NRG (South Korean band)
|Past members||Kim Hwan Sung (Death in 2000)
Mun Sung Hoon
NRG is a South Korean boyband. Their name is an acronym for New Radiancy Group. Originally a five-member group, they became a three-member group when the leader Lee Sungjin left to pursue a career in acting and as an announcer and Chun Myung Hoon left to produce music. After the not so popular group of 3, the old members returned for the next fourth album, but after the death of Kim Hwan Sung in 2000 the group was down to 4 members. With the 4 members, they had a hit success on their 5th album and later 6th album but after the departure of Moon Sung Hoon in 2005, it had become a three-member group again, until their final promotions in 2006.
- Lee Sung-Jin (이성진, 李成眞); born February 5, 1977
Lee Sung-Jin was released from his military service on September 12, 2008.
- Chun Myung-Hoon (천명훈, 千明勛); born April 6, 1978
Chun Myung Hoon is known for his variety show antics, being one of the most physical comedians on the shows. He is currently serving his military service in a government center, since January 2007, unable to undergo basic military training due to health issues.
- Noh Yoo-Min (노유민, 盧裕敏); born October 12, 1980
Noh Yoo Min is currently serving in the military since January 2008.
- Kim Hwan-Sung (김환성, 金煥成); born February 14, 1981; died June 15, 2000 (aged 19)
- Moon Sung-Hoon (문성훈, 文成薰); born October 15, 1980 ; left 2005
Members Lee Sung Jin and Chun Myung Hoon originally debuted in 1996 as duet under the name HamoHamo and released one album with moderate success from the singles "Papillion" and "Pangpang." At the time, members Moon Sung Hoon and No Yoo Min where performing as HamoHamo backup dancers, having been discovered by producer Kim Tae Hyung as they were hanging around outside the studio of the music show "A Break."
With HamoHamo's less than successful debut, Sung Jin, Myung Hoon and producer Kim Tae Hyung decided to start a new group with backup dancers Sung Hoon and Yoo Min. NRG (New Radiancy Group) was then created when Kim Hwan Sung was added to the line up.
NRG debuted on October 28, 1997 on the then cable show "Music Tank" with the single Hal Soo Isu (I Can Do It). Two weeks after their debut the group held an MC spot for ten weeks. Their first album (New Radiancy Group) sold over 200,000 copies in Korea, making them the pioneers of high energy dance music. At the 1998 SBS Popular Song Awards, NRG won the New Face Award (Best Male New Artist).
NRG's second album (Race) was released that same year and featured more high energy dance songs like "Messenger" selling over 300,000 copies in Korea. With the second album NRG was also able to find success outside of Korea, selling albums in both China and Japan. NRG became the first Korean musical group to actively market themselves in China, and despite rampant CD pirating, NRG's second album still sold over 100,000 copies. Today, NRG is widely credited as one of the pioneers of the Korean Wave (Korean Hallyu) that first swept through Asia in the late 1990s.
NRG’s third album (003) released in 1999 saw the group return with only three members, Sung Hoon, Yoo Min, and Hwan Sung. Sung Jin left the group to pursue a career in acting and announcing, and Myung Hoon took a less visible role by writing and composing 2 songs for the album and not actually performing with them. Some fans contest that Sung Jin and Myung Hoon did not choose to leave NRG, but were rather cut from the line up as they were not as popular as the other three members. The three member group also released a Christmas album that year titled "Kiss in Christmas."
After the third album had less success than the previous two, members Sung Jin and Myung Hoon returned to the line up. Sadly, before the reunited NRG could begin work on their fourth album member Hwan Sung fell ill and died.
Death of Kim Hwan Sung
Shortly after wrapping up their third album activities, member Hwan Sung was hospitalized for a high fever and abdominal pains. Doctors were initially unsure of what was causing his illness and over a span of 6 days his health rapidly deteriorated. Hwan Sung was diagnosed with malignant viral pneumonia, eventually lapsing into a coma and placed on life support when doctors pronounced him brain dead. As he lay in the Intensive Care Unit, his band mates sat in disbelief and prayed for a healthy recovery, but after much anguish, Hwan Sung's parents decided to remove him from life support.
Surrounded by his family and band mates, Kim Hwan Sung died at dawn on June 15, 2000 at the age of 19 years, survived by his parents and older sister.
Hwan Sung was cremated on June 17, his funeral was attended by thousands of fans and other popular Korean musical acts of the time, in particular the KPop group H.O.T. who were NRG's closest friends.
As A Quartet
In July, one month following Hwan Sung's death, NRG held a concert in his memory in China. In front of hundreds of mourning Chinese fans and Hwan Sung's parents and older sister, the members tearfully performed some of NRG's biggest hits.
After their concert in China, the members took time to mourn Hwan Sung's passing and seriously contemplated a permanent disbanding of the group. They eventually decided to stay together and work even harder to make Hwan Sung's dreams of becoming a top band and receiving a #1 hit become a reality.
NRG's fourth album (Sorrow, 悲) was released in 2001 with the title track written for them by H.O.T. member Kangta. Later that year, NRG held their first concert in Korea in August paying tribute to Hwan Sung by performing "Good Bye My Friend" and "Antonio" (Hwan Sung's nickname) which was written and composed by Myung Hoon.
First #1 Hit
NRG's fifth album was released in 2003, becoming their most successful album to date. Their smash hit single "Hit Song" written and composed by Myun Hoon brought the group their first #1 song and winning the SBS 2003 Mutizen Song (Most Popular Song) Award, Singer of The Year. They were named one of the top ten singers in Korea for 2003.
While filming the opening scene for the music video "Hit Song," a driver of one of the speeding cars lost control, causing the car to overturn and injure himself. Sung Jin stated that with this accident, he knew instantly that "Hit Song" would be NRG's ticket to the #1 spot.
NRG dedicated their awards to Hwan Sung, accrediting him for their success. After finally receiving a #1 hit NRG stated that they felt as if a weight was finally lifted off of them, as they were finally able to make Hwan Sung's dream come true. Sung Hoon stated that, where there was once only sorrow when visiting Hwan Sung, there is now a greater sense of ease.
In 2004 NRG released their sixth album before member Moon Sun Hoon left the group for unspecific reasons.
In 2005, NRG released their seventh album as a trio. This is their last album and would stop promotion. All three would soon begin their mandatory two years of service in the South Korean Army.
Ever since their breakup and military services, they've been through ups and downs.
In 2009, Lee Sung Jin has been arrested for an alleged scam for gambling and up to this day he is still being under further investigation by the Law.
In 2010, No Yoo Min married his wife, who is 8 years older than him. He even appeared as a full-time member of Hot Brothers.
In 2011, Chun Myung Hoon is a permanent guest on 100 Points out of 100. He also released his first solo single, "Jungle".
- Hit Song
- Making Love (사랑만들기)
- I Can Do It (할 수 있어)
- Friend (친구)
- 1997: Volume 1 - New Radiancy Group
- 1998: Volume 2 - Race
- 1999: Volume 3 - nrg 003
- 2001: Volume 4 - Sorrow (비)
- 2003: Volume 5 - Hit Song
- 2004: Volume 6
- 2005: Volume 7 - One of Five (Final Album)
- 1998: Season's Greeting
- 1999: Kiss In Christmas
- 2000: 2000 Live Concert In China
- 2002: NRG 1st Concert with Antonio
Their early albums featured Hi-NRG dance music theme. In those albums many eurobeat songs, especially songs in Super Eurobeat compilation, were illegally sampled. Back then, in Korea, eurobeat had little popularity, so it wasn't surfaced as a trouble.
- I Can Do It (할 수 있어) : Valentina — Wake Up Honey
- Making Love (사랑만들기) : Virginelle — Lovin' Like a Fire
- Hey Ya : Niko — Night of Fire
- Marathon : Larabelle — Love As a Weapon
- KBS World Radio. NRG-Member Chun Myung-hoon Currently Fulfilling Military Service. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- KBS World