Jisung were introduced, followed by Johnny, Ten, and Yuta on the 23rd.
Wendy was introduced on March 13, 2014, with the song "Because Of You" for the soundtrack of the series Mimi. On March 19th, a video of Wendy singing the song “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift was released. In April of the same year, SM launched the official website of the project. The agency announced the opening with a video teaser uploaded onto its official YouTube channel. On July 16, a dance performance video of Irene and Seulgi dancing to the song "Be Natural" by S.E.S. was released under the name SR14G. Donghyuck was later introduced on July 17, 2014. on July 21, Taeyong released a short song “Open The Door”. On July 22, Mark and Donghyuck were featured in the first video of the "Rookie Station". Later that month, the agency confirmed Irene, Wendy, and Seulgi as members of the group Red Velvet. On August 14, trainee Yeri was featured in the third video of the "Rookie Station" alongside Taeyong, Yuta, Jaehyun, Mark, Jeno, and Donghyuck. On the 21st, They released the four videos of the “Rookies Station”, an SMTown Live Special. On August 24th, a video of Johnny, Taeyong, and Hansol dancing to the song "Super Moon" under the name of SR14B was released. On September 16, 2014, the six videos of the “Rookie Station” was released, featuring members Johnny, Yuta, Ten, and Jaehyun. On October 9, 2014, Taeyong was featured in Red Velvet’s single “Be Natural”.
On January 16, 2015, Doyoung was introduced as him, and Jaehyun were to become new MCs on MBC Music's Show Champion. In February, a report about Red Velvet filming a music video with trainee Yeri was leaked online. The following month, SM Entertainment formally introduced Yeri and was announced to debut as the fifth member of Red Velvet immediately. On March 6, 2015, Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Ten, & Jaehyun dancing to the song “Bassbot” under the name of SR15B was released. After months of being featured in various SM Rookies events, Jaemin was formally introduced in April 2015. On July 8, 2015, Koeun, Hina, & Herin were introduced as they were to become mouseketeers on Disney Channel Korea’s The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Mark, Jeno, Donghyuck, Jaemin, Jisung, and Lami. On July 26, they announced the SMRookies Show. On July 30, a video of Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Ten, & Jaehyun performing a dance, under the name of SR15B was released. On October 13, 2015, Taeil was introduced after being featured in SM Rookies events. and on December 18, 2015, Kun was introduced. Later that month On December 22, 2015, Lami, Hina, & other trainee Jungyeon showed up together in Winter Garden 2015.
On January 5, 2016, WinWin was introduced. SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man announced plans for a new boy group that would be debuting with different teams based in different countries around the world. On January 26th, Taeil released the song “Because Of You” for the soundtrack of the series The Merchant: Gaekju 2015. In April 2016, the agency confirmed Taeil, Taeyong, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun and Mark as members of NCT's first subgroup, NCT U. In July 2016, the agency also confirmed Yuta, WinWin and Donghyuck (now known as Haechan) as members of NCT's second subgroup, NCT 127. In August 2016, the agency confirmed Jeno, Jaemin and Jisung as members of NCT's third subgroup, NCT Dream. On September 19, 2016, Yiyang and Ningning were introduced to the public. In December 2016, the agency confirmed Johnny as the new member of NCT's Seoul-based unit, NCT 127.
On April 5, 2017, Lucas was introduced. On April 17, Jungwoo was introduced. On late June 2017, Herin was confirmed as a contestant of Mnet's survival show, Idol School, leading to her departure from the pre-debut team and SM Entertainment. Hansol followed suit in October, and he participated as a contestant in the upcoming KBS survival show The Unit.
2018: New NCT members, WayV and members departureEdit
In January 2018, NCT unveiled a "large scale project" for the year called 'NCT 2018' and some members were seen in Ukraine filming a music video for a possible comeback. SM Rookie members Jungwoo and Lucas were spotted alongside other NCT members in the airport en route to the said country.
On January 30, SM Entertainment confirmed the upcoming debut of the remaining SM Rookies members Kun, Lucas, and Jungwoo through the video NCT 2018 Yearbook #1.
On February 13, it was revealed that Lucas and Jungwoo would be making their official debut through NCT U's comeback single "Boss" alongside members Taeyong, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Winwin, and Mark. The music video for "Boss" was released on February 18.
On July 17, 2018, three male Chinese trainees, Hendery, Xiaojun, and Yangyang, were introduced. On October 1, 2018, it was confirmed that Yiyang has left SM Entertainment and returned to China to join the idol competition show The Next Top Bang.
On December 31, 2018, SM Entertainment announced the debut of Hendery, Xiaojun and Yangyang as members of the NCT's Chinese sub-unit, WayV.
In February 2020, it was reported that Koeun and Lami had left SM Entertainment and later were confirmed with the removal of their names from Naver profile pages on February 24.
|Stage Name||Country/Region||Date Introduced||Associated act|
|Hina (히나)||Japan / South Korea||July 8, 2015||SR20G|
|Ningning (닝닝)||China||September 19, 2016|
|Stage Name||Country/Region||Date Introduced||Debut date||Debut group|
|Irene (아이린)||South Korea||December 9, 2013||August 1, 2014||Red Velvet|
|Seulgi (슬기)||South Korea||December 2, 2013|
|Wendy (웬디)||Canada||March 13, 2014|
|Yeri (예리)||South Korea||March 11, 2014[note 1]||March 17, 2015|
|Taeil (태일)||South Korea||October 13, 2015[note 2]||April 9, 2016||NCT|
|Taeyong (태용)||South Korea||December 2, 2013||April 8, 2016|
|Doyoung (도영)||South Korea||January 15, 2015|
|Ten (텐)||Thailand||December 23, 2013|
|Jaehyun (재현)||South Korea||December 9, 2013|
|Mark (마크)||Canada||December 16, 2013|
|Yuta (유타)||Japan||December 23, 2013||July 6, 2016|
|Winwin (윈윈)||China||January 5, 2016|
|Haechan (해찬)||South Korea||July 17, 2014[note 3]|
|Jeno (제노)||South Korea||December 2, 2013||August 24, 2016|
|Jaemin (재민)||South Korea||April 22, 2015 [note 4]|
|Jisung (지성)||South Korea||December 16, 2013|
|Johnny (쟈니)||United States||December 23, 2013||January 4, 2017|
|Kun (쿤)||China||December 18, 2015[note 5]||March 14, 2018|
|Jungwoo (정우)||South Korea||April 17, 2017||February 18, 2018|
|Lucas (루카스)||Hong Kong||April 6, 2017|
|Xiaojun (샤오쥔)||China||July 17, 2018||January 17, 2019[note 6]|
|Yangyang (양양)||Republic of China|
|Stage Name||Real Name||Country||Date introduced||Notes|
|Herin (헤린)||Herin Seo||United Kingdom||July 8, 2015||In July 2017, it was confirmed that Herin left the pre-debut team and SM Entertainment after being introduced as a contestant of Mnet's survival show, Idol School, which only individual trainees participate in. After the program, Herin has not been involved with any entertainment activities.|
|Hansol (한솔)||Ji Hansol (지한솔)||South Korea||December 16, 2013||On October 1, 2017, it was confirmed that Hansol left SM Entertainment and had signed with J-FLO Entertainment, he then was introduced as a participant in the new KBS survival show The Unit. After getting sixth place on the show, Hansol debuted with the project group UNB. After UNB's disbandment, he later debuted in J-FLO's boy group, Newkidd, in 2019.|
|Yiyang (이양)||Xu Yiyang (徐艺洋)||China||September 19, 2016||In September 2018, rumors of Yiyang leaving SM Entertainment to join a survival reality show surfaced on Weibo. On September 19, 2018, two years after she was introduced as an SM Rookies member, she has posted on her Weibo account that she is "thankful for the people who waited for her" and that she is "looking forward to a new start." On October 1, 2018, she was confirmed to have returned to China signing to L Tao Entertainment and joined the Chinese idol survival program The Next Top Bang. She was a contestant on Produce Camp 2020, where she placed eighth and did not make it to the final group. She debuted with her first single, "Listen," in July 2020.|
|Lami (라미)||Kim Sungkyung (김성경)||South Korea||December 9, 2013||In February 2020, Koeun and Lami were rumored to have left SM Entertainment. This was further confirmed with the removal of their names from Korean web portals as well as Lami opening her personal Instagram account. It is currently unknown whether the two members will still pursue a career in the entertainment industry.|
|Koeun (고은)||Ko Eun (고은)||South Korea||July 8, 2015|
|2014||Exo 90:2014||Mnet||Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Ten, Jaehyun, Mark, Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin, Jisung|
|2015||Show Champion||MBC Music||Doyoung and Jaehyun|
|Mickey Mouse Club||Disney Channel Korea||Koeun, Mark, Hina, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Jisung, Herin, Lami |
Doyoung, Jaehyun (guest performers)
|2016||NCT Life||Naver TV||Hansol (Season 1), Kun, Winwin (Season 2)|
|My SMT||Youku||Johnny (Regular MC from Episode 5) |
Yiyang, Koeun, Hina, Ningning (Who's The Best? corner)
|"Because I Love You"||Wendy||2014||Mimi OST|
|"Butterfly"||Henry featuring Seulgi||Fantastic|
|"Be Natural"||Red Velvet featuring Taeyong||Non-album release|
|"Because of You"||Taeil||2015||The Merchant: Gaekju 2015 OST|
|"Without You" (Chinese version)||NCT U with Kun||2016||NCT 2018 Empathy|
|"Switch"||NCT 127 featuring SR15B||NCT #127|
Names in italics indicate other participated trainees at the time of the event.
|"Be Natural"||Irene, Seulgi, Wendy||2014||Joy||Sung originally by S.E.S., later released as a single and credited under the name Red Velvet.|
|"Open the Door"||Taeyong|
|"Bora-bit Hyanggi (Violet Fragrance)"||Yeri, Koeun, Hina, Herin, Jeesu, Winny (SM Town version)
Koeun, Hina, Herin, Lami (Mickey Mouse Club version)
|Sung originally by Kang Su-ji, performed in SM Town Live World Tour IV (2014–15) and on the TV program Mickey Mouse Club (2015).|
|"No No No No No"||Yeri, Koeun, Hina, Herin, Jeesu, Winny (SM Town version)
Koeun, Hina, Lami (Mickey Mouse Club version)
|Sung originally by Ha Su-bin, performed in SM Town Live World Tour IV (2014–15) and on the TV program Mickey Mouse Club (2015).|
|"Hope"||Doyoung, Jaehyun, Johnny||2014||Chen (EXO)||Sung originally by H.O.T., cover song for the TV program Exo 90:2014 (2014), SM Town band instrumental version.|
|"I'm Your Girl"||Yeri, Koeun, Hina, Jeesu, Winny, Herin, Mark, Haechan||2014||Sung originally by S.E.S., cover song for the TV program Exo 90:2014 (2014)|
|"Majimak Seungbu (The Last Game)"||Taeil||Sung originally by Kim Min-gyo, cover song for the TV program Exo 90:2014 (2014)|
|"Yeoreum An-eseo (In Summer)"||Koeun||2014||Seulgi (Red Velvet)||Sung originally by Deux, cover song for the TV program Exo 90:2014 (2014)|
|"Under the Sea"||Doyoung, Jaehyun, Yuta, Ten, Mark, Haechan, Jaemin, Jeno, Jisung (SM Rookies Show version)
Koeun, Hina, Lami, Herin, Mark, Haechan, Jaemin, Jeno, Jisung (Mickey Mouse Club version)
|Korean version sung originally by The Grace, Super Junior, and Zhang Liyin; performed in the SM Rookies Show (2015–16) and Mickey Mouse Club (2015)|
|"Shining Star"||Koeun, Hina, Ningning||2017||Song for the TV program Shining Star (2017)|
|"Dream Dream Dream"||Koeun, Hina, Lami (Korean version), Yiyang, Ningning (Chinese version)|
|"Checkmate"||Sung originally by Girls' Generation-TTS, cover song for the TV program Shining Star (2017)|
|"Into the New World"||Sung originally by Girls' Generation, cover song for the TV program Shining Star (2017)|
|"Ice Cream"||Sung originally by f(x), cover song for the TV program Shining Star (2017)|
|"Run & Run"||Song for the TV program Shining Star (2017)|
|"Someday"||2018||Song for the TV program Shining Star (2018)|
Names in italics indicate other participated trainees at the time of the event.
- SM Town Week (2013) (as opening act)
- Taeil, Hansol, Johnny, Yuta, Ten, Jaehyun, Jeno, Haechan, Jisung, Yongju
- SM Town Live World Tour IV (2014–2015)
- Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun, Yeri, Koeun, Mark, Jeno, Haechan, Hina, Jaemin, Jisung, Herin, Winny, Jeesu
- SM Rookies Show (2015–2016)
- Taeil, Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun, Mark, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Jisung
- After Red Velvet debuted, Yeri was featured in one of the SM Rookies videos (under the name "New Rookie of SR14G") with the now-NCT members in 2014 and performed with the other SM Rookie girls the same year in SM Town Live World Tour IV. She was formally introduced just before Red Velvet's comeback with "Ice Cream Cake" in March 2015.
- Prior to Taeil's introduction as an SM Rookies member, he previously performed alongside his now-NCT co-members during the SM Town Week in December 2013.
- Haechan was introduced as Donghyuck, but later went on with his current stage name upon his debut with NCT 127 in July 2016.
- Jaemin was featured in several SM Rookies events before being formally introduced on April 22, 2015.
- Despite being featured as a vocalist in the Chinese version of NCT U's "Without You" (2016), Kun did not make his official debut until the release of NCT's debut album, "NCT 2018 Empathy" in 2018.
- Although SM Entertainment has introduced Hendery, Xiaojun, and Yangyang as members of WayV, the agency has stated that they will join NCT in their future activities as announced.
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- "NCT Revealed To Be Filming For New Music Video In Ukraine - Soompi". www.soompi.com.
- "NCT, 초대형 프로젝트 '2018 NCT'로 컴백…3월 앨범 발매(공식)".
- "[SBS Star] SM Entertainment Unveils Three New Members of SM ROOKIES!". SBS News. July 18, 2018.
- "SM루키즈, 라미-고은 퇴사 후 공개 연습생 히나-닝닝 두 명만 남았다?". Top Star News. February 25, 2020.
- "에스엠루키즈 (SMROOKIES) (화제인물) 프로필 (" (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "에스엠루키즈 (SMROOKIES) (화제인물) 프로필" (in Korean). Daum. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "SM unveils three more rookie acts". Korea Times. December 11, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
- "SM루키즈 공개… 슈퍼주니어 규현의 그녀(?) '슬기'와 제노, 태용 3인방은 이런 모습" [SM Rookies introduce new trio 'Super Junior Kyuhyun's girl' Seulgi, Jeno, Taeyong]. Chosun Entertainment (in Korean). December 3, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
- "SM루키즈, 쟈니·유타·텐 공개 '다국적 글로벌 루키'" [SM Rookies introduce international rookies Johnny, Yuta, Ten]. Tenasia (in Korean). December 24, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
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- J.Lim (December 31, 2018). "SM Entertainment Announces Debut Of New Chinese Group WayV + Opens Social Media Accounts". Soompi.
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