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SHINee: Legacy of 5

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SHINee at their V World Tour in Taipei, Tawain 2017 From the left, Onew, Key, Jonghyun, Minho, Taemin


   When people think of K-pop, they think of mainstream artists like “Blackpink” or “BTS” but there’s one group that has dominated the market forever, and that would be SHINee. With their addictive music and exceptional abilities, they swept not just Korea but the globe as well. 

Who is SHINee? 

   SHINee is a South Korean boy band formed by SM Entertainment in 2008. On May 25th, 2008, the group debuted with their first Korean single “Replay”. The group consists of four members: Onew, Key, Minho, and Taemin. The fifth member of the group, Jonghyun, unfortunately died in 2017 to suicide.  

  Their group name, SHINee, is a combination of shine, meaning light, and the suffix ee, meaning “one who receives the light.” This reflects the group’s goal of becoming trendsetters in music, fashion, and dance.  

  They are known for their versatile musical style, innovative choreography, and trendsetting fashion. Originally, the group was supposed to debut as a hip-hop group. However, at the last minute their company SM Entertainment changed their mind and SHINee debuted as a contemporary R&B group.  

SHINee’s Unbelievable Talents 

   SHINee possesses a wide range of talents that most people don’t know they have. SHINee leader Onew, has a talent for tap dancing, beatboxing, opera singing, spinning things on his finger, and can do an imitation of Donald Duck. Member KEY is known as a “Girl Group Dancing King” for knowing the choreography of several girl groups. He’s a fashionista as well as a dancing machine and an expert in English.  

   Minho is an athlete and has competed in several athletic competitions while keeping on top of his idol work. He possesses a talent for rapping which is why he is SHINee’s main rapper. Much like KEY, he is also a dancing machine and notable idol-actor.  

   Taemin is a skilled pianist, and he can mimic the echo sound in karaoke. He also has a bottle cap skill, is extremely smart, as well as a freestyle dancing expert. He is also known as K-pop’s main dancing machine.  

   Former member Jonghyun could do a Michael Jackson impersonation and unmatched high notes. He could also play the kazoo and was skilled in several other instruments such as flute, piano, keyboard, guitar, and tambourine. Jonghyun was also a gifted author, lyricist, and composer as well as a comedian. 

SHINee supports LGBTQ+ Community 

   All the members are funny, quick-witted, and exceptionally skilled, who’ve broken a lot of ground collectively and as a group. SHINee uploaded a video of them practicing the dance to their song “Replay” and since then, many K-pop groups have begun uploading what’s now known as “Dance Practice” videos. Another way that SHINee has carved their name into history books is how SHINee is one of K-pop’s earliest and most outspoken supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.  

   SHINee member KEY has not only collaborated with queer artists like Olly Alexander but has also spoken about how fashion should not be limited to one gender. This is something that member Taemin echoed in his “Move” choreography in which he purposefully intended to blend feminine and masculine movesets because “dance is art.” 

   Another SHINee member, Minho played a gay character on his show “Yumi’s Cells,” and he posted pictures on Instagram about his travels to London during Pride Month. On December 2012, Jonghyun changed his Twitter profile picture to an image of a message written by a trans bisexual student that criticized South Korea’s discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. This drew both praise and  

SHINee’s Legacy 

   Their hard work, dedication, and overall talent have gained them the title of the “Princes of K-pop.” According to the article “SHINee Takes 5th Win For “HARD” On Show Champion” posted on the website Soompi, the group has won 69 awards and received 138 nominations from various award shows and ceremonies. Some of the notable awards they have won are Golden Disc Awards, Mnet Asian Music Awards, Melon Music Awards, and Seoul Music Awards.  

   They have been active for over 15 years and have released many albums and singles in both Korea and Japan. Their Japanese debut single “Replay” sold over 100,000 copies, making them the first South Korean group to achieve such a feat. They are one of the most influential and successful K-pop groups in the industry.  





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  • L

    LauraApr 19, 2024 at 1:11 am

    Shinee is such a talented group. They are my favorite kpop group and even though they’ve been together for 15 almost 16 years, they still make great music. With Onew, Minho, Key and Taemin and Jonghyun, who is no longer with us, their music evolves and is as great as ever. They are even admired by other kpop groups. They are a force to be reckoned with and have paved the way for other groups. Even with Jonghyun no longer with us, they will always be 5.

  • V

    VApr 8, 2024 at 12:59 am

    Their vocals are one of the best in kpop both individually and together. As an American I can say that they are my go to kpop group with their soulful sounds and amazing lyrics.

    • C

      CrystalApr 8, 2024 at 7:26 am

      I totally agree with you! I definitely think their vocals are undefeatable.