Shinee (/ˈʃn/ SHY-nee; Korean: 샤이니; Japanese: シャイニー; stylized as SHINee) is a South Korean boy group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2008. The group is composed of five members: Onew, Jonghyun, Key, Minho and Taemin.

Shinee were introduced as a contemporary R&B boy group by their company with the goal to be trendsetters in all areas of music, fashion, dance, etc. and debuted in May, 2008 with their first EP, Replay on SBS‘s Inkigayo with their single “Replay“. The group gained attention for starting a fashion trend amongst students, which the media dubbed the “Shinee Trend”. In August, 2008, the group released their first Korean studio album The Shinee World, which won the Newcomer Album of the Year at the 23rd Golden Disk Awards. Shinee further consolidated their popularity on the South Korean music scene with follow-up singles “Ring Ding Dong” and “Lucifer“. “Ring Ding Dong” charted on top of several Korean music charts and gained popularity all over Asia. “Lucifer” was nominated for the Best Dance Performance Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2010 for its outstanding choreography. In 2012 the group released Sherlock, which became the fifth most sold album of the year with over 180,000 copies sold. The group has also been included in the Forbes list of Korea Power Celebrity multiple times, once in 2014 and again in 2016.

In mid-2011, Shinee signed with EMI Records Japan to venture into the Japanese music scene. Their Japanese version of their single “Replay” sold over 100,000 copies, the highest number of sales for a Japanese debut single recorded by Oricon for a South Korean group at the time. It was followed by their first Japanese studio album, The First, on December 7, 2011 — both were certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies. In 2011 the group also held their Japan Debut Premium Reception at Abbey Road Studios in London making them the first Asian artists to perform there. Two years later they released their second Japanese album Boys Meet U (2013), followed by I’m Your Boy (2014), D×D×D (2016) and Five (2017).

Shinee are considered as one of the best live vocalists in K-pop and are known for their highly synchronized and complex dance routines and were awarded the Best Dance Performance Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards three times in a row for their dance performances to “Sherlock“, “Dream Girl” and “View“. Shinee’s signature musical style is contemporary R&B but the group is known for their experimental sound, incorporating various genres including funk rock, hip hop, and EDM. The group’s popularity in their native country South Korea has earned them numerous accolades and titles like “Princes of K-pop”.

2008: Debut and The Shinee World

Prior to the group’s debut, the label company, SM Entertainment, introduced an upcoming contemporary R&B boy group with its goal to be trendsetters in all areas of music, fashion and dance. The group’s Korean name, Shinee is a new coined word and explained as a combination of shine meaning light, and the suffix ee, therefore meaning “one who receives the light”. On May 22, 2008, the group’s first EP, Replay, was released, which debuted at number ten on the Korean music charts and peaked at number eight, selling 17,957 copies in the first half of 2008. In May 2008, Shinee had their first stage performance on SBS‘s Inkigayo with their single “Replay“.

In June, 2008, the group won their first award, “Rookie of the Month”, at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards, and were also awarded with the “Hot New Star” award at the Mnet 20’s Choice Awards 2008 in August, 2008. In the same month, Shinee subsequently released their first full-length album, The Shinee World, which debuted at number three, selling 30,000 copies. Its title track “Sanso Gateun Neo (Love Like Oxygen)” is a cover of “Show the World” by Martin Hoberg Hedegaard, originally written by the Danish songwriting and production team of Thomas Troelsen, Remee and Lucas Secon. On September 18, 2008, the song won first place on M! Countdown making it the group’s first win on Korean music shows since debut.

Shinee participated in the 5th Asia Song Festival, where they received the “Best New Artist” award along with Japanese girl group Berryz Kobo. The group attended the 2008 Style Icon Awards on October 30, 2008, where they received the “Best Style Icon Award”. On the same day, a repackaged version of The Shinee World, titled A.Mi.Go, was released, which includes three new songs: “Forever or Never”, a remix of “Love Should Go On”, and the title track “Amigo”. “A.Mi.Go” is a shortened version of the Korean phrase “Areumdaun Minyeoreul Joahamyeon Gosaenghanda”, which can be translated to “The heart aches when you fall in love with a beauty”.

In November, 2008, Shinee won the “Best New Male Group” award at the 10th annual Mnet Asian Music Awards, beating fellow newcomers U-KISS, 2PM, 2AM and Mighty Mouth, the group also won the award for “Newcomer Album of the Year” at the 23rd Annual Golden Disk Awards.

2009–2010: Rising popularity and Lucifer

In early February 2009, Shinee won the “Best Newcomer” award along with Davichi and Mighty Mouth at the 18th Seoul Music Awards. Shinee’s second extended play, Romeo, was released on May 25. Its lead single, “Juliette“, was released earlier on May 18. The song is an instrumental remake of Corbin Bleu‘s “Deal with It“. Shinee had their first stage performance for the song on KBS‘s Music Bank in June, 2009, where the group also received the award for the first place.

Shinee released their third extended play, 2009, Year Of Us, on October 19, 2009. The lead single, “Ring Ding Dong“, was released digitally on October 14 and charted atop of several Korean music charts and gained popularity all over Asia. In early December 2009, the group was also awarded with the “Popularity” award along with Super Junior at the 24th Golden Disk Awards.

On July 19, 2010 the group released their second full length studio album, Lucifer, which topped various physical and digital sales charts in South Korea. The songs on the album “were more carefully selected than ever,” and the album is said to “[give] listeners a great chance to experience the diverse musical characters and more mature vocal skills of the members.” The group made their comeback on July 23, 2010 at KBS Music Bank. For its outstanding choreography, “Lucifer”, was nominated for the Best Dance Performance Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. Lucifer became the 6th best-selling album of 2010 in South Korea, selling over 120,000 copies. In October, 2010, the album was re-released under the title Hello. Amidst their promotional activities for the second studio album, the group also participated in the SMTown Live ’10 World Tour on August 21, 2010. On December 26, 2010, Shinee commenced their first concert tour, Shinee World, at Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo. The event was attended by approximately 24,000 people.

2011–2012: Japanese debut, The First and Sherlock

On January 1, 2011, Shinee performed at Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul as a part of their tour, Shinee World, following shows in Taipei, Nanjing, Singapore, Nagoya, and Osaka throughout 2011. On January 25 and 26, 2011, the group participated in the Japan leg of SMTown Live ’10 World Tour alongside their fellow labelmates at Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, which then continued on to two concerts in Paris at Zenith de Paris, three concerts in Tokyo at Tokyo Dome and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On June 22, 2011, the group made their debut in Japan with the Japanese version of “Replay“, which sold more than 91,000 copies in the first week. It was subsequently certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies. It became the highest number of sales recorded by Oricon for a South Korean group debut at the time. On June 19, Shinee made history by becoming the first Asian artists to perform at Abbey Road Studios in London, holding their Japan Debut Premium Reception there.

In July 22, 2011, Shinee started their Japan Debut Premium Reception Tour. They performed several concerts in various cities across Japan including Fukuoka on July 22, Kobe on July 23, Tokyo on July 27 and 28, Sapporo on August 8, and Nagoya on August 11, 2011. On August 28 and October 12, 2011, two Japanese remakes, “Juliette” and “Lucifer,” were released, respectively. The group was invited to be the opening act of The 6th London Korean Film Festival, which took place at Odeon West End Theater on November 3, 2011. They also held an hour-long gala concert, Shinee in London, the tickets for which sold out within a minute. This marked the first time that any Korean artist(s) had held an independent concert in London.

The group’s first Japanese studio album, The First, was released in December, 2011. It featured five new songs in addition to Japanese remakes of seven previously released Korean songs. The regular version of the album also featured the theme song of the drama Strangers 6, entitled “Stranger”, as a bonus. The album was certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies. On December 8, Taemin, Onew, and Key debuted as writers and released a travelogue, “Children of the Sun”, containing stories from their trip to Barcelona, Spain. The members shot the photos and wrote the commentaries themselves. Shinee also participated in the album 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift with a cover of the song “Last Christmas“. The compilation album by SM artists was released on December 13, 2011.

Shinee held a commemorative concert in honor of the successful release of their first Japanese album, The First, at the Tokyo International Forum Hall A on December 24, 2011. The live concert took place three times in order to accommodate the 15,000 fans that won a lottery to attend. They performed a total of six songs including their Japanese debut singles, “Replay (Kimi wa Boku no Everything)” and “Lucifer”, and “To Your Heart”. On December 28, 2011, Tower Records Japan announced that Shinee had won the “Artist of the Year” award at the K-Pop Lovers! Awards 2011.Shinee’s fourth Korean mini album, Sherlock, was digitally released on March 19, and physically on March 21. Sherlock became the fifth most sold album of the year in South Korean with over 180,000 copies sold. On March 26, 2012, Shinee, alongside their labelmates, became stockholders of S.M. Entertainment. They received 340 shares each (value of around $13,600 for each member).

The Japanese remake of “Sherlock” was released in Japan on May 16. The group started their first Japan nationwide concert tour, Shinee World 2012, on April 25, 2012. The tour had a total of 20 concerts in Fukuoka, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo and Hiroshima. Their tour set a record for the most people in attendance for a Korean act’s first Japan tour with total of 200,000 people. On May 20, 2012, Shinee participated in the SMTown Live World Tour III alongside their label-mates at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Shinee held their second solo concert, Shinee World II, beginning in Seoul on July 21 and 22 at Olympic Gymnastics Arena.

Shinee released an original Japanese single, “Dazzling Girl“, on October 10, 2012. The single sold 97,111 copies in its first week and was chosen to be the theme song for the Japanese TV series Sukkiri. On November 19, 2012, along with actor Kim Soo-hyun, Shinee won the “Ministry of Culture Award” at South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism and Korea Creative Content Agency’s (KOCCA) annual award show, Korean Popular Culture & Arts Award at Seoul Olympic Hall. Shinee attended the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards in November, 2012, which was held in Hong Kong, winning “Best Dance Performance – Male Group” for their latest Korean single, “Sherlock (Clue + Note)“. Shinee released their first Japanese ballad single (sixth overall), 1000-nen, Zutto Soba ni Ite…, and the concert video album for their Shinee World 2012 arena tour on December 12, 2012.

2013–2014: Dream Girl, Why So Serious?, Boys Meet U, Everybody and I’m Your Boy

On January 15, 2013, Shinee attended the 27th Golden Disk Awards, which was held in Kuala Lumpur at Sepang International Circuit, and received the “Popularity Award” for the third time, winning the same title in 2009 and 2010, and receiving the “Disk Bonsang” for “Sherlock”, their second after winning for “Lucifer” in 2010. On February 3, MBC announced that Shinee would be starring in their own Lunar New Year special entitled “Shinee’s Wonderful Day” (also known as “Shinee’s One Fine Day”), which began airing on February 10. The special featured the Shinee members visiting various countries of their choice without the assistance of their management staff and with the production crew instructed to not interfere. For the special, Onew visited Thailand, Jonghyun visited Japan, Key and Minho visited England, and Taemin visited Switzerland.

Shinee’s third Korean album consisted of two versions: the first part, Dream Girl – The Misconceptions of You, being released on February 19 and the second part, Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me, being released on April 29. The title track of part one, “Dream Girl”, is a acid electro funk track and was produced by Shin Hyuk and Joombas Music Factory, while the title track of part two, “Why So Serious?”, is a funk rock dance track written and produced by Kenzie. A compilation album was subsequently released, The Misconceptions of Us, with two new songs: “Selene 6.23” and “Better Off”.

To promote tourism business in Korea Shinee were chosen as honorary ambassadors for Seoul’s Gangnam district in February 2014. One year later in February 2015 the group became ambassadors of Ministry of Personnel Management to promote Korean music, dance and fashion. Their tasks as ambassadors included performing at events around the world to encourage cultural exchanges between the nations.

On March 13, Shinee released the Japanese single “Fire“. On June 26, the group released their second Japanese album, Boys Meet U and on August 21 a single with the same name was released including the Japanese version of “Dream Girl“. On June 28, 2013, Shinee started their second Japan nationwide concert tour, Shinee World 2013, in Saitama.

In November 2013 Shinee won “Artist of the Year” at the annual awards ceremony of MelOn Music Awards one of the biggest award ceremonies in the country, which hand out prizes based on digital sales and online votes. It is the first time the group was crowned with the prize. On September 29, S.M. Entertainment announced that Shinee’s fifth EP, Everybody, would be released on October 14. On November 6, 2013, S.M. Entertainment announced its week-long music festival called SMTown Week. Shinee’s concert, titled The Wizard, opened the event on December 21 at the Kintex in Ilsan.

On January 29, 2014, Shinee held their 3rd Korean solo concert in March named Shinee World III, with more shows added in Latin America. On February 24, the mayor of Gangnam District, Shin Yeon-hee, announced that Shinee had been appointed honorary ambassadors of the district. On April 2, Shinee released a live concert album from their second solo concert.

On June 25, Universal Music Japan released Shinee’s tenth Japanese single “Lucky Star” as their first release under EMI Records. On September 24, Universal Music Japan released the group’s third Japanese album, I’m Your Boy, preceded by the singles “Boys Meet U”, “3 2 1” and “Lucky Star”. From September till December 2014 Shinee embarked their third Japan tour. It started off at Chiba on September 28, with 30 scheduled performances around the country. The tour concluded on December 14, 2014 in Kobe, with an encore concert on March 14 and 15, 2015 in Tokyo Dome.

On December 11, 2014, the group released their third live concert album, from Shinee World III held in Olympic Gymnastics Arena on 8 and 9 March the same year, containing two CDs with a total of 33 tracks. S.M. Entertainment stated on December 15 that Shinee were able to sell out the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan, with 16,000 fans attending between December 13 and 14. With that, Shinee successfully completed their 20-city, 30-concert tour which began in the Ichihara City Hall in Chiba, gathering 200,000 audience members overall. Furthermore, Shinee held a solo concert in Tokyo Dome, the first time since their Japanese debut, on March 14 and 15, 2015. The Tokyo Dome concert was the finale and encore for their Japanese tour. Forbess listed Shinee among Korea Power Celebrity in 2014.

2015–2016: Odd, DxDxD and 1 of 1

On February 17, Shinee were invited as the only Korean artist(s) to China’s Lunar New Year Program, Chun Jie Wan Hui, which is hosted by Liaoning TV and has been the highest viewed show for 12 years amongst other shows that air during the same time.

Shinee held a three-day long concert, Shinee World IV, at Seoul’s Olympic Park Gymnastics Gymnasium between May 15 and 17, where the group premiered the new songs off their upcoming album. Their fourth studio album, Odd, was released on May 18 and the following day the music video to the title song, “View”, was released, the track written and produced by LDN Noise and Jonghyun. The music video for “View” was the most watched K-Pop music video in the world for the month of May. Odd debuted at No. 9 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart as well as number one on Billboard’s World Albums chart and sold over 2,000 copies in the US. The repackaged album, Married To the Music, was released on August 3, 2015, with 4 additional songs. Gaon Charts released year end 2015 sales which revealed that Shinee was one of only five male groups to make it into the digital chart, at 41st place, and one of only four male groups to make it into the top 100 of the download charts and streaming charts, 78th and 65th place respectively—beating their placings in previous years.

They released their 11th and 12th Japanese singles, “Sing Your Song” and “DxDxD”, on October 25, 2015, and December 13, 2015, respectively, the latter being the lead single for their fourth Japanese album of the same name. On January 1, 2016, Shinee released their fourth full-length Japanese album, D×D×D, which included the group’s previously released singles and the Japanese version of “View”. The album topped the Oricon charts for 2 consecutive weeks. To promote the album, they launched their fourth nationwide Japanese stadium tour, Shinee World 2016, starting in Fukuoka’s Marine Messe on January 30, 2016, and ending at the Tokyo Dome on May 19, 2016, with a total of 20 concerts in 9 cities, and their agency, S.M. Entertainment, estimated that the concert could have gathered up to 350,000 people, which would bring the cumulative total of visitors to all of Shinee’s Japanese tours to 1.12 million. The tour was their second time headlining in Tokyo Dome, which they did on May 18 and 19, and first time in Kyocera Dome, on May 14 and 15. They released their 13th Japanese single, “Kimi no Sei de”, on May 18, which sold over 69,000 album copies in Japan.

In February 2016 Forbess released their top forty of Forbess Korea Power Celebrity, Shinee being included once again. In March, Shinee won the Asia’s “Best Group Award” at the 23rd DongFang Music Awards in Shanghai, one of the biggest annual award ceremonies in China. The group was the only K-Pop act invited to attend and perform at the ceremony. Also for the first half of 2016 Shinee ranked third in Japan for their concert audience numbers with approximately 364,000 people from 20 concerts.

On September 4, 2016, Shinee held their fifth solo concert titled Shinee World V in Seoul. Four of the 34 songs performed were songs from the groups new album, which was released on October 5, 2016, under the title 1 of 1. The album spins a hyper-modernized twist on the retro genre, and stretches back to the 1980-1990 period. The repackaged version titled 1 and 1 was released on November 15, 2016, with 5 new songs. On December 21, 2016, Shinee released their 14th Japanese single, “Winter Wonderland“, which debuted on number two on the Oricon Charts and sold over 80,000 album copies in one week.

2017-present: “Five”

On February 22, Shinee released their fifth full-length Japanese album, Five. To promote the album, they launched their fifth Japan tour Shinee World 2017, starting in Fukui’s Sun Dome on January 28, 2017 and ending in Tokyo on April 30, 2017, with a total of 25 concerts in 10 cities.

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