Back in 2007, SM Entertainment took a chance by taking nine of their talented rookies and teaming them up into one of the largest K-pop idol groups literally. The result of bringing together Taeyeon, Tiffany, Jessica, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yoona, Yuri, Sooyoung, and Seohyun was So Nyeo Shi Dae (SNSD), better known as Girls' Generation.
Girls' Generation gained a following with hit songs like their debut "Into The New World," "Kissing You," and their self-titled song, "Girls' Generation," which introduced each member with their official number. However, it would be their mini-album track "Gee," which would be their breakout hit. That track is also considered one of the biggest influences of K-pop in the Hallyu Wave, alongside "Fantastic Baby" by Big Bang.
For those who do not know the details about "Gee," the music video was uploaded on June 8, 2009 on SM Entertainment's old YouTube channel prior to moving to SM Town. It was one of the first K-pop music videos to be uploaded on YouTube. Ergo, "Gee" was on the front lines in introducing K-pop and the Hallyu Wave to the western world, especially in the United States. Within a span of seven years, "Gee" has been watched over 157 billion times, liked over 575,000 times, and has accumulated over 218,000 comments. What's surprising about the song, though, is its popularity came as a surprise, even for Girls' Generation who thought the song was too "campy."
Since then, Girls' Generation's popularity skyrocketed with more than 35 music videos on YouTube, billions of dollars in sales internationally, multiple tours, numerous television and radio appearances, and a ton of CF contracts. Many of the members also found their K-pop popularity as a stepping stone to other ventures. Yoona, Sooyoung, and Yuri now act. Taeyeon and Tiffany now have solo careers. Sunny has found success on variety shows and radio.
All in all, "Gee" is the one track credited for making Girls' Generation a household name internationally. However, it just lost its most popular status. As of the publication of this article, "Gee" is no longer the most watched music video by Girls' Generation on YouTube. That honor belongs to the title track of their fourth studio album, "I Got A Boy" (featured video above).
If there is anything sad to report on this monumental achievement, it is that Jessica Jung, the "first member" of Girls' Generation cannot be with the rest of her girls to celebrate the moment. As most K-pop fans, especially Sones (devoted fans of Girls' Generation) know, Jessica was "kicked out" of the K-pop idol group in late 2014. Afterwards, Jessica went on to build up her fashion line Blanc & Eclare and will be releasing a solo album sometime this or next month. The rest of Girls' Generation continued forward as an eight-member group with the release of Lion Heart, their fifth studio album overall, but the first one without Jessica.
Nevertheless, this is a big day for Girls' Generation and Sones. One can possibly call this an early birthday gift for Taeyeon as a track she actually likes now has the most views on YouTube for its music video. It is well-known that Taeyeon did not like "Gee" despite its success.
[Image via Screen Capture of Girls' Generation's "I Got A Boy"]