2008: Debut and The Shinee World
On May 23, 2008, the group's first mini-album, Replay was released from Label company, SM Entertainment. The mini-album debuted at #10 on the Korean music charts and peaked at #8, selling 17,957 copies in the first half of 2008.
On June 7, 2008, Shinee participated in the Dream Concert in the Seoul Olympic Stadium along with other Korean singers and groups.The group won their first award, "Rookie of the Month", at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards on June 22, 2008.Shinee took part in SMTown Live '08, which was held on August 18, 2008. On August 23, 2008, they attended MNet's 20's Choice Awards 2008, where they won the "Hot New Star" award.
Shinee released their first full-length album, The Shinee World, on August 28, 2008. The album debuted on the charts at #3, selling 30,000 copies. The first single released from the album was "Sanso Gateun Neo (Love Like Oxygen)" (산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oxygen), lit. You Are Like Oxygen), a cover of "Show the World" by Martin Hoberg Hedegaard, originally written by the Danish songwriting and production team of Thomas Troelsen, Remee and Lucas Secon. On September 18, 2008, Shinee's "Sanso Gateun Neo (Love Like Oxygen)" was the No. 1 song on M! Countdown. A few days later, Shinee received the "Mutizen" award for the same single on SBS's Popular Songs.
Shinee participated in the 5th Asia Song Festival, where they received the "Best New Artist" award with Japanese girl group, Berryz Kobo. The group attended the 2008 Style Icon Awards on October 30, 2008, where they won the "Best Style Icon Award". On the same day, they re-released The Shinee World as a repackaged album under the name Amigo. Included on the album were three new songs: "Forever or Never", a remix of "Sa. Gye. Han (Love Should Go On)" (사.계.한) and the promotional single "A.Mi.Go (Amigo)" (아.미.고). "A.Mi.Go" is a shortened version of the Korean phrase "Areumdaun Minyeorueljoahamyeon Gosaenghanda" (아름다운 미녀를 좋아하면 고생한다 lit. Heart Aches When You Fall In Love With a Beauty).
On November 15, 2008, Shinee won the "Best Male Rookie" award at the 10th annual MNet's KM Music Festival, beating fellow newcomers U-KISS, 2PM, 2AM and Mighty Mouth. At the 23rd Annual Golden Disk Awards, they performed a medley of their songs, "Noona Neomu Yeppeo (Replay)", "Sanso Gateun Neo (Love Like Oxygen)" and "A.Mi.Go (Amigo)" and won the award for "YEPP Newcomer Album".
2009–present: Mini albums and LuciferIn early February, 2009, Shinee won "Best Newcomer" award along with Davichi and Mighty Mouth at the 18th Seoul Music Awards. Later, SM Entertainment announced that Shinee would make their comeback with their second mini album Romeo on May 21, 2009. On May 18, "Juliette", the first single was released, an instrumental remake of Corbin Bleu's "Deal with It". It was later announced that their comeback was going to be delayed due to Onew damaging his teeth and the release of the mini-album was pushed back to May 25. Shinee eventually had their return performance on June 5, 2009, on KBS's Music Bank, where they received the award for first place.
The group released their third mini-album, 2009, Year Of Us, on October 19, 2009, 5 months after the release of Romeo. SM Entertainment stated that this EP would showcase the group's vocals and demonstrate their unique qualities. The lead single "Ring Ding Dong" was released digitally on October 14; the group had their comeback stage on October 16, on KBS's Music Bank. In early December, 2009, Shinee won the "Popularity" award along with fellow labelmate group, Super Junior, at the 24th Golden Disk Awards. In February, 2010, the group won the main "BonSang" award at the 19th Seoul Music Awards.
SM Entertainment revealed individual photo teasers of each member for the new album starting with Minho on July 8, 2010 and ending with Key on July 12. The teaser for the music video of lead single was released on July 14, 2010 at the official channel of SM Entertainment on YouTube. The group was originally set to have their comeback stage on KBS Music Bank, July 16, to kick start their promotions for the new album, but due to Minho injuring himself during a Dream Team 2 filming on July 8, the comeback was postponed to July 23.
The second full length studio album, entitled Lucifer, was released on July 19, 2010 in South Korea. The music video promoting the lead single, also named "Lucifer", was released on the same day. Within hours of the release, the album topped various physical and digital sales charts in South Korea. The songs on the album "were more carefully selected than ever" and the album is said to "[give] listeners a great chance to experience the diverse musical characters and more mature vocal skills of the members." The group made their comeback on July 23, 2010 at KBS Music Bank. Choreography of the Lucifer was released on the same YouTube channel on August 3, 2010.
The studio album was re-released a repackaged version, entitled Hello, on October 1, 2010. The music video of the promotional single, also named "Hello", was released on October 4, 2010.
- Lee Jinki (이진기), better known by his stage name Onew (온유) was born in the city of Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do on December 14, 1989 (1989-12-14) . The leader, one of the vocalists and oldest member in the group, was discovered at the 2006 S.M. Academy Casting. Onew collaborated with Lee Hyun Ji, former member of project group Banana Girl, for his song "Vanilla Love" and with label-mate, Jessica of Girls' Generation for the song "Il Nyeon Hu (One Year Later)" (Korean: 일년後" (One Year Later)").
- Kim Kibum (김기범), better known by his stage name Key (키), is one of the rappers and vocalists in the group. He was born on September 23, 1991 and raised in Daegu. He was a gifted varsity water-skier at Dae Gu Young Shin Middle School. He was discovered at the "2005 S.M. National Tour Audition Casting". Before debuting with Shinee, Key appeared in Super Junior's Wonder Boy MV as an extra dancer. Key was featured in label-mate Xiah's solo "Xiahtic". In 2010 Key was featured in the song "치유 (Healing)" on label-mates TRAX's first mini album "Trax Mini Album Volume 1". Later, it was also announced that Key would have a small part in Girls' Generation's song "Hwaseongin Virus (Boys & Girls)" (Korean: "화성인 바이러스 (Boys & Girls)") on their second studio album Oh!.
- Choi Minho (최민호), commonly known as Minho, is the other rapper in the group. He was born on December 9, 1991 (1991-12-09) and raised in Incheon. He also directs and writes raps in some of their songs. He was discovered at the 2006 S.M. Casting System. Before debuting with Shinee, Minho modeled for Ha Sang Baek's "Seoul Collection F/W 08-09" in March. He has appeared in Girls' Generation's music video "Gee" and featured in VNT's debut video, "Sound". Minho is also a permanent cast member in KBS's Dream Team Season 2. He will also debut as an actor on November 20, 2010 in a KBS Drama Special, entitled Pianist.
- Kim Jonghyun (김종현), commonly known as Jonghyun, is the main vocalist in the group. He was born on April 8, 1990 (1990-04-08) and raised in Seoul. He was discovered at the "2005 S.M. Casting System". Before debuting with Shinee, Jonghyun sang a duet, "Wrongly Given Love" (交错的爱), with Zhang Liyin for her debut Chinese album I Will.
- Lee Taemin (이태민), commonly known as Taemin, is the lead dancer of the group. He was born on July 18, 1993 (1993-07-18) , and raised in Seoul. He is the youngest member in the group. He was discovered at the "2005 S.M. Open Weekend Audition Casting" . Taemin debuted as an actor in the sitcom Taehee-Hyegyo-Jihyun! (Korean: "태희혜교지현이!").