The group gained attention at the beginning of their career with songs such as “Into The new World” and “Kissing You” but it was not until 2009 when they gained significant popularity with their hit single “Gee“, which would be named as South Korea’s “Song of the Decade”.The group solidified their place in the Korean music industry with follow-up singles “Genie“, “Run Devil Run“, and “Oh!” from late 2009 to early 2010. In 2011, after a series of activities in Japan, the group returned to the Korean music scene with “The Boys“, which was released in three languages: Korean, Japanese, and for the first time, English. In 2010 alone, the group sold more than 11,730,000 albums and singles collectively.The group’s immense popularity in their native South Korea has earned them titles “The Nation’s Singers” and “The Nation’s Girl Group”. The Sisa Journal named the group as the most influential entertainers for the years 2011 and 2012, making them the first female idol group in history to make the list.They have also been listed as #1 on the Top Female Singer’s list for 4 consecutive years in a row (sans 2nd half of 2011 at #2) on the Leespiar Popularity Survey in Korea. Asia Today placed the group at forty-four on the 50 Korean Power Leaders list in 2011. Forbes also revealed the group were most powerful entertainers in South Korea for the year of 2011.
The group began a foray into the Japanese music scene in late 2010 under Nayutawave Records, with Japanese remakes of their 2009 Korean hits “Genie” and “Gee”. The group’s debut Japanese album, Girls’ Generation, released in June 2011, is currently the highest selling album in Japan by a Korean group in Oricon history. It was certified “Million” by the Recordong Industry Association of Japan, which made them the second Korean artist to earn such an achievement in Japan since label mate BoA‘s “Best of Soul” in 2005. The group followed up their success in Japan with their second album, Girls & Peace.
They have expanded their reach in the Korean industry through their first sub-unit, Girls’ Generation-TTS(known simply as “TaeTiSeo”), composed of members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The subgroup’s debut EP, Twinkle, peaked at #126 on the Billboard 200, becoming the highest charting K-Pop album on the chart thus far.
In Korean, Girls’ Generation is called So Nyeo Shi Dae (소녀시대). They are also referred to as SoShi (소시) or SNSD, both abbreviated forms of the group’s Korean name.
After the success of SM Entertainment‘s boy band, Super Junior, the company planned to debut a new girl group, which would ultimately turn into Girls’ Generation, featuring a start-up roster of 11 members.For nearly two years, Korean websites speculated about which of the female SM Entertainment trainees would be placed into the group. The candidate members were professionally trained primarily in singing and dancing, while some were also selected to be trained in acting and modeling. Many of the candidate members had already made names for themselves in the Korean entertainment industry through their participation in magazine adveritsements, television commercials, and small television drama or film appearances,and Sooyoung even debuted in the Japanese market in 2002 as part of the pop duo, Route θ, which soon disbanded in one year.The group witnessed several revisions, as members were either added or cut, until final line-up of the debuting nine was decided. Prior to their announcement, it was rumored that the group would be named “Super Girls” after their so-called male counterparts, Super Junior.
The first member of the group to join SM Entertainment’s training system was Jessica in 2000, after her and her sister, Krystal Jung (now a member of the quintuplet girl group f(x)), were scouted in a mall in Korea during a family vacation.Members Sooyoung and Hyoyeon were also cast into SM’s training system in 2000 through 2000 SM Open Audition, in which Hyoyeon danced for her audition. Yuri was the next Girls’ Generation member to be accepted into SM’s training system after finishing second in the 2001 SM Youth Best Dancer competition. Yoona was cast the following year after auditioning singing and dancing to her favorite singers, BoA and Britney Spears, in 2002 SM Saturday Open Casting Audition.Seohyun, the group’s youngest member, was scouted in the subway by SM scout, then auditioned in 2003, singing children’s songs.The group’s leader, Taeyeon, was cast in 2004 after being discovered at SM’s 8th Annual Best Contest winning “Best Singer 1st Place & Grand Award”.That same year, member Tiffany auditioned at SM’s Starlight Casting System in Los Angeles, and joined the company in October 2004.The ninth and final member of the group to be added was Sunny, who entered the system in 1998, training for five years before transferring to another company, Starworld, where she trained to debut in the duo “Sugar”, which ultimately never debuted. Then under the recommendation by the singer Ayumi she re-transferred back to SM Entertainment in 2007.Sunny is also the niece of SM Entertainment’s founder, Lee Soo Man.
2007–2008: Debut and Girls’ Generation
In July 2007, Girls’ Generation had their unofficial first stage performance on M’net’sSchool of Rock where the group performed their first single, “Into The New World” (다시 만난 세계). A documentary recording the story of the group’s debut titled Girls’ Generation Goes to School was filmed by Mnet during this time, revolving around their unofficial debut and first public performances through School of Rock.
The group’s first single was physically released soon after, including an instrumental of the group’s debut song and two other tracks: “Beginning” and “Perfect for You.” The latter’s Korean title is “Wish” (소원), which later became the name of Girls’ Generation’s official fan club, S♡NE. The group’s debut officially began on August 5, 2007, first performing on SBS Inkigayo, later on MBC Show! Music Core and KBS Music Bank. “Into the New World” achieved No.1 spot on Mnet M! Countdown.
The group released their first self-titled full album in late autumn of 2007 with the lead single “Girls’ Generation” (소녀시대), a remake of Lee Seung-cheol’s 1989 song. Promotion for the single started in early November. The album also included the group’s first single “Into the New World”, “Perfect For You” (re-titled “Honey”), and eight other tracks by the group. The group first album has sold more than 100,000 copies. The last pop-oriented girl group in Korea to accomplish this feat was S.E.S.
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 achieving the number one position on the KBS Music Bank February chart.This song achieved the #1 spot on three major TV music rankings—SBS Inkigayo, M.net M.Countdown! and Music Bank.
In March 2008, the album was repackaged, re-released and re-titled Baby Baby. Girls’ Generation released the teaser for their single “Baby Baby” on March 15, 2008. The single was released on digital music sites on March 17, 2008. The single, “Baby Baby”, was released to promote the album. The group also performed “Baby Baby” on various music shows such as MBC Show! Music Core, SBS Inkigayo, and Mnet M! Countdown in March and April. The album promotions was concluded on April 13, 2008, on Inkigayo.
During the group’s promotions, members Jessica, Tiffany and Seohyun were 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 song performed by the three girls, titled “Oppa Nappa” (오빠 나빠; literally, Bad Brother), was digitally released before the album in April 2008. The song was performed live on SBS Inkigayo, KBS Music Bank, and Mnet M! Countdown.
Later in the year, the three members released “Mabinogi” (It’s Fantastic!) together as the theme song for the Nexon game Mabinogi, with Tiffany participating in the music video.Mnet reality show Factory Girl chronicled the members working as interns at fashion magazine Elle Girl. The program began airing in early October.In late 2008, the group also participated in the SM Town Live ’08 concert along with other SM Town artists. The tour expanded its route to South Korea, Thailand, and China.
On December 26, 2008, posters of the Girls’ Generation members wearing roller-skates were posted up in various locations around Seoul. SM Entertainment’s phone lines were blocked up by callers asking whether the posters were for sale and the company asked fans to stop taking the posters down for personal use. On December 29, the group’s management stated that the posters were indeed teaser posters and that the group would soon release their first EP, Gee, in January 2009.
2009: Gee, Genie, first Asian tour, and rising popularity
A teaser video was released in January 2009 and the first single “Gee” released soon after. “Gee” topped Cyworld’s hourly music chart on the release day.The song also went number one on all major digital music charts within two days.The music video set a record on release, garnering one million views on GomTV in under a day. The group began its album promotion in January 2009 on MBC Show! Music Core where they sang their new lead single “Gee” and the track “Himnae (Way To Go)”, another song from their mini-album.
A week after its release, “Gee” went #1 on KBS Music Bank; however, questions were raised when the group did not appear on the program, with rumors spreading regarding a possible rift between SM Entertainment and KBS.”Gee” also went to #1 on SBS Inkigayo a week after their return.
“Gee” went on to become a phenomenal hit, breaking the record for consecutive number one wins on KBS Music Bank with nine consecutive wins, as well as receiving a triple crown on SBS Inkigayo. “Gee” first tied with “Nobody” by the Wonder Girls for the longest-running #1 on music portal M.Net (6 weeks).The song then broke the record by staying on top a seventh week, and remained in the position for an eighth week. It also tiedthen broke the record for longest-running #1 on Music Bank, beating the 7-week record previously set by Jewelry in 2008 with “One More Time”.”Gee” achieved its ninth #1 on the show on March 13, 2009.
SM Entertainment stated that over 100,000 copies of the mini-album were shipped to stores, while sales analyst company Hanteo reported sales in excess of 30,000 copies within the first 10 days of its release. The track also showed strength on other charts, topping the Mujikon, Melon and Mnet charts for eight consecutive weeks, the Dosirak chart for seven weeks, the Muse chart for six weeks, and the Baksu chart for four weeks.The song also went number one on all major digital music charts within two days. Gee achieved number song of the decade which was given upon them by one of Korea’s most popular online music websites, MelOn.
On May 3, 2009, Girls Generation starred in its new reality show, SNSD Horror Movie Factory, with the premiere episode receiving a viewership rating of 3.3%. The show was then cancelled after six episodes due to low ratings. It was announced that a new show starring the popular group called Himnaera-Him! (“Cheer Up!”) was chosen to take the time slot, and began airing the week after the last episode of Horror Movie Factory.However, as the group released their new EP ‘Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)’ and became busier with promotions, the show was discontinued after only 2 episodes when the group’s management decided to have them leave the MBC Sunday Sunday Night segment. On the broadcast date of the final episode of Cheer Up!, it was announced the group would be starring in a new reality show on KBS, titled Girls’ Generation’s Hello Baby which was aired on June 23, 2009.
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 group started their promotional activities on June 26, 2009, appearing on KBS Music Bank. The performance was followed by follow-up comeback performances on MBC Show! Music Core and SBS Inkigayo on June 27 and 28, 2009. The physical release of Genie was delayed by SM Entertainment in order to redo the album art, and was released four days later on June 29, 2009.
Their first win for their single “Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie)” was obtained at the July 10, 2009 episode of KBS Music Bank. Their second award was claimed on the July 12, 2009 episode of SBS Inkigayo. Within a few days, the song topped on 10 different digital music charts. The song was also rewarded as the most popular album and ringtone downloads.
The track proved to be a success as it conquered various music sites, including Melon, Dosirak, Mnet, and Bugs, and it was number one on the weekly charts and the 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. The albums went to sell over 200,000 as of 2010.
The mini album they have occupied the number one spot on the B2S Top 20 chart in Thailand. “Tell Me Your Wish” also hit number one on ‘International Music Chart’ as soon as it was released. The album also occupied the top spot on the Gram Pop Top 10 chart for two straight weeks.The group finished promotions for “Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie)” in August 15, 2009.
On November 2009, SM Entertainment announced the group’s Into The New World Tour. The tickets for the tour went on sale on November 19,and sold out in 3 minutes.The tour initially consisted of two Korean shows on December 19 and 20, 2009.The tour began at Seoul’s Olympic Park Fencing Stadium on December 19 and 20 and continued onto other Asian cities including Shanghai.It was later announced that the group would have two “Encore” shows for February 27 and 28, 2010. On December 17, 2010 it was first announced that Girls’ Generation would be releasing their first live album.It was recorded from December 19, 2009 at the Olympic Fencing Gymnasium during Girls’ Generation’s 1st Asia Tour.
2010: Oh!/Run Devil Run, Japanese debut and Hoot
Later in January, SM Entertainment confirmed the release of Oh!, the group’s second full-length album, to be on January 28.The lead single “Oh!” was digitally released on January 25 with the music video being released two days later.On January 30, the group started promotions with the recording of MBC Show! Music Core.The broadcast of the performance experienced a blackout near the end, to which MBC made the whole performance available online in response. With “Oh!”, the group went on to win five consecutive K-charts on KBS Music Bank, as well as achieving a triple crown on SBS Inkigayo. “Oh!” also went on to win the Music Bank half-year K-chart, coming in at second on Hanteo’s first half album sales chart,and also winning the end-of-year K-chart.The music video ranked as the number one most viewed YouTube video in Korea by the end of 2010. It was also number one in Hong Kong and made the top ten in both the Taiwan and Japan rankings.
Starting on 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.
Mid-June, it was announced that the group had signed contracts in May, and would begin working under Universal Music Japan’s record label Nayutawave Records for their Japanese promotions, with their first Japanese single expected to be released in September 2010. Girls’ Generation began promotion in Japan in August. “少女時代到来～初来日記念盤～” (Girls’ Generation’s Arrival ～ First Time in Japan Commemoration Disc ～), a DVD featuring seven of the group’s music videos as well as special bonus footage, was released on August 11, with the special edition of the DVD containing a pink glowstick as well as a pass to the Girls’ Generation debut at the Tokyo Ariake Colliseum on August 25.In the first week after release, the DVD sold 23,000 copies, ranking fourth on the weekly DVD Oricon ranking and third on the weekly music DVD ranking, and made Girls’ Generation the first female K-pop group to make the Oricon DVD Top-5 ranking.
Amidst their Japanese activities, the group also participated in the SMTown Live ’10 World Tour alongside their label-mates on August 21 at Seoul Jamsil Olympic Stadium.They participated in the subsequent Shanghai, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo stops as well.
On August 25, the group held their first showcase in Tokyo Ariake Colliseum.With an initial 10,000 fans invited, it was reported to be the most large-scale plan for a Korean artist debuting in Japan.However, due to high number of expected attendees, the group’s management announced that the showcase would take place three times in the same day rather than once to accommodate the large amount of fans.The group sang five of their Korean tracks at each of the showcases, and the total number of attendees over all three shows were estimated to be at least 22,000.At this showcase, the “Genie” Japanese music video was also revealed publicly for the first time and the teaser having been released a few days prior on August 20.
Their Japanese debut single “Genie” debuted at the fifth spot on the same day of its release on the Daily Oricon Charts and later rose to the second position on the Daily Charts some time later, earning the group a fourth position on the Oricon weekly ranking.The group also hit the number one spots on Japan iTunes’ music video chart and both the Rekochoku daily video clip chart and incoming movie daily ranking chart a day later.With pre-orders amounting to 80,000, the single sold an estimated 45,000 copies in the first week after release.On October 20, 2010, the group released their second Japanese single, “Gee”.
A week after the release of their Japanese single, the group released their third Korean mini-album, Hoot on October 27, 2010, consisting of five tracks.The video for lead single, “Hoot”, a song originally written in English as “Bulletproof”, was released on October 28. Girls’ Generation commenced their promotional activities with a comeback stage on KBS Music Bank on October 29. “Hoot” quickly rose to the top of the charts and received the number one spot numerous times on music shows, proving to be another successful release for the group.The group simultaneously promoted “Hoot” and “Gee” in Korea and Japan respectively, and participated in Japanese music broadcasts such as the FNS Music Festival, where they performed their two Japanese singles, “Gee” and “Genie” on December 4.
On December 22, 2010, “Hoot” was repackaged with additional tracks from previous albums and released in Japan. The release rose to the second position on the Oricon charts and sold 21,000 copies on the first day, faring surprisingly well considering that all the included tracks were entirely in Korean.
On December 9, 2010, the group attended the Golden Disk Awards and was awarded three awards including the Disk Daesang (Album of the Year) for their 2nd album Oh!. The group also became the first girl group to have both a Disk Daesang (2010) and Digital Daesang (2009). On December 15, 2010, the group attended the Melon Music Awards winning the Best Dressed Singer award and Hot Trend Song award for, “Hoot”, as well as the Artist of the Year award. This would be the second consecutive ‘Artist of the Year’ award for the group. They topped the Hanteo annual Singer Award chart for 2010.
The group was named on Asia Today’s list of 50 Korean power leaders for 2011 at the number forty-fourth 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.
2011: Girls’ Generation, Touring, International Expansion and The Boys
At the start of 2011, the group prepared a new song titled “Visual Dreams” as part of their endorsement efforts for Intel’s Core Processors throughout Asia.The music video for “Visual Dreams” was released on January 17, and various promotional campaigns included new music, 2D, and 3D music videos, internet sites, photos, and PC store displays.
In latter half of January, it was announced that the group would be returning to the Japanese market through the release of their Japanese version of “Run Devil Run” as a digital single, released on January 25, 2011.
On January 20, 2011, at the 20th Seoul Music Awards, the group received “Artist of the Year”, the “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 be named ‘Artist of the Year’ for two consecutive years. The group also became the only girl group in history to receive ‘Artist of the Year’ awards for the Seoul Music Awards, and Melon Music Awards for two consecutive years. They also received two Daesang Awards at the Golden Disk Ceremony, one Digital Daesang (2009), and one Physical Album Sales Daesang (2010).
On March 8, SM Japan updated their official website with information about the release of Girls’ Generation third Japanese single and their first Japanese tour. It was stated that on April 27, Girls’ Generation would be releasing their third Japanese single, “Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run”, which would include their first, original, Japanese song “Mr. Taxi”and the Japanese remake of their song “Run Devil Run”. A portion of the revenue from their Japanese single would be donated to Japan’s Red Cross in order to provide assistance to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. On April 9, the music video for the Japanese version of “Run Devil Run” was released.
At the 2011 MTV Video Music Aid Japan (VMAJ), Girls’ Generation was nominated for three awards under the “Best Group Video”, “Best Video Of The Year”, and “Best Karaokee! Song” categories.Originally titled MTV Video Music Awards Japan (VMAJ), the title of the event was changed to change the focus of the show to aid Japan, with donations tied to the amount of votes for artistes.Girls’ Generation performed two songs at the event, joining the star-studded line up including Tokio Hotel, Lady Gaga, and AKB48. On July 2, it was announced that they had come out top in two out of the three nominated categories, winning “Best Group Video” and “Best Karaokee! Song” for the Japanese version of “Genie”.
On June 1, 2011, the group released its debut Japanese studio album, Girls’ Generation. The album was promoted via the groups first Japan tour entitled, The 1st Japan Arena Tour, which started in Osaka on May 31, 2011. A total of fourteen concerts in six cities would be held over a period of a month and a half. Girls’ Generation was certified Platinum (250,000) by Recording Industry Association of Japan on June 14, 2011, making it the fifth Korean artist’s album to do so after S.E.S, BoA, TVXQ and KARA. Girls’ Generation then was certified Double Platinum (500,000) on July 8, 2011, a first for any Korean girl group.The group also set a record for recording the highest sales of the FIRST album as a foreign artist in Japan. Girls’ Generation is the fourth artist to obtained number one spot on weekly album chart after BoA, TVXQ, and Big Bang, and became the third Korean act to surpass the 500,000 mark after BoA and TVXQ. As a result of their rising popularity, Girls’ Generation became the highest earning foreign artist in Japan for the first half of 2011.By the end of 2011, the album had sold over 728,000 copies.The album was re-packaged, as “The Boys” on December 28, 2011. Their most successful album to date, it was certified ‘Million’ by the RIAJ, and made the group the second Korean artist to earn this achievement in Japan since labelmate BoA’s “Best of Soul” in 2005, as well as being the first female group to do so.The self-titled album was the fifth best selling album in Japan in 2011 and won Album of the Year at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan. The lead single, “Mr. Taxi”, sold over 100,000 copies in its first week, beating out its predecessors, “Gee” and “Genie”. The single also managed to clinch the number 1 spot on Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart for two consecutive weeks and was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.
Girls Generation 2nd Asian Tour was announced by SM Entertainment in June 2011. The tickets for the tour went on sale on June 7, 2011 on GMarket. On July 24,2011, Sooyoung announced that the next concert will be held in Taipei City, the capital city of Taiwan. On October 11, 2011, it was announced that the next concert will be held on December 9, 2011 in Singapore. Due to overwhelming response regarding lack of tickets, it was announced on October 30, 2011 that there will be a second concert on the following day after the first night, on December 10, 2011 in Singapore. The concert was also held on January 15, 2012 in Hong Kong. And most recently, it was confirmed that Girls’ Generation will perform a concert on February 12, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand.On January 14, Girls’ Generation broke the record for the fastest concert to sell out in Thailand. The highest priced tickets sold out in ten minutes. All 11,000 concert tickets were sold in twenty minutes, setting the record for the concert to be sold out the fastest in Thailand.Members of Girls’ Generation announced to the fans in Thailand that Bangkok leg would be their last stop for their 2nd Asia Tour.
Girls’ Generation was selected by SISA Press as “The Most Influential Entertainers in Korea” for the year 2011, after having placed sixth in 2010.
On September 26, 2011, the first teaser featuring Taeyeon was released for the impending comeback with the group’s third Korean album The Boys, followed by Sunny and Hyoyeon on September 27; Jessica, Sooyoung, and Tiffany on September 28 and Yoona, Yuri, and Seohyun on September 29. The first image teaser for “The Boys” was released on the midnight of October 1, 2011, through SM Entertainment’s YouTube channel.
Setting their sights on the international market, Girls’ Generation signed a contract with Universal Music Group in 2011 to release United States material under Interscope Records. The Boys was originally scheduled to be released through iTunes and various music websites in Asia, including its native country, Korea on October 5, 2011. But on September 30, it was revealed that the album’s release has been postponed so as to bring about a worldwide album release. On October 10, it was confirmed that the album will be released on October 19, 2011 and comeback on KBS Music Bank on October 21, 2011.
The title track, “The Boys”, co-written by member Tiffany and produced by Teddy Riley, famous for his work with Michael Jackson, was released in both Korean and English, and eventually Japanese. Within minutes after the release of “The Boys”, Girls’ Generation achieved an “all-kill” status on all major on- and off-line music charts in Korea. Despite not charting on Hot 100, the song managed to peak inside the Top 30 on the iTunes chart in the United States, selling over 21,000 copies and becoming one of the best selling K-Pop songs, at that time, in the United States.The same titled album sold 227,994 albums within twelve days in South Korea, becoming the best selling album in October and third best selling album in 2011. By the end of December, “The Boys” had sold a further 150,000 copies, bring its total to 385,348 copies, becoming the best selling album in South Korea in 2011. The group began promotions on KBS Music Bank with “The Boys” and “MR. Taxi”. On October 23, 2011, it was confirmed by the members at the New York City date of SMTown World Tour II, that “The Boys” maxi-Single would be released internationally on November 19, 2011, although the date was later moved to December 8, 2011. With only two months of sales, The Boys managed to become the 10th best selling digital track in its native country of 2011, having sold 3,032,658 copies since its October release. As of April, 2012, the album had sold over 410,000 copies in South Korea, setting a Gaon Chart record for the best selling, non-repackaged album in the chart’s history.
It was announced on November 11, 2011, that the group would be releasing their first official Japanese photobook titled “Holiday”. “The 1st Japan Arena Tour” was also made available on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14, 2011. “Holiday”, reached the number one spot on the book sales ranking chart under the photograph collection category. The photos were a collection of the girls enjoying leisurely time off, and sold 17,000 copies the first week after going on sale on November 30. It ranked eighteenth on the overall book sales ranks.
The group also participated on the 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift compilation album, along with their label mates, performing the new song, “Diamond”, which was released on December 13, 2011.
On December 7, 2011, it was announced that Girls’ Generation will be releasing a re-packaged version of their debut Japanese album “Girls’ Generation”, which included a Japanese version of the “The Boys”, and remixed versions of “The Great Escape”, “Bad Girl”, and “Mr. Taxi”. It also contained the new song, “Time Machine”. The album was released on December 28, 2011, and, collectively with the initial album, “Girls’ Generation” passed sales of over 800,000, with shipments of 1 million.The album placed fifth on the Oricon Weekly CD Albums chart for the second week of January, 2012 (Jan 9 – 15) and Oricon announced that it was the first time in history that an album by a Korean artist has placed in the Top 10 for seventeen weeks. The previous record holder was the original soundtrack for the Korean drama “Winter Sonata”, which remained in the Top 10 for sixteen weeks.Due to their Japanese releases, the group ranked fifth among Japanese artists in terms of monetary profit, the group had generated over 4.5 billion Yen (US$57 million) for 2011.
2012: International promotions, TaeTiSeo and Girls & Peace
On January 12, 2012, the group attended the Golden Disk Awards, held in Osaka, bringing home two awards; the “Digital Bonsang” and the highly coveted “Digital Daesang”. A week later, on January 19, 2012, they attended the Seoul Music Awards, and brought back two awards, the “Bonsang” and “Popularity” awards. The group also won two awards from the Gaon Chart Awards, winning the Album Of The Year for the fourth Quarter and Oricon “Hallyu Singer” award. On February 24, 2012, the teaser for their Japanese digital single, “Time Machine”, was released.
Their appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Live! with Kelly on January 31, 2012, and February 1, 2012, where they performed remixes of the English version of “The Boys”, marked the first time that a Korean musical act has performed on each of the shows.They also performed on the French show, Le Grand Journal, on February 9, 2012, after it was announced that they were to release “The Boys” on February 13, 2012, through Universal Music Group’s Polydor Records in France. In the same month, Forbes Korea reported the year’s list of the “Top 40 Power Celebrities”. Girls’ Generation ranked number one on the list, thus making them the most powerful South Korean girl group and female celebrity.A month later, on 23 March 2012, they made their debut performance in Malaysia at the Petronas Towers, as part of Twin Towers @Live 2012. Figures for the groups total earnings for 2011 were released in March, 2012. The group placed first among their label, earning over 100 billion won, or, approximately, $88.56 million USD.
April 2012 saw the formation of Girls’ Generation-TTS, or simply “TaeTiSeo”, a subunit composed of members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The subgroup released their first mini-album, Twinkle, on May 2. The group continued promotion throughout the month, performing on variety shows and at the Hallyu Dream Wave Concert. “Twinkle” debuted at number 126 on the Billboard 200, selling over 3,000 copies and making it the highest charting K-Pop album on the chart at the time. By July, 2012, the album had sold 140,000 copies in its native country, and a further 24,000 copies abroad. That same month, the group, with the exception of Yuri and Yoona, attended the showcase for SM Entertainment’s biographical movie, I AM., which was held at the CJ CGV cinema in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, on April 30.A week prior, “Dear My Family”, the theme song for the film, which featured group leader, Taeyeon, was released, featuring both concert and backstage footage.
On May 20, 2012, the group performed with their label-mates at the Honda Center in Anaheim, as part of the first date of SMTown Live World Tour III. Members Yoona and Yuri were not present due to their filming commitments with their television dramas Love Rain and Fashion King, respectively. Following the conclusion of their dramas, Yuri and Yoona returned to the group as the tour moved on to Taiwan, where they performed to a crowd of 30,000 people. The tour will then continued into Tokyo, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
A teaser video for the group’s Japanese single, “Paparazzi”, was released on May 29, 2012. This teaser was followed by the release of the full music video, in addition to a dance version, on June 14, 2012.The song, released on June 27, 2012, will serve as the lead single from their upcoming second Japanese-language album. Paparazzi proved to be another successful release for the group, debuting atop the Japanese Hot 100, selling over 92,000 copies in its first week, becoming their second best first week opening, following the 102,000 debut of Mr. Taxi, a year prior. “Paparazzi”‘s release, boosted the groups total single sales in the country to over 647,000, according to SoundScan Japan.That same month, the group won “Best Album of the Year” for their debut Japanese album at the 2012 VMAJs.
It was announced on July 3, 2012, that the group was to release official stamps the following month, commemorating their 5th Anniversary. A total of 14 stamps were produced, which included autographed album covers. This marked the first time a celebrity had made a contract with Korea Post to produce stamps.Within an hour of the stamps’ issuing, over half of the available stamp sheets had already sold out.
On August 10, 2012, it was revealed that the group was to release a Blu-ray/DVD videography entitled “Girls’ Generation Complete Video Collection”. Two weeks later on August 29, the group’s official Japanese fansite announced the group was to tour Japan for the second time, in 2013. “Oh! / All My Love Is For You”, the group’s second double A-side single, and the second single from their second Japanese studio album was released on September 26, 2012, and featuring a Japanese remake of their 2010 single, “Oh!”. The “All My Love Is For You” music video was released on September 4, 2012 and the music video for “Oh!” was released on September 14, 2012.Oh!, earned first place on Oricon’s Weekly Single chart, selling 66,000 copies in its first week. In addition, the group’s Complete Video Collection reached number one on Oricon’s Weekly DVD and Blu-ray charts, selling a collective 59,000 discs. They are the second artist to reach number one on all three charts in the same week. The only other group to accomplish this same feat was Japanese pop rock band, Mr. Children.
The group’s second Japanese album, Girls’ Generation II: Girls & Peace, was released on November 28, 2012. The album was preceded by the single “Flower Power”, which is set to be released on November 21, 2012.Despite having a limited release, “Flower Power” sold 29,000 copies in its first week, peaking at number five on the Oricon Chart, the single also reached number six on the Japan Hot 100. Girls’ Generation II: Girls & Peace sold 116,963 copies in its first week of release, ranking third on Oricon’s Weekly Albums Chart. “Girls & Peace” has since been certified Platinum by the RIAJ, denoting 250,000 copies sent to Japanese retailers.
The group will participate in the soundtrack for label mate, BoA’s debut film, COBU 3D. The song, sung in English, entitled “Cheap Creeper” will be released prior to the film’s release. Jessica also participated in another song for the soundtrack with her sister Krystal Jung and EXO member, Kris, on the song, “Say Yes”. On October 16, 2012, it was announced Hyoyeon and Jessica would be participating in a musical promotional campaign for car company Hyundai, and its “Premium Younique Lifestyle” customers. Jessica’s song, “My Lifestyle” featuring Korean rapper Dok2, was released on October 18, 2012 Hyoyeon’s track, entitled “Maxstep”, a dubstep orientated electropop song featuring Super Junior’s Eunhyuk, SHINee‘s Taemin, Super Junior-M‘s Henry, EXO-K‘s Kai, and EXO-M‘s Luhan was released on October 31, 2012.
Girls’ Generation had originally targeted for a Korean comeback at the end of October or in the beginning of November. However, they decided not to return to Korea with plans ultimately being scrapped so the group could focus on Japanese promotions for the remainder of 2012.The group released the 2011 Girls’ Generation Tour DVD on November 30, 2012 which features footage from the 2011 concert tour of the same name. Due to their Japanese releases in 2012, the group ranked seventh among Japanese artists and as the top Korean artist in Japan in terms of monetary profit after generating over 4.3 billion Yen (US$51 million) in 2012.On November 16, 2012, it was announced that the group intended to make a Korean comeback in 2013. The following month, on December 11, 2012, a representative for SM Entertainment stated that the group were in the final stages of preparation of their fourth album, however, the release date is still undecided.On December 20, 2012, SM Entertainment posted a teaser image containing the words “2012. 12. 21 10 A.M.” under the group’s name surrounded by Korea’s national flower on their official Twitter.The group released the pre-release track “Dancing Queen”, a remake version of Duffy’s Mercy, on December 21, 2012.
2013: I Got a Boy, Second Japan Tour
On January 1, 2013, Girls’ Generation released their fourth Korean-language album, I Got a Boy.The group also received a special dedicated to their comeback on Korean network MBC entitled “Girls’ Generation’s Romantic Fantasy”, which was broadcasted on January 1, 2013. Their first comeback performances began on January 3, 2013, on Mnet M! Countdown. The group continued their first week of performances for the album on KBS’ Music Bank, MBC’s Music Core and SBS’s Inkigayo on January 4, 5 and 6, respectively. I Got a Boy quickly received “all-kill” on Korean real-time music charts within an hour of release.The music video for the title track reached 10 million and 20 million views on Youtube in 55 hours and 125 hours, respectively, breaking the speed records for a K-Pop video to hit such views on Youtube. On Billboard’s January 19, 2013 charts, the album debuted at the #1 on World Albums Chart,#2 on Heatseekers Albums Chart,and #23 on Independent Albums Chart. The title track also placed #1 on Billboard’s Korea K-Pop Hot 100 chart.The group performed I Got a Boy and Dancing Queen in Dream K-Pop Fantasy concert held in Manila, Philippines on January 19, 2013, making it their first overseas performance of both songs.
Girls’ Generation embarked on their Second Japan Arena Tour in February 2013, with an initial total of 14 stops in support of their second Japanese studio album, Girls’ Generation II ~Girls & Peace~. The group will be releasing “Best Selection Non Stop Mix” which is their first official remix album on March 20, 2013.