It’s difficult for fans of Shinhwa and JYJ to see their idols gathering as a whole group even on their debut anniversaries.
The 25th debut anniversary of group Shinhwa and the 20th debut anniversary of JYJ members Kim Jun Su and Kim Jae Joong are both in March but the atmosphere is not entirely celebratory. Though they should be congratulated as “long-lasting idols” for having spent such a long time with their fans in the entertainment industry, both Shinhwa and JYJ still cannot shake off the shameful labels that follow them.
March 24th marks Shinhwa’s 25th debut anniversary, but the social controversies caused by member Shin Hye Sung, such as drunk driving, have been brought up once again.
Fans raised hope for Shinhwa members to reunite as a whole group. Knowing member Andy would hold a live broadcast with his wife on the group’s debut anniversary day, fans reacted, “We want to see you with Shinhwa members for the 25th anniversary, not with your wife”.
However, instead of a full group reunion, Shinhwa marked their 25th debut anniversary by quietly releasing the song “BamBiNun”, a follow-up track to their mini album “Come To Life”.
Shinhwa’s official SNS account only posted the short message, “Congratulations on Shinhwa’s 25th debut anniversary”. In responses, fans expressed disappointment, saying, “I’m not happy at all, because of someone… Will I be able to see the entire group together again in the future?”, “I will wait until the day 6 members reunite”, “The 25th anniversary feels so lonely and sad. I don’t even dare to hope for a group photo”, etc.
Shin Hye Sung caused scandals three times in 2007, 2009, and 2022. In 2007, he was investigated for drunk driving, and in 2009, he was charged with overseas gambling. In 2022, he was caught driving someone else’s car under the influence of alcohol.
After then, some Shinhwa members were criticized by netizens for indirectly mentioning Shin Hye Sung. In particular, Lee Min Woo said on a broadcast, “I don’t know when we’ll be able to reunite as six members, but I promise we’ll be back.”
JYJ members Kim Jae Joong and Kim Jun Su also celebrated their 20th debut anniversary this year. Although the two did not mention member Park Yoo Chun, who has been embroiled in various controversies, Park Yoo Chun’s name is still brought up whenever they gather in one place. It is because Park Yoo Chun has never directly announced his withdrawal from the group.
Kim Jae Joong and Kim Jun Su did a photoshoot together for the fashion magazine Cosmopolitan to commemorate their 20th debut anniversary this year.
When asked about their feelings on the 20th anniversary, Kim Jun Su replied, “I think lots of things have happened on our way to get here. Despite going through all of that, I’m proud that we’ve been doing well.”
Kim Jae Joong said, “It’s already been this much time… While having that thought, I think this is the time when we can be confident that we can do more things in the future.”
Regarding their plans for the 20th anniversary, the two shared, “We will not just let the 20th debut anniversary pass by”, raising fans’ expectations.
Meanwhile, Park Yoo Chun was sentenced to 10 months in prison and two years of probation for taking methamphetamine in 2019. He claimed his innocence, insisting that he did not use drugs, but the fact that he had taken drugs was confirmed, causing the negative public opinion towards him to intensify.