Girls’ Generation is a very popular nine-member South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2007. The nine members are: Taeyeon (Kim Tae-Yeon), Jessica (Jung Soo-Yeon), Sunny (Lee Soon-Kyu), Tiffany (Hwang Mi-Young), Hyoyeon (Kim Hyo-Yeon), Yuri (Kwon Yu-Ri), Sooyoung (Choi Soo-Young), Yoona (Im Yoon-A) and Seohyun (Seo Joo-Hyun).
The group is often referred to as Soshi or SNSD by international fans, the first of which is an abbreviation and the second an acronym of the group’s Korean name So Nyeo Shi Dae. They are known as Shàon? Shídài in China and Taiwan, Siu Nui Si Doi in Hong Kong and as Sh?jo Jidai in Japan.
SNSD officially debuted in August 2007 with their single Into the New World or Dasi Mannan Segye in Korean. The group released their first self-titled full album in November 2007 with the lead single Girls’ Generation, a remake of Lee Seung-cheol’s 1989 hit. The album also included the group’s first single Into the New World, Perfect For You retitled as Honey, and 8 other tracks by the group. In early 2008, Girls’ Generation began promoting their second single from the album, Kissing You, which won the group their first k-chart win after getting the number one position on the KBS Music Bank February chart.
In March 2008, the album was re-packaged, re-released and re-titled Baby Baby. A third single, Baby Baby, was used to promote the album. During the group’s promotions, members Jessica, Tiffany and Seohyun were also featured on a mini-album released by Roommate, a one-man band from Purple Communication. The mini-album was titled Roommate: Emotional Band Aid, and was released on December 1, 2008. The 3rd track from the mini-album was performed by the 3 Girls’ Generation members and is titled Oppa Nappa. The track was digitally released before the album was, coming out in April 2008 and topping several charts.
On December 26, 2008, the pink unicorn posters of the Girls’ Generation members wearing sporting simple white shirts, jeans and roller-skates were posted up in various locations around Seoul. The posters were met with such popularity that SM Entertainment’s phone-lines were blocked up by callers asking whether the posters were for sale and the company was forced to ask fans to stop taking the posters down for personal use. Three days later on December 29, the group’s management confirmed that the posters were indeed teaser posters and that the group would soon release their first EP, The First Mini Album – Gee the following month in January 2009.
A teaser video was released in January 2009 and the first single Gee released soon after. Gee was a mega hit, topping Cyworld’s hourly music chart on the release day. The song also went #1 on all major digital music charts within two days. Gee holds the record for being the longest running #1 song on KBS’s Music Bank, having held the #1 chart ranking for 9 consecutive weeks. The music video set a record on release, garnering 1 million views on GomTV in under a day. The music video became the first to reach “Diamond Track” status on GomTV after breaking the 5 million view mark on January 16. The music video now has over 36 millions views on Youtube, snatching the spot for the most viewed video in Korea.
After a short break, SM Entertainment announced that the group would be back with a new mini-album sporting a "Marine Girl" concept. The new single was to be titled Tell Me Your Wish (Genie); with the full mini album being released digitally on June 22, 2009. The track proved to be a success as it conquered various music sites like Melon, Dosirak, MNet, Bugs and it was No.1 on the weekly charts and SKT ringtone weekly charts of the first week of July. The mini-album sold an estimated 50,000+ copies in its first week after released (almost double the numbers from the first-week sales of Gee), an unusual feat for any Korean girl group.
SNSD began a foray into the Japanese music scene in late 2010 under Nayutawave Records, a part of Universal Music, with a Japanese version of Genie in September 2010, which marked their official debut in Japan. The single sold over 100,000 copies and reached #4 spot on Oricon weekly chart. The group released their second Japanese single Gee in October, which peaked at #2 on Oricon with over 110,000 copies sold.
SNSD kicked off 2010 with their second full length album Oh! in January 2010. The lead single Oh!, was digitally released on January 25 with the music video being released two days later. The song proved to be another big hit, topping various charts upon release. With 'Oh!', the group went on to win 5 consecutive K-charts on KBS Music Bank, as well as achieving a triple crown on SBS Inkigayo. 'Oh!' also went on to win Music Bank's half-year K-chart, coming in at 2nd on Hanteo's first half album sales chart, and also winning the end-of-year K-chart, proving to be the most successful release of the year. The music video also proved to be popular, ranking as the number one most viewed youtube video in Korea by the end of 2010. It was also #1 in Hong Kong and made the top 10 in both the Taiwan and Japan rankings.
Starting from March 11, 2010, photos of the members were released online showcasing a dark concept, dubbed "Black SoShi". A teaser video was released on March 16, with the new single Run Devil Run being released as a digital single on March 17. The music videos for both "Oh!" and "Run Devil Run" made it into GOMTV's 2010 First Half Top 10 ranking, the group having attracted over 13 million views in 6 months combined. The "Oh!" video on Youtube has garnered over 32 millions views.
The group released their third Korean mini-album, Hoot on October 27, 2010, consisting of five tracks. “Hoot” quickly rose to the top of the charts and received the #1 spot numerous times on music shows, proving to be another successful release for the group.
On December 22, 2010, “Hoot” was repackaged with additional tracks from previous albums and released in Japan. The release rose to the #2 position on the Oricon charts and selling 21,000 copies on the first day, faring surprisingly well considering the track itself is entirely in Korean.
On December 9, 2010, the group attended the Golden Disk Awards, being awarded three awards including the Disk Daesang (Album of the Year) for their 2nd album Oh!. The group became the also first ever to have both a Disk Daesang and Digital Daesang, having received the latter in 2009 for their hit Gee. On December 15, 2010, the group attended the Melon Music Awards winning the Best Dressed Singer award, Hot Trend Song award for their latest song, “Hoot”, as well as the prestigious Artist of the Year award. This would be the 2nd consecutive ‘Artist of the Year’ award for the group. They topped the Hanteo annual Singer Award chart for 2010.
On December 27, the group was chosen “Star of the Year”, Most Influential Artist in the Industry by Sports Korea. They were named on Asia Today’s list of 50 Korean power leaders for 2011 at the #44 spot, being the only idol group from the list. Girls’ Generation was designated “Artist of the Year” by Dosirak, Soribada, Korea Gallup, Hanteo and Sport Korea and also won Best Song of The Year with “Oh!” at Monkey 3.
On January 20, 2011, Girls’ Generation swept the 20th Seoul Music Awards, returning victorious with an Artist of the Year award, a Bonsang prize, a Popularity award and a Hallyu award. In doing this, Girls’ Generation became one of four artists in Korean music history (the others being Seo Taiji, Jo Sungmo and H.O.T.) to win two consecutive Artist of the Year awards at the Seoul Music Awards, they are the only girl group to achieve a triple crown in of Artist of the Year awards for Seoul Music Awards, Melon Music Awards and Golden Disk Awards.