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When we think of BTS, we can’t think of them with any other members than RM, Jungkook, V, Jimin, Jin, J-Hope and Suga. But what if we said that BTS’ original members could’ve looked way different? Like most K-pop bands, there are members that make it in the group and members who don’t. And BTS is no exception.
The Bangtan Boys debuted in 2013 with the single, “No More Dream,” from their album, 2 Kool 4 Skool. Since then, BTS has become one of the most well-known bands in the world. They’ve sold more than 15 million albums world wide and are one of the fastest-growing music acts from South Korea. They’ve had number-one albums in both South Korea and the United States and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Still, BTS wasn’t always the BTS we know today. Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk started forming the band in 2010 with RM as the rapper and leader.
The lineup was finalized in 2012 with BTS’ other six members: Jungkook, V, Jimin, J-Hope, Jin and Suga. But there were many trainees in between who almost made it in BTS’ final lineup. Who are they and what happened to them? We answer those questions ahead.
According to SBS, i11evn, whose real name is Choi Ikje, was one of the original members of BTS along with J-Hope, Suga, RM and three other members. As a user explained on Amino Apps, BTS was supposed to debut as Bangtan (not the Bangtan Boys) at the time with these seven members, but as members left, the group reformed and Jin, V, Jungkook and Jimin (who was the last to join) and became the BTS we know tody. It’s unclearr why i11evn left, but the Amino Apps user cites that some of the original members were removed from the band because they weren’t the right age. Given that i11evn was born in 1987, almost a decade after some of the current members of BTS were born, it’s likely that the band didn’t gel with so many different ages. Before BTS, i11evn was a member of the DNH Crew (with RM and other original BTS members). He was most recently an underground rapper with FactoryBoi.
Iron, whose real name is Jung Hunchul, was also a DNH member, alongside i11evn and RM. The Amino Apps user reports that he was also one of the original members of BTS but left before the band debuted. According to SBS, Iron competed on season 3 of Show Me the Money, where he finished second. After the show, he was supposed to be in a rap duo with RM, but it work out, according to SBS. It’s unclear why he left the lineup before BTS debuted, but the Amino Apps user claims that some members quit BTS because they didn’t vibe with the music style anymore. Most recently, Iron was set to debut with the band Hive, which is a part of Polaris Entertainment.
Kidoh, whose real name is Jin Hyosang, first debuted with Stardom Entertainment, which is how he received his stage name, according to Amino Apps. The site also reports that he was a former member of a group called Topp Dogg and was a close friend of Jin and RM. According to SBS, Kidoh trained for a year with BTS and was close to debut with the band but left for Topp Dogg, which he quit in 2015.
Supreme Boi, whose real name is Shin Donghyuk, was also a member of DNH. SBS reports that he was one of BTS’ original members but left before the band debuted. The site reports that he’s a producer for Big Hit Entertainment (BTS’ management company) and has worked with the band on several of their songs. He was also featured on their song “Cypher PT. 3.”
According to SBS, Suwoong, a member of Boy Republic, trained to be a member of BTS but left after a year and a half in the process to join Boy Republic, a five-member boy band signed to Universal Music. The band announced its indefinite hiatus in 2018.
Before he was a member of Xeno-T (a.k.a. Topp Dogg) and JBJ, A-Tom was a trainee for BTS, according to SBS. He left the band to join Xeno-T before BTS’ debut. After some time with Topp Dogg, A-Tom then went to JBJ, which disbanded 2018.
According to SBS, the rapper Reddy auditioned to be a member of BTS but never made it to the final cut. He has since appeared on the music shows Show Me the Money and Tribe of Hip Hop.
SBS also reports that the rapper Basick was offered a spot in BTS but turned it down. A user on Amino Apps also claims that BTS was supposed to have nine to 10 members but debuted with only seven, which means that Basick could’ve been one of the few members that was supposed to debut with the Bangtan Boys.
According to BS, the K-pop rapper Loco also auditioned for BTS but was cut early in the process. He won the first season of Show Me the Money in 2012.
Like Basick, rapper Beenzino was also offered a spot in BTS, according to SBS, but ultimately turned the offer down. The rapper, who could’ve been one of the band’s nine to 10 members, is currently signed to Illonaire Records.