All About THE GRACE

Posted by tenjo*affinity Thursday, September 4, 2008


The Grace 天上智喜 Trivia:

  • Also known as: TSZX The Grace, CSJH The Grace (천상지희 The Grace), Tenjochiki (天上智喜), The Grace
  • Genre(s): They debuted as an a capella dance group and are known to be very versatile. The genres they have tackled are: Pop, K-pop, J-pop, A cappella, RnB, Dance, Hip-Hop, Rap, and Cross-overs.
  • Occupations: Singers, Dancers, Models, Actresses
  • Years active: 2005-present
  • Members: Dana The Grace, Lina The Grace, Sunday The Grace, Stephanie The Grace
  • Fan Club: Shapley (named after the largest known megacluster in the universe, Shapley, whose brightest points are four very bright stars which can be seen from Earth)
  • Official Color(s): Pearl Pink (previous: Pastel Rose Pink)

Awards:
  • 2005: Best New Singer Group (12th South Korean Performing Arts Awards)
  • 2005: Best Foreign Singer Group (3rd South-East Music Ceremony)
  • 2006: Hallyu All Star Award (13th South Korean Performing Arts Awards)
  • 2007: Air-Monitor Chart #1
  • 2007: Daily Album Chart #1 (Hanteo Charts)
  • 2007: Best Female Group (KBS Music Bank, May 28th, 2007)
  • 2007: 1st Place "한번 더, OK?" (Mnet M!Countdown, June 7th, 2007)
  • 2007: Mutizen Song Award "한번 더, OK?" (SBS Inki Gayo, June 17th, 2007)
  • 2007: Piranha-Most Streamed Song #1 (J-POP Online Charts August 2007)
  • 2007: Best Female Group (14th South Korean Performing Arts Awards, October 6th, 2007)
  • 2007: Best Dance (2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival, November 17th, 2007)



The Grace (Korean: 천상지희 더 그레이스; Chinese: 天上智喜 The Grace) is a South Korean a capella girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2005. It consists of four members that specialize in singing, dancing, and acting. The quartet debuted in 2005 and since then, the group has gained popularity in South Korea, a number of other Asian countries, and even beyond Asia. Currently, much of their activity occurs in Japan.

The Grace was known as TSZX before the promotion of their 3rd Korean single (My Everything) around the end of 2006, at which the group changed their name to The Grace to signal the change of the group's style to a more “graceful” one. TSZX is the romanization of the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation, Tiān Shàng Zhì Xǐ. Their name was also simplified to CSJH, the romanization of the Korean pronunciation, Chun (Cheon) Sang Ji Hee. Both simplifications are still widely used to refer to the band despite the change in the official name. However, in Japan, the group is still officially known as Tenjōchiki, which is also abbreviated (though less frequently) as TJCK.

Cheon Sang Ji Hee means "Heaven Above Wisdom Joy" which approximately means "Heavenly Wisdom and Happiness"


Introducing THE GRACE:




  • Birth Name: Lee Jiyeon (이지연)
  • Stage Name: Shangmei Lina (上美Lina), Sangmi Lina (상미린아), Lina The Grace
  • Stage Name Meaning: Beauty from Above (Beauty of Heaven)
  • Birth Date: February 18, 1984 (1984-02-18) (age 24)
  • Height: 168 cm (5.5 ft)
  • Blood Type: A
  • Specialty: Singing, Modeling, Acting, Rock, Hip-hop, Piano, Chinese (basic), Korean (fluent), Japanese (fluent)
  • Favorite Artists: Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Linkin Park
  • Background: Lina (Jiyeon) first showed up on the Korean music scene as member of the girl duo IsakNJiyeon, managed by SM Entertainment. The group, which debuted in 2002, was supposed to be the female version of the popular male duo Fly To The Sky (FTTS), also managed by SM Entertainment. IsakNJiyeon achieved success and was at their peak with their "Tell Me Baby" album, however the duo disbanded soon after the album's release. Many think the disbandment was due to low album sales and lack of popularity, but that wasn't the case. The only problem with the duo was timing: Isak had to go back to her home in southern California because of her family situation (her American father and Korean mother separated). Both girls remained in SM Entertainment and are still close friends to this day. Isak moved on to modeling, DJ and VJ for Arirang TV, MC of many music shows in Korea, and acting roles in network television. Jiyeon also moved on to modeling as well as acting, starring in many music videos from SM artists. SM Entertainment was not about to let this beautiful vocalist go to waste. In 2004, SM casted Jiyeon as a candidate for a female project group which eventually became CSJH The Grace. She was renamed Lina at the group's debut.



  • Birth Name: Hong Sungmi (홍성미)
  • Stage Name: Xiyue Dana (喜悦Dana), Heeyeol Dana (희열다나), Dana The Grace
  • Stage Name Meaning: Happiness (Happiness of Heaven)
  • Birth Date: July 17, 1986 (1986-07-17) (age 22)
  • Height: 171 cm (5.6 ft)
  • Blood Type: O
  • Specialty: Singing, Acting, Flute, Dancing, Chinese (conversational), Korean (fluent), Japanese (fluent)
  • Favorite Artists: Brandy, Norah Jones, Ashanti, Radiohead, Brian McKnight, Justin Timberlake, MAXWELL
  • Other Works: Two albums as a soloist (Until the End of the World, 2001; Maybe, 2003); three music videos as a soloist ( Diamond, What Is Love?, Maybe ), Kangta's "Polaris" music video, H.O.T.'s Age of Peace movie; played a main role in the popular sitcom Nonstop.
  • Background: Dana debuted in 2001 as SM Entertainment's second solo artist. Personally chosen by founder and CEO Lee SooMan, Dana was expected to rise as the "next BoA". Prior to debut, she received promotion as an actress in popular boy band H.O.T's Age of Peace movie and in Kangta's "Polaris" music video. In 2001, DANA released her fairly successful first single "Seh Sang Kkeut Kka Ji" (Until The End of The World), composed by European songwriter Stefan Aberg. The song was originally titled "Tell Me No More Lies". That same year, she released an album with the same name along with other singles, such as the popular "Diamond", a pop/dance track featuring Jung Yunho (U-Know Yunho, who eventually became a member and leader of TSZX's famous counterpart,TVXQ, in 2003). Her career blossomed and continued with promotions, by appearing on variety shows such as X-MAN, as well as playing a main role in the sitcom, Nonstop 3. Her second album release (Maybe) in 2003, however, was not very popular and sold poorly. From that point on, Dana disappeared from the music industry (aside from SMTOWN collaborations) until the debut of The Grace in 2005. For the group's fourth Japanese single, she composed the music and lyrics to her own solo song "Sayonara No Mukou Ni" (Beyond the Goodbye). Due to her earlier debut in the Korean music industry, Dana is seen as the leader of CSJH The Grace, although she has denied this in an interview, stating that each member has an equal status in the group.


  • Birth Name: Jin Bora (진보라), Jin Seoyun (진서윤)
  • Stage Name: Zhisheng Sunday (智聲Sunday) , Jisung Sunday (지성선데), Sunday The Grace
  • Stage Name Meaning: Wise Voice (Soft Voice of Heaven)
  • Birth Date: January 12, 1987 (1987-01-12) (age 21)
  • Height: 165 cm (5.4 ft)
  • Specialty: Singing, Drawing, Dancing, Acting, Chinese (basic), Korean (fluent), Japanese (fluent)
  • Favorite Artists: Sheryl Crow, Maroon 5, Avril Lavinge, Coldplay, Whitney Huston, Jamiroquai
  • Other Works: Two Japanese singles as a soloist (リラの片想い Lira no Kataomoi, 2004; ウソツキBOY Usotsuki Boy, 2005); Fly To The Sky's "Maybe God Knows" music video.
  • Background: Jin Bora, was first heard of when information was leaked from SM Entertainment in 2002. Initially training to become a solo singer, many people speculated that Bora would be the "second" BoA. SM later changed Bora's name to "Sunday", in an effort to stop the comparisons. Sunday debuted in Japan in the summer of 2004, where she was introduced as BoA's "sister". However, the single (リラの片想い Lira no Kataomoi) was poorly promoted and was not very successful. Sunday was also featured on the 2004 SMTOWN summer album, along with Ji-Yeon, DANA and Stephanie. Sunday's second Japanese single, ウソツキBOY (Usotsuki Boy), was released in April of 2005. The song was produced by M-FLO, but again was not promoted well. Surprisingly, the single received positive response even with the little promotion it had. By that time, Sunday was already casted as the final member of TSZX. Sunday's budding solo career was put on hold when she debuted with TSZX in 2005. Sunday is known as the dorky outgoing one of the group and is often caught trying to make her fellow members and others around her laugh.

  • Birth Name: Kim Bokyung (김보경), Stephanie Kim (스테파니 김)
  • Stage Name: Tianwu Stephanie (天舞Stephanie), Chunmu Stephanie (천무스테파니), Stephanie The Grace
  • Stage Name Meaning: Dance of the Sky (Dance of Heaven)
  • Birth Date: October 16, 1987 (1987-10-16) (age 20)
  • Height: 168 cm (5.5 ft)
  • Blood Type: O
  • Specialty: Singing, Ballet, Jazz Dance, Hip-hop, Chinese (basic), Korean (fluent), English (fluent), Japanese (fluent)
  • Favorite Artists: Alicia Keys, Beyonce Knowles
  • Other Works: Ballet soloist and principal dancer in "Beauty and the Beast", "Copellia","Midsummer Night's Dream" and various other ballets and musicals; modeled for Got Milk?; female part in Kangta & Vanness' "127 Day" (KOR | CHN ) music video.
  • Individual Award: Grand Prix and Best Singer at the 7th SM Ent; BEST Competition
  • Background: Stephanie Kim, who is called Bo-Kyung in Korean, started studying ballet at the age of 5. One of the main reasons her family moved from South Korea to San Diego, California was to further her ballet training. In the States, Stephanie became a promising ballerina and was a member and principal dancer of a top ballet troupe in California--the Tommy Award winning Southern California Youth Ballet. She was offered a scholarship to the prestigious Boston Ballet University, however she turned it down when the famous SM Entertainment came knocking. She was signed after participating and winning the annual Southern California Teen Best Competition in 2004. Shortly after being signed, she moved back to Korea to train. Stephanie debuted with TSZX in April 2005, after less than a year of training. As an American, she is naturally fluent in English, and is the youngest yet the most mature member of the group.


Pre-debut

Although SM Entertainment was home to famous girl group S.E.S, it was not able to find similar success in its other groups after the group disbanded at the end of 2002. Other girl groups such as M.I.L.K., IsakNJiyeon, and Shinvi failed to succeed in the Korean music market.

However in December of 2003, the boy band TVXQ debuted and became a great success all over Asia. In the same year, four SM female singers released a song in the seasonal album, 2004 Summer Vacation in SMTOWN.com, a re-recording of Dana's solo song "바램 (Fight To The End)". Besides Dana, other known SM artists included Jiyeon (from IsakNJiyeon) plus two new faces: Sunday and Stephanie, recorded the song.

Dana had already released two solo albums,(Until The End of the World; 2001 and Maybe; 2003) in Korea. Though her first album did well, the second, failed to catch an audience, due to much comparison with her senior, BoA.


Jiyeon (Lina), as a member of IsakNJiyeon, released one album in 2003, titled Tell Me Baby. A convincing actress, she acted and featured in many of her seniors' music videos and company commercials. She also modeled for various companies.

Sunday had been an exclusive trainee for SM since 2002. She changed her real name, Bora, to avoid comparisons with BoA, a fellow SM member and one of the most successful SM artists to date. She released two singles in Japan between 2004 and 2005: "リラの片想い" ("Lira no Kataomoi") and "ウソツキBOY" ("UsotsukiBOY"). Both singles had low sales, even though UsotsukiBOY was produced by the famous Japanese rap duo, M-FLO. She had to live in Japan for two years befor her debut; as a result, she became fluent in the Japanese language.



Stephanie was discovered by SM scouts after winning the annual Southern California "Teen Best Competition" in 2004. She had trained in ballet since the age of 5. At that time, she moved from Korea to San Diego, California, and took part in a California based ballet group. She was offered a scholarship to the prestigious Boston Ballet University but she turned it down for SM Entertainment. As an American, she is fluent in English.

As their voices matched well, SM decided to make the four a new K-pop group, which, following TVXQ's steps, would also be an a cappella group. This new band would aim success not only in their home country of South Korea, but also China and Asia as a whole. They had a pre-debut showcase on September 14, 2004, but they had their official debut in China eight months later.

The group name was conceived using their new stage names: Dana was then known as Xiyue Dana (Heeyeol Dana), Jiyeon was Shangmei Lina (Sangmi Lina), Sunday was Zhisheng Sunday (Jisung Sunday), and Stephanie was Tianwu Stephanie (Chunmu Stephanie). Their official name became TSZX (Chun Sang Ji Hee) (Hangul: 천상지희; Hanja: 天上智喜) which means "Wisdom and Joy above the Firmament (Heaven)".



History
  • Debut and Early Works (Too Good, Boomerang)
The Grace's first official performance occurred on April 29, 2005, in China. They performed their new songs "Too Good" and "Boomerang", and it was broadcasted weeks later by the Chinese channel CCTV. The Grace shared the stage with another SM star, Kangta, in order to introduce themselves. The verses in Boomerang were also sung in Chinese. Two days later, the quartet debuted with "Too Good" on SBS's popular music program Popular Songs.

However, The Grace's debut in Korea was marred by some controversy. SM introduced the group to Korean fans as the "female version of TVXQ". What initially seemed to be a good marketing strategy turned against them, as the girls were not received well by many TVXQ fans. Another issue was the choice of their official balloon color. In Korea, fans like to support their idols by waving balloons during performances, and each idol has their own color. Before The Grace's debut, it was stated that their color would be either pink or orange, but both colors were already used by famous groups, as orange belonged to Shinhwa and pink to NRG. In the end, fans of The Grace chose pink because NRG had been inactive for some time.

"Too Good", the first single by The Grace, was not as successful as SM expected. They promoted the song for a few months before switching to "Boomerang", accompanied by a new, sexy concept. "Boomerang" allowed them to show off their dancing skills, and the single was more warmly received. They also performed a cappella versions of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" (the first track off their debut single) and George Michael's "Faith".

After promoting their first single in Korea for almost 7 months, the group headed off to China, where they had a quickly growing fanbase. The group had a short promotional spree in China due to their rising popularity in the neighboring country. Officially released in March 2006, according to online stores, the Chinese version of the single included three new tracks: the Chinese versions of "Too Good" and "Boomerang" and the pre-group track "Fight To The End". After promotional activities concluded, The Grace headed to Japan.



  • Japanese Singles (Boomerang, The Club, Sweet Flower, juicy LOVE)
By the end of 2005, fans of The Grace expected the release of a full album in Korea. However, they were shocked when a new single was announced -- this time in Japan. Their debut Japanese single Boomerang was meant to be released in December, but it was postponed to January 25, 2006. However, the single's promotion still began in December. The single "Boomerang" was re-recorded for the release, with Japanese lyrics and an altered instrumental. The Japanese single also had a B-side called "Do You Know?", a solo song by member Sunday.

The Boomerang single did not do well on the Japanese Oricon Charts, as it ranked #110 in the Singles Top 200 chart. This did not stop the girls from releasing another Japanese single shortly after. "The Club" was released on March 8, with another solo song called "What U Want," this time sung by Stephanie).

Two weeks before The Club's release in Japan, SM Entertainment announced the Korean release. While the Japanese version featured rapper SEAMO, the Korean one featured famous K-pop star, RAIN. Tracklisting of both versions are the same, making "What U Want" the only solo b-side released in two languages.

"The Club" ranked #131 on the Japanese Oricon Charts. The single was also promoted briefly in South Korea without much success. After quick promotional activities in Korea, the group went back to Japan for their 3rd Japanese single, "Sweet Flower."

A pop/dance tune, "Sweet Flower" was used as the theme for the month of April on the famous TBS music show, CDTV. Only a few radio interviews and performances at small events were done in support of the single. It also included a rock-style song called "Rock'n'Roll Star", sung by member Lina. Sweet Flower entered the charts at #151. The single was also released in Korea by SM, but it was left unchanged from its Japanese version.

Between the 3rd and 4th single releases, official releases in other Asian countries took part. The Japanese single "Boomerang" was released in China on June 19 by Avex Trax official Chinese distributor CRSC. The Avex China website also lists the Japanese single of "The Club," but it is not listed by CRSC. In Taiwan and Hong Kong, a new edition of the Korean version of The Club single was released, containing a Chinese version of "The Club" plus a DVD with the Korean music video.

Even with the first few singles having low sales, another single was scheduled to be released. "juicy LOVE" was in stark contrast with The Grace's previous singles, as it had a reggae beat, matching well with its summer release date. Japanese reggae singer CORN HEAD was featured in this song. This time, the B-side was "Sayonara no Mukō ni", The Grace's first Japanese ballad written and sung by Dana. Like the previous single, "juicy LOVE" was released in Korea, left unchanged.

After four singles, The Grace's promotion in Japan went on, continuing to perform at different events. During "juicy LOVE" promotion, Dana hurt her leg and was unable to perform at a few of their venues. Their last song released in Japan at the end of their activities was "Get on the floor", a duet with rapper DOGMA for a movie soundtrack.

The group's last event in Japan was the A-NATION Tour held by Avex Trax at a huge open-air stage. The girls performed on the main stage for three days and on the "Power Stage" for the fourth day. They sang an a cappella version of "Dancing Queen" and their songs "Boomerang" and "juicy LOVE." At some performances, CORNHEAD even performed with them. The promotion helped sales, as all singles by The Grace were sold out at the event. The official A-NATION broadcast did not air any of their performances, but RZTV showed parts of "Boomerang" and "juicy LOVE".

As the schedule died down, the Japanese official website had a diary in which the girls kept in touch with their fans, filling it with messages and photos. After 9 months in Japan, The Grace finally returned to Korea to work on a new Korean release.




  • Return to Korea (My Everything)
After weeks of waiting, SM finally announced their 3rd Korean single and in addition, changes to the group concept. Although The Grace was first marketed as an a cappella pop group, they strayed away from that image and became a typical pop/dance girl group with their later releases. To strengthen their image as an a cappella band, SM changed the band name from just TSZX to TSZX The Grace (which their international name was later simplified to just "The Grace"). The name change was also applied to the members' stage names as well: Dana The Grace, Lina The Grace, Sunday The Grace, and Stephanie The Grace. The new name is being used extensively and consistently in place of the old ones as official promotional material.
The single "열정 (translated to Passion) My Everything" was released on November 3, 2006. The lead single from it was the title song, a ballad track unlike their previous singles. According to the press release, the song matched with the winter season, having skillful vocals and harmony. Other songs in the single include an a cappella version of George Michael's "Faith," which had already been performed during the 1st single promotion, and new songs like "The Final Sentence" and "IRIS (할 말이 있어요)".
Promotional activities started soon after the release, with performances on the various music shows done live in order to showcase the vocals. Members of the group have also appeared on variety shows, including SBS's New X-Man. However, the changes did not greatly increase sales; the single entered at #30 on the Music Industry Association of Korea's monthly sales charts. Promotional activities for the single ended in late January 2007.

  • 2004 and 2006 SMTOWN Albums
A long-standing SM Entertainment tradition is the release of bi-annual collaboration albums (one in summer and one in winter) featuring all artists in the company. Dana's early career included her in the 2001 Winter Album "Angel Eyes" (featuring Kangta, Moon Hee Jun, Shinhwa, S.E.S., Fly To The Sky, BoA, Yoo Young Jin, and M.I.L.K.) and Lina followed in the 2002 Winter Album "My Angel My Light" (featuring Kangta, Moon Hee Jun, Shinhwa, Bada and Shoo of S.E.S., Fly To The Sky, BoA, Dana, Black Beat, Shinvi, Choo Ka Yul, and Song Kwang Sik) as a part of IsakNJiyeon. The Grace's first solo song in the albums was in the 2004 Summer Album "Hotmail" (featuring Kangta, Moon Hee Jun, Shoo of S.E.S., Fly To The Sky, BoA, Dana, Yoo Young Jin, Black Beat, Choo Ka Yul, IsakNJiyeon, and TVXQ). They had not been formed as a group yet, however, they were given Dana's song "Fight to the End" as a track in the album. They were also present in the track "Hotmail" where all of SMTOWN participates.

2005 was one of the rare years that had no albums released, but in 2006 SMTOWN was back with "Red Sun" as the Summer Album (featuring Kangta, BoA, TVXQ, Black Beat, The TRAX, Isak, Hyun Jin, Heebon, and Super Junior) and "Snow Dream" as the Winter Album (featuring Kangta, BoA, Choo Ka Yul, Song Kwang Sik, Hyun Jin, Isak, Heebon, Black Beat, TVXQ, and The TRAX) The Grace's solo track in the summer was "Catch the Shooting Star" and "Dreams Come True" in the winter.





2007
  • First Full Album (One More Time, OK?)
In April 2007, a teaser video of The Grace was released, revealing a new "sexy upgrade" to their look for their first full album; the video was aired on various Korean music channels. The album, entitled 한번 더, OK? (Hanbeon Deo, OK?, translated as "One More Time, OK?") was released on May 4, 2007.

"One More Time, OK?" is The Grace's most successful song to the date, topping MNET M! Countdown and SBS Inkigayo charts. The album sales in its first month were almost four times what My Everything sold in total, ranking the album at 6th place for the month. On June 15th, the album was released in Taiwan, being The Grace's first major release overseas.

A month and a half after release, the album was suggested to be inappropriate for younger audiences by The Commission on Youth Protection. The songs "One More Time, OK?" and "Tonight Is On Me" were considered to have "suggestive lyrics". The Commission on Youth Protection underwent judgment to see if the album would be flagged. If flagged, the album will have a 19+ sticker attached before being put to sale. The album was flagged, however The Grace went on to win numerous awards (see list above) on various award shows.

In July, after "One More Time, OK?", the group shortly promoted two more songs off their first album. "女友 (그녀들의 수다)" (meaning Girl Talk or Girlfriends) was performed on various TV shows, showing a more girly image of the members. Then a music video for "Dancer In The Rain" was released, making this song the third single, even though not being heavily promoted on television. It was very successful.



  • Japanese Single and Album (Piranha, Graceful 4)
Shortly after promotions for their first Korean album ceased, a new Japanese single was announced for release on August 1st, titled "Piranha". It featured three new songs: a dance number named Piranha and Japanese versions of the songs My Everything and Just For One Day, which features TVXQ's JaeJoong. The first presses included a remix of The Club (song) featuring SEAMO, their first remix to be released on CD. The single debuted at #26 in the Oricon Daily charts and #50 in the Weekly charts.

About a month later, the release of their first Japanese album was set. The original date announced was November 21, though the date was then moved a week earlier to November 14. Entitled Graceful 4, the album consisted of nine previously released songs and new material, including "One More Time, OK?", a translated Japanese version of their first Korean album's title song. Just For One Day has also been remixed for the album, having a jazz variation. Graceful 4 debuted at #38 on the Oricon Charts.


  • Concerts (Dream Concert 2007, SMTOWN Summer Tour 2007, A-NATION 2007)

On June 6, 2007, The Grace were invited to perform in the annual Dream Concert at the Seoul Jamsil Stadium. The girls were among ten artists that were to perform, among whom are TVXQ, Super Junior, Lee Hyori, SG Wannabe, SeeYa, Ivy, Eru, K.Will, Younha, Wonder Girls, and a few new artists.
The girls were busy again the next month when SMTOWN Summer Tour 2007 kicked off on July 7 in Seoul. All artists under SM Entertainment were scheduled to perform, except a busy BoA in Japan. Participating artists were: Kangta, TVXQ, TSZX The Grace, Super Junior, and Zhang LiYin. The Grace also featured in the bi-annual SMTOWN collaboration albums. They had a solo track "Festival", two collaborations with fellow artists from TVXQ, Super Junior, and Zhang LiYin in "Under the Sea" and "A Shell Necklace" as well the track that featured the entire SMTOWN family "Leave for Vacation". In the winter album, The Grace's solo track was an a capella Christmas medley "We Wish You A Merry Christmas & Feliz Navidad". Together with their seniors BoA and TVXQ, they led the title track featuring all SM Entertainment artists "Only Love".

Also in the summer of 2007, The Grace was scheduled to perform in the A-NATION Tour again. In the last stop of the tour held in Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium, their show opening performance of "Piranha" was the talk of the city and the netizens. It still is remembered until today. The Grace (or Tenjochiki as they are called in Japan) were hailed by the crowd and critics as one of best performers and the best female performers of A-NATION 2007 - Tokyo.




2008
  • Japanese Singles (Stand Up People, Here)
After The Grace completed their first nationwide concert tour, their sixth Japanese single, "Stand Up People", was released on July 23. It featured "Dear Friend", a mid-tempo ballad, and remixes of the title song and "One More Time, OK?". "Stand Up People" reached #25 on the Weekly Oricon Chart. Later, it was known that TV Tokyo's program "Suki Bara" had chosen it as the ending theme for October 2008. NTV's "Downtown DX" also chose the song for its August-September Ending Theme. With these results, It was expected that The Grace would reach the Top 20 or more on the Oricon charts with their 7th Japanese single, "Here".
"Here" was chosen to be the theme song of both drama and movie of "Homeless School Student (Homeless Chugakusei)", based on a Japanese best-seller book of the same title which sold 2.2 million copies within two months of its publication. "Homeless Chugakusei" is the biography of famous Japanese comedian Hiroshi Tamura's childhood. "Here" has set the record as the first song in history to be used as a theme for both a drama series and a movie.

Soon afterwards it became common knowledge that "Near" the B-track of "Here" would have a music video as well, due to the staff diary and The Grace's blogs. Surprise came at the announcement that the ladies would fly to Guam to film it. More excitement built for the single's release as fans tried to wait patiently, rewatching "Here"'s music video and enjoying the music in the drama.

On September 27, The Grace were the surprise guests at the first screening of "Homeless Chugakusei". They performed "Here" live with CLIFF EDGE. The Japanese audience known for its meticulous taste in music and performances rose to its feet for a standing ovation in recognition of their superb performance. "Here" was at the top of the pre-order charts and ranked in the Top 20 of J-POP USEN chart in August and September.

On October 18, four days before the release of "Here", The Grace made another unannounced surprise appearance. This time it was at the prestigious 21st International Tokyo Film Festival, one of Asia's premiere film festivals and the largest film festival in Asia. At the Festival's invitation, they were given the honor to accompany the author and actors of "Homeless Chugakusei" down the famous green carpet in ravishing evening gowns.

"Here" released on October 22. It was offered for free download for a limited time two months before release. The Grace and CLIFF EDGE held a special showcase on July 18 at Tokyo's Shinjuku Face. The ladies performed "Stand Up People", "Dear Friend", "Here" with CLIFF EDGE, and "Near", the double-A side track of "Here". The girls also held other events across Tokyo and Japan for promotions for "Here". They were featured with Koike Teppei, the main actor for "Homeless Chugakusei The Movie", in a promotional event for the movie. The Grace were also featured in several magazines and interviews and were scheduled to do more.

In The Grace's entire history as a J-pop band in Japan, "Here" as a release had more promotions than any other release. A Tenjochiki bus (it is unknown if there are more or just one) circled Tokyo, it's main stop Shibuya station.They were featured in no less than 15 websites including the 21st Tokyo International Film Festival's front page. 21 national magazines (many of which are circulated internationally) featured them in articles. They held 6 signing/live events in major stores in and around Tokyo. More than 20 radio shows including Tokyo FM, Johnny's Entertainment's Recomen!, and NHK FM had them on air. The Grace were also present and performed live on 10 national TV shows including NTV's Music Fighter, MTV Japan, NHK's Music Japan, FujiTV's Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ, and TBS' R-Zero. All the promotions helped them achieve what they had never reached before--a rank at #18 on Japan's formidable Oricon Weekly Chart. "Here" had debuted at #12 on the Oricon Daily Chart and kept fluctuating between #12 and #24 the entire week. It never went under #29 until two weeks later, showing the lasting power of the sales. "Here" is The Grace's most successful release yet.

A month after the release, there were rumors of another release possibly in December or January. Perhaps the reason was of the many photos of a recent photoshoot near Mt. Fuji and a music video in the works. Fans were kept on their toes as promotions went on. The Grace were invited to perform at many joint concerts across Japan, including a 3-artist concert with CLIFF EDGE and May's in Saitama and the historic Fall Festival in Japan's ancient capital Nara. They were also invited to Tokyo Disney Resort's Ikspiari Tree Lighting as special artists to perform "Here". It is now confirmed that Ikspiari will host an event named "Club Ikspiari Presents a Thank You Christmas Party to Tenjochiki" on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2008. The event has an exclusive feel to it as only a select 150 people can come.

Finally, on November 24, AVEX confirmed the rumors and officially announced The Grace's next release--their 2nd Japanese album "Dear. . ." Fans were ecstatic as more news and the covers were revealed. From the four previews of the six new songs it seems that The Grace are experimenting with the Japanese audience and following along the lines of "Here" and "Near"--that of a more ballad/R&B/pop feel with a dash of western influence. Sunday has announced in a live event at Josai University where they performed track 8 of the album "Doushite. . . (Why. . .)" for the first time that she and Stephanie had written the lyrics to the song. It is also said that one other song on the album was written by Dana and Lina. The set release date of "Dear. . ." is January 7, 2009.



  • Concerts (Graceful Party Vol. 1, A-NATION 2008, SM TOWN Live Tour '08)

During the first months of 2008, The Grace still promoted themselves in Japan, performing on various events in support of their first Japanese album. They had a sold-out concert tour in April and May named Graceful Party Vol. 1. At first only a few venues were scheduled, but the unexpected enthusiastic response from fans and the audience forced several more stops. The last one, at Daikanyama UNIT in Tokyo, featured Here, a new song in collaboration with hip-hop group CLIFF EDGE.

The Grace was again scheduled to perform at Avex's annual summer A-NATION Tour. They were present in all the tour stops--Ehime, Miyazaki, Ishikawa, Aichi, Osaka, and Tokyo--except two dates. They performed "One More Time, OK?", their newest song "Stand Up People" and their upcoming single, "Here" sometimes with CLIFF EDGE. "Stand Up People" vendors in A-NATION reported sold-out sales of the single afterwards.


In addition to performing in A-NATION, The Grace were also scheduled to perform in SM Entertainment's SM TOWN Live Tour '08, listed as the one of the top artists second only to TVXQ. SM Town Live Tour was set to stop at 4 cities: Seoul, Korea; Shanghai, China, Bangkok, Thailand; Beijing China. Later it was reduced to three: Seoul, Korea; Shanghai, China, Bangkok, Thailand.

On 15 August 2008 at Seoul's Jamsil Main Olympic Stadium, Sunday opened the concert with her solo song "Angels", an OST of the "Billy Jean Look at Me" drama. Dana followed with her solo "Out of Sight, Out of Mind", also an OST of the same drama. Next, the girls wowed the audience with their performance of "Just for One Day" with Kyuhyun of Super Junior, followed by their debut song "Too Good." The highlight of the concerts was Lina's duet with TVXQ'S Hero Jaejoong--"Scars (Hurt) Deeper Than Love".

It was termed by netizens as the ultimate duet next to "Timeless" (Zhang LiYin's debut song, a duet with TVXQ'S Xiah). Stephanie followed with her solo, "What U Want", delivering a stunning performance to the awestruck crowd. SM TOWN's album songs, "Under the Sea," and "Snow Dream," were then performed by TVXQ, TSZX The Grace, Super Junior, BoA (in Seoul), and Zhang LiYin--the younger groups such as Shinee and SNSD (Girl's Generation) also joined in the stage, but did not sing, as they were not formed when the songs released.

SMP (SM Performance) songs were soon performed in quick succession including TVXQ and Super Junior. SMP Songs are usually performed lip-synced due to the demanding choreography, but The Grace performed their songs live. They performed "Dancer in the Rain," "The Club," "Boomerang," and "One More Time, OK?". Stephanie performed in a short Dance Battle set with TVXQ's Junsu and Yunho, and other SMTOWN members who specialize in dance. It was said that Stephanie's dance was the best, along with Yunho's and Junsu's dances; despite the fact that she was ill, she did her best. The Grace also sang "Catch the Shooting Star", a song of theirs released only in the 2006 SM TOWN Summer album. The concert winded down with all of SMTOWN on stage and TVXQ, TSZX The Grace, Super Junior, BoA (in Seoul), and Zhang LiYin performing "Hotmail", "Red Sun" and "Let's Go on a Trip!"

In the Shanghai Stadium on 13 September 2008, The Grace was again with SMTOWN and held another concert with a little over 40,000 in attendance. Bangkok's Rajamangala National Stadium was ready for the concert on 29 November 2008, but due to political unrest in Thailand, the concert was postponed to 7 February 2009.



Controversies
  • 5th Member?
Even before the group debuted, it was speculated that a Chinese girl would be the 5th member of The Grace. A TV program in China called Hot Asia was meant to choose new members for The Grace as well as male counterpart, TVXQ. However, it is unclear if the program ever actually took place and no new members were ever added to both groups. Much time has passed and it now seems unlikely a new member will ever join either groups.

  • Solo Work?
An article by KBS World stated that the members would possibly consider pursuing solo works, much to the protest of fans. KBS stated that although "the group members will pursue individual work soon, the group will still remain together". Dana said that the group aims to be the best female group in Asia and believes that if they decide to have solo activities, their individual endeavors will only help.


  • Plastic Surgery?
Due to The Grace's members' unnatural beauty, many people have speculated that they have undergone plastic surgery. It is a false accusation however, since each member's face has not changed only matured. This is proven by their pre-debut, high school, and audition pictures. (see Eternal Shapley Photo Gallery for pictures).

  • Balloon Color War
A touchy topic until today. The Grace first debuted with Pastel Rose Pink as their balloon color. When SM Entertainment added "The Grace" to their name in 2006, their color was also changed to Pearl Pink, which was added to the Pastel Rose Pink balloon color they already bore. However, in 2008 with the advent of Girl's Generation's (SNSD) new fanclub, the members of this fanclub demanded that pastel rose pink should be their color. In the customs and culture of Korea, this act is considered the highest form of disrespect and should never be done, the reason being that The Grace are sunbaes (seniors), having more than a decade of experience between them, as well as having held the pink (whether Pastel Rose or Pearl) color for more than 3 years. When this became public, other fanclubs such as Cassiopeia (TVXQ), ELF (Super Junior), WonderFuls (Wonder Girls), Changjo (Shinhwa), VIPs (Big Bang), Kamilia (Kara), and many others protested by the storm online. However, in the end Shapley, hating the fighting and wishing for peace, gave up the Pastel Rose Pink color to the opposing fanclub and kept Pearl Pink. Some still claim Pastel Rose Pink as The Grace's color since SM Entertainment has not officially announced this fanclub's official color, unlike their official announcement of The Grace's colors in 2006. This is one of the many reasons of the worldwide animosity towards SNSD and their fanclub.

  • Unpopularity (or otherwise known as "Underrated")
This is a topic of much discussion whenever The Grace is mentioned. The fact that the ladies are natural beauties, amazing singers, dancers, models, and actresses cannot be ignored. Still, the question persists, "They have everything, so why are they not as popular as their counterparts, TVXQ, or the other girl groups in Korea today?" The answer is little promotion. Compared to the other groups in SM and other companies in Korea, The Grace has received minimal promotion despite their obvious talents and charisma. However, during their "One More Time, OK?" album promotions (what few they had) it was evident that with just a bit more push The Grace's popularity would soar--they were not given that chance. They were sent back to Japan. The Grace still has their fanclub in Korea, Shapley, and a large fanbase in China. Also, they are fast drawing a fanbase in Japan, due to their extraordinary combination of grace, beauty, and singing prowess--also increased promotions from Avex has helped. It is evident from the crowd's reception in the SM TOWN Live '08 Tour--Seoul, that if The Grace would once again be active in Korea and be promoted in earnest they would be the top girl group in the country. With the support of Cassiopeia, ELF, and Shapley, this would be possible. Cassiopeia posted on August 24, in The Grace's Daum site saying, "Girls, we're waiting for you. Get back here!" ELF also posted later saying the exact same thing. Widespread support and love for The Grace is apparent. So the question now would be, "Will SM clean up its act and promote its real talents fairly?"



Written by: estelgrace
Sources: Tenjochiki Official Site, CSJH The Grace Official Site,
estelgrace7's CSJH The Grace page @ Crunchyroll.com, TSZX News, Spazzes Wordpress,
Wikipedia, Baidu, Naver, Daum, Oricon, and Google
Pictures: marmar, tenjo*affinity, Archives gallery, others (let me know if you want me to credit you)

15 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. wow..this is the first tiem ever i read the grace biography and it's amazing...they;ve been through so much...so sad that many of their singles are not a big hit...

     
  3. The biography you wrote is so complete, concise and beautiful.
    It's quite hard to find extensive information about these wonderful girls and even harder to find The Grace-related media, so thanks a lot.
    By the way, I'm an ELF (not official, though) but I support the girls a lot too. So, I'll say I'm a Shapley member too.

     
  4. NicoleK Says:
  5. gosh!!!! i cant believe that ... this is the first time i have finished reading a whole biography!!
    is amazing!! although i have read some on other site but urs r the best! thanks for sharing!!
    i have be a fen of them since the "my everything" single realeased. just keep searching for their information & news.
    they really got the voice of heaven!
    love them always!!!

     
  6. Wow..
    this is a really super detail info about the grace...
    which is very good...

     
  7. Anonymous Says:
  8. this is the best source about them, thank you for the info, also i have this huuuuge crush on Stephanie, was wondering if shes single or taken, :P

    k thank you again!

     
  9. i'm loving your site...

    i just love the grace so much...
    the biography was the most complete and concise one that i've ever read...
    i've just started to collect their releases and i really hope that they would be more and more promoted... hope they'll be more successful in the many years to come...

     
  10. lex0715 Says:
  11. OMG! I can't believe I found this site.
    I've been a CSJH fan since their Piranha days but I couldn't find any websites to help me download their videos.
    I did find a few but not as informative and extensive as this one.
    I sooooo love your blog!
    I will be visiting this regularly.
    Thank you so much for the support you give to our beautiful girls!

     
  12. mrz-jaereen Says:
  13. save, save, save!! i'll read this info at home!! oh my god, you are so, so, sooooo diligent!! it's looonnggg info!!! keep the hard work! <3

    .rae-rinh.

     
  14. Anonymous Says:
  15. that's a very thorough biography. :D thanks for sharing!

    i just starting getting into CSJH recently, but it still makes me mad that SM is disregarding such a talented group. >____< not to be rude, but can't they see that CSJH is actually so much better/talented than SNSD. grr.

    anyway, CSJH hwaiting!! (:

     
  16. marmar206 Says:
  17. hey estel
    it's me marmar..can you please credit me for the super viking picture? that's my screencap i took , showing the cssk love.
    thanks
    anyways love the beautifully written bio, everything was VERY well written & everything was true to the point.
    great job girls

     
  18. Angélina Says:
  19. I love your article xDD
    By the way, I want to say something.
    When they did promotion for their album "One More Time, OK ?", they was more famius and was sucessful. And that's it they need to be more famous. But weirdly, SM sent them in Japan. Why ? We don't know.
    If SM would do promotion like that everytime for them, I'm pretty sure, no, it's sure, they would be so famous in Korea even in Asia. We can't blame CSJH The Grace because they did their best even a little promotion. But I can blame SM because it's so easay to see they really don't care about CSJH The Grace. But again, why ? They are so talented. The question is "Why SM is so stupid to not see that CSJH The Grace are THE best girlgroup in Korea and even in Asia ?

     
  20. shaalala Says:
  21. It's like a wiki page of CSJH! Your entry is more complete than the one in wiki xD and I just can pray CSJH will be famous just like when they're promoting Hanbeondoh,OK!! I feel sorry for the incident between Shapleys and SONEs, but I'm sure the girls are mature enough so that they wouldn't keep any anger in their heart and keep up their work in SM Ent. Ah, SooMan really has to pay attention more to this group!
    i <3 CSJH ^^

     
  22. Klara Says:
  23. hmm... now i know more about tszx, i hope they will be popular soon...
    knowing about the controversion of balloon color, i really hate "SONE" more!

    so Shapley! Hwaiting! Dont give up ur idol, TSZX!!
    as a cassiopeia, Im also waiting for my idol, TVXQ!!! I will never give up my idol!!!!!
    chingu, hwaiting!!!

     
  24. Twigyl Says:
  25. as everyone above said, yours is much more than a wiki page.You write it with much passion for the girls ^^
    I first saw them in SM Town "Only love", just curious and THEN TRY find some info about them but wiki is really disapointed me.BUT THEN i FIND YOUR SITE AND IT IS REALLY AMAZING!
    As including the 'Thanks to ' of DBSK 's latest album,Yunho wrote "the vocally talented CSJH The Grace members".Then,they era deserve more attentiont of promotion from SME.
    K-pop has been really popular in my country since 2008 ('Mirotic' n then 'Sorry, sorry'- you know ), so almost don't know about CSJH or some even think SME has only one girlgroup- SNSD >"<
    Nothing more to say about the girls ,they are so great, so graceful and like their name "Heavenly Wisdom and Happiness"
    I always wait for you, heavenly girls, to appear again , comeback to show everyone how truly talented and amazing you are....
    ------------------------
    and, once again, I'm really thankful to you with your effort to make this site :*
    p/s:I'm so sorry if I make gramma mistake because I'm not good at English :(

     
  26. I love this website so so so so so so so much! :D Its so nice to run into websites like these, you guys bring these girls to a wonderful light just by writing about them.

    I am a huge shapley and i love everything about CSJH to bits. What turned me into a fan was their vocals. Oh god, they had voices of four angels. I haven't heard voices that beautiful in kpop in such a longtime. These girls deserve so much more attention and their rightful spot as 1# in kpop. They could have been huge in Japan as well. Japanese industries actually know how to use their talents (most of the time).

    Anyways, the graceful ladies are beautiful, extremely talented, funny, and most of all they look real; there is nothing fake about them. So many other girl groups in kpop just seem so fake with all the forced cuteness, but CSJH they make singing and performing look so effortless. Plus, they act like themselves on reality shows and interiews.
    If i ever met these girls, one of my life goals would be complete.
    CSJH hwaiting! Dana hwaiting! Lina hwaiting! Stephanie hwaiting! Sunday mission (lol) hwaiting!

     

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