Super Junior (Korean: 슈퍼주니어), often referred to as SJ or SuJu (슈주), is a boy band from Seoul, South Korea that was formed under SM Entertainment in 2005. With a total of twelve members, they are the largest boy band in the world.The members are Leeteuk (the leader), Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kang-in, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kibum, and later, Kyuhyun. The Chinese member, Han Geng, was chosen among three thousand applicants through auditions held in China by SM Entertainment in 2001.
Super Junior has released and contributed in 19 different kinds of records with varying degrees of success. Over the years, they have been divided into smaller sub groups, simultaneously targeting different music industries and audiences. Largely due to Super Junior’s success as entertainers, other Korean entertainment managements began to train their music groups in other areas of entertainment, such as acting and hosting. In addition to their commercial success, Super Junior has earned four music awards from the M.NET/KM Music Festival, another four from the Golden Disk Awards, and is the second singing group to win Favorite Artist Korea at the MTV Asia Awards after jtL in 2003.
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 Lee Soo-man 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 oversea 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; Sungmin and Donghae were then selected to be trainees after their appearance in an SM-sponsored contest. A year later, 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.
Not long after boy band TVXQ’s debut in 2003, news about Lee’s unprecedented plans of forming another boy band quickly spread on the Internet. In early 2005, Lee confirmed the news and announced that an all-boy project group of twelve members would debut near the end of the year, promoting this singing group to be “The Gateway to Stardom of Asia.” Lee announced that unlike most debuting pop groups that has members with no pre-debut experience, the members in this group were chosen because of their performing experiences as actors, MCs, models, and radio hosts prior debut. Heechul and Kibum made their first appearances in dramas and films; Leeteuk, Yesung, Kang-in, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, and Siwon have had television appearances, and Han Geng made his first media appearance as a model. Heechul also became an established radio host and MC after his television drama debut in early 2005.Lee also stated, though not directly, that this group would be a rotational group, with a concept very similar to Japan’s girl group, Morning Musume. Line-up changes would occur every year, and new members would replace some of the older members.
For a while the group was rumored to be called O.V.E.R, the acronym for “Obey the Voice for Each Rhythm.”[a] However, before the group settled with their current name, the company simply referred to them as Junior, a representation of the members’ young ages when they first became SM trainees.After the members’ showcased their different talents to the company at a picnic, the company finalized their concept name to Super Junior. The group thereafter became officially Super Junior 05, the first generation of Super Junior.
Super Junior 05 made their pre-debut appearance on the Korean channel Mnet on September 11, 2005.[b] At the showcase, they 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.