U-KISS (Korean: 유키스) is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed by NH Media in 2008. The members include Kevin Woo, Shin Soohyun, Lee Kiseop, Eli Kim, Shin Dongho, Aj and Hoon. U-KISS stands for Ubiquitous Korean International (Idol) Super Star. They debuted in Japan on August 15, 2008 and in South Korea on August 28, 2008.
The group has released one full-length album and various mini albums and singles. Their first full length album, Only One, was released on February 3, 2010.
The members of the group have had various activities as solo entertainers, such as acting in various dramas and musicals and hosting various reality-variety shows.
U-KISS first was formed as a six-member boy-group. Their original concept was to be a pretty boy-group, as explained by Soohyun in an interview. Kim Kibum and Kevin Woo were former members of the boy band Xing. Kibum left the group in 2007 while Kevin left the group four months before the debut of U-KISS. The pre-debut activities of Kevin and Kibum helped to draw attention to U-KISS among Korean fans. Three of the members, Alexander, Eli and Kevin, came from other countries. Alexander came from Macau, while both Eli and Kevin came from the United States. Eli came from Washington, D.C., while Kevin came from San Francisco.
U-KISS debuted in Japan on August 15, 2008 at the Power of Atamix 08. The group released their first mini album, N-Generation, on September 3, 2008, with the main track, "Not Young". U-KISS later debuted in South Korea on August 28, 2008, with a performance of "Not Young" on Mnet's M! Countdown.
As many of the members either had come from overseas or had studied abroad, they were fluent in other languages. Kibum had studied in Australia for two years and can hold a basic English conversation. Dongho can speak Chinese fluently as he had studied in Beijing, China before. He is currently learning English and Japanese. Both Kevin and Eli were born and raised in the United States, thus both of them are fluent in English. Eli is also fluent in Mandarin as he had lived in China while trying to pursue an acting career. The international members came to South Korea to fulfill their dreams of becoming singers. As a result of the groups' fluency in many languages, they have no problems communicating with their fans from different parts of the world, helping them to gain many international fans.
Kibum and Alexander's contracts have been terminated and have left the band as of the 23rd of February 2011 . They were both kicked out because NH Media claimed they were "lacking" in areas. The new members are Yeo Hoon Min and Kim Jae Seop, also known as AJ, the youngest member of Paran.
On October 16, 2013, member Dongho announced his departure from the group due to deteriorating health caused by busy schedules of being a singer. He also announced that he will be leaving the entertainment industry to focus on normal life.