S.H.E is a Taiwanese girl group whose members are Selina Ren, Hebe Tian, and Ella Chen. The name of the group is an alphabetism derived from the first letter of each member's name. Since releasing their first album Girls Dorm (2001), S.H.E has recorded 10 albums with sales totalling over 4.5 million, and set ticketing records in each of their two concert tours. The group has acted in seven drama series, hosted two variety shows, and contributed 10 songs to six drama soundtracks. S.H.E has endorsed more than 30 companies and products, including Coca-Cola and World of Warcraft. Thanks largely to S.H.E's success, other Taiwanese record labels began forming their own girl groups.
In 2000, Ren, Tian and Chen signed up for a singing contest, and the winner, Ren, was awarded a record contract. Tian and Chen, who were both finalists, joined Ren to form S.H.E. The trio frequently covers songs by other artists, and performs original compositions. The group produces albums under the HIM International Music label. Avex Asia distributed S.H.E's music in Hong Kong, but transferred this role to WOW Music in 2007. EMI Music China is the distributor in Singapore and the People's Republic of China.
On August 12, 2000, Taiwanese record label HIM International held open auditions, searching for new talent to complement Power Station. During the auditions, Taipei native Jen Chia-Hsüan sang Coco Lee's "Before I Fall In Love," Tien Fu-Chen, who hailed from Hsinchu, sang Shunza's "Write a Song", and Chen Chia-Hwa, from Pingtung, sang Mayday's "Gentle and Soft." All three were successful and were recommended to be included in the Universal Talent and Beauty Girl Contest. The preliminary rounds of the contest were held on August 20, 2000 in New York City. Entering the final preliminary round, Jen Chia-Hsüan was slated to sing Elva Hsiao's "The Closest Stranger;" both Tien and Chen planned on singing Karen Mok's "Cloudy Sky". All three girls were successful again and secured three of seven spots in the TV round.
For the televised portion of the contest, to be aired on CTV's "TV Citizen," Tien Fu-Chen was scheduled to perform first, followed by Jen Chia-Hsüan. During the television round, each of the five judges would turn a light on if a singing flaw was identified — a total of three lights resulted in elimination. Jen Chia-Hsüan sang Christina Aguilera's "Reflection" with her singing flaws resulting in two lights. Tien Fu-Chen sang Kit Chan's "Loving You." Despite forgetting the majority of the lyrics, she received only two lights. Chen Chia-Hwa chose Rene Liu's "Afterwards," but was eliminated after receiving four lights. At the end of the round, only four contestants remained, two of whom were Jen Chia-Hsüan and Tien Fu-Chen. Among the four, the judges selected Jen as the winner, and awarded her a record contract with HIM International. Later that summer, HIM International contacted Chen and Tien, and asked both girls to audition once again. After a few test recordings, HIM signed both Chen Chia-Hwa and Tien Fu-Chen to record contracts.
The group's name, S.H.E, was selected for two reasons. With the dots in S.H.E removed, the resulting word would emphasize the fact that S.H.E was a girl group; the dots symbolized individual differences with the three members. In addition, having an English name made the group more accessible to an international audience. However, there were concerns about how audiences would react to such a name; it was sufficiently similar to S.E.S., a then-established Korean girl group, that it was thought S.H.E might be labelled as plagiarists. As a result, HIM provided local audiences with an alternative Chinese name for their new group: 女朋友 ().
S.H.E's fifth album was intended for release on August 6, but due to an injury to Ella, Super Star arrived in stores on August 22, 2003. The album featured the group's first pop/rock song, "Super Star", which, for ten consecutive weeks, placed no lower than fourth on Singapore's YES 93.3 music charts. To date, Together and Super Star have combined to sell 580,000 copies; 250,000 copies of Super Star were sold in Taiwan alone. On February 6, 2004, S.H.E released their sixth album, Magical Journey, in two different versions: a Magical Version and a Journey Version. The two versions combined to sell 1.5 million copies in Asia, including 160,000 copies in Taiwan alone. On June 2, S.H.E and HIM International agreed to extend the trio's contract, which would have expired in October 2005. Later that year, on September 4 2004, S.H.E began their first major tour, the Fantasy Land Tour. The tour started in Taipei, where more than 25,000 attendees were present, and ended in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. During their concert at the Shanghai Stadium, the trio set an attendance record. The tour raked in NT$22.4 million in gate receipts. The release of S.H.E's seventh album, Encore, was pushed to November 12 2004 to accommodate Selina's graduation from university in late November. Encore sold 1 million units in Asia within one week of its release; since then, that number has surpassed 2 million. By the time Encore was due for release, media outlets had already begun labelling S.H.E as "The Number One Girl Group" (女子第一天團).
S.H.E had released albums every few months until the end of 2004. But due to their busy concert schedule, it was over a year until their next album appeared. After releasing Encore, they contributed to the Reaching for the Stars soundtrack, which sold only 50,000 copies. That same year, the girl group Twins released their first Mandarin album, Trainee Cupid, in the Taiwanese market. That album would sell 800,000 copies in two months. The poor sales of the soundtrack and the success of the Twins album led to this period being described as one of the lowest times of S.H.E's career. On November 25, 2005, the trio finally released their eighth album, Once Upon A Time. The CD not only set a record with 50,000 pre-orders, but it sold more than 1 million copies, overshadowing Trainee Cupid. Once Upon A Time debuted on the G-music Chinese language album charts at #1, retained that position for four consecutive weeks, and stayed on the charts for a total of 13 weeks. The album's title track, "Don't Wanna Grow Up", won Song of the Year at Hong Kong’s TVB8 Awards.
On July 21, 2006 S.H.E released their ninth album, Forever, which sold 150,000 copies within a week. The album featured five new songs, a compilation of older works, and three songs from older drama soundtracks. Forever included many collaborative works with other artists in the Taiwanese pop music industry. C-pop megastar Jay Chou composed "Electric Shock" for the album. The song "Solo Madrigal" was a duet between Selina and Tank, the latter of whom had originally recorded the song for his debut album. For the Tokyo Juliet soundtrack, Hebe and boyband Fahrenheit sang "Only Have Feelings For You," which won several awards including Taiwan's Best Duet Song at the 2006 Sprite China Music Awards.
S.H.E's second major concert tour, The Perfect 3 World Tour, commenced on July 8 2006 in Shanghai, where they set yet another attendance record by filling more than 60% of the stadium. After their Perfect 3 concert in Hong Kong, which was recorded and released as the group's second live CD, S.H.E was commended for their perseverance, amount of dance preparation, and ability to hit their notes. Within the tour's first five months, the group attracted over 200,000 fans, and collected NT$200 million in gate receipts. On April 18, S.H.E signed on with WOW Music to improve their presence in Hong Kong. Play, the trio's tenth album, was released on May 11, 2007, and was the first S.H.E album released under the new distribution label. Play went double gold within the first four days of the album's pre-order period; by June 5, more than 150,000 copies were sold. A month after Play's release, S.H.E was nominated for the Most Popular Female Artist award at the Golden Melody Awards, but lost to pop diva Jolin Tsai.
S.H.E has released eleven studio albums to date, including two compilation albums. All of S.H.E's album covers display an oxalis, the symbol for the group. On some covers, the clover is easy to spot (Girls Dorm, Together, Encore, Forever); on other covers, its appearance is more subtle (Super Star, Once Upon a Time). S.H.E's other contributions include songs in the soundtracks of Magical Love, The Rose, Reaching for the Stars, Tokyo Juliet, The Little Fairy, Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, and Bull Fighting.
All three members have different vocal ranges to complement each other. Ella sings within the alto to mezzo-soprano range, while Hebe and Selina sing within the mezzo-soprano to soprano range.
Most S.H.E songs fall into the category of pop music. Songs from this genre consist of light melodies, simple drum beats, and the occasional piano or synthesizer accompaniment. In Girls Dorm and Youth Society, acoustic guitar melody lines were used as well. While some slower songs, particularly those in Genesis, fall into the genre of R&B, high-tempo songs, such as "Beauty Up My Life", focus more on techno. S.H.E has also sung a few pop/rock songs, including "Piquancy", "Super Star", and "Star Light". As their career progressed, S.H.E began mixing light-hearted pop ballads with elements of hip hop and dance. Attempts to fuse these genres started with songs such as "If You're Happy, Then I'll Be Pleased", which contained a short rap segment, and evolved into songs such as "Listen to Yuan Wei-jen Play Guitar", which is composed entirely of rap with the exception of the chorus.
Most of S.H.E's songs are about love. The word "love" appears in six song titles, and over 270 times in the lyrics alone. "Love", in its original English, is not only found in three song titles, but also countless times in the songs themselves. Related words, such as "embrace" and "feeling" appear nearly 40 times. Occasionally, love stories are taken from literature and put into song. Examples include "Laurel Tree Goddess (Daphne)", which is based on the story of Apollo and Daphne, and "The Story of Romeo and Juliet", which is based on Romeo and Juliet and The Butterfly Lovers.
Older pieces and nursery rhymes are occasionally parodied. "Don't Wanna Grow Up" is a parody of Mozart's 40th Symphony, and "London Bridge is Falling Down" is based on the children's song of the same name. The verses of "Thanks for Your Gentleness" are original compositions, but the chorus is borrowed from Mayday's "Gentle and Soft".
S.H.E's covers are generally less popular than their original works. During the group's career, original compositions have combined for nearly 20 awards, whereas covers have been lauded only twice.
All three S.H.E members appeared in the drama, The Rose, where Ella starred as Bai He, a girl suffering from low self-esteem. Selina played two secondary roles: her first character, Qin, was a beautiful yet frail girl with a heartwarming personality. Her second character, Di Ya Man, is Qin's doppelganger with an arrogant and domineering personality. Hebe portrayed Xiao Feng, a girl who quietly pursues Bai He's love interest, Han Kui. Each episode of The Rose was originally estimated to cost NT$1 million; that number quickly rose to 1.3 million by the time filming had finished. In spite of the high costs, The Rose was the highest rated television drama in its time slot. At the 2004 Golden Bell Awards, which are presented by the GIO to honour the year's best television programs, The Rose was crowned Most Popular Drama. S.H.E sang "Flowers Have Blossomed" for the drama's soundtrack. The song not only debuted at #1 on the UFO Music Charts, but it also stayed on the YES 93.3 charts for ten weeks, holding the #1 position for two consecutive weeks.
On July 29, 2003, Ella performed a stunt as part of S.H.E's Happy Sunday segment. The stunt, which involved jumping off different floors of a building, was part of a public service video that explained proper fire escape procedures. On her first attempt, Ella followed protocol, jumped off the second floor of a building, and landed safely. On her second attempt, she was asked to jump off the third floor. However, as she jumped off, Ella became nervous and failed to follow the safety procedures correctly, leading to her falling on a fire escape from twenty feet and shattering her hip. Paramedics transported her to the Neihu Tri-Service General Hospital before being redirected to the National Taiwan University Hospital. Ella was released from the hospital after a 23 day stay, but she went home to Pingtung for five months in order to recuperate. In spite of this incident, the Japan National Tourist Organization, who had admired S.H.E's hosting abilities, asked Happy Sunday to promote Japanese tourism. As a result, Selina and Hebe hosted "Yokoso! Japan", a special Happy Sunday segment that explored numerous facets of Japanese culture. In January 2004, Ella returned to hosting after her recuperation period, and appeared in the final two episodes of "Yokoso! Japan". However, during the segment's four-episode run, producers were already searching for S.H.E's replacements, and ultimately chose Taiwanese singer Phil Chang. S.H.E discontinued hosting Happy Sunday once they began promoting the album Magical Journey.
Selina and Hebe, along with 28 other celebrities, were cast for the three-episode drama series Happy New Year 2004. In February, both S.H.E members co-starred in the movie, A Disguised Superstar (冒牌天皇), with Miriam Yeung; in April, Hebe acted as the female love interest in the first episode of Say Yes Enterprise. The episode would earn a rating of 1.93, placing third behind My Secret Garden II (我的秘密花園II) and Snow Angel (雪天使). In October 2005, all three members of S.H.E starred in the drama, Reaching For The Stars (真命天女), and sang its opening theme, "Star Light" (星光). The drama focused on the fate of an electronics company whose chairman had just died. Selina played the role of Zhou Xinlei, the chairman's spoiled but good-natured daughter. Ella starred as Ren Jie, a clever girl who assumed the identity of the company's heiress to save her brother. Hebe portrayed Shen Xiaorou, a strong-willed policewoman who lives with her ailing grandmother. Reaching for the Stars had the misfortune of airing its pilot episode during the final episode of The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog (王子變青蛙). While the average rating for the pilot episode of Reaching for the Stars was 1.17, the final episode of The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog set a 2005 record for highest average episode rating (6.93) and highest episode rating (11.35). In the end, despite heavy investment in the series' production, Reaching For The Stars had only achieved mediocre television ratings. Nevertheless, Ella was nominated for Best Actress at the 2006 Golden Bell Awards.
In the spring of 2006, Ella pursued her own on-screen interests, and was cast for the lead female role of a Taiwanese idol drama, which was scheduled to air later that year. In January 2007, S.H.E and Wu Bai were invited to voice over several characters for the Taiwanese rendition of Luc Besson's movie, Arthur and the Minimoys. During the same month, Selina and Hebe signed half-year contracts to be the co-hosts of Guess Guess Guess, the show that they had hosted five years earlier. The drama starring Ella, Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, finally began airing in November, and continued until its finale on March 4, 2007. Ella was featured as Lu Ruixi, an American tomboy who transfers schools so she can see her high jump idol every day. During its 15-episode run, the drama never relinquished its ratings crown. S.H.E sang the song, "What to do?" (怎麽辦) as the drama's opening theme. In June 2007, SET TV selected Hebe to star in Bull Fighting as the daughter of the man who owns 13th Street. S.H.E sang "How Have You Been Lately?" (你最近還好嗎) as the drama's ending theme.
In 2001, S.H.E began promoting the first of many products, including those of Digimaster and beverage chain Fuzion Smoothie. Since then, the group has endorsed numerous companies, including Bobson Jeans (2003), Bausch & Lomb (2002–present), Coca-Cola (2004–present), and China Mobile (2006–present). One of S.H.E's more notable commercials was for World of Warcraft, where the girls were put into the context of a fantasy gaming world.
S.H.E regularly contributes songs for endorsement campaigns. The songs "Too Much" and "Beauty Up My Life", from their debut album Girls Dorm, were used in commercials for Sogo and Wacoal, respectively. "Genesis" and "Watch Me Shine", from the 2002 album Genesis, were used for N-age, a South Korean online game. "Piquancy" from 2004 album Encore, was used to promote the online game New Legendary Twins (). In collaboration with Fahrenheit, S.H.E sang "Always Open" for 7-Eleven.
Companies frequently use S.H.E's music videos as advertising tools. The videos for "Genesis" and "Watch Me Shine" featured gameplay in N-age; "Excuse" showed flashes of Inventec's OKWAP phones. Daphne (達芙妮女鞋), a Chinese shoe company, used the songs "Super Model", "Laurel Tree Goddess - Daphne", and "Good Mood Just Be Yourself" (好心情Just Be Yourself) for their promotional campaigns.
One of S.H.E's hallmarks is their friendship. This bonding is apparent in several music videos, such as "Five Days, Four Nights" (五天四夜). Some songs, such as "If You're Happy, Then I'll Be Pleased" (你快樂我隨意), and music videos, such as "Good People Will Get Good Hugs" (好人有好抱), even emphasize the importance of keeping good friends instead of pursuing true love. Over the course of their career, S.H.E became increasingly comfortable with each other. The intimacy between Selina, Hebe and Ella reached a point where the media began questioning the group's sexual orientation. In 2007, S.H.E composed the song "Wifey" to commemorate their friendship. The term "Wifey" comes from the group's days in the girl's dormitory, when Selina would call Hebe by that name. Since then, the name has become symbolic of the girls' camaraderie.
The group's regular covering of songs has also earned some ire over the years. After the release of the Reaching for the Stars soundtrack in 2005, there were accusations on Internet forums stating that the song "Star Light" (星光) sounded suspiciously similar to Ayumi Hamasaki's "About You". In response, S.H.E declared that "Star Light" and "about you" were completely different, and did not even sound similar to each other. The same year, a netizen lashed out at the group for singing too many covers over the course of their career. However, S.H.E fans felt that the netizen was being slightly uptight about the issue, and stated that "as long as the song is nice, [there's no] point worrying about whether the song is a cover." Despite the trio's claims that their covers were merely products of company decisions, some critics feel that the trio is still oblivious to the concept of artistic integrity. The use of covers is controversial for other artists as well as for S.H.E; an article in the Beijing times in 2007 asserted that the frequent use of cover songs to stay successful indicates the declining originality and quality of Chinese popular music.
During the course of S.H.E's career, a significant number of musical groups were introduced by their companies as "the next S.H.E" with hopes of emulating their success. When Warner Music Taiwan wanted to form a three-person boy band, they planned on marketing them as "the male version of S.H.E" before coming up with the name "G-Boys". Some groups were formed to topple S.H.E's standing as Taiwan's premier pop group. Jungiery Star manager Sun Derong stated that 7 Flowers was formed just to provide competition for S.H.E. Despite the increase in competition, S.H.E maintains a definitive stranglehold on the Mandopop group awards, suggesting that the formation of these new groups has done little to ruffle the trio's feathers.
S.H.E has also influenced television dramas, education systems, and even business operations. In the I Not Stupid Too television series, Chengcai, the wushu-practicing protagonist, was courted by three members of the school's chess society: Shirley, Helen, and Elaine, who were collectively known as S.H.E. On a 2005 secondary school English examination, S.H.E was the subject of a reading comprehension passage that mentioned their involvement with CCTV's annual Spring Festival Evening show. Cliff Wu, the president of Teradata's Greater China operations, was so amazed at how S.H.E affected his teenage daughters that he borrowed the group's name and transformed it into an acronym, summarizing the three main elements of Teradata's plan for entering the Chinese market. S represents "Strategy", while H and E represent "Human" and "Execution".
|September 4, 2004||奇幻樂園台北演唱會||Taipei, Taiwan||Taipei Municipal Stadium|
|October 30, 2004||奇幻樂園上海演唱會||Shanghai, China||Hongkou Stadium|
|November 6, 2004||奇幻樂園吉隆坡演唱會||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Bukit Jalil National Stadium|
|December 25, 2004||S.H.E 銀色夢幻演唱會||Las Vegas, U.S.||MGM Grand Garden Arena||張家輝, Z-Chen|
|January 8, 2005||奇幻樂園新加坡演唱會||Singapore||Singapore Indoor Stadium|
|January 15, 2005||奇幻樂園廣州演唱會||Guangzhou, China||天河體育中心|
|September 23, 2005||奇幻樂園北京演唱會||Beijing, China||Workers Stadium|
|September 25, 2005||奇幻樂園西安演唱會||Xi'an, China||Jiaodaruisun Stadium|
|November 12, 2005||奇幻樂園南京演唱會||Nanjing, China||Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre|
|January 7, 2006||星光燦爛雲頂演唱會||Genting Highlands, Malaysia||Arena of Stars||Kaira Gong|
|July 8, 2006||移動城堡上海演唱會||Shanghai, China||Shanghai Stadium||Jay Chou, Wilber Pan, Tank|
|July 13, 2006||移動城堡香港演唱會||Kowloon, Hong Kong||Hong Kong Coliseum||Jay Chou, Z-Chen, Tank|
|October 14, 2006||移動城堡瀋陽演唱會||Shenyang, China||Wulihe Stadium||Jay Chou, Wilber Pan, Tank|
|October 21, 2006||移動城堡武漢演唱會||Wuhan, China||Wuhan Stadium||Jay Chou, Wilber Pan, Tank|
|November 11, 2006||移動城堡深圳演唱會||Shenzhen, China||Shenzhen Stadium||Fahrenheit, Tank|
|December 16, 2006||移動城堡台北演唱會||Taipei, Taiwan||Taipei Arena||Coco Lee, Fahrenheit, Tank|
|January 27, 2007||移動城堡新加坡演唱會||Singapore||Singapore Indoor Stadium||Stefanie Sun, Fahrenheit|
|September 1, 2007||移動城堡北京演唱會||Beijing, China||Olympic Sports Centre||Liu Liyang, Tank|
|October 13, 2007||移動城堡長沙演唱會||Changsha, China||贺龙体育文化中心||Jay Chou, Wilber Pan|
|December 1, 2007||大馬移動城堡演唱會||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Stadium Merdeka||Fahrenheit|
|So Young!||真青春!||Huang Ziming||September 15, 2002||Jie Bi Books|
|S.H.E Daybook||S.H.E時光日記簿||S.H.E||January 17, 2003||Ping Zhuang Ben (平裝本)|
|S.H.E's Crazy Battle Vol. 1||S.H.E瘋狂大作戰 第1彈||Bi Er Jia||July 1, 2004||Crown Publishing|
|Travel Along With Me||跟我一起去旅行||S.H.E||July 26, 2004||Taiwan Television Culture (台視文化)|
|Selina Loves Beading||Selina愛的小珠珠||Selina Ren||September 25, 2006||Ru He (如何)|
|S.H.E's Crazy Battle vol. 2||S.H.E瘋狂大作戰 第2彈||Bi Er Jia||September 12, 2008|