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Kim Tae-yeon
Kim Tae-yeon at a fansigning event on January 9, 2018.
Kim Tae-yeon at a fansigning event on January 9, 2018.
Background information
Birth nameKim Tae-yeon
Born (1989-03-09) March 9, 1989 (age 34)
Jeonju, North Jeolla, South Korea
GenresK-pop, R&B, dance-pop, ballad
Occupation(s)Singer, Dancer, Actress, Model
Years active2007 (2007)─present
LabelsSM Entertainment
WebsiteOfficial website
Kim Tae-yeon
Revised RomanizationKim Tae-yeon
McCune–ReischauerGim T'ae-yŏn

Kim Taeyeon (born March 9, 1989), known simply as Taeyeon is a South Korean singer. She is the leader and main vocalist of the girl group Girls' Generation and is also a member of the sub units Girls' Generation-TTS and Girls' Generation-Oh!GG and the SM the Ballad project. Taeyeon is one of the most successful soloists in South Korea, along with Lee Hyori, BoA and Hyuna.

After winning a contest, she signed a contract with S.M. Entertainment and in 2007 she made her debut as a member of Girls' Generation with the single "Into the New World". Taeyeon debuted as a solo artist in 2015 with her first mini album, I. She ranked second in Gaon Album Chart of South Korea and her single sold more than one million digital copies. Her second mini album, Why, released in 2016, ranked second in Gaon Album Chart and her singles, "Starlight" and "Why", entered the Top 10 of Gaon Digital Chart. Her first studio album, My Voice, released in 2017 and their two singles "I Got Love " and "Fine" achieved similar success.

Early years[change | change source]

Taeyeon was born on March 9, 1989[1] in Seoul, South Korea. Her family is made up of her parents, her older brother and her younger sister.[2] At the age of thirteen, Taeyeon discovered that she was talented in singing.[3] During her high school years, she enrolled in the SM Academy and travelled from Jeonju to Seoul every Sunday to receive her vocal training.[4][5] In 2004, her former vocal instructor, Jung Sun-won, also known as The One, wanted to recognise the potential of Taeyeon and gave her the opportunity to be in his song "You Bring Me Joy".[6][7] Later, she won in SM Youth Best Competition[8] and, officially, got a contract with S.M. Entertainment.[5] Taeyeon continued her training under her agency and debuted as part of Dazzle Girls in 2007.[5][9][10] In 2008, she graduated from Jeonju Art High School, winning the Lifetime Achievement Award.[11] In the pre-debut era, Taeyeon was inspired by singer BoA to become an artist. In her teens she said she wanted to be like her and have activities in Japan and around the world, which later became a reality when Girls' Generation debuted in Japan in 2010.[12][13]

2007-11: Girls' Generation and solo activities[change | change source]

Taeyeon made her debut as a member of the South Korean girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007. Due to the pressure of being the group's leader,[14] she experienced sleepwalking for a while.[15] Apart from the activities with Girls' Generation, Kim has made several solo appearances.

In 2008, she released two singles, "If" for the KBS 2TV drama Hong Gil Dong[16] and "Can You Hear Me" for Beethoven Virus of MBC.[17] The song "If" became popular[18][19] in various charts online, with Hankyung describing Taeyeon as having "an exceptional voice and a sad tone".[20] While "Can You Hear Me" received a popularity award at the 2008 Golden Disk Awards.[21] In 2014 in an interview, Taeyeon described the latter's song as one more difficult to sing, she explains that the introduction had to be delivered as if someone is talking, instead of singing.[22][23] In the same year, she also had a duet with an artist from S.M. Entertainment, Kangta, in the song "7989". It was featured on the Girls' Generation album by Girls' Generation.

In April 2008, Taeyeon became a DJ on the radio program Kangin Tae-yeon's Chin Chin Radio along with her agency partner, Super Junior's Kangin.[24] After Kangin left the show in April 2009, it was renamed Tae-yeon's Chin Chin Radio. Taeyeon became an independent radio presenter[25][26] and continued until April 2010. She earned the nickname "DJ Taengoo" while still on the show.[27][28]

In January 2011, Taeyeon appeared on the MBC show, We Got Married, along with comedian Jeong Hyeong-don. They acted as a couple, portrayed what life would be like if they were married. When this news was announced, it caused a stir in the country due to the age difference of eleven years between the two.[29] She participated in the song "SEOUL" (with Super Junior and Girls' Generation) as an effort to promote tourism for the city of Seoul in South Korea.[30] In September 2009, Taeyeon released the song, "It's Love," accompanied by her Sunny group partner for the MBC program, Heading to the Ground.[31]

From February to August 2010, Taeyeon became a presenter for the KBS 2TV show, Win Win, alongside Wooyoung of 2PM, Choi Hwa-jung, Kim Shin-soung and Kim Seung-woo.[32][33] On May 7 of the same year, she had her musical debut as interpreting the main role in Midnight Sun, which is based on the Japanese novel Taiyō no uta by Aya Denkawa.[34][35] The musical was about Kaoru Amane, a 17-year-old girl who she suffers from xeroderma pigmentosa, which forbids her from going out during the day. She maintains her hopes for writing songs and singing every night at a train station; Taeyeon received good reviews for her performance.[36] She also learned to play the guitar for her performance.[37] Reflecting on her experience, Taeyeon stated that the musical was difficult for her, citing that her weak concentration made her act and sing at the same time. It was difficult for her.[38][39] Taeyeon released a song, "Like A Star", accompanied by his former trainer The One,[40] as well as a solo song, "I Love You," for the SBS drama, Athena: Goddess of War.[41] The previous song reached number one on Gaon's digital list.[42] The previous song reached number one on the digital list of Gaon42 and the last reached the second place.[43]

In 2011, Taeyeon made a duet with Kim Bum-soo, singing "Different". The song won second place in Gaon.[44][45] The two singers met again at a concert two years later for another collaboration entitled "Man and Woman".[46]

2012-14: Debut in TTS and SM The Ballad[change | change source]

Taeyeon and her bandmate, Seohyun, participated as voice actresses for the Korean versions of the films Despicable Me (2010) and its sequel Despicable Me 2 (2013). They interpreted the voice of the characters of Margo and her sister, Edith, respectively.[47][48] On March 28, 2012, after releasing the single "Missing You Like Crazy" for the melodrama of MBC, The King 2 Hearts, the song peaked number two in Gaon and Korea K-Pop Hot 100 on Billboard.[49][50]

The singer had previously rejected the offer to sing the song due to the short time she had due to the schedule with Girls' Generation. However, she made a promise to the musical director, Lee Pil-ho, who would collaborate again after working with him on the soundtrack of Beethoven Virus. He stated that he had not considered anyone other than Taeyeon to sing the song.[51][52] The song was finally chosen as the most popular soundtrack of the year in 2012 Seoul Drama Awards.[53] In the same year, another song, "Closer", for the SBS drama, To The Beautiful You[54] was ranked number seven on several lists.[55][56]

Taeyeon performing at K-pop Expo in Asia on September 21, 2014.

In May 2012, Taeyeon, along with two of her bandmates, Tiffany and Seohyun, formed the Girls' Generation-TTS (or TTS) sub-group, releasing their first EP titled, Twinkle. The sub-group has a different concept and style from Girls' Generation[57] placing its focus on the vocal capacity of each member, while the latter stands out in their songs and performances.[57] The three members also became hosts to the MBC music program, Show! Music Core, from February 2012 to April 2013.[58][59]

In January 2013, Taeyeon returned to MBC as a guest DJ on the Shindong show, Shimshimtapa, along with her bandmate Tiffany.[60] The two singers also made a duet singing "Lost Love," which appeared on Girls' Generation Generation's fourth Korean album, I Got a Boy.

On March 13, 2013, Taeyeon released the song "A One" for the SBS drama, That Winter, the Wind Blows.[14] Was ranked in the first place in Korea K-Pop Hot 100[61] and reached number two in the Gaon Digital Chart.[62] The song was written and composed by Kangta, expressing the abundant emotions of an unfortunate love.[63]

On July 9, 2013, Taeyeon lent her voice to the song "Bye" for the movie Mr. Go.[64] The song, this time, was not as successful on the music charts.[65][66]

In February 2014, Taeyeon joined the ballad group, SM the Ballad, formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2010.[67] In the second album, SM the Ballad Vol. 2 - Breath, she did a duet with Jonghyun for the song "Breath"[68] as well as her solo song "Set Me Free".[67] "Breath" was the theme of Mnet's mini-drama, Mimi. The song was also within the top 10 of Gaon and Korea K-Pop Hot 100.[69][70]

In March 2014, Taeyeon recorded the song "Colorful" for the JTBC campaign, "The World Is More Beautiful Because We're Different".[71][72]

On May 30, 2014, Taeyeon released the song "Love, That One Word" for the drama You're All Surrounded of SBS. The song has peaked the top ten in several lists.[73][74] At mid-year, Taeyeon concentrated on her activities with the TTS sub-group. They released their second EP, Holler, in September 2014; the album debuted in the first place of Billboard World Albums[75] and Gaon Weekly Charts.[76] Taeyeon took responsibility for the selection of the album's single.[77] During the promotion period, the three singers performed on the reality show, The TaeTiSeo. The show had a more personal and close side focusing on the three singers, revealing how they live their normal daily life.[78] Taeyeon declared: "If it were not for the passionate members of Girls' Generation, I would not have had the opportunity to sing."[79][80]

2015-16: I and Why[change | change source]

In February 2015, she participated in the music video of the song "Shake That Brass" by Amber Liu for her solo debut.[81] Amber revealed that she personally asked Taeyeon if she could collaborate on the song.[82]

In September 2015, Taeyeon released a new version of the song "Scars Deeper Than Love" in a duet with Yim Jae-beom.[83]

In October 2015, Taeyeon debuted as a solo artist releasing her first EP titled I. In that same month S.M. Entertainment, released a music video with the album's single.[84] Her brother, Ji-woong, made a short appearance in the music video. Taeyeon also had her first titled concert, Tae-yeon's Very Special Day at SM COEX Artium.[85]

Taeyeon performing at the KBS Music Festival on December 30, 2015

In November 2015, she appeared in "If The World Was a Perfect Place," a song from Verbal Jint's sixth album.[86]

On December 4, Taeyeon won an award as "Best Female Artist" in the Mnet Asian Music Awards. After the success of her first solo album, S.M. announced on December 18 that Taeyeon began preparing for a second album that was published in 2016.[87]

On January 22, 2016, she appeared in "Don't Forget", a digital single from Crush. The single was well received, leading several musical lists.[88][89] Following the success of her first solo album, "Rain", was released as a digital single to start the project, SM Station, along with the release of a music video and accompanied by the single, "Secret" on 3 February 2016. "Rain" won her first win on the Inkigayo music show on February 14.

In April 2016, Taeyeon released a new version of the song "Blue Night of Jeju Island" for the mineral water of the Samdasoo brand. The song managed to head several music lists without making a promotion.[90]

On May 13, 2016, it was announced that Taeyeon was selected as the promotion model for the MMORPG video game by Kakao, Sword and Magic and for the remake of the song "Atlantis Princess" by her labelmate BoA.[91] She also held her first solo concert, Butterfly Kiss in Seoul, from 9 to 10 July and Busan, from 6 to 7 August.[92]

After recording "All With You" for the drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo of SBS,[93] released her next single, "11:11", in November 2016. The song peaked at number two on Gaon Digital Chart and was chosen by Billboard as the seventh best K-pop song of the year.[94][95] Auto-described the single as an easy song to listen to remember and remember the autumn, she later revealed an acoustic version of it on YouTube.[96][97] With her work of 2016, she was honored by The Dong-a Ilbo as Voice of the Year, Singer of the Year and Most Hardworking Artist.[98] She won for the second time the award for Best Female Artist at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.[99]

2017-present: My Voice[change | change source]

Taeyeon at fansigning event on August 13, 2017

After being in the production process for over a year, Taeyeon's first studio album, My Voice, was released in February 2017, producing a single titled "Fine".[100][101] Before the release of the album, a music video for the song "I Got Love" was released as a promotional song.

On May 5, 2017, a deluxe edition of My Voice was published. The edition contains the original songs and three new ones added to the disc, including the single "Make Me Love You" and "11:11", the latter being published digitally in 2016.[102]

Taeyeon embarked on her first Asian tour, Persona, in May 2017, becoming the first member of Girls' Generation to do a solo tour in Asia.[103]

Personal life[change | change source]

In February 2014, Taeyeon started a relationship with an artist of S.M. Entertainment, Baekhyun of EXO. In September 2015, the label confirmed that they were finished.[104]

Controversy[change | change source]

At the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong, Taeyeon and American rapper Wiz Khalifa, they had to sing the song "See You Again" from the soundtrack of Furious 7, but the collaboration was canceled. Many fans expressed their disappointment at the failed collaboration, and Wiz Khalifa referred to the situation, writing on his Twitter account: "The fact that Taeyeon backed down with our performance took me too much off guard, but never accept rejection as a failure".[105] However, Taeyeon through her Instagram account explained the reason why she canceled her presentation with Khalifa.[106]

Discography[change | change source]

Korean Studio Albums
Korean Mini Albums
  • I (2015)
  • Why (2016)
  • This Christmas -Winter Is Coming- (2017)
  • Something New (2018)
  • What Do I Call You (2020)

Japanese Mini Albums[change | change source]

  • VOICE (2019)
  • #GirlsSpkOut (2020)

Filmography[change | change source]

TV shows[change | change source]

Year Title Network Notes Ref
2009 We Got Married MBC Taeyeon was paired with the comedian Jeong Hyeong-don in a fake marriage for the show [107]
1 vs 100 KBS2 Contestant
2010 Win Win KBS Co-host with Wooyoung
2012–13 Show! Music Core MBC Co-host with Tiffany and Seohyun
2014 Hidden Singer JTBC Contestant in season three in episode five
2015 Daily Taeng9cam OnStyle TV show for the release of his debut EP I
2019-2020 Petionista Taengoo V-LIVE
2020-Present Amazing Saturday tvN Appeared as a guest in August 2019 on Episode 71 with fellow Girls' Generation member Sunny and in March 2020 on Episodes 99 and 100. But from November 2020 Episode 135 she has become a fixed member of the show.
2021 Petkage JTBC

Drama[change | change source]

Year Title Network Notes Ref
2008 Unstoppable Marriage KBS2 Cameo as part of the Bulwangdong's Seven Princesses gang on Episode 64
2012 Salamander Guru and The Shadows SBS Cameo on Episode 3
2015 The Producers KBS2 Cameo on Episode 1 with Girls' Generation-TTS

Movies[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes Ref
2010 Despicable Me Margo Voice for the Korean version [108]
2012 I AM. – SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden Herself Documentary of SM Town [109]
2013 Despicable Me 2 Margo Voice for the Korean version [110]
2014 My Brilliant Life Herself Cameo with Tiffany and Seohyun [111]
2015 SMTown The Stage Documentary of SM Town [112]

Tours[change | change source]

Korean tours[change | change source]

  • THE AGIT: TaeYeon's Very Special Day Concert (2015)
  • Butterfly Kiss Concert (2016)
  • PERSONA Tour (2017)
  • The Magic Of Christmas Time Concert (2017)
  • 's... Tour (2018-2019)
  • The UNSEEN Tour (2020)

Japanese tours[change | change source]

  • TAEYEON JAPAN TOUR 2019 ~Signal~ (2019)
  • TAEYEON JAPAN TOUR 2020 ~Decalcomanie~ (2020) (Cancelled)

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

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