Most K-pop bands fall prey to the “7-year curse”, a long-standing myth theorising that groups were bound to fall apart after their seventh year.
For Super Junior, the lads not only got past the 7-year mark, but are now celebrating a momentous milestone — fifteen years as a group. SEOULHYPE takes a look at Super Junior’s journey since their debut in 2005 with their debut studio album “Twins”.
Super Junior’s Early Days: Television Debut with “Twins”
Their debut performance, which was broadcasted on Korean television, rapidly gained fan traction. As Kyuhyun joined six months after the debut, the then twelve-membered band, subsequently dished out their second promotional single Miracle.
Super Junior bagged top awards and headlined performances at annual year-end award ceremonies. But it was not until their Sorry Sorry release in 2009, which fuelled their global success.
The music video of the brainwashing tune has since amassed 126 million views.
Super Junior: A 13-piece band at their peak
K-pop bands with more than ten members were out of the norm back then. And Super Junior had a whopping thirteen at their peak.
SM Entertainment made moves to split the group into smaller, specialised units — Super Junior M (Mandarin), Super Junior T (Trot) and more.
The large group size at that time, coupled with hectic schedules, inevitably meant that the group would likely go through rough patches.
Ex-member Han Geng filed lawsuits against his then agency SM Entertainment, claiming an unfairly hectic schedule. Kim Kibum quietly departed the group in 2010, embarking on his solo career. Ex-member Kangin, who had been on hiatus since 2015, officially withdrew from the band last July after his second DUI offense.
While Sungmin is still in Super Junior’s official lineup, fans seem to have not let him off just yet because of his marriage in 2014 when leader Leeteuk’s father and grandparents passed on. But the 34 year-old singer started afresh with his debut EP “Orgel”, released last November.
Creating their second peak: Super Junior proves themselves timeless
Despite member reshuffles and having to take a hiatus because of their mandatory military stints, Super Junior did not fail to create their second peak.
They continued staying at the frontlines of K-pop and spearheaded cross-country collaborations. They teamed up with American singer Leslie Grace for Lo Siento in 2018, being one of the first few to infuse elements from Latin music in the K-pop genre.
Apart from their musical pursuits, the group continues charting new frontiers for variety appearances, as they star alongside the TVXQ duo in the YouTube original travel documentary “Analog Trip”.
Reaching their 15th year milestone
Super Junior’s current activities are managed by SJ Label, an exclusive label established for them. They will continue group promotions with nine members: Lee Teuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun.
Celebrating their 15 years together, Super Junior released a new single, “The Melody”.
A special online fan meeting event will also be held, where fans, known as ELFs, are invited to their very own “blue world”. Named after the group’s official group colour, sapphire blue, it is teased to be filled with the Super Junior’s memories with their fans in the past 15 years.