There’s something that new k-pop fans might not understand about the older generations of idols. Many people like to criticize Super Junior for their past actions, seeing them only as variety idols without any musical value. Some might wonder how they have lasted for so long, thinking that they aren’t even popular anymore, that they are overrated, etc. It’s a well known fact that one of the secrets to Suju’s successful career is because they treat everyone around them with respect. Numerous hoobaes and sunbaes have said the same thing over & over again : you might not see them as popular or relevant now, but their popularity and impact were grandiose, more than you could ever imagine. SJ has so many connections in the industry, going from actors/singers, to MCs/producers. They spent a decade trying to tie countless of relations here and there, finding many opportunities to spread their talents. What they do might not interest you, but they are really what you call a well-rounded group. There is not one single member who is useless or isn’t talented.
You want a good producer? You have Shindong. Great MCs? Leeteuk, Heechul, Kangin, Eunhyuk, Kyuhyun are doing well. Radio DJs? Ryeowook and Shindong are comfortable doing that. One of the best vocal line, if not the best in kpop? Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, Yesung are here to please your ears. Zhou Mi is super great as well. Kangin & Shindong went on Masked Singers (Still waiting for Heechul to make an appearance). Actors? Yesung, Siwon and Heechul are pretty confident in this field. Dancers and choreographers? Of course we can’t not mention Eunhyuk, Donghae and Shindong. Composers? Not only Donghae is a genius, but a few of them have proven to be talented as well (Did you listen to Don’t Leave Me? If not, you should, and thank Siwon later; also can we talk about Henry? That guy never cease to impress me). Musical actors? Sungmin, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun excel in musicals. And those are just a small part of what each member can do. On top of that, members can play instruments, have a great variety sense, are hilarious, are a genuine and caring group of people, are hard workers, and most importantly : all of them can actually sing, contrary to popular belief. Their voices mixed together blend perfectly and they have a unique sound. Even their sub-units will impress you. Give their discography a listen, because they have proven themselves so many times already. You will not be disappointed.
The thing is that it seems like everyone who’s working in this industry knows how talented Super Junior is and how difficult it was for them to be where they are today, yet the public chooses to ignore this side of the group. They’re veterans in the industry that should be respected. I mean, their name was supposed to be SM Junior when they debuted, but they changed it to “Super” because the members themselves said : “We have to become first at what we do best, so that when members gather, we’ll be the top of the top. That’s why we are Super Junior.”
Super Junior's Hardship: Just because they are from a big company doesn't mean they had it easy.
This is just some of Super Junior’s Hardship
This is like a semi-long history of SJ. Basically SJ has been through a WHOLE TON of shit in their careers. They started as a 12-member project group in 2005 by their label that intended to rotate out members. They originally included a Chinese member named Han Geng and didn’t include Kyuhyun who joined in 2006. They were actually just a collection of leftover trainees from the group that didn’t make it into the original 5-member lineup of DBSK/TVXQ.
SM decided against their original plans and the members were finalized. Against all odds, they started becoming popular in 2006 and in 2009 they released Sorry, Sorry, which among others is considered one of the most well-known KPOP songs. Unfortunately, at this point Han Geng had been having a very difficult time and sued their label for a variety of violations including (unfair contract length, poor profit distribution, not giving him a single day off in 2 years which led to severe illness, and poor handling of his visas-which meant he performed covering his face for a good while and poor individual promotion, etc.). His last appearance in an MV is the Sorry, Sorry Answer video. Another member, Kim Kibum went on hiatus in 2009 to focus on his acting career and never returned; his last MV was It’s You.
In between this period of time we have several other horrible things. In 2006, Donghae’s father succumbed to his battle with cancer-there is an emotional video somewhere on YT where he dedicates their first music show win to his dad. On their way home from the funeral, Heechul was in a car accident and he broke his leg in 5 places and had rods in it for about two years. It’s unfortunate but in some of their live performances you see that he can’t really run and there are some dance moves he just can’t complete from that injury.
In 2007, our poor maknae Kyuhyun was in a horrible car accident with Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Shindong. He was pretty much almost dead and in a coma, and the other three members were injured fairly badly as well (Leeteuk got over 100 stitches for glass in his back and eye, etc.). There is a whole long story about that incident as well and if you want to hear about it react to “Strong Heart Kyuhyun talks about accident” (just search it up and get the one with English subs).
Also in 2007, SM created a Mandarin subunit SJ-M with two other members-Henry (Canadian-Taiwanese) and Zhoumi (Chinese). Some fans were terrified that these two new members would ‘replace’ some of the original members (remember the original idea of SJ being a rotational project group?), so these ONLY13 fans protested and basically made Zhoumi and Henry’s lives a living hell (some still do). Fortunately, most ELFs (SJ fans) now consider them to be full members of the group (#Forever15) even though SM prevents them from performing anything except their solos and SJ-M activities at concerts.
In 2009, Kangin got a DUI and an assault charge (that one was later proven to be self-defense), so he became the first member to do his 2-year mandatory military service. In 2014, Leeteuk (the leader) had a pretty horrible thing happen. His father, who was struggling with depression and was under enormous financial burden to take care of his parents, Leeteuk’s grandparents, who both had dementia, killed the grandparents and himself in a murder-suicide.
And all of these awful things happened to them while they were under the stress of just regular idol activities like being overworked, having little sleep, trying to maintain their figures with dieting, and having various members do their military service, and constantly being scrutinized and criticized for being celebrities in the public eye.
Anyway, it’s a miracle that they are still around despite all of the challenge and are still producing and performing great music. They are considered one of the foremost groups in KPOP and are credited with leading the wave of K-pop style music into the western hemisphere.
This talk of kicking Sungmin and Kangin out pisses me off because it reminds me of three various years:
2006- “Kick Kyuhyun out”
2007- “Kick Henry out”
2008- “Kick Zhoumi out”
This isn’t a spin-the-wheel-and-let’s-see-which-member-it-is-this-time game. These are living, breathing people. This is their career. Just leave them be. They’ve been together 12 years. Stop this.