Before His BTS Debut, J-Hope Appeared a Street Performer With a Very ‘On-brand’ Stage Name

With his killer dance moves and outgoing personality, J-Hope is known as the unofficial “Sunshine” of BTS. That’s why for some ARMYs, Jung Hoseok’s old stage name makes perfect sense. 

Here’s what we know about the “Chicken Noodle Soup” artist and his stage name pre-debut. 

J-Hope of the boy band BTS is seen backstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in black suit
J-Hope of the boy band BTS is seen backstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards | Emma McIntyre/BBMA2019/Getty Images for dcp

J-Hope is one of the rappers in the award-winning K-pop group, BTS

He’s your hope, and you’re his hope. J-Hope is one of the songwriters, rappers, and lead dancers in the award-winning K-pop group BTS. In conjunction with BTS’ albums, J-Hope appeared on songs like “Outro: Tear,” “UGH,” and “Outro: Ego.” 

He also rapped on chart-topping songs featuring all seven members, including “Permission to Dance,” “Life Goes On,” and “Butter.” Before he was even in BTS, J-Hope was performing as a dancer and a rapper. 

BTS’ J-Hope had a different stage name before joining this K-pop group

Some know Jung Hoseok by his nickname “Hobi,” or his stage name, J-Hope. However, this rapper performed under a different stage name before his debut with this K-pop group. According to one fan on Twitter, J-Hope acted as a street performer under the stage name “Smile Hoya.” 

Once he joined the K-pop group, Jung Hoseok’s stage name “J-Hope” was solidified. The “Chicken Noodle Soup” artist explained that he wanted to be a beacon of hope for BTS fans. 

This rapper is also known as one of the most bubbly, bright, and outgoing BTS members, even earning the nickname “Sunshine” from ARMYs. For some, that’s why his “smile” nickname still fits his personality. 

Other nicknames awarded to these idols include “Worldwide Handsome” for Jin and “Golden Maknae” for Jungkook. While in Hawaii for the Bon Voyage special, these idols gave themselves unique nicknames. J-Hope chose the name J-Dope, naturally. 

BTS’ J-Hope released solo music, including ‘Chicken Noodle Soup’ with Becky G

Outside of his work with BTS, J-Hope releases solo music. Most recently, that included his single with Becky G, “Chicken Noodle Soup.” The idol also released his Hope World mixtape in 2018, earning millions of streams in the process. 

I’m still the same person, the same J-Hope,” the rapper said during an interview with Time Magazine, regarding his success and his song “Airplane.” “My thoughts on life haven’t changed very much. But my world has gone through incredible changes.” 

“I think it was that experience of being with my fans around the world and stepping back on Korean soil that it hit me, ‘Man, I think I’ve made it,’” he continued. “For me, the joy that I have right now and the amazing love I’m getting is how I define my success.”

Music by J-Hope, including “Outro: Ego” off of Map of the Soul: 7, is available on most major music streaming platforms. 

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