All About the Boy-Band Shinhwa: Members, Discography, and Company

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Shinhwa, The Longest Running Boy Band in K-Pop Scene

Shinhwa [신화] is a one the longest-lived K-pop boy-bands in South Korea, consisting of six members: Eric Mun, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin, and Andy Lee. Often referred to as part of the ‘first generation of K-pop”, alongside H.OT., S.E.S., G.O.D., Fin K.L., etc. Their genres are R&B, hip-hop, dance, K-pop, and electro pop., Shinhwa was launched by SM Entertainment and later signed with Good Entertainment, before creating Shinhwa Company. Shinhwa debuted on March 24, 1998. Over the course of their twenty-year career, Shinhwa has released thirteen Korean studio albums, one Japanese album, and various compilation albums.

Shinhwa’s Members Profile and Facts

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Shinhwa consists of 6 members: Eric, Lee Min-woo, Dong-wan, Hyesung, Junjin, and Andy.

eric mun
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Eric

  • Real Name: Mun Jung-hyuk
  • Stage Name: Eric
  • English Name: Eric Mun
  • Hangul:문정혁
  • Birth date: February 16, 1979
  • Birth place: Seoul, South Korea
  • Zodiac sign: Aquarius
  • Height: 180 cm
  • Weight: 71 kg
  • Blood type: B
  • Position: Leader, Main Rapper
  • Occupation: Singer, Actor, Record Producer
  • Years active: 1998 – present
  • Labels: TOP Media
  • Associated Acts: Shinhwa
  • Education: Dongguk University, major in Theater and Film
  • Spouse: Na Hye-mi (2017)
minwoo
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Min-woo

  • Real Name: Lee Min-woo
  • Stage Name: Lee Min-woo
  • Nickname: Mang Chi (hammer), Cool guy
  • Hangul:이민우
  • Birth Date: July 28, 1979
  • Birth Place: South Korea
  • Zodiac sign: Leo
  • Height: 174 cm
  • Weight: 64 kg
  • Blood Type:A
  • Position: Lead vocalist, Main Dancer
  • Occupation: Singer, Actor, Entrepreneur
  • Years active: 1998 – present
  • Labels: SM Entertainment, Good Entertainment, M Rising Entertainment, Shinhwa Company, Liveworks Company

dongwan
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Dong-wan

  • Real Name: Kim Dong-wan
  • Stage Name: Dong-wan
  • Hangul: 김동완
  • Birth Date: November 21, 1979
  • Birth Place: Seoul, South Korea
  • Zodiac sign: Scorpio
  • Height: 174 cm
  • Weight: 68 kg
  • Blood Type: O
  • Position: Vocalist
  • Occupation: Singer, Actor
  • Years active: 1998 – present
  • Labels: SM Entertainment, Good Entertainment, Liveworks Company, Universal D, Shinhwa Company, CI Entertainment
hyesung
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Hye-sung

  • Real Name: Jung Pil Kyo
  • Stage Name: Shin Hye-sung [Hye-sung]
  • English Name: Steve Jung
  • Nickname: Sonic
  • Hangul: 신혜성 / 정필교
  • Birth Date: November 27, 1979
  • Birth Place: Seoul, South Korea
  • Zodiac sign: Sagittarius
  • Height: 179 cm
  • Weight: 65 kg
  • Blood Type: A
  • Position: Main Vocalist
  • Occupation: Singer, Songwriter
  • Years active: 1998 – present
  • Labels: Good Entertainment, Live Works, Tokuma Japan Communications, Shinhwa Company, Universal D
jun jin
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Jun Jin

  • Real Name: Park Choong Jae
  • Stage Name: Junjin
  • Hangul: 전진 / 박충재
  • Birth Date: August 19, 1980
  • Birth Place: Seoul, South Korea
  • Zodiac sign: Leo
  • Height: 182 cm
  • Weight: 75 kg
  • Blood Type: B
  • Position: Lead Rapper, Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Occupation: Singer, Actor
  • Years active: 1998 – present
  • Labels: SM Entertainment, Good Entertainment, Open World Entertainment, Day Dream Entertainment, CI Entertainment, Shinhwa Company
andy
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Andy

  • Real Name: Lee Sun Ho
  • Stage Name: Andy
  • English Name: Jason Lee
  • Hangul: 이선호 / 앤디
  • Birth Date: January 21, 1981
  • Birth Place: South Korea
  • Zodiac sign: Aquarius
  • Height: 175 cm
  • Weight: 62 kg
  • Blood Type: O
  • Position: Rapper, Maknae
  • Occupation: Singer, Actor, Rapper
  • Years active: 1998 – present
  • Labels: SM Entertainment, Good Entertainment, ND Entertainment/TOP Media, Shinhwa Company
  • Associated acts: Shinhwa, Teen Top, 100%, UP10TION

Shinhwa’s Career in K-Pop

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Shinhwa made their debut in 1998 under SM Entertainment. Shinhwa is the Korean word for myth or legend. Shinhwa made their debut with Resolver. The album was supported by other two singles: Eusha! Eusha! and Sharing Forever. The group got off to a bit of a rough start, as there were some controversies attached to their first album. The group was accused of lacking originality and duplicating their 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 under-performed commercially, and the sextet almost disbanded.

Shinhwa persisted, and they found success with their next albums. A second single, “Yo”, was promoted. The album debuted at No. 4 and peaked at No. 3, charting for 24 weeks on the Korean monthly chart. The group also received the Best Music Video from a New Male Pop Group award from the Mnet Asian Music Awards. In May 2000, Shinhwa hit the top of the chart with three singles, “Only One”, “All Your Dreams”, and “First Love”, it sold over 423,000 copies and Shinhwa won three awards that year: the SBS Gayo Popularity Award, the KMTV song Bonsang Award, and the Popular Singers Award. That January, Shinhwa held their first concert, First Mythology. Shinhwa’s fourth album, Hey, Come On!, was released on June 8, 2001, debuting at No. 3 and was promoted with two singles: “Hey, Come On!” and “Wild Eyes”, the latter of which spawned various dance covers due to its choreography incorporating the use of chairs.

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Shinhwa releases their sixth album, Wedding, on December 2002. The album debuted and peaked at No. 3, selling 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. Because the contract with Good Entertainment would not begin until 2004, members pursued solo activities in 2003: Min-woo went solo under the name “M,” releasing his first album, entitled Un-touch-able, while Hye-sung collaborated with Kangta and Lee Ji-hoon on the project group S. Jun Jin branched out into acting with the drama Forbidden Love alongside actress Kim Tae-hee. Andy and Jun Jin participated in the Korean sitcom Nonstop 4 as well as Banjun Drama. Eric began acting in dramas soon after acting in several commercial films.

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. Shinhwa was awarded their second daesang at the 2004 SBS Gayo Daejun Awards. Shinhwa was also awarded Best Artist of the year, but included Best Male Artist, Best Dance Artist, and Overseas Choice Award. After renewing their contract with Good Entertainment for another 3 years, the group’s State of the Art was released on May 11, 2006. The album debuted atop the chart and sold over 215,600 copies domestically. Brand New and State Of The Art became their first consecutive No. 1 albums, with the latter becoming the third best selling album in 2006, behind SG Wannabe’s The 3rd Masterpiece and TVXQ’s “O”-Jung.Ban.Hap..

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In 2007, members expanded their solo activities even further while Shinhwa was on hiatus, with each member 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 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 continued to be managed by their respective agencies. The following year, Shinhwa resumed their music activities as a group and released albums and put together an anniversary concert.

SHINHWA Company Establishment

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In an interview with Star News on May 4th, a representation from Eric’s management company said, “There are indeed plans for the Shinhwa members to set up their own company, headed by Eric and Lee Min-woo. However, as the members all belong to different agencies, we still have to discuss further with each agency. There are still no concrete decisions made as of now.”

It was the first time that any Korean idol group had ever set up a company to manage their own group activities, and their every move received much attention from then on. Shinhwa Company was be headed by members Eric and Lee Minwoo, while the remaining members, Shin Hyesung, Kim Dongwan, Junjin, and Andy became key shareholders. The decision was reached after a 6-hour marathon meeting on April 30 between Eric, Lee Minwoo, and Open World Entertainment, who holds the rights to the Shinhwa trademark. They reached an agreement to establish Shinhwa Company, with Eric’s current management company, Top Class Entertainment, managing all of Shinhwa’s activities in Korea, and Open World managing the rights to all of Shinhwa’s overseas activities and promotions. It was said that after the meeting, Eric and Lee Minwoo sent celebratory text messages to the other members, informing them that the issue of setting up Shinhwa Company has been resolved.

With the establishment of Shinhwa Company, the group was able to continue their activities under the title of the longest-running group in Korea. During this period of time, there had been obstacles with their group activities, as all the members belonged to different management agencies. But after Shinhwa Company was set up, each management agency signed sub-contracts for the members’ group activities and received a share of the earnings from these activities. This secured the Shinhwa members’ time for group activities.

A source familiar with Shinhwa expressed, “The establishment of Shinhwa Company is possible only with the active participation of Open World. With the members directly managing the company, Shinhwa will be able to stay active for a longer period of time. In addition, they can now make plans for longer-term activities and produce better songs for fans.” This also implies that the members could now proceed full steam ahead towards the goal of releasing Shinhwa’s new album the following March. Currently Lee Minwoo, Junjin and Andy are all still serving their military duties. Junjin and Andy will be discharged this year while Lee Minwoo is scheduled to be discharged next March.

For the new album, Eric, Kim Dongwan and Shin Hyesung, who’s now preparing for his own solo album, are all working on the concept of the album. The remaining members will join in the production of the album upon their discharge from military service. Having made their debut in 1998, Shinhwa has never changed their lineup for the past 13 years. Their representative hits include ‘Brand New’, ‘Eusha Eusha’, ‘Haegyulsa’ and ‘T.O.P’.