Dubbed the “Princes of K-pop,” SHINee burst onto the scene on May 22, 2008 with the R&B-tinged classic “Replay,” a debut single so enduring it set the bar high for the five-piece group. Almost thirteen years later, SHINee have only continued to blaze new records, having released an impressive six Korean studio albums, five mini albums and five Japanese albums. Hits like “Ring Ding Dong,” “Lucifer,” “Sherlock” and “View” are some of the very pinnacles of Korean popular music, cited for their musical innovation, commanding vocals, and intricate choreography. With Don’t Call Me, the group’s seventh full-length effort out this month - much to their fandom Shawol’s delight - let’s take a closer look at some of SHINee’s most memorable moments thus far as we gear up for their exciting return!
First Music Show Win, 2008
SHINee’s first studio album The SHINee World was the then-rookie group’s first comeback since their debut a few months prior, with title track “Love Like Oxygen” holding the distinction of being their very first music show win. Unique to K-pop, artists will perform their songs live on several music programs throughout the week for the duration of their promotional period, with a first-place winner determined each episode based on a combination of digital and physical sales, music chart rankings, and fan voting. SHINee nabbed two trophies in fact for their thumping disco-funk single, the first on M Countdown September 18, 2008 and a second on Inkigayo a few days later. Though the group has gone on to place first numerous times since, it was certainly an emotional, breakthrough moment for SHINee and Shawols alike as the members held back tears of triumph and performed the winning encore to a thunderous applause.
Japan Debut At Abbey Road Studios, 2011
Ahead of their first Japanese-language single release, “Replay -Kimi wa Boku no Everything-,” SHINee kicked off promotions June 19, 2011 with a historic live showcase at London’s Abbey Road Studios. SHINee was the first-ever Asian artist to perform at the same studio made famous by The Beatles, and the high-profile gig brought them much acclaim and recognition. Upon release, “Replay -Kimi wa Boku no Everything-” sold over 91,000 copies in its first week – the highest number of sales recorded at the time for a Japanese debut single by a South Korean idol group. As an attest to their surging popularity, on March 14 and 15, 2015 SHINee held two sold-out concerts at the equally legendary Tokyo Dome, performing to a combined 110,000 people in support of their third Japanese album I’m Your Boy. The dome, a 55,000-seat baseball stadium is considered to be a dream venue for musicians in Japan, and SHINee was remarkably able to reach that milestone after four years of hard work and determination.
“Sherlock (Clue + Note)” Hybrid Remix, 2012
SHINee is well known for their catalog of diverse and groundbreaking music, and nothing proves that more than their experimental hit single “Sherlock (Clue + Note)” which combines two separate songs “Clue” and “Note” into one larger than life ‘hybrid remix’. Released alongside their eponymous fourth mini album March 12, 2012, “Sherlock (Clue + Note)” also coined the iconic phrase ‘SHINee’s back,’ lovingly still used to this day whenever they hold a comeback. The track itself boasts a medley of exciting beats and a chorus so anthemic, you can’t help but sing along. Lyrics from both “Clue” and “Note” unite to tell a tale of the famed private detective solving a crime, forming a single storyline only revealed through “Sherlock.” The cutting-edge concept received much praise and critical acclaim, ranking number one on the Gaon Monthly Album Chart, and being named one of the “75 Greatest Boy Band Songs of All Time” by Rolling Stone in 2020.
MMA Artist of the Year Award, 2013
Throughout their illustrious career, SHINee has amassed numerous accolades such as Newcomer Album of the Year at the 23rd Golden Disc Awards for The SHINee World, and Best Dance Performance – Male Group at the Mnet Asian Music Awards for their outstanding choreography a whopping three times in a row. But on November 14, 2013 following a yearlong blitz of music releases (Dream Girl – The Misconceptions of You, Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me, Everybody) SHINee was crowned Artist of the Year at the Melon Music Awards, one of the biggest award ceremonies in the country, and a highly-coveted honor. The group was brought to tears on stage as they accepted the award, overcome with emotion no doubt from their momentous triumph. They all took turns giving thanks and ended the moment in an adorable, big group hug. A joyous day for all Shawols!
Breaking America, SHINee Goes West, 2017
As household names in native South Korea, Japan, and all across Asia, it only made sense for SHINee to further cement their status as worldwide superstars. To do so they embarked on their fifth world tour, aptly named SHINee World V, and broke new ground performing sold-out shows back-to-back in Toronto, Vancouver, Dallas, and Los Angeles in March 2017 – their first ever solo concerts in both Canada and the United States. With K-pop steadily gaining momentum in the west, international fans were more than thrilled to see their favorite group perform live. SHINee drew even more high-profile western attention that following summer when former U.S president Barack Obama specifically mentioned the group at the 8th Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, recognizing their efforts towards the growth of global pop culture. KEY sincerely thanked him on behalf of the group in an Instagram post, playfully mentioning the former president was right about their love for Californian In-N-Out burgers too.
The Ringtone: SHINee Is Back, 2021
With ONEW, KEY and MINHO having now completed their mandatory military service, we can finally look forward to the long-awaited SHINee comeback! Previously teased during SMTOWN LIVE “Culture Humanity,” the group’s seventh Korean studio album titled Don’t Call Me is fast approaching its February 22nd release date. To whet Shawols’ appetites the group held a special live broadcast on YouTube and V Live on January 31 to discuss the upcoming album and perform solo songs, as well as a group performance of their 2018 hit “Good Evening.” This was the first time SHINee had stood on stage as a group since their Story of Light promotions three years earlier, and the joyous occasion was cheerfully marked by thousands of fans watching worldwide. As an extra special treat, SHINee even premiered a brand-new track, album B-side “Marry You,” as thank you to the fans who waited so patiently for them. And if the slinky, midtempo groove is any indication of what’s to come, Don’t Call Me is destined to be their strongest body of work yet. We’ll all be waiting on the line.
SHINee's 7th album 'Don't Call Me' will feature a total of nine songs in a colorful atmosphere, which will attract the attention of music fans. Various versions of the album are available on SM Global Shop!