SHINee debuted in May 2008 as the sixth boy act to debut under SM Entertainment.
The band's name is derived from the English word shine, added with the suffix "-ee" that symbolizes the recipient of an action, meaning that they shine and shine on others.
SHINee had a blowout debut with the so-called 'cheongryang' concept, which translates to refreshing and takes the form of bright teen-energy themes evident in the band's debut song, "Replay" (2008).
The band was famous for its well-balanced make-up, with all members showing great skills in dancing and showing their unique styles in vocal or rap. SHINee's choreography was notoriously difficult, but members pulled it off perfectly, as seen in live performances of its biggest hits such as "Ring Ding Dong" (2009), "LUCIFER" (2010), "Sherlock" (2012) and "Dream Girl" (2013).
Bandmates started releasing solo music since 2014, starting with member Taemin and followed by others who either started their solo music careers or acting careers.
SHINee debuted with five members — leader Onew, Key, Minho, Taemin and late member Jonghyun. Jonghyun died by suicide at age 27 in December 2017, but the band still introduces itself as a five-member band, and agency SM Entertainment keeps Jonghyun on the list of members on the company's official website.
What is SHINee known for in Korea?
SHINee is one of the top boy bands in the K-pop industry that is still considered to have a major fan base. It's been over a decade since the band started making music, be it altogether or solo. SHINee is also renowned for being a fashion icon and having complex, eye-catching choreography for their songs. From its debut until the early 2010s, the band has donned high-top sneakers and colorful skinny jeans, starting the trend among the younger generation in Korea.
Songs like "Ring Ding Dong" and "Lucifer" were perceived to be so catchy that students say they are the epitome of songs to never listen to before taking a big test.
What happened to Jonghyun?
Jonghyun was found dead in an office complex in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, on Dec. 18, 2017.
He left a note to Nine9, a member of the rock band Dear Cloud that Jonghyun had been close with, which was disclosed a day after his death online.
In the note, Jonghyun described himself as "broken" and "devoured by the depression that has been eating me away." Fans and fellow celebrities sent him away in a three-day funeral that was held at the Seoul Asan Hospital. His death was mourned across the country and still remains one of the most tragic incidents in the Korean entertainment industry.
Is SHINee still together?
Yes. Each member is pursuing their own career, but the band is getting back together for an album in May 2023. Taemin and Onew have been releasing solo music, while Key has been actively taking part in television programs to flaunt his witty sense of humor. Minho has been paving his path as actor Choi Min-ho.