articleK-Pop

Reasons why Girls’ Generation is forever a top girl group of K-pop

15 years of activities and ups and downs, Girls’ Generation is making leap after leap, proving they are the “Nation’s Girl Group”. 

Flashing back 15 years ago, when SM Entertainment introduced Girls’ Generation to the public, they had hopes of a girl group who could open up a new area in K-pop and created a music empire of their own. 15 years later the results are visible as daylight, with various achievements and records. Most importantly, the girl group has generated an influence that spans from the 90s to early gen Z, bringing fans into the K-pop world and becoming memories in their formative years. 

snsd
From the most hated rookie group 

Knowing Girls’ Generation since their debut, one could never forget the image of the “black ocean”. Despite being a girl group under the SM Entertainment empire and having their first ever debut song labeled “debut anthem” “Into The New World”, the route to success was not filled with roses. Standing on an official stage on the fateful 5th August 2007, Girls’ Generation was considered a pillar in SM like their seniors Super Juniors. Yet, the group was not getting on the better side of their seniors’ fans. A majority of fans were annoyed to see the intimate interactions between the two groups in real life and in commercial shootings. 

snsd dbsk
Two top male idol groups at the time under SM were DBSK… 
snsd suju
…and Super Juniors, both of whom had a close relationship with Girls’ Generation; yet that was a source of annoyance for fans of the two male groups 

Their 2008 “Dream Concert left the biggest scar in their career. The moment the group stepped on stage, fans banded together, turned off their lightsticks and sat in silence. Hence the name “black sea”. There was only Girls’ Generation’s fan area that somewhat “salvaged” the mood at the concert. Having to perform for a whole 10 minutes in that bleak space, the members were saddened and disappointed. 

black ocean
Many fandoms allied together, turned off their lightstick and kept quiet when Girls’ Generation performed 
snsd
Girls’ Generation had to perform for a whole 10 minutes with the resentment from the audiences 

To the only girl group among the ranks of the male idols 

After the shock at “Dream Concert ” 2008, Girls’ Generation comforted each other and moved forward. In the consecutive years 2009 and 2010, the name “Girls’ Generation” broke various music charts and expanded their reputation pan-Asia with such national anthems as “Gee”, “Run Devil Run”, “Oh!” and “Genie (Tell Me Your Wish)”. Not only in music but the group was also a model figure for the youth in trends and personal images, popularizing their hairstyles and outfits in every corner of the world. 

snsd
Superhit “Gee” not only established Girls’ Generation’s influence in music but also broadcasted their images and styles across Asia 
snsd oh
If BLACKPINK leads the trend in generation 3, Girls’ Generation steered the wheel in generation 2 

At their peak, Girls’ Generation was among the few girl groups who can be put on a scale against major male K-pop groups such as BIGBANG and Super Junior in levels of success. With a discography of 14 albums and mini albums, Girls’ Generation’s sold album figure climbed up to mounting 4.5 million copies.

snsd mama
Girls’ Generation surpassed many competitions to become “Artist of the Year” at MAMA with the track “The Boys” 

The 2011 smash hit “The Boys” marked Girls’ Generation major achievements, surpassing the dominating boy groups at the time and becoming the winner of many prestigious Daesang (Grand Prize): “Album of the Year” at the “Golden Disc Awards” and “Artist of the Year” at  “MAMA”

Released in 2013, “I Got A Boy” was not only a drastic step forward for the group but also for K-pop in general. A song diverse in genre and materials, it leads the listeners from one emotion to another, becoming the most exemplary switch in style. They once again kicked up a trend of snapback hats and colorful hiphop clothing. 

snsd
“I Got A Boy” became a trend the moment of their release, not only in music but also in makeup layout and costumes of the group 

Their influence did not stop at music but also expanded to a part of Korean culture. More than a representative group of second generation K-pop, the group is mentioned in discussions of Korea and their culture. Korean cultural researchers frequently referenced “Girls’ Generation” in their influence of style to the young generation across Asia.

tiffany snsd
Girls’ Generation recorded first K-pop MV with 100 million views on YouTube 
Jessica
Jessica – former Girls’ Generation member who started the airport fashion trend 

The most renowned photocards in K-pop are also initiated by Girls’ Generation in their album “Oh!”. They are also the first Korean artists to record 100 million views on YouTube for their video “The Boys”, kick-started streaming practices in fandoms. Girls’ Generation also coined new “terms” for idol groups: Yuri was the first member to have her own fancam, Yoona defined center position and visual, Seohyun, Yuri and Yoona formed the “visual triangle” resonating far and wide in showbiz. 

snsd
Girls’ Generation is regarded as a distinct name in the Hallyu wave. They are recognized by the public and the “Nation’s Girl Group” has not been passed to anyone else for 15 years. 
snsd
While no longer a group, individual members’ careers are still up and running 

At the end of 2014, a member with a large fanbase in Girls’ Generation Jessica left the group. The news baffled fans across Asia. 7 years of working her way from a hated rookie to the peak of her career with the group and becoming the pride of Korea, Jessica was always fondly mentioned as the “ice princess” and endorsed by her company. Her sudden departure dealt a strong blow to any fans of Girls’ Generation from the start. The discordance around her departure is still the talk of the town until this day. 

jessica jung instagram
Jessica left the group to focus on her business 
snsd thumbnail
Other 8 members decided to move forward as a group 

While the departure was a tough situation to handle, the remaining members decided to move forward. They did not produce music as frequently and 3 out of 8 members took the choice to leave SM, the name “Girls’ Generation” never faded from the Korean entertainment map. In any of their solo activities, the members are always sought after and stay on top of Korean media news along with famous nex generation’s names. 

taeyeon
Taeyeon has the most successful solo music career 

Leader Taeyeon has the most strong relationship and garnered the most successes from her music career. From her first EP “I” in 2015 to now, Taeyeon is remarked as the most outstanding K-pop solo artist, alongside IU. Yoona, Seohyun and Sooyoung expand into acting and have several successful roles achieved considerable successes as actresses. Other members still receive major support from their fans in their individual careers. 

snsd yoona big mouth
Yoona is a buzz-generating name in acting and fashion
Seohyun
Girls’ Generation youngest member Seohyun built her reputation in the acting scene  

While the group is not as active as they were, each member now has the chance to do what they love and receive tremendous support from fans, regardless of the activities. 

snsd
Girls’ Generation returns with 8 members in celebration of their 15th debut anniversary, their #1 position is unarguable 

After 5 years since the release of the album “Holiday Night”, Girls’ Generation once again reunited to drop another full-length album celebrating their 15th debut anniversary, called FOREVER1. Fans within and outside of the fandom are equally excited for the return of the girl group of the century. 

snsd
Girls’ Generation in their debut photo, 15 years apart 

On August 5th, Girls’ Generation officially returned to K-pop with the MV for “Forever 1”. The song speaks of eternal love and wanting their relationship with fans to last forever, especially those who have been there through all the ups and downs. 

Ever since the news of their comeback with 8 members and a full-length album to celebrate their 15th anniversary, the SM girl group has attracted major attention from fans around the world. 

snsd
“Girls’ Generation is ‘Forever 1’” 

Despite 5 years of absence, Girls’ Generation still affirms their position as the “Queen of K-pop” with impressive accomplishments. The album quickly held first place in the iTunes chart in 31 countries and regions, debuted #1 in the Worldwide iTunes Album chart. On YouTube, “Forever 1” quickly garnered 1 million likes and 7.2 million views after 16 hours, becoming the group’s fastest music video to achieve 1 million likes and successfully breaking in the Top Trending chart in many countries. The music video recorded 9 million views after 1 day of release. 

In Korea, Girls’ Generation took over the headlines of Korean newspapers. The new track climbed to #1 on the MelOn chart and the album was sold at a fast pace. Though not as fired up as in their peak, their consecutive achievements are more than evident of the ever-burning heat of  the girl group of the century. 

Girls’ Generation – “FOREVER 1” MV

Debuting in the years the Hallyu waves were coursing through the globe, Girls’ Generation is the trailblazer and origin for the future development of K-pop, among many who laid the foundations for future generations. Their number 1 position is crystal-clear thanks to their musical legacies and major popular influences. 

Image source: Twitter 

Video source: YouTube 

Back to top button