The Untold Truth Of Seventeen

Korean pop boy band Seventeen first burst onto the scene in May 2015 with the debut of their inaugural album, "17 Carat," per Grit Daily. Since then the 13-member band (comprised of members S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon, and Dino) quickly climbed the ranks and solidified their presence on the Korean pop scene. Since then the group has gone on to release an astonishing seven extended play records and three full albums. Not too shabby, right?!

Managed by Pledis Entertainment, the famous K-pop band also planned to embark on a world tour in March of 2020 with dates in Malaysia, Taiwan, France, Spain, and Germany. Of course, you can probably guess what happened to those plans. "Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, we have decided to cancel Seventeen's February and March world tour in consideration of the health and safety of both artists and fans," the band issued in a statement, per The Jakarta Post.

But besides being on a quest to dominate the Korean pop music genre, what else is there to know about the up and coming band? Keep reading after the jump to find out!

Seventeen's name takes on a very special meaning

Some might be confused when they learn that boy band Seventeen is actually only comprised of 13 members, but trust — there is a method to the naming madness. 

As reported by Seventeen magazine (no relation), the reason behind the band's name is simple. The group has 13 members and three sub-units, but together they all make up one band. So let's do the math, shall we? 13 + 3 + 1 = 17. Get it? Pretty cool, no?! But wait — there's even more to it than that. 17 also happens to be the average age of all of the members when the band was first formed. Talk about hidden meanings!!!

As far as the sub-units go, the band is divided up into three areas including hip hop, vocal, and performance/dance and within each of those areas is one assigned leader. S.Coups takes on the position of overall leader of the entire group along with the hip hop unit, Woozi leads the vocal unit, and Hoshi is in charge of the performance/dance unit. Clearly, these members have developed a system that works!

Seventeen's Wonwoo landed in hot water after a television appearance

Unfortunately for the group, Seventeen has not been without its fair share of controversy. 

As reported by Time, in July 2020 band member Wonwoo landed himself in some piping hot water after he performed an excerpt from the song "Curry" by South Korean duo Norazo on an episode of "Going Seventeen." Afterward, he and the group were immediately met with backlash and criticism for perpetuating stereotypes regarding South Asian culture. 

One Carat — the name by which all Seventeen fans go by — took to Twitter to air their grievances regarding Wonwoo's actions. "desi carat speaking up here! no one will see this but in case you do, here's a small two cents. what ww did was wrong," the Seventeen stan penned. "that's something no one can deny and if you try to you're undermining our voice as fans and as humans. an apology is expected, the song has harmful stereotypes." It's reported, however, that Pledis Entertainment refused to make a public statement regarding the debacle.

Not all of Seventeen's members are Korean

One tidbit of information the masses might not be aware of: popular K-pop boy band Seventeen is not actually comprised solely of Korean band members. In fact, two members are Chinese, while two other members are American.

Two members of the performance sub-unit are from China but it's a bit unclear which city in China Wen Junhui a.k.a. Jun hails from. Seventeen magazine reports that he's from Shenzhen, while Time reports he was born in Guangdong. It is reported by Seventeen, however, that The8 (born Xu Minghao) hails from Liaoning, China. Meanwhile, Vernon, a member of the hip-hop sub-unit is from The Big Apple. Joshua, a member of the vocal sub-unit is a native of Los Angeles, a.k.a. The City of Angels, but moved to Korea during his teenage years in an effort to jumpstart his career. The remaining nine members, however, are all from South Korea. 

Seventeen member Vernon has a celebrity doppelgänger

Anyone up for a game of "name that celebrity look-alike"? One of Seventeen's members has a celebrity doppelgänger. Enter: Vernon — guilty as charged.

As reported by Soompi, Vernon has often been compared to A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio especially during his younger years. In fact, the resemblance is so strong that some of the band members even started referring to him as "VerCaprio." Clever, eh?

After displaying baby and childhood photos of Vernon during an episode of "Happy Together," Vernon discussed the eerie resemblance to the prominent celeb and how it made him feel a bit uneasy and uncomfortable. "If you say I resemble him, it feels good but I feel embarrassed," he sheepishly confessed. "When I was younger I found people's interest in me burdensome," he added before explaining that being mixed race gave him some anxiety during his youth.

Seventeen's band members are responsible for writing a lot of their songs

Contrary to public thought, the band members of Seventeen are responsible for writing many of the group's songs — a decision that's helped them forge a strong connection with their Carats.

As reported by MTV, band member Woozi is responsible for much of Seventeen's music. "The satisfaction you get is different," Woozi told MTV during a 2019 interview. "These are the stories we want to tell, and we're making it ourselves, rather than just putting on something made for us. It feels more profound," he explained about the pride he feels about creating the music. 

And it appears that he also agrees that writing their own songs has helped create a stronger bond with their fan base. "Regardless of what is going on, our music is what we sing and what we show our audience," he divulged to Refinery29. "So I believe the music has to be sincere, and reveal our genuine nature. So every album of ours holds the messages and stories that we want to tell the most. And I think that is why Carats like our music."

Here's to hoping that Woozi and the gang continue to churn out even more of the K-pop hits the Carats have learned to know and love!