Getting into 12-year-old K-pop boy group, SHINee, might be intimidating at first, but trust me when I say that stanning these second-gen greats would be one of the best decisions you'll ever make. Their exhaustive discography spans across genres which are made even more impressive by their stellar live performances. So, before you back out now, welcome to the *SHINee World*.
SM Entertainment debuted SHINee in 2008 as an ~experimental~ boy group with five members: Onew, Jonghyun, Key, Minho, and Taemin. Their first single, "Replay", a pop R&B track, is widely considered one of the best debut songs ever in K-pop.
SHINee didn't stick to R&B, though, but crossed over to EDM, rock, and hip hop. They continued to play around with their musicality and concepts for the music videos and stage performances. SHINee is also known to set trends in the K-pop industry, one of which is their introduction of dance practice videos. Check out this dance practice for their mega-hit "Lucifer" back in 2010:
Over the years, SHINee attracted a global audience and one of the biggest is their Japanese fandom. The members would frequently promote and perform in the country which made them learn how to speak Japanese fluently. FYI, out of SHINee's 11 studio albums, five are Japanese albums. One of SHINee's most notable performances in Japan was for their SHINee World 2014 tour held at the historic Tokyo Dome.
SHINee's last album, The Story Of Light, was released in 2018. The group has been on hiatus since then with three of the members entering the military. Good news, though: SHINee will be complete in November 2020.
Updated February 22, 2021: SHINee is *indeed* back! The group released their seventh album, Don't Call Me, and all 9 tracks are definite bops. Check out the impressive MV below:
So, before ~SHINee's back~, get to know more about the *beyond talented* members of this second-gen group.
Onew: Leader, vocalist
30-year-old Onew is the leader of SHINee and took on a paternal role early on in his career when he had to look after his four younger teenaged members. Although being the oldest and most responsible member, Onew has a mischievous side to him and engages in making fun of the other boys. His vocal talent—a clear, caramel voice—is what makes him a distinguishable K-pop idol. Onew released his first EP, Voice, in 2018 right before he enlisted in the military. In July 2020, he finally returned from his service and is rumored to be making a solo comeback soon. Apart from singing, Onew was part of the supporting cast of the hit 2016 drama, Descendants Of The Sun.
Key, 29, is the most eccentric member of SHINee. He's blunt with his words but is incredibly caring to the members. Being labeled as a multi-talented artist is an understatement for Key: He's acted in dramas, films, and the theatre; he's hosted variety shows; he's designed SHINee's performance outfits over the years; and he also painted the album cover of SHINee's 2013 album, The Misconceptions Of Us. Before he enlisted in the military in 2019, Key released his first solo album, Face. Key is expected to be discharged from the military in October 2020.
Minho: Rapper, vocalist, visual
28-year-old Minho is known to be charismatic and outwardly shows his affections to his members. He's also incredibly competitive and excels in almost any sport he plays—his favorite being football. Minho is the actor of the group and has appeared in a slew of dramas and films over the years, like Hwarang (2016) and The Battle Of Jangsari (2019). He enlisted in the military in 2019, but before doing so, released his first solo single "I'm Home". Minho will be making his return from the Marines in November 2020.
Taemin made his debut in K-pop at only 14-years-old as a gifted dancer. Although he has an enigmatic and intimidating stage presence, Taemin's real-life persona couldn't be any different. Being the youngest in SHINee, he loves to receive attention and affection from his older members. Apart from SHINee, Taemin soared as a solo artist and was dubbed as SM Entertainment's "Ace." Now 27, he recently released his third full-length album, Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1, in September 2020. Taemin is also part of SM's supergroup, SuperM, and is currently doing promotions for their album Super One.
Jonghyun was the second oldest member of SHINee and the most sensitive one of the group. He was well-loved by his members and showed his support to each of them even in their solo endeavors. Jonghyun's breathy and soulful voice stood out among other K-pop idols and is considered as one of the best in the industry. Jonghyun was also a prolific songwriter not only for SHINee but for numerous other musicians as well. At 27, Jonghyun passed away in December 2017. His second solo full-length album, Poet | Artist, was posthumously released in January 2018.
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