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!'.
SNSD shaped the world's economy by being mannequins, marines, cheerleaders, secret agents, taxi drivers, gangsters, Broadway actresses, stewardesses, bartenders, surgeons, construction workers and fucking legends#13SummersWithGG#13년째_지금은_소녀시대 pic.twitter.com/cmPnqOwfFE— G. (@soshialism) August 4, 2020
OT9 (one true nine), a term that their Sones (fanclub name) hold fondly to their hearts, was not built in one day. With #13summerswithGG trending on Twitter on 5 August and the celebration of their 13th debut anniversary making the hearts of Sones full, Bandwagon looks back on the past 13 years with the 'No.1 Girl Group in the world'.
View this post on Instagram
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
Here are 9 best moments where Girls' Generation changed the tides of the K-pop wave and emerged as one of the strongest girl groups till today.
1. 'Into The New World' became a global anthem for empowerment
5 August marks 13 years since the voices of Girls' Generation were first heard by the world. The nine members who were still fresh in their early 20s, delivered a song with lyrics radiating with positivity.
The empowering lyrics of the song which encourages one to step 'Into The New World' despite the uncertainties that the future may hold and to never give up on love led to the song being used as an anthem for change.
Into The New World, is regarded as a protest song towards a ‘better’ world, it served as a voice to people who want to be heard.— Sone Support (@SoneSupport_) August 2, 2020
The song transcended social, political and music boundaries. #13YearsWithITNW @GirlsGeneration pic.twitter.com/rRmzvzlpLg
The song was heard at the Womens' March in New York, the Ehwa Womens' University protests of 2016, LGBTQ+ rights protests, as part of South Korea's #Metoo campaigns, as well as the celebration of abortion law repeal in South Korea.
2. 'Gee' was the hit song that established Girls' Generation's global presence
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.
3. 'Genie' was Girls' Generation's key to dominating the Japanese market
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.
NO ONE COMES CLOSE TO SNSD#13SummersWithGG— ᴍᴀᴊᴏ (@beyoongc) August 4, 2020
5. 'Twinkle' was sub-unit TaeTiSeo's breakthrough
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.
Best selling GG's SUBUNITS ALBUMS on HANTEO:— Red Velvet Charts 😈 (@chartsredvelvet) July 6, 2020
1. Twinkle - TTS (+74,000)
2. Holler - TTS (+66,000)
3. #MONSTER (+57,000) *1st day*#RedVelvet_IRENE_SEULGI_Monster #MonsterISHere @RVsmtown pic.twitter.com/se8ATzs3Nz
6. 'I Got A Boy' was when Girls' Generation peaked at their international stardom
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.
okay but it's so cute that no matter what, tiffany always spends her birthday with snsd members because they're her precious family and they celebrate not only her birthday but also their anniversary together. when she said snsd was a miracle to her, she really meant it pic.twitter.com/2sfPBKgbbh— steph | tiffany enthusiast (@puppymyong) August 1, 2020
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:
Like what you read? Show our writer some love!