Taeyeon at COEX Artium in March 2016
March 9, 1989
Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, South Korea
|Residence||Seoul, South Korea|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Tae-yeon|
Kim Tae-yeon (born March 9, 1989), better known by the mononym Taeyeon, is a South Korean singer. She debuted in 2007 as a member of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation under S.M. Entertainment, and has further participated in its subgroup TTS as well as S.M Entertainment's ballad group SM the Ballad. Aside from group activities, she has also recorded tracks for various television dramas and movies as well as as commercial films (CFs).
Taeyeon officially made her debut as a solo artist in October 2015 with her first extended play, I, which reached number two on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart and has sold well over 100,000 physical copies. The lead single, "I", peaked atop the Gaon Digital Chart and has sold over one million digital copies. Following her debut, she was awarded Best Female Artist at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. Her following extended play, "Why" with two singles "Starlight" featuring R&B singer Dean and "Why" was released in June 2016.
Gallup Korea ranked her as the third most popular artist of 2015, and Forbes Korea listed her among their Top 40 Power Celebrities of 2016. Taeyeon is renowned for her vocal abilities: she was voted in a survey by 40 music industry officials as the best K-pop vocalist in October 2015, and as the best female vocalist by twenty music companies in April 2016.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Impact
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 Discography
- 7 Concerts and tours
- 8 Filmography
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Taeyeon was born on March 9, 1989 in Jeonju, South Korea. Her family consists of her parents, an older brother and a younger sister. At the age of 13, Taeyeon came to the conclusion she was "only talented at singing". During middle school, she was accepted as a trainee at Starlight Academy (later renamed SM Academy) and commuted from Jeonju to Seoul every Sunday to receive vocal training for the duration of a year. In 2004, her former vocal instructor Jung Sun-won, also known as The One, "wanted to acknowledge Taeyeon's potential" and gave her a chance to be in his song "You Bring Me Joy". In the same year, at age 15, she won first place vocalist at S.M. Entertainment's Best Youth Competition and officially received a contract from S.M. Entertainment. Taeyeon continued her training under S.M. Entertainment and debuted as a part of Girls' Generation in 2007.
However, the road to her debut was tumultuous; on Star Golden Bell it was revealed that she secretly ran away due to harsh training and practices. Fellow Girls Generation member Tiffany commented, "I was roommates with Taeyeon and I was surprised when I came into the room and saw that all of Taeyeon’s belongings were cleaned out.” In 2008, Taeyeon graduated from Jeonju Arts High School and was awarded with the school's Lifetime Achievement Award. As a teenager, Taeyeon was inspired to become an entertainer by BoA. She "wanted to be like her and have activities in Japan and around the world", which later came true when Girls' Generation debuted in Japan in 2010.
2007–11: Girls' Generation and solo activities
Taeyeon debuted as a member of the South Korean girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007. Due to the pressure of being the leader of the group, she experienced sleepwalking for a period of time. Aside from Girls' Generation's activities, Taeyeon also made several solo appearances. In 2008, she released two solo songs, "If" for KBS2's drama Hong Gil Dong and "Can You Hear Me" for MBC's Beethoven Virus. The song "If" became popular on several music charts, with the Korea Economic Daily describing Taeyeon as having "an exceptional voice and sad tone", while "Can You Hear Me" received the YEPP Popularity Award at the 2008 Golden Disk Awards. In a 2014 interview, Taeyeon mentioned that the latter song was hard to sing, explaining that the introduction had to be delivered as if someone is talking, rather than singing. In the same year, Taeyeon also had a duet titled "7989" with fellow S.M. artist, Kangta. It was featured on both Girls' Generation's self-titled album Girls' Generation, and Kangta's Eternity. In April 2008, Taeyeon became a DJ on MBC Radio's program Kangin and Taeyeon's Chin Chin Radio alongside fellow S.M. artist Kangin of Super Junior. After Kangin left the program in April 2009, it was renamed to Taeyeon's Chin Chin Radio, as Taeyeon became an independent host, and continued on until April 2010. She gained the nickname "DJ Taengoo" while hosting this program.
In January 2009, Taeyeon appeared on MBC's reality-variety show We Got Married and was featured with comedian Jeong Hyeong-don. They played a couple, portraying what life would be like if they were married. When this news was announced, it caused an uproar among South Korean netizens due to the 11-year age difference between the two. She then participated in the song "Seoul" (along with Super Junior and Girls' Generation) as an effort to promote tourism for the city of Seoul. In September 2009, Taeyeon released the song "It's Love", a duet with Sunny for the MBC drama Heading to the Ground.
From February to August 2010, Taeyeon was a co-host for KBS2's idol talk show Win Win alongside 2PM's Wooyoung, Choi Hwa-jung, Kim Shin-young, and Kim Seung-woo. On May 7, 2010, she had her musical debut as the main female role in Midnight Sun, which is based on the Japanese novel Taiyō no uta by Aya Denkawa. The musical is about Kaoru Amane, a 17-year-old girl who suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, which prevents her from going out during daytime, but keeps her hopes up by writing songs and singing every night at a train station; Taeyeon received good press for her performance. She also learnt how to play a guitar for her performance. When reflecting on her experience, Taeyeon shared that she found musicals to be difficult, citing that her weak concentration made it hard for her to act and sing at the same time. Music-wise, Taeyeon released a duet song, "Like A Star", with her mentor The One, as well as a solo song, "I Love You", for the SBS drama Athena: Goddess of War. The former song reached number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and the latter peaked at number two.
In 2011, Taeyeon had a duet, "Different", with Kim Bum-soo; the song reached number two on Gaon as well. The two met again at Kim Bum-soo's concert "For rest Camp" in 2013 for a live collaboration of "Man and Woman". This inspired Taeyeon to later comment on her Instagram about her wish to have a similar concert in a similarly small theater, and state in CeCi's December 2013 issue, "I want to sing while seeing fans up close".
2012–14: TTS's debut and SM The Ballad
Taeyeon and her band mate Seohyun were cast as voice actors for the Korean-dubbed versions of the computer-animated films Despicable Me (2010) and its sequel Despicable Me 2 (2013). They dubbed the voices for the characters Margo and her younger sister, Edith, respectively. On March 28, 2012, after releasing the single "Missing You Like Crazy" for MBC's melodrama The King 2 Hearts, the song ranked two on both the Gaon Digital Chart and the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100. The producer of the song, Park Hae-woon, said "Taeyeon is an amazing singer. She fully understood the song in its entirety and expressed each detail very precisely...even though this song requires the lowest note that a female singer can produce, Taeyeon executed them perfectly." The singer had previously declined the offer for the song due to her busy schedules with Girls' Generation. However, she made a promise to musical director Lee Pil-ho that they would collaborate again after working with him on the Beethoven Virus OST. He stated that he had not considered anyone else to sing this song. It was eventually picked as the most popular soundtrack of the year at the 2012 Seoul Drama Awards. The same year, another song, "Closer", from the SBS drama To the Beautiful You ranked seven on both charts.
In May 2012, Taeyeon, along with fellow Girls' Generation members Tiffany and Seohyun, formed a subgroup called Girls' Generation-TTS (or TTS), releasing their first mini-album titled Twinkle. The subgroup has a different musical direction and style concept from Girls' Generation, placing their focus on each member's vocal ability while the latter group emphasizes the songs and uniform group performances. The three also became the hosts for MBC's music show Music Core from February 2012 to April 2013.
In January 2013, Taeyeon returned to MBC Radio as a one-day guest DJ for Shindong's program, Shimshimtapa, alongside Tiffany. The two also had the duet "Lost in Love", which was featured on Girls' Generation's fourth Korean album, I Got a Boy. On March 13, 2013, Taeyeon released the song "And One" for the SBS drama That Winter, the Wind Blows. It debuted at the top of the K-Pop Hot 100 and reached number two on the Gaon Digital Chart. The song was written and composed by Kangta, expressing the emotions abounding star-crossed love. On July 9, 2013, Taeyeon lent her voice in the song "Bye" for the movie Mr. Go. The song, this time, was not as successful on the charts.
In February 2014, Taeyeon joined the ballad group SM the Ballad, initially formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2010. On the group's second album, she had a duet with Jonghyun for the title track "Breath" as well as a solo song, "Set Me Free". "Breath" was also the theme song of Mnet's mini-drama Mimi. The song debuted within top 10 of the Gaon Digital Chart and K-Pop Hot 100. In March 2014, Taeyeon recorded the song "Colorful" for JTBC's campaign "The World Is More Beautiful Because We're Different".
On May 30, 2014, she released "Love, That One Word" for the SBS drama You're All Surrounded; the song managed to rank number eight on the Gaon Digital Chart and number 6 on the K-Pop Hot 100. In the later half of the year, Taeyeon concentrated her activities with subgroup TTS. They released their sophomore EP, Holler, in September 2014; the album debuted at number one on both the Billboard World Albums chart and the Gaon Album Chart. Taeyeon took the responsibility for the album's song selection. During the promotion period, the three singers were also featured in the reality show, The TaeTiSeo. The show took a more close-up and personal side of the three singers, revealing their normal everyday lives. Taeyeon stated: "If it weren't for the passionate [Girls' Generation] members, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to sing."
2015–present: Solo debut
In February 2015, she was featured in "Shake That Brass", the title track of f(x)'s Amber's solo debut. Amber revealed that she personally requested Taeyeon to feature in the song. In September 2015, she released a remake of the song "Scars Deeper Than Love", a duet with Yim Jae-beom, as part of the singer's tenth anniversary special album.
In October 2015, Taeyeon debuted as a solo artist with the release of her first solo album, I, with the title track of the same name featuring Verbal Jint, to great commercial success. The song received a total of 11 music program awards, and the album topped the Gaon Album Chart, becoming the best-selling album of October, and was named as the main contributor of S.M. Entertainment leading music sales for the fourth quarter of 2015. Her brother Jiwoong made a short appearance in the music video.
Taeyeon held her sold-out concerts titled Taeyeon's Very Special Day as a part of S.M. Entertainment's "The Agit" concert series at the S.M. COEX Artium from October 23–25 and October 30 – November 1 with an additional date, October 29, due to overwhelming demand. In addition, she hosted her first solo reality show titled Daily Taeng9Cam (or Daily Taengoo Cam) on cable network OnStyle. The show, which concluded with five broadcast episodes and various clips shared on OnStyle's YouTube channel, was ranked the third most popular idol program of 2015. During the same month, she was selected as the number one K-pop vocalist by a survey conducted among 40 music industry officials. In November 2015, she featured in "If The World Was a Perfect Place", a track on Verbal Jint's sixth album.
On January 22, 2016, she featured in "Don't Forget", a digital single by Crush. Following the success of her first solo album, "Rain" was released as a digital single along with an accompanying B-side, "Secret", on February 3, 2016. "Rain" reached number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and number three on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. "Rain" achieved its first music show win on February 14 on SBS's Inkigayo and was reported to be the most viewed K-pop music video in the United States as well as worldwide for the month of February.
In April 2016, Taeyeon released a remake of the song "Blue Night of Jeju Island" for the mineral water brand Samdasoo. On May 13, 2016, it was announced Taeyeon was selected as the promotional model of Kakao's MMORPG Sword and Magic and would remake labelmate BoA's song "Atlantis Princess".
On June, 17, 2016, the release of her second extended play titled Why was announced. The first single from the album, "Starlight", featuring South Korean singer Dean, and its music video were released on June 25, 2016, three days ahead of the album's release. The title track and second single, "Why", and its music video were released together with the album on June 28. "Why" exceeded 100,000 pre-orders and placed within the top ten on the Billboard World Albums chart. "Starlight" achieved its first music show win on June 8 on KBS's Music Bank, while "Why" achieved its first music show win on Inkigayo.
Taeyeon held her first nationwide solo concert titled "Butterfly Kiss" at Olympic Park in Seoul to an audience of 6000 on July 9 and 10. The concert was deemed by the media as a "milestone for all female idol singers". Taeyeon, described as "[carrying the] solo show with strong vocals", will continue the concert series in Busan on August 6–7.
Over the course of Taeyeon's career, she has been cited as the role model of many idol celebrities. Idol boy band BTS cited her as their inspiration for the name of their title track "Boy In Luv". Other celebrities who named her as their role models are Lovelyz's Jiae, Melody Day's Chahee, Cosmic Girls' Luda, CLC's Elkie, and Sonamoo's High.D. Furthermore, she was the only junior singer selected by Vibe's Yoon Min-soo to fit his purposed subgenre of Korean R&B "K-Soul" due to the reasoning, "I can feel that sort of emotions from the ballads Taeyeon sings. If you can feel a deep soul from a singer, that's 'K-Soul'." Lee Solim, the president of Taeyeon's former school for aspiring entertainers, Starlight Academy, described her as her most memorable student during an interview in 2010. Both her songs "If" and "Can You Hear Me?" have remained in MelOn's Top 100 OSTs since their releases in 2008.
In October 2015, Taeyeon was selected as the number one K-pop vocalist by a survey completed by 40 anonymous music industry officials, and in April 2016 was chosen as the best female vocalist in their twenties by music companies (S.M., YG, JYP, Starship, JellyFish, Loen, Antenna, RBW, Fantagio, CJS, Music K). Additionally, Billboard named her as "the year's best solo debut" and her debut single "I" was ranked as the second best K-pop song of 2015, Gallup Korea recorded her as the third most popular idol of 2015, and Forbes Korea listed her as the 11th singer and 32nd celebrity on their Top 40 Power Celebrities of 2016. She became the first Korean female celebrity to reach seven million followers on Instagram on June 4, 2016.
Awards and nominations
Since debuting as a member of Girls' Generation, Taeyeon has received numerous nominations and awards for her solo activities in original soundtracks, radio show hosting and musical theatre dating back to 2008. Following her debut as a solo artist in October 2015, she has won Best Female Artist at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, as well as Bonsang awards at the 25th Seoul Music Awards and the 30th Golden Disc Awards, a testament to her long-running popularity.
Concerts and tours
|As lead artist|
|2015||"I"||Verbal Jint||First music video as a solo artist|
|2016||"Rain"||Lead single of SM Station|
|"Blue Night of Jeju Island"||Promotional song for Samdasoo|
|"Atlantis Princess"||Promotional song for Kakao's Sword and Magic|
|"Starlight"||Dean||First single of second EP "Why"|
|"Why"||Title track of second EP "Why"|
|"Why (Dance Version)"||Dance version of title track "Why"|
|2012||"Dear My Family"||SM Town|
|2015||"Shake That Brass"||Amber|
|2010||Despicable Me||Margo||Voice-over for the Korean-dubbed version|
|2012||I AM. – SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden||Herself||Biographical film of SM Town|||
|2013||Despicable Me 2||Margo||Voice-over for the Korean-dubbed version|
|2014||My Brilliant Life||Herself||Cameo along with Tiffany and Seohyun|||
|2015||SMTown The Stage||Herself||Documentary film of SM Town|||
|2010||Midnight Sun||Kaoru||Female lead|
|2009||We Got Married||MBC||Regular Cast||Season 1; Episode 42–54|
|2010||Win Win||KBS||Co-host||with Wooyoung|
|2012||Salamander Guru and The Shadows||SBS||Herself||Episode 3|
|Running Man||SBS||Contestant||Episode 63-64, 112, 254|
|2012–13||Show! Music Core||MBC||Co-host||with Tiffany and Seohyun|
|2014||The Music Interview||Mnet||Herself||with Jonghyun|
|Hidden Singer||JTBC||Contestant||Season 3; Episode 5|||
|MV Bank Stardust||KBS||Herself|
|Daily Taeng9cam||OnStyle||Herself||First solo variety show (5 episodes)|
|Go Fridge||Tencent||Herself||Episode 9-10, Chinese version of Please Take Care of My Refrigerator|||
|2016||You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook||SBS||Herself||Episode 307|
|2008–09||Kangin and Taeyeon's Chin Chin Radio||MBC||Co-Host||with Kangin|
|2009–10||Taeyeon's Chin Chin Radio||MBC||Host|
|2013||Shindong's ShimShimTapa||MBC||Co-Host||with Tiffany|
|2015||Radio Star DJ||MelOn||Host|
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