In August 2017, JYP Entertainment (JYPE) officially announced their new reality survival show with the goal of launching a male idol debut project. More details and teasers were released in the next two months, including the show's title, Stray Kids. Prior to its premiere on October 17, JYPE released Stray Kids' first music video for a song titled "Hellevator", which was later released as a digital single. Two members, Lee Know and Felix, were initially eliminated from the group but returned to the final nine-member line-up.
Stray Kids released their pre-debut extended play (EP) Mixtape in January 2018 and officially debuted on March 25 with the EP I Am Not, followed by other two I Am series EPs, I Am Who and I Am You. Their Clé trilogy EPs were issued in 2019, consisting of Clé 1: Miroh, Clé 2: Yellow Wood, and Clé: Levanter. The group's first studio album Go Live was released in 2020, becoming their first platinum-certified album by Korea Music Content Association (KMCA). That year, Stray Kids also made their Japanese debut with the compilation album SKZ2020 through Epic Records Japan.
Along with the launch of Stray Kids' official website, JYPE announced the release of the group's pre-debut extended play (EP) titled Mixtape. It contains seven tracks co-written and co-composed by the members, including "Hellevator" and other songs that they performed on the show. The EP, along with the performance video of its second track "Beware" (Korean: Grrr 총량의 법칙), was released on January 8, 2018, while the performance video of "Spread My Wings" (Korean: 어린 날개) was uploaded online a week later. It debuted at number two on the Gaon Album Chart and Billboard World Albums chart.
In February 2018, before Stray Kids' official debut, the nine members were announced as new models for Jambangee Jeans for their spring collection. In June, they were selected as an exclusive models for Ivy Club for the 2018 fall semester. The next month, Stray Kids partnered with Minute Maid Sparkling and were selected as promotional models for CGV "Youth Brand Festival" five days later. On September 19, Stray Kids began endorsing Lotte Duty Free, and on October 16, Stray Kids became new models for the Korean sportswear brand Pro-Specs. In June 2019, Stray Kids was chosen as the newest ambassador of Talk Talk Korea Contest, and on June 18, they were appointed as honorary ambassadors by the Korean Culture and Information Service under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Stray Kids began the year by bringing their showcase tour, the Unveil Tour "I Am...", to the Asia-Pacific, starting on January 19 in Bangkok. The group also held their national promotional Hi Stay Tour in Busan, Daejeon and Incheon in March, as well as a finale in Seoul in Olympic Park on April 20. On March 5, JYPE announced Stray Kids would make their third comeback on March 25, 2019, with the release of their fourth EP Clé 1: Miroh in commemoration of the first anniversary of the group's debut. The group earned their first music show win on April 4 on M Countdown for the album's lead single, "Miroh." On June 19, they released their first special album Clé 2: Yellow Wood, along with lead single "Side Effects" (Korean: 부작용), between the American and European legs of their first world tour.
Stray Kids (Korean: 스트레이 키즈; RR: Seuteurei Kijeu; often abbreviated as SKZ) is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment through the 2017 reality show of the same name. The group is composed of eight members: Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N. Originally a nine-piece group, member Woojin left due to undisclosed personal reasons in October 2019.
On October 28, 2019, Woojin left Stray Kids and terminated his contract with JYP Entertainment for undisclosed personal reasons. From February to July 2021, Hyunjin was on hiatus due to bullying allegations against him but resumed regular activities with the group in August.
Stray Kids' music is generally K-pop, hip hop, and electronic. They are considered a "self-producing" idol group as the members are almost always involved in songwriting and composing, and sometimes assist in arranging. Since the release of "God's Menu" in 2020, Stray Kids' discography has also been described as being of a unique "mala taste genre" and "noise music", a label that inspired their album Noeasy.
On June 17, Stray Kids released their first studio album Go Live alongside lead single "God's Menu", including on the tracklist the Korean versions of "Top" and "Slump" and previously released singles “Gone Days" and "On Track". Go Live became the group's best-selling album at the time, debuting atop the weekly Gaon Album Chart and selling 243,462 copies by the end of the month to reach number five on the monthly Gaon Album Chart. The album was certified platinum by the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) in August 2020, the group's first album to achieve this. "God's Menu" became the group's first single to be certified gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Three months later, the group reissued their first studio album as In Life on September 14. During promotions, the group received two music show wins: once on MBC M's Show Champion and once on Mnet's M Countdown. Lead single "Back Door" was recognized by Time magazine at eighth on its list of the 10 Best Songs of 2020, the only song by a Korean act on the list, and described as "an artful Frankenstein that’s as catchy as it is complex".
In November 2020, Stray Kids was chosen to become Shopee Indonesia's brand ambassador for the 11.11 Big Sale and 12.12 Birthday Sale. On February 1, 2021, Stray Kids was chosen to become new models for Clio Cosmetics. In June 2021, the group was chosen to become an endorser of the Japanese clothing brand Wego and as ambassadors for the Korea Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai. In September, the group was chosen to become new models for the cosmetic brand Nacific, and the group's sub-unit Danceracha (Lee Know, Hyunjin, and Felix) appeared in campaigns for Italian brand Etro's unisex Earthbeat sneaker.
In 2021, Stray Kids' second studio album Noeasy became their first million-selling album. After signing with Republic Records for promotions in the United States in 2022, the group released the EPs Oddinary, Maxident (both in 2022), and Rock-Star (2023), and their third studio album 5-Star (2023), all four of which topped the US Billboard 200 and entered the UK Albums Chart. 5-Star was certified five-million in album sales by the KMCA, making them just the third group to achieve this in Korean history. As of October 2022, Stray Kids has sold over 10 million albums across both Korean and Japanese releases. In 2023, they featured on Time's Next Generation Leaders list.
The group released their second Japanese single "Scars"/"Thunderous (Japanese ver.)" on October 13. The single entered at number two on both Oricon Singles Chart and Billboard Japan Hot 100, selling over 180,000 CD copies. A Christmas-themed "special holiday" single album titled Christmas EveL was released on November 29, featuring both the title track and "Winter Falls" as lead singles. It peaked atop Gaon Album Chart, selling over 743,000 copies in 2021 alone, and was certified double platinum by KMCA. The group concluded the year with the digital release of SKZ2021, a compilation album including re-recorded versions of previous songs and the Korean version of "Scars", on December 23.
Stray Kids held their first official fan meeting, Stray Kids 1st #LoveStay 'SKZ-X' on February 20, 2021, via V Live and their first Japanese fan meeting—STAYing Home Meeting—for the first anniversary of their Japanese debut on March 18. The group collaborated with Swedish producer Alesso and Chinese DJ Corsak on the Korean version of the song "Going Dumb" for the mobile game version of PUBG, released on March 19. The song debuted at number 13 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, the group's first appearance on the chart.
At the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards, it was announced that Stray Kids would be joining Ateez and The Boyz on the inaugural season of Kingdom: Legendary War, a Mnet boy group competition show; BtoB, iKon and SF9 were later confirmed as participants as well. On May 28, 2021, the group released a song for the final round of the competition titled "Wolfgang", which marked the group's first appearance on the main Gaon Digital Chart, at number 138. They won the program on June 3, earning them their own reality show and a Kingdom Week special show for their comeback.
Stray Kids surprise-released the third single for their Mixtape Project, "Mixtape: Oh", on June 26. It debuted atop Billboard World Digital Song Sales, their first number one on the chart. The group released their second studio album Noeasy on August 23. It debuted atop Gaon Album Chart, selling over 1.1 million copies as of August 2021 and certified million by the KMCA, making them first act under JYP Entertainment to sell more than one million copies of an album. Lead single "Thunderous" peaked at number 33 on Gaon Digital Chart and number 80 on Billboard Global 200 and earned six wins on music programs. The accompanying music video on YouTube reached 100 million views in 55 days after release, the group's fifth and fastest video to reach this mark.
In 2022, Stray Kids became muses for the clothing brand Mahagrid's 2022 Summer T-shirt Campaign, as well as ambassadors for Philippine clothing brand Bench. The brand held a fan meeting on January 20, 2023, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The group served as models for Lotte Duty Free again in September 2022, together with Super Junior. In 2023, Stray Kids were selected to be Samsung Galaxy mobile phone accessories brand SLBS' exclusive models, and launched "Star to Galaxy" campaign, to collaborate with the group's charactor SKZoo for a special Z Flip using eco-friendly material and space theme, as well as Indonesian milk product Ultra Milk's brand ambassador. In fashion industry, Stray Kids were selected to be Asian ambassador of Tommy Hilfiger for 2023 Fall campaign, as well as Hyunjin for Versace as global ambassador and Felix for Louis Vuitton as house ambassador.
On February 10, 2022, it was announced that Stray Kids signed with Republic Records for promotions in the United States as part of JYPE's strategic partnership with the label, alongside labelmate Itzy. The group held their second fan meeting 2nd #LoveStay 'SKZ's Chocolate Factory' from February 12–13 at Olympic Hall; the second day was also broadcast via Beyond Live. Stray Kids released their sixth EP Oddinary on March 18. The EP topped charts in South Korea, Finland, Poland, and the United States, selling over 1.5 million copies in March. It became Stray Kids' first album to appear on the UK Albums Chart, and Billboard 200. The latter made them the third Korean act in history to top the chart, after BTS and SuperM. Its lead single "Maniac became the group's first song to chart the UK Singles Chart at number 98, and the Bubbling Under Hot 100 at number 19, among others.
Stray Kids held their third fan meeting Pilot: For 5-Star at KSPO Dome on July 1–2, and embarked for their all-dome concert tour 5-Star Dome Tour in South Korea and Japan from August to October. The group also headlined the Lollapalooza music festival in Paris, France on July 21, and would initially appear at 2023 Global Citizen Festival in New York City on September 23, but due to three members' minor car accident, 3Racha performed instead. The group's first Japanese-language EP Social Path / Super Bowl (Japanese Ver.), was released on September 6, preceded by dual lead singles "Social Path", featuring Japanese singer-songwriter Lisa, and the Japanese version of "Super Bowl". It became the second number-one, and the first million-certificated record in Japan. Stray Kids featured on the remix version of Lil Durk's "All My Life", in October, and released their eighth Korean-language EP Rock-Star on November 10, alongside the lead single "Lalalala". The EP topped the charts in South Korea and the United States, while "Lalalala" became the group's first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 90. Furthermore in 2023, Stray Kids received the Prime Minister's Commendation at Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, and will participate at Japanese New Year's Eve television special 74th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen.
Stray Kids' debut Japanese-language studio album, titled The Sound, was released on February 22, 2023, preceded by the Japanese version of "Case 143" and the song of the same name. It debuted atop the Oricon Albums Chart for the first time with 378,000 copies, and was certified double platinum by Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). The group released their third studio album, 5-Star on June 2, 2023, with the lead single "S-Class", and featured rapper Tiger JK on the track "Topline". It lyrically addresses themes of uniqueness, confidence, and aspirations. The album peaked at number one in various regions, including South Korea, France, and the United States, etc; the latter is the group's third consecutive number-one album in the country. It has sold over 5 million copies as of June, and was certified as such by KMCA. "S-Class" won the Best K-Pop Video at 2023 MTV Video Music Awards.
In support of Oddinary, Stray Kids announced their second concert tour, the Maniac World Tour, which began on April 29 in Seoul, South Korea, followed by shows in Asia, Australia, and North America. It concluded at Los Angeles on April 2, 2023. On June 22, Stray Kids released their second Japanese EP, Circus, preceded by the Japanese version of "Maniac", the new song "Your Eyes", and the title track. The EP debuted at number two on the Oricon Albums Chart and atop Billboard Japan Hot Albums. The group surprise-released the single "Mixtape: Time Out" on August 1 to celebrate their fourth anniversary of revealing the fandom's name Stay.