From group member to solo artist, Wonho makes a comeback with his new single Open Mind. Wonho was part of a popular Kpop group named Monsta X. As a 7 member band, Monsta X reached global popularity when controversy started to surround Wonho. Generally viewed as a well mannered and kind man, rumors about his past started to taint his image. In late October 2019, Wonho announced his separation from the group.
So where did this all start?
Before Wonho was a Kpop idol, he struggled to find his way in his teenage years. In an interview with Dispatch, Wonho painted a clearer picture about his past. Growing up, he lived in poverty and a broken home. He was bullied in school for being poor and found comfort in a group of students from school. Students who happened to be part of a bad crowd. During this time, he was caught stealing and ending up on probation because of it. Wonho states, “I don’t want to blame them. Because it was my choice. It may sound like an excuse, but I was immature. It was my fault. I was in the wrong. I’m sorry.” He took probation seriously and used that time to reflect on what path he wanted for his life.
He met a girl named Jung Da Eun in high school, who would later be the cause of his separation from Monsta X. During that time Wonho and Jung Da Eun became close friends. In an interview he states that she supported him in pursuing his dreams.
In the middle of October, rumors were spread that Wonho and Jung Da Eun were spotted smoking weed. In the Dispatch interview, Wonho stated that it was all a misunderstanding and was even investigated by Seoul police. In March this year, Wonho was cleared of all charges and accusations about drug use.
Jung Da Eun, who was also responsible for Kpop Idol B.I.’s departure from IKON, posted on social media implying Wonho owed her a large sum of money and stole items from her. A string of text messages were posted between her and Wonhos lawyer, furthering the misunderstanding. The attempt to destroy Wonho’s character worked. Many fans questioned their support for Wonho. The controversy took place simultaneously with Monsta X’s comeback. Wonho left the group to avoid more damage and to protect the name of the group and other members. By the end of October, Wonho was no longer part of any Monsta X promotions or shows.
After leaving the group, Wonho took an 11 month hiatus. Fans haven’t heard any news about him since he was cleared of the drug charges in March.
In August, Wonho announced he would be continuing to pursue music as a solo artist. He has come back with a new sound and has dropped a mini album. In an interview with J14, Wonho talked about the differences of being a solo artist versus in a group stating, “I am also excited to learn and experience new things as a solo artist.” He dropped his debut song titled Losing you. The most popular song from the album is titled Open Mind.
Open Mind has gained a significant amount of support and reached number four on Billboard’s ‘World Digital Single Sales Chart’. Wonho’s abs trended on TikTok and fueled more fans in his direction. The newly rebranded and confident Wonho has left fans fulfilled and pleasantly surprised with his new music.