Battle(배틀) is a Korean boy band that debuted on December 17, 2006 with the release of their first single "Crash". They are most popular for winning the reality show,Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa !The group includes Ryu, Tae-hwa, Lio, Chris, and Hwi-chan. Shin Ki-Hyun, who was chosen by Shinhwa's Eric, departed the group in 2008.
Though most members of boy bands are found through auditions or have been in training for years, the members of Battle instead participated in a popular reality show,Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa!, hosted by the members of Shinhwa themselves. The show was sponsored by Good Entertainment , M-NET and Coca-Cola. The boys, originally six but now five, were hand-picked particularly by each of the Shinhwa members. They were chosen because of their singing, dancing, and endurance skills. Although Kim Jang Hyun was picked during the course of the show, he decided to leave the group due to conflicting musical styles. Dongwan, the one who picked Jang Hyun, replaced him with Hwichan.
Though initially marketed as the nextShinhwa, meaninglegendormyth, Battle did say that though it is an honor to be compared to the legendary band Shinhwa, they do not want to be the next Shinhwa; rather, they want to make a name for themselves and consider Shinhwa to be their mentors.
Their first single wasCrash, a song with a strong guitar and drum accompaniment. The music video was very dark, showing the members destroying various objects such as T.V.s, cars, etc. As opposed toCrash, which was a melodious dance tune combined with hardcore guitar and staccato drum beats, their other song,Icarus, was a ballad, showing their smooth vocals and harmonizing skills. Many of the fans also mention that "Icarus" sounds a lot like Shinhwa 's number one hit song, "Once in a Lifetime".Flying Up, the third track from the single, was a rap song with great beat. With their debut, Battle's fan color is Pearlescent Gold. Their first ever debut performance was on SBS Gayo where they received very little applause and cheers though it being their first performance they achieved very well from then on when they first did their live performance critics all stated that Battle is weak in vocal skills, despite the rolling rumors and comments Battle went on MBC Music Core and did a live performance for the very first time and succeeding very strongly.
On February 24, 2007, staff from GMM Grammy, Channel V Thailand and MTV Thailand came to Korea to interview Battle and cover its activities. According to Good EMG, staff from GMM Grammy told them that Battle had gained so much popularity in Thailand that a fan club had already been formed.Good EMG also said that the group would visit Thailand to hold a mini concert on April 30 and give interviews with major music channels, thus beginning Battle's first tour. The group flew to Thailand and released a single.
In contrast to its first single, Battle's second single "Tell Me! (Mal Hae)" was very different, featuring the boys in pink and singing to a light, catchy melody. These two singles represent opposite sides of Battle, portraying a different image of them. "Tell Me" was ranked as 7th on the "Top 20 Album Sales (May 2007)" with 10,263 copies sold in that month.
After their tour from Thailand, Battle flew to Beijing, China on July 31, 2007 to promote their second single there. There, they appeared on numerous shows, including the popular CCTV-4 music programJoonghwajeong. They return to Korea on September 2, 2007 to begin recording their first album along with vocal training and even foreign language lessons. They will then embark on local and overseas promotional activities after releasing their completed album. In order to concentrate only on their album, Battle has suspend activities for the next 8 months.
On May 30, Battle's homepage was officially opened and their new looks were unveiled. Each were sporting a unique style unlike their previous singles where they were wearing outfits similar in style and color. Every two days or so, each of their photos were released. And finally their music video was released 2 hours later than scheduled. They made their comeback stage on Music Bank's Summer special, on June 13.
Most fans have speculated that the group will release a single sometime in 2009 after the activities for their comeback have ended late last year. But after a long silence, Battle has decided to have a break from any of their activities as a group with the announcement that the members HwiChan and Lio entering the military on June 2 and July 7, respectively. Meanwhile, the other 3 members will be focusing on their solo activities: the leader, Ryu, on his acting; Chris, the youngest member, is said to be back in the U.S. to study Music in New York; lastly, Taehwa is rumored to release a solo album.
Despite all these, Good Entertainment stands firm that the group is not disbanding.
On October 6, 2009, member Jin Taehwa released his first solo single under the name Zin Taehwa.
Although no official statement was released, it has been known to most fans of the group that as of July 2010, the group's leader Ryu has also entered the military. There are now three members doing their military service. However, there are no news on whether the remaining member Taehwa will be entering the military as well (Considering that Chris is still in the U.S.).
Ryu (Won Seung-jae),(1987-04-18)April 18, 1987(age 25), picked by Andy of Shinhwa, is the oldest among the five and the leader. Having been a model, he decided to put his catwalk days behind him to concentrate on his music and a possible acting career. Ryu is a rapper, having chosen to follow that route during his days on Shinhwa Battle Cokeplay.
Lio (Park Ji-woon),(1987-08-21)August 21, 1987(age 24), was chosen by Jun Jin of Shinhwa and was also featured in Jun Jin's first solo album. Having studied in China, Lio is fluent in Mandarin and is currently studying English. In Shinhwa Battle Cokeplay, Lio was consistently referred to as the "rapper of Battle Shinhwa", with reference to him being the strongest rapper on the show.Armed with a mischievous smile, Lio is considered to be one of the best dancers in Battle, charming fans with his smooth moves and lopsided grin. He was featured in Jun Jin's solo debut under the track "Come Back." He is also Jun Jin's "stepbrother."
Tae-hwa (Jin Tae-hwa),(1988-01-01)January 1, 1988(age 24), is the best dancer in the group, chosen by Shinhwa's own choreographer and dancer Min Woo to be part of Battle. During "Let’s Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa!" the popularity award was bestowed upon him. He has a great voice which is used on all of Battles songs. He has also released a solo debut with the song called Fallen Angels in 2009 while his band mates were pursuing other activities. He portrays an angel and a devil in his music video.
Hwi-chan (Kim Tae-kwan),(1988-06-08)June 8, 1988(age 23), replaced Shinhwa member Dongwan 's initial choice, Jang-hyun. After Jang-hyun decided to leave the group, Hwi-chan stepped in and joined Battle, providing his strong, melodic voice to the group. Having lived with his grandma for most of his life, because Hwi-chan's parents worked long hours, he received devastating news that she died not long after he was eliminated from the show.
Chris (Jung Hyung-rok),(1989-10-27)October 27, 1989(age 22), is the youngest of the group and was picked by Hye Sung of Shinhwa. Though he was born in Seoul, he and his family moved to California when he was young. He attended Burbank Elementary School, Ross Middle School, Gahr High School, and then Torrance High School. Rather like the mother of the group, Chris loves to cook for his fellow members, and lends a soft, sweet-catchy voice to Battle.
Ki-hyun (Shin Ki-hyun),(1987-06-19)June 19, 1987(age 24), who stands at an intimidating 188 cm, often slouched to look the same height as his fellow members. Kihyun loves playing soccer and is competitive at heart. Chosen by Shinhwa's member Eric , Ki-hyun contributed his talent in rapping to Battle’s songs but then worked on his vocals and sang some small parts in their songs. After acting in a small role in a drama, Ki-hyun left the group to pursue an acting career. There were a lot of rumors surrounding his departure from Battle, some which are unconfirmed.
|Title of release||Date of release||Tracklist|
|Crash (Crazy Love)||December 14, 2006|
|Tell Me (Malhae)||May 30, 2007|
|Step by Step||June 10, 2008|
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