9 ways Girls' Generation redefined K-pop since 'Into The New World'

9 ways Girls' Generation redefined K-pop since 'Into The New World'

Right now, it's Girls' Generation. Tomorrow, it's Girls' Generation. Forever, it's Girls' Generation.

13 years ago, SM Entertainment's first girl group made their entrance to the K-pop scene. At that time in 2007, K-pop's international presence was almost unheard of, but years down the road, the nine members of Girls' Generation won the hearts of many, sparked a global phenomenon through their countless chart-topping comebacks, and re-defined the world of K-pop in many ways.

Girls' Generation earned themselves the title of 'The Nation's Girl Group', having stood the test of time across a diverse spectrum of concepts - you name it, they've done it. They have also become the first Asian girl group to achieve five music videos with over 100 million views on YouTube with 'Gee', 'I Got a Boy', 'The Boys', 'Mr. Taxi', and 'Oh!'.

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소녀시대 13주년이네요💗 긴 시간 동안 함께해준 S♡NE과 사랑하는 멤버들 모두 모두 고맙고 축하해요 살면서 내가 느끼는 여러가지 감정들을 하나하나 공유할 수 있고 같이 느낄 수 있는 사람들이 이렇게나 많다는 사실에 한 번 더 생각하게 되고 너무나도 소중하고 감사하네요 소시는 늘 끝이 없으니까 앞으로도 맞이 할 행복한 날들을 위해 치얼스 해요💗 오늘 하루 감사하게 생각하며 잘 보낼게요 소원도 소시도 행복하자 #GirlsGeneration13thAnniversary #13yearswithSONE

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The single 'Gee' from their first mini album was one that became a Youtube phenomenon with its music video. The addictive chorus that goes "Gee gee gee gee gee" got everyone around the world singing along and tapping their feet to the bubbly song.

'Gee' also sparked flashmobs all over the world and here is a video of Sones coming together for a flashmob in Thailand in 2009.

Girls' Generation's Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) was their second EP and it saw the girls dressing up as flight attendants in a fresh concept.

The korean version of 'Genie' saw monumental performances, including the performance at a helipad which became the most watched performance in the history of South Korea with a total of 8.6 million viewers. The song also accompanied the announcement of election results in South Korea.

Girls' Generation also made their Japanese debut with their Japanese version of 'Genie', which dominated the Japanese music charts, ranking #1 on iTunes Japan and peaked at #2 on Oricon's daily charts. The single was also certified platinium by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).

4. 'Oh!' made them the first and only girl group to win a Disk Daesang at the Golden Disc Awards

In 2010, Girls' Generation became the first girl group in history to win the Disk Daesang, the grand honour of all awards, at the Golden Disc Awards in South Korea. This was after the release of the second studio album Oh!, which was their iconic cheerleader concept.

After winning two Digital Daesangs in 2009 and 2011 respectively, Girls' Generation became the first girl group in history to win grand prizes three years in a row.

In 2012, Girls' Generation formed a three-member sub-unit with Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. Their debut album Twinkle was an international success, being the first Korean artists to have a #1 album on Billboard's album charts. 

Twinkle and their subsequent album Holler became the most-selling female sub-unit albums on South Korea's Hanteo album charts till today.

On New Year's Day of 2013, Girls' Generation dropped their forth studio album I Got A Boy which featured the already popular pre-release single 'Dancing Queen'. The album explored the rebellious side of the girls with their hip-hop influenced tracks, which opened their doors to international fame. 

The music video of 'I Got A Boy' went on to clinch Video of the Year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards in 2013, beating the star-studded nominees including the likes of Psy's 'Gentleman', Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj's 'Beauty and A Beat', and Lady Gaga's 'Applause'.

Watch Tiffany's thank you speech at the Youtube Music Awards 2013 here:

7. The multi-fandom love for Girls' Generation is indestructible

Sones are no stranger to the legendary performance of 'The Boys' and 'I Got A Boy' at one of K-pop's largest joint concerts, Dream Concert, in 2013. With multi-coloured lightsticks waving together with the pink ocean of sones, this performance was one that made history because the fanchants from all other K-pop fandoms were overwhelmingly loud. It was even reported that KBS had to edit the record audio because the fanchants almost covered the voices of Girls' Generation.

8. OT8 on stage, but OT9 in Sones' hearts

Following Jessica's departure from the nine-member girl group, the remaining members still persisted in promoting as a group and giving their best to their international fanbase. In one of their last songs recorded together as nine, 'Indestructible', Jessica sang the line "This indestructible, unbreakable bond that can never be broken", which remained a memory frozen in the hearts of Sones.

Girls' Generation proceeded with their 'The Best' tour in Japan as an eight-membered Girls' Generation, and went on to produce their fifth Korean studio album Lion Heart in 2015. Every year, the members continued to gather and celebrate Tiffany's birthday in Korea, despite her frequent travels to the States. The celebration is held in conjunction with their debut anniversary, which are both in early August.

9. Holiday Night, Girls' Generation's 10th anniversary album, was a testament to the power of the girl group

10 years since they began, the K-pop scene has changed tremendously, welcoming in acts after acts of memorable groups that have held their influences over time. However, Girls' Generation's sixth Korean studio album Holiday Night was not just a celebration. It was a statement to the world, that Girls' Generation is here to stay.

Apart from Holiday Night being the first full album by a K-GG to reach #1 on iTunes Worldwide, it was also awarded 21 #1's on iTunes and won the Disk Bonsang at the Golden Disc Awards in 2018.

Listen to the best of Girls' Generation on Spotify: