Super Junior [Korean: 슈퍼주니어], often referred to as SJ or SuJu [슈주], is a boy band from Seoul, South Korea formed by SM Entertainment in 2005. With a total of thirteen members, they are the largest boy band in the world. The group consists of Leeteuk (the leader), Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kang-in, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kibum, and later, Kyuhyun. The Chinese member, Han Geng, was chosen from three thousand applicants, via auditions held in China by SM Entertainment in 2001.
Super Junior has released and contributed in 19 different kinds of records with varying degrees of success. Over the years, they have been divided into smaller sub groups, simultaneously targeting different music industries and audiences. Largely due to Super Junior’s success as entertainers, other Korean entertainment managements began to train their music groups in other areas of entertainment, such as acting and hosting. In addition to their commercial success, Super Junior has earned four music awards from the M.NET/KM Music Festival, another four from the Golden Disk Awards, and is the second singing group to win Favorite Artist Korea at the MTV Asia Awards after JTL in 2003.
Since the late 1990s, Korean talent agency and record label SM Entertainment has been holding annual auditions to scout new talents that complemented the success of pop groups H.O.T, S.E.S, and Shinhwa, all of which were created by SM founder Soo-Man Lee in the mid 1990s. Leeteuk and Eunhyuk were the first two members of the group to be recruited in 2000 under SM’s Starlight Casting System in Seoul.
In 2001, the company held their first overseas casting auditions and discovered Han Geng in Beijing, who was chosen among three thousand applicants. That same year, Yesung was discovered under Seoul’s casting system; Sungmin and Donghae were also selected to be trainees after their appearance in an SM-sponsored contest. In 2002, Heechul and Kangin was recruited along with Kibum, who was discovered in Los Angeles. Siwon was casted in 2003 and Ryeowook in 2004, in which the latter was discovered through the Chinchin Youth Festival singing competition. In 2005, Shindong was selected.
Not long after boy band TVXQ’s debut in 2003, news about Lee’s unprecedented plans of forming another boy band quickly spread on the Internet. In early 2005, Lee confirmed the news and announced that an all-boy project group of twelve members would debut near the end of the year, promoting this singing group to be “The Gateway to Stardom of Asia.” Lee announced that that most members in this group were chosen because of their performing experiences as actors, MCs, models, and radio hosts prior debut. Heechul and Kibum were already established entertainers, and most of the other members had already made various kinds of appearances on television and media. Highly inspired by the rotational concept of Japan’s girl group Morning Musume, this group would also experience line-up changes, with new members replacing some selected members every year to keep the group constantly young and all-rounded. This concept was then newly introduced to the K-pop market.
For a while the group was rumored to be called O.V.E.R, the acronym for “Obey the Voice for Each Rhythm.” However, before the group settled with their current name, SM simply referred to them as Junior, a representation of the members’ young ages when they first became SM trainees. After the members’ showcased their different talents to the company at a picnic, the company finalized their concept name to Super Junior. The group thereafter became officially Super Junior 05, the first generation of Super Junior.
Super Junior 05 made their pre-debut on the Korean channel Mnet on September 11, 2005. At the showcase, they performed various styles of hip hop dancing. The group danced to B2K’s “Take It To The Floor.” Han Geng, Eunhyuk, and Donghae also performed a separate dance away from the group, dancing to Usher’s “Caught Up.” However, the performance did not air on television until May 16, 2006 as a segment in the Super Junior Show, the group’s first television documentary.
2005–2006: The Super Junior project
Super Junior 05 debuted on SBS’s music program Popular Songs on November 6, 2005, performing their first single, “TWINS (Knock Out).” A digital single with “TWINS (Knock Out)”, “You are the one”, and three additional tracks were released online on November 8. A physical CD single was scheduled to be released the following week but a more complete album, SuperJunior05 (TWINS), was released on December 6, 2005 instead. Their debut album sold 28,536 copies in the first month of release and debuted at #3 in the monthly chart of December 2005. In that same month, they released “Show Me Your Love,” a collaboration single with TVXQ. “Show Me Your Love” became the best-selling record of December 2005, selling 49,945 copies that month.
In February 2006, Super Junior 05 began performances for “Miracle”, the second promotional single from their debut album. “Miracle” was the group’s first single to peak #1 in online music charts of South Korea as well as the music charts of Thailand, drawing interest from international markets. As promotions for “Miracle” came to an end, SM Entertainment began selecting new members for Super Junior’s second line-up project, Super Junior 06. The company even prepared a list of chosen members that were to graduate from the group. However, no members were taken out and a thirteenth member was added instead in May 2006. The line-up project has been abandoned since then, and the group became known as just Super Junior, without the suffix “05”.
2006–2007: Breakthrough success
On May 23, 2006, SM Entertainment revealed the thirteenth member Kyuhyun, who was discovered through a singing competition in 2005. They released their single “U” online for free download on May 25, 2006 in their official website. “U” had over 400 thousand downloads within five hours of release and it ultimately exceeded 1.7 million downloads, crashing the server. The physical single of “U” with a total of three tracks was released on June 6, 2006, eventually selling over 81,000 units. The single became one of Korea’s most popular songs of the year, yielding #1 spots for five consecutive weeks on two of Korea’s top music programs. By the end of the year, Super Junior collected over seven awards in five of South Korea’s top music award ceremonies, winning the title as Best New Group of 2006.
Super Junior’s first sub-unit, the ballad-singing trio Super Junior-K.R.Y., debuted on November 5, 2006 with a performance of Hyena theme song “The One I Love” on KBS music program Music Bank. A second sub-unit arrived in February 2007 called Super Junior-T. The trot-singing group released their first single “Rokkugo” in February 23, 2007 and made a debut performance on Popular Songs two days later.
Super Junior’s second official album was intended for a late 2006 release, but due to several accidental setbacks, Don’t Don was not released until September 20, 2007. Within the first three days of release, offline album sales for Don’t Don passed the 11,000 unit mark, debuting as #1 in all available offline charts. It finished the September monthly album sales as #1. 60,000 units were shipped by the first week of release and additional copies were printed. Although Don’t Don received rather bland reviews from critics, the album sold more than 160,000 copies by the end of the year, becoming the second best-selling record of 2007. The album also found success in Taiwan; it broke the record for being the highest ranked Korean album on the G-music Combo Billboard Chart, surpassing the albums of TVXQ and Shinhwa. Super Junior’s album also ranked above Taiwanese boy band K One, whose album debuted at #6.
Supported by the release of Don’t Don, Super Junior was nominated in seven separate categories at the 2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival that was held on November 17, 2007. Super Junior won three of those categories including “Netizen Choice Award” and “Mobile Popularity”, being the biggest winner of the night. The group also won “Best Artist of the Year” (Daesang), termed by many as the highest recognition of the ceremony. Super Junior collected two more awards on December 14, 2007 at the 2007 Golden Disk Awards. Although defeated by SG Wannabe in winning the “Daesang”, Super Junior won a “Bonsang” and the “TPL Anycall Popularity Award”, which were reported as expected wins for the group by the media after the success of Don’t Don.
2008: Beyond Korea
On October 2, 2007, SM Entertainment announced a third Super Junior sub-unit Super Junior-M, a subgroup designated for the Chinese market. While the creation of the subgroup created a brief controversy between the fans and the management, Super Junior-M became a phenomenal success in China, having the opportunity to have two sold-out concerts in Hong Kong, top weekly ratings with their appearance on variety programs, and becoming the idol group with the most endorsement contracts in China. With the absence of almost half of the members in Korea, a fourth Super Junior sub-unit was created that same year to prevent Super Junior from disappearing in the Korean music industry. With five members from Super Junior-T and Yesung, they formed the subgroup, Super Junior-Happy. Super Junior-Happy released the EP Cooking? Cooking! on June 5, 2008, and promotions ended on September 7, lasting for four months. In November 2008, Super Junior-T returned, this time as a singing group in Japan, called SuperJunior-TxMoeyan; this group added Moeyan, a famous two-woman comedy group in Japan. “ROCK&GO”, a Japanese-language version of “Rokuko”, debuted at #19 on the Oricon Daily Charts and jumped to #2 three days later.
Super Junior’s first major tour, Super Show, commenced on February 22, 2008 in Seoul. The tour covered three countries and had shows on six different cities, including Bangkok, Shanghai, and Beijing. From July 8 to July 9, 2008, Super Junior held their first fan meeting in Japan, at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, as a celebration for the grand opening of their official Japanese Homepage, which was launched on April 1, 2008. 12,000 tickets to the fanmeeting were all sold out in several days. The group released a compiled Japan single the following day, entitled “U/TWINS”, which includes the Japanese version of “U” in the limited release, to complement the event. The single peaked at #4 on Japan’s Oricon Daily Chart in its first day of release, and dropped down to only four places in its second. The single broke a new record for being the first Korean single to have made within top 10 on Japan’s Oricon Weekly Chart. On August 2, 2008, Super Junior expanded their routes to Genting Highlands, Malaysia, being one of the top guest performers at the MTV Asia Awards 2008 along with other international performing artists such as OneRepublic and the Jabbawockeez. They are the third SM artist to win Favorite Artist Korea at the MTV Asia Awards after Kangta and BoA, and the second musical group to win the award after JTL in 2003.
Super Junior’s third album, Sorry, Sorry, was released on March 12, 2009 with acclaimed reviews. The title single of the album, “Sorry, Sorry” was digitally released on March 9, 2009. In less than a week after preorders were announced, over 150,000 copies were pre-ordered. Sorry, Sorry was their first album to debut at #1 on the Hanteo Charts, and it sold over 29,000 copies the first day, defeating Seo Taiji’s record of 25,000. Promotions for the album started March 13 with the performance of “Sorry, Sorry” and “Why I Like You” on Music Bank. Two weeks later, “Sorry, Sorry” became the number one song of the week on the same program. During the group’s performance on music program Popular Songs on March 15, ratings went up to as high as 14%, the highest in recent years. From March to May, “Sorry, Sorry” collected a total of ten #1 awards with consecutive wins in Korea, having the single becoming a national and international success. After only a month of release, the album became South Korea’s best-selling album of 2009. Sorry, Sorry was also a critically and commercially successful hit in other Asian countries, opting the group to become the only overseas representative for the second time at Taiwan’s annual Golden Melody Awards. Sorry, Sorry was a best-selling Korean-language album in Taiwan, Thailand, China, and the Philippines, in which the latter listed the album to be the first K-pop album to reach #1 in music charts from the country.
2010: Bonamana and vast Asian popularity
On May 6, 2010, the teaser for their fourth studio album, Bonamana, was released through SM Entertainment’s YouTube page. The full music video of the lead single of the same name was released on May 12 and full album was released on May 13 in South Korea. The album was released by the group with only 10 members, without Han Geng who has terminated his contract with SM Entertainment, Kibum who is involved in acting career and Kangin who had enlisted himself in to the Korean army. Their fourth album had also broken a personal record for the group by having over 200,000 pre-orders. On May 14, Super Junior had their comeback stage on KBS Music Bank, performing title track Bonamana and Boom Boom.
On May 17, 2010, music video for the song, “Victory Korea”, which was used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was released through SM Entertainment’s YouTube page. Super Junior’s World Cup song ‘Victory Korea’ set to cheer the S.Korean team in the top 16 garners interests overseas. A poll was recently done on American site ESPN for the Best World Cup Song. There were 11 songs shortlisted for the poll including Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’, K’Nann’s ‘Wavin’ Flag’, Akon ‘Oh Akrica’ etc., to which the song “Victory Korea” by Super Junior was voted #1 with over 90% of the poll. “Victory Korea” features a sample mix from “Sorry, Sorry,” with a similar dance done by the members of Super Junior-Happy in the music video.
On June 28, 2010, Super Junior released their repackaged album with three new tracks – “No Other”, “All My Heart”, “A Short Journey” – and the remixed version of “Shake It Up!”. “A Short Journey” was composed by Donghae and the lyrics were written by Eunhyuk. “All My Heart” was composed by Leeteuk and SJ-M member Henry. On July 2, 2010, Super Junior had their first live performance of “No Other” on Music Bank. The music video for “No Other” was released on July 7, 2010. According to Hanteo, the album has sold over 200,000 copies to date. The album Bonamana got the 7th spot on the United World Album-Chart.
The group kicked off their third Asian tour, Super Show 3 on August 14 and 15, 2010 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul. The tour also made a stop in Qingdao on August 28, 2010, Beijing on October 23, 2010, and Nanjing on November 13, 2010.
On September 4, 2010, Super Junior took part in the SM Town Live ’10 World Tour along with fellow SM labelmates at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This marks the first time SM Town has performed outside of Asia. On September 23, 2010, Super Junior released their original soundtrack “Angel” for Haru: An Unforgettable Day in Korea, an omnibus drama that promotes Korea’s tourism. On November 22, Super Junior have been honored as National Pop Culture Icon and received Minister of Culture Awards by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at Pop Culture Art Awards for their strong role in heating up the Korean Wave. On November 24, Avex Entertainment, as well as SM Entertainment Japan, released a statement about the renewal of contracts of SM artists signed to Avex.
On August 16, 2011, It was announced that Bonamana remained as Top 1 in Taiwan’s Music Charts for 62 weeks (more than a year) breaking their own previous record of the said chart.
2011: Japanese forays and Korean comeback: Mr. Simple
Super Junior has not taken part in any official promotions in Japan as of yet, but from 18 February to 20 February 2011, Super Junior held The 3rd Asia Tour Concert Super Show 3 at the Yokohama Arena in Japan, which is a large-scale performance hall, from the first performance itself, and was able to demonstrate their ticket(-selling) power. The ticket applicants for Super Show 3 Japan were over roughly 110,000 with about 36,000 people came to watch their performance. The “Super Junior Japan ‘Super Show 3’ Opening Commemorative Album” which was released on the 16th of February came in at 2nd place on Japan’s biggest music store Tower Records online sales charts. Super Junior Japan Limited Special Edition – Super Show 3 which contains a DVD came in 2nd place and the CD was in 10th place. Super Junior Japan Limited Special Edition – Super Show 3 also remained #3 spot on Oricon Daily Chart for 2 days in-a-row and #6 spot on Oricon Weekly Chart.
On 24 February, Super Junior released a 3D movie from their third Asia tour, “Super Show 3 3D” in all CGV and Primus movie theaters. “Super Show 3 3D” was ranked 6th in box office weekly chart and is the most watched 3D movie in Korea. Super Junior will show off their first Japanese single album with the release of Japanese version of Bonamana, titled Bijin (BONAMANA) on June 8. Starting May 16, the song will be shown on major Japanese TV channels as the commercial song for Japanese convenience store chain Circle K Sunkus.
Super Junior’s first Japanese single, “Bijin (Bonamana)” was released on June 8, 2011 and debuted at the #2 spot in the Oricon Daily Singles Chart, selling 27,168 copies on its release date. In addition, the BONAMANA music video which is made of videos from ‘SUPER JUNIOR 3rd ASIA TOUR SUPER SHOW 3 in JAPAN’ held at Yokohama Arena in February, received over 300,000 views on the Japanese UCC website, Nikoniko in a day. On June 14, Super Junior’s “Bijin (Bonamana)” ranked at #2 spot in the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, selling 59,262 copies. Also, they broke the record for having the highest single album sales for a Korean idol group when their single albums that were released in Japan sold combined total of over 100,000 copies (including those sold at Circle K Sunkus and Mu-Mo), until it was surpassed by fellow labelmate Shinee with their debut Japanese single “Replay (Kimi wa Boku no Everything)” at the same month. This is so far, the highest record for singles released set upon by a Korean group considering Super Junior didn’t have any promotion in Japan at all. Recently, they took part in ‘SMTown World Tour Live in Paris’ with fellow label mates, which was held in Zénith de Paris, Paris, France.
On July 11, 2011, American dancer Kenny Wormald posted via his official twitter that he had started the choreography rehearsal for the group’s upcoming new single.Shim Jae Won, choreographer and former member of the disbanded SM group Black Beat posted on his twitter a picture showing ten cups with the members’ names on it, citing possible formation for the song’s choreography, as well as two pictures of the choreography practice of the group the next day showing only the lower half of their bodies.
A teaser photo was revealed on July 20, 2011, with the first photo featuring Eunhyuk. By 1:21PM GST on the 26th of July, all ten teaser photos had been released, in the following order: Eunhyuk, Donghae, Leeteuk, Shindong, Kyuhyun, Sungmin, Ryeowook, Yesung, Siwon and finally, Heechul. On the same day, it was announced that the upcoming album would hit South Korean record shelves on August 3, 2011.On July 22, 2011, the group began filming the music video for their new lead single, with occasional photo tweets of the music video sets from Shim Jaewon and member Heechul.The filming for the music video wrapped up July 24, 2011, with Shim Jaewon consistently updating the group’s filming activity. On July 25, Jeon Hoon of Sonic Korea Studio announced that he is mastering the new album. The group will have an upcoming press conference at the Seoul Imperial Palace Hotel regarding the new album, revealed as “Mr. Simple”, on August 4, 2011.
The music video teaser for the new single “Mr. Simple” has been released on August 1, 2011, to be followed by the digital single on the 2nd (through various Korean online music sites like Melon, Dosirak and Bugs), the album on the 3rd and the music video itself on the 4th.
As of August 17, 2011, the current active members of Super Junior are Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun. Hankyung’s lawsuit against SM caused his inactivity. Kangin is currently serving his 2 year military service, and will be discharged sometime 2012. Kibum is focusing on his acting career. Super Junior leader Leeteuk and member Heechul are due to enlist in the military early 2012 and will be discharged in 2013-2014.
A/N I will update this pages as soon as possible. The internet connection where I posted this entry is slower than a walking turtle. LOL. Wait for it… Fufufufu.. ^^