Can you believe it’s been this long already since one of the most iconic K-pop groups officially debuted? Nicknamed as the “Nation’s Girl Group” in South Korea, SNSD or Girls’ Generation rose to fame back in 2009 with their bubblegum pop single, “Gee,” which kickstarted the colourful skinny jeans trend. The K-pop group known for youthful and refreshing appeal went on to produce 10 albums, which included hits like “Genie” and “The Boys” that showed how they evolved and experimented with their personal and musical styles.
Still, it was only inevitable that the ladies would experience a few challenges in their long-standing career. Originally a nine-girl group, Girls’ Generation lost a sister with the departure of Jessica Jung in 2014. And in 2017, three more members decided not to renew their contracts with the group’s label SM Entertainment, prompting the creation of the Oh!GG subunit consisting of the remaining five members. However, their decision to pursue their own paths doesn’t mean the girl gang has totally left each other. Taeyeon, Yoona, Sooyoung, Seohyun, Tiffany, Yuri, Hyoyeon, and Yuri still remain as close as ever. They even reunited just last week for Tiffany’s birthday. As SNSD celebrates their 12th anniversary, let’s all see what the ladies are up to now.
SNSD’s leader and eldest member is known for her soulful vocals that make for powerful ballads. Taeyeon has already been performing solo in between SNSD activities way back in 2015. In March this year, she released Four Seasons, a digital album with the title track peaking at number six on Billboard’s World Digital Songs Chart. Not only that, but soon, she’ll join the cast of the third season of musical variety show Begin Again to try her hand in busking.
Like Taeyeon, the girl group’s visual released her debut solo EP, entitled A Walk To Remember, last May with the single “Summer Night.” Aside from that, Yoona starred in disaster film Exit just released in South Korea last 31 July. The box office hit was a considerable challenge for the doe-eyed SNSD member as it was her first time playing a lead role in a film.
After leaving SM two years ago, Sooyoung decided to focus her efforts on her acting career. The 29-year-old K-idol was cast in numerous shows and films including Korean-Japanese film Memories of a Dead End, action-comedy movie Girl Cops, and in a rom-com K-drama entitled So I Married an Anti-fan. She’s now in talks to sign with Saram Entertainment and was invited to star in upcoming drama Call It Like You See It set to air in 2020.
Like Sooyoung, SNSD’s innocent maknae (a Korean term referring to the youngest in the group) pursued her acting after her contract with the group’s label ended in 2017. She starred as one of the leads in dramas Bad Thief, Good Thief and Time. Early this year, she signed with a new agency, Namoo Actors.
Tiffany was one of the first three to leave the label to take on a different path. After she departed, she moved back to Los Angeles for her solo singing career and studies. She then adapted the stage name Tiffany Young, and debuted as an artist in the US, with “Over My Skin” as her first single. Fun fact: she was one of the first K-pop idols to walk the red carpet of the American Music Awards. Just this Friday, she released a new single called “Magnetic Moon” and performed in a concert in Seoul the next day.
After the departure of the three and the subsequent formation of the Oh!GG subunit, Yuri also decided to debut solo in 2018 with her six-track EP The First Scene, which became a chart-topping album in South Korea. She has also since appeared in various dramas like Dae Jang Geum Is Watching and other reality shows. This year, she was cast in her first stage play, Grandpa Henry and Me, a Korean adaptation of a 2012 French play.
Turns out, SNSD’s dancing queen was also a queen with turntables. Last year, Hyoyeon made a comeback as solo artist DJ Hyo under SM’s electronic dance label, Scream Records. She went on performing actively as a DJ in domestic club tours and EDM festivals. Just last month, she released a psychedelic new single, “Badster”, and went on an Asian club tour that included stops in Malaysia, Macau, and Japan.
In recent years, Sunny appeared more and more in numerous local variety shows like Real Life Men and Women and Supermodel 2018 Survival. She also hosted the talk show Video Star, but was forced to exit due to a knee injury, which prompted rumours of her worsening health. Thankfully, all were debunked and she’s healthier than ever and is now back to hosting Shall We Chicken?, a cooking variety show.
Jessica’s sudden departure left a hole in fans’ and even the members’ hearts, and we can’t deny that she has been an integral part of the girl group since its formation back in 2007. She has since been busy with her luxury fashion brand BLANC & ECLARE. She’s also active as an artist. She held a concert in Taiwan last year, and released a Christmas single entitled “One More Christmas.” Last June, she, along with her sister Krystal from f(x) filmed their reality show Jung Sisters in the US.
(Cover photo from: @515sunnyday)