If a K-Pop group makes it past their 7’th year of being together, then it’s considered an accomplishment. Many groups end up disbanding after their 7’th year, as that’s the time the members’ contracts usually end. This is why there’s a curse in K-Pop called the “7 Year Curse”. While many groups have gone on to defeat this curse, there’s one group who has done the almost unthinkable and has been active for over 2 decades!
The group in question is none other than SHINHWA! The group has been active since 1998, and the secret to their longevity is largely due to their leader, Eric.
Eric’s sacrifice to SHINHWA is quite well known, as he has always made the group his priority. During SHINHWA’s earlier days, Eric was the most popular member due to him starring in many hit K-Dramas.
Eric was making quite a name for himself through some of his solo activities, but he never forgot about his fellow members. Eric would always split the money he earned into 6 equal parts so that he could give it to the other SHINHWA members.
Due to his immense popularity, many companies offered Eric contracts to leave SHINHWA. While these companies were offering Eric a lot of money, they said that it would a solo contract, so the other SHINHWA members wouldn’t be included. Eric would immediately reject these offers, as he considered his members more important than money.
Another hurdle that Eric helped SHINHWA overcome was when the group almost disbanded. In 2008, the members started their mandatory military service, which caused them to be in hiatus for 4 years. During this hiatus, the members started to grow apart from each other. Eric decided to take action and started contacting the members one by one. He eventually convinced all of them to come together and to keep going as a group.
Through the years many companies tried to offer a few of the members more lucrative contracts, but these kinds of offers were never offered to the whole group. That’s when Eric decided that SHINHWA should make their own company, SHINHWA Company. This wasn’t easy, as the members had to fight for the rights of their group name. Eric decided to learn about the law to help retain the group name. After 12 years, SHINHWA were able to win the trademark rights to their group name.
These are just a few of the sacrifices Eric made for SHINHWA. While the other members are greatly appreciative of him, Eric still chooses to be humble about his actions.