Shinhwa( Hangul :신화; hanja :神話) is a South Korean six-member boy band that debuted on 24 March 1998 with: Eric Mun , Lee Min-woo , Kim Dong-wan , Shin Hye-sung , Jun Jin and Andy Lee . It is the longest-running boy band in the history of K-pop in South Koreaand has enjoyed success alongside Sechs Kies , g.o.d , Fly to the Sky , Turbo , Baby V.O.X , Fin. K.L. , H.O.T. and S.E.S. . Shinhwa is the Korean word for myth or legend .Shinhwa was formed under SM Entertainment ; however, it moved to Good Entertainment in July 2003, upon the expiration of their contract. Whilst under Good Entertainment as Shinhwa, each of the members pursued their own solo careers under individual companies. The group also mentored Korean boy band Battle . In 2011, members of the group formed Shinhwa Company to continue to perform together. They made their comeback to the music industry in March 2012, after a four year hiatus, during which the band members served individual mandatory military services, with the release of their tenth albumThe Returnand concert tour.In September 2014, Shinhwa's agency, Shinhwa Company was renamed as ShinCom Entertainmentdue to trademark issues for Joon Media and SM Entertainment.
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In July 2002, Taiwanese boy band Energy covered Shinhwa's song,Hey, Come On!causing tensions between the fans of Shinhwa and Energy. As it was later noted, Jeff Vincent and Peter Rafelson who wroteHey, Come On!had sold the song to Energy, therefore, it was legal. Even so, fans of Shinhwa were angry over that fact. The Taiwanese group 5566 also covered Shinhwa's "Dark", a song included in Shinhwa's 4th album.
In 2003 SM Entertainment 's 5-year contract with Shinhwa ended, thus allowing the band to either sign another contract or switch label. Lee Soo Man , the head of SM Entertainment, only wanted to sign on Eric Mun , Shin Hye-sung , Andy Lee , Jun Jin and Lee Min-woo , but they rejected it. Eric as a leader and the most popular and had the most highly amount of the contract at that time made a decision that they wanted to stick together as a group with all members present as Shinhwa and not go solo. Thus, the band rejected the offer and switched over to the fairly new management at the time,Good Entertainment. The movement sparked controversy when Lee denied their permission to use the name Shinhwa with the different company. However, after the argument was taken to court, Shinhwa won, allowing them to hold the rights to use the name "Shinhwa".
The first member scouted was Shin Hye-sung , who attended Venice High School, after a stand-out audition in Los Angeles, California . Andy Lee was then chosen to join the group as he was once a candidate for H.O.T. At that time his parents prohibited him from joining H.O.T because he was too young. Eric Mun joined not long after Andy. Eric attended John Burroughs Middle School located in Los Angeles, CA and Sunny Hills High School located in Fullerton, CA. Following Eric came Lee Min-woo , who was discovered by a SM scout when he won 1st place at a student dance competition. Kim Dong-wan was spotted by a scout on the street and was initially interested in acting, but joined after he saw a preview video of the existing members. Finally, Jun Jin made it as the final member through an audition backed by his high school friend Kangta . Among the six, only two had had previous exposure to the media; Eric and Andy were introduced in 1997 as rappers in fellow SM group S.E.S.'s song "I'm Your Girl".
Hence, their debut album해결사(The Solver) did not perform as well as expected and the band almost disbanded.
, was released on 19 April 1999. It garnered considerable success with its title song. The album debuted at #4 and peaked at #3, selling 377,500 copies and charting for 24 weeks on the Korean monthly chart.With the release ofT.O.P, Shinhwa began to move away from their "cute" image to an edgier image concept. Riding on the success of their second album, the group received the "1998's Best Music Video from a new male pop group" award from M.Net, their first major music award.
, was released on May 27, 2000. The album was as successful as Shinhwa's previous two albums, selling approximately 423,873 copies.It debuted at number one and was the band's first number one album. It contained three successful singles: "Only One", "All Your Dreams", and "First Love". The album spent approximately 24 weeks on the charts.
With the success ofOnly One, Shinhwa won three awards that year: the SBS Gayo "Popularity Award", the KMTV song "Bonsang Award", and the "Popular Singers Award". Their revised dancing style also garnered them much popularity, as it took after the likes of popular American boy bands N'Sync and Backstreet Boys . The group once again underwent a drastic change in appearance, taking on a distinctly gothic image, with most of the members bleaching their hair. On January 13 and January 14 of that year, Shinhwa also held one their first concerts ever, entitledFirst Mythology.
Though a success, Shinhwa promoted the album with only one single. In yet another change in appearance, the members took on a cleaner look, moving completely away from the goth image in the previous album.Hey, Come On!charted for 28 weeks on the Korean monthly chart and was ranked #11 on the 2001 year-end chart.
While their album was a stronger seller, Shinhwa was associated with controversies at the time, giving the group a heavy publicity with the absence of group member Andy and the alleged copying of Shinhwa's popular single, "Hey, Come On!" by Taiwanese boy band , Energy .
s strong sales,My Choicewas met with moderate success, selling more than 171,368 copiesand debuted and peaked at #4 before it was dropped from the Korean monthly Chart. However, when the yearly chart was released,My Choiceranked #31, selling a total of 183,098 copies.
, on March 29, 2002. The album also marked the return of member Andy Lee. The album was accompanied with another change in the group's appearance as they moved away from their "clean" look into a more preppy style by sporting trendy clothing and styles.Perfect Mandebuted at #1 on the Korean monthly chart, becoming Shinhwa's second #1 album. The title track became popular among their fans, letting Shinhwa promote the album with a second single, "I Pray 4 U". The album was once again a strong seller, selling 355,333 copiesand was #14 on the year end chart "Top 100 Albums in 2002" where the album sales was 362,639 copies.It charted for approximately 23 weeks.
On August 25, 2003, Shinhwa experienced one of its first international breakthroughs in Asia whenPerfect Manwas ranked #10 on the Singapore - Mandarin chart. With this recognition, they were chosen to be Korea's representative in thePOP Asia 2002ceremony in Japan and were later invited to be Korea's representative in Japan's Asia Dream concert (ABU award ceremony).
They also became the second artist in South Korea to release two albums in a single year.Weddingdebuted and peaked at #3 and sold 273,714 copies.
With the expiration of the group's contract, SM Entertainment offered them a second contract but the group rejected it and signed with new company, Good Entertainment . However, they had to go to court to retain the use of their name. Which they won and duly moved from SM Entertainment to Good Entertainment. Because the contract with Good Entertainment did not begin until 2004, Shinhwa members pursued solo activities in 2003.
on December 30, 2003, which sold over 100,000 copies.The lead single "Young Gunz" was often requested at radio stations. Because it was a success, Shinhwa began releasingWinter Storyevery winter afterwards.
Shinhwa had another live concert from April 18 to April 20, 2003 namedThe Everlasting Mythology. They also went on theirWinter Story Tour, which traveled to six cities: Seoul , Pusan , Daejeon , Incheon , Daegu , and Kwangju as well as going to Japan with a concert callSHINHWA First Live in Tokyo, where they also held a Japanese fan meeting calledHave Fun With Shinhwa On M.Net Tour.
The members of Shinhwa pursued solo activities in 2003. Min-woo went solo under the name "M," releasing his first album entitledUn-touch-able, while Hye-sung collaborated with Kangta and Lee Ji-hoon for a project group S . Jun Jin branched out into acting with the dramaForbidden Lovealongside actress Kim Tae-hee . Andy and Jun Jin also participated in a Korean sitcomNonstop 4as well as Banjun Drama . Eric also began acting in dramas soon after acting in several CFs .
Brand Newhad a different beat, transitioning from bubblegum pop to dance songs. The group heavily promotedBrand Newwith four singles: "Angel", "Oh!", "Crazy", and title track. The album was ranked #4 on the 2004 year-end chart.
On December 10, 2004, Shinhwa was awarded the Daesang forBest Artist of The Yearfor the first time at the Seoul Gayo Daesang Awards. Several weeks later, on December 29, Shinhwa was awarded their second Daesang at the 2004 SBS Gayo Daejun Awards, winning two of the possible 4 Daesang in that year with Rain and Lee Soo Young receiving the other two. In 2004, of all musical artists and groups, Shinhwa received the most awards, totaling thirteen or more, from various places: the m.net KMTV Music Video Festival, Seoul Gayo Daesang, Golden Disc Awards and MBC , KBS , SBS Gayo Awards. The awards other thanBest Artist of the YearincludedBest Male Artist,Best Dance Artist, andOverseas Choice Award.
After the success ofBrand Newthey began touring. In August of that year, they held a Korea-China-Japan summer camp calledShinhwa Summer Story 2004. The camp was dedicated entirely for their non-Korean fans. Hundreds of non-Korean fans flew to Korea from all over Asia for the opportunity to spend a few days with the band. They also toured in Japan and held a concert, selling 13,000 tickets within a week.
In yet another change in appearance, Shinhwa's image matured from the preppy style inPerfect Manto a more sophisticated look. They began wearing black suits, which was rather uncommon among boy bands at that time. Although they previously dyed their hair in various colors (from purple to silver), inBrand Newthey stopped completely, leaving their hair in either brown or black. They also trimmed their hair to a neat style or cut it short, which was uncommon among boy bands because "shaggy hair" was in style.
Though they have written lyrics for their music before, Shinhwa took more creative control over their music and began writing a majority of their lyrics. Eric wrote some rap lyrics for some of the songs while Minwoo Lee took charge and began writing full lyrics. Some songs that he had written are: "All of My", "Oh", and "U". He later went on to write the song "Superstar" for the group Jewelry , which became a hit. The other members also co-wrote various other songs.
concert. For a majority of 2005, Shinhwa hosted a reality show calledLet's Coke Play Battle Shinhwa!. The show was almost identical to the American reality show, American Idol where people audition and sing, hoping to become singers. (seeNotable Achievementsbelow.) To end the year, Shinhwa released their secondWinter Storyalbum,Winter Story 2004-2005, selling in excess of 102,345 copies.
Brand NewandState Of The Artbecame their first consecutive #1 albums. It was also the third best selling album in 2006, behind SG Wannabe 'sThe 3rd Masterpieceand TVXQ 's"O"-Jung.Ban.Hap..
concert at Tokyo's Budokan Hall celebrating the founding of Mnet Japan.This was followed by the release of their first Japanese language albumInspiration #1, with lead track, "This is the Sun in Our Hearts" released on June 14. The album released in Japan on August 16 peaked at #4 on Oricon Chart , selling in excess of 100,000 copies each.
with two concerts at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena , Seoul on 13 and 14 May.They also performed at Budokan Hall in Tokyo , and Osaka-jo Hall on September 24 and 26, as part of the2006 Japan Tour Inspiration#1.
and though he had intended to release his third album in the U.S.,he released it in Korea instead. Hye-sung released his second album on August 8, 2007.The three solo artists were successful and consider themselves friendly rivals.
The other members managed to pursue their own solo activities as well. Eric finished his dramaQue Sera, Seraand although he is currently the only member in Shinhwa who hasn't pursued a solo singing career, reports have mentioned that this is a possibility in the near future.Jun Jin, who released his first single the previous year, finished promoting it and was supposedly preparing for his first album, with the help of Min-woo, which would be released around September.However, he did not release an album or single. Andy starred in the musical, "Music In My Heart (Season 3)."
However, due to each of the members having hectic schedules, the album release date was pushed into March 2008.While Shinhwa was not expected to release an album in 2007, they released their compilation albumWinter Story 2007on December 6, 2007,which debuted at #1 on the Korean monthly chart.
Shortly after the release ofWinter Story 2007, Shinhwa staged their Asia Concert with a two-day performance on the 8th and 9 December in Saitama, Japan followed by a concert in Shanghai. The concert's theme was "Forever Shinhwa" to commemorate Shinhwa's 9 years of activities and to announce the beginning of their 10th year together.
Because the concert was the last concert before the members left for the army, all 22,000 seats available for the concert were sold out.
After their 10th anniversary and the release of their 9th album, the members continued to work on their solo career. Dong-wan released his 2nd solo studio album and JunJin released his 1st solo studio album and joinedInfinity Challengeas the 7th member. Min-woo released his 3rd solo studio album along with Hye-sung who also released his own 3rd solo studio album. Hyesung would then also release Part 2 of his 3rd album on January 2009. Eric would go on to star in a drama,Strongest Chil Woo. Dong-wan then released a single album and Jun Jin also released a mini album. Min-woo released another mini album in Summer of 2009 and Andy continued with his career as a musical actor and released his 2nd studio album.
On January 11, 2010, Andy also enlisted for mandatory military service and was the only member to serve 21 months of active duty.Min-woo was the last of the members to enlist in February 2010. He also served non-active duty after undergoing four weeks of basic training. Hye-sung is exempt from military service due to serious and recurring injuries in his knee sustained during a concert in 2001.
after working at the Gangnam Management Corporation, managing the culture center’s fitness club and parking lot.This was followed by Min-woo on March 2, 2012, after serving as a public service officer in Seoul Station .
This was followed by their comeback concerts2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour in Seoul: The Returnat Olympic Gymnastics Arena on 24 and 25 March 2012, also marking their 14th anniversary.The Asian tour continued onto Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore from the end of April and concluded in Beijing in July, with 10 shows in eight cities and five countries.
They were also featured in a photospread and interview in the May issue ofCosmopolitan Korea, with the photos shot at the Gucci flagship store in Seoul.
After three weeks of music programme appearances, the track collected eight first place wins, including the Triple Crown onM! Countdown, two each fromShow ChampionandMusic Core; and one fromMusic Bank.
Due of individual activity, Shinhwa will be making comeback in next year.Shinhwa member Eric is going to star in a KBS 2TV drama titled,Discovery of Loveset to air in August. Shin Hye-sung is looking to release his solo album after winning the popular Asian award in China, while Andy is taking some time off due to his recent illegal gambling charges. Lee Min-woo is scheduled to hold a Beijing and Shanghai Asian tour this July and August. Before going to China, he will travel to Japan this month and hold a solo concert for his fans there. Shin Hye-sung, Lee Min-woo, and Jun Jin will be attending the "2014 The Young The Future" concert in Beijing on July 12. Meanwhile, Kim Dong-wan is continuing to study in Canada to improve his English language skills.
This appearance marked the first time Shinhwa was returning to Inkigayo since promotions eight years earlier. The group also announced it would be releasing its 12th full length album on February 26, 2015, titled "WE."
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Throughout its existence, Shinhwa has achieved many successes and has been awarded many honors. One of their first notable achievement was when they made history in the Korean music industry when they released their sixth album,Weddingon December 6, 2002, becoming the longest-running Korean boy band in existence. Shinhwa is still holding the record as they have not yet disbanded. In addition to becoming the longest-running boy band in South Korea, Shinhwa also holds the record for the only boy band to stay together for a decade and not lose members along the way nor add another one in (Member Andy's departure does not necessarily count as he came back into the group). Just as well, Shinhwa is also the only group to ever has all its member branch out to do solo activities with the group still together. Shinhwa has sold an excess of 5 million records worldwide, an incredible feat for an Asian group and one of the highest album sales in Asia.
In July 2004, they were selected to represent Korea in the MTV Buzz Asia Awards along with Namie Amuro for Japan and F4 for Taiwan. They were also selected to sing at the finale. Shinhwa was also the most searched artist in the Yahoo! Singapore search engine for an entire week in 2004, becoming the first Korean artist to do so, on their first visit to Singapore in October 2004.
The group was also the face of Swiss watch brand Radoin Asia for a January 2005 campaign.
In March 2005, along with their management team, Good Entertainment, music channel, MNET and Coca-Cola , the group hosted a reality TV show, called "Let's Cokeplay Battle Shinhwa." The show, which set out to search for a new Shinhwa (new legend group), lasted 8 months long and attracted over 1,800 applicants throughout Korea to audition. The final show took place on November 4, 2005 at Olympic Park, Seoul , where Shinhwa members chose the 6 final members of the new Shinhwa from the 12 finalists. The 6 male winners (making the group now known as Battle ), along with 2 other female finalists (as solos) immediately underwent training and debuted in 2006 under Good Entertainment.
is the brightest among the more than 2 thousand stars with Korean names that can be seen with the naked eye. The star is best seen in November. However, according to the International Astronomical Union , this type of star name has no formal or official validity whatsoever.
Shinhwa won the award again in 2007 for their songPretty, beating TVXQ by a close percentage of 50.76% to 48.55%. The other candidates, Super Junior , Se7en, Rain , Big Bang , BoA , SS501 , Paran and Jang Nara , all received once again less than one percent of the votes.
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Shinhwa has changed musical styles many times throughout their existence, beginning with typical bubblegum pop songs (as seen with their songEusha, Eusha) like other pop singers at the time. They also did regular pop songs as well, with the release of their 4th albumHey, Come On!. Shinhwa would continued to release pop music (although they have done alternative rock as well) until their contract with SM Entertainment ran up. It would be in the release of their 7th album,Brand Newthat Shinhwa would transition into dance songs. With the release of their 8th album,State Of The Art, Shinhwa can still be seen having dance songs as well as, though their hit song,Once In A Lifetimeshows a more slow pop style. Because they have change many musical styles over the years, Shinhwa have created a variation of popular music for their fans and general K-pop listeners, though throughout the years, they have as well created their own distinct style of music.
While Shinhwa is known best as artists who do dance songs, the members have branch out to do various styles. Min-woo's first album show him as an R&B singer, though his #1 hit song,Just One Nightis more of a jazz genre. His later albums would be R&B/dance vein of his previous albums. Hye-sung have branch out to do ballads song, as ballads are becoming popular throughout South Korea. Dong-wan, Jun Jin and Andy had also followed within his footsteps, doing ballad songs.
Shinhwa is often hailed as one of the best dance groups in South Korea, winning many dance awards such asM.net/KM music video festival "Best Dance Music Video"andBest Music Video For The Dance Section Awards. Their dances are often filled with heavy choreography , with a few free style moves once in a while (often from Min-woo). They also feature break dancers in the background of many of their performances as well as female dancers dancing with and around them. Shinhwa's own members Min-woo and Jun Jin also break dance and often teach it to their fans. Shinhwa's unique style of dancing is credited to member Min-woo, who is their main choreographer (although they do have another choreographer as well). Min-woo was discovered by an SM Entertainment scout while he was in a dance group, which can explain why he has choreographed some of Shinhwa's most technically challenging dances. Jun Jin, another member who is skilled in dancing as well assists Min-woo. Their dance moves has been describe as "evil," "complicated," and "difficult-to-follow" with few people being able to copy their dance moves.
Like most popular bands, Shinhwa has change their appearances various times. In their early days, Shinhwa were generally marketed as a typical boy band with cute looks and matching outfits (as seen with their performances and music videos ). They later transitioned this "cute" image concept into a more darker tone with the release of their second and third albums, bleaching their hair and wearing dark make up. Their outfits also matched their appearances, being either shiny or dark. With the release of their fourth album , Shinhwa would change from the gothic style of before into a much more simple and cleaner look. Their fifth album would change them into a more preppy style. With the style, Shinhwa would began to sport mondern trend clothing and styles. Shinhwa would continue this preppy style into their sixth album , though it was obvious that they were beginning to mature their looks. When they released their seventh album , Shinhwa began to change their appearance once again, wearing black suits and looking significantly more sophisticated than most boy bands at the time. They also stopped with the dyeing hair and heavy make up, as well as leaving their hair shaggy and long. Shinhwa's eighth album continued their sophisticated look, with the group wearing black suits for most of their performances. For their 9th album, Shinhwa's new look was displayed in their MVRun, in which they describe it to be "Mexican Mafia". Shinhwa has adopted a "vampire" concept mixed with an aristocratically Greek-gods look for their 10th album, The Return.
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