Wonder Girls


Wonder Girls
Wonder Girls
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres Pop, K-Pop, Teen Pop, Dance-pop, Mandopop
Years active 2007–present
Labels JYP Entertainment
United Asia Management
Associated acts JYP Nation
Website wondergirlsworld.comwondergirls.jype.com
Members
Yubin
Yeeun (Yenny)
Sunye (Sun)
Sohee
Hyerim (Lim)
Past members
Hyuna
Sunmi (Mimi)

Wonder Girls (Korean: 원더걸스) is a South Korean girl group.[1][2] Its producer and manager is singer-songwriter Park Jin-Young and the Wonder Girls is signed to his talent agency, JYP Entertainment.[2] Each of the five original members were selected through auditions. Debuting in early 2007, they became popular in the fall of that year with the song "Tell Me."[3] They have scored five consecutive #1 hit singles: "Tell Me", "So Hot", "Nobody", "2 Different Tears" and "Be My Baby".[4] In 2008, they won two Daesangs ("Artist of the Year" Awards).[5][6]

The group began their entry into the American market in 2009, with the English version of their hit single "Nobody".

They are co-managed in the United States by JYP Entertainment and Jonas Group.[7]

Contents

History

2007–2008: Debut, The Wonder Begins, and The Wonder Years

As a group, the Wonder Girls is introduced through the program called MTV Wonder Girls which was filmed and directed by MTV. The first four episodes outlined the characteristics and profiles of each member and showcased their schedules for the day. Shortly after selecting Yeeun as the fifth member, the Wonder Girls had their first showcase in the MTV Studio. For the showcase, they performed a cover of "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls as well as their own songs, including "Irony" and "미안한 마음" ("It's Not Love"). Sunye performed a solo act by singing her cover of Destiny's Child's "Stand Up for Love", while Hyuna performed solo through a showcase of her dancing skills. The other three members — Yeeun, Sunmi and Sohee — performed a cover of Janet Jackson's "Together Again".

The Wonder Girls officially debuted in early 2007 on MBC's 쇼! 음악 중심 ("Show! Music Core"), singing "Irony", the hip-hop single from their debut mini-album, The Wonder Begins. The mini-album sold 11,454 physical copies in 2007.[8] The Wonder Girls official fanclub was established, with the name of "Wonderful". Additionally, the group held several showcases in China after receiving Chinese lessons.[9] Throughout the rest of 2007, however, members of the Wonder Girls were beset by various injuries and health problems. On June 25, Sohee was sidelined for a month after tearing a knee ligament in a fall from a running motorcycle during the filming of her movie, 뜨거운 것이 좋아 ("I Like It Hot").[10] The remaining four members continued performing until late July, when Hyuna was withdrawn from the group by her parents due to their concern over her problems with chronic gastroenteritis and fainting spells.[3] In the autumn of 2007, Good Entertainment, the talent agency sent their trainee Yubin to JYP Entertainment as a replacement for Hyuna. She made her debut three days later in the group's live performance of "Tell Me" on Music Bank.[11]

Their first full-length album, The Wonder Years, was released the following week with "Tell Me". Due to the last-minute addition of Yubin, the album version does not contain her part. However, the performance version of the song was reworked to include a bridge with rapping by Yubin. The single was a hit and reached number one on various Korean television and internet music charts, including KBS's Music Bank.[citation needed] The choreography for the song was simple and widely imitated: by October, many fan performances of the dance circulated on video sharing sites such as YouTube and Daum,[12] including one by a group of policemen who were eventually profiled on SBS's Star King. The dance's popularity was immense and the explosive attention it received became widely known as the "Tell Me Virus", earning the group the title of 'Korea's Little Sisters'.[citation needed] Videos of the dance came from fans in the Philippines and as far away as France, and the song also earned the Number One spot in Thailand.[3]

The Wonder Girls had an extensive promotional schedule for their album and in late 2007 they began performing their second single, "이 바보" ("This Fool"). They made numerous appearances on variety and game shows, sang live on radio shows, at music festivals, on music programs, and in special joint performances with other groups such as Big Bang and Girls' Generation. MTV has also aired four seasons of The Wonder Life, a reality TV series starring the girls. The Wonder Girls returned to Korea in spring of 2008. In May, a picture of each member was released over a period of five days, starting with Yeeun and ending with Sohee. A preview track from the upcoming single was then released. There were rumours that past member Hyuna would be returning to the group; JYP Entertainment however confirmed the story was untrue.[13] Their new single, "So Hot", was released on May 22, 2008; the song topped online charts soon after.[14][15] They then performed in mid-2008 on MBC's Show! Music Core, performing "So Hot" and "This Time". The full single was released soon after containing the title track, the rap version of "Tell Me", "This Time", and "You're Out". Due to a vocal cord injury, Yubin temporarily lip-synched her parts under doctor's orders.[15]

Wonder Girls performing "Nobody" at the 2008 BICHE opening ceremony in October.

After a very brief hiatus, the Wonder Girls made a comeback in early fall of 2008. The full music video for "Nobody" was revealed, and the single was digitally released simultaneously. They performed the following weekend on Show! Music Core, Music Bank, and Inkigayo. The song went to #1 on KBS' Music Bank, staying there for four consecutive weeks,[16] and also won Cyworld's "Song of the Month" award in September and October 2008.[17] Like "Tell Me", "Nobody" also sparked a dance craze.[18]

At the 2008 MNet KM Music Festival Awards, the Wonder Girls took home three awards, including the highly-desired "Song of the Year" award, as well as "Best Music Video" for "Nobody", and "Best Female Group".[6] The group also won an award at the 2008 Golden Disk Awards a month later for high digital sales.[19] At the 18th Seoul Music Awards, the Wonder Girls won the Daesang ("Artist of the Year" award), the highest award offered, for "Nobody", along with two other awards.[5]

In February 2008, the Wonder Girls joined their producer Park Jin-young for his month-long concert tour through Korea and the United States (including New York City and Los Angeles) as special guests, and took the opportunity to film the music video for "Wishing on a Star" while in New York City.[20] Park had stated that the concerts were also meant to be a showcase for his other protégés, such as Min, G-Soul, and Lim Jeong Hee.[21] They were also selected as a top girl group by Virgin Media, which put them amidst the popular girl groups Pussycat Dolls, Girls Aloud, and Danity Kane.[22]

In October 2008, the Wonder Girls were signed by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA).[23] By the end of 2008, the Wonder Girls had earned 12 billion (equivalent to $9 million US) as a group.[24]

2009: American debut

The Wonder Girls tour started on February 28, 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Wonder Girls, along with mentor JYP, then held concerts in the United States, visiting Los Angeles on March 5, La Mirada on March 6, and New York City on March 8.[25] They also performed for a small crowd at MTV Iggy on March 10. The group then returned to South Korea, holding concerts in late March in Seoul and Busan.[26] This tour was documented in the M.net reality show Welcome to Wonderland.

After the end of the tour, the Wonder Girls debuted a music video for "Now", a cover of Fin.K.L's single from their third album. They also created a commercial for LG, with a version featuring only the dance was released online on April 9, 2009.[27] The Wonder Girls also started their official MySpace Music account.[4] The page confirmed that the group would launch in the United States with the official release of an English version of "Nobody" in the summer of 2009.

In June 2009, JYP Entertainment announced that the Wonder Girls would be joining the Jonas Brothers on the North American leg of the Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009.[28] The company also announced that "Nobody" would be the first English single, followed by "Tell Me",[28] and that an English album would be forthcoming.[29] It was later revealed that in order to concentrate on their American debut, both Sohee and Sunmi dropped out of high school.[30][31]

The Wonder Girls released an English version of their single "Nobody" on June 26, 2009, just one day before the start of their tour with the Jonas Brothers. The Wonder Girls were initially signed on for 13 concert dates across the US, but they were eventually given the opportunity to join the Jonas Brothers for a total of 45 concert dates.[32] "Nobody" eventually made a debut on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2009, making the group the first Korean group to ever enter the chart.[33][34] The song also went on to top the Taiwan and Hong Kong music chart.[35]

2010: Line-up changes, International tour, and Television Series

On January 22, 2010, it was announced that Sunmi would be postponing her musical career to pursue an academic career and that Hyerim (Lim), a JYP trainee, would take her place.[36][37] Sunmi continued as a member of the Wonder Girls through the month of February in order to complete scheduled events.

The Wonder Girls had been preparing their debut English album, with half (six tracks) to consist of English versions of Korean singles and the other half of brand new material, initially scheduled for release in February 2010.[38] They were also planning to have a headlining tour in January 2010;[38] however, due to the departure of Sunmi, plans for both the tour and the album were delayed.[39]

Due to the popularity of the group in Asia and worldwide, the electronics brand Sony Ericsson chose the girls to be the ambassadors of Sony Ericsson in the Asia Pacific Region which will see promotional activities in South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan as well as Australia and New Zealand. After the announcement, the girls flew to Singapore where they held a press meeting performing their songs "So Hot", "Tell Me" and "Nobody".[40]

Wonder Girls performing "Tell Me" at The Fillmore in San Francisco in June 2010. From left to right: Yeeun, Sohee, Hyerim, Yubin and Sunye.

On April 5, 2010, the Wonder Girls announced a 20-show tour of the US and Canada, the Wonder World Tour, which will include fellow label mates 2PM who will be joining them for 9 confirmed dates in Washington DC, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Francisco in conjunction with Live Nation,[41] with other dates yet to be confirmed. The tour is a combination of the English and Korean versions of their hits, covers of popular English-language song, and their new songs from their upcoming album, as stated by Yeeun during their Ustream webchat with fans on April 17, 2010.[42] The first leg of the tour began in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 2010.

On May 1, the Wonder Girls performed at the Korean Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.[43]

The Wonder Girls followed up their tour announcement with the unveiling of the newest single/EP, titled 2 Different Tears. The title track was recorded in three different languages: Chinese, Korean and English. The music video for 2 Different Tears premiered on YouTube on May 15, 2010; it was shot in the Gyeonggi-do province of South Korea. The music video features Park Jin-Young and Korean-American comedian Bobby Lee. There are three versions of the music video : Korean, English and Chinese.[44] Their album was released on the same day.

Between May 15, 2010 and May 31, 2010, the Wonder Girls returned to South Korea to promote the Korean version of 2 Different Tears. They had their comeback TV performance starting from M.Net's M! Countdown on May 22, 2010. On May 27, 2010, the Wonder Girls won their first #1 award for "2 Different Tears" on M! Countdown. The group wrapped up their last week of promotional activities in South Korea by performing on MBC's Music Core on May 29, 2010. During this two-week period, the Wonder Girls also appeared on several Korean variety and talk shows, including KBS's Win Win and Happy Together, as well as SBS's Family Outing 2 and MBC's Come to Play.

In May 2010, eight more US cities and two Canadian cities were added to the second leg of the Wonder World Tour. In addition, it was announced that label mates, 2AM, would open for the Wonder Girls in San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Englewood, CO, Atlanta, and Chicago.[45] During this time, the Wonder Girls' American promotional activities continued to earn them recognition: popular concert venue House of Blues named them "Artist of the Month" for June 2010[46] while online concert authority Pollstar featured them in a special article titled "The Wonders of K-pop".[47]

On July 29, MTV Korea premiered a new Season of Wonder Girls, MTV Wonder Girls (Season 4), that introduces the Wonder Girls' everyday life in the United States, such as at their New York home and studio, and preparations for the upcoming MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia 2010.[48] The MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia 2010 was held at the Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach on July 31. The show has been broadcast on August 21 on MTV Asia.[49]

On July 30, M.net premiered a new show Made in Wonder Girls that take the viewers behind the scenes of the Wonder Girls their first American tour, Wonder World Tour, as well as their promotions in Singapore and Indonesia.[50]

On August 3, the Wonder Girls performed in Singapore's SINGfest 2010 at Fort Canning Park.[51] On September 3 The Wonder Girls Performed On Seattle For Aion.[52]

Despite having only two weeks of promotion in Korea of "2 Different Tears" after their two year hiatus, the group ranked highly in the end of the year charts. In Gaon Chart, in all four charts : 2010 Top 100 Album Sales, 2010 Digital Comprehensive Top 100, 2010 Top 100 Download, 2010 Stream Top 100. In 2010 Top 100 Album Sales, managed to rank 50th with 28,594 albums. In addition to be in the top 50, in Digital Comprehensive Top 100, ranked sixth with 612,819,160 downloads, in Top 100 Downloads, ranked ninth with 2,790,298 in sales, and finally, ranked ninth with 28,504,554 sales in Stream Top 100.[53]

2011: Official American debut album and return with Wonder World

In January, more info was released about the American album. JYP Entertainment's CEO Park Jin Young (JYP) hinted on his Twitter account he wrote a new song for the girls while recording in his drama "Dream High".[54] He later tweeted that he is not the only producer for this album.[55] In addition to this, Rainstone (Rhee Woo Seok) of JYP Entertainment, the songwriter behind the Wonder Girls' international hit, "Nobody", stated that the album was expected to have six to seven tracks. The girls are flying back and forth from South Korea and New York to record the songs. Well known producer Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Claude Kelly were revealed to be heavily participating in the album. Also, the album will be released by one of the three major labels of America.[56] With the information released of the new album, the girls tweeted photos of recording with Claude Kelly in the studio.[57][58]

In February, Chinese distributor ‘Starsing Records’ unveiled the best-selling albums for 2010, which included American artists like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, but also for the Wonder Girls “Special Edition" album.[59][60]

During the 2011 Chloe Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, the girls held several interviews. Leader Sunye said it is unclear if they will add their Mandarin songs to the new album and it's possible for Mandarin album for their Chinese fans. Yeeun said she's interested in composing songs for this album. Yubin stated that they will be going for a bolder approach, in addition to that, they said that shall indeed raise the stakes in their dance music, but still have elements of retro.[61][62][63]

On April 6, on SBS Power FM’s ‘Kim Hee Chul’s Young Street‘, Sunye hinted at a Wonder Girls comeback in Korea. When asked about the Wonder Girls’ activities by a listener, she stated, “Although we are not promoting in Korea right now, I’m very proud that K-Pop is being spread [around the world]. So I have a greater desire to promote our group in Korea as well as to see our fans who’ve waited for a long time. I think there will be some good news later this year.” She added, “For our fans who have waited for us, we’ll be sure to see you all soon with good music before the year ends. Please cheer us on.”[64]

On June 30, it was announced on their official website that the girls were invited to perform at the 2011 Special Olympics closing ceremonies in Athens, Greece. They performed the traditional Korean folk song "Arirang" along with their hit singles "Nobody" sung in English and "Tell Me" sung in Korean. The performance was held on July 4.

Sohee was in the August issue of Nylon Korea for a pictorial and interview, which was released on July 17. JYP Nation once again returned with concerts "JYP Nation in Japan 2011" at Saitama Super Arena on August 17 and 18, this time with fellow labelmates 2AM who were unable to attend last year due to a clash with their own concert tour.[65][66]

In the beginning of Summer 2011, it was falsely reported on several fan websites that the Wonder Girls would be performing the US national anthem as well as a new song from their upcoming album at the New York Mets game.[67] As stated on the official Wonder Girls website, CEO Park Jin Young explained the false events to fans in a news announcement: "Unfortunately, Wonder Girls are not scheduled to be at the Mets game. In addition, the Wonder Girls’ new song release will officially be announced by JYP Entertainment through all official Wonder Girls websites when the official date is determined."[68]

On Auguest 5th, The Wonder Girls were featured on Billboard.com's "Mashup Monday" program, performing a self-arranged cover of B.O.B. and Bruno Mars' "Nothin' On You". Sun said that, "We just want to express our love to our fans...It's a perfect song." Meanwhile, Yenny continued to explain in the subsequent interview that, "The first thing was arranging the instruments. I started practicing piano and then we added two more guitarists. And later a percussionist joined. And also we were traveling a lot, so we couldn't stay at one place. We had to practice on the street on the way." Yeeun played piano and sang the chorus with Sunye and Sohee, while Hyerim and Yubin rapped the verses.[69]. On October 09, 2011 a representative revealed , “The album will be produced in a movie OST format. We’ll be planning our concept to fit around the feel of the song, so as opposed to retro, we feel that it will be more pop. The Wonder Girls will definitely be coming out with a new image, so please look forward to it.” [70].

On October 23rd, JYPE and the members revealed a new poster "R U Ready?" hanging over their company's building with a new version of the Wonder Girls logo now in a chic new design in black. JYPE confirmed the digital music distributors who revealed, “The Wonder Girls’ second official album will be available starting November 7th.” The Wonder Girls will only be promoting for a month, however, before they prepare for their Asian promotion tour in December. [71] The Wonder Girls have enlisted the help of some big figures for their comeback. In addition to having Beyonce‘s “choreographer, Jonte on their team, the girls also have designer Johnny Wujek, the fashion stylist for Katy Perry, for this album.

In addition to dates revealed through the Wonder Girls’ official site earlier today, more teaser release dates have been revealed via Naver Music. [72] It kicked off with the 1st teaser photos starting on October 28th uploaded onto their official website. [73] The girls are seen in chic black and white all holding antique guns with the exception of Lim, opting for a stylish hat. In the 2nd batch of teaser photos released on October 31, the Wonder Girls show off their charismatic charm under the theme called, “Red Wonder Girls.” [74] Following the photo teasers, 1st teaser video was uploaded on their official Youtube channel on November 1st. This is the first of two "R U READY?" video teasers to be revealed. The first teaser shows the five with their new, edgy looks, and a set with a tough, rock-style concept, as well as individual shots of each of the members. The Wonder Girls teaser video was released on their official YouTube channel on November 1. In just one day, the video received over 560,000 hits and on the morning of November 2, the video reached #1 on the "Most Discussed Video" list. [75] The final teaser was the 2nd teaser video released on November 3rd. Finally, the track listing release on November 4th, up to now, the album's name was finally revealed to be "Wonder World" composing of 12 new songs with an exception of one being a remix. The song G.N.O in this album was composed and written by member Yeeun. The full album and music video was released on November 7th. The members will start promotions for "Wonder World" with a comeback stage on Music Bank on November 11th.

Members

Name Date of birth Position
Romanized Hangul
Min Sunye 민선예 August 12, 1989 (1989-08-12) (age 22) Leader and Main Vocalist
Anh Sohee 안소희 June 27, 1992 (1992-06-27) (age 19) Vocalist, Sub-Rapper, Main Dancer and Visual
Park Yeeun 박예은 May 26, 1989 (1989-05-26) (age 22) Lead Vocalist
Kim Yoobin 김유빈 October 4, 1988 (1988-10-04) (age 23) Vocalist, Main Rapper, and Lead Dancer
Woo Hyelim 우혜림 September 1, 1992 (1992-09-01) (age 19) Vocalist, Rapper and Maknae

Former Members

Name Birth Name Birthday Position
Sunmi Lee Sun Mi May 2, 1992 (1992-05-02) (age 19) Vocalist
Hyuna Kim Hyun Ah June 6, 1992 (1992-06-06) (age 19) Vocalist, Main Rapper, Main Dancer

Trivia

  • Official Fanclub: Wonderfuls
  • Official Balloon Color: Pearl Burgundy

Discography

Korean Discography

Studio Albums
Singles

English Discography

Studio Albums
Singles
  • 2009: "Nobody"
  • 2010: "2 Different Tears"

Chinese Discography

Extended plays
  • 2010: Wonder Girls (Chinese Special Edition)
Singles
  • 2010: "2 Different Tears"

Filmography

Reality shows

  • 2006-2007: MTV Wonder Girls (Season 1)
  • 2007: MTV Wonder Girls (Season 2)
  • 2008: MTV Wonder Girls (Season 3)
  • 2008: Wonder Bakery[76]
  • 2009: Welcome to Wonderland[77]
  • 2010: MTV Wonder Girls (Season 4)[78]
  • 2010: Made in Wonder Girls[79]

TV shows

  • 2007: SBS Gayo Daejeon Music Drama with Big Bang[80]
  • 2009: The Wendy Williams Show
  • 2009: So You Think You Can Dance (season 6)

Film

Year Title Role
2010 The Last Godfather Cameo
2012 Wonder Girls at the Apollo Main character

Music video appearances

Year Song title Artist Role
2008 Cry With Us Various Artist Themselves
I Love Asia / Smile Again Various Artist Themselves
2010 This Christmas JYP Nation Themselves

Commercials and Endorsements

Commercials

2007

2008

  • Red Pen
  • Pizza Bingo
  • TAAN
  • Keroro Fighter
  • IVYclub
  • Free Style
  • LG KTF Ever
  • Vita 500
  • EVER Slim Panda phone
  • MBC 1833

2009

  • LG KTF Ever
  • Vita 500
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Cafe Mori
  • EVER Audition

2010

Endorsements

  • 1677
  • TBJ
  • Peripera Wonder Line
  • EXR
  • Crown Bakery
  • WG by Wonder Girls
  • Lancome- Sohee

Tours

  • 1st Wonder Tour(2009)
  • Wonder Girls World Tour(2010)

Opening act

  • Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009 (2009)
  • Justin Bieber’s Valentine’s Day Concert (2010)

Concert participation

  • Shin Hye Sung encore concert (2007)
  • 2008 JYP Tour (2008)
  • 2008 Shin Hye Sung Live Tour Side 1 – Live and Let Live” (2008)
  • 2009 JYP Tour (2009)
  • 2010 JYP Nation Team Play Concert (2010)
  • 2011 JYP Nation Concert in Japan (2011)

Awards

Year Awards
2007
2008
2009
  • 18th Seoul Music Awards: Daesang Award[5]
  • 18th Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang Award[5]
  • 18th Seoul Music Awards: Best Digital Album Award (The Wonder Years: Trilogy)[5]
  • 6th Korean Music Awards: Group Musician of the Year Netizen Vote[citation needed]
  • MTV Style Gala: Most stylish Asian artist of the year[91]
  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism: Artist of the Year[citation needed]
2010
  • Metro Radio Mandarin Hit Music Awards: Asia’s Most Hit Group[92]
  • Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards: Asia's Most Appealing Korean Female Artist[93]
2011
  • RTHK International Pop Poll Award Presentation: Top Ten International Gold Songs[94]
  • RTHK International Pop Poll Award Presentation: Top Group/Band Gold Prize[94]
  • 5th China Wireless Music Awards: Top Ranking Digital Downloads of The Year[95]

Music programs

These are a collection of Wonder Girls's wins on Korea's televised music shows. Inkigayo is aired on SBS, M! Countdown on Korean cable channel M.net, Show! Music Core on MBC and Music Bank on KBS.

Music Bank

Year Date Song
2007 November 2 Tell Me
November 9
November 23
December 7
December 28
2008 January 4
June 6 So Hot
June 13
June 20
June 27
July 11
October 3 Nobody
October 10
October 17
October 24

Inkigayo

Year Date Song
2007 October 28 Tell Me
November 11
November 18
2008 June 15 So Hot
June 22
June 29

M! Countdown

Year Date Song
2007 November 8 Tell Me
2008 July 10 So Hot
July 17
July 24
October 16 Nobody
2010 May 27 2 Different Tears
2011 November 17 Be My Baby

References

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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Incumbent
Korean Music Awards: Group Musician of the Year
2009
Succeeded by
Girls' Generation
Preceded by
Big Bang
Seoul Gayo Daesang Award for Daesang
2009
Succeeded by
Girls' Generation
Preceded by
Big Bang with Lies (거짓말)
M.NET KM Music Festival - Song of the Year (Daesang)
2008, with Nobody
Succeeded by
2NE1 with I Don't Care
Preceded by
SeeYa
M.NET KM Music Festival - Best Female Group
2008
Succeeded by
Brown Eyed Girls
Preceded by
Zhang Liyin
M.NET KM Music Festival - Best New Female Group/Artist
2007
Succeeded by
Davichi

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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