Opinion Piece

The Rising Popularity of NU’EST Will Restore Your Faith in K-Pop Fans

NU’EST has been one of the most consistently incredible boy groups since their debut in 2012. When they debuted, it appeared they would be one of the Top Tier boy groups for many years to come. Their debut song, ‘Face’, was extremely well received and is still beloved today with over 70 million views on YouTube, gaining a steady 1.2 million views each month on average.

However, the incredible success they enjoyed in the beginning did not last. Fans have speculated as to why the group had lost such a large following during the years, the most supported theory being that their company had sent them to Japan for promotions too early, making Korean fans lose interest.

Nothing truly explains this downturn in fan support to me, because even with their Japanese promotions they were still releasing top-notch K-Pop songs that should have been massively successful.

This isn’t to say that they enjoyed NO success over the years. After NU’EST debuted they released some well received and beloved songs in their own right, such as ‘Action’ (2012), and ‘Hello’ (2013). Since then their popularity seemed to have just fizzled, where they then began experiencing moderate success to eventually little success. A good example of a lower point of their career is with their excellent song, ‘I’m Bad’ (2015). While a perfectly beautiful song, it did not perform as well as it should have for a group like NU’EST.


This year the boys of NU’EST joined a survival show called Produce 101 (Season 2). It’s an extremely popular show that pits usually rookie idols and trainees against each other, where the Top 11 contestants are put into a group that will promote together over the next year. If you are not familiar with the concept, check out the mega-successful girl group I.O.Iwho were formed after Season 1 of Produce 101.

Note that I said “rookie idols and trainees”. What were NU’EST, a once successful and seasoned group, doing on the show? — They were saving their careers, that’s what.

“We’re thinking of this as our last chance. We’re here because we’re that desperate.”

Heartbreaking. To see this and hear this broke the hearts of their fandom, L.O.Λ.E, which I happen to be a part of myself. The news went viral, garnering buzz around how they would perform on the show and what would be next for them should they not be successful on it.

As the episodes passed and the members of NU’EST continued to progress through each elimination, those who were not aware of the group beforehand now finally grew to love each and every member. With a large discography of incredible songs to support them, we could see the L.O.Λ.E fandom grow before our very eyes. The icing on the cake was when one of the members, Minhyun, actually made it to the TOP 11 and joined the resulting group that was WANNA ONE.

Since the show has finished, the four remaining members of NU’EST formed NU’EST W, coming back in style with their song “Where You At”. With Minhyun being busy performing with Wanna One, it was up to the four of them to build on the spike of popularity they received after appearing on the show. We were all full of nerves as to whether or not they could be a success after this.


… These aren’t tears. I’m not crying, I swear.

That’s right, they were such a success that they pulled off their very first trophy win on M Count Down after FIVE. LONG. YEARS! Now if that doesn’t touch your heart, I don’t know what will. After having waited years, YEARS for K-Pop fans to add NU’EST to their bias group lists and support them, their time has come.