Girls’ Generation is a nine-member South Korean pop girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2007.They are also referred to asSoShi (소시) or SNSD by their fans, both abbreviated forms of the group’s Korean name.
Girls’ Generation has released three Korean full albums, three Korean mini-albums, one Japanese full album and various singles. Their 2009 hit single “Gee” holds the record for being the longest running No. 1 song on KBS Music Bank, having held the No. 1 chart ranking for nine consecutive weeks. Gee was named song of the decade by the Korean music site, Melon.
The group began a foray into the Japanese music scene in late 2010 under Nayutawave Records, a part of Universal Music, with the Japanese remakes of their 2009 Korean hits “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” and “Gee”.
The leader of the group is Kim Taeyeon. The other members are Jessica Jung, Sunny, Tiffany, Kim Hyoyeon, Kwon Yuri, Choi Sooyoung, Im Yoona and Seohyun.
2007–2008: Debut and Girls’ Generation
In July 2007, Girls’ Generation had their unofficial first stage performance on Mnet School of Rock where the group performed their first single, titled “Into the New World” (다시 만난 세계, Dasi Mannan Segye). A documentary recording the story of the group’s debut titled Mnet Girls’ Generation Goes to School was filmed during this time, showing the members as they moved into an apartment together and prepared for their performances. The group’s first single was physically released soon after, including an instrumental of the group’s debut song and two other tracks: “Beginning” and “Perfect for You”. The latter’s Korean title is “Wish” (소원, SoWon), which later became the name of Girls’ Generation’s official fan club, S♡NE. The group’s debut officially began on August 5, 2007, first performing on SBS Inkigayo and then later on MBC Music Core and KBS Music Bank. “Into the New World” achieved No.1 spot on M! Countdown.
The group released their first self-titled full album in late autumn of 2007 with the lead single “Girls’ Generation” (소녀시대, Sonyeo Sidae), a remake of Lee Seung-cheol’s 1989 song. Promotion for the single started in early November. The album also included the group’s first single “Into the New World”, “Perfect For You” (re-titled “Honey”), and eight other tracks by the group. In early 2008, Girls’ Generation began promoting their second single from the album, “Kissing You”, which won the group their first K-chart win after getting the number one position on the KBS Music Bank February chart.
In March 2008, the album was repackaged, re-released and re-titled Baby Baby. A third single, “Baby Baby”, was released to promote the album. During the group’s promotions, members Jessica, Tiffany and Seohyun were also featured on a mini-album released by Roommate, a one-man band from Purple Communication. The mini-album was titled Roommate: Emotional Band Aid, and was released on December 1, 2008. The song performed by the three girls, titled “Oppa Nappa” (오빠 나빠; literally, Bad Brother), was digitally released before the album in April 2008. The song was performed live on SBS Inkigayo, KBS Music Bank and M! Countdown some time later.Later in the year the three members released “Mabinogi” (It’s Fantastic!) together as the theme song for the Nexon game Mabinogi, with Tiffany participating in the music video.
Mnet reality show Factory Girl chronicled the members working as interns at fashion magazine Elle Girl. The articles the group worked on were featured in the Korean Elle Girl magazine. The program began airing in early October. In late 2008, the group also participated in the SM Town Live ’08 concert along with other SM Town artists.
2009: Gee, Genie and rising popularity
Girls’ Generation performing at SMTown Live ’08 in Bangkok, Thailand in 2009.
On December 26, 2008, posters of the Girls’ Generation members wearing roller-skates were posted up in various locations around Seoul. SM Entertainment’s phone lines were blocked up by callers asking whether the posters were for sale and the company asked fans to stop taking the posters down for personal use. On December 29, the group’s management stated that the posters were indeed teaser posters and that the group would soon release their first EP, Gee, in January 2009.
A teaser video was released in January 2009 and the first single “Gee” released soon after. “Gee” topped Cyworld’s hourly music chart on the release day. The song also went No.1 on all major digital music charts within two days. The music video set a record on release, garnering 1 million views on GomTV in under a day.
The group began its album promotion in January 2009 on MBC Music Core where they sang their new lead single “Gee” and the track “Himnae (Way To Go)”, another song from their mini-album. “Gee” went on to become a phenomenal hit, breaking the record for consecutive No.1 wins on Music Bankwith 9 consecutive wins, as well as receiving a triple crown on SBS Inkigayo. The track also showed strength on other charts, topping the Mujikon,Melon and Mnet charts for 8 consecutive weeks, the Dosirak chart for 7 weeks, the Muse chart for 6 weeks and the Baksu chart for 4 weeks.
After a short break, SM Entertainment announced that the group would be back with a new mini-album sporting a “Marine Girl” concept. The new single was to be titled “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)”; with the full mini-album being released digitally on June 22, 2009. The group started their promotional activities on June 26, 2009, appearing on KBS Music Bank. The performance was followed by follow-up comeback performances on MBC Music Core and SBS Inkigayo on June 27 and 28, 2009. The physical release of Genie was delayed by SM Entertainment in order to redo the album art, and was released 4 days later on June 29, 2009.
The track proved to be a success as it conquered various music sites, including Melon, Dosirak, Mnet, and Bugs, and it was No.1 on the weekly charts and SKT ringtone weekly charts of the first week of July. The mini-album sold an estimated 50,000+ copies in its first week after released (almost double the numbers from the first-week sales of Gee), an unusual feat for any Korean girl group.
2010: Oh!/Run Devil Run, Japanese debut and Hoot
Later in January, SM Entertainment confirmed the release of Oh!, the group’s second full-length album to be released on January 28. The lead single “Oh!”, was digitally released on January 25 with the music video being released two days later. On January 30, the group started promotions with the recording of MBC Music Core. The broadcast of the performance experienced a blackout near the end, to which MBC made the whole performance available online in response. With ‘Oh!’, the group went on to win 5 consecutive K-charts on KBS Music Bank, as well as achieving a triple crown on SBS Inkigayo. ‘Oh!’ also went on to win the Music Bank half-year K-chart, coming in at 2nd on Hanteo’s first half album sales chart, and also winning the end-of-year K-chart. The music video became ranked as the number one most viewed YouTube video in Korea by the end of 2010. It was also No.1 in Hong Kong and made the top 10 in both the Taiwan and Japan rankings.
Starting from March 11, 2010, photos of the members were released online showcasing a dark concept, dubbed “Black SoShi”. A teaser video was released on March 16, with the new single Run Devil Run being released as a digital single on March 17.
Mid-June, it was announced that the group had signed contracts in May, and would begin working under Universal Music Japan’s record label Nayutawave Records for their Japanese promotions, with their first Japanese single expected to be released in September 2010. Girls’ Generation began promotion in Japan in August. “少女時代到来～初来日記念盤～” (Girls’ Generation’s Arrival ～ First Time in Japan Commemoration Disc ～), a DVD featuring seven of the group’s music videos as well as special bonus footage was released on August 11, with the special edition of the DVD containing a pink glowstick as well as a pass to the Girls’ Generation debut at the Tokyo Ariake Colliseum on August 25. In the first week after release, the DVD sold 23,000 copies, making No.4 on the weekly DVD Oricon ranking and No.3 on the weekly music DVD ranking, making Girls’ Generation the first female k-pop group to make the Oricon DVD Top-5 ranking. The sales for the group’s first photobook, “少女” (So Nyuh) were estimated to at 1.6 billion won even before release.
Amidst their Japanese activities, the group also participated in the SMTown Live ’10 World Tour alongside their label-mates on August 21 at Seoul Jamsil Olympic Stadium. They participated in the subsequent Shanghai, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo stops as well.
On August 25, the group held their first showcase in Tokyo Ariake Colliseum. With an initial 10,000 fans invited, it was reported to be the most large-scale plan for a Korean artist debuting in Japan. However, due to high number of expected attendees, the group’s management announced that the showcase would take place three times in the same day rather than once to accommodate the estimated 20,000 fans. The group sang 5 of their Korean tracks at each of the showcases, and the total number of attendees over all three shows were estimated to be at least 22,000. At this showcase, the Genie Japanese music video was also revealed publicly for the first time, the teaser having been released a few days prior on August 20.
Their Japanese debut single “Genie” debuted at the No.5 spot on the same day of its release on the Daily Oricon Charts and later rose to the No.2 position on the Daily Charts some time later, earning the group a No.4 position on the Oricon weekly ranking. The group also hit the number No.1 spots on Japan iTunes’ music video chart and both the Rekochoku daily video clip chart and incoming movie daily ranking chart a day later. With pre-orders amounting to 80,000, the single sold an estimated 45,000 copies in the first week after release. On October 20, 2010, the group released their second Japanese single, “Gee”.
A week after the release of their Japanese single, the group released their third Korean mini-album, Hoot on October 27, 2010, consisting of five tracks. The video for lead single, “Hoot”, a song originally written in English as “Bulletproof”, was released on October 28. Girls’ Generation commenced their promotional activities with a comeback stage on KBS Music Bank on October 29. “Hoot” quickly rose to the top of the charts and received the No.1 spot numerous times on music shows, proving to be another successful release for the group. The group simultaneously promoted “Hoot” and “Gee” in Korea and Japan respectively, participating in Japanese music broadcasts such as the FNS Music Festival, where they performed their two Japanese singles, “Gee” and “Genie” on December 4.
On December 22, 2010, “Hoot” was repackaged with additional tracks from previous albums and released in Japan. The release rose to the No.2 position on the Oricon charts and selling 21,000 copies on the first day, faring surprisingly well considering that all the included tracks were entirely in Korean.
On December 9, 2010, the group attended the Golden Disk Awards, being awarded three awards including the Disk Daesang (Album of the Year) for their 2nd album Oh!. The group also became the first ever girl group to have both a Disk Daesang (2010)and Digital Daesang (2009). On December 15, 2010, the group attended the Melon Music Awards winning the Best Dressed Singer award, Hot Trend Song award for their latest song, “Hoot”, as well as the Artist of the Year award. This would be the 2nd consecutive ‘Artist of the Year’ award for the group. They topped the Hanteo annual Singer Award chart for 2010.
They were named on Asia Today’s list of 50 Korean power leaders for 2011 at the No.44 spot, being the only idol group from the list. Girls’ Generation was designated “Artist of the Year” by Dosirak, Soribada, Korea Gallup, Hanteo and Sport Korea and also won Best Song of The Year with “Oh!” at Monkey 3.
2011: Mr. Taxi, Girls’ Generation and The Boys
Hoot was certified Gold by Record Industry Association of Japan. At the start of 2011, the group prepared a new song titled “Visual Dreams”, as part of their endorsement efforts for Intel’s Core Processors throughout Asia. The music video for “Visual Dreams” was released on January 17, and various promotional campaigns included new music, 2D and 3D music videos, internet sites, photos, and PC store displays.
In latter half of January, it was announced that the group would be returning to the Japanese market through the release of their Japanese version of “Run Devil Run” as a digital single, scheduled for release on January 25, 2011.
On January 20, at the 20th Seoul Music Awards, the group received an Artist of the Year award, a Bonsang prize, a Popularity award and a Hallyu award. In doing this, Girls’ Generation became one of four artists in Korean music history (the others being Seo Taiji, Jo Sungmo and H.O.T.) to win two consecutive Artist of the Year awards at the Seoul Music Awards. The group also became the only girl group in history to receive Artist of the Year awards for Seoul Music Awards, and Melon Music Awards for two consecutive years. They also received two Daesang Awards at the Golden Disk Ceremony, one Digital Daesang (2009), and one Physical Album Sales Daesang (2010).
On March 8, SM Japan updated their official website with information about the release of Girls’ Generation third Japanese single and their first Japanese tour. It was stated that on April 27, Girls’ Generation would be releasing their third Japanese single MR. TAXI / Run Devil Run, which would include their first original Japanese song “MR. TAXI”. and the Japanese remake of their song “Run Devil Run”. A portion of the revenue from their Japanese single MR. TAXI / Run Devil Run would be donated to Japan’s Red Cross in order to provide assistance to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. On April 9, the Japanese music video of “Run Devil Run” was released.
It was also announced that the group would embark on a Japan-wide tour titled The 1st Japan Arena Tour which would start at Osaka on May 31. A total of 14 concerts in 6 cities would be held over a period of one and a half months.
At the 2011 MTV Video Music Aid Japan (VMAJ), Girls’ Generation were nominated for three awards under the “Best Group Video”, “Best Video Of The Year” and “Best Karaokee! Song” categories. Originally titled MTV Video Music Awards Japan (VMAJ), the title of the event was changed to change the focus of the show to aid Japan, with donations tied to the amount of votes for artistes. Girls’ Generation performed two songs at the event, joining the star-studded line up alongside world-famous artistes such as Tokio Hotel, Lady Gaga and AKB48. On July 2, it was announced that they had come out top in two out of the three nominated categories, winning “Best Group Video” and “Best Karaokee! Song” for the Japanese version of “Genie”.
On June 1, 2011, they released their first full-length original Japanese studio album Girls’ Generation. This album contains 12 songs including the singles “Genie”, “Gee”, “Run Devil Run”, “MR. TAXI” and a Japanese version of “Hoot”.
Girls’ Generation was certified Platinum (250,000) by Recording Industry Association of Japan on June 14, 2011, making it the fifth Korean artist’s album to do so after S.E.S, BoA, TVXQ and KARA.Girls’ Generation then was certified Double Platinum (500,000) on July 8, 2011, a first for any Korean girl group. The group also set a record for “recording the highest sales of the FIRST album as a foreign artist in Japan. Girls’ Generation is the fourth artist to obtained number 1 spot on weekly album chart after BoA, TVXQ and Big Bang,” and became the third Korean artist to surpass the 500,000 mark after BoA and TVXQ. As a result of their rising popularity, Girls’ Generation became the highest earning foreign artist in Japan for the first half of 2011. Girls’ Generation has sold over 629,436 copies, and now holds the 5th spot for best selling albums of 2011 in Japan according to Oricon.
Recently, the group has been in the midst of their second Asia Tour. They held their first two concerts in Seoul on July 23 and 24, followed by concerts in Taipei, Taiwan on September 9, 10 and 11, and then continue onto Singapore on December 9.
On August 21, 2011 The 1st Asia Tour: Into The New World DVD reached the No.1 spot in Japan’s “Tower Records” being the highest selling DVD between August 15-21st.
Girls’ Generation was designated by SISA Press as “The Most Influential Entertainers in Korea” for the year 2011, after having placed 6th in the 2010 ranking.
Girls’ Generation performing “The Boys” in NY SMTown Concert, in October 2011
On September 26, 2011 the first teaser featuring Taeyeon was released for the impending comeback with the group’s 3rd Korean album The Boys, followed by Sunny & Hyoyeon on September 27; Jessica, Sooyoung and Tiffany on September 28 and Yoona, Yuri, and Seohyun on September 29. The first image teaser for “The Boys” was released on the midnight of October 1, 2011 through SM Entertainment’s YouTube channel.
Girls’ Generation was originally scheduled to release the third album The Boys through iTunes worldwide and through various music websites in Asia including Korea on October 5, 2011. But on September 30, it was revealed that the album’s release has been postponed so as to bring about a worldwide album release, with details to be released as soon as they were confirmed. On October 10, it was confirmed that the album will be released on October 19, 2011 and comeback on KBS Music Bank on October 21, 2011.
Setting their sights on the international market, Girls’ Generation signed a contract with Universal Music Group under Interscope Records in 2011.
The title track, “The Boys”, was released in both Korean and English. It was written, composed and arranged by Teddy Riley, who was Michael Jackson’s producer.
Within minutes after the release of “The Boys”, Girls’ Generation achieved an “all-kill” status on all major on and off-line music charts in Korea.
On October 21, 2011, Girls’ Generation began their promotions on KBS Music Bank with “The Boys” and “MR. Taxi”. On October 23, 2011, it was also confirmed by the members at the SMTown Live ’10 World Tour that The Boys maxi-Single would be released internationally on November 19, 2011, although it was later moved to December 8, 2011.
On the following week after their comeback performances, Girls’ Generation won their first #1 awards for “The Boys” on M! Countdown on October 27, their second on KBS Music Bank on October 28, and their third on SBS Inkigayo on October 30, making “The Boys” an ‘all-kill’ on music program charts. They also went on to receive a “triple crown” on SBS’s Inkigayo. Overall, the group has won twelve times on various music programs.
The Boys sold 227,994 albums just within 12 days in South Korea alone, becoming the best selling album in October and third best selling album thus far in 2011.
It was announced on November 11, 2011 that Girls’ Generation would be releasing their first official Japanese photobook titled “Holiday”. Girls’ Generation’s The 1st Japan Arena Tour was also made available on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14, 2011.
Girls’ Generation’s first Japanese photograph collection book ‘Holiday‘ seized the #1 spot on the book sales ranking chart under the photograph collection category. The photos were a collection of the girls enjoying leisurely time off, and it sold 17,000 copies the first week after going on sale on November 30. In overall book sales ranks, it ranked at #18.
The group also participated on the 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift compilation album along with their labelmates performing the song “Diamond”, which was released on December 13, 2011.
By the end of December, The Boys sold over 385,348 copies in South Korea, becoming the best selling album in 2011.
On January 12, 2012, the group attended the “Golden Disk Awards” that was held in Osaka, the group ended up bringing home 2 awards namely a “Digital Bonsang” and the highly coveted “Digital Daesang” which was the biggest award given that night. On January 19, 2012, the group attended the Seoul Music Awards and brought back 2 awards, the “Bonsang” and “Popularity” awards.
On January 31, 2012, Girls’ Generation performed for the first time on American late night talk show Late Show with David Letterman. They performed a remix version of the English version of “The Boys”. They followed up by performing on syndicated daytime talk show Live! with Kelly on February 1, 2012. Their appearances marked the first time that a Korean musical act performed on each show respectively. The band also performed on the French show Le Grand Journal on February 9, 2012.
On February 7, 2012 was revealed that Girls’ Generation will officially be releasing their album, ‘The Boys’ on February 13, 2012 through Universal Music Group’s Polydor Records in France.
|Stage name||Birth name||Date of birth|
|Taeyeon||태연/太妍||Kim Tae-yeon||김태연/金太妍||March 9, 1989 (age 22)|
|Jessica||제시카/潔西卡||Jessica Jung, Jung Soo-yeon||제시카 정, 정수연/鄭秀妍||April 18, 1989 (age 22)|
|Sunny||써니/珊妮||Lee Soon-kyu||이순규/李順圭||May 15, 1989 (age 22)|
|Tiffany||티파니/蒂芙尼||Stephanie Hwang, Hwang Mi-young||스테파니 황, 황미영/黃美英||August 1, 1989 (age 22)|
|Hyoyeon||효연/孝淵||Kim Hyo-yeon||김효연/金孝淵||September 22, 1989 (age 22)|
|Yuri||유리/侑莉||Kwon Yu-ri||권유리/權俞利||December 5, 1989 (age 22)|
|Sooyoung||수영/秀英||Choi Soo-young||최수영/崔秀英||February 10, 1990 (age 22)|
|Yoona||윤아/潤娥||Im Yoon-ah||임윤아/林潤娥||May 30, 1990 (age 21)|
|Seohyun||서현/徐賢||Seo Joo-hyun||서주현/徐珠玄||June 28, 1991 (age 20)|
Girls’ Generation performs their single “Chocolate Love” at an LG event. The song is a promotional song for LG’s Chocolate phone.
The group has made many ads for the Korean market, including this one for the LG Cookie
During their early career, the group were endorsers for several brands such as Elite Uniform, Nexon Bubble Fighter, Samsung and LG. Since 2008 they have been exclusive models for the Goobne Chicken and have filmed several commercials for the brand, recorded jingles for advertising purposes, and modeled for promotional Goobne calendars as well. Goobne Chicken has since become a strong contender in the chicken industry and attribute their success to the group. By mid-2009 the group members were models for over 10 brands and were chosen as one of South Korea’s most sought after advertisers in a survey conducted by brand consulting research institute. Several members are solo advertising models such as Seohyun who is a model for Clean and Clear and The Face Shop, Taeyeon who models for A-Solution, a cosmetics brand, or Yoona who models for S-Oil and Innisfree. Alongside Super Junior, they are also exclusive models to the partly SM Entertainment-owned retail brand SPAO. Endorsing clothing brands, online games, food industries, events, electronics, cosmetics and even products reserved for the top celebrities to endorse such as petroleum and credit cards, the group was considered one of the most sought after models in 2009.
The group continued to be active in advertising in 2010, endorsing brands and products including the Nintendo DSi and Domino’s Pizza. In late 2010, a gift certificate company began releasing gift certificates each worth 10,000 won which featured Girls’ Generation images on the cards, making them the first celebrities to be featured as such. The Korean web portal Daum also began using the group as models while remodeling certain services and search engines in early October 2010, and released Girls’ Generation desktop wallpapers and screensavers for promotion. A survey conducted in December 2010, saw 409 out of 741 marketing employees choosing Girls’ Generation as the model with the most influence over consumers, attributing their positive attention from the public to their vocals, looks and fashion sense. In 2011, Intel Asia announced that the group would become official advertising models for the company.
Meanwhile, members Yuri, Yoona, Seohyun, Sooyoung and Hyoyeon were models for Christian Dior. Other members which include Yoona and Seohyun were not models for Christian Dior, due to their other cosmetic contracts. Woongjin Coway stated that they selected Girls’ Generation as their exclusive models and recently contracted with the group to endorse their water purifiers. Their contract will begin on March 1 and last through the year, while TV advertisements will begin running mid-March. In March 2011, the group started endorsing the Vita500 brand of energy drinks as part of Vita500’s 10th anniversary and exclusive Vita500 posters of Tiffany, Yuri and Yoona were released.
In Japan, the group is currently endorsing the throat lozenge brand E-ma Nodoame. They endorsed Lipton tea as well, with their songs “Let It Rain” and “MR. TAXI” used as background music. In July 2011, along with labelmates TVXQ, they started endorsing 7-Eleven Japan products featuring the Japanese version of the song “Hoot” in commercials.
On August 19, 2011, Girls’ Generation were chosen as the ambassadors for the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year. Seohyun will be appointed as UNICEF envoys on October 11, 2011 at Changseong-Dong, Seoul. This is a notable feat, as only those who have a respectable reputation are appointed as goodwill representatives.
On October 2011 Girls’ Generation were appointed models for J.ESTINA. On December 15, JCE chose Girls’ Generation as the models for their representative bundled game brand, “Freestyle Sports”, for this winter. They will begin official marketing activities by releasing Girls’ Generation characters. LG Electronics Korea announced on January 16, 2012 that popular girl group, Girls’ Generation, were chosen to be the new models for their Cinema 3D TV brand.
On February 4, 2010 Girls’ Generation held a donation campaign with music site Lunchbox. In the Music Dream campaign, 3% of the purchase price from people joining the site Dosirak will be donated to “Korea Make Wish Foundation”.
A portion of the revenue from the Girls’ Generation Japanese single MR. TAXI / Run Devil Run will be donated to Japan’s Red Cross in order to provide assistance to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
On August 9, 2011 Girls’ Generation, f(x) and SHINee took part in an effort to help African children. The groups were joined by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Kimoon in the ‘Help African Children’ project co-organized by the Korean Red Cross Society and the Korean UNICEF committee.
Girls’ Generation appeared on the September 17th episode of KBS‘ ‘Love Request‘ to donate blood. They invited a girl with a heart condition and a blind boy to fly to Korea to receive treatment. Girls’ Generation also participated in a blood drive campaign during the show together with Super Junior.
Woongjin Coway held a “Beautiful Auction” event at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo with Girls’ Generation on the 27th September 2011 to help women who are neglected.
Girls’ Generation member Seohyun released a digital song “Dreams Comes True” together with Donghae on the 11th and proceeds will be donated to UNICEF. The funds will be used to treat children who are suffering in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Djibouti.
Credit – Wikipedia