SEOUL, 13 Feb. (Yonhap) – In a country where enlistment in the military for two years is compulsory for all able-bodied men, the rule has long been an inevitable obstacle for singers and actors in their twenties who are thriving in their prime of the career.
In this sense, having completed the two-year service can be an advantage for artists who are now eligible to plan for long-term career goals. In the music industry, some major K-pop groups are expected to return to the stage once the members have successfully completed their duties.
The return of SHINee after a hiatus of several years is an event that fans look forward to. The boy group, who released their most recent studio album in 2018, are set to release their seventh studio album “Don’t Call Me” on February 22.
The nine-track album, with the title track “Don’t Call Me,” is a hip-hop dance track that is sung from the perspective of someone who has been betrayed by a lover, according to the agency. of the SM Entertainment group.
The new album comes after members Onew, Key and Minho were discharged from the military in July, September and November, respectively. The youngest member of the act, Taemin, has yet to enlist but has remained active by posting solo material and participating in the Super M boy group project.
After SM Entertainment made public about SHINee’s return at a year-end concert, the group prepared for the comeback. In January, the group aired âThe Ringtone: SHINee is Backâ live, where the members revealed âMarry You,â one of nine tracks from the upcoming album.
2PM is another act that is gearing up for a long-awaited comeback. The multinational boy group of Korean and Thai members had topped the charts with hit songs like “10 out of 10,” “Heartbeat” and “Again & Again,” but have been inactive since 2017 when the members enlisted.
Four of the group’s five Korean members – Taecyeon, Jun K., Wooyoung and Chansung – have been removed from their mandatory duties while Junho is expected to end his service in March.
The six-piece group are set to make their comeback by appearing in the “Wild Six” branded web series. Wooyoung and Chansung recently appeared on MBC’s popular variety show “I Live Alone” in an episode where the two discussed their long hiatus and come back with new music.
Wooyoung noted how inactive the band has been for nearly five years, saying, “The stage is everything for a singer,” showing how much he misses being on stage with his band mates. In âWild Six,â members also asked fans to look forward to 2021, hinting that they will be much more active this year.
Another second-gen boy group that’s set to release new music this year is Boy Band Highlight.
In a recent live broadcast with fans, member Yang Yo-seob explained how the group is preparing for a comeback even before the members join the military, saying the group will be making a comeback “in the near future, (maybe) this year “.
The group, which started out as a six-piece band named Beast, had grown in popularity with hit songs like “Fiction” and “Good Luck”. Due to conflicts with their former agency, the group rebranded themselves as “Highlight” in 2017 and have since transformed into a quartet.
All four of the group finished their military service in December, with the members each appearing in various television shows and musicals. Their most recent album was “Outro” released in November 2018.
In South Korea, a country that faces North Korea across a heavily fortified border, all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for approximately two years.
In December, the National Assembly passed the revised Military Service Law to allow popular culture artists to postpone their compulsory service if there is a recommendation from the Minister of Culture. The revised law is expected to enter into force in June.
Until now, exemptions or postponements from military service have only been granted to award-winning international athletes and classical musicians for their role in raising the country’s reputation abroad.