Exploring K-pop group names: the good, the bad, and the ones that leave you scratching your head. This is not, in any way, a critique of their music or success based on their name.
The Good: SHINHWA
The name with the ability to be an epic failure. “Shinhwa” means legendary or myth in Korean, which is exactly what Shinhwa has become. Created by SM Entertainment in 1998, Shinhwa is the longest running K-pop group with no member changes. They also began the trend of “variety idols.” Consisting of Eric, Minwoo, Dongwan, Hyesung, JunJin, and Andy, this group has been around for 14 years. Granted, they have taken breaks to pursue solo careers and fulfill their military duty, however, they have always been “Shinhwa.” In spite of a split from SM Entertainment, they still retained their name and friendship. Most recently, Shinhwa returned with an album in March 2012 and began their own variety show, “Shinhwa Broadcast.” They have been the role models of most k-pop groups due to their consistent success, long-lasting tenure, and skills on variety shows. They truly are legends.
The Bad: H.O.T
This really could have been a great name, if it weren’t for the meaning behind their name. “High Five of Teenagers” isn’t nearly as appealing as HOT. H.O.T was another group under SM Entertainment, debuting in 1996 and lasting till 2001. When they debuted, they had great success and were seen as the leaders of boy bands. As to the name, in a way, it limits the reach of the group. It is hard to appeal to the teenager demographic once you reach your late twenties. It worked well when they initially debuted as teenagers, but it lacks longevity. The members themselves are still known amongst the Korean population, though maybe not so much for their past music as their present activities. Except for their feel-good, mega-hit “Candy.”
The WTH?: BABY V.O.X
Baby Voices of Xpression. Don’t think I need to say more. Acronyms making little, to no sense, aren’t the best. Also, when the members of the group are older teenage girls, “baby voices” doesn’t have the great connotation. Of course, maybe I’m the only one with this opinion. Although the group went through many membership changes and turmoil, they are still known by those who were listeners during the late 90s and even some newcomers.