7 Times Super Junior Changed The Game For K-Pop
Super Junior is one of the most respected groups of the second generation of K-pop, and for good reason. The group is one of the first of that era and is also one of the longest-running ones to date. Ever since their debut in 2005, our beloved idols have contributed a lot to the Hallyu wave and have brought so much originality to the music industry as a whole.
When it comes to musicality, there isn’t a genre that these talented men haven’t experimented with. From bubblegum pop and alternative rock to contemporary R&B and EDM, they have done it all. Yet, it seems that Latin-infused music suits them best, and they have released a handful of songs that solidifies this claim.
All in all, Super Junior has led 14 years of incredible achievements that have drastically changed the game. Here are some of their most impactful K-pop moments throughout the years.
1. Being the first idol group to promote in China
It is no news that the sub-unit concept came with Super Junior, with Super Junior-M (SJ-M) being their Chinese sub-unit. At the time, on top of Han Geng, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun, the lineup also included Henry and Zhou Mi who were exclusively signed to SJ-M. The newly founded Super Junior-M was the first international music group in China that featured members of both Chinese and Korean descent. This allowed them a smooth entry into the Chinese market, as they debuted with the Chinese version of their song “U.”
2. Winning Favorite Artist Korea at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards
Super Junior’s popularity kept growing by the second with every song they brought to the scene. In 2008, they were the first and last idol group of the second-generation era to win the Favorite Artist Korea award at the MTV Asia Awards, as the ceremony was canceled later on.
3. “Sorry Sorry” going viral worldwide
Super Junior had their international breakthrough thanks to their viral hit “Sorry Sorry” from their third studio album of the same name. On top of its critical and commercial success, the song was also the reason behind a dance craze on social media. This was without a doubt a stepping stone in the group’s road to global stardom and their role in introducing K-pop to the rest of the world.
4. Giving a special lecture at Oxford University
In 2013, Super Junior received an invitation from Oxford’s Asian Pacific Association and the Korean Student Council where they held a lecture titled, “Super Junior: The Last Man Standing.” At the time, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Kyuhyun, and Kangin attended the prestigious England-based university as guest lecturers. They discussed their success as artists as well as their own thoughts on K-pop and Hallyu.
5. Winning Choice International Artist at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards
Another first for our boys was their nomination and win for two newly added categories, Choice International Artist and Choice Fandom, at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. This shows that Super Junior has fans from all over the world who support them every step of the way, thus taking part in their worldwide success.
6. Becoming the first K-pop artist to enter Billboard’s Latin Songs chart
Previously ranked at Billboard’s Latin Digital Song Sales chart at No. 13 and Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart at No. 2, “Lo Siento” is considered an incredible feat and a meaningful recognition for Super Junior’s musical legacy since Billboard stated they’re the first Korean act to enter the Latin Digital Song Sales chart. This track implements yet again Latin vibes following their previous release “Mamacita.”
7. Being the first foreign-language artist to win Artist of the Year at the KKBOX Music Awards
Super Junior is no stranger to the Taiwanese music awards show, as they had previously won Best Korean Singer of the Year in 2012 and Best Korean Artist in 2013 and 2015. This year, the group came back to make history as the first foreign-language recipient of the Artist of the Year award. If anything, this shows that Super Junior is still representing the genre to the best of their ability, all while snatching many more firsts along the way.
What other moments from Super Junior’s prosperous career have contributed to Hallyu? Let us know in the comments below!
Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.