K-Pop Debut Look Back: When SS501 Sounded A “Warning” For Their Entry To The Music Scene

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Fourteen years ago, SS501 redefined what it meant to become superstars in their own right.

The years 2005 saw the rise of five Superstar Singers, in the form of Kim Hyun Joong, Heo Young Saeng, Kim Kyu Jong, Park Jung Min, and Kim Hyung Jun. SS501 broke into the music industry with their unique sound and their infectious energy, and it resonated with all kinds of audiences. Despite their hiatus, their one-of-a-kind sound lives on.

To celebrate their fourteen brilliant years in the industry, let us take a look back to when SS501 sounded a “Warning” for their debut.


(Photo by Yonhap news Agency)

Sounding The “Warning”

Prior to their debut, the public was introduced to the group through the variety show SS501 M!Pick. The show followed the group’s pre-debut preparations and their lives after the debut.

In June 2005, Kim Hyun Joong, Heo Young Saeng, Kim Kyu Jong, Park Jung Min, and Kim Hyung Jun sounded the alarm for their debut with their EP, Warning. Its title track, “Never Again”, dominated the music charts upon its release.


The quintet later followed it up with a winter-themed album, Snow Prince. The following year, the title track bagged two music show wins from M!Countdown. SS501 ended their debut year with a number of rookie and popularity awards from the Mnet KM Music Festival, the SBS Gayo Awards, and the MBC Music Festival.

Going The “Distance” In Japan

In 2006, the quintet began promoting their music overseas. In April, the group held their first fan meeting in Tokyo. SS501 later held their first concert in Osaka in September.

Two years after their debut, SS501 began their foray into the Japanese music scene. In August 2007, the group released their debut Japanese maxi single “Kokoro”, which debuted at fifth in the Oricon charts. The song was later used as the ending theme for TV Tokyo’s Blue Dragon.

SS501 immediately followed up their smashing Japanese debut with the release of their second maxi single, “Distance”. This single contained three new tracks from the group, namely “Distance”, “Gleaming Star”, and “Wonderful World”.

The group made history in 2008, when they became the first Korean group to win the “Newcomer Award” at the Japan Gold Disc Awards.

“Destination” : Solo Activities

In June 2010, SS501 decided not to renew their contracts with DSP Entertainment. Each member ended up signing with different companies, stating that there was no company that would sign them as a group. As a result, the promotions for their final EP, Destination, had to be cut short. Before promotions ended, “Love Ya” bagged a music show win at Music Bank.

Due to the members being under different management, they decided to focus on individual activities. Kim Hyun Joong signed on to KeyEast Entertainment, where he is working as a singer and an actor. He made his solo debut with the album Break It Down, which garnered 70,000 pre-orders within ten days.

Heo Young Saeng and Kim Kyu Jong, both under the management of B2M Entertainment, held a joint fan meeting tour of Asia in 2010. Heo Young Saeng later released his debut mini album, Let It Go, on May 2011. Before the year ended, he was cast in the musical The Three Musketeers.

Kim Kyu Jong, meanwhile, made his theatrical debut as the Crown Prince Lee Shin in Goong Musical. He released his own solo mini album, titled Turn Me On. Its title track, “Yesterday”, featured Spica’s Yang Jiwon in the music video.

Park Jung Min signed on to CNR Media, where he developed his career as a singer and an actor. In 2011, he made his debut as a soloist with the single “Not Alone”, and later his solo mini album The, Park Jung Min. He established his acting career in Japan, where he landed a role in the musical Bonds of Boys. He was later cast in a Japanese drama titled Love Song In August.

Kim Hyung Jun, meanwhile, signed a contract with S-Plus Entertainment and Avex Entertainment for his Japanese promotions. In March 2011, he released his debut mini album, My Girl.