NCT is one of the most unique boy bands in K-pop, with 20 members and five sub-groups under its umbrella.
The NCT franchise debuted in K-pop in April 2016 under SM Entertainment, starting with the EP "The 7th Sense / Without You" by NCT U, a five-member subunit with members Taeil, Taeyong, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun and Mark.
How many members are in NCT at the moment?
NCT currently has 20 total members as of August 2023, with more members likely to be added by the end of 2023 when NCT debuts its final sub-group later in 2023.
NCT was known for having 23 total members until the first half of 2023, but three members, Shotaro, Sungchan and Lucas have left the boy band.
Shotaro and Sungchan, who debuted as members of NCT and NCT U in 2020 and were not part of any other NCT sub-groups, left the boy band in May. The two members are set to debut as RIIZE, SM Entertainment’s new boy band set to debut in September.
Lucas, who has been taking a temporary hiatus from group activities since Aug. 2021 due to controversies regarding his personal life, left NCT and WayV on May 10, 2023.
What happened to NCT’s “infinite expansion”?
NCT debuted with the theme of “infinite expansion” and “limitless,” meaning that the system can flexibly introduce new sub-groups, add new members and “graduate” members from each sub-groups.
However, SM Entertainment officially announced in February 2023 that the infinite expansion system will be discarded from henceforth, which came as a part of the agency's "SM 3.0" plan to overthrow its old habits and restructure in a number of different ways.
The agency will conclude NCT’s limitless expansion with NCT NEW GROUP, its final sub-group set to release later in 2023. NCT DOJAEJUNG, its first fixed-member subunit featuring Doyoung, Jaehyun and Jungwoo also debuted with its first EP in April 2023.
“NCT’s new group is the last chapter of NCT’s limitless expansion, and we aim to create a team that is distinct yet fits NCT’s region-based identity,” Jang Cheol-hyuk, CEO of SM Entertainment announced through a YouTube video introducing the company’s future plans in May 2023.
The new NCT sub-group will shift its focus to Japan as the last sub-unit of NCT with more Japanese members than other existing bands within SM Entertainment. “NCT Universe: LASTART,” the agency’s first-ever in-house show detailing the sub-group is currently airing on streaming services and channels around the world
NCT stands for both Neo Culture Technology and New Culture Technology. The former is the slogan meaning that NCT is an ever-expanding group that exists in all cities around the world. At first, NCT 127 and other units to follow were set to be linked to specific cities. For example, the 127 in NCT 127 is the longitude of Seoul. The latter, New Culture Technology, is the slogan that SM Entertainment has been pushing in recent years to fuse the latest technological advancements with K-pop, such as the DearU fan community app and online concerts. (2022.09.09)
What are the subunits of NCT?
The NCT system currently consists of 20 members and five subunits: NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream, WayV and the upcoming subunit with members Doyoung, Jaehyun and Jungwoo.
NCT 127, NCT Dream and WayV each have a fixed lineup of members, while NCT U — "U" stands for "united" — can be a temporary combination of any members for a certain song.
NCT 127 debuted in July 2016 and consists of ten members: Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Winwin, Jungwoo, Mark and Haechan. However, Winwin has not been active as part of NCT 127 since he became a member of WayV in 2019. Mark and Haechan are also part of NCT Dream.
NCT Dream debuted in August 2016. It originally formed as a subunit of NCT's teenage members only but now has a fixed lineup of seven members: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Chenle, Jaemin and Jisung.
WayV, a Chinese subunit that debuted in January 2019, was officially announced as a Chinese subunit of NCT in September 2020. It has seven members: Kun, Ten, WinWin, XiaoJun, Hendery and YangYang.