Geffen Records and HYBE, the K-Pop entertainment company that launched BTS, have selected the final six members to launch the new global girl group KATSEYE.
Geffen and HYBE kicked off the process on Sept. 1, starting with the top 20 contestants selected from 120,000 submissions. The international group, created based on the K-pop training and development system, took part in the audition program called The Debut: Dream Academy, which streamed on YouTube and Japanese streaming channel Abema.
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The KATSEYE finalists were announced Friday night at an event in Los Angeles, and the group includes members from around the world. Daniela Avanzini, Lara Rajagopalan and Megan Skiendiel are from America; Yoonchae Jeong is from South Korea; Sophia Laforteza is from the Philippines; and Manon Bannerman is from Switzerland. The final lineup was determined by a combination of early votes and real-time votes during the live finale, as well as evaluators’ scores.
“This has been a long journey and an unprecedented collaboration between HYBE and Geffen. We are very proud of the results and of all the contestants who joined us in this project. We wish KATSEYE much success as we are sure they will inspire fans across the globe,” Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman of HYBE, said in a statement.
The process of developing the group will be chronicled in an upcoming Netflix documentary series, which will air in 2024. Emmy-nominated filmmaker Nadia Hallgren, whose credits include the Michelle Obama doc Becoming and Civil: Ben Crump, will direct.
HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, announced its joint venture partnership with Universal Music Group’s Geffen Records in 2021. Acts signed to Geffen include Olivia Rodrigo and Kali Uchis, while HYBE has launched successful groups like Tomorrow X Together, Seventeen and Enhypen, along with pop stars BTS. Since releasing their debut single in 2013, BTS has launched 10 Top 10 hits on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, including six No. 1s. They became the first Korean act to top the Hot 100 and the first Korean act to earn a Grammy nomination. So far, they’ve received five nods from the Recording Academy.
“It has been so inspiring to see the dedication each of these incredible artists has brought to this process,” John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M, said in a statement. “For the new members of KATSEYE, I truly believe there are no limits to what they can accomplish together.”
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