If there’s one KPOP group that I can say has experienced the most complicated roller coaster ride in their career, it would be SHINee.
SHINee is a four-member South Korean boy group formed under SM Entertainment. They made their debut in May 2008 with the KPOP classic “Replay”. During their debut, SM Entertainment announced that SHINee’s music will be heavily concentrating on the contemporary R&B genre. They also aimed to become a trendsetter in music, fashion, and dance. And, they were successful. When SHINee started promoting, they started a fashion trend among the students at that time.
In the same year, SHINee released their first full-length album called “The SHINee World”. This album won as the Newcomer Album of the Year at the 23rd Golden Disc Awards. As the years went by, SHINee experimented with their music a lot, releasing songs like “Ring Ding Dong”, “Lucifer”, “Hello”, and “Sherlock”. These songs deviated from the group’s original “R&B” concept but they are still equally loved by their fans.
SHINee was originally composed of five members: Onew, Key, Minho, Taemin, and Jonghyun. However, the group’s vocalist, Jonghyun, died in December 2017. Now, the group still continues to promote as a four-member group although fans might not be able to see a lot of activities from them as the members are now serving the military one by one.
Name: Lee Jinki
Birthday: December 14, 1989
Position: Leader, Main Vocalist
Onew might be the leader of the group but he actually is the one who commits the most mistakes when the group practices for their performance. Aside from being an idol, Onew also tried his hands at acting. He had small roles in popular dramas like “Dr. Champ”, “Pure Love”, “Royal Villa”, and “Descendants of the Sun”. Once in the past, Onew has developed vocal polyps back in 2015. It had to be surgically removed, causing him to lose his voice. He had to work hard in retraining his voice to get back to his usual singing style.
Name: Kim Kibum
Birthday: September 23, 1991
Position: Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer, Vocalist
When people mention SHINee’s Key, they all have the same thing they associate with him: fashion. Key is known for his wild, eccentric, and unique fashion. He almost always does not appear in public without wearing presentable clothes. Aside from being a member of SHINee, he is also a member of a duo band called Toheart with Infinite’s Woohyun. They just released one mini-album with the carrier single “Delicious”. Honestly, I am still waiting for this duo’s comeback. Their debut was so energetic and colorful and I felt like Woohyun and Key have a lot of stage chemistry together.
Name: Choi Minho
Birthday: December 9, 1991
Position: Main Rapper, Vocalist, Visual
Minho is the group’s idol actor. Out of the members of SHINee, Minho has the most Korean drama and movie appearances. Some of his most notable projects are “Derailed”, “Marital Harmony”, “To The Beautiful You”, “Medical Top Team”, and “Hwarang”. Minho is also considered as the member with the best body. In many variety and game shows, he always shows a lot of passion for winning games, earning him the nickname “Flaming Charisma Minho”.
Name: Lee Taemin
Birthday: July 18, 1993
Position: Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist, Maknae
Taemin is the group’s main dancer. He has also experienced success as a solo artist. When SHINee is not promoting as a group, he often appears in variety shows and reality competitions where he showcases his dancing skills and teaches others. Taemin is also known to be very close with a group of idol artists like EXO’s Kai, VIXX’s Ravi, BTS’ Jimin, and HOTSHOT’s Timoteo and Sungwoon.
Name: Kim Jonghyun
Birthday: April 8, 1990
Position: Main Vocalist
I wouldn’t consider Jonghyun as a “former” member. While he isn’t with us in this world anymore, he will always be SHINee’s angel for eternity. During his active years as an idol, Jonghyun has created a lot of songs not just for the group but for other artists as well. Some of the most well-known songs he created for other artists are IU’s “Gloomy Clock”, Son Dambi’s “Red Candle”, Lim Kim’s “No More”, and Lee Hi’s “Breathe”. When he died, the entire industry was shaken as he was an inspiration to a lot of younger idols and those that were friends with him were really shocked. His death has opened the eyes of not just the KPOP industry but the country as a whole to depression. Movements to give more attention to those with depression have been founded in honor of Jonghyun,
It has already been more than a decade since SHINee debuted as a group. During those years, the group has released a lot of songs and music videos that it’s actually hard for me to choose a single one. Okay, to start with, I have always loved every single title track they promoted in their entire career. However, there is one song in their first full-length album that I like very much. It was just one of the minor tracks in the album called “In My Room”. The song is unlike the group’s title track. It’s more of a ballad. The reason why I like it is really the lyrics. The words to the song are really sad and it just provokes a lot of my emotions every time I hear it.
When it comes to choosing a bias, it was quite a journey. To tell you honestly, SHINee is actually the very first KPOP group I watched and became a fan of. It was way back during their debut year. Back then, the internet was not that advanced yet and for me to enjoy their presence, I just had to watch the videos I have over and over again while waiting for newer ones to be uploaded to the internet. I remember that the first member that I noticed was Jonghyun. It was during their reality show called “Hello Baby” where they took care of a baby named Yoogeun. Jonghyun was not so used to taking care of a baby and it was just so cute seeing him panic from time to time.
However, things suddenly changed when I started watching Minho’s drama. I started to appreciate how good-looking he was. Then, I was able to see Taemin in different shows with his dance skills and my attention shifted again. But ultimately, I have decided who my real bias is just recently. Imagine: it took me more than five years to actually decide on a bias!
It only took me one drama to decide that Onew will be my official bias. Because of his appearance in “Descendants of the Sun”, I started re-watching past videos that involved him and that’s when I appreciated how cute he is and how fun his personality is.
Fans will surely miss SHINee. With the members busy with their military enlistment duties, the group would not be coming back to release singles for a while. But, I’m a hundred percent sure that when they finally come back, Shawols all over the world will not have second thoughts in supporting the boys.