The Korea Herald


Winner‘s debut album sweeps music charts

By 옥현주

Published : Aug. 12, 2014 - 15:04

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K-pop rookie group Winner’s debut album is dominating local music charts shortly after its release on Tuesday.

The long-awaited boy band from YG Entertainment dropped its debut EP “2014 S/S” at midnight on Aug. 12.

One of the album’s two lead tracks “Empty” instantly debuted at the top of nine Korean music charts such as Mnet, Genie, Olleh Music and Naver Music.

The other songs, including the second title track “Color Ring,” also ranked high.

(YG Entertainment) (YG Entertainment)

Though Winner is not completely new to the entertainment scene, the rookie group’s debut at No. 1 on the local charts is viewed as unprecedented.

Winner, YG’s first boy-band in nine years since the debut of Big Bang, was first introduced through the reality survival show “Who Is Next: WIN,” YG CEO Yang Hyun-suk’s pet project to pick members for his newest boy band.

During the program, Team A and Team B, all composed of trainees under the label, vied for a chance to debut in the winner-takes-all competition. The victory went to Team A, which is now the group Winner.

Winner also has two contestants from hit TV audition programs. Kang Seung-yoon and Lee Seung-hoon shot to stardom while taking part in Superstar K2 and K-pop Star Season 1, respectively, before their debuts.

But media coverage is not the only reason Winner has attracted the spotlight. At the heart of the frenzy Winner has created is their dazzling musicality. The group’s five members -- Kang, Lee, Song Min-ho, Nam Tae-hyun and Kim Jin-woo -- all participated in writing, composing and producing the songs on their album.

Winner is set to launch their official debut with an onstage performance at the “AIA Real Life: Now Festival 2014,” to be held on Aug. 15. The group’s labelmates including Big Bang, Psy and 2NE1 will take the stage alongside the new group.