Wonder Girls are back with a bang after eight years
Even after nearly 10 years in the business, Wonder Girls slay the competition with latest single
Eight years after delivering contagious, ubiquitous pop anthems such as So Hot, Tell Me and Nobody, Korean girl group Wonder Girls have finally returned with another massive hit.
The quartet's latest single, Why So Lonely, a reggae-tinged laidback jam, achieved the "perfect all-kill" - an individual song topping all the major music charts in South Korea - upon release earlier this month.
It also clinched No. 1 trophies on three music TV chart shows (SBS Inkigayo, Mnet M! Countdown and SBS MTV's The Show).
ALL GROWN-UP: Yubin, Yeeun, (above) Hyerim and Sunmi of Wonder Girls wrote their latest single Why So Lonely by themselves. PHOTOS: YP OFFICIAL FACEBOOK
Despite going up against newer acts with members still in high school, Yubin and Yeeun, both 27, Sunmi, 24, and Hyerim, 23, are slaying the competition.
ALL GROWN-UP: Yubin, Yeeun, Hyerim and Sunmi (above) of Wonder Girls wrote their latest single Why So Lonely by themselves. PHOTOS: YP OFFICIAL FACEBOOK
M looks at why the success of Why So Lonely is especially significant for Wonder Girls.
THEY HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS
Longevity and K-pop rarely mix well.
This year alone, girl groups Kara and 4Minute officially disbanded, while Miss A, following the departure of member Jia, have decided that the focus now will be "individual activities".
Wonder Girls, who made their debut in 2007, are an anomaly in the industry. Although they've lost original members Sunye and Sohee - the former is now a mum of two, and the latter an actress - all of them still stay in touch and get along fabulously.
In an interview with My Daily, the girls said they are open to the idea of reuniting with their bandmates: "I don't know if it would happen, but if the opportunity comes along, of course we will go on stage together."
When quizzed by website KpopBehindabout the secret to their longevity, Yeeun said: "We always try to respect each other. Nobody here wants to quit and we'll continue to do our best in return for our fans' constant support."
THEY BOUNCED BACK FROM A CAREER MISSTEP
At the peak of their careers in 2009, Wonder Girls left South Korea to take a shot at the US market, where they enjoyed sporadic success.
The English version of Nobody charted at No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.
They also toured with US boy band Jonas Brothers, promoted their music on TV programmes So You Think You Can Dance and The Wendy Williams Show, and even starred in TeenNick movie The Wonder Girls.
But in doing so, they lost momentum in Asia.
When they returned to South Korea, the Wonder Girls craze was already over.
Even their boss, JYP Entertainment head honcho Park Jin Young, acknowledged that it was a bad move. In a television documentary in 2013, he said: "If I think about it now, (trying to conquer the US) made no sense."
Nevertheless, Yeeun told allkpop.com that she had "no regrets" about their US venture.
"It was a precious time for me... Being in America was a time where I was able to think over what I liked and what I wanted to do," she said.
THEY WROTE THEIR LATEST SINGLE THEMSELVES
Unlike Nobody, So Hot and Tell Me, all of which were penned by Mr Park, Why So Lonely was written by Wonder Girls themselves. Sunmi and Hyerim were responsible for the melody with composer Hong Ji Sang, while the lyrics were written by Yubin, Sunmi and Hyerim.
In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, Hyerim said: "The lyrics are about lonely feelings after a romantic relationship (ends). It's something many people can empathise with."
Added Yeeun: "In the old days, pop idols' music was completely commercialised. But idols grow up too. Now, these grown-up idols have reached the point where they can tell their story in their own style."
Fans can expect hip-hop tunes from the girls in the future.
"We have two rappers (Yubin and Hyerim) in our group, so we'd like to write songs that are more rap-oriented," said Yeeun, in an interview with Arirang's TV show Pops in Seoul.
"Wearing hip-hop clothes and baseball caps, that would be cool," added Hyerim.