Mark Lee is a K-pop singer and rapper famous for being a member of the ‘NCT’ group. Until very recently, he was a member of all the three sub-units of the ‘NCT’ group - ‘NCT U’, ‘NCT 127’ and ‘NCT Dream’. The young singing and rapping sensation is ethnically South Korean, but Canadian by birth. He joined ‘NCT’ after he was selected through the S.M. Global Auditions in Canada. The talented youngster soon earned a place in the trainees group and within a year, he made his debut with a sub-unit of ‘NCT’. In a span of a few more months, he was chosen to be a part of the other two sub-units too. In the rotating lineup of the ‘NCT’ sub-units, he was a constant feature for almost a year, until he reached a certain age. He has also participated in a South Korean rap show program and has been an MC on a music show too. He is a songwriter as well and has written the lyrics for two ‘NCT’ songs. Due to his fluency in English, he has also become one of the unofficial leaders of the group.
Mark Lee started his musical journey when his parents enrolled him in a music school after moving to South Korea from Canada. While adjusting to a new life and culture, he started to play the guitar in his free time. In 2012, he decided to enter a competition called ‘S.M. Global Audition’ that was being held in Canada at that time. He was selected in the global audition and entered a training group of S.M. Entertainment. ‘S.M. Entertainment’ is South Korea's largest entertainment company that has been instrumental in finding and developing K-pop’s biggest stars.
By December 2013, he had become part of a group of trainees ‘S.M. Rookies’ and underwent rigourous training as part of the group. Along with the other group members, he featured in ‘Disney Channel Korea’s’ ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ in 2015.
2016 was a big year for him. On April 4, 2016, S.M. Entertainment announced that Mark Lee would make his debut as a member of the boy-group ‘NCT U’. ‘NCT’ stands for ‘Neo Culture Technology’, a term created by S.M. Entertainment’s founder that describes the concept of a group having an unlimited number of members further divided into various sub-units based on certain criteria.
NCT’s first sub-unit, NCT U, released their first digital single, ‘The 7th Sense’, on April 9, 2016 and ‘Without You’ on April 10, 2016. The ‘U’ in ‘NCT U’ stands for ‘United’; it is a rotational group whose members can change on the basis of the requirements of the song. ‘The 7th Sense’ song had a hip-hop groove which perfectly suited Mark’s specialty rapping skills.
In July 2016, Mark Lee was selected as a member of the second sub-unit, NCT 127, and the group released their debut song ‘Firetruck’. ‘127’ in the group’s name stands for the longitude coordinates of Seoul. Throughout 2016, he continued to release new songs, perform live on stage and in music videos for ‘NCT 127’.
In August 2016, Mark Lee made history by getting selected as a member of the third sub-unit ‘NCT Dream’. By doing so, he became the only NCT member to be a part of all the three sub-units and was nicknamed ‘Pro Debut Idol’. This sub-unit’s logic was simply that all the group members should be teenagers and they should graduate to another NCT sub-unit when they become 20 years old.
Amongst all the ‘NCT’ members, fans consider Mark Lee to be the best rapper. It is because of this rapping talent that a South Korean music television channel ‘Mnet’ selected him to be part of their hip-hop show, High School Rapper, in January 2017. As part of the show, he garnered even more attention and fame. Besides continuing his musical career with NCT, in January 2018, he became the co-host of ‘MBC’ television channel’s ‘Music Core’ show. He held that position for one whole year.
Since he turned 20 years old in August 2018, and was no longer a teenager, S.M. Entertainment announced that Mark Lee would no longer be a part of ‘NCT Dream’ and would graduate from the sub-unit after wrapping up the promotions of the ‘We Go Up’ single of the group’s album.
Mark Lee is also a talented songwriter, having helped write ‘The 7th Sense’ lyrics and co-writing the ‘Mad City’ lyrics. Since he spoke English very well, he became an unofficial leader of the group when interacting with international fans.
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Family & Personal Life
Mark Lee was born on August 2, 1999, in Vancouver, Canada. His Korean name is Lee Min-hyung and his stage name is Mark. Details about his parents are not readily available, but he has an older brother. He lived in Canada until six years of age, when his father shifted the entire family to South Korea. Though initially upset with the change, he soon adjusted to his new life and attended the ‘Eonju Middle School’. He also joined a music school and later, enrolled in the ‘Seoul School of Performing Arts’.
He speaks fluent Korean and English.