Concept: Whatever they want, they go for a more classic soft dancey tone (no “electric”)
Debut: October 16th, 2009
Debut Song(s): Bad Girl
Status: Active kind of….
Agency: First Cube Entertainment but now Around Us Entertainment
Fandom Name: Beauty and the Beast
Role: Leader, Lead Dancer, VIP, Vocalist
Role: Main Rapper
Left in March 2019
Role: Main Vocalist
Role: Main Dancer, Visual, Lead Vocalist
Role: Lead Vocalist, Youngest Member
Role: Lead Vocalist
Left in 2016
Highlight Beast is perhaps the epitome of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” as when the group debuted, the main attention they got was for the fact that most of the group contained members that have failed to succeed at other agencies. Lee Gikwang had originally debuted as solo singer AJ with “Dancing Shoes” (it flopped). Leader Yoon Doo Joon was originally a JYP trainee and actually participated in the reality show “Hot-Blooded Men”, which picked the members for the debut of 2PM and 2AM (he didn’t make either group). Yong Junhyung was a part of the failed boy group Xing. Jang Hyunseng was supposed to debut with Big Bang (and actually participated in their reality training show), but Papa YG decided he wasn’t ready yet. Son Dongwoon was a former JYP trainee (for 2 years) and Yang Yoseob was a former JYP AND YG trainee. Dubbed “a group of recycled materials” at the time by the media, Beast proved to be far more than just recycled materials, rising to be one of the top boy groups of 2nd gen Kpop.
In October 2009, Beast debuted with the single, “Bad Girl”. Their debut mini-album, “Beast is the B2ST”, contained five songs, including the intro track “Beast is the B2ST”. In December of the same year, Beast won their first award, Rookie of the Month, awarded by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
However, it was until their second mini-album, “Shock of the New Era”, released in March 2010 with the lead single “Shock”, that Beast started seeing their popularity skyrocketing. “Shock” won Beast their first music show win on M! Countdown as well as recording Beast their first all-kills. The album quickly sold 20,000 copies in Korea and was certified Gold in Singapore.
In August 2010, Beast received the Golden Disk Award from Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand at the 2010 Summer CUBE Stars Party in Seoul and won the honors of becoming the first Korean artists (along with labelmate 4Minute) to be invited to perform on the Singapore Youth Olympics pre-opening stage. The group was awarded with the Cool Star Award at the 2010 Mnet 20’s Choice Awards. Their award stage was a memorable one, as American R&B musician Omarion made a surprise appearance as a guest onstage with the group. Omarion had requested to perform a special stage with Beast after seeing a YouTube clip of the group delivering a dance performance of his single “Ice Box”.
Beast now turned to showing their vocal ranges as ballad singers with the release of several ballads composed by member Yong Junhyung on their next several albums. On September 17, 2010, Beast released the song “Clenching my Fist Tight” (주먹을 꽉 쥐고) as a single from their third mini-album, “Mastermind”, released on September 28, 2010. The song gained attention from the public for the excellent vocal ability they displayed. With this album, Beast also claimed their first Music Bank win with the song “Breath” (숨) from Mastermind. On October 23, 2010, Beast was chosen as one of the recipient of the Asia Influential Artist Award at the Asia Song Festival, given to those who had gained the most attention in Asia for the year.
On November 3, 2010, Beast opened up the preorder sales for their fourth mini-album, “Lights Go On Again”. By November 8, 2010, a day before the official album release, the five tracks on the album had swept the top five spots on the Mnet Music Chart, with the lead track, “Beautiful” debuting at first place. Their sales figure also ranked first on the Hanteo album sales chart. The music video for “Beautiful”, released on November 15, 2010, also marked the first part of the relay music drama (#tb to catching a glimpse of predebut Apink in the video, as well as Kikwang and Junhyung fighting over Naeun with a dance battle). Note: the second part of the music drama, which is the music video to another track on the same album, “I Like You The Best”, was never officially released, but was instead eventually leaked.
On November 24, 2010, Beast officially entered the Japanese market with the release of their first Japanese album, “Beast – Japan Premium Edition”, which debuted at number 13 on the Oricon weekly album charts. On November 27, 2010, Beast held their first Japanese showcase, “The Legend of Beast, Vol. 1”, at the Tokyo Big Site in Ohdaiba, Tokyo. At the showcase the group performed 9 of thei hit tracks, including “Bad Girl,” “Shock,” and “Breath” and also announced plans to officially debut in Japan in February 2011.
On December 9, 2010, Beast was awarded with the “Yepp Newcomer Award” at the 25th Golden Disk Awards. According to the Hanteo Chart on December 11, 2010, Beast sold 107,006 copies from January – October 2010 with their four mini-albums. This made Beast the only rookie Kpop group in 2010 to sell over 100K physical albums. Beast held their first solo concert, “Welcome to the Beast Airline” on December 12, 2010 at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul.
Beast next showcased their composing talents as they announced on December 23 plans for the release of self-composed duets by the members of the group. The tracks released were “Thanks To”, a hiphop track from Yoseob and Junhyung, “Let It Snow”, a R&B track by Hyunseung and Kikwang, and “When the Door Closes” (문이 닫히면), a ballad track by Doojoon and Dongwoon. The songs were released on December 21, 2010 as the digital mini album “My Story”. Beast kickstarted 2011 after their monster 2010 by being awarded the Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards on January 20, 2011. They were was also ranked number 40 on Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list released on February 24, 2011. Their first Japanese single, “Shock”, was released on March 16, 2011, and debuted at number two on Oricon’s weekly chart. However, due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, all scheduled Japanese promotions for this single were cancelled. Beast released their first full length Korean album on May 17, 2011, “Fiction and Fact”, which contained their arguably most iconic song, “Fiction”. As perhaps a mark of their popularity, their music video starred Park Bo-Young as the female lead. This song would go on to give Beast their only ever award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) (for Best Dance Performance – Male Group in 2011). It was also nominated for Song of the Year at the same 2011 MAMA awards show. “Fiction and Fact” also net Beast a Disk Bonsang at the 2012 Golden Disc Awards and was the main factor for Beast being awarded the Artist of the Year Award at the 2011 Melon Music Awards.
To begin 2012, Beast went on an international tour, “Beautiful Show”, which visited 17 cities in 12 different countries from Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. On July 21, 2012, Beast released their fifth mini-album “Midnight Sun”. On August 16, Beast achieved a triple crown on M! Countdown for “Beautiful Night” with their third win for the song. “Beautiful Night” was also their last nomination for Song of the Year at MAMA. To end their year, “Midnight Sun” won the Disk Album Award at the 2012 Golden Disc Awards.
On July 19, 2013, Beast released their second Korean studio album, “Hard to Love, How to Love”, entirely produced by member Yong Junhyung, with the lead single “Shadow”. The album peaked at number 1 on the Gaon physical sales chart, becoming Beast’s first album to do so. The digital single, “Will You Be Okay?”, contained in the album but released before the album (on May 29, 2013) peaked at number 1 on the Gaon Digital Charts.
Beast’s popularity now begins to wane somewhat. On June 16, 2014, Beast released their sixth mini album “Good Luck”. On October 5, 2014, Beast released their seventh mini-album, “Time”. Though both albums still peaked at number one on the Gaon Physical Sales chart, they weren’t as popular as when Beast was at their peak popularity. Beast continued with their eighth mini album, “Ordinary”, released on July 27, 2015.
On April 19, 2016, Cube Entertainment released a statement confirming Hyunseung’s departure from the group because of creative differences between the members. The band announced they would continue as a five-member group.
On July 3, 2016, Beast released their third studio album, “Highlight”, their first comeback as a group of five, with the pre-release track, Butterfly, released on June 26, and Ribbon as the title tracks.
On December 15, 2016, Beast officially announced the launch of their own new label Around Us Entertainment, leaving their label of seven years, Cube Entertainment. However, as the Beast name is trademarked by Cube, Beast was unable to promote under the name legally. Thus, on February 24, 2017, Around Us Entertainment announced that the members would continue as a group together, now under the name of “Highlight”. On March 2, 2017, Highlight announced that they would officially (re)debut on March 20, 2017 with the mini-album Can You Feel It? On April 9, 2017, the group announced that they would be holding their first concert tour as Highlight and release a repackaged album, “Calling You”, on May 29. On October 16, Highlight released their second EP (their 10th overall as Beast/Highlight), “Celebrate”, in the celebration of their eighth anniversary.
On November 20, 2018, Highlight released their third EP, “Outro”, and promoted with 4 members as leader Doojoon had enlisted in military service earlier in the year. In January 2019, Yoseob would followed Doojoon in enlisting. On March 13, 2019, Junhyung announced his departure from Highlight after being involved with the now-infamous Burning Sun scandal, in which he admitted to watching illegal sex videos filmed and sent to him by singer Jung Joon-young and talking disparagingly towards women.
– On Rainy Days: