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[facts for kids]Meet K-pop group Stray Kids: 10 facts about ambassadors of Korea Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

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  stray kids expo 2020

  The Republic of Korea is coming to Expo 2020 Dubai with the contemporary, catchy beats of K-Pop hot on its heels, making good on its promise to bring Korean culture to the UAE in October. On June 23, K-pop boyband Stray Kids became the ambassadors of the Korea Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, as appointed by Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. If you’re not familiar with the eight-member group, read on to find out why Stray Kids are perfect for the job.

  Image Credit: JYPE

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  Stray Kids, often abbreviated as SKZ, enjoyed international fame well before the official start to their career. Signed under JYP Entertainment, one of the ‘Big Three’ entertainment agencies in South Korea home to fan-favourite past and present acts such as Wonder Girls, 2PM, Miss A, Twice and Itzy, the group members had to compete for a spot in the final debut line-up on the 2017 reality show ‘Stray Kids’ as trainees. The following year saw the debut of members Bang Chan (leader), Changbin, Hyunjin, Felix, Seungmin, Lee Know, Han, I.N and Woojin, who departed from the group in 2019.

  Image Credit: Twitter/@jypnation

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  The eight-piece act has bagged 13 rookie accolades since entering the industry in 2018, securing wins at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), Asia Artist Awards, Genie Music Awards and even the prestigious Golden Disc Awards (GDA). With only four extended plays under their belt at the time, Stray Kids went on to receive two nominations for the artist of the year, one of the highest honours awarded at music award ceremonies.

  Image Credit: Twitter/@Stray_Kids

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  If you recall the buzz caused by reality television Queendom back in 2019, then you might want to know that a boy group version of the competition aired from April to June this year. And yes, Stray Kids emerged victorious among five other K-pop boybands including a 2012-act BtoB, snagging first place on ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ with self-composed track ‘Wolfgang’ penned by the group’s producing unit 3RACHA.

  Image Credit: Twitter/@MnetKR

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  Songwriting is probably what carves a niche out for the boys in the sea of multitalented K-pop singers, with three members Bang Chan, Changbin and Han crafting tunes for nearly the entirety of Stray Kids’ discography. Calling themselves 3RACHA (pronounced as the hot sauce sriracha), the self-produced trio has been releasing mixtapes on SoundCloud since 2017, way before Stray Kids officially commenced activities.

  Image Credit: SoundCloud/@3RACHA

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  A first for a K-pop band, the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) government body appointed Stray Kids as its honorary ambassador to promote Korean popular cultural content, or hallyu, overseas. While the agency had previously collaborated with BTS, EXO and WINNER, this was a novel appointment for the KOCIS in 2019.

  Image Credit: JYPE

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  The newly minted octet embarked on their first overseas showcase, taking the ‘2019 Unveil Tour “I Am…”’ to Berlin, Sydney, Bangkok, Paris and even Moscow. Though the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on the group’s next world tour ‘District 9: Unlock’, Stray Kids toured the United States for the first leg and would have gone on to enthral audiences with their imposing stage presence and razor sharp moves from Brussels to Osaka in 2020.

  Image Credit: YouTube/Stray Kids

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  Speaking of Osaka, Stray Kids are stars in Japan, too. They made their official Japanese debut on March 18, 2020, with the compilation album ‘SKZ2020’.

  Image Credit: Twitter/@Stray_Kids_JP

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  Their stardom has even touched Hollywood – the ‘Deadpool’ lead Ryan Reynolds is a Stay (as SKZ fans go by the moniker). Following the group’s ‘Deadpool’-inspired rendition of Blackpink’s ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’, Reynolds shot a ‘Oh hello’ down the Twitter loveline to the official Stray Kids account. And now, the boyband’s Australian member Bang Chan (the only other Aussie in the group being Felix as pictured in his Deadpool attire) has displaced Hugh Jackman as Reynolds’ #NewFavouriteAustralian.

  Image Credit: YouTube/Mnet K-POP

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  Four of Stray Kids’ music videos have surpassed 100 million views on YouTube, the audacious, hip-hop influenced ‘God’s Menu’, title track from their first full album ‘Go Live’, breaking 245 million mark since its release in 2020. The young stars also have a total of 34 million followers on all social media platforms.

  Image Credit: JYPE

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  Tempted to tag yourself a Stay? Tune into their 14-track studio album ‘Go Live’, an amalgamation of EDM, trap, rock and hip-hop. If you’re looking for something to slow jam to, check out their latest single ‘Mixtape : Oh’, a mid-tempo track layered with feel-good reggaeton beats, and keep your eyes peeled for what the group is bringing to Expo 2020 Dubai, which starts its run on October 1, 2021.

  Image Credit: Twitter/@Stray_Kids