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(Marie Claire Korea) We, SHINee - Video 46s.jpg
Shinee for Marie Claire Korea, May 2018
From top left: Taemin, Onew, Minho, Key
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
2008 (2008)-present
SM Town

Shinee ( SHY-nee; Korean: ; Japanese?; stylized as SHINee) is a South Korean boy band formed by SM Entertainment in 2008. The group's popularity and musical impact in their native country has earned them numerous accolades and the title "Princes of K-pop". The group is composed of four members: Onew, Key, Minho, and Taemin. Originally a five-piece group, vocalist Jonghyun died in December 2017. [1][2]

Shinee was introduced as a contemporary R&B boy group by their company with the goal of being trendsetters in all areas of music, fashion, dance, etc. and debuted in May 2008 with their first EP, Replay on SBS' 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 Disc 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 is considered to be one of the best live vocal groups in K-pop and is known for their highly synchronized and complex dance routines, having been 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.


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.[3] 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".[4] On May 25, 2008, the group's first EP, Replay, was released,[1][5][6] which debuted at number ten on the Korean music charts[7] and peaked at number eight,[8] selling 17,957 copies in the first half of 2008.[9] In May 2008, Shinee had their first stage performance on SBS's Inkigayo with their single "Replay".[10]

In June 2008, the group won their first award, "Rookie of the Month" at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards,[11] and were also awarded with the "Hot New Star" award at the Mnet 20's Choice Awards in August, 2008.[12] In the same month, Shinee subsequently released their first full-length album, The SHINee World,[13] which debuted at number three, selling 30,000 copies.[14] Its title track "Sanso Gateun Neo (Love Like Oxygen)" is a cover of "Show the World" by Martin Hoberg Hedegaard,[15] originally written by the Danish songwriting and production team of Thomas Troelsen, Remee and Lucas Secon.[16] 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.[17]

Shinee participated in the 5th Asia Song Festival, where they received the "Best New Artist" award along with Japanese girl group Berryz Kobo.[18] The group attended the Style Icon Awards on October 30, 2008, where they received the "Best Style Icon Award".[19] 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".[20] "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".[21]

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.[22] In addition, the group also won the award for "Newcomer Album of the Year" at the 23rd Annual Golden Disk Awards.[23][24]

2009-2010: Rising popularity and Lucifer

Shinee in February 2009 performing at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.

In early February 2009, Shinee won the "Best Newcomer" award along with Davichi and Mighty Mouth at the 18th Seoul Music Awards.[25] Shinee's second extended play, Romeo, was released on May 25.[26][27][28] Its lead single, "Juliette", was released earlier on May 18.[26] The song is an instrumental remake of Corbin Bleu's "Deal with It".[29] 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.[30]

Shinee released the digital version of their third extended play, 2009, Year of Us on October 19, 2009,[31][32] with a physical release on October 22.[33] The lead single, "Ring Ding Dong", was released digitally on October 14[34] and charted atop of several Korean music charts and gained popularity all over Asia.[35] In early December 2009, the group was also awarded with the "Popularity" award along with Super Junior at the 24th Golden Disk Awards.[36]

On July 19, 2010, the group released their second full-length studio album, Lucifer,[37] which topped various physical and digital sales charts in South Korea.[38] 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."[39] The group made their comeback on July 23, 2010 at KBS Music Bank.[40] For its outstanding choreography, "Lucifer", was nominated for the Best Dance Performance Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards.[41]Lucifer became the 6th best-selling album of 2010 in South Korea, selling over 120,000 copies.[42] In October, 2010, the album was re-released under the title Hello.[43] Amidst their promotional activities for the second studio album, the group also participated in the SMTown Live '10 World Tour on August 21, 2010.[44][45][46] 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.[47]

2011-2012: Japanese debut, The First and Sherlock

Onew, Taemin, Minho and Key at the KBS Music Festival in 2011.

On January 1, 2011, Shinee performed at Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul as a part of their tour, Shinee World, followed by various cities in Japan throughout 2011.[48][49] On January 25 and 26, 2011, the group participated in the Japan leg of SMTown Live '10 World Tour in Tokyo, which 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.[50] On June 22, 2011, the group made their debut in Japan[51] with the Japanese version of "Replay",[52] which sold more than 91,000 copies in the first week. It was subsequently certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies.[53] It became the highest number of sales recorded by Oricon for a South Korean group debut at the time.[54]

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.[55][56] In July 22, 2011, Shinee started their Japan Debut Premium Reception Tour and held several concerts in various cities across Japan.[56] On August 28 and October 12, 2011, two Japanese remakes, "Juliette"[57] and "Lucifer," were released, respectively.[58] On August 9, 2011, Shinee took part in an effort to help African children. The groups were joined by the United Nation's Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in the "Help African Children" project co-organized by the Korean Red Cross Society and the Korean UNICEF committee.[59]

In November 2011, Shinee were invited to be the opening act of The 6th London Korean Film Festival, which took place at Odeon West End Theater.[60] The group held an hour-long gala concert to open the Festival with tickets selling out within minutes.[61][62] This marked the first time that any Korean artist(s) had held an independent concert in London.[61]

The group's first Japanese studio album, The First, was released in December, 2011.[63] 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.[64] The album was certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies.[65][66] 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.[67] 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.[68]

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".[69] 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.[70] Shinee's fourth Korean mini album, Sherlock, was digitally released on March 19,[71] and physically on March 21.[72][73]Sherlock became the fifth most sold album of the year in South Korean with over 180,000 copies sold.[74] On March 26, 2012, Shinee, alongside their labelmates, became stockholders of SM Entertainment. They received 340 shares each (value of around $13,600 for each member).[75]

Shinee performs "Sherlock" at the Special Stage Expo 2012.

The Japanese remake of "Sherlock" was released in Japan on May 16.[76] 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.[77] 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.[78] On May 20, 2012, Shinee participated in the SMTown Live World Tour III alongside their label-mates at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.[79][80] Shinee held their second solo concert, Shinee World II, beginning in Seoul on July 21 and 22 at Olympic Gymnastics Arena.[81]

Shinee released an original Japanese single, "Dazzling Girl", on October 10, 2012.[82] The single sold 97,111 copies in its first week and was chosen to be the theme song for the Japanese TV series Sukkiri.[82] 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.[83][84] 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)".[85][86][87] 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.[88]

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.[89] 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.[90][91]

Shinee's third Korean album consisted of two versions:[92][93] the first part, Dream Girl - The Misconceptions of You,[94] being released on February 19 and the second part, Why So Serious? - The Misconceptions of Me, being released on April 29.[95][96] 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.[97] A compilation album was subsequently released, The Misconceptions of Us, with two new songs: "Selene 6.23" and "Better Off".[98]

To promote tourism business in Korea Shinee were chosen as honorary ambassadors for Seoul's Gangnam district in February 2014.[99] One year later in February 2015 the group became ambassadors of Ministry of Personnel Management to promote Korean music, dance and fashion.[100] Their tasks as ambassadors included performing at events around the world to encourage cultural exchanges between the nations.[101]

On March 13, Shinee released the Japanese single "Fire".[102] On June 26, the group released their second Japanese album, Boys Meet U[103] and on August 21 a single with the same name was released including the Japanese version of "Dream Girl".[104] On June 28, 2013, Shinee started their second Japan nationwide concert tour, Shinee World 2013, in Saitama.[105]

Shinee at the 2013 Melon Music Awards.

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.[106] On September 29, SM Entertainment announced that Shinee's fifth EP, Everybody, would be released on October 14.[107] On November 6, 2013, SM Entertainment announced its week-long music festival called SMTown Week.[108] Shinee's concert, titled The Wizard, opened the event on December 21 at the Kintex in Ilsan.[109]

On January 29, 2014, Shinee held their 3rd Korean solo concert in March named Shinee World III,[110] with more shows added in Latin America.[110] On February 24, the mayor of Gangnam District, Shin Yeon-hee, announced that Shinee had been appointed honorary ambassadors of the district.[111] On April 2, Shinee released a live concert album from their second solo concert.[112]

On June 25, Universal Music Japan released Shinee's tenth Japanese single "Lucky Star" as their first release under EMI Records.[113] 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".[114] 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.[115][116]

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.[117] SM 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.[118][119]Forbess listed Shinee among Korea Power Celebrity in 2014.[120][121]

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.[122]

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.[123] 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.[123] The music video for "View" was the most watched K-Pop music video in the world for the month of May.[124]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.[125] The repackaged album, Married To the Music, was released on August 3, 2015, with 4 additional songs.[126] 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.[127]

Onew, Taemin and Jonghyun at the 23rd DongFang Music Awards in Shanghai.

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.[128] 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".[129] The album topped the Oricon charts for 2 consecutive weeks.[130] 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, SM 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.[131] 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.[128][132] They released their 13th Japanese single, "Kimi no Sei de", on May 18,[133] which sold over 69,000 album copies in Japan.[134]

In February 2016, Forbes released their top forty of Forbes Korea Power Celebrity, Shinee being included once again.[135] 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.[136] 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.[137]

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 group's new album,[138][139] 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.[140][141] The repackaged version titled 1 and 1 was released on November 15, 2016, with 5 new songs.[142] On December 21, 2016, Shinee released their 14th Japanese single, "Winter Wonderland",[143] which debuted on number two on the Oricon Charts and sold over 80,000 album copies in one week.[144] In 2016 Shinee also had the sixth biggest audience for their concerts in Japan with rough estimate of 510,000 people drawn from 28 concerts. Shinee are one of two non-Japanese artists besides Big Bang to make it into the top ten of the list.[145]

2017-present: Five, Jonghyun's death, Japanese tour, The Story of Light, and military service

On February 22, Shinee released their fifth full-length Japanese album, Five.[146] To promote the album, they launched their fifth Japan tour Shinee World 2017, starting on January 28, 2017 and ending in Tokyo on April 30, 2017, with a total of 25 concerts in 10 cities.[147] For the first half of 2017, Shinee ranked sixth in Japan for their concert audience numbers with approximately of 338,238 people. Shinee also ranked the highest out of all Korean artists on the list, being the only to make the top ten with their tour, Shinee World 2017.[148] Later on the group added four additional performances for the tour at Tokyo Dome and Kyocera Dome starting September.[149]

On December 18, 2017, Jonghyun died from an apparent suicide.[150][151] His funeral was held on December 21 with the rest of Shinee and numerous artists in attendance, including Girls' Generation, IU, Super Junior, and more.[152][153][154] Shinee was slated to have a series of concerts in Japan in February 2018, and after entering into discussions on whether to postpone them,[155] they decided to continue promoting as a four-member group and proceed with their Japanese tour as scheduled.[156]

On March 26, Shinee released their Japanese single, "From Now On", posthumously featuring Jonghyun and shortly after, the group released their first Japanese compilation, Shinee The Best From Now On.[157]

On May 15, 2018, SM Entertainment revealed teasers for a three-part Korean album, titled The Story of Light.[158] The first part of the album was released on May 28 with the single "Good Evening",[159] and the second part of the trilogy was released on June 11 with the single "I Want You". According to the group, the second part of the album represents the group's view of themselves, while the first part reflected what others think of them.[160] The third and last part of the album is fronted by the single "Our Page" and was released on June 25.[160] On August 1, 2018, the Japanese versions of "Good Evening" and "I Want You" were released on Shinee's 15th Japanese single "Sunny Side", alongside the track of the same name, which was written by the group members.[161] On September 10, 2018, Shinee released their sixth album repackage, The Story of Light-Epilogue, consisting of all tracks from the previous three albums, and one new song, titled "Countless".[162]

Onew applied for his mandatory military service on December 2018,[163] while Key enlisted in March 2019.[164] Minho was also announced to be enlisting in April 2019.[165][166]



Despite the change of the concepts over the years the group's colorful and unique image always remained the main part of the group's fashion style (left: Shinee in 2012). With their later release, the group aimed for a more mature image while maintaining their "boyish charm" (right: Shinee in 2015).

Shinee is known for their fashion style, initially created by designer Ha Sang-beg (), which features high-top sneakers, skinny jeans, and colorful sweaters.[167] Their style has created a fashion trend amongst students which the media dubbed the "Shinee Trend".[1][6] The group's "boyish charm" was an important factor in Shinee gaining fans. With the release of 2009, Year of Us, Shinee's style became more mature, though still contained Shinee's unique image. Furthermore, instead of working with famous artists and photographers, SM Entertainment's Visual and Art Directing department usually works with up-and-coming talents with new ideas for Shinee's concepts.[168] When Shinee debuted in 2008 with "Replay", it was not only their music which gained attention but also their colorful style--but even four years later, in 2012, Shinee maintained their colorful concept for Sherlock.[169] Their designer, Ha Sang-beg, stated in an interview with the Korean Times: "Much has evolved over the years, since I change their styles to reflect their music. The feel from their debut single still exists, mixing the overground [sic] with the underground, haute couture with street fashion ... but it is very modern, like Shinee."[169]

Vocals and dance

Shinee are acknowledged for their innovative approach to music and peerless choreography and are considered as one of the best live vocalists and dancers in Korean pop,[170] known for their good vocal performances and complex choreographies as well as a unique kind of music that is quite different from usual K-pop.[1][171] At SM Entertainment's showcase in New York in October 2011, Jon Caramanica of the New York Times summarized them as "the most ambitious" of the evening and also complimented the group's strong vocal performance. Furthermore, he stated: "Their music, especially Replay, Ring Ding Dong and Juliette, felt the riskiest, even if it only slightly tweaked that polyglot Pop formula".[172] Kim Joo-hyun of Beff Report considers Shinee's greatest strength the dismantling of the boundaries between the role of main vocal and subvocal. He positively emphasised the harmony between the two main vocals, Onew and Jonghyun, saying they sing with an aesthetic of "contrast", meaning they can't be separated from each other; on the contrary, they actually suit each other when brought together but he also praises the vocal development of Taemin, the youngest member in the group.[173] Jakob Dorof of the monthly British style magazine Dazed, described Shinee with the words "technicolor visuals", "choreography as coordinated as ballet" and "wildly adventurous hit songs", stating they are a group that embodies the harmony of these qualities better than anyone else.[1] Tamar Herman of Paste Magazine described Shinee's as one of K-pop's most popular dance groups, "with cutting edge dance moves that are just as technically creative as the songs they've performed".[174]

Shinee have worked with top choreographers such as Rino Nakasone, who has choreographed Shinee's early songs like "Replay"[175] and "Love Like Oxygen" in 2008,[176] "Juliette" in 2009[176] and the groups hit single "Lucifer" in 2010,[176] which was nominated for the Best Dance Performance at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2010.[41]Misha Gabriel choreographed the song "Amigo" (2008)[177] and also "Ring Ding Dong" (2009).[178]Tony Testa worked on Shinee's later hit songs like "Sherlock" (2012) and "Dream Girl" (2013) which are characterized by a unique and distinctive style,[179] while Ian Eastwood worked on "View" (2015) - breaking away from the group's usual powerful and precise choreography and working instead with a groove style that showcases the teamwork of the group.[180] All three songs were awarded with the Best Dance Performance Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015.[181][182][183]

Musical style and themes

"I've learned there are quite a few things we can do as a group that wouldn't be possible if I were alone. So when we work together, we try more challenging things with everything. Even if we question whether we can pull it off, we always try. As SHINee, we have to keep striving and do things that are a bit more sophisticated and detailed."

-Member Jonghyun discussing the group's music styles.[1]

The predominant musical genre of the group is contemporary R&B.[3] The group's early hits like "Replay" and "Lucifer" veered toward R&B and dance pop,[170] while singles such as "Get Down" and "Jo Jo" explored other musical styles such as hip-hop and dance.[33][184] Shinee's third album is significantly influenced by funk rock, electronic music and rock.[185][186]Billboard columnist Jeff Benjamin compared Shinee's songs like "Punch Drunk Love" and "Aside" to the sounds of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, while tracks like "Beautiful" and "Runaway" combine "unique electronic production elements over sugary boy band harmonies to create year-round pop music".[186]

Shinee as a group is known for their experimental sound and various genres with every new release[187] like the group's fifth extended play Everybody which title song is classified under the complextro genre.[188] Jakob Dorof of Tiny Mix Tapes stated that "Everybody is proof positive that, even in a culture industry designed to minimize the role of real musicianship, talent will find its way to the top." He also remarked that "Close the Door" highlights the experimental and versatile nature of Shinee's music which frequently charts into unfamiliar territories.[189]

With the release of their fourth Korean album Odd Shinee return to their old sound while experimenting with new genres like deep house. The album featured an array of styles including the two singles, the electro-house "View" and Rocky Horror-inspired funk track "Married to the Music."[170] Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum of MTV IGGY praised the title song "View", describing it as a great, laid back summer jam even though "the song fools us into thinking it's an uptempo ballad before reaching its techno peak at the chorus."[190][191] Jeff Benjamin on the other hand praised "Odd Eye", which is written and composed by member Jonghyun. Benjamin states the group's "return to the R&B side of Shinee with feathery vocals, tight harmonies and member Onew's falsetto howls acting a centerpiece to this grooving opener" but he also adds "despite initially debuting with a R&B sound, Shinee is arguably most exciting when experimenting".[192]

Other ventures


Early in their career, Shinee were endorsers for several brands, such as the cosmetic brand Nana's B[193] and the sports brand Reebok.[194] Later, they endorsed the clothing brand Maypole[195][196][197] as well as the popular Korean cosmetic brands Etude House[198][199][200] and The Saem.[201] In 2012, Etude House's Lash Pump 3-Step Volume-Cara, a PC-based and mobile micro-site featuring "doll eyelashes" main model Sandara Park and Shinee--appearing as puppets--was awarded first place for the Movile Marketing and Product Promotions category at the 9th Web Award Korea.[202] The group was also part of the popular Korean comic The Blade of the Phantom Master and then-new webtoon series ENT.[203] Furthermore, the group endorsed the sports brand Skechers[204] and collaborated with Naver and Skechers for T-shirts and caps designed by the group members.[205][206][207] Overall, Shinee are models with influence over consumers, as products featuring the Shinee label can increase the revenue of companies - "Shinee's Sparking Water", a simple carbonated bottled water, which is sold by e-mart, the supermarket chain business of Shinsegae, boasted a combined sales of 67 million won over a one-month period.[208][209]





Year Title Note Ref
2012 I AM. Biographical Film [222]
2015 SMTown: The Stage Documentary Film [223]

Television drama

Year Title Network Notes Ref
2008 My Precious You KBS2 Cameo [224]
2012 ENT Webtoon Cartoon Characters [203]
2013 You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin KBS2 Cameo [225]

Reality shows

Year Title Network Ref
2008 Shinee's Yunhanam Mnet [226]
2010 Shinee's Hello Baby KBS [227][228]
2012 World Date with Shinee KBS
2013 Shinee's One Fine Day MBC [91]
2018 Shinee's Back M2 [229]

Awards and nominations


  • Children of The Sun: Onew, Key, Taemin of Shinee in Barcelona, Woongjin Think Big Co., Ltd (September 12, 2011) ISBN 8901136058
  • Shinee Surprise Vacation - Travel Note, SM Entertainment (May 27, 2013), ISBN 8996955434


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dorof, Jakob (July 2, 2015). "SHINee: The princes of the K-pop scene". Dazed. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
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