Super Junior (Korean: 슈퍼주니어), also known as simply SJ or SuJu (Korean: 슈주), is a thirteen-member Korean boy band formed by SM Entertainment in 2005, masterminded by Lee Soo Man. The group initially debuted with twelve members on November 6, 2005 with the single, “TWINS (Knock Out)“. The original twelve members, from oldest to youngest, are Leeteuk (the leader), Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kang-In, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kibum. The Chinese member, Han Geng, was chosen among the 3,000 applicants through auditions held in China by SM Entertainment in 2001.
Many of the members had already pursued an entertainment career before Super Junior’s debut through acting, DJ-ing, and modeling. On May 23, 2006 SM Entertainment announced the addition of a new member, Kyuhyun, making them the thirteen-member group they are today.
News about SM Entertainment’s unprecedented plans of forming a large project group spread over the internet as early as 2004. In early 2005, SM Entertainment confirmed rumors and announced that a large twelve member all-boy group would debut near the end of the year, promoting the group to be “The Gateway to Stardom of Asia.” For a while the group was known to be called O.V.E.R., an acronym for “Obey the Voice for Each Rhythm.”[a] Soon the group became known as Super Junior 05, the first generation of Super Junior.
Most members have been actors, MCs, models, or DJs prior to debut. Heechul, Siwon, and Kibum made their debuts in dramas and films. Leeteuk, Yesung, Kang-In, Shindong, Sungmin, and Eunhyuk made cameo television appearances and became active DJs or MCs after debut. Han Geng made his first media appearance as a model.
Super Junior 05 made their pre-debut appearance on the Korean channel, M.NET on September 11, 2005.[b] At the showcase, Super Junior performed various styles of hip hop dancing. The group danced to B2K‘s “Take It To The Floor.” Han Geng, Eunhyuk, and Donghae also performed a separate dance away from the group, dancing to Usher‘s “Caught Up.” However, the performance did not air on television until May 16, 2006 as a segment in the Super Junior Show, the group’s first television documentary.
 2005–2006: The Super Junior project
Super Junior 05 made their debut television appearance as a group on SBS‘s Popular Songs on November 6, 2005 as a project group of twelve members. The group performed their first promotional single, “TWINS (Knock Out).” A digital single with “TWINS (Knock Out)”, “You are the one”, and three additional tracks were released online on November 8, 2005. A CD single was scheduled to be released on November but a more complete album, SuperJunior05 (TWINS), was released on December 7, 2005 instead. Their debut album sold 28,536 copies in the first month of release and debuted at #3 in the monthly chart of December 2005.[c]
To further publicize the company’s newest project, Super Junior 05 collaborated with another boy band under the same label, TVXQ. They released a winter single titled “Show Me Your Love,” a bubbly pop track for the Christmas season. During this time, the two groups were seen on the same shows together to promote their single. “Show Me Your Love” became the highest selling album of December 2005.
After “Show Me Your Love” performances and promotions were finished, Super Junior 05 moved onto their second single, “Miracle“, a light bubblegum pop song. “Miracle” was the group’s first single to peak at #1 on different music charts of South Korea as well as international charts from overseas countries, such as Thailand. It was their last single to be promoted from SuperJunior05 (TWINS). As promotions for “Miracle” slowly came to an end, SM Entertainment decided replace some of the original members with new ones. Prior to Super Junior 05’s debut, the group was intended a rotational group with new members replacing the old members who would leave the group. After Super Junior 05, Super Junior 06, the second generation, would debut, and the label had began to take actions to announce the new members. However, after the addition of a thirteenth member, the project group was changed to a permanent group and became known as just Super Junior, without the suffix “05”.
 2006–2007: “U” and breakthrough success
On May 23, 2006, SM Entertainment announced the addition of a new member, Kyuhyun, being the youngest member. The new thirteen member group released their new single, “U” online for free download on May 25, 2006. “U” had over 400,000 downloads within five hours of release and ultimately exceeded 1.7 million downloads, crashing the server. The single was soon followed by the release of the second semi-promo track, “Endless Moment” on May 29, 2006. The CD single “U” with a total of three tracks was officially released on June 6, 2006, eventually selling over 83,000 units. The title song “U” enjoyed number-one spots for five consecutive weeks on two of Korea’s top music programs for the first time in the group’s career. The song was crowned as SBS Popular Songs’ Mutizen Song of the week as soon as it was released, being the first award for the group since debut. The song then stayed as Mutizen Song for three consecutive weeks on the same program. The song also grabbed top awards from M.NET’s M!Countdown for two weeks. When promotions for “U” were still active, a new single, “Dancing Out” was released on July 23, 2006 as part of SMTown‘s annual summer album. Super Junior had been frequently appearing on various musical and variety programs to promote both of their new singles thereafter. “Dancing Out” collected two awards as soon as it was released. Because their single “Dancing Out” was a special summer single, they had their “Goodbye Special” (performing their last singles “U” and “Dancing Out” for the last time) on SBS Popular Songs on September 3, 2006.[d] With the release of “U”, Super Junior collected over seven awards in five of South Korea’s music award ceremonies as 2006 came to a close, winning Best New Group and popularity awards.
An official fanclub was created for the group, E.L.F, an alphabetism derived from the phrase “Ever-lasting Friends.” Since Korean fans tend to support their idols with a certain balloon color, Super Junior’s official color became pearl sapphire blue.[e]
With the start of 2007, the group began to branch out into different splinter groups. Super Junior-K.R.Y, the first subgroup of Super Junior that debuted on November 5, 2006, began to give separate performances away from the group to promote their new songs. In February arrived a second subgroup, Super Junior-T who released their first single, “Rokkugo!!!“. Han Geng, who had problems with his visa and was limited to give music performances in South Korea, headed to China and began activities there. On April 19, 2007, four members of Super Junior, Leeteuk, Shindong, Eunhyuk, and Kyuhyun were injured in a car accident that deeply affected the group’s schedules and progress. Being the most injured, Kyuhyun was not discharged from the hospital until four months later, therefore unable to participate in the group’s single for SMTown, “Full of Happiness” (행복). Nonetheless, the cover from the former boy band H.O.T. accelerated quickly in singles charts in both South Korea and Thailand and soon became a number-one hit in Thailand’s international charts a month later.
 2007: Don’t Don
Heechul’s fracture of the femur from a car accident on August 10, 2006 and April 19 car accident prevented Don’t Don from being released until September 20, 2007. The group performed their first performance for the album on September 21, 2007 promoting the title track “Don’t Don” at KBS’s Music Bank. It was their first performance in which the group performed together as thirteen after a whole year.
Within the first three days of release, offline album sales passed the 11,000 mark, debuting as number one, and in close competition with Lee Soo Young‘s new release. Don’t Don finished the September monthly album sales as number one, surpassing Lee Soo Young’s and Wheesung‘s albums. 60,000 units were shipped by the first week of release and additional copies were reprinted. After three months of release, Don’t Don sold 164,058 copies, making it Super Junior’s best selling album. It was also the second best-selling album of 2007, falling 26,940 copies short of SG Wannabe‘s The Sentimental Chord.[c]
“Don’t Don” rose quickly in music charts a week after release. “Don’t Don” won its first recognition, the SBS Inkigayo Mutizen Song, on October 21, 2007 and later on M.NET’s M!Countdown, sharing the number one song of the week along with “Everyday” by V.O.S in November.
Unlike previous single “U”, “Don’t Don” was promoted only for a short time. Super Junior quickly moved to their second single, the R&B ballad “Marry U“, a new version of which appeared in the repackaged version of Don’t Don. The music video became available for download on November 13, 2007.
Supported by the release of Don’t Don, Super Junior was nominated in seven separate categories at the 2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival that was held on November 17, 2007. Super Junior won three of those categories including Netizen Choice Award and Mobile Popularity, being the biggest winner of the night. The group won Best Artist of the Year (Daesang), termed by many as the highest recognition of the night. Super Junior collected two more awards on December 14, 2007 at the 2007 Golden Disk Awards, an awards ceremony based on record success. Although defeated by SG Wannabe in winning the Daesang, Super Junior won a Bonsang and the TPL Anycall Popularity Award, which were reported as expected wins for the group by the media after the success of Don’t Don.
 2008: Overseas expansion
On October 2, 2007, the group’s management and label officially announced a third Super Junior sub-unit, Super Junior-M, a subgroup designated for the Chinese market. Super Junior-M debuted in China on April 8, 2008 at the 8th Annual Light Music Awards and with the release of their first single music video, “U“. The announcement of the new sub-unit has created a controversy between the fans and the management company as fans did not wish for the management to add a new member.[f] Answering Super Junior’s popularity throughout Asia, the group is currently holding their first Asia concert tour, entitled “The 1st ASIA TOUR – “Super Show“. The tour kicked off from Seoul on February 22, February 23 and February 24 in the Olympic Fencing Gymnasium in The Seoul Olympic Park.[g] The tour will cover nine different cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. The organizers decided to add an extra show on February 22, 2008 due to the success of the sales.
On July 8, 2008, Super Junior will make their first official appearance as a group in Japan, holding their first Japan fanmeeting in the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo as a celebration for the grand opening of their official Japanese Homepage that was opened on April 1, 2008. An estimate of 10,000 Japanese fans will be present at the fanmeeting. Although Super Junior has never held activities in Japan, the decision for the group to appear in the renowned Nippon Budokan has become a special event to notice.