Only 6 Soloists From SM Entertainment Groups Have Released Full Albums
SM Entertainment is known for its vast roster of successful soloists that originally debuted as members of different groups. Iconic idols like SHINee‘s Jonghyun, Taemin, and Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon have always received praise for their solo comebacks, which are of such quality that only seasoned idols can pull off.
However, netizens recently noticed a small detail that says a lot about SM’s way of organizing and managing their artists’ busy schedules, including group and solo comebacks. Only six soloists that come from their groups have released a full album, with two of them being released this year.
1. SHINee’s Taemin
One of the most renowned soloists in the industry, SHINee’s Taemin, leads the list with three full albums released ever since his debut in 2014. One of Taemin’s albums, his latest Never Gonna Dance Again, has two acts, making it technically four albums for the SHINee star.
Taemin’s first album, Press It, was released on February 2016, two years after his debut. His second came after only one year, with the single “MOVE” becoming a viral hit and one of the most iconic songs in K-Pop. Finally the two acts of his last album Never Gonna Dance Again, were released in September and November of 2020 respectively.
2. SHINee’s Jonghyun
The second SHINee member on this list, Jonghyun, has released two full albums. Jonghyun was also the second to debut solo in SHINee, following Taemin’s debut he released Base his first mini album on January 2015.
Jonghyun’s first album, likewise Taemin’s, came one year after his debut. The talented idol released She Is on May 2016. His second, Poet / Artist was released on January 24, 2018.
However, Jonghyun has two more compilation albums, collections of songs that he recorded in his radio show MBC‘s Blue Night. Story Op. 1 and Story Op. 2 were released on September 2015 and April 2017 respectively.
3. Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon
Taeyeon has released three full albums ever since her debut in 2015 with her first mini-album I. Her first full album My Voice came on February 2017 with the lead single “Fine.”
Her second, Purpose, then graced the public on October 2019 with the idol’s hit “Spark” as the title track. The album had plenty of fan-favorite b-sides including “Love You Like Crazy” and “Better Babe.”
thinking about this love you like crazy taeyeon and the fit she wore changed the life outta me
— ㅈㅇ ♡ (@taevenger) May 12, 2022
Taeyeon’s latest full album came out last year on February 14. INVU, with the title track of the same name, was strategically released on Valentine’s Day as the album is full of love songs. The single “INVU” soon became one of the most listened-to songs of last year.
4. SHINee’s Key
Key is the third, but not last, member of SHINee on this list. The SHINee star made his solo debut on November 2018 with the single “Forever Yours”. Key released his first full album just 20 days later, Face, with “One of Those Nights” serving as the title track.
On August 2022, he released his second full album Gasoline with the title track of the same name. Key has released repackages for both of his albums, with Killer being the latest on February 13 of this year.
5. Super Junior’s Yesung
Yesung joined this list earlier this year, on January 15. The Super Junior member released his first full album Sensory Flows with the lead single “Small Things.”
Before his first full album, Yesung had released four mini-albums, starting with his solo debut with Here I Am in 2016 to his 4th, Beautiful Night, on May 2021.
6. SHINee’s Onew
Following today’s release of Circle, Onew became the 4th SHINee member to join the list. The SHINee member previously has released two mini albums.
Voice was released on December 2018, right before Onew’s enlistment in the military, with “Blue” serving as the album’s title track. His second mini-album Dice was released on April 2022, including the lead single of the same name.
Circle is composed of ten songs, including the lead single “O” and Onew’s collaboration with Giriboy, “Caramel.”
Netizens speculated that the reason behind the lack of full albums from soloists of SM groups may be the lack of time to find and record enough songs in the midst of their artists’ busy schedules full of concerts, festival appearances, group comebacks, and other events.