Dong Bang Shin Ki announced the suspension of their activities as a group on April 3, but it is true that they left a significant legacy in the Japanese music industry.
Dong Bang Shin Ki debuted in Korea with their single entitled “HUG” in 2004 and garnered every Rookie of the Year award. The next year, they also debuted in Japan with the song “Stay With Me Tonight” and since then, they have released 30 singles and four albums in Japan and have grown to become star artists.
When Dong Bang Shin Ki’s 30th single “Toki wo Tomete,” which was released March 24, ranked atop the Oricon single chart, they established a new record. They have ranked in first place on the Oricon single chart eight times, which is the most number of times for a foreign artist. The previous record was seven times, which they also set.
In addition, their first best album “Best Selection 2010,” which was released last February, sold 410,000 copies in the first week after being released. Due to this fact, they also ranked atop the album sales five years since their debut and recorded the largest sales volume as a foreign group.
According to a person in the music industry, the single “Toki wo Tomete” and the album “Best Selection 2010“ reportedly sold as many as 300,000 and 800,000 copies, respectively. Dong Bang Shin Ki began their activities in Japan as unknown singers, but they became star artists in Japan by selling more than 513 albums even in the midst of a music sales slump that lasted until the end of March.
Even after their announcement about their suspended activities, the ranking of their single “Toki wo Tomete” has newly ranked in 38th place in terms of the number of downloaded ring tones, risen from 7th place to 3rd place in the category of video clips, and also risen from 2nd place to 1st in video ring tones. Those rankings are showing that their fans are still highly interested in their music.
Dong Bang Shin Ki appeared on NHK Kouhaku UtaGas for two consecutive years in 2008 and 2009, and they also won the best album award in the Japan Record Awards. Additionally, they successfully held a concert live at the Tokyo Dome over two days, with all tickets sold out, in July last year.
The DVD of their Tokyo Dome live released at the end of September last year sold 171,000 copies during the first week of sales and capped a splendid achievement by ranking atop DVD sales for the first time for Asian artists.
As of April 12, a total twelve of DVDs which Dong Bang Shin Ki have released in Japan are listed in the top 200 list, and seven DVDs among them are listed in the top 100 list. Also, another DVD — ”Tohoshinki Video Clip Collection – The One” — which has reached number one by selling 109,000 copies during the first week of sales after its release on March 17, remains in the top 10 for DVDs since that time.
Due to those splendid achievements that they have made, Dong Bang Shin Ki ranked in 3rd place on the Oricon Yearly Singles Ranking for 2009 following the Japanese idop groups Arashi and Exile. The ranking was decided based on the total number of sales of singles, albums and DVDs, and Dong Bang Shin Ki recorded 6.89 billion yen (about 8.26 million won) in total sales.
Meanwhile, after the suspension announcement made on April 3, their fans left about 15,000 messages over only three days until April 6, wishing for the group’s continuation and comeback.
Japanese music critic Tomisawa Issei delivered his analysis at an interview with the Japanese press, saying, “Due to Dong Bang Shin Ki’s suspension, their Japanese agency Avex might have incurred losses of a minimum of three billion yen to a maximum of five billion yen [approximately six million won] in sales.”
Even with Dong Bang Shin Ki’s announcement to suspend their activities, the Avex agency officially announced on April 6 that the official Japanese fan club “Bigest,” with more than 120,000 members, will still remain intact. At present, the five members of Dong Bang Shin Ki are preparing for individual activities as actors in dramas and movies and as solo singers.
Credits: KBS World
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