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A South Korean boy band with an exceptionally long career (Admittedly, ten years plus for a group of said genre is impressive to say the least.) Shinhwa was formed under the umbrella of producer, promoter and manager Lee Soo Man, the head of SM Entertainment in the late nineties. The six member group was finalized after a talent search by Lee and the group made its first appearance in March of 1998. A number of singles and a debut album followed shortly thereafter, and the band scored its first number ones -- in the singles charts -- with tracks from the 1999 follow up T.O.P. In 2000, the band released its first number one album, Only One, and won a handful of awards for their trouble. 2001 saw the release of album number four, Hey Come On!, which allowed the band a chance to release a compilation collection, entitled My Choice, the following year. Album number five, Perfect Man, was another number one debut, and was able to crack the top ten outside of Korea -- hitting number ten in Singapore. While 2002 was a bumper year for the group (their sixth album, Wedding, was also a huge hit), it was also notable for being the year that their contract with SM came to a close. The band chose to keep going, and switched to Good Entertainment. The band took the interregnum before their contract was to begin in 2004 to pursue some outside interests, including another compilation, solo albums, and some acting. Members Eric Mun, Lee Min Woo, Kim Dong Wan, Shin Hye Sung, Jun Jin, and Andy Lee reconvened in 2004 and once again were at the top of the charts in no time. Their album Brand New won the group a handful of awards, as well as allowing them to tour a good chunk of Asia. 2005 and 2006 saw the band take on hosting a reality show, in addition to re-upping their deal with Good Entertainment. Album number eight -- the number one State of the Art -- was released in May of 2006, and the band began work on a Japanese language album. The first Japanese single, "This Is the Sun In Our Hearts," was a top ten hit, and the album, Inspiration #1, was a top five smash. 2007 brought the group another break, and in addition to solo projects, the members of Sinhwa took on the management side of the music business. At the end of 2007, Sinhwa released yet another compilation album, Winter Story 2007-2008. ~ Chris True

South Korea

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