SUPER JUNIORCurrent Members: Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung [inactive, military service], Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kyuhyun, Henry (SJ-M), Zhoumi (SJ-M) Former Member(s): Hangeng, Kibum Subgroups: Super Junior-M, Super Junior-K.R.Y., Super Junior-T, Super Junior-H, Donghae & Eunhyuk Leader: Leeteuk | Maknae: Kyuhyun (SJ), Henry (SJ-M) Year of Debut: 2005 Fanclub: Ever Lasting Friends (ELF) | Official Color: Pearl Sapphire Blue Official Soompi Thread
When you think of K-Pop, it’s hard not to think boy group Super Junior, whose name is almost synonymous to the industry, having achieved international recognition since their debut in 2005. For this week’s Soompi Throwback Thursday, we delve deeper into SM Entertainment’s iconic thirteen-member outfit, who has grown since their debut nine years ago to become one of the most successful Korean boy groups.
In 2005, SM Entertainment announced the formation of a new boy group named Super Junior ’05, inspired by Japan’s member rotational concept of groups such as Morning Musume, pulling together various trainees and rookies who had already been integrated into the industry through their experiences with acting, MCing, modeling, and more. In November of the same year, the twelve-member group – Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kibum, and Hangeng – made their official debut on Inkigayo with “Twins (Knock Out),” the title track off their debut album, “Twins.”
In 2006, however, after releasing “Miracle,” the group dropped both the rotational concept and the “‘05” from their name, adding maknae member Kyuhyun to leave the group with its iconic thirteen members. Super Junior’s breakout single “U” was released shortly after, nabbing the group their first music show win and bringing about a new level of fame that would be enjoyed in the years to come.
In the latter parts of 2006, Super Junior, who also became involved in all aspects of the industry outside of singing and dancing, branched out into subgroups Super Junior-K.R.Y. and Super Junior-T. Super Junior’s next album as a complete group, however, would not be released until September 2007, after several members sustained injuries from an April 2007 car crash that unfortunately also left member Kyuhyun unconscious for four days.
The next few years were filled with notable releases and events for Super Junior – the group released “Don’t Don,” created subgroups Super Junior-H and their most well-known subgroup Super Junior-M with two new members – Henry and Zhoumi – as a means of breaking through the Chinese entertainment industry, kicked off the first of the Super Show concerts, and extended their reach into the Japanese market.
2009 came to be one of the most successful years for Super Junior, who swept the world off its feet with the catchy “Sorry Sorry.” Sadly, the end of the year brought bad news to the group – member Kibum announced a temporary hiatus from Super Junior activities while Hangeng left the group, filing for a contract termination from SM Entertainment while citing a violation of rights due to an unlawful contract.
Nevertheless, despite having undergone a new formation, Super Junior spent the next years solidifying their status as one of the most powerful boy groups in K-Pop, putting out hits like “Bonamana” in 2010, “Mr. Simple” in 2011, “Sexy, Free & Single” in 2012, while members rotated in and out for military service. But, despite having members take their military duty hiatus, the group continued to hold successful comebacks including “Mamacita” in 2014 and “Devil” in July of 2015.
Today, ten years after the original Super Junior ’05 made their initial debut, Super Junior is one of the oldest mainstream K-Pop groups that remained active throughout the years. Super Junior’s 2014 comeback is a true testament to their still overwhelming popularity and success, with the group sweeping all music show awards.
Flip through the pages below to see a comprehensive list of Super Junior’s “Firsts” (debut MV, first music show win, etc), and play the Soompi Who’s Who game!