SM Rookies (Korean: 에스엠루키즈, stylized as SMROOKIES) is a pre-debut training team created by South Korean entertainment agency SM Entertainment in 2013, composed of trainees who have yet to join an idol group. From 2013 to 2018, the team officially introduced 30 members, with 24 of them later debuting in the groups Red Velvet (4), NCT and its first four subunits (19), and Aespa (1). After having been informally discontinued by the end of 2018, SM Rookies was revived by SM Entertainment in July 2022 with the introduction of three new trainees.
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
|Past members||See debuted members and former members|
2013–2017: Formation and debuts of Red Velvet and NCTEdit
SM Entertainment formally announced the creation of SM Rookies on December 3, 2013, featuring members Seulgi, Jeno and Taeyong. On December 9, Irene, Jaehyun and Lami were introduced. On December 16, members Mark, Hansol, and Jisung were introduced, followed by Johnny, Ten and Yuta on December 23.
In January 2014, SM Rookies opened their official Twitter account. Wendy was introduced on March 13, 2014 with the song "Because Of You", recorded for the soundtrack of the SM C&C-produced series Mimi. On March 19, 2014, a video of Wendy singing "Speak Now" by Taylor Swift was released. In April, SM Entertainment launched the official website of SM Rookies project, which they announced with a video teaser uploaded onto their official YouTube channel, featuring Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Taeyong, Jaehyun, and Mark. Seulgi later featured on labelmate Henry's song "Butterfly". On July 17, a performance video of Irene and Seulgi dancing to the song "Be Natural" by S.E.S. was released, credited to SR14G. Member Donghyuck was later introduced on July 17, 2014. On July 21, Taeyong released a track video for the song “Open The Door”. On July 22, Mark and Donghyuck featured in the first video of the Rookie Station project. Later that month, the agency confirmed Irene, Seulgi, and Wendy as members of the group Red Velvet. On August 14, SM Rookies member Yeri featured in the third video of Rookie Station alongside Taeyong, Yuta, Jaehyun, Mark, Jeno and Donghyuck. On August 21, the fourth video of the Rookies Station series was released. On August 24, a video of Johnny, Taeyong and Hansol dancing to the song "Super Moon" was released, credited to SR14B. On September 16, the sixth video of the Rookie Station was released, featuring members Johnny, Yuta, Ten, and Jaehyun. On October 9, Taeyong featured in Red Velvet's single "Be Natural".
On January 16, 2015, member Doyoung was introduced as he and Jaehyun were to become the new MCs of MBC Music's Show Champion. On February 19, 2015, Johnny, Yuta, Ten, and Lami released their Lunar New Year greetings. In February, a report of Red Velvet filming a music video with trainee Yeri leaked online. The following month, SM Entertainment formally introduced Yeri as the fifth member of Red Velvet. On March 6, a clip of Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Ten, and Jaehyun (as SR15B) dancing to the song "Bassbot" was released. After months of being featured in various SM Rookies events, Jaemin was formally introduced in April. In June, Ten and Jaehyun competed in the Hope Basketball All-Star event. Later that month, SM Rookies featured in News 'Korean Pop Idols Rule Asia' featuring Mark giving a short talk. On July 9, 2015, members Koeun, Hina, and 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, SM Entertainment announced a concert for the team's male members, titled SM Rookies Show. On July 30, a video of Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Ten, and Jaehyun (as SR15B) performing a dance routine was released. On October 13, 2015, Taeil was introduced after being featured in multiple SM Rookies events. In November, female members of SM Rookies performed a dance in the video "Rookies Entertainment App Launching". On December 18, Kun was formally introduced. On December 22, Lami, Hina, and fellow trainee Park Jungyeon made appearances in video teasers for Winter Garden 2015.
On January 5, 2016, WinWin was introduced. On January 26, Taeil released the song "Because Of You" for the soundtrack of the series The Merchant: Gaekju 2015. SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man announced a concept for a new boy group, to be called NCT, in which different teams would debut based in different countries around the world. In April 2016, the agency announced Taeil, Taeyong, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun and Mark as members of NCT's first sub-unit, NCT U. In July, the agency also confirmed Yuta, WinWin and Donghyuck (now known by his stage name Haechan) as members of NCT's second sub-unit, NCT 127. In August, the agency confirmed Jeno, Jaemin and Jisung as members of NCT's third sub-unit, NCT Dream, alongside Mark and Haechan. On September 19, Yiyang and Ningning were introduced followed by their appearances on the online reality show My SMT. In December, the agency confirmed Johnny as a new member of NCT 127.
On April 5, 2017, Lucas was introduced, followed by Jungwoo on April 17. Jungwoo and Koeun made appearances in the music video of Super Junior member Yesung's single "Paper Umbrella" later that month. After almost a one-year absence, member Kun appeared with Lucas and Jungwoo for the opening SM Rookies' Instagram account. In late June, Herin was confirmed as a contestant of Mnet's survival show Idol School, leading to her departure from the team and SM Entertainment. Hansol followed in October, participating as a contestant in the KBS survival show The Unit.
2018: New NCT members, debut of WayV, and informal discontinuationEdit
In January 2018, NCT unveiled a "large scale project" for the year called NCT 2018, and some members of SM Rookies were seen in Ukraine filming a music video for a possible comeback. Members Jungwoo and Lucas were spotted alongside other NCT members in the airport en route to Ukraine. On January 30, SM Entertainment confirmed the debut of 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, three male Chinese trainees—Hendery, Xiaojun, and Yangyang—were introduced. On October 1, it was confirmed that Yiyang (이양) left SM Entertainment and returned to China to join the idol competition show The Next Top Bang. On December 31, SM Entertainment announced the debut of Hendery, Xiaojun and Yangyang as members of NCT's Chinese sub-unit, WayV. After the debut of WayV, the SM Rookies project was informally discontinued.
2020: Member departures and formation of AespaEdit
In February 2020, it was reported that Koeun and Lami had left SM Entertainment, which was later confirmed with the removal of their names from Korean portal sites on February 24. Hina was also confirmed to have left SM Entertainment on October 15, after opening her personal Instagram account.
On October 26, SM Entertainment announced the formation of their new girl group, Aespa. On October 29, the agency re-introduced Ningning as the third member of the group, which debuted on November 17.
2022: Relaunching and new membersEdit
On July 1, 2022, SM Entertainment relaunched SM Rookies by introducing three new male trainees: Eunseok, Shohei, and Seunghan.
|Stage Name||Country/Region||Date Introduced||Designation|
|Shohei (쇼헤이)||Japan||July 1, 2022||SR22B|
|Eunseok (은석)||South Korea|
|Seunghan (승한)||South Korea|
|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, 2015[note 1]||March 17, 2015|
|Taeil (태일)||South Korea||October 13, 2015[note 2]||April 9, 2016||NCT|
|Taeyong (태용)||South Korea||December 3, 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 25, 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]|
|Ningning (닝닝)||China||September 19, 2016||November 17, 2020||Aespa|
|Stage Name||Country||Date introduced||Notes|
|Herin (혜린)||United Kingdom||July 8, 2015||In July 2017, it was confirmed that Herin left SM Rookies and SM Entertainment after being introduced as a contestant of Mnet's survival show Idol School, which only lets individual trainees participate. Since the conclusion of the program, Herin has not been involved in any activities in the entertainment industry.|
|Hansol (한솔)||South Korea||December 16, 2013||On October 1, 2017, it was confirmed that Hansol left SM Entertainment and signed with J-FLO Entertainment. He then was introduced as a participant in the KBS survival show The Unit. After placing sixth, 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 Chinese social media site Weibo. On September 19, 2018, two years after she was introduced as an SM Rookies member, she posted on her Weibo account that she was "thankful for the people who waited for her" and that she was "looking forward to a new start." On October 1, 2018, she was confirmed to have returned to China, signed 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 to the final group lineup. She debuted as a solo artist with the single "Listen" in July 2020.|
|Lami (라미)||South Korea||December 9, 2013||In February 2020, Koeun and Lami were rumored to have left SM Entertainment, confirmed by the removal of their names from Korean web portals, as well as the opening of their personal Instagram accounts. It is currently unknown if the two members are still pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.|
|Koeun (고은)||South Korea||July 8, 2015|
|Hina (히나)||Japan / South Korea||In October 2020, it was confirmed that Hina left SM Entertainment after returning to Japan and opening a personal Instagram account.|
|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 trainees participating in the recording.
|"Be Natural"||Irene, Seulgi, Wendy||2014||Joy||Sung originally by S.E.S.; later released as a single and credited as 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 on the SM Town Live World Tour IV (2014–15) and 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 on the SM Town Live World Tour IV and Mickey Mouse Club.|
|"Hope"||Doyoung, Jaehyun, Johnny||2014||Chen (Exo)||Sung originally by H.O.T.; covered 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.; covered for Exo 90:2014|
|"Majimak Seungbu (The Last Game)"||Taeil||Sung originally by Kim Min-gyo; covered for Exo 90:2014|
|"Yeoreum An-eseo (In Summer)"||Koeun||2014||Seulgi (Red Velvet)||Sung originally by Deux; covered for Exo 90:2014|
|"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, Ningning (Chinese version)|
|"Checkmate"||Sung originally by Girls' Generation-TTS; covered for Shining Star.|
|"Into the New World"||Sung originally by Girls' Generation; covered for Shining Star.|
|"Ice Cream"||Sung originally by f(x); covered for Shining Star.|
|"Run & Run"||Song for Shining Star.|
|"Someday"||2018||Song for Shining Star.|
Names in italics indicate other trainees that participated in the event.
- SM Town Week (2013) (as opening act)
- 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
- SM Town Live 2022: SMCU Express (2022)
- Shohei, Eunseok, Seunghan
- 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 introduced Hendery, Xiaojun, and Yangyang as members of WayV, the agency stated that they would join NCT in their future activities as announced. On September 21, 2020, SM announced the three members' accession to NCT for the release of the group's second studio album, NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1.
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