We all could use a little Red Velvet in our life. And no, we’re not talking about a flavorful crimson cake, but the even-sweeter five-member K-pop group from SM Entertainment. Having debuted back in 2014 with a four-member roster of Irene, Seulgi, Joy, and Wendy, Red Velvet first charmed South Korea’s music scene with their cheerful hit “Happiness” before adding Yeri, the fifth and final member in early 2015. It was at that moment that the complete, multifaceted iteration of Red Velvet came into existence through the timeless EP Ice Cream Cake, ultimately setting the group up for success.
Why Red Velvet?
Despite the addictive, sugary charm associated with the group’s name, there’s actual significance to Red Velvet’s title, which represents two contrasting styles that create a perfect pairing. The first is known as the "red" side of the group, largely responsible for the iconic lineup’s twinkly and enthusiastic pop sound, while the "velvet" title provides a more sophisticated sense of R&B maturity. Considering that Red Velvet has since mastered both well-crafted concepts, they’ve easily earned their reputation as an irreplaceable girl group.
The Group’s Quintessential Tracks
While we could go on a tangent about how every Red Velvet song slaps, there are a few that have managed to become instant classics or solid anthems for future generations. For starters, there’s the exhilarating title track “Ice Cream Cake” which was the first song to maneuver them to the forefront of mainstream K-pop with global recognition. In 2016, Red Velvet released “Russian Roulette,” which had an 8-bit synthy allure that earned the group rave reviews, before eventually reshaping their sound on the wildly confident single “Peek-a-Boo.” Soon after its release, they struck again with the mid-tempo maturity of “Bad Boy” which undoubtedly became one of the most effective stylistic switch-ups.
Birthday: March 29, 1991
Irene’s responsible for several Red Velvet roles, and she’s definitely qualified to fill all of them considering that she’s been with the company for 14 years so far. And five of those years were spent meticulously training, so she obviously didn’t just stumble into stardom. When she’s not serving stone-cold studio slayage with Red Velvet or as half of the Irene & Seulgi sub-unit, the singer has stepped into ambassador roles for Miu Miu and Prada.
Birthday: February 10, 1994
Red Velvet’s reliable powerhouse Seulgi has been seriously pursuing a career in music since high school, which naturally led to her SM casting back in 2007. With her unshakable respect for music and lengthy training period perfectly converging, Seulgi found a special space for her creativity in Red Velvet, becoming a huge asset for her recognizable vocal range and dance technique. We have far more than 28 reasons to stan this creative legend.
Highlights: Like every member, her entire career is a highlight (and “28 Reasons” is eternal), but let’s also take a second to appreciate her irreplaceable role amongst several SM K-pop goddesses on “Step Back.”
Birthday: September 3, 1996
Role: Lead Rapper and Vocalist
When it comes to Red Velvet’s gentle-hearted member Joy, you can’t help but develop an instant respect for the all-rounder who’s saturated the entertainment industry with her various talents. Yes, she’s an icon for her pop persona, capabilities as an actor, and as an ambassador for brands like Calvin Klein, however, she’s also an OST queen who’s been attached to major television series. But if you need further confirmation, we’re prepared to cite her nominations for sought-after awards with “Introduce Me a Good Person.”
Highlights: Joy’s energetic masterpiece "안녕 (Hello)" is a timeless K-bop, so get ready for the ultimate auditory mood booster.
Birthday: February 21, 1994
When it comes to Wendy, you can expect nothing but entertainment. Her vocals are explosive and her stage presence is next-level, making her one of the most durable singers on the stacked SM entertainment roster. And after witnessing that high note on GOT the Beat’s second single “Stamp On It,” (or Red Velvet’s “Queendom”) I think we can all safely say her talent speaks for itself. That being said, don’t limit her already impressive skills to music, because Wendy has also become an award-winning radio host on the charming series Wendy’s Youngstreet.
Birthday: March 5, 1999
As the last addition to Red Velvet, Yeri refused to go unnoticed by acting as an immediate resource for her vocals and rap, which are most noticeable through on tracks like “Peek-a-Boo” or the beloved hit “Bad Boy.” When it comes to her time as an all-star actor, Yeri’s real-life bubbly demeanor gets tucked away so she ca decimate her fictional opponents, solidifying that she’s always giving main character energy.
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