Are you ready for NCT’s newest album?
The K-pop group has announced that Universe, their third LP, will drop on December 14. It will follow the previous year’s highly successful NCT 2020 Resonance and 2018’s NCT 2018 Empathy, with the former introducing two new members to the 20-plus team, Shotaro and Sungchan.
On their Twitter page, the group posted a photo of 2021’s lineup, with members Lucas and WinWin noticeably absent. Many fans voiced their concerns, raising questions on their whereabouts.
“I love all the members and support them all, but where are WinWin and Lucas ?!!!!!” one user wrote.
Another posed a similar question: “WAIT WHERE THE HECK IS LUCAS AND WINWIN @SMTOWNGLOBAL?!?!?!”
Lucas, also known as Wong Yuk-hei, is currently on hiatus after fans claimed the artist had manipulated and cheated on them. On the other hand, WinWin is believed to have paused idol activities for his acting career in China. He will make his acting debut in The Shadow, an upcoming period-fantasy Chinese series.
NCT, short for Neo Culture Technology, debuted in 2016 under SM Entertainment. The group is known for dividing its many members into sub-units, namely NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream, and WayV. The concept is also practiced by other popular K-pop groups, like Seventeen and EXO.
While the move may be devastating to some fans, it is not uncommon for the company to temporarily or permanently pull members from sub-units. Such was the case with superstar groups like Super Junior and EXO, which saw a number of members being regularly rotated from units.
NCT will continue on, however, as a 21-member band, at least for now. Earlier in the year, SM Entertainment announced plans for the formation of a new overseas sub-unit based in the U.S. called NCT Hollywood. An exact debut date has not been released.
Art Daniella Sison