SG Wannabe (the SG representing Simon and Garfunkel) is a South Korean ballad trio that debuted in 2004. Their first song, "Timeless", quickly propelled the group to popularity and their album topped the charts. Unlike other groups, SG Wannabe decided to abstain from promoting their music initially, declining to appear on music shows or in their own videos; the group has stated that they wish their audience will care more about the music, rather than their appearance.
SG Wannabe debuted in 2004 with their first album, SG Wanna Be+. It was produced by Lee Kyung Sub and Park Keun Tae and famous music producers in Korea. The title track's music video for the album attracted media attention, as it featured top actors such as Sol Kyung-gu and Kim Nam-jin, and actresses Yunjin Kim, Kang Hye-jung, and Seo Sung-min. The production costs were reportedly about 2 billion won. The group gained a reputation for being quite mysterious because they did not show their faces and did not star in any of their music videos. Nevertheless, their vocal abilities attracted many fans, and the album was an instant hit with pre-sales of 90,000 copies. Later in 2004, the group was recognized for their vocal ability with numerous awards, including nominations for Best Newcomer at the Golden Disc Awards and the Seoul Popular Music Awards.
2nd album: Saldaga (살다가) (While You Live) (2005)
On March 29, 2005, SG Wannabe released their second album. It included the two #1 hits "Sin & Punishment (죄와벌)", which received numerous awards both for the music video and for the song itself, and "살다가 (While You Live)". Like its predecessor, "Saldaga" was able to attract media attention for the group's vocal ability, thus SG Wannabe became the only artist in 2005 to sell more than 400,000 copies of their album. On September 14, 2005, the group released the "Classic Odyssey", their 2.5 album. 1 billion Won (₩1,000,000,000) budget went into SG Wannabe's new remake album. It included hits such as "My Heart's Treasure Box" (내 마음의 보석상자). To top off the success of their 2nd album, SG Wannabe was awarded the prestigious Daesang (the "Artist Of The Year") from the Golden Disc award. When 2005 was over, SG Wannabe were ranked at #1, with over 400,000 copies sold of their 2nd album, and 12th, with 147,047 copies sold of their remake album on the year-end chart.
On April 11, 2006, the trio released their third album, called The 3rd Masterpiece. Just like what they did in the second album (the music video had two parts; the first part was with the song "Crime and Punishment" (죄와벌), while the second part was with the song "As We Live" (살다가)), their third album also contained two-part music videos. The first part was with their new title song, "Partner for Life" (내 사람) starring Shinhwa's Kim Dong Wan and also featuring Jeong So-Young, and the second part was released with "Slowpoke" (느림보). Once again, the album manage to chart high, reaching #1 on numerous charts.
On November 18, 2006, they released a greatest hits compilation entitled SG Wannabe Best Album - The Precious History. It was a collection of their favorite songs from the past three albums and also included three new songs. They also released a music video for those songs which was called "Song of Love(사랑가) featuring Vibe", "Even If I Could See You (그저 바라볼 수만 있어도)", and "Ordinary People" featuring Hoo Ni-Hoon, Min Kyung-Hoon, Jang Hye-Jin.However, despite having high sales and topping the charts, they did not win another, though the group was nominated daesang.
Their highly anticipated 4th album, "The Sentimental Chord", was released on April 6, 2007, almost a year after their 3rd album. Again, they amazed the audience with their new title song "Arirang" (아리랑), which had the classic instruments of Korea playing as the background music. With the release of their 4th album and their title song, they went as the #1 in the Bugs Chart as well as the Korea monthly chart. The album was also number one on the "Top 20 Album Sales (May 2007)" with 44,618 copies sold in May and 125,450 sold altogether. They also released two special albums, "SG Wanna Be+" and "Story In New York." Both the special album manage to be successful as well, continuing SG Wannabe's popularity and success. Towards the end of the year, SG Wannabe was awarded their second daesang from the Golden Disk Awards, reigning as the top artist of the year. Selling almost 200,000 copies, The Sentimental Chord was the best-selling album of 2007 in Korea. In addition, several changes also occurred within the band, with member Chae Dong Ha leaving the group in order to focus on a solo career.
As of April 23, 2008, SG Wannabe's fifth album had 85,000 pre-orders and counting; it was released with a Japanese version of "I Miss You" (보고싶어). Both versions of that song were recorded with their former member Chae Dong-Ha, and new member Lee Suk Hoon made his debut performance on April 24 on "M!CountDown", singing the first track, "Lalala", on the new album.
Former member Chae Dong-ha's suicide and absence from the music scene
Former member Chae Dong-ha committed suicide on May 27th 2011 after battling with strong depression since his SG Wannabe days. The members announced their hiatus from the music scene to grieve the loss of their former member and good friend. After announcing their hiatus, they have not returned to the music scene as the group "SG Wannabe" to this date.
Lee Seok-hun released his first single 고백(Confession) back in June 2nd 2011 a solo album later October 4th 2012 and was actively participating in OSTs before enlisting earlier this year. Kim Jin-ho released his first solo album 오늘(Today) back in February 14th 2013 and his second album 한강애(Han River Love) few months later on July 18th. Kim Yong-jun has only participated in OSTs and sang two duets with his long time girlfriend actress Hwang Jung-eum.
Currently Kim Yong-jun and Lee Seok-hun are serving in the military. listed on January 22nd this year and is going to be released from service in early 2015. Kim Yong-jun enlisted a few weeks after Lee Seok-hun and will be released from service around the same time. Member Kim Jinho is currently working on his solo career, having a concert during the summer and he's also doing volunteer work by singing in hospitals and schools for free.