May 25, 2008
Jonghyun – Passed away December 18, 2017
Shinee is a South Korean boy band that debuted in 2008. They’ve acquired a loyal following over the past ten years have become one of the best selling groups in South Korea. The group currently consists of four members. A fifth member who started with the original group, Jonghyun, passed away on December 18, 2017.
The group started their career as an R&B contemporary group, which was not as common back then. And that was their goal. They didn’t want to sound like every other Kpop group at the time. Shinee wanted their music to blur the lines between hip hop, electronic music, and rhythm and blues.
But they also wanted to influence fashion and dance to give the group an overall different feel. They felt being different would increase their popularity and show a new side to a Kpop group.
Shinee has released over 15 albums, numerous singles, and over 30 music videos. They’ve also collected many awards and nominations along the way.
Lee Jin Ki
Leader, Main Vocalist
December 14, 1989
178 cm (5’10”)
Onew is a South Korean singer, dancer, and actor. He is best known for being a part of the boy band Shinee. He was born in Gwangmyeong, South Korea. Onew attended Chungwoon University and majored in music broadcasting.
Onew auditioned for a casting call from SM Entertainment in 2006. They were impressed with him and offered him a contract the next day. After two years of training, he was put into the lineup as the leader for the new band Shinee and debuted with the group on May 25, 2008. Since then, he became one of the best-selling entertainers in South Korea.
While creating music with Shinee, he also contributed to music for other singers. Onew was also interested in writing songs. Along with bandmate Minho, he wrote the lyrics for Shinee’s single “Your Name.”
Onew served as MC for various television programs and as a presenter for awards shows. He participated in different musicals and was the lead in Rock of Ages musical.
Acting was also one of Onew’s passions. He was well sought after for acting parts. He acted in several television series and sang the soundtrack for the drama “Miss Korea.” In 2014, he was a contestant on the reality show “Laws of the Jungle.”
Onew auditioned for the main lead in the new web drama “Dating Was the Easiest,” he won the part out of 2000 other contestants. He was praised for his preparation and his take on the character he was playing.
In 2016, Onew was cast in the popular drama “Descendants of the Sun” and it became a hit in Korea and China. He won the best newcomer award that year.
Onew went back to music later that year and released the duet “Starry Night” with singer Lee Jin-Ah. He was later accused of sexual harassment and pulled from other projects he was involved in.
Onew’s solo debut came with the EP “Voice.” It was announced with a teaser on November 29, 2018. Onew then enlisted for his mandatory military service on December 5, 2018, and is expected to be discharged on July 20, 2020.
Kim Ki Bum
Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer, Vocalist
September 23, 1991
181 cm (5’11”)
Key is a South Korean singer, actor, fashion designer, and presenter. He is an only child and was born in Daegu, South Korea. He was raised by his grandmother due to his mother’s failing health. Key graduated from college with a degree in film and music. He also earned a post-graduate degree in culture and education.
In 2006, Key auditioned for SM Entertainment and signed a contract with the agency. He appeared as a back-up dancer in the film “Attack on the Pin-Up Boys.”
Key won a part in the new boy band Shinee and debuted with them in 2008. Their first mini-album Replay landed at number eight on the music charts. He also performed on television and was featured on other musician’s songs.
Key was later cast in several musicals and plays. Along with his good friend Woohyn, Key formed a duo that won the Popularity Award from the 29th Golden Disc Awards.
In 2016, Key made his acting debut in the drama “Drinking Solo.” He was praised by the network for his hard work and preparation for his part. He was also in the drama “The Guardians.”
Key made his solo debut with the single “Chemicals” during a fashion show in 2018. His first full-length album Face was released on November 26, 2018. He later released music in Japanese and toured Japan to promote his music.
Fashion is also one of Key’s passions. He is considered the best dressed of the group and also one of the best dressed in South Korea. He is known for mixing colors and starting his own fashion trends. SM Entertainment noticed his talent and he was promoted to fashion director for his band and other musical groups. He self-designed sweatshirts and sold them for charity.
His success in the fashion world led him into modeling and then working as an editor in the Korean version of Elle magazine. He is also known for his philanthropic activities. He’s been involved in donating food and medical aid to several different countries. He also helped build a water well in Cambodia.
Key enlisted for his mandatory military service on March 4, 2019.
Choi Min Ho
Main Rapper, Vocalist, Visual
December 9, 1991
184 cm (6’0″)
Minho is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and actor best known as a member of the Kpop boy band Shinee. He was born in Incheon, South Korea. He attended Konkuk University. Minho’s father is a soccer coach and Minho’s dream as a child was to become a soccer player. However, Minho’s father was against it and he had to abandon that dream.
Minho passed an audition at an SM casting call in 2006. He was put into the line-up of the boy band Shinee and they debuted in May 2008. They released their first mini-album Replay, and it charted at number eight on the music charts.
Acting was also one of Minho’s talents. He made his acting debut on the television drama “Pianist.” Following that, he was cast in more television programs and music videos. Minho was noticed for his rapping abilities and he contributed to the rap lyrics on Shinee’s albums.
Minho did more acting from 2013 to present day. He received positive reviews for his efforts and was offered movie roles as well as television. His popularity grew over the years and he made the 2017 Vogue list of the “Sexiest Men Alive.”
Minho is an Honorary Ambassador for Unicef. He has been a part of many of Unicef’s campaigns over the years. He met with First Lady Melania Trump and made an appearance with her at the U.S. embassy in Korea. The event promoted the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Minho began his military service on April 15, 2019, and he is expected to be discharged in November 2020.
Lee Tae Min
Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist
July 18, 1993
179 cm (5’10”)
Taemin is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and dancer. He is best known as a member of the boy band Shinee. He was born in Seoul, South Korea. He comes from a family of four and attended Hanlim Multi Art School and Myongji University majoring in music and film production.
Taemin originally wanted to become a pilot but after watching Michael Jackson dance, he decided that’s what he wanted to do. His parents noticed his dancing and they encouraged him to audition for SM Entertainment in 2005. He was very young but he was signed immediately and began his training. Taemin was placed in the line-up of the new band Shinee and they made their debut in May 2008 when Taimen was only 14.
Singing wasn’t Taemin’s only talent. In 2012, he also began acting on television and doing voiceovers for animated movies. Taemin composed the original soundtrack for the drama “To The Beautiful You.” He joined a six-member dance team that year.
In 2014, Taemin made his solo debut and released his mini-album Ace. It contained six tracks. He studied choreography and trained in Los Angeles for dancing in his music videos.
He released more music in the following years including his Japanese debut of the mini-album Solitary Goodbye. He held his first solo concert in Japan in 2017. His second studio album Move debuted at number two on Gaon Album Chart. In 2019, Taemin’s EP Want went to number four on the Billboard charts.
Jonghyun debuted with Shinee and the other members in May 2008. Sadly, he passed away on December 18, 2017. His cause of death is listed as carbon monoxide poisoning and it was ruled a suicide. Shinee named him the member for eternity.