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RPF Fandom
Name(s): SHINee, Shinee, 샤이니, シャイニー
Scope/Focus: K-Pop
Date(s): 2008-present
See also: DBSK, Super Junior, SNSD, f(x), EXO, Red Velvet, NCT, Toheart, SM Town, K-Drama
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SHINee (pronounced "shy-nee") is a South Korean boyband formed by S.M. Entertainment. The group debuted on May 25, 2008 and consists of five members: Onew (Lee Jinki; 이진기), Jonghyun (Kim Jonghyun; 김종현), Key (Kim Kibum; 김기범), Minho (Choi Minho; 최민호) and Taemin (Lee Taemin; 이태민). They made their debut with their promotional single “Noona Neomu Yeppeo (Replay)” (“누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay)”, lit. “Older Girl, You're So Pretty (Replay)”) on SBS’s Inkigayo. Their first released album was called “The Shinee World”. In the following years the band released five Korean and five Japanese full length albums including “Lucifer” which helped rising their popularity. SHINee is considered as one of the best live vocalists and known for sharp and difficult dance choreographies with high synchronization. Therefore, they won many awards and held several concert tours.


While the official fandom colour is “pearl aqua” (it once was “pearl aqua green”, some might also argue that the colour is “pearlescent sky blue”, but that’s just a mistranslation/misunderstanding [1]), SHINee’s fanclub calls itself “SHINee World” following their first album “The SHINee World”. “샤이니월드” (SHINee World) is read as “sha-i-ni wol-deu” in Romanization. That is why the fans also refer to themselves as “Shawols” getting the first two syllables (“sha” and “wol”) as a combining short form. SHINee’s individual fandom names are MVP's (Onew; from one of his lines in Replay), Blingers (Jonghyun), Flames (Minho), Lockets (Key) and Taemints (Taemin). The whole fandom is commonly known as a calm and chill fandom because there are barely any fandoms wars or scandals (except some clashings with Exo-Ls and other minor things). SHINee is also popular among not-fans and is hardly getting criticized since they can practically make every concept work. In July even former US president Obama mentioned them in one of his speeches [2]. In early 2017 SHINee’s fancafe placed with a total of 79,649 members fifteenth in the “boygroup fancafe ranking” by Allkpop which means they lost 8,108 members in 2016. Due to S.M. Entertaiment’s fancafe policy their fancafe might not open again to accept new members.

The band is known for creating their own fashion style called “SHINee Trend” featuring high-top sneakers, skinny jeans, and colorful sweaters designed by Ha Sang-baek (하상백). The style was popular among students and led to producing more of such clothes as well as SHINee advertising several companies. Despite becoming more mature the band managed to keep its unique style. S.M. Entertainment usually even works with up-coming talents rather than established artists and photographers for SHINee’s concepts.

SHINee’s RPF Fandom is active creating mostly slash within the group. The stories also often include other bands from S.M. Entertainment like Exo or Super Junior as well as Idols from different labels. Het pairings are mostly built with label mates or own characters, rarely the partners from filming “We got married” are mentioned.


Back in 2012 the pairings Jongyu (Jonghyun x Onew), Minkey (Minho x Key) and 2Min (Minho x Taemin) were super popular in Korea. Ontae (Onew x Taemin) was famous in Japan while international fans were rooting for Jongkey (Jonghyun x Key; the most popular, determined by voting), but Jongtae (Jonghyun x Taemin) and Onkey (Onew x Key) are also appreciated ships. Since they are all quite shippable there is not “the most talked/liked pairing”. Of course, some are liked better than others, but SHINee are no strangers to skinship and showing each other their dedication which led to huge variety.

Taemin is sometimes also paired with Kai from Exo (Taekai) because of their close and intense friendship. According to Taemin even his manager once asked him if he and Kai were dating [3]. However, their friendship is well known and loved by fans. After Jimin’s and Taemin’s friendship collaboration stage also this ship sails, but it isn’t even half as famous as Taekai. Woohyun x Key who in fact had in 2014 their own sub unit called Toheart is also a thing as well as Minho x Suho since they once were really good friends and made up in “Fluttering India”.

Interactions With Fandom

Hence the band members really treasure their fans they did a lot of cute things to show them. For example, in 2012 at the beginning of their “SHINee World II” tour while having concerts in Seoul Jonghyun exposed his affection towards all their fans by transcribing the names of his personal fansites as temporary tattoos on upper body [4]. The fans could see the confession during his and Taemins special stage of “Internet War” where he was performing topless. Another time Key came across a fan of his on Instagram who was cutting. Since this had also been a bad habit of him he encouraged the fan to stop it by responding with a text [5]. She managed to improve while he actually remembered her and congratulated her a year later by liking her new photos keeping his promise to look after his fans. Once the members came without bodyguards to chat with their fans and Onew often has cute interactions with the audience.

Of course, they also do fanservice such as “Internet War”, Key's "Born To Shine" performance or Minho crossdressing and dancing to Girl’s Day’s “Something” [6]. Because of such actions the bond between the band and their fans is really strong despite the strict management of S.M. Entertainment.

Jonghyun's Passing, Effect on Fandom

On the afternoon of December 18, 2017 in KST, it was reported that Jonghyun had attempted suicide via burning coal briquettes, a common method of suicide in South Korea. Later that evening, the hospital declared him dead after failing to resuscitate him. Member Nine9 of the band Dear Cloud, who was a close friend of Jonghyun's, released his suicide note the following day per his request.[1] His funeral was on December 21st, where Key, Onew, Minho, and Taemin served as head mourners, a role typically carried out by family members.[2]

Fans were shocked at the sudden news of his death. Because his final note had mentioned the deep struggle he had with depression, fans acknowledging it began trending the hashtag #MyMentalHealthIn5Words on Twitter.[3]

In memoriam, Shawols and non-Shawols alike changed their icons/headers (most notably on Twitter) to an all-white icon, because "Jonghyun has always been in the dark."[4] Others spread the use of a white icon with a rose[5], though it started some controversy in that a Halsey fan claimed that it was originally artwork for a Halsey album.[6] Later, the artist of the original picture[7] stated that they had drawn it in tribute of Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks and that it had no relation to Halsey, but did not mind that people were also using it to mourn Jonghyun.[8]

There was also some controversy of fan accounts, who typically follow or find kpop idols to take pictures of them and post them on the internet, posting videos/pictures of some kidols such as Ailee, BoA, and members of Super Junior, SNSD, Red Velvet, f(x), EXO, BTS, and NCT Dream attending Jonghyun's funeral. Many fans asked these fan accounts to take down the videos/pictures in respect of the idols and Jonghyun, but few have complied.

Fans are holding and still scheduling candlelight vigils all over the world, in his memory.






Fan Fiction



  1. "Jonghyun’s Dear Friend Nine9 Reveals His Final Letter" 19 December 2017 (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  2. "SHINee To Take On Role Traditionally Held By Family Members At Jonghyun’s Funeral" 18 December 2017 (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  3. #MyMentalHealthIn5Words search on Twitter (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  4. Tweet by kjininihae on 18 December 2017 (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  5. Tweet by florwersilky on 18 December 2017 (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  6. "jonghyun icon halsey" search on Twitter (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  7. Tweet by BunnyMiele on 19 December 2017 (Accessed 21 December 2017)
  8. Tweet by BunnyMiele on 19 December 2017 (Accessed 21 December 2017)