Shinhwa (신화; Myth, Legend) is a Korean pop six member boyband that still remains very popular years after they debuted. The group debuted on KM Music Tank in 1998 under SM Entertainment. In 2003, they signed with Good Entertainment after their 5-year contract with SM expired. The members formed Shinhwa Company in 2011 and after a four year hiatus, the group made their comeback in 2012.
III. 1998-2005: Career Beginnings, Falling out with SM Entertainment and Finding Footing Again
With the already established acts of H.O.T. and S.E.S., SM Entertainment sought to release another group to capitalize on the two formers' successes. Composed of members Mun Eric, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Jun Jin, Shin Hye-Sung, and Lee Andy, the group was named Shinhwa, the Korean word for myth or legend, and made their debut with Resolver on May 9, 1998. The album was supported by three singles: the titled track, "Eusha! Eusha!" (Hangul: "으쌰! 으쌰!"), and "Sharing Forever" (Hangul: "천일유혼"). Resolver's chart performance was lackluster, however, and Shinhwa was accused of lacking originality and duplicating label mate H.O.T.'s sound. The group also became embroiled in controversies when the 1998 Sokcho submarine incident occurred, and "Eusha! Eusha!, which was about a fun trip at the beach, was used as a reminder of the event. Although Shinhwa won Best New Artist at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, Resolver underperformed commercially, and the group almost disbanded at the demand of SM Entertainment executives and the group members also feeling defeated.
Shinhwa's found mainstream success with their next few albums. Their sophomore album, T.O.P. (April 1999), was met with positive reviews for its title song and the group's edgier concept. A second single, "Yo", was promoted but did not fare as well. The album debuted at No. 4 and peaked at No. 3, selling 377,500 copies and charting for 24 weeks on the Korean monthly chart. The group received the Best Music Video from a New Male Pop Group award from the Mnet Asian Music Awards that year.
Their first compilation album, My Choice (January 2002), featured some of the members' favorite songs and some of their most popular tracks. In contrast to Hey, Come On!'s strong sales, My Choice was met with moderate success, selling more than 171,300 copies while debuting and peaking at No. 4 before it dropped from the Korean monthly Chart. A few months after the release of My Choice, Shinhwa released their fifth studio album, Perfect Man, on March 29, 2002. The album marked the return of member Andy. Perfect Man debuted atop the Korean monthly chart, becoming Shinhwa's second chart-topping album. Along with the title track, the group promoted with the album with the second single "I Pray 4 U". Final sales were over 355,000 copies and the album was ranked No. 14 on the year end Top 100 Albums in 2002 Chart, with over 362,00 copies sold.
Shinhwa made history in the Korean music industry by becoming the longest-running Korean boy band with the release of its sixth album, Wedding (December 2002). The album debuted and peaked at No. 3 and sold over 273,700 copies. Wedding also marked the expiration of their contract with SM Entertainment, who offered all the members except Dongwan a second contract. The group collectively chose to sign with Good Entertainment, resulting in a court battle to retain the use of their name, which they won. The members regrouped and released the compilation album Winter Story 2003-2004 on December 30, 2003, which sold over 100,000 copies. They held their second concert The Everlasting Mythology from April 18 to April 20, 2003 and also embarked on the Winter Story Tour, traveling to six cities: Seoul, Pusan, Daejeon, Incheon, Daegu, and Kwangju. They later traveled to Japan for the Shinhwa First Live in Tokyo, holding a Japanese fan meeting called Have Fun With Shinhwa On M.Net Tour.
IIII. 2004–2006: Overtaking Creative control
Shinhwa's first album with Good Entertainment, Brand New (August 2004), debuted at No. 3 on the monthly Korean chart, peaking at No.1 in November and selling over 320,000 copies. The album saw increased creative control by the members, with Eric and Min-woo contributing to its production and Jun Jin with the choreography, leading to more dance songs being included in the final release instead of their usual pop music. The album was promoted with four singles: "Angel", "Oh!", "Crazy", and title track, and ranked No. 4 on the 2004 year-end chart. It won several accolades for the group, including Best Artist of The Year for the first time at the Seoul Gayo Daesang Awards. Several weeks later, on December 29, Shinhwa was awarded their second daesang at the 2004 SBS Gayo Daejun Awards, winning two of the possible four daesang in that year with Rain and Lee Soo Young receiving the other two. In 2004, of all musical artists and groups, Shinhwa received the most awards, totaling thirteen or more, from various places: the m.net KMTV Music Video Festival, Seoul Gayo Daesang, Golden Disc Awards and MBC, KBS, SBS Gayo Awards. The awards other than Best Artist of the Year included Best Male Artist, Best Dance Artist, and Overseas Choice Award.
IIIII. 2007–2012: Solo activities, and mandatory military service
In 2007, members expanded their solo activities even further while Shinhwa was on hiatus, with each members starting their own company – M Rising (Min-woo), New Dream Entertainment (Andy), JF Story Entertainment (Jun Jin), H2 Entertainment (Dong-wan), and Top Class Entertainment (Eric) – to manage their solo careers. Dong-wan also released his first album entitled Kim Dongwan is on July 5, 2007. Min-woo released his third album on July 10, 2007 and though he had intended to release his third album in the U.S., he released it in Korea instead. Hye-sung released his second album on August 8, 2007.
After their 10th anniversary and the release of their 9th album, Shinhwa (신화), the members continued to work on their individual activities until their mandatory military service, with Eric enlisting in October 2008 and Dong-wan in November at Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. Both served non-active duty, e.g. they were public service workers, after undergoing four weeks of basic training. Jun Jin enlisted on October 22, 2009 at the Nonsan military camp in Chungcheongnam-do Province for four weeks of basic training and continued as a public service worker. On January 11, 2010, Andy enlisted for mandatory military service and was the only member to serve 21 months of active duty. Min-woo was the last of the members to enlist in February 2010. He also served non-active duty after undergoing four weeks of basic training. Hye-sung was exempt from military service due to serious and recurring injuries in his knee sustained during a concert in 2001.
IIIV. 2012-Present: Shinhwa Company and Winning Legal Battle with SM and Good Entertainment
After their contract with Good Entertainment expired, Shinhwa created their own company to manage their activities as a group, with Eric and Min-woo as co-CEOs and the remaining members as shareholders. Members' individual activities continue to be manage by their respective agencies.
The group released their tenth studio album The Return on March 23, 2012. To promote the album, Shinhwa embarked on the 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour in Seoul: The Return, which kicked off at Olympic Gymnastics Arena on 24 and 25 March 2012. The following year, Shinhwa resumed their music activities as a group with the release of their 11th studio album and 15th anniversary concert in March, in addition to the 2013 Shinhwa 15th Anniversary Concert: The Legend Continues at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in March. On the same day information on ticketing and a teaser video were released. The 25,000 tickets were sold out within five minutes of going on sale. Their eleventh album The Classic was released on May 16, 2013.
In 2015, Shinhwa announced it would be appearing on Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)'s 800th Inkigayo episode, including the return of Andy from his extended hiatus. This was followed by the release of their album in over two years, We (February 2015). The LDN Noise-produced lead-single "Sniper" rose to the top of five real-time music charts, Bugs, genie, Olleh Music, Mnet, and Cyworld, and the music video for the single reached over a million YouTube views within two weeks of the song's release. Shinhwa also won the Show Champion for the song "Sniper" on March 11, 2015. Their thirteenth album, Unchanging, was released on January 1, and peaked at No. 3 on the World Albums Chart. They held their 17th anniversary concert 'WE' on 21 and 22 March in Korea, and went on to hold concerts in various parts of China. They held their 17th anniversary FINALE concert 'WE SHINHWA' on 22 and 23 August in Korea. On May 29, Shinhwa won the trademark rights to their group name after 12 years. The members expressed their joy upon earning their name back after years of legal battle. May 29 has been known to Shinhwa and their fans, Shinhwa Changjo, as Shindepence Day since 2015.
In commemoration of their 20th anniversary, Shinhwa released a re-recorded darker version of their song "All Your Dreams" from the album Only One, in addition to filming a new music video. They also kicked off a fan meeting party from March 24–25 to signal the start of their 20th anniversary project, All Your 2018 and performed for KBS Music Bank's twentieth anniversary alongside other artists. On August 28, they released their album, Heart, with the title track "Kiss Me Like That" and promoted on music shows for three consecutive weeks. Their 20th anniversary concert, Heart Tour in Seoul, which will take place October 6–7, sold out within 5 minutes and crashed the website's servers upon ticket release. On April 20 and 21 2019, they held their 21st anniversary concert, CHAPTER 4.
IIII. Korean Discography
[1998.05.09] Haegyeolsa (해결사; The Problem Solver)
[2000.05.27] Only One
[2001.06.28] Hey, Come On!
[2002.03.29] Perfect Man
[2002.12.27] Neoui Gyeolhonsik (Wedding) (너의 결혼식)
[2004.11.06] Brand New
[2006.05.10] State of the Art
[2008.04.03] Shinhwa (신화)
[2012.03.23] The Return
[2013.05.16] THE CLASSIC
[2017.01.02] Unchanging: Touch
IIIIII. Live Albums
[2001.03.26] Shinhwa 2001 1st Live Concert First Mythology
[2003.10.07] The Everlasting Mythology Shinhwa 2nd Concert
[2006.03.15] 2005 Japan Tour Live
IIIIIII. Other Albums
[2002.01.31] my choice (Best Album)
[2003.12.30] Winter Story
[2004.12.18] Winter Story 2004-05
[2007.01.24] Winter Story 2006-2007
[2005.08.05] Summer Story 2005
[2007.12.05] Winter Story 2007
IIIIV. Digital Singles
[2004.08.30] How Do I Say
[2005.04.22] Hey, Dude!
[2008.03.24] Dasi Han Beonman (다시 한 번만)
[2000.07.18] Shinhwa 2000 HIM
[2001.03.23] Shinhwa 2001 Live Concert
[2003.05.09] Shinhwa 6th Story
[2003.07.26] Shinhwa 2nd Concert The Everlasting Mythology
[2004.04.23] WINTER STORY TOUR
[2005.04.15] Winter Story Tour 2004-05 Shinhwa Live in Seoul
[2005.08.17] BRAND NEW STORY
[2006.05.19] Tropical Summer Story Festival 2005
[2006.11.21] 2006 Tour State of the Art in Seoul
[2007.11.13] Shinhwa in 2003-2007 Music Video Collection
[2008.07.12] The Greatest Artist Shinhwa in 1998-2007
[2008.11.06] Shinhwa 10th Anniversary Live in Seoul DVD - Orange Edition
[2009.10.16] All About Shinhwa
[2012.11.01] Shinhwa 14th Anniversary Special DVD The Return
[2012.12.28] Shinhwa Grand Tour in Seoul The Return
[1999.12.01] Christmas in SMTOWN.com (#10 Shinhwa & H.O.T. - Merry Christmas)
[2000.12.01] Winter Vacation in SMTOWN.com (#4 Gido (Prayer), #8 Rudolpheu Saseumko (Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer), #11 White Paradise)
[2001.12.05] Winter Vacation in SMTOWN.com - Angel Eyes (#4 We Wish You A Merry Christmas, #11 White Love)
[2002.06.11] Summer Vacation in SMTOWN.com (#5 HERO)
[2002.12.07] 2002 Winter Vacation in SMTOWN.com (#3 Ibeonmankeumeun)
[2003.06.02] 2003 Summer Vacation in SMTOWN.com (#7 I Pray 4 You)
[2005.04.01] Super Rookie OST (#4 Geunari Omyeon...)
IIIII. Japanese Discography
[2006.08.16] Inspiration #1
IIIIIII. Other Albums
[2003.09.18] best of shinhwa 2001-2003
[2005.03.30] Shinhwa Precious ~Essential Collection~
[2009.04.15] Discography -Shinhwa Premium CD Box-
[2006.06.14] Bokura no Kokoro ni wa Taiyou ga Aru (僕らの心には太陽がある; The Sun in our Hearts)
[2002.09.19] Perfect Visual
[2003.02.26] Live & Surprise
[2003.05.21] PERFECT VISUAL 2
[2006.08.22] Shinhwa 2005 Japan Tour Document
[2007.03.14] Shinhwa 2006 Japan Tour Inspiration #1 Live at Budokan
[2008.03.19] 2007 Japan Tour Shinhwa Forever
 Shinhwa face ZOOM IN
 Shinhwa Personal History
V. Tours and Concerts
- First Live Concert: The First Mythology (2001) (13–14 January 2001)
- Second Live Concert: The Everlasting Mythology (18–20 April 2003)
- Winter Story Tour 2003-04 (31 December 2003 to 14 February 2004)
- Winter Story Tour 2004-05: Shinhwa Live in Seoul (December 2004)
- Shinhwa - 2005 Japan Tour - Osaka (21 January) and Tokyo International Forum (23 January)
- Tropical Summer Story Festival (June 2005)
- Shinhwa 2006 Asia Tour: State of the Art - Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul (13–14 May), Shanghai (8 July), Busan (15 July), Bangkok (19 August), Singapore (10 September), Tokyo (24 September) and Osaka (26 September)
- 2006 Japan Tour Inspiration#1 in Tokyo - Nippon Budokan, Tokyo (September 2006)
- 2007 Japan Tour: Shinhwa Forever - Nagoya, Japan (6 December), Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo (8 and 9 December) and Shanghai, China (15 December)
- Shinhwa Must Go On: 10th Anniversary Live in Seoul - Olympic Gymnastics Arena (29 and 30 March 2008)
- 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return - including Shinhwa 14th Anniversary Concert: The Return in Seoul (24 and 25 March)
- 2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic - including Shinhwa 15th Anniversary Concert: The Legend Continues in Seoul (16 and 17 March)
- 2014 Shinhwa 16th Anniversary concert: HERE - March 22 and 23 in Olympic Gymnastics Arena
- 2015 Shinhwa 17th Anniversary concert: WE - Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul (21–22 March), Shanghai (9 May), Taiwan (16 May), Nanjing (20 June), Beijing (27 June), Dalian (11 July) and Shinhwa 17th Anniversary Finale Concert: WE in Seoul (22–23 August)
- 2016 Shinhwa 18th Anniversary concert: HERO - Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul (26-27 March)
- 2016 Shinhwa - Winter Special Live: UNCHANGING - KINTEX (17-18 December)
- 2017 Shinhwa - 19th anniversary Summer Live MOVE - Auxiliary Stadium, Jamsil Sports Complex (17 - 18 June)
- 2018 Shinhwa - TWENTY FAN PARTY - ALL YOUR DREAMS - SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium (24 - 25 March)
- 2018 Shinhwa - Heart Tour in Seoul - Olympic Gymnastics Arena (6-7 October), Taipei (13 October), Hong Kong (24 November)
- 2019 Shinhwa - 21st Anniversary Concert CHAPTER 4 - Olympic Gymnastics Arena (20-21 April)