|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
|Revised Romanization||Sonyeo Sidae|
Girls' Generation (Hangul: 소녀시대; So Nyeo Shi Dae), also known as SNSD, is a South Korean girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2007. Originally a nine-member group, it now has eight members: Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun – former member Jessica Jung having been dismissed on September 30, 2014.
The group gained attention at the beginning of their career with songs such as "Into the New World" and "Kissing You" but it was not until 2009 when they gained significant popularity with their hit single "Gee", which was classified by the online music store MelOn as the most popular song of the decade in South Korea. The group solidified their place in the South Korean music industry with follow-up singles "Tell Me Your Wish", "Run Devil Run", and "Oh!" from late 2009 to early 2010. In 2011, after a series of activities in Japan, the group returned to the South Korean music scene with "The Boys", which was released in three languages: Korean, Japanese, and for the first time, English. In 2010 alone, the group sold more than 11,730,000 digital albums and singles collectively. The group's immense popularity in their native South Korea has earned them titles "The Nation's Singers" and "The Nation's Girl Group". The Sisa Journal named the group as the most influential entertainers for the years 2011 and 2012, making them the first female idol group in history to make the list. They have also been listed as #1 on the Top Female Singer's list for four consecutive years on the Leespiar Popularity Survey in Korea. Asia Today placed the group at forty-four on the 50 Korean Power Leaders list in 2011. The group also topped Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40 list in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
The group began a foray into the Japanese music scene in late 2010 under Nayutawave Records, with Japanese remakes of their 2009 South Korean hits "Genie" and "Gee". The group's debut Japanese album, Girls' Generation, released in June 2011, is currently the highest selling album in Japan by a South Korean group in Oricon history. It was certified "Million" by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, which made them the second South Korean artist to earn such an achievement in Japan since label mate BoA's "Best of Soul" in 2005. Girls' Generation is also the first South Korean girl group to have two albums place first on a weekly album ranking, surpassing Kara.
They have expanded their reach in the South Korean industry through their first subgroup, Girls' Generation-TTS, composed of members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The subgroup debuted on 2012 with their mini album Twinkle which became the highest charting K-Pop act on the Billboard 200—at No. 126 on Billboard 200.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 2.1 Pre-debut
- 2.2 2007–2008: Debut and Girls' Generation
- 2.3 2009: Gee, Genie, first Asian tour and rising popularity
- 2.4 2010: Oh! / Run Devil Run, Japanese debut and Hoot
- 2.5 2011: Girls' Generation, touring, international expansion and The Boys
- 2.6 2012: International promotions, TTS and Girls & Peace
- 2.7 2013: I Got a Boy, touring and Love & Peace
- 2.8 2014: Mr.Mr., The Best, Japan's 3rd Tour, Jessica's departure & The Best Live
- 3 Subgroups
- 4 Artistry
- 5 Impact and legacy
- 6 Endorsements
- 7 Philanthropy
- 8 Discography
- 9 Tours
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The name of the group is derived from Lee Seung-Chul's 1989 song "Girls' Generation". In Korea, the group is referred to as So Nyeo Shi Dae (Korean: 소녀시대). They are also referred to as SoShi (소시) or SNSD, both abbreviated forms of the group's Korean-language name. The name Girls' Generation means that "The generation of girls' domination has come". The group is referred to as Shojo Jidai (Japanese; 少女時代) or SJJD in Japan.
After the success of S.M. Entertainment's boy band, Super Junior, the company planned to debut a new girl group, which would ultimately become Girls' Generation. Some of the candidates had participated in the South Korean entertainment industry through their participation in magazine advertisements, television commercials, small television drama or film appearances; Sooyoung even debuted in the Japanese market in 2002 as part of the pop duo, Route θ, which disbanded after one year. The group's line-up changed several times, as members were either added or cut, until the final line-up of nine members was decided.
The first member of the group to join SM Entertainment's training system was Jessica in 2000, after she and her sister, Krystal Jung, were scouted in a mall in Korea during a family vacation. That same year, members Sooyoung and Hyoyeon were cast into SM's training system through the 2000 SM Open Audition, in which Hyoyeon danced for her audition. Yuri was the next Girls' Generation member to become an SM trainee after finishing second in the 2001 SM Youth Best Dancer competition. Yoona was cast the following year through the 2002 SM Saturday Open Casting Audition, where she sang and danced to her favorite singers, BoA and Britney Spears. Seohyun, the group's youngest member, was scouted in the subway by an SM scout; she then auditioned in 2003, singing children's songs. The group's leader, Taeyeon, was cast in 2004 after being discovered at SM's 8th Annual Best Contest winning Best Singer 1st Place & Grand Award. That same year, member Tiffany auditioned at SM's Starlight Casting System in Los Angeles, and joined the company in October 2004. The ninth and final member of the group to be added was Sunny, who had become an SM trainee in 1998 and trained for five years before transferring to another company, Starworld. At Starworld, she trained to debut in the duo "Sugar", which ultimately never debuted. In 2007, under the recommendation of the singer Ayumi Hamasaki, Sunny transferred back to SM Entertainment. Sunny is also the niece of S.M. Entertainment's founder, Lee Soo-man.
2007–2008: Debut and Girls' Generation
In July 2007, Girls' Generation had their unofficial first stage performance on Mnet's School of Rock where the group performed their first single, "Into the New World" (다시 만난 세계). A documentary recording the story of the group's debut titled Girls' Generation Goes to School was filmed by Mnet during this time, revolving around their unofficial debut and first public performances through School of Rock.
The group's first single was physically released soon after, including an instrumental of the group's debut song and two other tracks: "Beginning" and "Perfect for You." The latter's Korean title is "Wish" (소원), which later became the name of Girls' Generation's official fan club, S♡NE. The group's debut officially began on August 5, 2007, with the single "Into the New World" later achieved the number one spot on Mnet M! Countdown. Girls' Generation subsequently released their first self-titled full album in late autumn of 2007 with the lead single "Girls' Generation" (소녀시대), a remake of Lee Seung-cheol's 1989 song. The album has sold more than 100,000 copies. The last pop-oriented girl group in Korea to accomplish this feat was S.E.S.
In early 2008, Girls' Generation began promoting their second single from the album, "Kissing You", which won the group their first K-chart win after achieving the number-one position on the KBS Music Bank February chart. This song achieved the #1 spot on three major TV music rankings—SBS Inkigayo, M.net M.Countdown! and Music Bank. In March 2008, the album was repackaged, re-released and re-titled Baby Baby. To promote this album, the single, having the same name, "Baby Baby", was released on digital music sites on March 17. During the group's promotions, members Jessica, Tiffany and Seohyun were featured on a mini-album released by Roommate, a one-man band from Purple Communication. The mini-album was titled Roommate: Emotional Band Aid, and was released on December 1, 2008. The song performed by the three girls, titled "Oppa Nappa" (오빠 나빠; literally, Bad Brother), was digitally released before the album in April 2008. Later in the year, the three members released "Mabinogi" (It's Fantastic!) together as the theme song for the Nexon game Mabinogi, with Tiffany participating in the music video. Mnet reality show Factory Girl chronicled the members working as interns at fashion magazine Elle Girl. The program began airing in early October. In late 2008, the group also participated in the "SMTown Live '08" concert along with other SM Town artists.
2009: Gee, Genie, first Asian tour and rising popularity
The single "Gee", released on January 5, topped Cyworld's hourly music chart on the release day, and all other major digital music charts within two days. The group began its album promotion in January 2009 on MBC Show! Music Core where they sang their new lead single "Gee" and the track "Way to Go!", another song from their mini-album. A week after its release, "Gee" went #1 on KBS Music Bank. "Gee" also went to #1 on SBS Inkigayo a week after their return. "Gee" went on to become a phenomenal hit, breaking the record for consecutive number one wins on KBS Music Bank with nine consecutive wins, as well as receiving a triple crown on SBS Inkigayo. The song then broke the record by staying on top a seventh week, and remained in the position for an eighth week. It also tied then broke the record for longest-running #1 on Music Bank, beating the 7-week record previously set by Jewelry in 2008 with "One More Time". "Gee" achieved its ninth #1 on the show on March 13, 2009. S.M. Entertainment stated that over 100,000 copies of the mini-album were shipped to stores, while sales analyst company Hanteo reported sales in excess of 30,000 copies within the first 10 days of its release. The track also showed strength on other charts, topping the Mujikon, Melon and Mnet charts for eight consecutive weeks, the Dosirak chart for seven weeks, the Muse chart for six weeks, and the Baksu chart for four weeks.
The single "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)", along with the full mini-album was released on June 22. The group started their promotional activities on June 26, 2009, appearing on KBS Music Bank. The performance was followed by follow-up comeback performances on MBC Show! Music Core and SBS Inkigayo on June 27 and 28, 2009. The physical release of Genie was delayed by SM Entertainment in order to redo the album art, and was released four days later on June 29, 2009. Their first win for their single "Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie)" was obtained at the July 10, 2009 episode of KBS Music Bank. Their second award was claimed on the July 12, 2009 episode of SBS Inkigayo. Within a few days, the song topped on 10 different digital music charts. The track proved to be a success as it conquered various music sites, including Melon, Dosirak, Mnet, and Bugs, and it was number one on the weekly charts and the SKT ringtone weekly charts of the first week of July. The mini-album sold an estimated 50,000+ copies in its first week after released (almost double the numbers from the first-week sales of Gee), an unusual feat for any Korean girl group. The albums went to sell over 200,000 as of 2010.
On November 2009, S.M. Entertainment announced the group's Into The New World Tour. The tickets for the tour were sold out in 3 minutes. The tour initially consisted of two Korean shows on December 19 and 20, and continued onto other Asian cities including Shanghai.
2010: Oh! / Run Devil Run, Japanese debut and Hoot
The group's second full-length album, Oh!, was released on January 28. The title track with the same name, "Oh!", was released earlier on January 25, and reached number one on the Monkey3 music chart within 10 minutes of its release. Girls' Generation topped five consecutive K-charts on KBS Music Bank, and achieved a triple crown on SBS's Inkigayo. The album was re-released as Run Devil Run in March, with "Run Devil Run" as the title track. The song "Oh!" was number 1 on Music Bank's half-year and end-of-year K-charts, and the album was number 2 on Hanteo's half-year album sales chart. The music video was the most-viewed YouTube video in South Korea by the end of the year. It was also number one in Hong Kong, and made the top ten in both Taiwan and Japan.
After signing a contract with Universal Music Japan's record label Nayutawave Records, the group began promotion in Japan in August. They released Girls' Generation's Arrival – First Time in Japan, a DVD featuring seven of the group's music videos and special bonus footage, on August 11. The DVD sold 23,000 copies in the first week, and ranked fourth on Oricon's weekly DVD chart and third on its weekly music chart. As a result, Girls' Generation became the first female K-pop group to place in the top 5 of Oricon's DVD chart. On August 25, the group held their first showcase at the Tokyo Ariake Colliseum. Although only one show was initially planned, three were held in the same day due to the high number of expected attendees. The group sang five of their Korean tracks at each of these shows, and the total number of attendees were estimated to be at least 22,000. Their Japanese debut single, "Genie", peaked at number two on Japan's Oricon daily chart and number four on the weekly chart. It also hit the number-one spot on iTunes Japan's music video chart, and was number 1 on the Rekochoku daily video clip and incoming movie daily ranking charts the next day. With pre-orders amounting to 80,000, the single sold an estimated 45,000 copies after the first week of release. On October 20, Girls' Generation released their second Japanese single, "Gee". The song ranked number two on Oricon's weekly chart. Amidst their Japanese activities, they also participated in the SMTown Live '10 World Tour alongside their label-mates; the tour started on August 21 at Seoul Jamsil Olympic Stadium.
Girls' Generation's third Korean mini-album, Hoot, was released on October 27, The title track, "Hoot", originally written in English as "Bulletproof", quickly rose to the top of the charts and won first place numerous times on music shows. The group simultaneously promoted "Hoot" and "Gee" in Korea and Japan respectively, and participated in Japanese music broadcasts such as the FNS Music Festival, where they performed their two Japanese singles on December 4. On December 22, "Hoot" was repackaged with additional tracks from previous albums and released in Japan. Although all the tracks were in Korean, the album ranked second place on the Oricon charts and sold 21,000 copies on the first day.
On December 9, the group won three awards at the Golden Disk Awards, including the Disk Daesang (Album of the Year), becoming the first girl group to win both a Disk Daesang (2010) and Digital Daesang (2009) in two consecutive years. On December 15, they attended the MelOn Music Awards, winning the Artist of the Year, Best Dressed Singer and Hot Trend Song awards. This was the second consecutive year they won Artist of the Year at the event. Girls' Generation topped the Hanteo annual Singer Award chart for 2010, and ranked number 44 on Asia Today's list of "50 Korean power leaders for 2011", the only idol group on the list. They were also designated "Artist of the Year" by Dosirak, Soribada, Korea Gallup, Hanteo and Sport Korea, and "Oh!" was "Best Song of The Year" on Monkey 3's 2010 Best Song list.
2011: Girls' Generation, touring, international expansion and The Boys
In January, Girls' Generation won four awards at the 20th Seoul Music Awards: "Artist of the Year", "Bonsang", "Popularity", and "Korean Wave". They became one of four South Korean artists, and the only girl group in South Korea's history, to be named "Artist of the Year" for two consecutive years. In June, they won two awards at the 2011 MTV Video Music Aid Japan (VMAJ), "Best Group Video" and "Best Karaokee! Song", for the Japanese version of "Genie". Girls' Generation was also selected by SISA Press as "The Most Influential Entertainers in Korea", after placing sixth the previous year.
Girls' Generation released their third Japanese single, "Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run" on April 27. It peaked at number two on Japan's Oricon's weekly chart. On June 1, they released their debut Japanese studio album, Girls' Generation. The group achieved several records with this album, initially becoming the fourth South Korean artist to achieve the number one spot on the Oricon weekly album chart. One month after its release, the group became the third South Korean artist and the first South Korean girl group to have an album certified "Double Platinum" (500,000 copies) by RIAJ. A repackaged version, The Boys, was released on December 28. The album peaked at number 5 on the Oricon weekly albums chart. With this repackaged album, Girls' Generation was subsequently certified "Million". This made Girls' Generation the second South Korean artist, and the first female group ever, to earn this achievement in Japan since labelmate BoA's Best of Soul in 2005. Girls' Generation set a record for having the highest sales of the first album as a foreign artist in Japan. They also became the first South Korean artist ever to have an album place in the Oricon Top 10 chart for seventeen consecutive weeks. The previous record holder was the original soundtrack for the Korean drama Winter Sonata, which remained in the Top 10 for sixteen weeks. The album was also the fifth best selling album in Japan in 2011. The lead single, "Mr. Taxi", sold over 100,000 copies in its first week, beating out its predecessors, "Gee" and "Genie". It also managed to clinch the number 1 spot on Billboard's Japan Hot 100 chart for two consecutive weeks and was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan. The album was promoted via the group's first Japan tour entitled, The 1st Japan Arena Tour, which started in Osaka on May 31. A total of fourteen concerts in six cities were held over a period of a month and a half. Girls' Generation became the highest earning foreign artist in Japan for the first half of 2011. The group also ranked fifth among Japanese artists in terms of monetary profit, having generated over 4.5 billion Yen (US$57 million) for the year.
From July 2011 to February 2012, Girls' Generation had another tour, Girls Generation 2nd Asian Tour. The group performed nine concerts across five Asian countries. Setting their sights on the international market, Girls' Generation signed a contract with Universal Music Group to release material under Interscope Records in the United States.
Girls' Generation's third Korean studio album (having the same name as the Japanese repackaged album), The Boys, was released on October 19. The title track, "The Boys", co-written by member Tiffany and produced by Teddy Riley, was released in three different languages, Korean, English, and Japanese. Within minutes of its release, "The Boys" achieved an "all-kill" status on all major South Korean music charts. It sold more than 3,032,658 copies digitally and became the 10th best selling digital track in South Korea in 2011. Despite not charting on Billboard Hot 100, the song managed to peak inside the Top 30 on the iTunes chart in the United States, selling over 21,000 copies and becoming one of the best selling K-pop songs, at that time, in the U.S. The album sold 227,994 copies within twelve days, and sold a total of 385,348 copies by the end of December, becoming the best selling album in South Korea for the year. As of April 2012, the album had sold over 410,000 copies in South Korea, setting a Gaon Chart record for the best selling, non-repackaged album in the chart's history.
2012: International promotions, TTS and Girls & Peace
Early in the year, Girls' Generation took home several awards, including "Digital Bonsang" and "Digital Daesang" at the Golden Disk Awards, "Bonsang" and "Popularity" awards at the Seoul Music Awards, and "4th Quarter Album Of The Year" and "Oricon Hallyu Singer" at the Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards. In June, they won "Best Album of the Year" for their debut Japanese album at the 2012 VMAJs.
As an effort to promote the English release of "The Boys", the group made a few television appearances overseas. Their appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Live! with Kelly, on January 31 and February 1, marked the first time that a Korean musical act has performed on each of these shows. They also performed on the French show, Le Grand Journal, on February 9.
In late February, Girls' Generation ranked number one on Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40, making it their second consecutive time topping the list. In March, the group's total earnings figures for 2011 were revealed. They placed first among their label, earning over 100 billion won (US$88.6 million). Similarly, for the year 2012 in Japan alone, they ranked seventh among Japanese artists and were the top earning South Korean artist, generating over 4.3 billion yen (US$51 million). In August, Girls' Generation became the first Korean celebrity to have official postage stamps produced by the Korea Post. Within an hour of the stamps' issuing, over half of the available stamp sheets were sold out.
During the year, the subgroup TTS, composed of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun, was formed. They released their first mini-album, Twinkle, on May 2. "Twinkle" debuted at number 126 on the Billboard 200, selling over 3,000 copies and making it the highest charting K-Pop album on the chart at the time. On May 20, the group performed with their label-mates at the Honda Center in Anaheim, as part of the first date of SMTown Live World Tour III.
Girls' Generation released their second Japanese album, Girls & Peace, on November 28. It sold 116,963 copies after its first week, ranking second on Oricon's Weekly Albums Chart, and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). The group had three Japanese singles. "Paparazzi", released on June 27, served as the lead single for Girls & Peace. The single boosted the group's total single sales in the country to over 647,000. The second single, "Oh!", released on September 26, topped Oricon's Weekly Single chart, selling 66,000 copies after its first week. The third single, "Flower Power", released on November 21, peaked at number five on Oricon's chart and sold 29,000 copies after its first week. Two DVDs were also released during the year: "Girls' Generation Complete Video Collection" on August 10, and "2011 Girls' Generation Tour DVD" on November 30.
2013: I Got a Boy, touring and Love & Peace
Girls' Generation released their fourth Korean-language album, I Got a Boy, on January 1. The album topped both the Gaon Album Chart and Billboard's World Albums Chart, selling more than 300,000 copies to date. The group had a special television program, Girls' Generation's Romantic Fantasy, on the day of the album release, and an hour-long "Virtual Concert" broadcast live via Naver Music on January 5. The title track "I Got A Boy" was subsequently awarded as the "Video of the Year" at the YouTube Music Awards, beating popular acts such as Miley Cyrus, Psy, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
For the rest of the year, Girls' Generation focused on activities overseas. Starting with the Girls & Peace: 2nd Japan Tour in Kobe on February 9, the group performed a total of 20 concerts across seven cities, with over 200,000 fans in attendance. The DVD/Blu-ray version subsequently topped Oricon's Daily DVD Chart on the same day of its release, selling a total of 53,256 copies after one week. From June 2013 to February 2014, the group held their first world tour, Girls' Generation World Tour Girls & Peace, performing ten concerts in seven Asian countries.
Earlier in the year, Girls' Generation released two albums: Best Selection Non Stop Mix on March 20 and 2011 Girls' Generation Tour on April 11. The former ranked number 6 on Japan's Oricon weekly album chart, while the latter featured recorded live songs from the group's 2011 tour. On December 11, Girls' Generation released their third Japanese studio album, Love & Peace. The album debuted at number one on Oricon's weekly album chart, selling more than 129,000 copies.
The group also released three Japanese singles: "Love & Girls" on June 19, "Galaxy Supernova" on September 18, and "My Oh My" on November 5. "Love & Girls" sold 42,796 physical copies on its first week and ranked number four on Japan's Oricon weekly chart, while "Galaxy Supernova" achieved the number 1 spot on Oricon's daily singles chart and sold 50,793 physical copies after its first week.
At the end of the year, Girls' Generation held a solo concert during "SMTown Week" on December 22, named "SMTown Week Girls' Generation – Märchen Fantasy". The concert had a fairytale-like visual theme, with many different stages and video effects.
2014: Mr.Mr., The Best, Japan's 3rd Tour, Jessica's departure & The Best Live
Girls' Generation's fourth EP, Mr.Mr, was released digitally on February 24 and physically on February 27. Following the release of the album, its title track, "Mr.Mr.", became an immediate hit, reaching number one on nine different Korean music websites, achieving an "all-kill" status. The album also debuted at number 110 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling over 3,000 copies. This is the highest ranking Girls' Generation has ever achieved on the chart, the next highest being Girls' Generation – TTS's first album, "Twinkle", which debuted at 126th. Time magazine listed "Mr. Mr." as one of the top 25 best songs during the first half of 2014. Its music video also ranked third among the "K-pop MV Top 10" of the year.
On July 23, the group released their Japanese album, The Best in Japan. This album included the group's previous hits as well as a few new tracks: "Indestructible", "Divine", and "Chain Reaction". The album topped Japan's Oricon weekly music chart for two consecutive weeks, and has sold more than 100,000 copies. As a result of this achievement, Girls' Generation became the first non-Japanese female group in Asia to have three Japanese albums reach first place on this chart. During the same month, they also wrapped up their third concert tour series in Japan, "Love & Peace". Initially opened in Fukuoka in April, the group performed 17 times in seven Japanese cities including Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. Through three concert tours in Japan since 2011, Girls' Generation attracted a cumulative total of 550,000 spectators, setting the record for a K-pop girl group.
During August, Pitchfork listed two of Girls' Generation's songs "I Got a Boy" and "Gee" as part of the best 20 essential K-pop songs in recent years. Girls' Generation also participated in KCON 2014 in Los Angeles. In September, Girls' Generation became the first K-pop group to have three official YouTube videos ("Gee", "I Got A Boy" and "The Boys") with more than 100 million views.
On September 30, Jessica announced that she had been dismissed from the group. SM Entertainment confirmed this and stated that Jessica was no longer a member of Girls' Generation due to constant conflicts between the group's and Jessica's personal schedule. Girls' Generation continues to promote as an eight-member group while Jessica remains under SM Entertainment as a solo artist. The remaining eight members proceeded with the group's activities and held The Best Live concert at Tokyo Dome on December 9, which sold out and was attended by 50,000 people.
On April 19, 2012, SM Entertainment officially announced the creation of the Girls' Generation subgroup, TTS, composed of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The subgroup's first mini-album Twinkle was released on April 29, 2012. According to a statement made by SM Entertainment, "This subgroup will aim to grab the attention of fans with all aspects of music, performance, and fashion styles." The group released their second album, Holler, on September 16, 2014.
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During the beginning of their career, the group's music was predominantly bubblegum pop and teen pop. Singles such as "Gee" and "Oh!" utilize the teen pop and bubblegum pop genres while incorporating dance pop In 2009 the group transitioned to electropop sound with the release of "Tell me Your Wish (Genie)". The group continued this sound when debuting in Japan with Girls' Generation, using a more electropop influenced sound. They would carry this sound onto their second Japanese album with songs like "Paparazzi" and "Flower Power", the latter was noted for its use of a flowing base and prominent synths. The group works extensively on Korean releases with producers Yoo Young-jin and Kenzie. Lyrically, the group explores female empowerment, evident in songs like "Hoot" and "The Boys." The first member to participate in the creation of the group's work was Yuri, who co-wrote the R&B-inspired song "Mistake" (내 잘못이죠) from the group's third EP Hoot. The group extended more control with Tiffany and Sooyoung co-writing "The Boys," and "How Great Is Your Love" on the group's third Korean album, The Boys, respectively. The group's fourth album, I Got a Boy, combines many different musical elements such as 80s new wave, electronic dance music, and modern R&B, while their single "I Got a Boy" is an example of electronic dance song that mixes pop, retro, and urban genres. "Romantic St.", a track in their fourth studio album I Got a Boy, was described by Naver Music as belonging to the jazz and swing music genres. Billboard described "Flower Power" as a harmony-heavy, robo-pop jam, and "I Got a Boy" as a grab-bag of genres jumping from drum 'n' bass to clunky electro-pop. "Galaxy Supernova" is backed by a pulsing synth, and the b-side "Do the Catwalk," contains a super-catchy, whistle hook. "Love & Girls" was noted to have a peppy piece of electro-pop with referee whistles acting as the hook.
The group's image has been a major role in their rise in popularity. In the early years of their career, the group wore relatively no makeup and dressed more conservatively. The song "Kissing You" had the girls use lollipops as a prop during performances. During promotions for their 2009 single "Gee", the group dressed in jeans and plain-white shirts, highlighting the "purity" of the group and the song. When promoting the "Oh!" single in January 2010, the group used a cheerleader concept. The group left behind their 'pure' image, opting for a more mature image during the promotions for "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)". The concept was based off marines, with members dressing in short-shorts highlighting their legs. The choreography was designed around their legs and became popular in Korea "Jegi-kicking dance" (제기차기 춤) and the "Leg-beauty dance" (각선미 춤). For 2010's "Hoot", the group's image was based on Bond Girls. Earlier that year, whilst gearing up for promotion for "Run Devil Run", the group was noted for using a much darker, sexy image, nicknamed "Black SoShi". In 2011, the group returned to Korea with "The Boys", which used a "heroine" image, with members choosing their own outfits, emphasizing each of the members' own tastes. When creating choreography, the group works with Rino Nakasone Razalan. During the promotions of I Got a Boy, the group opted to the use of flat shoes instead of their trademark heels in order to perform the choreography correctly.
John Seabrook from The New Yorker described Girls' Generation as "a group of preppy-looking young women in skinny trousers. When they wear hot pants, it's to display the gams, not the glutes."  New York Magazine stated that the music itself is not the decisive factor in the popularity of K-pop as a whole, and Girls' Generation in particular, but, rather, the that the public likes the groups based on its members' looks and their personality, radiating a "humility" and friendliness to each and one of the fans. Kevin Perry from the British music publication NME wrote: "Girls' Generation also have a massive nine members, which is indicative of the way the efficient K-pop machine can favour choreographed style over individual personalities."
Impact and legacy
Following their debut in 2007, Girls' Generation has become a prominent figure in both South Korean culture and music, with music critics noting the group as being a representative figure of South Korean culture. The group is credited as playing a major role in the Hallyu Movement, and have been compared to fellow K-Pop singer Seo Taiji due to their contributions to Korean culture. Their immense popularity has led the group to earn the titles "The Nation's Singers" (Korean: 국민가수) and "The Nation's Girl Group" Following the disbandment of the original Korean idol girl groups S.E.S. and Fin.K.L in 2002, the Korean music industry experienced an influx of male idol groups such as TVXQ! and Super Junior, however upon the group's debut with songs such as "Into the New World" and "Kissing You", they were credited for shifting focus back to female groups. In 2011, the group was chosen by Tyler Brûlé as the seventh most recognizable Korean culture figure, being the only musical and non-object act to make the list. The group's fashion has been described as "chic" and "mature", becoming immensely popular among young women across Asia. With many dubbing the group as "fashion icons". In Japanese textbooks, the group serves as the main feature in the K-Pop section of the book.
The group gained significant popularity at the start of 2009 with the release of "Gee", the single was named 'Single of the Decade' and broke the record on KBS' Music Bank for the most consecutive wins in a row. The single is regarded as one of the first K-Pop songs to gain international attention, students at Harvard University in the United States highlighted the song as part of their study on Korean culture, with some performing the song's famous choreography. Their popularity has also translated into economic success. They are regarded as the most sought-out advertiser in South Korea. Marketers named the group as the model with the most influence over consumers, attributing the group's positive attention from the public to their vocals, looks, and fashion sense. In 2011 the group generated $57 million from Japanese releases. And a further USD$88.56 million in South Korea. In September 2010, Japanese business magazine Nikkei Business suggested the group's international expansion and success was the musical equivalent to Samsung. The Institute for Industrial Policy Studies also named the group as one of South Korea's super brands.
Their popularity in their native Korea has led the group to be named among the most powerful and influential people in the country. The Sisa Journal named the group as the most influential entertainers for the years 2011 and 2012, making them the first female idol group in history to make the list. BBC's Asia Today placed the group at forty-four on the 50 Korean Power Leaders list in 2011, being the only idol group and entertainers on the list. Since 2007, Girls' Generation has also been consistently ranked in the top 5 of Gallup Korea's "Artist of the Year". They topped the list from 2009-2011. The group also topped Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40 in 2011, 2012 and 2014, placing second in 2010 and 2013.
In five years the group has earned several major Korean music awards to their name, including five Daesang awards. They won the Disk Daesang for Oh! in 2010 at the Golden Disk Awards. They won the Digital Daesang in 2009 at the same show for "Gee". They won the latter award again in 2011 for "The Boys". They are among the best-selling artists in South Korea, with over 30 million digital singles and 4.4 million albums sold in less than five years of their debut. Their 2011 album, The Boys set a record as the best selling, non-repackaged album in the Gaon Chart's history. And they sold over 100,000 copies for each of their six Korean releases, making them the first female group in the South Korean music industry to do so in over six years. The group's success is not limited to South Korea, their debut Japanese album Girls' Generation is certified 'Million' by the RIAJ, denoting a million copies shipped across Japan, and is the highest selling album by a Korean group in Oricon history.
South Korea's legendary singer Lee Sun Hee picked Girls' Generation as her favorite girl group.
During their early career, Girls' Generation were endorsers for several brands such as Elite Uniform, Nexon Bubble Fighter, Samsung, LG, Italian sports brand, Ellesse, and Goobne Chicken. Goobne Chicken has since become a strong contender in the chicken industry and attribute their success to the group. They also endorsed clothing brands, online games, food industries, events, electronics, cosmetics, and even products reserved for the top celebrities to endorse such as petroleum and credit cards. The group was one of the most sought-out endorsers in 2009 and by mid-2009 the group members were models for over 10 brands and were chosen as one of South Korea's most sought after advertisers in a survey conducted by Brand Consulting Research Institute. In late 2010, a gift certificate company began releasing gift certificates each worth 10,000 won which featured Girls' Generation images on the cards, making them the first celebrities to be featured as such. A survey conducted in December 2010 saw 409 out of 741 marketing employees choosing Girls' Generation as the model with the most influence over consumers.
In 2012, Girls' Generation as a group placed first as the celebrity with the most CFs. The members, combined, were models to a total of 21 different brands including chicken, perfume, jewelry, handbags, TVs, beds, and department stores while Jessica & Yoona were tied for 2nd place for Individually CFs by participating in 13 different CFs, Tiffany was in the 3rd place with 12 CFs and Seohyun, Sooyoung and Yuri in 4th place with 11 CFs.
Girls' Generation held a donation campaign on February 4, 2010 with music site Lunchbox for the "Music Dream" campaign. Three percent of the purchase price was donated to the Korean Make-A-Wish Foundation. A portion of the revenue from their Japanese single "Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run", released April 27, 2011, was donated to Japan's Red Cross in order to provide assistance for the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The group also donated signed handbags that were auctioned off.
On August 9, 2011, they, and their label mates f(x) and SHINee, took part in an effort to help African children. The groups were joined by the United Nation's Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in the "Help African Children" project co-organized by the Korean Red Cross Society and the Korean UNICEF committee. During the year, Seohyun was appointed as UNICEF envoy.
Girls' Generation were selected as honorary ambassadors for Korea's "Visit Korea 2010 – 2012" campaign, headed by South Korea's First Lady, Kim Yoon-ok. The campaign was an effort by the Korean government to attract at least 10 million foreign visitors to the country by the end of 2012, with the group spearheading the initiative due to their emerging worldwide popularity at the time.
The group, along with Super Junior, appeared on a special episode of KBS's Love Request broadcast on September 17, 2011, where they invited an 11-year-old Cambodian girl with a heart problem and a blind boy to fly to Korea to receive treatment, as well as a young girl from Korea who had lived in a hotel with her widowed mother her entire life. The two groups also participated in a blood drive at the KBS Hall. During the 85 minute broadcast, over 32 million won (US$29,000) was raised. In the same month, Woongjin Coway held a "Beautiful Auction" event at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo with Girls' Generation on September 27, 2011 to help women who are neglected. They auctioned their outfits and accessories which they wore in their CFs to raise funds for the charity.
On March 5, 2012, representatives of Gangnam-gu in Seoul released a statement stating that the Girls' Generation would be the honorary ambassadors for the city of starting on March 7, 2012.
In April 2012, the Korean Association Against Blindness announced that the group would be the official face of their movement. On August 17, 2012, it was revealed that Girls' Generation's outfits are sent to philanthropic organizations and are put up for auction. The money is then donated to a good cause. That same week, the Korean Post announced that profits of the group's official stamps would be donated to Merry Year, a charity. Girls' Generation donated eight tons of rice to help those who are in need. It was revealed that the rice donations made by the group on December 5, 2012, was able to help 66,400 people in need. On December 17, 2012, Tiffany was appointed as the honorary ambassador for Global Hope, which is listed as a non-profit corporation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and aims to build a hopeful community by digging up talents and encouraging leadership across six countries.
Girls' Generation donated group merchandise and several personal items to the 'Star Donation Event', where their items were auctioned off for charity. Over three million South Korean Won (over $3,000 USD) was raised and donated to the Holt Children's Center.
Greatest hits albums
- Into the New World (2009–2010)
- 2011 Girls' Generation Asia Tour (2011–2012)
- Girls' Generation World Tour Girls & Peace (2013–2014)
- The First Japan Arena Tour (2011)
- Girls & Peace: 2nd Japan Tour (2013)
- Girls' Generation Japan 3rd Tour 2014 (2014)
- Girls' Generation 'The Best Live' at Tokyo Dome (2014)
- SMTown Live '08 (2008–2009)
- SMTown Live '10 World Tour (2010–2011)
- SMTown Live World Tour III (2012–2013)
- SMTown Week (2013)
- KCON (2014)
- SMTown Live World Tour IV (2014–present)
- List of awards and nominations received by Girls' Generation
- Girls' Generation filmography
- List of best-selling girl groups
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- (Korean) 소시 '오!', 상반기 음원판매도 1위 '트리플크라운' (Soshi 'Oh!', 'Triple Crown' 1st place in First Half Music Sales.)
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- (Japanese) “美脚”グループ・少女時代、韓国女性グル―プ初のDVD総合TOP5入り(SNSD is First Korean Female Group to place in the Top 5 for ORICON's total DVD ranking)
- (Japanese)韓国の人気９人組・少女時代が日本上陸 (Finally the veil is lifted! 22,000 people cheer for Shoujo Jidai!)
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