On October 20, 2015, JYP Entertainment debuted a new girl group – TWICE.
This is a story of nine girls from three different countries who earned themselves the title of “Nation’s Girl Group” through their hard work and perseverance.
BEGINNING, MUSIC SHOW WINS & SOTY
TWICE was formed through the reality competition show Sixteen that earned them a big fandom before they even debuted with “Like OOH-AHH” in October of 2015.
Although many consider that the groups from the so-called “Big 3” have it relatively easy after debut, TWICE’s beginnings were marked by some unlucky events. Several members were swept in unnecessary controversies and scandals which weren’t of their own making, starting from November 2015 to February 2016, but, luckily, the group came out of it stronger and continued working on their music.
Just two months after they debuted with “Like OOH-AHH”, TWICE received the Rookie of the Year award at the 2015 Mnet Music Awards (MAMA), which was a huge accomplishment for the group.
Their hard work paid off on May 5, 2016, when the girls got their first ever music show win for “CHEER UP” on M Countdown. This date holds a lot of weight for the girls as the win came exactly one year after the first episode of SIXTEEN was aired.
TWICE accumulated a total of 11 music show trophies for “CHEER UP” and the trend continued with all of their future releases. Up to this day, the girls have won a total of 97 music show trophies, the last one being their seventh win for “Feel Special” on October 13 of this year.
However, all the music show wins in 2016 had yet to mark the peak of TWICE’s success and recognition by the music industry experts. It wasn’t until “CHEER UP” earned the group two Song of the Year awards, one at MAMA and the other at Melon Music Awards, that this (still a rookie) group became established as a K-pop powerhouse.
In the following years, TWICE went on to win a SOTY for “Signal” and “What is Love?” in 2017 and 2018, respectively. When the group won their third consecutive SOTY last year in Hong Kong, the girls couldn’t hold back their tears and Jihyo delivered an emotional thank-you speech:
Thank you for giving us such big awards at MAMA for the past three years[…] There are so many people to thank. This year in particular, I was so thankful to the members. Being so busy for three years, we were really physically and emotionally exhausted this year, but I want to thank the members so much for always being a source of comfort, strength, and happiness to each other. You did great.
She then added:
Also, I want to say thank you to ONCE, who support us at every performance with smiling faces and amazing cheers. Saying it a hundred times wouldn’t be enough […] TWICE will continue to return with great songs and energetic performances. Thank you so much.
With every new win, be it on a music show, or at a major awards show, the nine members never failed to thank their label JYPE and all the staff, their families, and each other. Throughout their brilliant career, TWICE became known as humble idols in spite of their status as worldwide superstars. Jeongyeon explained this just perfectly in her recent interview for Marie Claire magazine:
The attitude that I would like to maintain forever is ‘always working hard’. You have to give your best even on a small stage.
FIRST SOLO CONCERT & TOURS
TWICE’s first solo concert took place at SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium in Seoul on February 17, 2017. The show marked the beginning of the group’s first tour, titled “TWICELAND – The Opening” that consisted of a total of seven concerts, including two abroad.
That same year, the girls debuted in Japan with #TWICE on June 28 and held their “TWICE DEBUT SHOWCASE Touchdown in JAPAN” on July 2. The album sold more than 200,000 copies within the first couple of months since its release, making the group one of the most popular Korean acts in Japan.
In January 2018, less than a year after their Japanese debut, TWICE embarked on a Japanese tour called Twice Showcase Live Tour 2018 “Candy Pop”. The girls held a total of eight concerts, further proving their popularity outside of Korea.
Their next tour – “Twiceland Zone 2 – Fantasy Park” – started in May 2018, one month after TWICE made yet another successful Korean comeback with “What Is Love?”. The group toured five Asian countries and performed for about 100,000 fans in total.
The group followed with their 1st Arena Tour ”BDZ” in September of 2018 and then cemented their popularity in Japan with the Twice Dome Tour 2019 “#Dreamday”, that saw a total of 220,000 fans in attendance and grossed approximately $19 million.
Finally, TWICE embarked on their first world tour “TWICELIGHTS” in May 2019. The tour will stretch into 2020, with the Japanese leg of the tour set to start on October 23. Aside from being the group’s biggest tour ever – with concerts in both Asia and North America – the tour was significant for one more reason. Back in July, JYPE announced that Mina will take a break from group activities amid the tour, so the remaining eight members went on to perform without her.
The first concert without Mina, “TWICELIGHTS in Singapore” made it clear how affected the members were by Mina’s absence. The eight members burst into tears not only during the intermission, but also while performing the songs, and they promised to come back as nine members again. The message was constantly repeated during the North American leg of the tour, when TWICE held three shows in the U.S. and one in Mexico.
For the rest of the tour, the fans would set their lightstick to mint green, which is Mina’s signature color, during the “After Moon” performance and the members never failed to notice it and thank ONCE. On August 27, JYPE confirmed that Mina was suffering from an anxiety disorder, which is rarely publicized in K-pop, where idols’ mental health is often swept under the rug. And even though Mina took an indefinite break from all activities, leaving fans worried, she soon went back to Korea to film the “Feel Special” music video with the rest of the group.
It was reported that she successfully wrapped up filming with the help and support from her fellow members. “Feel Special” marked an important moment in TWICE’s career, as the lyrics hold a deeper meaning for the members. The group sat down for a dinner with Park Jinyoung and talked about all the hardships of the idol life, which prompted the JYPE founder to write meaningful lyrics. TWICE broke the first week sales records with this song, and they are nowhere near stopping.
With all these activities and constant Korean and Japanese comebacks, many fans have grown concerned that TWICE members may be overworked. However, judging from Jeongyeon’s words in the Marie Claire interview, the group is doing just fine:
Working is better than resting. I never thought that I should rest to deliver better performances […] right now, working is the priority.
We’re excited to see what other projects TWICE have in store for us, especially after they have started to gradually branch out into solo activities.
While we’re waiting for the photos from today’s Halloween fanmeeting, here is TWICE’s Halloween-themed debut stage from 2015 for you to enjoy:
P.s. Here’s Tzuyu’s little fanmeeting spoiler – link.
Happy 4th anniversary to TWICE!