In 2016 and early 2017, various members appeared in different artists' music videos, as cameos or lead roles. Kevin was first introduced to the public as a contestant on Kpop Star 6, where he was eliminated early in the competition. Following this, he had the chance to release an OST for the drama Saimdang, Light's Diary in April 2017. Sunwoo became a contestant on High School Rapper in January 2017, where he was also eliminated early in the competition. In March 2017, Ju Haknyeon participated in Produce 101 and reached 19th place during the final episode.
On July 4, the group was first announced as Cre.kerz, through the agency's social medias. On July 18, their official name was revealed. From August 23 to October 11, their first reality show Flower Snack aired, resulting in the release of the song "I'm Your Boy". They held their first fanmeeting "Heart to Heart" for 1,000 fans on October 28.
In November, the twelve members signed contracts as exclusive models for the school uniform brand Skoolooks, as well as the cosmetic brand Siero Cosmetic.
On December 4, Cre.ker Entertainment confirmed the group signed a contract with Sony Music for their Japan promotions.
2017–2018: Debut with The First, The Start, The Sphere and The Only
On December 6, The Boyz officially debuted with the release of their first extended play The First and its lead single "Boy". From February 12 to March 15, their second reality show The 100 aired on V Live. As the result of this show, they held an online mini-concert on March 23. Sangyeon had his first fixed cast appearance on the show We are the One that aired from February 26 until its cancellation on March 26. The Boyz were invited to perform at the 12th Asian Film Awards on March 17 in Macau, their first overseas performance.
The group released their second extended play The Start and its lead single "Giddy Up" on April 3, 2018. Due to health problems, Hwall couldn't promote with the group and subsequently had to halt all activities for three months.
The 12 members, with Hwall back from his hiatus, released a special digital single titled "Keeper" on July 12, which was produced by Block B's Park Kyung. On July 24, they won their first "Rookie Award" during the Korea Brand Awards.
The group appeared on the reality show Happy Arrived At Our House that aimed to raise awareness of the problem of abandoned street dogs in Korea. They temporarily took care of two puppies until they were found a home.
On August 30, the group won another "Rookie Award" at the Soribada Best K-Music Awards. On September 5, they made their first comeback in 5 months with the single The Sphere and the song "Right Here".
On September 28, Q was announced as the last dancer to join the Main Dancers of Hallyu, along with other main dancers from boy groups including MONSTA X's Shownu, GOT7's Yugyeom, Seventeen's Hoshi, NCT's Taeyong and NU'EST W's JR.
The group released their third extended play The Only and its lead single "No Air" on November 29, 2018.
On December 1, the group won another "Best New Male Artist Award" at the 2018 Melon Music Awards.
2019: First Asia tour and Bloom Bloom
In January, Cre.ker announced that The Boyz would be holding their first Asia Tour, named The Boyz Asia fan-con tour "The Castle", with dates in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
The group released their second single album Bloom Bloom and its lead single "Bloom Bloom" on April 29, 2019.
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