A Star Is Born: Profiling SHINee's Lee Taemin's illustrious decade long career in showbiz

We take a look at what makes Lee Taemin one of the most idolised artists of all time. Read on to find out.

Updated on Aug 27, 2021   |  07:54 AM IST  |  623.4K
SHINee's Taemin looks handsome in the concept photo for Advice
SHINee's Taemin looks handsome in the concept photo for Advice (Pic credit - SM Entertainment)

If there is one word that best describes SHINee's Taemin, it is most certainly 'timeless'! Taemin isn't just an idol, but an artist, whose talent, charisma, magnitude and stardom are both limitless and indefinable! Born on July 18 in Seoul, South Korea, Lee Taemin was meant to be a star! From a young age, Taemin was fascinated by Michael Jackson's slick dance moves and envisioned himself as a performer. His incredible singing and dancing talent led him to one of Korea's most eminent companies, SM Entertainment and on May 25, 2008, he was chosen to debut as a member of SHINee at the age of 14. 

If SHINee members are called 'Princes Of Pop', then Taemin is certainly the Crown Prince! At the tender age of 14, Taemin not only faced the different facets of success and being in the limelight, but also thrived in it. It was as if he was born to be here and do this all his life. Taemin has dabbled in everything - acting, variety show appearances and performing outside group activities. He began his acting career in 2009 with MBC's comedy Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji Hyun as Junsu, and by 2012 he had sung his first OST titled 'U' for the K-drama 'To The Beautiful You' starring his SHINee bandmate Choi Minho. In 2013, Taemin participated in the reality-variety show 'We Got Married' opposite Apink's Son Na Eun as his partner, a stint that captured a sweet and cheeky side of the star performer. 

Six years into his flourishing career and Taemin, despite being the youngest, became the first member of SHINee to debut solo. Taemin debuted solo on August 18th, 2014 with the title track ‘Danger’ from the mini-album ‘ACE’, his tribute to Michael Jackson unmissable. The six-song EP peaked at number one on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart while its lead single 'Danger' reached number five on the Gaon Digital Chart. In 2017, Taemin had his 1st solo tour in Seoul called 'Off-Sick' and achieved massive success from his solo releases, which established him as a 'breakthrough phenomenon'! While contemporaries his age were struggling to find their footing, Taemin was flying high in the skies, with great abandon. 

In October 2019, Taemin debuted in SM Entertainment's passion project, the supergroup 'SuperM'. From being the maknae of his group to being the hyung here, Taemin smoothly glided into this newfound responsibility and blended with the group seamlessly, never trying to show off his seniority or experience in front of the group. The younger members were in awe, and yet, Taemin remained unfazed, his head firmly screwed over his shoulders. 

Having enjoyed an uninterrupted decade long career in showbiz, along came the news that would break 'Taemints' hearts, yes, the news of him enlisting in the military. On April 19, 2021, Taemin announced during his V Live that he would enlist for his mandatory military service on May 31, 2021. However, before his enlistment, Taemin released his third Korean EP, 'Advice', on May 18, 2021. The album features five songs, including the lead single of the same name.


Having a career spanning three generations of K-pop, Taemin is widely regarded as one of the best artists in the industry. So what is it about Taemin that makes him so relevant in a dynamic industry like K-pop and so special among legions of other stars? Well, Taemin's incredible talent, magnetism and charisma both as an idol and as a person cannot be put in a box. Taemin is an 'Idol's idol' and rightfully so. One of Taemin's greatest qualities is to remain relevant and constantly re-invent himself, in an ever-changing industry. This is reflected in his solo releases as well. While SHINee has dabbled in feel-good concepts, Taemin's solo music is more edgy, sensuous and powerful, very evident with his studio album 'Move' as well as his popularity amongst new-age idols.

An underrated aspect of self-evolution is to constantly acknowledge the brilliance in others, a quality, Taemin has adapted beautifully. Two of Taemin's closest friends are BTS' Jimin and EXO's Kai, both terrific and talented performers, much like Taemin himself and yet Taemin has never failed to acknowledge and appreciate their talent and in the process, levelled his own skills as a performer too. Finally, another favourite quality about Taemin that makes him a standout artist is his humility! He is undoubtedly one of the nicest people in showbiz and it is evident in the way he treats his juniors. One of our recent favourite memories of Taemin is a brief interaction he had with TXT's Soobin on a music show. Soobin handed him an album and politely requested for an autograph for his bandmate, Taehyun, who is a big fan of Taemin. Taemin smiled warmly and thanked Soobin and Taehyun for their appreciation. Not just that, he promised to listen to TXT's new album as well! What a star, indeed.

We can go on describing our love and appreciation for Taemin and what better way to celebrate an artist than acknowledging his brilliant talent! We are glad to share some of our favourite Taemin songs, that you must add to your playlist, if you haven't already, because 'Every day is Taemin Day!'

1. Replay - SHINee

SHINee's debut EP, Replay released in May 2008. It is our very first introduction to a teenage Taemin with an adorable bowl cut and a full smile, dancing his way into our hearts. 


2. Move

Move is Taemin's second studio album consisting of nine tracks with the eponymous title track, 'Move'

3. Want

Want is Taemin's second solo EP and it was released in February 2019. The album features seven tracks along with the title track and lead single, 'Want'. 

4. Idea

The lead single of the album 'Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2'. This album is one of Taemin's most celebrated solo works as well.

5. Advice

Advice is Taemin's third solo EP and it was released on May 18, 2021. The album contains five songs, including the eponymous title track 'Advice'. Advice is also Taemin's see off album before military enlistment. 


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ALSO READ: Answer a few true & false questions and we will reveal which Taemin solo song you should listen to

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Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". C... Read more

Credits: SM Entertainment

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