|Also known as||Super Junior ’05 (2005–06)|
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
Super Junior (Korean: 슈퍼주니어; Syupeo Junieo), also known as SJ or SuJu, is a South Korean boy band debuted on November 6, 2005, by producer Lee Soo-man of SM Entertainment. They are also dubbed by the media as the “King of Hallyu Wave” due to their prominent contributions in Korean Wave. The group comprised a total of thirteen members at its peak. Super Junior originally debuted with twelve members, consisting of leader Leeteuk, Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kibum. Kyuhyun joined the group later in 2006.
Super Junior launched into international recognition following the release of their best-selling single “Sorry, Sorry” in 2009, the title song of their most critically successful album, Sorry, Sorry. Over the years, they have been divided into smaller groups, simultaneously targeting different music industries and audiences. The members have also individually branched out into hosting, presenting and acting. Their successes and popularity as all-rounded entertainers have led other Korean entertainment managements to also begin training their music groups in other aspects of the entertainment industry.
In 2009, Han Geng filed a lawsuit against SM due to unfavorable contract terms and officially left the group in 2011. In 2015, Kibum’s contract with SM ended and in 2019, Kangin left the group voluntarily. As of 2021, Super Junior has nine active members—Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun — with Sungmin on hiatus since 2015.
Super Junior was the best-selling K-pop artist for four years in a row. The group has earned thirteen music awards from the Mnet Asian Music Awards, nineteen from the Golden Disc Awards, and are the second singing group to win Favorite Artist Korea at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards after jtL in 2003.In 2012, they were nominated for “Best Asian Act” in MTV Europe Music Awards.They won the “International Artist” and “Best Fandom” awards at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. In March 2020, Super Junior broke their own record topping the Korean Album Chart of Taiwan’s KKBOX for 122 consecutive weeks since 2017 with their 8th album Play, the 8th album repackage REPLAY in 2018, the 9th album Time_Slip from 2019, and this year’s 9th album repackage Timeless. Their fandom name is E.L.F, which stands for Ever Lasting Friends.
In December 2009, Han Geng departed from the group after filing a lawsuit against their agency SM Entertainment. Han Geng subsequently won the lawsuit in December 2010,though his departure from Super Junior was not made official until September 27, 2011, when SM Entertainment finally released a statement to that effect.
On August 18, 2015, Kibum announced via his personal SNS that his contract with SM Entertainment had ended and departed from the group.In July 2019, it was announced by Label SJ that Kangin left Super Junior, though he would maintain a contract with SM Entertainment.
All members completed their mandatory military service during the time period from September 2011 through May 2019. Heechul enlisted on September 1, 2011, and completed his service on August 30, 2013. Leeteuk enlisted on October 30, 2012, and completed his service on July 29, 2014.Yesung enlisted on May 6, 2013, and completed his service on May 4, 2015.Shindong enlisted on March 24, 2015, and completed his service on December 23, 2016. Sungmin enlisted on March 31, 2015, and completed his service on December 30, 2016. Eunhyuk enlisted for active duty military service on October 13, 2015. He was discharged on July 12, 2017.Donghae enlisted on October 15, 2015, and was discharged on July 14, 2017. Siwon enlisted on November 19, 2015, and was discharged on August 18, 2017.Ryeowook enlisted on October 11, 2016,and was discharged on July 10, 2018. Kyuhyun was the last member in military service; he enlisted on May 25, 2017, and was discharged on May 7, 2019.
Label SJ confirmed in a statement in March 2020 that although Heechul may not be able to perform on stage, he is still participating in Super Junior albums and other content by recording, as well as taking part in activities such as jacket photoshoots and MV filming.
As of May 7, 2019, Super Junior has nine active members: Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun.
- Current members
- Leeteuk – leader, sub-vocals, sub-rapping (2005–present)
- Heechul – sub-vocals, sub-rapping (2005–present)
- Yesung – main vocals (2005–present)
- Shindong – lead dancing, sub-rapping, sub-vocals (2005–present)
- Sungmin – lead vocals, lead dancing (2005–present)
- Eunhyuk – main rapping, main dancing, sub-vocals (2005–present)
- Donghae – lead vocals, lead dancing, sub-rapping (2005–present)
- Siwon – sub-vocals, visual, center (2005–present)
- Ryeowook – main vocals (2005–present)
- Kyuhyun – main vocals (2006–present)
- Former members
- Han Geng – lead dancing, sub-vocals (2005–09)
- Kangin – sub-vocals (2005–16)
- Kibum – lead rapping, sub-vocals (2005–09)
Since their debut, five Super Junior subgroups have been formed. With the exception of Kibum, all of the members have been part of at least one subgroup. The subgroups were part of SM Entertainment’s strategy to not limit Super Junior’s activities while certain members focused on their individual careers. This allowed the group members greater freedom to focus on different elements of their careers, and gave the group opportunities to explore different musical styles and showcase different skills. The goal of the subgroup formations was also to show that Super Junior could accommodate and perform different musical genres. This strategy was later challenged by critics, as it has influenced an overwhelming number of music groups to create official and unofficial subgroups alike.
- Super Junior-K.R.Y. – Yesung, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun
- Super Junior-T – Leeteuk, Heechul, Shindong, Sungmin and Eunhyuk
- Super Junior-M – Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Zhou Mi, Donghae, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun
- Super Junior-H – Leeteuk, Yesung, Shindong, Sungmin and Eunhyuk
- Super Junior-D&E – Eunhyuk and Donghae
Main article: Super Junior discography
- Twins (2005)
- Don’t Don (2007)
- Sorry, Sorry (2009)
- Bonamana (2010)
- Mr. Simple (2011)
- Sexy, Free & Single (2012)
- Mamacita (2014)
- Devil (2015)
- Play (2017)
- Time_Slip (2019)
- The Renaissance (2021)
Main article: Super Junior filmography
Super Junior’s musical style has varied from album to album: they pursued bubblegum pop in Twins; alternative rock in Don’t Don; pop and contemporary R&B in Sorry, Sorry and Bonamana; electropop and synthpop in Mr. Simple; Eurohouse in Sexy, Free & Single; neo soul and jazz-pop in Mamacita; Latin pop in Repackage album of Play – Replay and One More Time; and hip hop in their latest repackage album of Time Slip – Timeless. The group has also covered few songs in their albums. Their debut single “Twins (Knock Out)” is a cover of Triple Eight‘s “Knockout,” which was released in 2003. In most of their covers, the original titles are kept, such as Cape’s “L.O.V.E” and Exile’s “Believe”, both tracks from Twins. Super Junior works closely with Yoo Young-jin, who has produced and arranged most of the group’s title singles since their debut. Yoo is also known for creating the renowned SMP style, a genre that includes a balanced infusion of rock, R&B, and rap, empowered by the sounds of electric guitar, bass, and other different percussion instruments.Super Junior prominently featured this SMP style in Don’t Don. The group are also acclaimed for their vocal harmonization and unison as each member contributes a different range in their choruses, and often incorporate different types of vocal belting into their songs.
Super Junior were ambassadors to many bodies. They were selected to become the ambassador of Ansan city in 2007, and Gangnam District in 2012. They were also appointed as the goodwill ambassadors for the 2008 Korea and Thailand 50th Anniversary, honoring the good relationship between the two countries. On February 20, 2010, Super Junior were named as Taiwan’s tourism ambassadors, and as the ambassadors for Korean tourism by Korea Tourism Organization on July 25, 2011.
Super Junior are also spokesmodels for the “Donate Blood” campaign at the Republic of Korea National Red Cross since 2007 and were appointed as goodwill ambassadors for World Blood Donor Day. On March 3, 2011, Super Junior were appointed by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Korea as the 2011 Honorary Korean Food Ambassadors to promote Korean cuisine all over the world. On June 17, 2011, Super Junior were chosen to be the ambassadors of Seoul Summer Sale 2011. They have also been appointed to the same position for Seoul Summer Sale 2012,and 2016.
Expansion to China
Following the subgroups Super Junior-K.R.Y. and Super Junior-T, on October 2, 2007, SM Entertainment announced the birth of another Super Junior sub-unit project that would begin activities in China starting 2008. Zhou Mi and SM Entertainment’s new Taiwanese-Canadian trainee Henry Lau, who was also featured in the music video of “Don’t Don”, were also members of the subgroup. The announcement brought in a huge wave of dissatisfaction and opposition from some fans of Super Junior after the announcement of two new members. Thousands of fans from Super Junior’s official fanclub E.L.F. silently sat in front of the SM building and held signs that supported the group having thirteen members. After more rumors regarding adding another member to the subgroup, the fans decided to gain a legal representation as part of SM Entertainment’s stockholders. As of March 20, 2008, Super Junior fans purchased 58,206 shares of SM Entertainment, holding 0.3% of the company’s entire stock. The fans released a statement that they will take every opportunity to prevent SM Entertainment from adding new members and to keep Super Junior as only thirteen.
Conflict with MBC
A time-slot dispute occurred between SM Entertainment and MBC when SM insisted to have Kangin stay on SBS’ Explorers of the Human Body instead of MBC’s Sunday Night Dong-An Club (동안클럽) where Kangin has been a regular host. MBC temporarily banned the rest of Super Junior from appearing in any future performances and shows hosted by MBC.Kangin also lost his MC jobs to T.O.P. of Big Bang for the music show, Show! Music Core and also two more variety shows, which both soon canceled after Kangin left due to low ratings. MBC demanded an apology from SM Entertainment in order for Super Junior to appear on shows hosted by the channel again. However, MBC concluded that Super Junior’s ban was never official, but just a decision for shows’ producers to decide.
Han Geng’s lawsuit and departure from group
On December 21, 2009, Han Geng filed for contract termination with S.M. Entertainment, unhappy with contract length and salary, On December 21, 2010, the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of Han Geng. On September 27, 2011, his departure was made official.
Tours and concerts
- The 1st Asia Tour – “Super Show” (2008–09)
- The 2nd Asia Tour – “Super Show 2” (2009–10)
- The 3rd Asia Tour – “Super Show 3” (2010–11)
- Super Junior World Tour – “Super Show 4” (2011–12)
- Super Junior World Tour – “Super Show 5” (2013–14)
- Super Junior World Tour – “Super Show 6” (2014–15)
- Super Junior World Tour – “Super Show 7” (2017–19)
- Super Junior World Tour – “Super Show 8” (2019–)
Fan meeting tours
- Super Camp (2015–16)
- SMTown Live ’07 Summer Concert (2007)
- SMTown Live ’08 (2008–09)
- SM Town Live ’10 World Tour (2010–11)
- SM Town Live World Tour III (2012–13)
- SM Town Week – Treasure Island (2013)
- SM Town Live World Tour IV (2014–15)
- SM Town Live World Tour V (2016)
- SM Town Live World Tour VI (2017–18)
Awards and recognition
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Super Junior
The group’s song “U“, earned Super Junior their first music award, the SBS Popular Songs Mutizen Song in June 2006. The single earned the group four more distinctive song awards, and the group grabbed their first MKMF award from the Mnet/KM Music Festival in November 2006. In terms of recognition in other areas of Asia, Super Junior is the first overseas artist to win Asia’s Artist of the Year at the Tencent Stars Magnificent Ceremony in China, and is also the second musical group to win Favorite Artist Korea at the MTV Asia Awards, after jtLin 2003. Super Junior have earned 20 music awards at the Golden Disc Awards, 13 at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and 12 at the Seoul Music Awards. Super Junior is the first Asian artist who won International Artist at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards.
Super Junior won Legend Award a special title given by Asia Artist Awards in November 2017 and also won Top of K-Pop Record in November 2019 due to their prominent contributions in Korean Wave leading K-pop to its current state of global awareness. In January 2019, Super Junior won “Artist of the Year Award” at the 14th KKBOX Music Awards in Taiwan. Super Junior is the first non-Chinese artist to receive the ‘Artist of the Year’ award.
Super Junior have also gained recognition for their dress style and fashion throughout their career. They hailed as the best-dressed artist at the 2007 Summer Break 20’s Choice Awards, and also earned a similar nomination the following year. The group have also earned titles for their dance choreography and popularity.