K-Pop legends Shinhwa confirms comeback plans

Seasoned K-Pop fans know that the name Shinhwa elicits recognition, respect and adulation. Shinhwa is a 6-member K-Pop idol group composed of Eric Mun (leader and rapper), Shin Hye Sung (lead vocalist), Lee Min Woo (dancer, vocalist), Kim Dong Wan (sub-vocalist), Jun Jin (rapper and dancer), and Andy Lee (rapper). Shinhwa debuted on March 24, 1998 and are known for K-pop hits like "Perfect Man", "How Do I Say", and "Once in a Lifetime".

The name Shinhwa is the Korean word for "myth" or "legend" and this group has definitely lived up to their name. With more than 13 years in the business, Shinhwa's journey in the K-Pop industry inspires other idol groups including current K-Pop stars like Big Bang, Super Junior, 2PM, B2ST, SHINee and SNSD. Just look at the good things popular K-Pop idols say about Shinhwa.

Shinhwa has indeed won the respect not only of their fans but also their colleagues in the industry. This high regard is due to Shinhwa's inspiring story of commitment and survival in the K-Pop industry.

Shinhwa currently holds the record for the longest—running Korean boy band in existence with a total of 13 years under their belt. One of the highlights of Shinhwa's showbiz journey occurred in 2003 when their contract with SM Entertainment, the same company behind Super Junior, SHINee and SNSD, expired. The members did not wish to renew their contract and opted to sign with a new company called Good Entertainment. This resulted in a legal battle with SM Entertainment over copyright ownership of the name "Shinhwa" and the Shinhwa discography. After a much-publicized legal battle, Shinhwa won the case and were given the chance to purchase their name and their discography. Aside from copyright issues, Shinhwa also had to battle attempts at breaking their group apart but their commitment to each other triumphed as the group remains intact and is growing stronger.

After leaving SM Entertainment, Shinhwa has gone on to greater success not just as a group but also as solo artists. Aside from winning countless awards, some of their major achievements include being the Korean representative to the MTV Buzz Asia Awards in 2004 aside from being hailed as the most searched artist on Yahoo! Singapore during their visit in October 2004. Shinhwa was the first Korean artist to achieve such a feat. The group also enjoyed crossover success in Japan and other Asian countries. Shinhwa was hailed as the best Korean singers overseas by Arirang in 2006 and 2007 beating out artists like TVXQ, Kangta, BoA, Se7en, and Super Junior. With these achievements, Shinhwa may be tagged as "hallyu stars" even before the label became popular. As solo artists, all Shinhwa members have released successful albums. Some members also dabbled in other fields such as acting and modeling.

For the Shinhwa Changjos, the name of Shinhwa fans, the coming year will be an exciting one as Shinhwa has formally announced their comeback plans for March 2012. Shinhwa had been absent from the industry as most of them served their mandatory military service in the past years. Last August 1, Shinhwa's representative told Star News that: "Shinhwa will release a new album next March to kick off their activities. In conjunction with the album, they will be holding a concert and making guest appearances on TV shows." Along with their comeback plans, Shinhwa also announced the formation of their own entertainment company simply called "Shinhwa Company". The comeback announcement prompted a lot of Shinhwa fans to start preparing their cash and their passports to visit Korea next year. I am sure it will be one hell of a reunion concert.

For those who can't wait, they may enjoy the individual activities of active Shinhwa members including Eric's drama "Myung-wol the Spy" and Hye Sung and Dong Wan's upcoming Japanese releases.

Are you one of those already counting the days until Shinhwa's return? Share your thoughts through our comment box!