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Joohoney Monsta X – A Journey of Resilience, Growth, and Multifaceted Talent

Lee Joo-heon, popularly known as Joohoney, is a versatile South Korean artist born on October 6, 1994, in Seoul, South Korea. At the age of 29, Joohoney has established himself as a rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer, contributing significantly to the music industry. Standing at an impressive height, Joohoney is a prominent member of the renowned K-pop group Monsta X, which emerged from the survival show No.Mercy on Mnet in 2015 under Starship Entertainment.

JooHoney Monsta X

Early Years and Entry into the Spotlight (1994–2014):

Joohoney Monsta X journey into the music scene began as Lee Ji-hwan. Before joining Monsta X, he was part of the Nu Boyz project group, alongside #Gun, Shownu, and Wonho, formed under Starship Entertainment in August 2014. The quartet showcased their talent through mixtapes on the company’s YouTube channel and performed at the opening show of Starship X concert in December 2014. This early exposure set the stage for Joohoney’s eventual debut.

No.Mercy and Formation of Monsta X (2014–2015):

In December 2014, Starship Entertainment and Mnet introduced the survival program No.Mercy, where Joohoney competed alongside other aspiring artists, including Shownu and Wonho. This marked a turning point in his career as he secured a spot in the new boy group Monsta X. The group officially debuted in 2015 and quickly gained popularity.

Show Me the Money and Tribe of Hip Hop (2015–2016):

Joohoney’s talent extended beyond Monsta X, leading him to participate in the fourth season of Mnet’s rap competition show, Show Me the Money, in June 2015. Although he faced eliminations, his skills were recognized, and he continued to make an impact in K-Pop world. In April 2016, he showcased his versatility as one of the producers for JTBC’s hip-hop competition show, Tribe of Hip Hop.

Solo Endeavors and Name Change (2017–2019):

In January 2017, Joohoney Monsta X ventured into solo activities, releasing a music video for the song “Rhythm.” His solo career gained momentum with the release of the mixtape “DWTD” in August 2018, featuring tracks like “Red Carpet” and “Should I Do.” Notably, in February 2019, he transitioned to the stage name Joohoney from Jooheon, marking a new chapter in his English-language activities.

Diverse Solo Projects and Achievements (2019–2022):

Joohoney continued to expand his solo career, participating in various projects and releasing mixtapes like “Psyche” in October 2020. His versatility shone through as he collaborated with artists like Lovelyz’s Kei and featured on the remake of “If You Love Me” in May 2021. His presence in the entertainment industry expanded beyond music, with roles as a DJ on MBC’s Idol Radio and appearances in mockumentary programs like MU:PLY’s Muziekwang Company.

Challenges and Resilience (2020–2023):

In January 2020, Joohoney took a temporary break from Monsta X to prioritize his mental health, demonstrating the importance of well-being in the demanding entertainment industry. Despite facing challenges, he returned to promotions in late March, contributing to Monsta X’s Korean EP “Fantasia X.” In April 2022, Joohoney tested positive for COVID-19, showcasing the impact of the global pandemic on even the most prominent artists.

Recent Achievements and Future Ventures (2023):

Joohoney’s influence transcends music, as he showcased his flair in the fashion world by attending the 2023 S/S Seoul Fashion Week’s Beyond Closet show. He also marked his acting debut with a role in the Netflix original film “K-pop: Lost in America,” directed by Yoon Je-kyoon. Additionally, his involvement in various variety shows, web entertainment, and becoming a permanent MC for Mnet’s M Countdown solidifies his position as a multifaceted entertainer.

Personal Life and Military Service (2023):

In July 2023, Joohoney Monsta X embarked on his mandatory military service as an active duty soldier, joining the 15th Infantry Division at Hwacheon army base in North Gangwon Province. Despite the challenges of military life, he took on the role of a company commander during basic military training, showcasing his leadership skills.

Public Image and Impact:

Joohoney has garnered attention globally for his exceptional producing ability, contributing significantly to Monsta X’s success. His musical prowess, active involvement in various activities, and unique charm have made him a standout figure. Not only is he recognized for his talent, but he has also become a sought-after brand model, influencing sales and strengthening marketing strategies.

Endorsements and Philanthropy:

Joohoney’s influence extends to endorsements, with collaborations with brands like SPAO, Olive Young, Born Champs, and Mountain Dew. His philanthropic efforts include a donation in October 2021, contributing to the Miral Welfare Foundation for the benefit of the disabled affected by COVID-19.

Discography and Collaborations:

Joohoney’s musical journey includes a range of mixtapes, singles, and collaborations, showcasing his versatility as an artist. Notable releases include the extended play “Lights,” featuring the lead single “Freedom,” released in May 2023.

Future Ventures and Growing Legacy:

Joohoney’s limitless growth is evident through his continuous exploration of diverse projects. From his involvement in entertainment and fashion to his impact on brand sales, Joohoney has positioned himself as an “all-rounder artist” with proficiency in vocals, rap, and production. As he continues to evolve, his legacy as a dynamic and influential artist only continues to grow.


Joohoney’s evolution from Lee Ji-hwan to Jooheon and then to Joohoney signifies not just a name change but a continual exploration of new horizons. His participation in survival shows like No.Mercy and Show Me the Money showcased his determination, leading to the formation of Monsta X in 2015.

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