Pledis Entertainment group Seventeen is a cornerstone of third-generation K-pop, alongside the likes of BTS and Twice. And when factoring in predebut activities, Seventeen has existed in some form since at least January 2013, when the reality series Seventeen TV documented the training journey of many trainees, some of whom would ultimately form the group we know today. So let’s take a look back at when exactly did S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon, and Dino debut as Seventeen.
Seventeen Debuted on May 26, 2015
Seventeen made their debut on May 26, 2015 with an hour-long televised showcase with MBC. This showcase was the culmination of a separate reality series conducted with MBC, Seventeen Project: Debut Big Plan. Three days later on May 29, 2015, the first Seventeen mini-album was released, 17 Carat, featuring lead single and MV “아낀다 (Adore U).” 17 Carat contained five songs all co-written and in some cases even choreographed by the group members. This established from the beginning that Seventeen is a “self-producing” group, with members heavily involved in all aspects of their music. Additionally, although Seventeen debuted as one group, it also exists as three subunits: the Hip Hop Team, Vocal Team, and Performance Team. Hence, the name of the group refers to 13 members, three subunits, and one group (13 + 3 + 1 = 17).
The five songs on 17 Carat were as follows: “Shining Diamond,” “아낀다 (Adore U),” “Ah Yeah,” “Jam Jam,” and “20.” “Shining Diamond” had been featured on Seventeen Project ahead of debut as a pre-release song, and Hoshi created choreography for both “Shining Diamond” and “Adore U.” Meanwhile, “Ah Yeah,” “Jam Jam,” and “20” were each subunit songs performed by the Hip Hop Team, Performance Team, and Vocal Team respectively. Billboard would go on to include 17 Carat on its list of the 10 best K-pop albums of 2015, ranking #9.
It is worth noting that some watch the “아낀다 (Adore U)” music video and cite its simplistic backdrops and filming as evidence that Pledis Entertainment was undergoing serious financial strain at the time. However, hard data regarding the financial state of Pledis from this period is not readily available, making it challenging to distinguish fact from fiction. That being said, Seventeen themselves have claimed that their CEO told them that they had “saved” the agency, which certainly suggests Pledis was in a difficult financial position back in 2015.
But to summarize, Seventeen made their debut on May 26, 2015 with an MBC music showcase, and their first mini-album, 17 Carat, released on May 29, 2015 with lead song “Adore U.” Their popularity would quickly snowball, making them one of the most enduring K-pop groups of their generation. Additionally, Pledis would become part of the HYBE umbrella in 2020, but any financial stress it might have faced in the past would have been alleviated long prior to that acquisition, due particularly to Seventeen’s success.
For more about Seventeen, check out how old the Seventeen members are or who the leader and subunit leaders of the group are.