Baby V.O.X.

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Baby V.O.X
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres K-pop, R&B
Years active 1997 (1997)–2006 (2006)
Labels DR Music, EMI
Past members
Korean name
Hangul 베이비복스
Revised Romanization Beibi Bokseu
McCune–Reischauer Peipi Poksŭ

Baby V.O.X (Korean: 베이비복스) was a South Korean five-member female dance group that debuted in 1997. The name is shortened from "Baby Voices of Xpression". It was a South Korean girl group associated to the record company DR Music (formerly Dung-Ryung Agency) and EMI Music Publishing Korea. Although it initially had much internal turmoil (controversies, etc.), Baby V.O.X. eventually became a popular group in Korea and other Asian countries from 1998 to 2006, releasing hit albums and selling over 3 million albums in Asia alone. In addition, K-Pop group solo concert held in China for the first time. They were also considered as one of the big three K-Pop girl groups in 90's along with S.E.S and Fin.K.L and the pioneers of the so-called Hallyu Wave, along with the fellow groups H.O.T and NRG

However, after the failure of their last album Ride West, it began to unravel again. By the end of that year, all of the members had left the company, with some going solo, and others moving into other entertainment areas.

History[edit]

Early years (1997–1999)[edit]

Formation of group and release of first album[edit]

The group originally consisted of Cha Yu Mi, Jung Shi Woon, Jang Hyun Jung, Lee Hee Jin and Kim E-Z. Their debut single was entitled Hair Cut. They used an edgy style similar to that of the Spice Girls, but their edgy style didn't result in success. After the first album, Jung and Jang were removed from the group.

Revival in the second album[edit]

After the replacement of three members with Shim Eun Jin, Kan Mi Youn, and Lee Gai, Baby VOX went on a strict training regimen to develop their dancing and singing, which included mental and physical training as well. Baby VOX adopted the cuter and shy style used by popular groups S.E.S. and Fin.K.L during this time. Their first single, Ya Ya Ya became a quick success after the release. Ya Ya Ya hit number seven on the Korean pop charts. With their second single, Change the group adopted a more mature and sexy look. However, Lee Gai was removed from the group thus changing the line-up of the group once again.

Popularity height (1999–2003)[edit]

Success of the third album[edit]

Yoon Eun Hye replaced Lee Gai in the lineup and the group's first single from the album Get Up was soon popular nationwide. For the first time, they reached the number one spot on the Korean music pop charts. Another single 'Killer' also hit the first place on the music charts, with the sexy lady warrior style. With the Killer single, Baby VOX beat H.O.T. in the pop charts and earned the 'Top Excellency Award' in Seoul Music Award in 1999. The ballad single, 'Missing You' was very popular.

Fourth and fifth album, foreign promotions[edit]

From 2000–2001, Baby VOX made more appearances in variety shows. After their success of the third album, they started promoting themselves in China and gained a great popularity and strong fanbase. Their popularity spread to Japan and other Southeast Asian countries. [17] The fourth album, 'Why', continued its popularity, with the two strong singles Why and Betrayal. Also, Baby VOX appeared as a show host in SBS variety program, Beautiful Sunday-Cruise to the Korea Strait.[1] With their fifth album, Boyish Story in 2001, even though the album sales and its singles Game Over, Doll, I Wish You are My Love were not as popular as the third and fourth album, the group's popularity didn't fade. Baby VOX also made their appearance as a show host in KBS variety program, Your Saturday-Aqua Girls.

Special album[edit]

As well as their success in Asian markets, Baby VOX released a special hits album were from their first five albums, with two single hits Coincidence and Go. With Coincidence, the group hit number one in the Korean music charts for the first time in three years. Coincidence was also released in a World Cup version, and performed all around Korea during the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup season, and remained popular throughout the summer. In addition to that, they managed to have a Live Concert in Seoul, which was hugely popular. A Baby VOX Music Award was also created in China.[2]

The group held a concert in Mongolia in 2004, being the first Korean idol band to do so.[3]

Image transition and end (2003–2006)[edit]

Sixth album[edit]

In spring of 2003, Baby VOX released their sixth album, a feat achieved by very few Korean pop groups. They even released a photo album that was purported to have semi-nude images of the girls (with Eun Hye unable to participate due to her age), causing some controversy, but it faded as the image content was found to be hyped up by the media.[4] Baby VOX topped the Chinese music chart with the Chinese single I'm Still Loving You, 3rd place with 나 어떡해 (What Should I Do) and 4th place with the same single in Thailand as well.[5] In addition, pre-orders in the album in several countries ar as follows: 200,000+ in China, 50,000+ in Taiwan, 30,000+ in Hong Kong and 120,000+ in Thailand, with a total of 400,000 pre-orders plus the album sales in South Korea alone (210,000+) with now a total of 610,000+ of album sales. However, this was also when the group's fortunes started to change. While 'What Should I Do' hit the number one spot in the Korean music chart, their second single, 바램 (The Wish) wasn't as popular. .

Seventh album, controversies, and disbandment[edit]

The group's seventh and final album Ride West, released in April 2004, featured songs in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as appearances by well-known American hip hop artists, such as Tupac Shakur, Jennifer Lopez, & independent rapper Floss P, although Tupac's "appearance" was a freestyle rap that he recorded while in prison. Baby VOX attempted a promotion in the United States of America in 2004.[6] However the rights for the sample of Tupac's verse were not cleared, and this resulted in a court case pursued by the late rapper's mother, Afeni Shakur.[7] This album was proclaimed to be what catapulted Baby VOX into the international spotlight, hence their use of English in the single. Meanwhile, the music video for the album's feature song, "Xcstasy", was done in English, featuring expensive luxury vehicles and well-dressed, highly preened divas, apparently in emulation of the "Bling bling" style of hip-hop videos popular in the United States at the time. The group also performed sexy dance moves and wore provocative clothing in the music video, seen as a bit extreme in conservative Korea. This release was accompanied by much controversy. There was first the issue as to whether their managing group, DR Music, could legally use Tupac's material in the recording, with Tupac's representatives claiming that DR did not have authorization. Even though Baby VOX claimed their rights of using the Tupac's music, many different companies in the USA claimed having the authorization and the dispute was not solved.[8] To worsen the situation, a member of Korean hip hop group DJ DOC, offended by their alleged misuse of Tupac Shakur's lyrics, denounced them in the media and referred to the group as prosititutes.[9] The dispute between DJ DOC and Baby VOX was so huge that both parties went to court for arbitration. Although the DJ DOC member later apologized[citation needed], Baby VOX was still compensated. However, this dispute hurt the group's image, as the group suddenly stopped promotion of the single. A second single, "Play Remix" featuring Jennifer Lopez, was promoted for a short while, but sales were lower than from its previous albums. After 2004, Baby VOX went into hiatus and Shim Eun Jin and Yoon Eun Hye departed the group in 2005. In March 2006, Baby VOX was officially disbanded. Although Baby VOX had disbanded in 2006, as of 2001, they were known as the longest running girl band in South Korea, until girl group Jewelry introduced their graduation and admission concept in 2010 which allowed them to keep the group's name alive.

After the break-up (2006–present)[edit]

In 2011, Baby V.O.X appeared in an English Test by a Chinese fan. The test starts out, "If you are a music fan, you must [know] the name 'Baby VOX'. The question then explains that their 2003 album, "Devotion", was popular in many Asian countries, and that the group debuted in 1996 with Kim E-Z, Lee Hee Jin, Shim Eun Jin, Kan Mi Yeon, and Yoon Eun Hye.[10]

Netizens commented, "I guess Baby VOX's fame was really high", "Even as time passes, an unforgettable group", "I can't believe they were mentioned on a foreign test!", and "I feel really amazed and proud."

Members[edit]

Earlier members[edit]

As these members were unpopular and have since left the public life, it is difficult to find info on these members.

  • Cha Yu-mi (차유미), from 1997 to 1998. Lead vocal in 1997, left the group because of knee injuries suffered during stage performance. She now sings in Lola Fair & Baby J as Lola Fair. She has been featured on a duet with "Kim Bum Soo" for his 2.5 album cover "Whenever You Call". Her behind the scenes work includes lyricist for a track off of BoA's U.S. debut album, and background vocals for Girl's Generation's 'Say Yes' off of "The Boys" album.
  • Jang Hyun-jung (장현정), from 1997 to 1998. Main vocal in 1997, released from the group due to conflicts with the company.
  • Jung Shi-woon (정시운), from 1997 to 1998. Rapper and sub-vocal in 1997, released from the group due to conflicts with the company.
  • Lee Gai (이가이), from 1998 to 1999. Sub-vocal and instrumental player in 1998, released from the group due to lying about her age, former member of the trio "Setorae" in 1989 as "Lee Hee Jung".[11]

Later members[edit]

This lineup is considered to be the main Baby V.O.X. group, as it was the first to achieve large-scale success.

  • Kim E-Z (born as Kim Eiji), (Leader, Vocalist, Main Rapper, Main Dancer) (김이지; 金倚芝[12]), born January 21, 1980; member from 1997 to 2006. She was born in Incheon and was considered to be the best dancer in the group. Kim was the member assigned the sexy role for the group. She majored in Dances in Yewon Art Middle School, Seoul Art High School, and Kyung Hee University. After the group's breakup, Kim has worked as a television show host and an actress.
  • Lee Hee-Jin (2nd Main Vocalist) (이희진; 李姬珍), born February 21, 1980; member from 1997 to 2006. She was born in Seoul and known for her husky voice, sophistication, and talent. Lee graduated from Shinkyung Girls' Commercial High School and Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts, majoring in broadcasting and entertainment. After the breakup, Lee went into a state of depression but began working as a fashion model, and is trying to start an acting career.[13]
  • Shim Eun-Jin (Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer) (심은진; 沈恩珍), born February 6, 1981; member from 1998 to 2004. Eun Jin was born in Seoul and known for her tomboy qualities. She attended Shinrim Girls' High School, Youngrak Commercial Girls' High School and Kyonggi University, majoring in broadcasting. Shim has great dancing skills. After the group's breakup, Shim made her appearance in television variety shows, such as SBS 'X-Man' and KBS 'Heroine Six'. Recently, she starred as Geumlan in the KBS history drama called 'Dae Jo Young', who is a talented lady warrior, who has feelings for Gulsa Biwoo. Eun Jin also acknowledged that she had dated star soccer player Lee Chun-Soo who is currently playing in Saudi Arabia League.
  • Kan Mi-Youn (Main Vocalist) (간미연; 簡美妍), born February 2, 1982; member from 1998 to 2006.[14] Kan was born in Seoul, known and was assigned the "princess" role in the group and known for her cute and humorous qualities. She was also considered to have the best singing skills in the group and thus loved by the group's male fans. She is a dog-lover who appeared in advertisements for an animal organization. Kan attended Sungdeok Commercial Girls' High School and Kyunggi University, majoring in broadcasting. In 1999, Kan was targeted for murder by a fan of the K-pop boy group H.O.T. when she was rumored to be dating H.O.T. member Moon Hee Joon.[15] After the group's breakup, Kan was a show host for MBC's 'Sunday Sunday Night's 'Health Club'. Currently, she is living in China to pursue a solo singing career while making appearances in one of its top televisions shows and learning the Chinese language.
  • Yoon Eun-Hye (Vocalist, Maknae) (윤은혜; 尹恩惠), born October 3, 1984; member from 1999 to 2005. She was a commercial and magazine model before joining the Baby VOX. Yoon was famous for her cuteness and childlike qualities. However, being the youngest member of the group, she was overshadowed by the other four members. Her life changed dramatically when she left Baby VOX to pursue her own career in acting. She starred in MBC's Princess Hours (consider one of 2006's most watched drama), The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (was one of 2007's most watched drama)', KBS 'The Man in the Vineyard', and became the most popular & successful ex-member of Baby VOX. Eun Hye won MBC and KBS Acting Award's 'Rookie of the Year' in 2006,the 'Top Excellence Award' in 2007's MBC Acting Awards and the most coveted 44th Baeksang Best Actress Award in 2007 for The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince. Recently, Yoon returned to music as she was featured in a song for Korean rapper duo Mighty Mouth and 2PM.

Discography[edit]

Awards[edit]

Year Awards
2004 15th Seoul Music Award: Hallyu Award
Channel V Thailand: Asian Sensation Award
Asiana Airlines Award: Best Asian Singer
2003 KMA Korean Music Awards: Best Singer of the Year
14th Seoul Music Awards: Choice Award
SBS Music Award: Choice Award
SBS Gayo Daejeon: Choice Award
KBS Music Award: Choice Award
Golden Disk Awards: Choice Award
2003연기SPORTS 가요대상:본상
Channel V Thailand: Singer of the Month (May 2003)
KMTV Music Awards: Singer of the Year
iTV Music Awards: Choice Award
Channel V Awards: Worldwide Singer of the Year
2002 SBS Music Award: Most Popular Song Award
SBS Music Award: Hallyu Achievement Award
SBS Gayo Daejeon: Choice Award
Golden Disk Awards: Choice Award
KBS Music Award: Choice Award
KMTV Music Awards: Hallyu Special Award
KMTV Music Awards: Lifetime Special Award
13th Seoul Music Awards: Choice Award
Association of Chinese Radio: Best Korean Singer
Channel V Awards: International Singer of the Year
Channel V Thailand: Singer of the Year Award
iTV Music Awards: Song of the Year 'By Chance'
iTV Music Awards: Choice Award
2001 MBC Music Awards: Choice Award
KBS Music Awards: Choice Award
Golden Disk Awards: Most Popular Award
Award Model Line: Best Dressed Singer
2001연기SPORTS가요대상: 선행상
iTV Music Awards: Choice Award
2000 제1회 애견문화인의 상
11th Seoul Music Awards: Most Popular Award
SBS Music Awards: Choice Award
SBS Gayo Daejeon: Producer Award
KBS Music Awards: Choice Award
iTV Music Awards: Choice Award
7th Republic of Korean Entertainment Awards: Popularity Award
1999 10th Seoul Music Awards: Best Singer Award
SBS Music Awards: Choice Award
SBS Gayo Daejeon: Top 10 Singer
KBS Music Awards: Choice Award
MBC Music Awards: Choice Award
KMTV Music Awards: Choice Award
M-net Music Awards: Choice Award
1998 SBS Music Awards: Popularity Award
SBS Music Awards: Best Female Newcomer
Seoul Music Awards: Rookie of the Year
Migliore Popularity Awards: Popularity Award
1997 Cleo Magazine: Album of the Month: Equalizeher

Music program[edit]

Inkigayo[edit]

Year Date Song
1999 August 29 "Get Up"
October 31 "Killer"
2002 June 2 "By Chance"
June 9 "By Chance"
June 16 "By Chance"
2003 June 1 "What Should I Do"

Music Bank[edit]

Year Date Song
1999 August 5 "Get Up"
September 24 "Killer"
October 07

Music Tank [16][edit]

Year Date Song
1999 August 14 "Get Up"
August 21
August 28
August 4
August 11
October 30 "Killer"
November 6
November 13
2000 May 27 "Why"
June 03
September 02 "Betrayal"
2001 June 02 "Game Over"
June 09
September 22 "Doll"
2002 June 01 "By Chance"
June 08
June 15
June 22
June 29
2003 June 07 "What Should I Do"
June 14
June 21
  • Music Tank lasted from 1995 until 2007 only.
  • Songs #1 for 5 consecutive weeks becomes a powerhouse song.

Goodwill Ambassador[edit]

Year Title Campaign Organiser
2005 Asia Earthquake Disaster Nationwide Relief[17] Various Asian earthquake disaster relief organizations
2004 Korean Wave Star[18] Korean Airlines
Hi! Seoul 2004 Health Expo[19] Korea Institute for Health
e-clean-Korea 2004[20] Ministry of Information
Asia Earthquake Disaster Nationwide Relief[21] Various Asian earthquake disaster relief organizations
2003 Red Cross Public Relations[22] Red Cross Society
Love Dogs[23] 'Love Dogs' Dog Association
Healthy Game Culture Ministry of Culture and Tourism & Korea Federation of Games
Global Sharing Movement Wave (韩流)[24] Global Civil Society
2002 바른사회를 위한 시민회의[25] NEC
Red Cross Public Relations Red Cross Society
Healthy Game Culture[26] Ministry of Culture and Tourism & Korea Federation of Games
2000 Tuberculosis X-MAS Anti-Tuberculosis Association

Endorsements[edit]

  • 2004: Korean Airlines[27]
  • 2004: K:lsky Hand Cleaner and Moisturizer
  • 2004: 안산 스타맥스 타워
  • 2004: ½ Waist Sliming SDL
  • 2004: Fox Zone
  • 2003: 3D Relax Diet
  • 2003: PlusMinus (Shim Eun-jin only)
  • 2003: Samsung V4 Camera (Kim E-Z only)
  • 2002: StarMax Tower
  • 2002: Jump Milano
  • 2002: Chabridge Camera Phone
  • 2002: Fruit Country (Kan Mi-youn only)
  • 2002: Red Cross
  • 2002: Nationwide Local Elections
  • 2002: Ed Won Jeans
  • 2002: Unix Ion Hairdryer Part 2
  • 2001: Unix Ion Hairdryer
  • 2000: 911 Computer
  • 2000: Internet Mall
  • 2000: LG Tele Card
  • 2000: Lie Detector '트러스터'
  • 2000: WWWA Ice-cream Part 2
  • 1999: WWWA Ice-cream
  • 1999: Fashion New Town Ahead '르네시떼'
  • 1999: Hardee's

Future generations[edit]

Main article: Baby Vox Re.V

On December 26, 2006, DR Music unveiled the members of the 2nd generation Baby V.O.X, a spinoff group called "Baby V.O.X. Re.V" (pronounced "reeve"). Like the original group, there is one lead vocalist, three "sub-vocalists", and a singer/rapper.

DR Music announced in July 2009 that a 3rd generation of Baby Vox would be created and initially focusing on Thailand. The members are Sori, Joo Yeon, Kyung Sook, and Tae Eun. However, they are to look for three more members taking auditions from Japan, China, and Thailand to make the 3rd generation Baby Vox a 7-member international group. The group that was meant to be the 3rd generation Baby Vox debuted as RaNia on April 5, 2011.

Videography[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Length
Korean
1997 "Hair Cut" 3:55
"To Men" 3:35
1998 "Ya Ya Ya" 4:08
"Change" 3:38
1999 "Get Up" 3:26
"Killer" 3:43
"Missing You" 4:44
2000 "Why" 4:33
"Betrayal" 3:47
"Consent" 4:16
2001 "Game Over" 3:42
"Dolls" 3:44
2002 "Coincidence" 4:51
"Go" 4:56
2003 "What Should I Do" 4:04
"Wish" 3:27
2004 "Play Remix" 4:53
"The First and the Last" 4:51
Chinese
2003 "I'm Still Loving You" 4:18
English
2004 "Xcstasy" 4:04

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baby VOX conquers China and Thailand
  2. ^ Baby VOX Music Award in China
  3. ^ http://seoulbeats.com/2012/05/baby-v-o-x-all-grown-up/
  4. ^ Baby VOX sexy photo taken in Thailand
  5. ^ Baby VOX conquered China and Thailand
  6. ^ Baby VOX tries USA promotion with 'Ride West'
  7. ^ Tupac's company and family consider suing Baby VOX
  8. ^ Baby VOX claims the right use of 2Pac's music
  9. ^ Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea
  10. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2011/04/baby-vox-appears-on-an-english-test-question
  11. ^ Lee G's cheating with her age.
  12. ^ Multiple sources give differing versions of the Hanja versions of these names.
  13. ^ Lee Hee Jin in melancholy.
  14. ^ Though not an "original" member of the group she had participated in some activities of the first album activities[citation needed].
  15. ^ Baby VOX's Kan Mi-Youn was threatened for murder.
  16. ^ https://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EB%B2%A0%EC%9D%B4%EB%B9%84%EB%B3%B5%EC%8A%A4#.EA.B0.80.EC.9A.94_.ED.94.84.EB.A1.9C.EA.B7.B8.EB.9E.A8_1.EC.9C.84
  17. ^ 베이비 복스 지진-해일 피해지역 자원봉사자로
  18. ^ KAL, '한류스타' 후원에 적극 나선다
  19. ^ 대한적십자사 홍보대사
  20. ^ 오늘 ‘e-클린 코리아2004’ 개막
  21. ^ 인기연예인들, “아시아 가족 도웁시다”
  22. ^ 대한적십자사 홍보대사
  23. ^ 베이비복스“개는 가족”
  24. ^ 지구촌나눔운동 홍보대사에 베이비복스ㆍ이경섭
  25. ^ <선택 6.13> ②"투표한뒤 축구를"
  26. ^ 임은경·베이비복스·임요환, 게임홍보에 나선다
  27. ^ KAL, '한류스타' 후원에 적극 나선다Korean Airlines