Today we celebrate the 23rd birthday of the kid leader of SNSD, Kim Taeyeon!
Taengoo. JummaTaeng. TaeTae. ByunTaeng. DJ Taeng. The list of nicknames for SNSD’s leader goes on and on, but no matter what name you call her, none that know her can deny her amazing talent. She was recruited in 2004 after winning Best Singer and Grand Award in SM Entertainment’s 8th Annual Best Contest. Though she had just started her training with SME, her talent so impressed her mentor, The One, that he asked her to perform a duet with her on his second album titled “You Bring Me Joy”. Since she lived far from Seoul, to continue her training, Taeyeon was forced to move into the SM dorms. While she was sad to be away from family, it was there that she met and befriended another girl far from home, a certain Hwang Mi Young, better known as SNSD’s Tiffany.
According to The One, Taeyeon wanted to ‘be a singer and reach the top with her own talents.’ “Her thought process was entirely different. She was intelligent and clear. Taeyeon set up her own standards while learning how to sing and showed concise beliefs.” And ever since then, Taeyeon has done just that. The first thing that comes to mind when she is mentioned is of course her amazing voice. Not only is she main singer and vocal backbone of SNSD, but she has also released 3 solo OSTs for various dramas: “If” from Hong Gil Dong, “Can You Hear Me?” from Beethoven Virus, and “I Love You” from Athena: Goddess of War. She always in the highest tiers of any vocal talent list, and many veteran singers have expressed their desire to work with her, including the legendary Kim Bum Soo, with whom she released the duet “Different” just last year.
She is the oldest member of SNSD, but still has a tendency to act older than her age which earned her the nickname JummaTaeng, or Ahjumma Taeng. In episode 11 of Win Win, comedian Kim Shin Young comments that the way she speaks is different from others her age. In the same episode, the other members say that she’s always stuffing her bag with snacks so that she can eat and share with the other members later. She also knows the lyrics and even the dance moves to very old songs, which she’s shown on many a variety show. Even her laugh reminds those around of her an ahjumma.
Even with all the success she’s had since debuting in 2007, Taeyeon has still remained humble and dedicated to improving herself. Most recently in her performance in Japan for a special concert promoting the drama Athena: Goddess of War, Taeyeon stated that the stage felt too big without the other girls around her. Though she does not shy away from the spotlight, Taeyeon has always felt that it is only due to the other girls that she was able to succeed. It is this mindset that makes her care so much for her fellow members and part of what makes her a great leader. Perhaps it is the stress from being their leader that leads her to such crazy sleeping habits.
Though she may not want her future child to be a singer, as she mentions in the pilot episode of Big Brothers, Taeyeon’s own desire to be one has clearly paid off as she is not only part of one of the most popular acts in Asia, but also recognized as one of the best voices in the industry. If not in singing, I’m sure Chin CHin Radio listeners would love for her to return to the DJ post she held from 2009-2010. She might be one of SNSD’s shortest members but with her will and determination, the sky’s the limit for young Tae Tae.
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