U-KISS is one of the most versatile acts in the k-pop scene. Renowned for their authentic live performances, the band has dropped several hit singles that transverse the hip-hop, ballad, EDM, and R&B genres. The group has also endeared themselves to international fans by singing in different languages. Even though U-KISS has witnessed several line-up changes, they still remain a force to be reckoned with. Find out more about the group here including the reasons behind the departure of some members.
Current Members of U-KISS
U-KISS is presently made up of three members namely: Soohyun, Hoon, and Jun.
Stage Name – Soohyun
Real Name – Shin Soo Hyun
Soohyun is the stable rock of U-KISS. He debuted with the group in 2008 and has remained with them ever since then. It is therefore not surprising that he is the official group leader. Soohyun is primarily a vocalist and was born on the 11th of March 1989. He hails from a family of five and has two sisters, namely Eun Hye and Dahye. Soohyun has released several solo tracks, including Snowman and I’ll Be There. He has also performed some solo concerts. The vocalist likes eating veggies and healthy foods. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall.
Stage Name – Hoon
Real Name – Yeo Hoon Min
Hoon is the lead vocalist of U-KISS. He was born on the 16th of August 1991. He hails from a family of four and has an elder brother. Hoon started out as a soloist and dropped several singles including Bus and Beginning. He later joined U-KISS in 2011. Asides music, Hoon is a consummate actor and has appeared in several movies and TV series. They include Athena: Goddess of War, Holy Land, Pretty Man, Mr. Idol, and Sweet Home, Sweet Honey. Hoon is quite skilled at both taekwondo and the piano. He is 5 feet 11.26 inches tall.
Stage Name – Jun
Real Name – Lee Jun Young
Jun is the rapper and vocalist of the group. He was born on the 22nd of January 1997. He joined U-KISS in 2014 and has proved to be pivotal to the band’s success. Aside from music, Jun is also an actor and has featured in several TV dramas. His hobbies include bowling and playing video games. He is 6 feet 1 inch tall.
Origin of The Group
U-KISS was formed by NH Media in 2008. The original line-up consisted of six members and they dropped their debut single, Not Young, in August 2008. They quickly followed it up with their first mini-album (New Generation), as well as live performances, which spread their fame throughout Japan and Korea.
Since then, U-KISS has dropped several Korean and Japanese language EPs, singles, and full-length albums. They have also embarked on sold-out concerts in places such as Malaysia, Paris, Philippines, Colombia, United States, Mexico, and Kazakhstan. Additionally, U-KISS members have also carried out several charitable activities including assisting victims of the 2011 Japan earthquake.
Why Did Some U-KISS Members Leave?
U-KISS has witnessed several line-up changes since its formation in 2008. Overall, the band has had a total of 10 members joining the group at various times. They include Soohyun (2010 – till date), Hoon (2011 till date), Jun (2014 till date), Kiseop (2010 – 2019), Eli (2009 – 2019), Kevin (2009 – 2017), AJ (2011 – 2014), Dongho (2009 – 2014), Kim Kibum (2009 – 2011), and Alexander (2009 – 2011).
The various U-KISS members that left did so for personal and professional reasons. The first U-KISS members to leave were Alexander and Kibum who left in February 2011. The official reason was that the former was leaving for further studies while the latter wanted to embark on a venture with his brother. Some fans, however, speculated that the label terminated the duo’s contract due to the fact that they lacked talent. Next to depart the group was Dongho, in October 2013. The rapper/vocalist/ dancer left due to undisclosed personal and health challenges.
Another U-KISS member that left for further studies was rapper/vocalist, AJ. He gained admission to Columbia University in 2011 and embarked on a hiatus. He however never came back and his contract ran out in August 2016. Some U-KISS members also left the group after the expiration of their contracts. They are Kevin (who left in March 2017), and Eli and Kiseop (both of whom left in May 2019).
It is important to note that there was little or no animosity in the departure of these U-KISS members. As such, they maintain warm relations with the band as well as their former label. For instance, during the 10th anniversary of U-KISS in August 2018, several of the former members took to Instagram to celebrate the band. In a lengthy post, Alexander thanked fans and the band for not giving up on him. He described his time with the band as amazing and wished them well in their future endeavors.