If you’ve been in the K-Pop industry for a while, you already know what SM stands for. But for those who just got in, I’m going to break it all down for you.

SM Entertainment is one of the biggest entertainment companies in Korea and was founded by Lee Soo Man in 1995. According to the company website, they were “the first company in the industry to introduce systematic casting, training, producing and management systems.” SM was also the first company to set foot in international markets and have been successful ever since. Their YouTube channel alone has reached a total of 17,331,663,613 VIEWS! They have businesses in the arts, in travel, in food, you name it and they probably have it at this point (or they are currently working on getting it). 

Image from Soompi


Having said all of this, SM also has a ton of controversy and has had a lot of struggles with keeping idols in the past. One of their first groups, Shinhwa, is a good example. Within the first few years of their debut, Shinhwa decided to leave SM for another entertainment company. After leaving SM, they tried uniting with a different company. When that didn’t work out, they created their own company to produce their own music. But more on that later. 

SM has quite the extensive history. The company has produced groups like H.O.T, SHINee, (RIP Jonghyun), SuperJunior, Girl’s Generation and more. While SM has been full of successes, the company is also filthy with controversy. (Of course, after being around since 1995, companies would have at least one controversy or two). Since its creation, SM has had multiple groups who’ve either sued the company, disbanded or just straight-up left the company.

With this series, I will be explaining through its generations. Mainly focusing on the big three entertainment companies: SM, YG, and JYP. Each company has their own problems and controversies, as well as their successes, so grab a snack and a drink for the next one.

(SM Entertainment, YouTube, Soompi.)

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