K-pop stars Stray Kids prepare for comeback with upbeat London show

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[July 15, 2024]  By Hanna Rantala and Natasha Mulenga
LONDON (Reuters) - "This is a career highlight," popular K-pop group Stray Kids said as they headlined the British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park Festival on Sunday.  

Fans gather ahead of the performance of Stray Kids at the British Summer Time (BST) festival at Hyde Park in London, Britain, July 14, 2024. REUTERS/Hollie Adams

The eight-man group from South Korea debuted in 2018 after being formed by JYP Entertainment through a reality show. Theyhave won over fans around the world with their genre-mixing sound and hit songs such as "God's Menu", "S-Class" and "Maniac".

Made up of members Changbin, Felix, Hyunjin, Lee Know, Han, Seungmin, Bang Chan and I.N, Stray Kids returned to London after nearly five years to make their UK festival debut.

"It's a really big festival and it's a really big space. It'll be really interesting to see how much the energy we bring to it will change that," said Han shortly before the group took to the stage to perform a high-energy one-hour-40-minute-long set in front of a crowd of thousands.

Named by Time magazine as one of the Next Generation Leaders, Stray Kids placed third on recorded music industry body IFPI's top ten list of global recording artists last year. Their third Korean-language studio album "5-Star" was last year's second biggest-selling album globally, IFPI said.

All eight members also walked the famed MET Gala red carpet this May, wearing custom Tommy Hilfiger suits.

Bang Chan said the group were grateful for their strong streaming numbers and successes but added that the onus was on bringing meaningful music to their fans, known as STAYs.

"Lots of STAYs and a lot of people are giving us a lot of attention, so I don't think we should sit still and do nothing about it. That's why all the members are working hard in their parts," added Seungmin.

Part of that is the group's "comeback", their new EP, titled "ATE", which will be released on July 19.

ATE represents the eight members who have "eaten up" their comeback, said Felix, adding that fans could expect new concepts and styles.

"It really means a lot to us. It's been a while since our last album. With this album we really want to emphasize our eight members, how genuine we are with music and we've also put in a lot of styles of music for everyone out there to enjoy," said Bang Chan.

"We're bringing out all we can at this time and that makes us confident," added Changbin.

(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Natasha Mulenga; editing by Diane Craft)

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