Girls' Generation (Hangul: 소녀시대; Hanja: 少女時代) is a South Korean nine-member girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2007. The members include (in order of official announcement) Yoona, Tiffany, Yuri, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Seohyun, Taeyeon (the leader), Jessica, and Sunny. International Girls' Generation fans usually refer to the group as SNSD, the acronym of the group's Korean name So Nyeo Shi Dae as well as their Chinese name, Shaonü Shidai. Many of the members had already pursued an entertainment career before Girls' Generation's debut through acting, DJ-ing, and modeling. Their official fanclub is known as S♡NE (소원) also one of the titles of a song from their re-package album.
The members were professionally trained primarily in singing and dancing, but some members were also selected to be trained in acting and modeling. Many of the members already had made names for themselves in the Korean entertainment industry through their participation in magazine ads, television commercials, and small television appearances. For nearly two years, Korean websites speculated about which of the female SM Entertainment trainees would be placed into the group. Before the official release of the group name, Girls' Generation, it was rumored that the group would be named "Super Girls"
Debut and first album
On July 19, 2007, Girls' Generation had their first performance on M.NET'S M!Countdown. Although this performance was never broadcast on television, many videos were shot by fans and uploaded onto the internet. The song the girls performed was called "다시 만난 세계 (Into the New World)", which ended up being their first single.
On August 2, 2007, the single "다시 만난 세계 (Into the New World)" was released. This single included two other songs, "Beginning" and "Perfect For You (소원)", later renamed as Honey for their self-titled debut album "Girls' Generation". An instrumental of "Into the New World" is also included.
The group began promoting the single soon after its release. On August 5, 2007, Girls' Generation made their debut performance on SBS's Popular Songs, performing their first single. Although it was their first televised performance, it was lip-synched, making netizens doubt their live performance capabilities. A few days later, on August 11, Girls' Generation did their first live performance on MBC's Show! Music Core, which was met with mixed reviews. The day after, the group performed live for the second time on KBS's Music Bank. This performance also had mixed reviews by netizens. Despite this, on October 11, 2007, Girls' Generation won first place with their popular song, "Into the New World" in M!Countdown, beating Lee Seung Gi by a couple of votes.
During their debut, there were various behind-the-scenes documentaries showcasing the girls. Girls' Generation Goes to School (소녀...학교에 가다) began airing on July 27, 2007 on MNET. There were a total of nine episodes, with seven focused on their performances, one "behind-the-scenes" look at the girls' world, and the last being a bonus episode of the girls performing at Sunny's high-school. Another show, broadcast on MTV Korea, shows each of the girls at home.
After a short break, their first full album was released on November 1, with the lead single "소녀시대 (Girls' Generation)", a cover of Lee Seung Chul's hit. Promotion for the single started in early November. Marked by cutesy dance routines and vocals, "Girls' Generation" was a hit for the group, and the album has sold 121,143 copies to date, placing 12th in the year-end charts. In January 2008, Girls' Generation began promoting their second single, "Kissing You". The music video featured Donghae from Super Junior. This song achieved the 1 spot in the three main TV music rankings—SBS Inkigayo, M.Countdown! and KBS Music Bank.
On March 13, 2008, the album was re-released, now titled Baby Baby. A third single, "Baby Baby", was used to promote the album throughout March. As of April 2008, the girls have ceased promotion of their album; however, a digital EP featuring Jessica, Tiffany, and Seohyun was released on April 7, 2008, titled Roommate. The single from the mini-album is "오빠나빠" (literally "Bad Brother", although contextually it refers to an older male (boy)friend).
The group marked their first North American appearance by performing at the annual Korean Festival Dream Concert held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. The concert featured a slew of other Korean pop and folk singers, including management mates TVXQ and Super Junior-T. The concert took place on May 17, 2008.
Girls' Generation, along with fellow SM artists such as TVXQ, BoA, Super Junior, SHINee, CSJH the Grace and other SM artists participated in SMTown Live '08. The concert took place on August 15, 2008. The tour will expand its route to South Korea, Thailand, and China.
2008: Fashion design and comeback
It was announced in September 2008 that Girls' Generation would be starring in a reality show on M.Net. Titled Factory Girl, the show chronicles the girls working as interns at Elle Korea. The program began airing on October 8, 2008.
So Nyeo Shi Dae announced at the Asia Song Festival conference that their second album was to be released in late November 2008 (instead of October). However, it was revealed that their second album is scheduled for a 2009 release.
Stage name: Jessica
Birth name: Jessica Jung
Korean birth name: Jung Sooyeon
Date of birth: April 18, 1989
Position: Lead vocalist
Discovery: 2000 SM Casting System
Jessica was born and raised in California. She moved to Korea when she was 11 for training. She released 2 singles alongside with Seohyun and Tiffany: "오빠 나빠" ("Bad Oppa") and "Mabinogi (It's Fantastic!)".Jessica also stars in Jo Han Kim's music video "Love is Late, I'm Sorry".
Stage name: Yuri
Birth name: Kwon Yuri
Date of birth: December 5, 1989
Position: Lead Dancer , Sub Vocal
Discovery: 2001 SM 1st Annual Youth Best Contest
2006 ORION Choco Pie with Jang Dong-Gun
2006 Dongil Highvill Apartment
Yuri joined the label when she took 2nd place in the 2001 1st SM Youth Best Dancer Contest. She appeared in TVXQ's "Beautiful Life" music video and had a small role as a ballerina in Super Junior's first movie, Attack on the Pin-Up Boys. She also had a small role in a television segment, "The King's Boyfriend," which was part of the 2005–2006 KMTV Super Junior documentary, Super Junior Show. Yuri also played a part in the sitcom Unstoppable Marriage alongside Sooyoung.
Stage name: Taeyeon
Birth name: Kim Taeyeon
Date of birth: March 9, 1989
Position: Leader , Main Vocal
Discovery: 2004 8th Annual SM Academy singing competition
Taeyeon is the oldest member of Girls' Generation. She is currently a DJ of Good Friend Radio with Super Junior member Kang-In and was the first member to release a solo track "If" for the drama "Hong Gil Dong". Taeyeon was further involved in Lee Bul's Music Video called 영원(Forever) and has also sang "Can/Do You Hear me...?" in the "Beethoven Virus" OST soundtrack.
Stage name: Yoona
Birth name: Im Yoona
Date of birth: May 30, 1990
Position: Sub Vocal
Discovery: 2002 SM Saturday Open Casting Audition
2006 Sanyo Eneloop
2006 Teun Teun English 'Follow Me'
2007 Elite with SS501
2007 Sunkist Lemonade w/ Super Junior's Kangin, Heechul | Version 2
2007 Clean and Clear
2008 Solar Vitamin C
2008 YeJiMiIn wise beauty
2008 Clean and Clear Clearing Cleanse
2008 Korean Drama Festival: Netizen Popularity Award (You Are My Destiny)
Prior to debut and after, Yoona has appeared in several music videos, such as in The Grace's "My Everything", Super Junior's "U", "Marry U", as well as TVXQ's "Magic Castle". She also appeared in The Grace music video, "My Everything" with Super Junior member Kim Kibum. She has also appeared TVXQ's Rising Sun concert. She gained a minor role in the Korean drama, 9 Ends 2 Outs (9회말 2아웃) and won a major role in a new drama, You Are My Destiny. In the new drama, Yoona portrays a girl who was once blind. You Are My Destiny has the highest rating and number of viewers for daily dramas in its time slot, beating other per popular dramas from major Korean networks, MBC and SBS. Yoona has been accepted by Dongguk University and will continue her studies.
Stage name: Seohyun
Birth name: Seo Joohyun
Date of birth: June 28, 1991
Position: Lead Vocal
Discovery: 2003 SM Casting System
Seohyun is the youngest member of the Girls' Generation. She is a high leveled pianist. Along with Tiffany and Jessica, they released a single "오빠 나빠" ("Bad Oppa") and "Mabinogi (It's Fantastic!)". Seohyun is an avid fan of the show and character, Keroro Gunsou. She is also fond of the American actor Johnny Depp.
Stage name: Sunny
Birth name: Lee Sunkyu
Date of birth: May 15, 1989
Position: Sub Vocal
Discovery: 2007 SM Casting System
Sunny was a trainee under a different entertainment company before she transferred into SM Entertainment. After several months of training under SM Entertainment in 2007, Sunny quickly debuted as a member of Girls' Generation that same year. She is the niece of SM Entertainment's CEO, Lee Soo Man. Her father was once the manager of the disbanded K-pop girl group Sugar. She was a co-DJ of Reckless Radio along with Sungmin of Super Junior until the broadcast ended on the 30th of July.
Stage name: Hyoyeon
Birth name: Kim Hyoyeon
Date of birth: September 22, 1989
Position: Main dancer , Sub Vocal
Discovery: 2000 SM Casting System
Hyoyeon is regarded as the best dancer in the group as she once attended a hip hop dance school that specializes in waving, popping, locking, and animation. Prior to debut, Hyoyeon traveled to Beijing, China in 2004 with Super Junior's Siwon to learn Mandarin and more about Chinese culture.
Stage name: SooYoung
Birth name: Choi Sooyeong
Date of birth: February 10, 1990
Position: Sub Vocal
Casted: 2002 Korea-Japan Ultra Idol Duo Audition
2003 SAMSUNG ANYCALL 64-POLY Slide Up Phone CF "Music Battle"
2003 CHUBBYGANG (Japanese Fashion Brand)Model
2004 School Looks Uniform Model
2005 Mnet Hello Chat
2007 Sungmin & Sooyoung's ChunJi Radio
Before Sooyoung's audition to Girls' Generation, she made a brief debut in Japan as a singer in the group called Route φ. She first debuted with Marina Takahashi with the song start. While in Japan, she became close friends with BoA and Sunday from The Grace as they too were working in Japan as singers at the time. She was previously a DJ of ChunJi along with Sungmin of Super Junior. She was soon replaced by Sunny due to schedule conflicts. Sooyoung also played a part in the sitcom Unstoppable Marriage alongside Yuri.
Stage name: Tiffany
Birth name: Stephanie Hwang
Korean birth name: Hwang Miyoung
Date of birth: August 1, 1989
Position: Lead Vocal
Discovery: 2004 Casting System (Los Angeles, California)
Tiffany was raised in Diamond Bar, California. She was discovered in the SM Starlight Casting System 2004 in Los Angeles and began her training under the label until the debut of Girls' Generation. Along with Seohyun and Jessica, she released a brand new single, "Bad Brother" (오빠 나빠) and Mabinogi [It's Fantastic!].