The group is often referred to as Soshi and SNSD by international fans – abbreviation/acronym of their Korean name So Nyeo Shi Dae (소녀시대, or So Nyuh Shi Dae). The nine members of SNSD are Hyoyeon, Jessica, Seohyun, Sooyoung, Sunny, Taeyeon, Tiffany, Yoona and Yuri.
SNSD officially debuted in August 2007 with single Into the New World. They released their first full album Girls Generation in November, with its second trackKissing You a hit. The album was re-released as Baby Baby in March 2008. The girls also worked in other projects, e.g. in reality shows, dramas and radios etc.
SNSD released mini-album Gee in January 2009. The title song was a mega hit, breaking various #1 records on music charts. They released their second mini-album, Tell Me Your Wish in June, which was a huge success as well.
SNSD ended 2009 on high note with their first solo concert and were arguably the biggest winners at year end music awards. The girls also became popular product endorsers, featuring for SPAO clothings, Goobne chicken, Domino’s Pizza, Cyonmobile, and Samyang noodle etc. (no longer contracted to some though).
SNSD kicked off 2010 with their second full length album Oh! in January. It did well and became the group’s fourth consecutive albums (including EP) to achieve 100,000 in sales. A repackaged album RunDevilRun was released in March.
SNSD released a Japanese version of Genie in September, which marked their official debut in Japan. The single sold over 100,000 copies and reached #4 spot on Oricon weekly chart. The group released their second Japanese single Gee in October, which peaked at #2 spot on Oricon with over 110,000 copies sold.
Girls’ Generation (hangul: 소녀시대) is a nine-member South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2007. The nine members are:Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun. They are often referred to as SoShi (소시), or SNSD (mainly outside Korea), the first of which is an abbreviation and the second an acronym of the group’s Korean name So Nyuh Shi Dae. In China, they are known as 少女時代 (Shàonǚ Shídài; or Siu Nui Si Doi in Hong Kong) and in Japan as 少女時代 (Shōjo Jidai).
The group has released two full albums, three mini-albums, and various singles. Their 2009 hit single “Gee” holds the record for being the longest running #1 song on KBS‘s Music Bank, having held the #1 chart ranking for 9 consecutive weeks. That year also saw the group winning various awards, including consecutive Artist of the Year (Daesang) awards at the Seoul Music Awards, Golden Disk Awards, Melon Music Awards, and the Korean Cultural Entertainment Awards.
The group began a foray into the Japanese music scene in late 2010, with the Japanese remakes of their 2009 Korean hits “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” and “Gee“. In Japan they are under the label Nayutawave Records, a part of Universal Music.
( PRE DEBUT )
The members were professionally trained primarily in singing, dancing and languages, while a select few also underwent further training in acting and modeling. Many of the members had already made appearances in magazine ads, television commercials, and small television appearances. For nearly two years, Korean websites speculated about which female SM Entertainment trainees would be placed into the group. Girls’ Generation were initially known as “Super Girls”, a fan made name, before their debut.
2007 – 2008 : DEBUT AND FIRST ALBUM
In July 2007, Girls’ Generation had their unofficial first stage performance on M.Net’s School of Rock where the group performed their first single, titled “Into the New World” (Korean: “다시 만난 세계”, Dasi Mannan Segye). A documentary recording the story of the group’s debut titled M.Net’s Girls Go To Schoolwas 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” (Korean: “소원”, SoWon), which later became the name of Girls’ Generation’s official fan-club (stylized: S♡NE). The group’s debut and first ever promotions began on August 5, 2007, first performing on SBS’s Inkigayo and then later on MBC‘s Show! Music Core and KBS‘sMusic Bank. “Into the New World” achieved #1 spot on M.net M.Countdown!.
The group released their first self-titled full album in late autumn 2007 with the lead single “Girls’ Generation” (Korean: “소녀시대”), a remake of Lee Seung-cheol‘s 1989 hit. Promotion for the single started in early November. The album also included the group’s first single Into the New World, “Perfect For You” retitled as “Honey”, and 8 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 re-packaged, re-released and re-titled Baby Baby. A third single, “Baby Baby”, was used 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 3rd track from the mini-album was performed by the 3 Girls’ Generation members and is titled “Oppa Nappa” (Korean: “오빠 나빠”, literally “Bad Brother”, although contextually it refers to an older male friend). The track was digitally released before the album was, coming out in April 2008 and topping several charts. The song was performed live on SBS Inkigayo and M.net’sM.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.
It was announced in autumn 2008 that Girls’ Generation would be starring in a reality show on M.net, titled Factory Girl. The show chronicles the members working as interns at fashion magazine Elle Girl. The articles the group worked on were actually 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: Other activities and comebacks
On December 26 of 2008, posters of the Girls’ Generation members sporting simple white shirts, jeans and roller-skates were posted up in various locations around Seoul. The posters were met with such popularity that SM Entertainment’s phone-lines were blocked up by callers asking whether the posters were for sale and the company was forced to ask fans to stop taking the posters down for personal use. Three days later on December 29, the group’s management confirmed that the posters were indeed teaser posters and that the group would soon release their first EP, The First Mini Album — Gee the following month in January, 2009.
A teaser video was released in January 2009 and the first single “Gee” released soon after. Gee was met with instant popularity, topping Cyworld‘s hourly music chart on the release day.The song also went #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 music video became the first to reach “Diamond Track” status on GomTV after breaking the 5 million view mark on January 16.
The group began its album promotion on January 2009 on MBC Show! Music Core where they sang their new lead single, “Gee”, as well as 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 Bank with 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 M.Net 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)” (Korean: “소원을 말해봐”, literally “Tell Me Your Wish”); with the full mini album being released digitally on June 22, 2009. The group started their promotional activities on the June 26, 2009 recording of KBS‘s Music Bank.The performance was followed by follow-up comeback performances on MBC’s Music Core and SBS’s Inkigayo on June 27 and 28, 2009. The physical release ofGenie 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 massive success. It conquered various music sites like Melon, Dosirak, MNet, 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 release (almost double the numbers from the first-week sales of “Gee”), an unusual feat for any Korean girl group.
Their first No.1 award for “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” was on the July 10, 2009 episode of KBS Music Bank. Their second award waclaimed at the July 12, 2009 episode of SBS’s Inkigayo and their third on the 16th on the same show. The group finished up promoting for “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” in August 2009.
2010: Second Album, Japanese debut and Hoot
Later in January, SM Entertainment confirmed the release of the group’s second full-length album to be released on January 28.The lead single “, was digitally released on January 25 with the music video being released two days laterThe song proved to be popular topping various charts upon release. On January 30, the group started promotions with the recording of MBC‘s Show! 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 Music Bank‘s half-year K-chart and came in at 2nd on Hanteo’s first half album sales chart.
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. With the combined sales of both the full album “Oh!” and the repackage “Run Devil Run”, Girls’ Generation sold more albums than any other artist in the first half of 2010. The music videos for both “Oh!” and “Run Devil Run” made it into GOMTV’s 2010 First Half Top 10 ranking, the group having attracted over 13 million views in 6 months.
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. According to Universal Music Japan, the DVD had reached considerable success even before physical release, the pre-orders having sold out.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.
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. And then in Shanghaiand Los Angeles on later dates.
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, the total number of attendees over all three shows 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” peaked at the #5 spot on the same day of its release on the Oricon Charts and later rose to the #2 position some time later, earning the group a #4 position on the Oricon weekly ranking. The group also hit the number #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, breaking the record for foreign artists debuting in Japan.The single also placed high on Japan’s Billboard chart, ranking #4 on the comprehensive Hot 100 chart, #5 on the Hot Single Sales Chart and #1 on the Hot Top Airplay chart. On October 20, 2010, the group released their second Japanese single, “Gee“. On October 26, 2010 it was announced that their Japanese 2nd single “Gee” reaches #1 on the Oricon Daily Chart making them the first non-Japanese Asian girl group to do so.
On October 27, 2010, the group released their third Korean mini-album, Hoot, which consisted of five songs. The music video for the lead single, “Hoot“, was released on October 28. Girls’ Generation commenced their promotional activities with a comeback stage on KBS‘s Music Bank on October 29.On October 30, “Hoot” ranked #1 on the weekly Gaon Chart. Hoot is also scheduled to be released in Japan on December 22, 2010 with added tracks.
On December 9th, 2010, the group attended the Golden Disk Awards , where they ended up winning the Disk Daesang (Album of the Year) for their 2nd album Oh!, a never before seen feat, as no girl group has ever won the award. They also become the first artist ever to win the Disk Daesang and the Digital Daesang which they did last year for their hit single “Gee” .
On December 15th, 2010, the group attended the Melon Music Awards. The group won the Best Dressed Singer award, Hot Trend Song award with their latest song, “Hoot”, as well as the prestigiousArtist of the Year award. This would be the 2nd consecutive ‘Artist of the Year’ award for the group.
According to a report by Sankei Sports last December 16th, they will be featured in Fuji TV‘s special drama, SAZAE-San 3, which is to be broadcasted on January 2nd at 6:30 PM.
Their music video for “Oh!” was chosen as the Most Watched Video of 2010 for YouTube Korea. The Top 10 Most Watched Videos of 2010 list was revealed through the channel YouTube Rewind 2010, which featured charts from every country. They dominated the Korean chart, ranking in at first with “Oh!”, while “Run Devil Run” came in second, “Hoot” in ninth, and “Oh! (Dance Version)” in tenth.”Oh!” also won KBS Music Bank’s End of Year K-Chart, while “Hoot” and “Run Devil Run” came in 4th and 6th respectively.
Soribada, an Korean website declared them as 2010’s Best Artist. Gallup Korea confirmed them with the National Girl Group status, with Girls’ Generation ranking 1st in each age group as follows: 10-19: 43.2%, 20-29: 40.6%, 30-39: 43.1%, 40-49: 33.0%, 50+: 21.6%, and winning overall with 31.5% of total votes.
They will attend the 52nd Japan Record Awards.
On December 20, 2010, Oricon also announced that they, generating revenue to some 8.8 hundred million yen (or $10.3 million USD); and with a total of 380 000 copies of their releases sold this year earned.Additionally, on the rankings based on sales figures for songs, their “Gee” and “Genie” placed 1st and 2nd place respectively.