The Longest-Lasting K-pop Group: Hasn’t Disbanded After 26 Years, Image Stained due to 1 Member

The K-pop industry receives news of. However, there’s a longest-lasting K-pop group that stands the test of time.

The longest-lasting K-pop Group

Introduced by SM Entertainment in March 1998 and still active as a group as of the moment, Shinhwa is called the longest-lasting K-pop group in excitement, and their longevity is even considered as “legendary”.

As a 1st generation group, Shinhwa has been through various ups and downs throughout their 26 years of activities, and managed to withstand the test of time with various legacy. 

Below is a summary of Shinhwa, from their history, to achievements 



Shinhwa, consisting of 6 members (Eric, Minwoo, Dongwan, Hyesung, Jun Jin, Andy), made their debut in 1998 under SM Entertainment. The group initially struggled when their 1st album did not gain much attention, but found commercial success with their 2nd album released in 1999. 

In 2003, Shinhwa’s contract with SM expired, and the agency wanted to disband the group and renew contracts with all members except Dongwan.


At the time, the group’s leader, Eric, who had the highest brand value, was offered a massive amount of money. However, instead of existing SM’s offer, Eric held a meeting with SM members and disclosed his plan for the group to continue as a whole. This is an extremely difficult task, as SM holds the rights to the name “Shinhwa” and wouldn’t let it go. 

In the end, Eric founded Good Entertainment and made a deal with SM so that Shinhwa can continue. SM then broke the promise in 2005 by trademarking the group’s brand, which sparks a 12-year legal battle that ended in Shinhwa’s favor. 

As a result, the group was able to reclaim their name, and their self-started agency was also changed to Shinhwa Company. 


Throughout their run, Shinhwa has amassed various groundbreaking records and achievements.

This includes various awards at prestigious ceremonies like the Golden Disc Awards (GDA), KBS Music Awards (KMA), Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), MTV Asia Awards, and Seoul Music Awards. 


Most notably, Shinhwa still enjoyed commercial success in the 2010s, over 10 years into their career. 


Alongside being the longest-lasting K-pop group, Shinhwa is known for being the 1st K-pop group to try out various roles, from being an idol-actor, radio DJ, to branching out solo activities while still active as a group. 

Shinhwa thumbnail

Shinhwa is also remarkable for their intense dance moves – a new trend at the time, setting the foundation for K-pop’s impressive choreographies today. 

The group’s fandom, Shinhwa Changjo, who is associated with the color orange, is also known as the longest-running Korean fan club. 


Despite having overcome various challenges to stay together for over 20 years, however, Shinhwa’s image and future plans have been ruined in 2022 due to a member’s controversy. 

In particular, member Hyesung, was charged with drunk-driving, theft, and refusal to take the breathalyzer test. 


It is known that this was actually Hyesung’s 2nd time getting into trouble with DUI, as he was caught in the same act back in 2007. 

Hyesung’s repeated reckless behavior has put a stain on Shinhwa’s otherwise spotless legacy, and put the group’s plan for a whole-group concert on hold. 

In December 2022, however, member Minwoo mentioned that Shinhwa will be back as 6, sparking speculations that even with the controversies, the group’s career will continue.

Source: Naver, Daum

Back to top button