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SM Rookies (Korean: 에스엠루키즈, stylized as SMROOKIES) is 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 in December 3, 2013, featuring members Seulgi, Jeno and Taeyong. On December 10 Irene, Jaehyun and Lami were introduced. On December 17, the members Mark, Hansol, and Jisung were introduced, followed by Johnny, Ten, and Yuta on the 24th.
Wendy was introduced in March 14, 2014 with the song "Because Of You" for the soundtrack of the series Mimi. 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. Donghyuck was later introduced on July 17, 2014. In July 2014, a dance performance video of Irene and Seulgi dancing to the song "Be Natural" by S.E.S. was released under the name SR14G. Later that month, the agency confirmed Irene, Wendy and Seulgi as members of the group Red Velvet. In August, a video of Johnny, Taeyong and Hansol dancing to the song "Super Moon" under the name of SR14B was released. In that same month, trainee Yeri was featured in the third video of the "Rookie Station" alongside Taeyong, Jaehyun, Mark, Donghyuck, Jeno, and Yuta.
In January 16, 2015, Doyoung was introduced as he was to become a new MC on MBC Music Champion with Jaehyun. 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. After months of being featured in various SM Rookies events, Jaemin was formally introduced in April 2015. In July 9, 2015, Koeun, Hina and Herin were introduced. On October 13, 2015, Taeil was introduced, and on December 18, 2015, Kun was introduced.
In 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. 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. In September, 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.
In April 2017, Lucas and Jungwoo were introduced to the public. 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-present: New NCT members and WayVEdit
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 19.
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.
|Stage Name||Country||Date introduced||Associated act|
|Lami (라미)||South Korea||December 10, 2013||SR19G|
|Koeun (고은)||July 9, 2015|
|Ningning (닝닝)||China||September 19, 2016|
|Stage Name||Country/Region||Date Introduced||Debut date||Debut group|
|Irene (아이린)||South Korea||December 10, 2013||August 1, 2014||Red Velvet|
|Seulgi (슬기)||South Korea||December 3, 2013|
|Wendy (웬디)||South Korea||April 19, 2014|
|Yeri (예리)||South Korea||March 11, 2015[note 1]||March 19, 2015|
|Taeil (태일)||South Korea||October 13, 2015[note 2]||April 9, 2016||NCT|
|Taeyong (태용)||South Korea||December 3, 2013|
|Doyoung (도영)||South Korea||January 16, 2015|
|Ten (텐)||Thailand||December 24, 2013|
|Jaehyun (재현)||South Korea||December 10, 2013|
|Mark (마크)||Canada||December 17, 2013|
|Yuta (유타)||Japan||December 24, 2013||July 7, 2016|
|Winwin (윈윈)||China||January 5, 2016|
|Haechan (해찬)||South Korea||July 17, 2014[note 3]|
|Jeno (제노)||South Korea||December 3, 2013||August 25, 2016|
|Jaemin (재민)||South Korea||April 22, 2015 [note 4]|
|Jisung (지성)||South Korea||December 17, 2013|
|Johnny (쟈니)||United States||December 24, 2013||January 5, 2017|
|Kun (쿤)||China||December 18, 2015[note 5]||March 14, 2018|
|Jungwoo (정우)||South Korea||April 18, 2017||February 22, 2018|
|Lucas (루카스)||Hong Kong||April 6, 2017|
|Xiaojun (샤오쥔)||China||July 17, 2018||January 17, 2019||WayV[note 6]|
|Stage Name||Country||Date introduced||Notes|
|Herin (헤린)||United Kingdom||July 9, 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)||South Korea||December 17, 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)||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.|
|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 (Korean version), Yiyang (Chinese version), Ningning|
|"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.
- SM Entertainment has stated that WayV is an independent subunit of NCT based in China, therefore the subunit, specifically the members Xiaojun, Hendery, and Yangyang, will join NCT in its future activities.
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