ZE:A (Hangul: 제국의 아이들), also known as Children of Empire, is a South Korean boy group formed by Star Empire Entertainment in 2010. The group is composed of nine members: Kevin, Kwanghee, Hyungsik, Siwan, Lee Hoo, Taeheon, Heechul, Minwoo and Dongjun. The group released their debut single album Nativity with lead single "Mazeltov" on January 7, 2010, alongside their showcase performance five days later. The group debuted on KBS's Music Bank on January 15, 2010.
|Also known as||Children of Empire|
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
|Years active||2010–2015 (hiatus)|
Under the name Child of Empire, following their appearance on Mnet's Office Reality, the group gained attention by performing various guerilla shows and creating UCC (user created content) videos. They have also appeared in a documentary-styled show Star Empire, and later getting their own documentary show titled Empire Kids Returns, showing them performing in wingcar performances around Seoul and training. The group faced controversy in December following the similarities of the group's name to Brown Eyed Girls' JeA. The group later changed the pronunciation of the name to avoid implications.
2010: Debut, Nativity, Leap for Detonation, Level Up, concert tour and Japanese debutEdit
They subsequently released their second single album Leap for Detonation on March 25, 2010. The title track, "All Day Long" was produced by Brave Brothers. The group released both a music video and a short music drama for the song, featuring member Kim Dong Jun as the lead actor, as well as labelmate Park Min Ha from Nine Muses. The group's third single Level Up was digitally released on July 8, 2010. In June, their official fanclub name was announced to be ZE:A's (or ZE:A STYLE).
On September 22, 2010, they debuted in Japan by releasing their Japanese debut single ZE:A!(ゼア!). The single placed third on the Oricon daily chart. On December 21, 2010, ZE:A released their Japanese single album, Love Letter/My Only Wish. It placed second on Oricon daily chart.
2011: Lovability, Exciting!, Watch Out and Heart For 2Edit
The group released their first full-length album, Lovability, on March 17, 2011 with "Here I Am" set as the lead single.
Promotions for Lovability were cut short due to "Be My Girl", a song off Loveability, was deemed unsuitable for minors. On March 16, a representative from Star Empire announced that the group will be donating a portion of their tour profits from the first half of 2011 to aid in the relief of the Japanese earthquake and tsnuami.
At the end of June, Star Empire announced that the group will be releasing a summer single. While filming the jacket album for Exciting!, member Hyung Sik fell off the yacht with member Dong Jun. Hyung Sik was saved by Dong Jun and the group's manager, while suffering a minor ankle injury.
On July 8, 2011, ZE:A's third single album Exicting! with lead single "Watch Out" was released and the group made their comeback on KBS's Music Bank the same day. On July 8, for the first time, the group took the number one spot on Hanteo's real-time album sales chart. On July 29, another single "Heart For 2" was released. After two weeks of promoting "Watch Out!", the group started their follow-up promotion with "Heart For 2".
Early October, Star Empire announced that a new Japanese single will be released on November 22. The single contained 4 tracks, including a ballad song titled Daily Daily, a Japanese version of "All Day Long" and instrumental versions of both songs. The single was placed 3rd on the Oricon Chart just a few hours after release.
2012: Delayed Comeback, Project unit debut, Spectacular, Phoenix and Beautiful LadyEdit
During the brief break various ZE:A members ventured into drama appearances and variety appearances. Notably, Im Siwan received national fame for his role in the MBC fictional historical drama The Moon That Embraces The Sun playing the teen version of the prince's scholar, Heo Yeom. The drama was broadcast from January 4 to March 15, 2012.
ZE:A's comeback album was set to release on June 21, 2012, but in May, ZE:A's agency, Star Empire Entertainment, announced that the group would postpone their comeback because of an injury to member Jun Young's right ankle.
It was then later announced that ZE:A's Ha Min Woo would be forming a unit group with two Japanese artists, Nikaido Hayato (singer of Alpha), and actor Sasake Yoshihide. The group is called 3Peace Lovers and their first single "Virtual Love" was released on June 26, 2012.
The group's second studio album, Spectacular, along with its title track "Aftermath" was released on July 4. The album contained 11 tracks. They had a showcase to promote the album, performing various songs.
On August 26, ZE:A's fourth single album Phoenix was released. Promoted as a special gift for ZE:A'S, Beautiful Lady was released on December 7, 2012. The MV was released the same day with various scenes featuring ZE:A's Park Hyungsik and 4Minute's Nam Ji-Hyun who were cast in the reality show The Romantic and Idol.
ZE:A's first mini album Illusion with lead single "Ghost of Wind" was released on August 8.
ZE:A having their full scale first concert in Korea - Illusionist on 23 November.
2014: First Homme, Junyoung's stage name adoption, Project Sub-UnitEdit
The group's second mini album First Homme with title track "Breathe", was released on June 2, 2014. The group made their comeback stage for promotion First Homme started on June 5 on M! Countdown. "Breathe" was simultaneously promoted for two weeks with another song off their mini album "St:Dagger". Both tracks were produced by Brave Brothers.
On August 22, 2014, ZE:A leader Junyoung announced during their ZE:A's Day fanmeet that he would officially begin promoting under ZE:A under the stage name Lee Hoo (이후). He cited negative feelings surrounding his name as a reason to change his name. He would be the second member to adopt a stage name.
On August 22, Star Empire Entertainment announced that a ZE:A and Nine Muses collaborative subgroup would be formed, titled Nasty Nasty. The group consisted of Nine Muses members Kyungri and Sojin, and ZE:A member Kevin. They debuted on September 3, 2014 with their title track Knock.
2015–17: ZE:A Best Album and hiatusEdit
The group's first compilation album, along with its title track "Continue", was released on September 18, 2015. It consists of a total of 28 tracks.
On February 9, 2017, it was falsely stated that ZE:A were likely to disband. However, it was later confirmed by the members themselves that this was not the case, and that for the time being they would focus on solo activities with some of the members joining different companies. On April 12, Star Empire gave an official statement confirming that ZE:A is not disbanding and will come back as a group again when the time comes.
- ZE:A FIVE (Siwan, Hyungsik, Kevin, Minwoo & Dongjun)
- ZE:A 4U (Kwanghee, Lee Hoo, Taeheon & Heechul)
- ZE:A J (Kevin, Taeheon, Heechul, Minwoo & Dongjun)
Mnet Asian Music AwardsEdit
|2010||"Mazeltov"||Best New Male Artist||Nominated|
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- "ZE:A Releases MV for "Beautiful Lady"". Soompi. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
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- "ZE:A Member Update: Finding Time To 'Breathe' During Their New Album Promotions". KpopStarz. 2014-06-08. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
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- [dead link]
- "ZE:A's Kevin, Nine Muses' Kyung Ree, and Rookie So Jin Bring in the Sexy with 'Nasty Nasty' Teaser". mwave.interest.me. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
- "Yahoo Celebrity Singapore". Yahoo. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
- "ZE:A's Minwoo to Enlist in Army on September 15". Soompi. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
- "ZE:A's Taehun Enlisting in the Military on December 7". Soompi. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
- "[Album] ZE:A - CONTINUE [BEST ALBUM 2010 - 2015] (2 CD) [2015.09.18]". ~JNK World~. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
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