Fans of K-Pop are surely familiar with first-generation girl groups S.E.S and FINKL.
Fans today may not know that, there was another group that once rivaled the popularity of the two girl groups.
Made up of Lee Heejin, Kan Miyoun, Kim E-Z, Yoon Eun Hye, and Shim Eun Jin, Baby V.O.X was incredibly successful in the late 90s and early 2000s.
The group reached massive success with “Get Up” and “Killer,” two songs that are still loved today. Like their meteoric rise, however, their downfall was equally drastic.
Baby V.O.X’s founder and label DR Music C.E.O Yoon Deung Ryong appeared on controversial YouTuber Kim Yong Ho‘s channel on April 21, where he spoke on past controversies of the group.
Yoon Deung Ryong spoke on how intense H.O.T fans were when Baby V.O.X’s Kan Miyoun was swept up in a scandal with H.O.T’s leader Moon Hee Joon.
I still don’t need razors after all these years because H.O.T fans sent so many razors to our office and the girl’s dorm along with threatening letters.
—Yoon Deung Ryong
Yoon Deung Ryong also spoke on what ended the illustrious career of Baby V.O.X. According to the C.E.O, it all started with a Tupac sample. Yoon Deung Ryong stated they wanted the girl group to release a hip-hop song.
To really make an impact, the C.E.O met with Interscope Records and bought music rights and rights to the late Tupac’s likeness. With the late rapper’s vocals cleared, Baby V.O.X released “Xcstasy,” a song featuring the late rapper, and used his likeness in the song’s music video.
The song was met with instant disapproval from Korea’s hip-hop scene. “The Korean rap community was furious. They were asking how was it that their god was on a song with the girls,” stated Yoon Deung Ryong. Although plagiarism and allegations of illegally sampling the late rapper’s vocals were rampant at the time, Yoon Deung Ryong asserted all rights were purchased and cleared legally.
Controversial rapper Lee Ha Neul of DJ D.O.C took it one step further by publically calling Baby V.O.X, “Miari V.O.X” alluding to Miari, what was once an infamous red-light district in Korea.
Yoon Deung Ryong explained how the nickname “Miari V.O.X” stuck and became a part of K-Pop’s lexicon, destroying the girls.
Our girls were young, and some were barely out of High School and debuted while they were in Junior High. The nickname was the nail in the coffin, and the girls decided to go their separate ways. The girls cried so much. If laws protected women back then like they did today, he would be in jail.
—Yoon Deung Ryong
The original members of Baby V.O.X disbanded in 2006. Although the label tried to reboot the group with new members, Baby Vox Re.V wasn’t successful in capturing the same magic. Yoon Deung Ryong would go on to produce Rania and Black Swan.
The original members of Baby V.O.X continued their careers, with Yoon Eun Hye finding the most success as an actress. Yoon Eun Hye would be one of the main protagonists of the Hallyu movement with K-Drama Princess Hours and her portrayal of Go Eun Chan in the legendary K-Drama Coffee Prince.
Kan Miyoun hosts her successful radio show Kan Miyoun’s Love Night on SBS‘s Love FM. The former idol is a musical actress and was recently on SBS’s Kick A Goal Season 2, one of Korea’s most-watched TV programs. The idol is still remembered fondly as one of Korea’s most beautiful idols.
Kan Miyoun for Kick A Goal | SBS
Kim E-Z married stockbroker Song Hyun Seok in 2010 and gave birth to the couple’s child in 2011.
Shim Eun Jin, who was one of the most popular girl group members in all of K-Pop has become a veteran actress, starring in over 15 dramas since 2006. Although the singer had an albeit short career as a solo artist, Shim Eun Jin is still remembered fondly today as one of the main protagonists in K-Pop’s first generation.
Lee Heejin has also found success as an actress, appearing in over 17 dramas since 2010. Lee Heejin has appeared in successful dramas such as The Lady In Dignity and Penthouse.
How much do you know about Baby V.O.X? If you have never listened to their songs, do yourself a favor and check out “Get Up” in the video below.