. Tyana's Blog: H.O.T And JTL ~Korean Boy Band~

H.O.T And JTL ~Korean Boy Band~

H.O.T. (Hangul: 에쵸티) was a popular five-member South Korean boy band in the mid to late 1990s. Their name is an acronym, standing for "High-five Of Teenagers". They were formed by SM Entertainment in 1996 and disbanded in 2001.

H.O.T. was a group that enjoyed massive success in their career, allowing them to become major influences on the future of boy bands and the rest of the music scene in Korea, their popularity also led to the creation of female groups in Korea. The group was formed by Lee Soo Man, the head of SM Entertainment, in 1996. Kangta was the first to join the group when he and a friend were discovered singing and dancing at an amusement park. Moon Hee Jun auditioned and made it into the group, and he recommended that Jae Won be considered; he auditioned and made it as well. Jang Woo Hyuk joined after winning a dancing contest, and Tony An, originally discovered by Brothers Entertainment in the United States, moved to SM with his friend Andy Lee, who later pulled out and joined the group Shinhwa. The new group was called H.O.T. - High Five of Teenagers.

H.O.T. made their debut with their first album, We Hate All Kinds of Violence in September 1996. This album and its first single, Junsa Ae Hoo Yeh, sparked controversy because some of their songs apparently plagiarized others, and lawsuits were placed against the group.

Despite this demeaning debut, they released a second single from the album, Candy, which became the first of many of their releases to hit the top spot.

The released their second album in June 1997, entitled Wolf & Sheep. This became another controversial release, since the title track featured strong language that caused it to be banned from all the major radio stations. However, a second single from this album, “We Are the Future” brought them back into the spotlight with another #1 hit.

The next year the group had their first live tour, starting with the Olympic Park Gymnasium Area in Seoul. H.O.T. was the first Kpop group to hold a concert here, thanks to their large fan base. They released their third album, Resurrection, in September 1998. This album featured a more “serious” style, with music gravitating towards rock.

They released their fourth album, Iyah!, and a “Best of” album in the following year, 1999 . They also starred in a "Space Jam"-like movie called "Age of Peace", for which they also released a soundtrack consisting songs that the members themselves composed. Everything in the film except for the five members were computerized, and the film was released in Japan during promotional activities for their fourth album. They won numerous awards from KMTV, and various popular music shows in Korea for their fourth album and the soundtrack.

They released their fifth and final album, Outside Castle, in September 2000. All of the members took part in composing the lyrics. H.O.T. enjoyed great success with all of their albums, and were known for their talent of writing and composing many of their own songs. In addition, Moon Hee Jun and Jang Woo Hyuk were also known for their dancing abilities, and often choreographed the groups routines.

Throughout their career, H.O.T. were often featured in adverts. They even had their own soda brand with the catchphrase "I only drink H.O.T.". In 1998, "We Are The Future"'s earned an American MTV Award for Best International Video.

In May 2001 their contract with SM Entertainment was almost up, and as they did not feel that they were receiving enough royalties, they decided to disband, and pursue solo careers: Kangta and Moon Hee Jun were offered contracts under SM Entertainment, while the remaining three started a short-lived, moderately successful band called JTL. Later, Jang Woo Hyuk created his own dancing school called "Newest Academy," while in 2005 Moon Hee Jun left SM Entertainment and created his own entertainment company, PS Entertainment. Tony An released a solo album and also created his own company, Tn Entertainment. Later, in 2005, Jae Won released his own solo album, as did Woo Hyuk.

Kangta recently became a the subject of media attention after expressing interest in having the band reunite once again in the first half of 2011.


Often credited as the forerunners of the "idol group" trend in the Korean music industry, H.O.T. successfully turned mainstream Korean music into music for the younger generation. Made up of five teenagers at the time of their debut, they were formed to specifically target teenagers, hence their name "High-five Of Teenagers".

H.O.T. was formed by producer Lee Soo Man of SM Entertainment. Their comprise a mixture of rap, ballads, dance, and later Rock, with singer Kangta providing most of the ballad vocals.

The first member that Lee Soo Man picked was Kangta. The manager saw him dancing and singing in public, and was impressed. Second was Moon Hee Jun, who after auditioning was accepted into the band. Hee Jun then invited his friend Lee Jae Won to audition, who was subsequently also admitted. The fourth to join the band was Woo Hyuk, after winning first place in a dancing contest. He was asked to try out and became the fourth member to join.

SM Entertainment traveled to LA to hold auditions, and Tony An and his close friend Andy Lee joined the band, however Lee's parents later withdrew support, causing him to leave the band and join Shinhwa in 1998.

While they were remembered simply as a boy band aimed at teenage girls, the members made notable contributions to their albums by writing and composing their own songs. By the release of their third album Resurrection, they had written most of their own lyrics. For their last two albums, I yah! and Outside Castle, they also began to compose the music for most of their songs.

The members, Moon Hee Jun and Jang Woo Hyuk in particular, also choreographed all their dance moves to their songs in an effort to improve their music videos.

They were the first K-pop group to ever hold a concert in the Seoul Olympic Stadium because of the magnitude of their fan base. Owing to their popularity, they were seen frequently in advertisements. At one point, they had their own soda brand with the catch phrase "I only drink H.O.T."

Shortly before their disbandment, they starred in a Space Jam-like movie Age of Peace, to which they also released a soundtrack consisting of trance and two vocal songs. Age of Peace was showcased in Japan while they were promoting their fourth album. Everything in the film except for the five members were computerized. They produced a soundtrack for this film as well. They won numerous awards from KMTV, and various popular music shows in Korea.

They maintained a friendly rivalry with other K-pop bands such as Sechs Kies, and were close friends with Kim Hwan Sung of N.R.G., who died from pneumonia a week or two prior to his 20th birthday. Kangta was heartbroken by his friend's death, and when N.R.G. released their album after Kim Hwan Sung's death, he wrote the main track of their album.

Disbandment and post-H.O.T.

H.O.T. disbanded in May 2001. As the members of H.O.T. neared the end of their contracts with SM Entertainment, it was rumored that financial issues caused the group to split. However, because the real reasons for the breakup were never officially released to the public, financial contract issues still remain an unverified rumor to this day.

After the split, Kang Ta and Moon Hee Jun were offered lucrative contracts to SM Entertainment as solo artists and released moderately successful albums. While Kang Ta's music was usually mainstream soul or R&B, Moon Hee Jun in the beginning, like Kangta, started with the mainstream R&B, but later attempted to establish a rock music career. However, Hee Jun was overshadowed by his teen idol image and was met with harsh criticism.

The remaining members, Jang Woo Hyuk, Tony An, and Lee Jae Won, formed a three-member group called JTL under another label, and sold moderately successful albums. Later, Jang Woo Hyuk and a partner created their own dance company with Woo Hyuk leading his own team and school named Newest.

A few years after forming JTL, Tony An released a solo album, created his own entertainment company, Tn Entertainment, a successful school uniforms company, Skoolooks and an undergarment company, Shinenihs. In September 2010, Tony completed his 2-year army duty and released a new song, "Going To Meet You Now".

In 2005, Moon Hee Jun left SM Entertainment, creating his own company, PS Entertainment, and releasing one album. Later that year, Hee Jun headed off to military service, a duty required for every male Korean citizen. In 2008, he completed his 2-year army duty and signed with a company called SidusHQ.

Lee Jae Won also left SM Entertainment, and on April 4, 2005, he released his first post-H.O.T. album, "No Pain, No Gain". Currently he is serving in the army and will complete his duty in 2011.

On September 12, 2005, Jang Woo Hyuk released his first solo album No More Drama, performing with the renowned American hip-hop group Elite Force, who was also a former dance team for Will Smith. Woo Hyuk was the last member to release a solo album, and he earned a reputation as "The Prince of Dance Music". In year 2010, he signed with a Chinese Entertainment Company and is currently active in China. His recent collaborations are with Singaporean Mandarin pop singer JJ Lin and Hong Kong singer/actor Karen Mok.

On September 2010, Kangta remains as a shareholder in SM Entertainment and released his new Chinese electro-pop title song, "Love, Frequency" or better known as "Breaka Shaka". Few days later he also released his first digital mini album, Love, Frequency.

Tony An released a solo mini album "Topstar" with top pop song under same name of album on April 4, 2011.

Jang Woo Hyuk new album released May 25th entitled " I am The Future ", with singles including Time is [L]over , I am the Future, and Minimalism.

  1. Moon Hee Jun (문희준) - Leader & Sub Vocalist/rapper.
  2. Jang Woo Hyuk (장우혁) - Main Rapper
  3. Tony An (토니안) - English Rapper/side singer
  4. Kangta (강타)/ An Chil Hyun - Lead Singer
  5. Lee Jae Won (이재원) - Maknae,Sub Rapper & Sub Vocalist

Volume 1 - We Hate All Kinds of Violence
  • Released: September 7, 1996
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Volume 2 - Wolf and Sheep
  • Released: July 11, 1997
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Volume 3 - Resurrection
  • Released: September 9, 1998
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Volume 4 - Iyah!
  • Released: September 15, 1999
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Volume 5 - Outside Castle
  • Released: September 29, 2000
  • Label: SM Entertainment
  • Sales: 840,370+ (first month sales)
Live albums

Greatest Hits - Song Collection Live Album
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: SM Entertainment
99 Live in Seoul
  • Released: January 1, 2000
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Forever 2001 Live Concert
  • Released: April 21, 2001
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Compilation albums

Greatest Hits - Age of Peace OST
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: SM Entertainment
Guest album appearances
  1. Christmas In SMTOWN (1999)
  2. Christmas Winter Vacation in SMTown.com (2000)
  3. Christmas Winter Vacation in SMTown.com - Angel Eyes (2001)

JTL (제이티엘) was a South Korean dance music group, consisting of the former H.O.T. members who did not stay with SM Entertainment- Jang Woo Hyuk, Tony An and Lee Jae Won. The group was named after the initials of the members' stage name. After the release of their second album Run Away, the group have been inactive for 7 years and the band members are each pursuing solo careers.

When the group debuted in 2001 with single "A Better Day", which covered a 2001 song "A Better Day" by Norwegian band Multicyde, again based on the 1977 Norwegian song "Vårsøg", member Tony An claimed that promoting their song has had been difficult due to strained relationship with Lee Soo Man, the producer of SM Entertainment. Lee blocked the music video from various Korean entertainment broadcasts which drew angry reactions from the group's fans, some of whom egged the building of the company in southern Seoul. The members of the group also had strained relationships between Kangta and Moon Hee Jun after the two chose to stay with SM Entertainment. However, after appearances on 'X-Man', it appears that Tony and Kangta are on good terms the same goes for Moon Hee Jun and Jang Woo Hyuk who both appeared on Variety show Heroine.

In 2003 the group won the favorite artist of Korea at the MTV Asia Awards.


  • 1 - Enter the Dragon (2001)
  • 1.5 - Love Story (2002)
  • 2 - Run Away (2003)
  • 3 - TBA (2012)
  1. During a variety show during H.O.T.'s 5th album era, Jang Woo Hyuk stated that he would want to work with Tony An, but also added he decided to work with Lee Jae Won. After H.O.T.'s fall, he would work with both of them in JTL.
  2. The song "One Night Lover" uses the rhythm and melody of the Stevie Wonder song Part Time Lover.
  3. The bands song "A Better Day" is based on the Norwegian band Multicyde's song with the same tittle. That song traces back to an old Norwegian song by Henning Sommero, which is based on an old norwegian poem, "Vårsøg" by Hans Hyldbakk in, written in 1945.

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