Super Junior (슈퍼주니어) is a popular Korean Boyband, and a thirteen member Korean boy band under the SM Entertainment label and production agency. Super Junior is one of the most popular Korean Boyband outside Korea besides Tohoshinki, SS501, or FT Island.
They debuted in 2005 with the single “TWINS (Knock Out)” as a twelve member group but added a thirteenth in May of 2006 with the release of their single U.
Super Junior’s popularity has spread across Asia and they have held concerts in such places as Thailand and Japan. Several of the members had previous jobs as VJs, actors and models previously, which helped to boost the group’s popularity. Super Junior is composed of 12 Korean members and 1 Chinese member.
The members are Leeteuk (the leader), Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kang-in, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kibum, and Kyuhyun. The Chinese member, Han Geng, was chosen among 3,000 applicants through auditions held in China by SM Entertainment in 2001. The group initially debuted with twelve members on November 6, 2005, but since the addition of Kyuhyun in May 23, 2006, they have become a thirteen-member group.
As of 2010, only 10 members are active, due to Han Geng’s ongoing lawsuit against SM Entertainment, Kibum’s pursuit of other interests, and Kang-in’s leave of absence for mandatory military service.
Super Junior Debut and History
Since the late 1990s, Korean talent agency and record label SM Entertainment has been holding annual auditions to scout new talents that complemented the success of pop groups H.O.T, S.E.S, and Shinhwa, all of which were created by SM founder Soo-Man Lee in the mid 1990s. Leeteuk and Eunhyuk were the first two members of the group to be recruited in 2000 under SM’s Starlight Casting System in Seoul.
In 2001, the company held their first overseas casting auditions and discovered Han Geng in Beijing, who was chosen among three thousand applicants. That same year, Yesung was discovered under Seoul’s casting system with his friend HeeChul. Sungmin and Donghae were also selected to be trainees after their appearance in an SM-sponsored contest. In 2002, Heechul and Kangin was recruited along with Kibum, who was discovered in Los Angeles. Siwon was casted in 2003 and Ryeowook in 2004, in which the latter was discovered through the Chinchin Youth Festival singing competition. In 2005, Shindong was selected.