R&B and Soul male group 4Men, formerly known as Four Men, have been in the industry for almost two decades, having debuted in February of 1998. Having started out with four members, hence the name, they’ve seen a constant line-up change within the group, going between four members, to three members, and now to the remainder of two. However, even with the continuous changes, 4Men have still managed to see success and have released over 13 mini and full albums, along with a great number of collaborations with other artists.
Of the original four, the first member to leave was Yoon Min-soo. He left in 2001 to later on form a new R&B group, VIBE, under his own label Y-WHO Enterprise, which so happens to have merged with Happy Face Entertainment, the company 4Men is under. Coincidence much?
Moreover, aside from the Korean market, the other three of the original members, Lee Jung-ho, Jung Se-young, Han Hyun-hee, along with member Song Jae-won (who joined the group from 2006-2008) released a Vietnamese single titled “Nuoc Mat” (which means “tears”) under the name of V.4Men in 2006. The popularity was definitely present in Vietnam, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to push them through that market. You can’t blame the guys for trying, though.
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After the departure of all four original members, the three most recent members — the three who’ve played the biggest roles in 4Men’s success and saving the team’s name — are Kim Young-jae, Shin Yong-jae, and Kim Won-joo. Although 4Men was no longer a quintet, the newly founded trio made up for any loses that might’ve been missing from that fourth person. With the combination of Yong-jae’s high and delicate voice, along with Young-jae’s forceful voice, Woo-joo adds a nice balance between the two extremities. The chemistry and harmonization between Young-jae, Won-joo, and Yong-jae creates the perfect unity.
Due to their well-blended, soulful, and husky voices, it’s no wonder why they’re sought out to sing the OST’s for Korean dramas such as “Here I Am” for Secret Garden, “Thorn Love” for Empress Ki and “Only You” for Gu Family Book, just to name a few. The sadder the drama, the better the OST, especially with 4Men’s emotional, sensitive, and “crying” voices.
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Late in 2014, when he reached the end of his contract, member Kim Young-jae left the group. As unfortunate as it is to see 4Men lose another member and continue to become smaller, one thing fans should continue to look forward to is the group’s passionate voices and their love of music. Sure, you can hand someone a microphone and have them sing, but it’s only when they’re able to move the audience, whether it be tears of happiness or sadness, that you know they’re truly passionate about what they’re doing. And that’s something 4Men does extremely well. They’re able to move the audience, young and old. Whether it’s from their originals like “Baby Baby” or “Erase” to their covers like “One More Time” on “Immortal Song 2.” No matter how many people they have in their group, no matter what they sing, just know that they’ll always give it 150 percent and may potentially drown you in tears.
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