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This article is about the South Korean boy band. For information about Korean myths, see Korean mythology.
L to R: Andy, Eric, Jun Jin, Min Woo, Hye Sung, Dong Wan
Background information
Origin South Korea
Years active 1998–present
Labels SM Entertainment
Good Entertainment
Shinhwa Company
Associated acts Battle
Website Shinhwa Company
Members Eric Mun
Lee Min-woo
Kim Dong-wan
Shin Hye-sung
Jun Jin
Andy Lee
Korean name
Revised Romanization Sinhwa
McCune–Reischauer Sinhwa

Shinhwa (Hangul신화; Hanja神話) is a South Korean six-member boy band based in Seoul, composed of Eric Mun, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin, and Andy Lee. Launched by SM Entertainment on 24 March 1998 and now managed by Shinhwa Company, the group is the longest-running boy band in the history of K-pop[1][2][3][4] and one of the pioneers of the K-pop idol culture.

Shinhwa is the Korean word for myth or legend.

The group was one of the early successes of SM Entertainment along with H.O.T. and S.E.S.. When the contract with SM Entertainment expired in July 2003, all six members signed with Good Entertainment as a group. Although the group Shinhwa was managed by Good Entertainment, the members also pursued individual solo careers as actors and singers under different agencies. Shinhwa went on a four-year hiatus in 2008, when the band members started to enlist for mandatory military service. In 2011, when most of the members finished their servies, they established Shinhwa Company to facilitate their group career alonside their individual careers. In March 2012, Shinhwa released their tenth album The Return and started a concert tour to become the first Korean boy band to last after the members' mandatory military services.

Shinhwa is also the first K-pop idol to lead a successful career after leaving its original agency. Ever since Shinhwa left SM Entertainment, the group had fought a long legal battle that also involved Joon Media to win the trademark rights for the band name "Shinhwa." At the height of the battle in September 2014, the band had to rename the agency Shinhwa Company as ShinCom Entertainment[5] to avoid legal issues. In May 2015, after 12 years of long battle, Shinhwa finally won the lawsuit over Joon Media and re-renamed their agency as Shinhwa Company.


1998–1999: Formation and debut[edit]

SM Entertainment recruited Shin Hye-Sung through auditions in Los Angeles, California. The company grouped him with Andy Lee, who was not able to join the agency's previous boy band H.O.T. because of his parent's objections based on his young age. Not long after, Eric Mun joined the group upon returning to Korea after his years in high school in California. SM Entertainment scouts also discovered Lee Min-woo at a student dance competition in which he won the 1st place and Kim Dong-wan on the street. Kim Dong-wan was initially interested in acting but joined the band after seeing a preview video of the existing members. Jun Jin was the final member to join after his high school friend Kangta of H.O.T recommended him to the agency. Before the release of their first album, Eric and Andy were first introduced in 1997 as rappers in fellow SM-managed group S.E.S.'s song "I'm Your Girl".

The six-member group was named Shinhwa and had their first performance on March 24, 1998, singing "해결사" ("Resolver") on KM Music Tank. Their debut album, which included "해결사" ("Resolver"), "으쌰! 으쌰!" ("Eusha! Eusha!"), and "천일유혼" ("Sharing Forever"), was released in following May. "으쌰! 으쌰!" ("Eusha! Eusha!"), is a light-hearted track where they adopted a cute image to match the concept of the song, complete with outfit in white and blue colors. "천일유혼" ("Sharing Forever") charted well but was not as successful as the previous two. However, they were accused of being another copy of H.O.T. and were involved in controversy when a tragic water accident occurred, and "Eusha! Eusha!, which was about a fun trip at the beach, was used as a reminder of the accident.[citation needed] Hence, their debut album 해결사 (Resolver) did not perform as well as expected and the band almost disbanded.[6]

Shinhwa's second album, T.O.P., was released on 19 April 1999. It garnered considerable success with its title song. The album debuted at #4 and peaked at #3, selling 377,500 copies and charting for 24 weeks on the Korean monthly chart.[7] With the release of T.O.P, Shinhwa began to move away from their "cute" image to an edgier image concept. Riding on the success of their second album, the group received the "1998's Best Music Video from a new male pop group" award from M.Net, their first major music award.

2000–2001: Only One and Hey, Come On![edit]

Shinhwa's third album, Only One, was released on May 27, 2000. The album was as successful as Shinhwa's previous two albums, selling approximately 423,873 copies.[8] It debuted at number one and was the band's first number one album. It contained three successful singles: "Only One", "All Your Dreams", and "First Love". The album spent approximately 24 weeks on the charts.

With the success of Only One, Shinhwa won three awards that year: the SBS Gayo "Popularity Award", the KMTV song "Bonsang Award", and the "Popular Singers Award". Their revised dancing style garnered them much popularity, as it took after the likes of popular American boy bands N'Sync and Backstreet Boys. The group once again underwent a drastic change in appearance, taking on a distinctly gothic image, with most of the members bleaching their hair. On January 13 and January 14 of that year, Shinhwa held one their first concerts ever, entitled First Mythology.

Shinhwa's fourth album, Hey, Come On!, was released on June 8, 2001, debuting at #3 with the lead single "Hey, Come On!" rapidly climbing up the music charts. The album's release coincided with the rise of the Korean Wave, spreading the group's popularity overseas. The album was a strong seller and managed to sell 430,706 copies.[9] Though a success, Shinhwa promoted the album with only one single. In yet another change in appearance, the members took on a cleaner look, moving completely away from the goth image in the previous album. Hey, Come On! charted for 28 weeks on the Korean monthly chart and was ranked #11 on the 2001 year-end chart.[10]

While their album was a stronger seller, Shinhwa was associated with controversies at the time, giving the group a heavy publicity with the absence of group member Andy and the alleged copying of Shinhwa's popular single, "Hey, Come On!" by Taiwanese boy band, Energy.

On January 31, 2002, Shinhwa released a compilation album entitled, My Choice. The album featured some of the members' favorite songs and some of their most popular tracks as well. In contrast to Hey, Come On!'s strong sales, My Choice was met with moderate success, selling more than 171,368 copies[9] and debuted and peaked at #4 before it was dropped from the Korean monthly Chart. However, when the yearly chart was released, My Choice ranked #31, selling a total of 183,098 copies.[11]

2002–2003: Perfect Man, Wedding, and leaving SM Entertainment[edit]

A few months after the release of My Choice, Shinhwa released their fifth studio album, Perfect Man, on March 29, 2002. The album marked the return of member Andy Lee. The album was accompanied with another change in the group's appearance as they moved away from their "clean" look into a more preppy style by sporting trendy clothing and styles. Perfect Man debuted at #1 on the Korean monthly chart, becoming Shinhwa's second #1 album. The title track became popular among their fans, letting Shinhwa promote the album with a second single, "I Pray 4 U". The album was once again a strong seller, selling 355,333 copies[12] and was #14 on the year end chart "Top 100 Albums in 2002" where the album sales was 362,639 copies.[11] It charted for approximately 23 weeks.

On August 25, 2003, Shinhwa experienced one of its first international breakthroughs in Asia when Perfect Man was ranked #10 on the Singapore-Mandarin chart. With this recognition, they were chosen to be Korea's representative in the POP Asia 2002 ceremony in Japan and were later invited to be Korea's representative in Japan's Asia Dream concert (ABU award ceremony).

Towards the end of 2002, Shinhwa made history in the Korean music industry by becoming the longest-running Korean boy band with the release of its sixth album, Wedding, on December 6, 2002.[13] They also became the second artist in South Korea to release two albums in a single year. Wedding debuted and peaked at #3 and sold 273,714 copies.[14]

With the expiration of the group's contract, SM Entertainment offered them a second contract but did not include one member, Dong-wan. Other Shinhwa's members especially the leader, Eric, disagreed and took action to reject it and signed with a new company, Good Entertainment. However, they had to go to court to retain the use of their name, which they won and duly moved from SM Entertainment to Good Entertainment. Because the contract with Good Entertainment did not begin until 2004, Shinhwa members pursued solo activities in 2003.

Shinhwa released a compilation album entitled Winter Story 2003-2004 on December 30, 2003, which sold over 100,000 copies.[15] The lead single "Young Gunz" was often requested at radio stations. Because it was a success, Shinhwa began releasing Winter Story every winter afterwards.

Shinhwa had another live concert from April 18 to April 20, 2003 named The Everlasting Mythology. They also went on their Winter Story Tour, which traveled to six cities: Seoul, Pusan, Daejeon, Incheon, Daegu, and Kwangju as well as going to Japan with a concert call Shinhwa First Live in Tokyo, where they held a Japanese fan meeting called Have Fun With Shinhwa On M.Net Tour.

The members of Shinhwa pursued solo activities in 2003. Min-woo went solo under the name "M," releasing his first album entitled Un-touch-able, while Hye-sung collaborated with Kangta and Lee Ji-hoon for a project group S. Jun Jin branched out into acting with the drama Forbidden Love alongside actress Kim Tae-hee. Andy and Jun Jin participated in a Korean sitcom Nonstop 4 as well as Banjun Drama. Eric began acting in dramas soon after acting in several CFs.

2004–2005: Good Entertainment and Daesang awards[edit]

Shinhwa's first album with Good Entertainment was entitled Brand New. It debuted at #3 and peaked at #1 in November, selling 320,337 copies.[16][17] Unlike their previous albums, Brand New had a different beat, transitioning from bubblegum pop to dance songs. The group heavily promoted Brand New with four singles: "Angel", "Oh!", "Crazy", and title track. The album was ranked #4 on the 2004 year-end chart.[18]

On December 10, 2004, Shinhwa was awarded the Daesang for Best Artist of The Year for the first time at the Seoul Gayo Daesang Awards. Several weeks later, on December 29, Shinhwa was awarded their second Daesang at the 2004 SBS Gayo Daejun Awards, winning two of the possible 4 Daesang in that year with Rain and Lee Soo Young receiving the other two. In 2004, of all musical artists and groups, Shinhwa received the most awards, totaling thirteen or more, from various places: the KMTV Music Video Festival, Seoul Gayo Daesang, Golden Disc Awards and MBC, KBS, SBS Gayo Awards. The awards other than Best Artist of the Year included Best Male Artist, Best Dance Artist, and Overseas Choice Award.

After the success of Brand New they began touring. In August of that year, they held a Korea-China-Japan summer camp called Shinhwa Summer Story 2004. The camp was dedicated entirely for their non-Korean fans. Hundreds of non-Korean fans flew to Korea from all over Asia for the opportunity to spend a few days with the band. They also toured in Japan and held a concert, selling 13,000 tickets within a week.

In yet another change in appearance, Shinhwa's image matured from the preppy style in Perfect Man to a more sophisticated look. They began wearing black suits, which was rather uncommon among boy bands at that time. Although they previously dyed their hair in various colors (from purple to silver), in Brand New they stopped completely, leaving their hair in either brown or black. They trimmed their hair to a neat style or cut it short, which was uncommon among boy bands because "shaggy hair" was in style.

Though they have written lyrics for their music before, Shinhwa took more creative control over their music and began writing a majority of their lyrics. Eric wrote some rap lyrics for some of the songs while Minwoo took charge and began writing full lyrics. Some songs that he had written are: "All of My", "Oh", and "U". He later went on to write the song "Superstar" for the group Jewelry, which became a hit. The other members also co-wrote various other songs.

Although, Shinhwa was mostly on hiatus throughout 2005, they released two popular singles, "How Do I Say" and "Hey Dude!" and held the Tropical Summer Story Festival concert. For a majority of 2005, Shinhwa hosted a reality show called Let's Coke Play Battle Shinhwa!. The show was almost identical to the American reality show, American Idol where people audition and sing, hoping to become singers. (see Notable Achievements below.) To end the year, Shinhwa released their second Winter Story album, Winter Story 2004-2005, selling in excess of 102,345 copies.[19]

2006: 8th album State of the Art and 1st Asia tour[edit]

On January 14, 2006, Shinhwa renewed their contract with Good Entertainment for another 3 years and on March 24, celebrated their 8th anniversary. They then released their eighth studio album, State of the Art, on May 11. The album debuted at #1 and sold approximately 215,641 copies domestically.[20] Brand New and State Of The Art became their first consecutive #1 albums. It was the third best selling album in 2006, behind SG Wannabe's The 3rd Masterpiece and TVXQ's "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap..[21]

On 15 April, Shinhwa performed at M-Countdown in Japan concert at Tokyo's Budokan Hall celebrating the founding of Mnet Japan.[22] This was followed by the release of their first Japanese language album Inspiration #1, with lead track, "This is the Sun in Our Hearts" released on June 14. The album released in Japan on August 16 peaked at #4 on Oricon Chart, selling in excess of 100,000 copies each.

Then the group embarked on their first Asia tour with concerts in Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and other countries. It kicked off the Shinhwa 2006 Tour: State of the Art with two concerts at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul on 13 and 14 May.[23] They performed at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, and Osaka-jo Hall on September 24 and 26, as part of the 2006 Japan Tour Inspiration#1.

2007: Solo activities, Volume 9 and 10th anniversary[edit]

In 2007, Shinhwa went on hiatus again. They celebrated their 9th anniversary on March 24, 2007. With Shinhwa on hiatus, the members expanded their solo activities even further, including the members leaving Shinhwa's management company to start their own: M Rising (Min-woo), New Dream Entertainment (Andy),[24] JF Story Entertainment (Jun Jin),[25] H2 Entertainment (Dong-wan), and Top Class Entertainment (Eric). Dong-wan also released his first album entitled Kim Dongwan is on July 5, 2007.[24] Min-woo released his third album on July 10, 2007[26] and though he had intended to release his third album in the U.S.,[27] he released it in Korea instead. Hye-sung released his second album on August 8, 2007.[28] The three solo artists were successful and consider themselves friendly rivals.

The other members managed to pursue their own solo activities as well. Eric finished his drama Que Sera, Sera and although he is currently the only member in Shinhwa who has not pursued a solo singing career, reports have mentioned that this is a possibility in the near future.[citation needed] Jun Jin, who released his first single the previous year, finished promoting it and was supposedly preparing for his first album, with the help of Min-woo, which would be released around September.[citation needed] However, he did not release an album or single. Andy starred in the musical, "Music In My Heart (Season 3)."

In the midst of their solo activities, Shinhwa was said to be working on their ninth album. Originally set to be released on October 2007[24] with tours from October to December, their ninth album was then pushed back to being released in December.[citation needed] However, due to each of the members having hectic schedules, the album release date was pushed into March 2008.[citation needed] While Shinhwa was not expected to release an album in 2007, they released their compilation album Winter Story 2007 on December 6, 2007,[29] which debuted at #1 on the Korean monthly chart.[citation needed]

Shortly after the release of Winter Story 2007, Shinhwa staged their Asia Concert with a two-day performance on the 8th and 9 December in Saitama, Japan followed by a concert in Shanghai. The concert's theme was "Forever Shinhwa" to commemorate Shinhwa's 9 years of activities and to announce the beginning of their 10th year together.[citation needed]

Celebrating their anniversary, Shinhwa staged a 10th anniversary concert and released their Volume 9.[30] Because the concert was the last concert before the members left for the army, all 22,000 seats available for the concert were sold out.[31]

After their 10th anniversary and the release of their 9th album, the members continued to work on their solo career. Dong-wan released his 2nd solo studio album and JunJin released his 1st solo studio album and joined Infinity Challenge as the 7th member. Min-woo released his 3rd solo studio album along with Hye-sung who also released his own 3rd solo studio album. Hyesung would then release Part 2 of his 3rd album on January 2009. Eric would go on to star in a drama, Strongest Chil Woo. Dong-wan then released a single album and Jun Jin released a mini album. Min-woo released another mini album in Summer of 2009 and Andy continued with his career as a musical actor and released his 2nd studio album.

2008–2011: Mandatory military service[edit]

In October 2008 Eric enlisted for mandatory military service, with Dong-wan in November at an army training camp in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do[32] Both served non-active duty, e.g. they were public service workers, after undergoing four weeks of basic training. Jun Jin enlisted on October 22, 2009 at the Nonsan military camp in Chungcheongnam-do Province for four weeks of basic training and continued as a public service worker.[33] On January 11, 2010, Andy enlisted for mandatory military service and was the only member to serve 21 months of active duty.[34] Min-woo was the last of the members to enlist in February 2010. He also served non-active duty after undergoing four weeks of basic training. Hye-sung is exempt from military service due to serious and recurring injuries in his knee sustained during a concert in 2001.

On 30 October 2010, Eric was discharged from military service.[35] Dong-wan was discharged on December 17 after serving 24 months as an administrative worker at the Seodaemun-gu District Office.[36] Andy was discharged from active duty on October 31, 2011 from the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan-gu, Seoul.[37] Jun Jin was discharged on 14 November 2011,[38] after working at the Gangnam Management Corporation, managing the culture center’s fitness club and parking lot.[39] This was followed by Min-woo on March 2, 2012, after serving as a public service officer in Seoul Station.[40]

2011–2012: Shinhwa Company and 10th album The Return[edit]

On 1 July 2011, Shinhwa became the first K-pop group to own their own entertainment company, when they established the 'Shinhwa Company', a joint venture agency for members to perform as a group. It is helmed by Eric and Min-woo as co-CEOs, with the remaining members as shareholders. The Company manages the group as a whole, whilst members' individual activities are managed by their respective agencies.[41][42]

Open World Entertainment CEO, Seok-Woo Jang, holder of the rights to the name of Shinhwa, granted permission to use the name as long as they perform together as a group. Open World held the rights to Shinhwa's overseas concerts with Shinhwa Company, and overseas licensing of the group's albums. The heads of Top Class Entertainment and Liveworks Company, are directors of Shinhwa Company, with the former in charge of promotion and management in general, and the latter provides support regarding albums, concerts and promotions.[43]

A press conference to launch Shinhwa's comeback was held on 5 March 2012 at CGV cinema in Cheongdam-dong, which was streamed live by Mnet Media.[44][45][46][47] The group released their tenth studio album The Return on 23 March 2012, with pop-electro lead track "Venus", composed by Andrew Jackson and lyrics by Min-woo.[48] The music video is directed by Kim Kwang-suk with a modern vampire theme and high intensity choreography.[49] This was followed by their comeback concerts 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour in Seoul: The Return at Olympic Gymnastics Arena on 24 and 25 March 2012, marking their 14th anniversary.[50][51] The Asian tour continued onto Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore from the end of April and concluded in Beijing in July, with 10 shows in eight cities and five countries.[52][53]

As part of their comeback the group are hosted their first exclusive variety program, Shinhwa Broadcast, aired on cable channel JTBC.[54] The producers held a public shoot and press conference on 15 March to showcase the programme, which premiered on Saturday 17 March 2012.[55] They were also featured in a photospread and interview in the May issue of Cosmopolitan Korea, with the photos shot at the Gucci flagship store in Seoul.[56]

2013-2014: 15th and 16th anniversary concert and 11th album The Classic[edit]

In January 2013, it was announced that the group is to resume their music activities as a group with the release of their 11th studio album and 15th anniversary concert in March.[57][58] On 30 January, further information were announced, detailing their comeback with two concerts titled, 2013 Shinhwa 15th Anniversary Concert: The Legend Continues held on 16 and 17 March at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena; and the release of their 11th studio album in May.[59][60][61] On the same day information on ticketing and a teaser video were released.[62][63] Tickets went on sale on 13 February at 20:00, and the 25,000 tickets for the two concerts were sold out within five minutes of going on sale, by over 300,000 people who tried to buy the tickets.[64][65]

On 1 May, the company announced the release of The Classic on 16 May.[66] This is followed by an Asian concert tour, 2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic in support of the album. The lead track for the album is "This Love", with the MV featuring Japanese actress Fujii Mina.[67] After three weeks of music programme appearances, the track collected eight first place wins, including the Triple Crown on M! Countdown, two each from Show Champion and Music Core; and one from Music Bank.[68][69]

On February 13, 2014, the group announced that they would hold their 16th Anniversary Concert on March 22–23, 2014 at the Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium. The concert was titled Here, referring to their very first concert in 2001 which was held at the same venue. Due to a gambling scandal that happened in November 2013, Andy was absent from the shows.[70] However, on March 23, 2014, which was the second and last show, Lee made a surprise appearance and apologized to the audience.[71] At the end of the show, Min-woo announced that the group will release a new album in October 2014.[71] In this concert, they sold out 27,000 seats and the ticketing website server crashed, making it impossible to enter the site, proving the fierceness of the Shinhwa concert ticketing.[72] Due of individual activity, Shinhwa will be making comeback in next year.Shinhwa member Eric is going to star in a KBS 2TV drama titled, Discovery of Love set to air in August. Shin Hye-sung is looking to release his solo album after winning the popular Asian award in China, while Andy is taking some time off due to his recent illegal gambling charges. Lee Min-woo is scheduled to hold a Beijing and Shanghai Asian tour this July and August. Before going to China, he will travel to Japan this month and hold a solo concert for his fans there. Shin Hye-sung, Lee Min-woo, and Jun Jin will be attending the "2014 The Young The Future" concert in Beijing on July 12. Meanwhile, Kim Dong-wan is continuing to study in Canada to improve his English language skills.[73]

Shinhwa at KCON 2015

2015: Comeback with 12th album WE[edit]

In January 2015, Shinhwa announced it would be appearing on Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)'s 800th Inkigayo episode, including the return of Andy from his extended hiatus.[74] This appearance marked the first time Shinhwa was returning to Inkigayo since promotions eight years earlier. The group also announced it would be releasing its 12th full-length album on February 26, 2015, titled We.[75]

Upon the release of WE the track Sniper produced by LDN Noise [76] rose to the top of five real-time music charts, Bugs, genie, Olleh Music, Mnet, and Cyworld,[77] and the music video for the single reached over a million YouTube views within two weeks of the song's release.[78] Shinhwa also won the show champion for the song "Sniper" on March 11, 2015.[79]

2016: 13th Album Unchanging[edit]

In October 2016, Shinhwa announced their comeback plans for their 13th album, titled 'Unchanging', stating that the album would be released in two parts: the first part in November and the second part in January. They have scheduled domestic concerts from December 17-18. Shinhwa announced that the usual venue in which they hold their concerts in, the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, is currently undergoing renovations and that they would instead be holding the December concerts at the Kintex Exhibition Center in Ilsan. Their comeback plans also state that their broadcast promotion activities would begin after the album's part two release. On October 22, Shinhwa digitally released an early surprise song titled 'She Said'.

At 12:00am October 29, Part I of Unchanging was officially released, titled 'Orange. The music video for the album's title track, also named 'Orange', was featured in the second Shinhwa V Live broadcast, and later released on YouTube via Shinhwa's official YouTube channel and through the CJENMMUSIC Official channel. The title track 'Orange' is a song dedicated to Shinhwa Changjo. The title of the album and its title track acknowledges Shinhwa's official fandom colour. Prior to the official release of Part I, Shinhwa revealed a limited edition of the mini-album which was available to pre-order. The limited edition included an optional limited poster, which was only available during the pre-order period.

Notable achievements[edit]

Throughout its existence, Shinhwa has achieved many successes and has been awarded many honors. One of their first notable achievement was when they made history in the Korean music industry when they released their sixth album, Wedding on December 6, 2002, becoming the longest-running Korean boy band in existence. Shinhwa is still holding the record as they have not yet disbanded. In addition to becoming the longest-running boy band in South Korea, Shinhwa holds the record for the only boy band to stay together for a decade and not lose members along the way nor add another one in (Member Andy's departure does not necessarily count as he came back into the group). Just as well, Shinhwa is one of the few groups to ever have all its members branch out to do solo activities with the group still together. Shinhwa has sold an excess of 5 million records worldwide, an incredible feat for an Asian group and one of the highest album sales in Asia.

In July 2004, they were selected to represent Korea in the MTV Buzz Asia Awards along with Namie Amuro for Japan and F4 for Taiwan. They were selected to sing at the finale. Shinhwa was also the most searched artist in the Yahoo! Singapore search engine for an entire week in 2004, becoming the first Korean artist to do so, on their first visit to Singapore in October 2004.

The group was the face of Swiss watch brand Radoin Asia for a January 2005 campaign.

In March 2005, along with their management team, Good Entertainment, music channel, MNET and Coca-Cola, the group hosted a reality TV show, called "Let's Cokeplay Battle Shinhwa." The show, which set out to search for a new Shinhwa (new legend group), lasted 8 months long and attracted over 1,800 applicants throughout Korea to audition. The final show took place on November 4, 2005 at Olympic Park, Seoul, where Shinhwa members chose the 6 final members of the new Shinhwa from the 12 finalists. The 6 male winners (making the group now known as Battle) immediately underwent training and debuted in 2006 under Good Entertainment. Two other female finalists were selected as well, G.NA and Jun Hyo-seong, who were to debut as members of Five Girls under Good Entertainment. They later debuted from different labels as a soloist from Cube Entertainment and as a member of Secret (South Korean band) from TS Entertainment, respectively.

A star was named after Shinhwa in 2005. In order to commemorate its launching, USC Korea, the official Korean partner USC (Universal Star Council), an American website that provides services for registering names for stars in the sky, offered a star to be named after them. The star is among the Aries constellation. Coincidentally, it matched the debut date of Shinhwa which falls on March 24, 1998. The star Shinhwa is the brightest among the more than 2 thousand stars with Korean names that can be seen with the naked eye. The star is best seen in November. However, according to the International Astronomical Union, this type of star name has no formal or official validity whatsoever.[80][81]

In 2006, Shinhwa was chosen as best Korean singer overseas, according to a poll held by Arirang International Broadcasting. A vote was issued on the internet, allowing only foreigners to vote. Shinhwa's song "Once In A Lifetime" won 60% of the vote, beating Kang Ta, who came in second with 20.3 percent followed by TVXQ with 17.3 percent. Super Junior took fourth place followed by Bada, Se7en, BoA, SG Wannabe, Buzz, and Baek Ji-young, with all of them winning less than 1 percent of the votes.[82] Shinhwa won the award again in 2007 for their song Pretty, beating TVXQ by a close percentage of 50.76% to 48.55%. The other candidates, Super Junior, Se7en, Rain, Big Bang, BoA, SS501, Paran and Jang Nara, all received once again less than one percent of the votes.[83]


Musical style[edit]

Shinhwa has changed musical styles many times throughout their existence, beginning with typical bubblegum pop songs (as seen with their song Eusha, Eusha) like other pop singers at the time. They did regular pop songs as well, with the release of their 4th album Hey, Come On!. Shinhwa would continued to release pop music (although they have done alternative rock as well) until their contract with SM Entertainment ran up. It would be in the release of their 7th album, Brand New that Shinhwa would transition into dance songs. With the release of their 8th album, State Of The Art, Shinhwa can still be seen having dance songs as well as, though their hit song, Once In A Lifetime shows a more slow pop style. Because they have change many musical styles over the years, Shinhwa have created a variation of popular music for their fans and general K-pop listeners, though throughout the years, they have as well created their own distinct style of music.

While Shinhwa is known best as artists who do dance songs, the members have branch out to do various styles. Min-woo's first album show him as an R&B singer, though his #1 hit song, Just One Night is more of a jazz genre. His later albums would be R&B/dance vein of his previous albums. Hye-sung have branch out to do ballads song, as ballads are becoming popular throughout South Korea. Dong-wan, Jun Jin and Andy had also followed within his footsteps, doing ballad songs.

Dance style[edit]

Shinhwa is often hailed as one of the best dance groups in South Korea, winning many dance awards such as music video festival "Best Dance Music Video" and Best Music Video For The Dance Section Awards. Their dances are often filled with heavy choreography, with a few free style moves once in a while (often from Min-woo). They feature break dancers in the background of many of their performances as well as female dancers dancing with and around them. Shinhwa's own members Min-woo and Jun Jin also break dance and often teach it to their fans. Shinhwa's unique style of dancing is credited to member Min-woo, who is their main choreographer (although they do have another choreographer as well). Min-woo was discovered by an SM Entertainment scout while he was in a dance group, which can explain why he has choreographed some of Shinhwa's most technically challenging dances. Jun Jin, another member who is skilled in dancing as well assists Min-woo. Their dance moves has been describe as "evil," "complicated," and "difficult-to-follow" with few people being able to copy their dance moves.


Like most popular bands, Shinhwa has changed their appearances various times. In their early days, Shinhwa were generally marketed as a typical boy band with cute looks and matching outfits (as seen with their performances and music videos). They later transitioned this "cute" image concept into a darker tone with the release of their second and third albums, bleaching their hair and wearing dark make-up. Their outfits matched their appearances, being either shiny or dark. With the release of their fourth album, Shinhwa changed from the Gothic style of before into a much more simple and cleaner look. Their fifth album would change them into a more preppy style. With the style, Shinhwa began to sport modern trend clothing and styles. Shinhwa continued this preppy style into their sixth album, though it was obvious that they were beginning to mature their looks.[according to whom?] When they released their seventh album, Shinhwa began to change their appearance once again, wearing black suits and looking significantly more sophisticated than most boy bands at the time. They stopped dyeing their hair and wearing heavy make-up. Shinhwa's eighth album continued their sophisticated look, with the group wearing black suits for most of their performances. For their ninth album, Shinhwa's new look was displayed in their MV Run, in which they describe it to be "Mexican Mafia". Shinhwa has adopted a "vampire" concept mixed with an aristocratically Greek-gods look for their 10th album, The Return.


The name of Shinhwa's official fanclub is "Shinhwa Changjo",[84] which means "to create a myth." Upon the release of its 12th album in February 2015, Shinhwa opened the recruitment for the 10th wave of its official fanclub.[85] Orange has been used as the official color of Shinhwa Changjo ever since its establishment in 1998. It is used in Shinhwa's official and unofficial merchandise, including cheering tools such as light-sticks, balloons, raincoats, and various kinds of apparels and accessories. These orange-colored cheering tools are used in each member's individual promotion activities as well.[86][87][88]


Further information: Shinhwa discography

Tours and concerts[edit]

  • First Live Concert: The First Mythology (2001) (13–14 January 2001)
  • Second Live Concert: The Everlasting Mythology (18–20 April 2003)
  • Winter Story Tour 2003-04 (31 December 2003 to 14 February 2004)
  • Winter Story Tour 2004-05: Shinhwa Live in Seoul (December 2004)
  • Shinhwa - 2005 Japan Tour - Osaka (21 January) and Tokyo International Forum (23 January)
  • Tropical Summer Story Festival (June 2005)
  • Shinhwa 2006 Asia Tour: State of the Art - Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul (13–14 May), Shanghai (8 July), Busan (15 July), Bangkok (19 August), Singapore (10 September), Tokyo (24 September) and Osaka (26 September)
  • 2006 Japan Tour Inspiration#1 in Tokyo - Nippon Budokan, Tokyo (September 2006)
  • 2007 Japan Tour: Shinhwa Forever - Nagoya, Japan (6 December), Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo (8 and 9 December) and Shanghai, China (15 December)[89]
  • Shinhwa Must Go On: 10th Anniversary Live in Seoul - Olympic Gymnastics Arena (29 and 30 March 2008)
  • 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return - including Shinhwa 14th Anniversary Concert: The Return in Seoul (24 and 25 March)
  • 2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic - including Shinhwa 15th Anniversary Concert: The Legend Continues in Seoul (16 and 17 March)
  • 2014 Shinhwa 16th Anniversary concert: HERE - March 22 and 23 in Olympic Gymnastics Arena[72]
  • 2015 Shinhwa 17th Anniversary concert: WE - Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul (21–22 March), Shanghai (9 May), Taiwan (16 May), Nanjing (20 June), Beijing (27 June), Dalian (11 July) and Shinhwa 17th Anniversary Finale Concert: WE in Seoul (22–23 August)
  • 2016 Shinhwa 18th Anniversary concert: HERO - Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul (26-27 March)
  • 2016 Shinhwa - Winter Special Live: UNCHANGING - Ilsan Kintex, Kintex (17-18 December)


For more details on this topic, see List of awards and nominations received by Shinhwa.


  • 1999: Nibs chips
  • June 2001: FRJ CF model
  • November 2001: Nongshim shrimp crackers CF models
  • November 2001: CGV theater CF models
  • November 2001: Leukkapeu CF models
  • 2004: Buckaroo Jeans
  • January 2005: Swiss watch Rado CF model
  • June 2005: Kyochon Chicken CF model
  • 2000-2005: Ivy club CF Model
  • 2005: Coca Cola cf Model
  • 2006: Loteria rice burger Mcdonald
  • April 2012: Roygen (Men's formal wear brand) - marks their first commercial together in seven years.[90]
  • October - December 2012: Chicken Mania (fried chicken franchise) - 'A Delicious Legend, the Shinhwa of Chicken' campaign with a limited edition 2013 calendar.[91]
  • December 2013: Pentax Q7 mirrorless camera
  • January 2014: Chicken Mania-myth chicken calendar 2014 Official Chicken Mania Shinhwa


"Hey, Come On!"[edit]

In July 2002, Taiwanese boy band Energy covered Shinhwa's song, Hey, Come On! causing tensions between the fans of Shinhwa and Energy. As it was later noted, Jeff Vincent and Peter Rafelson who wrote Hey, Come On! had sold the song to Energy, therefore, it was legal. Even so, fans of Shinhwa were angry over that fact. The Taiwanese group 5566 also covered Shinhwa's "Dark", a song included in Shinhwa's 4th album.

Leaving SM Entertainment[edit]

In 2003 SM Entertainment's 5-year contract with Shinhwa ended, thus allowing the band to either sign another contract or switch label. Lee Soo Man, the head of SM Entertainment, only wanted to sign contracts with couple of Shinhwa members, but they rejected it since they wanted to be together. Thus, the band rejected the offer and switched over to a new management composed of people who used to work in SM, Good Entertainment. The movement sparked controversy when Lee denied their permission to use the name Shinhwa with the different company. However, after the argument was taken to court, Shinhwa won after 12 years of court fight, allowing them to hold the rights to use the name "Shinhwa".


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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gayo Daejun Award for Daesang (=Best Prize)
Succeeded by
Kim Jong Kook
Preceded by
Lee Hyori
15th Seoul Music Awards - Daesang (=Best Prize) Award
Succeeded by