Shinhwa is a South Korean six-member boy band based in Seoul, composed of Eric Mun, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin, and Andy Lee. Launched by SM Entertainment on March 24, 1998, the group signed with Good Entertainment in 2004 before creating their Shinhwa Company to manage their career as a band. The band struggled initially with their first album before finding commercial success with their sophomore album T.O.P. (April 1999). When their contract with SM Entertainment expired in July 2003, all six members signed with Good Entertainment and assumed creative control with the release of Brand New (August 2004). That same year, members began to pursue individual careers.
After a four-year hiatus due to majority of the members completing their mandatory military service, the sextet established the Shinhwa Company to facilitate their group career. The release of their tenth album The Return (2012) made them the first Korean boy band to continue performing after the members’ mandatory military services. Shinhwa is also the first K-pop idol group to lead a successful career after leaving its original agency, despite being embroiled in legal battles with SM Entertainment over the name “Shinhwa” for several years. Over the course of their twenty-year career, Shinhwa have released thirteen Korean studio albums, one Japanese album, and various compilation albums.
The group is the longest-running boy band in the history of K-pop and is often referred to as part of the “First Generation of K-pop”, alongside H.O.T., S.E.S., g.o.d, Fin.K.L, among others. Their work and longevity have served as influences to future generations of K-pop idol groups, leading many to describe the band itself as “legendary”.