Girls’ Generation (Korean: Hangul – 소녀시대; Hanja - 少女時代) is a popular nine-member South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2007. The members are, in order of announcement to be in the group, Yoona, Tiffany, Yuri, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Seohyun, Taeyeon (leader), Jessica, and Sunny. They are commonly referred to as SNSD, the acronym of the group’s Korean name So-Nyeo Shi-Dae or So-Nyuh Shi-Dae, Chinese name Shao Nü Shi Dai, Japanese name ShōJo JiDai. They are also referred as SoShi which is the abbreviation of the groups’ Korean name. The group’s official fan-club is named as S♥NE (소원) pronounced as “So-won” which means “wish” in Korean.
Girls’ Generation had their official debut stage on August 5, 2007 with their first single “Into the New World”. The group has released two albums and various singles, which went on to achieve commercial success. Their 2009 single “Gee” holds the record for the longest-running #1 song on KBS’s Music Bank, at 9 weeks. That year also saw the girls 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 members of the group have had various activities as solo entertainers — acting in various video clips, dramas, and musicals; hosting various reality-variety shows; and releasing solo singles for drama soundtracks.
The members were professionally trained primarily in singing and dancing, while some members were also selected to be trained in acting and modeling. Many of the members already had made names for themselves in the Korean entertainment industry through their participation in magazine ads, television commercials, and small television appearances. For nearly two years, Korean websites speculated about which of the female SM Entertainment trainees would be placed into the group. Before the official release of the group name, Girls’ Generation (Hangul: 소녀시대 | Hanja: 少女时代), it was rumored that the group would be named “Super Girls” after their so-called counterpart, Super Junior. Read their pre-debut roster history >>here<<.
2007: Debut and first album
In July 2007, Girls’ Generation had their first performance on Inkigayo. The song the girls performed was called “Into the New World” (Korean: 다시 만난 세계), which became their first single. A show documenting the girls’ debut titled “M.Net’s Girls Go To School” was filmed during this time. This documentary helped the girls appeal to the Korean audience as they rose to controversy.
In August 2007, the single “Into the New World” was released. This single included two other songs, “Beginning” and “Perfect for You” (Korean: 소원), later the song renamed to “Honey” for their self-titled debut album Girls’ Generation. An instrumental of “Into the New World” was also included.
The group began promoting the single soon after its release. Girls’ Generation performed their single on SBS’s Inkigayo, MBC’s Show! Music Core, and on KBS’s Music Bank.
After a short break, the group’s first full album was released in late autumn 2007, with the lead single “Girls’ Generation” (Korean: 소녀시대), a cover of Lee Seung-Chul (Korean: 이승철)’s hit. Promotion for the single started in early November. Marked by dance routines and vocals, “Girls’ Generation” was a hit for the group, and the album has sold 121,143 copies to date, placing 8th in the year-end charts. In early 2008, Girls’ Generation began promoting their second single, “Kissing You“. The music video featured Donghae from Super Junior. This song achieved the #1 spot in the three main TV music rankings—SBS Inkigayo, M.net M.Countdown! and KBS Music Bank.
In March 2008, the album was re-released and re-titled Baby Baby. A third single, “Baby Baby“, was used to promote the album. A digital EP featuring Jessica, Tiffany, and Seohyun was released on April 2008, titled Roommate. The single from the mini-album is “Oppa Nappa” (“Korean: 오빠 나빠”, literally “Bad Brother”, although contextually it refers to an older male friend).
Girls’ Generation, along with fellow artists such as BoA, TVXQ, Super Junior, CSJH the Grace, Zhang Liyin, SHINee and other SM artists participated in SM Town Live ’08. The tour expanded its route to South Korea, Thailand, and China.
2008–2009: Other activities, return with mini-albums
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 girls working as interns at fashion magazine “Elle“. The program began airing in early October.During their absence from the music scene, they appeared in many commercials for MapleStory and Mabinogi. It was then announced that the group’s first mini-album, Gee, would be released in January 2009. A teaser video was released in January 2009 and the first single “Gee” released soon after. Interest in the song rose after the digital release, 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 group began its album promotion on January 2009 on MBC Show! Music Core. They sang their new single, “Gee”, and “Him Nae/Way To Go“, another track from the Gee mini-album. This song is a remake of the song “Haptic Motion” that was used in cellphone advertisements (Samsung Anycall) and is a mix of bubblegum pop and punk rock. Meanwhile, questions were raised when the group did not appear on KBS’s Music Bank with “Gee”, even after winning #1 on the music chart show.
“Gee” is the record holder for the longest-running #1 on music portal M.net (for 8 weeks), surpassing the previous record of 6 weeks set by the Wonder Girls‘ “Nobody”.They also broke the record on KBS’s music show Music Bank by being #1 for 9 consecutive weeks, previously set by Jewelry‘s “One More Time, which had 7 wins. They won the award for best-selling song for the first half 2009 for “Gee“. Promotions for the song ended at the end of March.
After a short break, SM Entertainment announced that the girls would be back with a new single and showing a “Marine Girl” concept; the song, titled “Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie)” (Korean: “소원을 말해봐”, literally “Tell Me Your Wish”), the mini album was released digitally on June 22, 2009. The mini-album includes a duet between Jessica and Shinee member Onew called “One Year Later”.
On May 3, 2009. Girls Generation was starred in their new reality show “SNSD Horror Movie Factory“, with the premier episode receiving a viewership rating of 3.3%. The show was then cancelled after 6 episodes due to low ratings.
Since June 23, 2009, Girls’ Generation are starring Cable TV program called “SNSD’s Hello Baby” of KBS Joy, where they are taking care of a child and somewhat experience how motherhood is like. In that show, they take care of a boy name “Cho Kyungsan” (Korean: “조경산”), and each week they (or fathers, male guests who come out time to time) select “The Best Mom” and “the Worst Mom” among the members according to their work for the day. Despite the late-night time slot, the show received fairly high ratings and had been extended for several episodes. The show ended on November 17, 2009.
On June 26, 2009, Girls’ Generation’s comeback performance was recorded on KBS’s Music Bank.The group then had their return performances on MBC’s Music Core and SBS’s Inkigayo on June 27 and 28, 2009. Girls’ Generation’s 2nd mini-album Genie was released on June 29, 2009.
Their first win for their single “Tell Me Your wish (Genie)” was obtained at the July 10, 2009 episode of KBS Music Bank. Their second award was claimed at the July 12, 2009 episode of SBS Inkigayo. The group finished promotions for “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” in August 2009.
On October 7, Girls’ Generation, along with label-mate f(x) released a digital single named “Chocolate Love” for the 4th edition of the Blacklabel series LG CYON phone, “Chocolate”. Girls’ Generation sang the “Retro Pop Ver.” of the song while f(x) sang the “Electronic Pop Ver.”
In July, selected members, alongside selected Super Junior members, released the song “S.E.O.U.L. Song“. The music video was released as part of South Korea’s tourism initiative.
The group also announced its first solo tour, with two Korean dates in December and other Asian locations to follow. The Korean dates sold out in 3 minutes. The concert is titled “Into the New World : 1st Asia Tour“ after the name of their debut single. Due to the success of the first concerts, the group confirmed that they will be holding encore concerts on February 27 and 28.
2010: Second album and Japan debut
In early 2010, the group was chosen to sing SBS’s new logo song “Naeireul Bomnida” (Korean: “내일을 봅니다”, “Looking at Tomorrow“).
Later in January, SM Entertainment confirmed the release of Oh!, the group’s second full-length album, released on January 28.The lead single “Oh!“, was digitally released on January 25 with the music video being released two days later. The 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 performance experienced a blackout near the end, to which MBC made the whole performance available online. In the KBS’s music show, Music Bank, the song ‘Oh!’ won the award for best-selling song for the first half of 2010; wherein the previous year they also won the award with their mega-hit “Gee“.
Starting from March 11, 2010, photos of the members were released online showcasing a dark concept, so called “Black Girls’ Generation”.The “Black SoShi” nickname is a play on the Korean group name (So Nyeo Shi Dae). A teaser video was released on March 16, with the new single released as a digital single on March 17. The music video for “Run Devil Run” was released on March 17, and the group performed first on KBS’s Music Bank. 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.
They have also recently made a new song titled “CABI” to promote The Caribbean Bay with 2PM. Members Yuri, Yoona, and Seohyun were the main actors each being paired with 2PM members Nichkhun, Taecyeon, and Chansung respectively. All the other members made a cameo towards the end in the music video. The song was sung by Girls’ Generation and 2PM. The music video was released on YouTube on May 20, 2010.
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 Shanghai and 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”.
Girls’ Generation also had success in Japan with their Japanese 2nd single “Gee“. They took 2nd place and were crowned the first ever overseas girl group to claim this position. 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 reach number 1 on the daily chart.
On October 27, 2010, Girls’ Generation’s label SM Entertainment released the group’s third mini album titled Hoot. The single“Hoot” was released on October 25 at 10am KST through various online music websites. Prior to their comeback, after just releasing “Hoot” on October 25, it took less than 7 minutes for “Hoot” to dominate 7 major Korean realtime music charts, topping every single one of them at #1 include Monkey3, Dosirak, Melon, Soridaba, Cyworld, Bugs and Daum. SM Entertainment released Hoot MV on October 28, 2010 on SM homepage and their official youtube channel. The MV also featuring Super Junior’s member Choi Siwon. In less then 24 hours “Hoot” MV hits more than 1 million viewers on Youtube. They first won their performance on Music Bank on 5th November 2010
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