Super Junior is a Korean boy group under SM Entertainment. It was formed in 2005 by SM Entertainment’s founder Lee Soo-man and it originally included 12 members: Leeteuk, Heechul, Hangeng, Yesung, Kangin, Sungmin, Kibum, Shindong, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon and Ryeowook. An year later, Kyuhyun joined the group as well.
The first twelve members formed Super Junior’05 and debuted on November 6th, 2005 with their single “Twins (Knock Out)”. Before the official release of their debut album “Twin”, in December, they also pre-released another single titled “You Are The One”.
Super Junior was originally created with a graduation-system: meaning that after a year, some of the Super Junior’05 member would graduate and be replaced by new trainees. With the end of the promotion of their comeback song “Miracle”, SM Entertainment was preparing a new formation for the group but then decided to just add Kyuhyun to the line up and change the group’s name to Super Junior.
Their first single as a 13-members group, “U”, was released online for free in May 2006 and broke all previous download records, becoming one of the most popular songs of the year once it was officially released a month later. But this was just the beginning of Super Junior’s incredible success. To highlight the vocal line of the group, SM Entertainment decided to create a sub unit with members Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and Yesung, naming it Super Junior-K.R.Y. They were soon followed by Super Junior-T, composed by leader Leeteuk, Heechul, Kangin, Sungmin, Shindong and Eunhyuk. They showcased a very famous genre in Korean music; trot.
With their second album, “Don’t Don”, Super Junior collected a lot of nominations at various music awards and also won two Golden Disk awards, one of them being the Record Of The Year award.
However, it was only in 2008, three year after their debut, that Super Junior finally hit the jackpot and became one of South Korea most recognized bands in the world. At the beginning of the year, in April, some controversies arose between E.L.F.s (the group official fanbase) and the label. A new mando-pop sub-unit was created and named Super Junior-M; it included Hangeng, Siwon, Donghae, Kyuhyun and Ryeowook and also two new members, Zhoumi (a Chinese trainee) and Henry (and Sino-American trainee). Fans were concerned by the addition of two new members but Super Junior-M came to be the most successful sub-unit so far alongside Super Junior-D&E.
After their successful Asian tour (“Super Show”) and the release of their first Japanese single “U/Twins”, Super Junior (minus members Henry and Zhoumi) started preparing for their domestic comeback. “Sorry, Sorry” was released on March 12th, 2009 and it became Super Junior’s first album to reach number 1 on the Hanteo chart. The title track became a huge hit in Korea and nowadays it’s one of the most recognized K-Pop songs.
Some problems started to arise in 2009, when member Kibum didn’t participate at the “Super Show 2” and then officially announced his temporary leave from the group to pursue an acting career. Soon after, another member decided to leave the group. Hangeng filed a law suit against SM Entertainment and then left South Korea to return in China where he is now a recognized actor and singer.
The remaining member returned to the music scene with the album “Bonamana” in May 2010 and was soon followed by another Asian tour, “Super Show 3”. The tour was their most successful so far as all the stops were sold-out.
On August 2011, the group released their fifth album, “Mr Simple” , that once again broke every previous record. Just one month after the release of the single, though, member Heechul announced his enlistment. The group came back in 2012 with the single “Sexy, Free & Single” and promoted it as 11. At the end of the promotion period, leader Leeteuk announced his impending enlistment.
The group waited until 2014 when Leeteuk and Heechul joined the group once again to release their 7th album “Mamacita”. It soon became a hit when just after three days from the official release, it ranked number 1 on Billboard’s World Album Chart. At the end of the year, Shindong and Sungmin enlisted.
2015 was a busy year for Super Junior. Yesung came back from his military service and Super Junior released a special album, “Devil”. The album and its songs were well received from the critic and also topped the United World Chart as best-selling album of the week. Unfortunately, in August, Kibum announced his official leave from the group. Before Eunhyuk, Siwon and Donghae also enlisted, Super Junior released a special album for their 10th anniversary, “Magic”, but didn’t promote it causing controversies to arise between fans and the label.
At the end of 2015, SM Entertainment announced that from then on, Super Junior will have a personal label named “Label SJ”. Label SJ is a branch of SM Entertainment which will independently promote and manage Super Junior.
Being active for 10 years, Super Junior is for sure one of the biggest and most recognized acts of K-Pop and an ambassador of the Hallyu movement in the world. They surely are a group that you can’t miss out!
Written in April 2016