2011–2012: Japanese debut, The First and Sherlock

Authored by sam091094

On January 1, 2011, Shinee performed at Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul as a part of their tour, Shinee World, following shows in Taipei, Nanjing, Singapore, Nagoya, and Osaka throughout 2011. On January 25 and 26, 2011, the group participated in the Japan leg of SMTown Live '10 World Tour alongside their fellow labelmates at Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, which then continued on to two concerts in Paris at Zenith de Paris, three concerts in Tokyo at Tokyo Dome and at Madison Square Garden in New York City.[47] On June 22, 2011, the group made their debut in Japan[48] with the Japanese version of "Replay",[49] which sold more than 91,000 copies in the first week. It was subsequently certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies.[50] It became the highest number of sales recorded by Oricon for a South Korean group debut at the time.[51] On June 19, Shinee made history by becoming the first Asian artists to perform at Abbey Road Studios in London, holding their Japan Debut Premium Reception there.[52][53]

In July 22, 2011, Shinee started their Japan Debut Premium Reception Tour. They performed several concerts in various cities across Japan including Fukuoka on July 22, Kobe on July 23, Tokyo on July 27 and 28, Sapporo on August 8, and Nagoya on August 11, 2011.[53] On August 28 and October 12, 2011, two Japanese remakes, "Juliette"[54] and "Lucifer," were released, respectively.[55] The group was invited to be the opening act of The 6th London Korean Film Festival, which took place at Odeon West End Theater on November 3, 2011.[56] They also held an hour-long gala concert, Shinee in London, the tickets for which sold out within a minute.[57][58] This marked the first time that any Korean artist(s) had held an independent concert in London.

The group's first Japanese studio album, The First, was released in December, 2011.[59] It featured five new songs in addition to Japanese remakes of seven previously released Korean songs. The regular version of the album also featured the theme song of the drama Strangers 6, entitled "Stranger", as a bonus.[60] The album was certified Gold by RIAJ for selling over 100,000 copies.[61][62] On December 8, Taemin, Onew, and Key debuted as writers and released a travelogue, "Children of the Sun", containing stories from their trip to Barcelona, Spain. The members shot the photos and wrote the commentaries themselves.[63] Shinee also participated in the album 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift with a cover of the song "Last Christmas". The compilation album by SM artists was released on December 13, 2011.[64]

Shinee held a commemorative concert in honor of the successful release of their first Japanese album, The First, at the Tokyo International Forum Hall A on December 24, 2011. The live concert took place three times in order to accommodate the 15,000 fans that won a lottery to attend. They performed a total of six songs including their Japanese debut singles, "Replay (Kimi wa Boku no Everything)" and "Lucifer", and "To Your Heart".[65] On December 28, 2011, Tower Records Japan announced that Shinee had won the "Artist of the Year" award at the K-Pop Lovers! Awards 2011.[66] Shinee's fourth Korean mini album, Sherlock, was digitally released on March 19,[67] and physically on March 21.[68][69] Sherlock became the fifth most sold album of the year in South Korean with over 180,000 copies sold.[70] On March 26, 2012, Shinee, alongside their labelmates, became stockholders of S.M. Entertainment. They received 340 shares each (value of around $13,600 for each member).[71]


The Japanese remake of "Sherlock" was released in Japan on May 16.[72] The group started their first Japan nationwide concert tour, Shinee World 2012, on April 25, 2012. The tour had a total of 20 concerts in Fukuoka, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo and Hiroshima.[73] Their tour set a record for the most people in attendance for a Korean act's first Japan tour with total of 200,000 people.[74] On May 20, 2012, Shinee participated in the SMTown Live World Tour III alongside their label-mates at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.[75][76] Shinee held their second solo concert, Shinee World II, beginning in Seoul on July 21 and 22 at Olympic Gymnastics Arena.[77]

Shinee released an original Japanese single, "Dazzling Girl", on October 10, 2012.[78] The single sold 97,111 copies in its first week and was chosen to be the theme song for the Japanese TV series Sukkiri.[78] On November 19, 2012, along with actor Kim Soo-hyun, Shinee won the "Ministry of Culture Award" at South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism and Korea Creative Content Agency's (KOCCA) annual award show, Korean Popular Culture & Arts Award at Seoul Olympic Hall.[79][80] Shinee attended the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards in November, 2012, which was held in Hong Kong, winning "Best Dance Performance - Male Group" for their latest Korean single, "Sherlock (Clue + Note)".[81][82][83] Shinee released their first Japanese ballad single (sixth overall), 1000-nen, Zutto Soba ni Ite..., and the concert video album for their Shinee World 2012 arena tour on December 12, 2012.[84]