This week, two South Korean pop megastars, Girls Generation and the Wonder Girls, are taking big steps into the American music market. Girl’s Generation has scheduled two mainstream television appearances -- one with David Letterman and the other with Live! With Kelly -- to promote the release of their American single, The Boys. The Wonder Girls, meanwhile, will debut their movie Wonder Girls at the Apollo on February 2, 2012 through Teen Nick.
There may be be fans from either group that feel this rivalry is overplayed -- Girls Generation and the Wondergirls debuted in 2007 only months apart. Because this was a time before the Korean pop scene became saturated with girl groups, Girl’s Generation and the Wonder Girls, two pop acts with very similar concepts, were (and are) frequently pitted against each other as rivals.
But there’s something to be said for how differently their journeys have played out. To commemorate how far these two groups have come (and to fill in those who are new to these groups), here’s a look back at the hits that brought these young ladies to where they are today.
Wonder Girls made their debut in 2007 with the sassy title track Irony. The original members were Sun, Yenny, Mimi (no longer active), So Hee, and Hyuna (currently a member of kpop group 4Minute).
Girl’s Generation, meanwhile, made their debut a couple months later with nine members. Their single was an inspirational and youthful track called Into the New World.
RISE OF THE WONDER GIRLS
Wonder Girls’ member Hyuna dropped out of the group just as they were planning to return with their follow up single, Tell Me. Husky-voiced rapper YuBin takes Hyuna's place. Tell me, the conceptually-retro, cheeky single becomes the smash hit, number-one-cinching turning point of the Wonder Girls’ career.
The Wonder Girls continue to dominate Korea in 2008 with the summer smash hit So Hot. They cap the year off by solidifying their position at the top with another retro-themed hit Nobody.
GIRL’S GENERATION COMEBACK
While the Wonder Girls are away in America to promote Nobody, Girl’s Generation releases Gee in early 2009. Gee is an addictively catchy, unapologetically sugary single that captures the heart of South Korea.
The Wonder Girls prolong their stay in America, and Girl’s Generation follows up Gee with another smash hit, Tell Me Your Wish.
The Wonder Girls land a huge opportunity when they are invited to be the opening act for the Jonas Brothers concert tour. However, original member Mimi decides to drop out of the group to focus on her studies. During the summer of 2010, the Wonder Girls briefly promote in South Korea with the single 2 Different Tears with new member Hye Rim.
At the same time, Girl’s Generation releases a string of hits including Oh!, Run Devil Run, and Hoot. Unlike the Wonder Girls, Girl’s Generations focuses on Japan for their international expansion where they release the single Mr. Taxi.
2011 RIVALS REUNITE
Okay, pause. We’ve just traversed four years of worth of music from Girl’s Generation and the Wonder Girls. Fast forward to 2011: Girl’s Generation and the Wonder Girls face off (finally) with their singles The Boys and Be My Baby respectively. Both groups reach number one with their respective singles.
The Boys, Girl's GenerationBe My Baby, Wonder Girls2012 AMERICAN DEBUT
We are days away from the Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation reaching a milestone, and we’re curious to see how both groups will do with their American debut. What do you think readers? Who’s debut are you looking forward to, and how do you think they will do?
DJ Is Mine, Wonder GirlsThe Boys, Girl's Generation on Late Night with David Letterman and Live! With Kelly