Gee (Girls' Generation song)

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Japanese version cover
Single by Girls' Generation
from the album Gee and Girls' Generation
Released January 5, 2009 (Korean ver.)
October 20, 2010 (Japanese ver.)
Length 3:21
  • Ahn Myung-won
  • Kim Young-deuk
  • Kanata Nakamura
  • E-Tribe
Girls' Generation singles chronology
"Baby Baby"
"Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)"

"Baby Baby"
"Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)"

(Japan released)

(Japan released)
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(2010) Hoot2010

"Gee" is a song recorded by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation. The original Korean-language version was released as a single from the extended play of the same name on January 5, 2009. "Gee" is a bubblegum pop and electropop song with elements of hip hop and techno that lyrically talks about the girls' affections when they are in love. The single was a success in the group's native country, claiming the top spot on Music Bank for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks and on Inkigayo for three weeks. It became the best-selling single of 2009 in South Korea.

A Japanese-language version was recorded and released as the group's second single in Japan in October 2010 in conjunction with their foray into the Japanese music scene. The single peaked at number two on the Oricon Singles Chart and number one on the RIAJ Digital Track Chart. It received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan for exceeding physical shipments of 100,000 copies, and later earned a million certification for digital sales of over one million copies. "Gee" has been widely recognized as a K-pop standard and considered as the frontier in modern Korean bubblegum pop music trend.

Background and release[edit]

South Korean girl group Girls' Generation debuted in 2007 with their eponymous studio album, which sold over 100,000 copies and became one of the few girl groups to do so.[1][2] On January 5, 2009, the group's first extended play Gee was released by S.M. Entertainment.[3] The EP was commercially successful, selling over 100,000 copies in South Korea.[4] S.M. Entertainment intended to release "Dancing Queen", a cover version of Duffy's "Mercy;[5] the plan was scrapped nonetheless due to copyright issues, and "Gee" was thereafter released as a single to promote the EP.[6] The song's music was composed by record producing duo E-Tribe, while its lyrics were written by Ahn Myung-won and Kim Young-deuk.[3]

A Japanese-language version of "Gee" was released on October 20, 2010 in Japan by Nayutawave Records as Girls' Generation's second single in the country, in an attempt to broaden the group's popularity on the Japanese music scene. It was preceded by a Japanese-language version of the group's single "Genie".[9] The lyrics were written by Kanata Nakamura.[10] "Gee" is a bubblegum pop and electropop song with elements of techno and hip hop. The song is heavily instrumented by synthesizers.[8] The song's lyrics talk about the girls' feelings when they are falling in love.[5]

The music video for the Korean version of "Gee" begins with the nine members being displayed as mannequins at a clothing store and coming to life after the store's male staff (played by Minho of Shinee) leaves. The members then discover the surroundings and find out the portrait of Minho being "the employee of the month". Scenes of the members performing the choreography are juxtaposed with the storyline. At the end of the video, the members leave the store and Minho returns realizing the mannequins have disappeared.[11] The video became the first video by a girl group to achieve over 100 million views on YouTube.[12] Another music video for the Japanese version was also released, which also features Minho as the male staff, but does not portray the members as mannequins but Minho's fellow female staff.[13] As of May 2018, the music video has over 205 million views on YouTube.[14]


Girls' Generation attending the 24th Golden Disc Awards, where they won Digital Daesang (Song of the Year)[15]

Girls' Generation had their first promotional activity for the song on the MBC's music show Music Core on January 10.[16] "Gee" eventually became a hit, achieving nine consecutive top one on the KBS's Music Bank,[17][18] and eight consecutive wins on the Mnet 's chart,[19] setting a record at the time. It was named as the "Song of the decade" by South Korea's online music website, MelOn,[20] and chosen to be the most popular song of 2009 on Music Bank.[21] The song has also won several major awards such as "Digital Daesang" and "Digital Bonsang" at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards,[22] "Daesang" and "Digital Music" awards at the 19th Seoul Music Awards,[23] and "Song of the Year" at the 7th Korean Music Awards.[24][25]

The Japanese version sold 130,145 physical copies in 2010, becoming the 49th best-selling single of the year in Japan.[26] The song reached number one on the RIAJ's weekly digital track chart on October 26,[27] and eventually was ranked fifty-seventh and twenty-third on Billboard's 2010 & 2011 Japan Hot 100 charts, respectively.[28][29] In January 2014, "Gee" was certified "Million" by the RIAJ, achieving more than one million digital downloads.[30]


Awards Year Category Result
Cyworld Digital Music Awards[31] 2009 Song of the Month (January) Won
Bonsang (Main Prize) Won
Golden Disc Awards[15] Bonsang (Main Prize) Won
Digital Daesang (Grand Prize – Song of the Year) Won
Melon Music Awards[32] Song of the Year Won
Odyssey Award Won
Korean Music Awards[33] 2010 Song of the Year Won
Seoul Music Awards[34] Bonsang (Main Prize) Won
Daesang (Grand Prize – Song of the Year) Won

In popular culture[edit]

A parody of "Gee", called "Hee", has gained popularity among Korean citizens. It is a combination of the instrumental of "Gee" and some extremely venomous dialogue from the drama Temptation of Wife.[35]

A viral video named Showa Era Gee (Grandpa Showa era) (Gee しょうわ時代 (爺爺爺-昭和時代))) was posted on YouTube on Aug 15, 2011 featuring elderly men in a shoe shop dancing to the Japanese version of "Gee". The video was originally on SMAPxSMAP Japanese show. It was also posted on Smosh website and was reviewed by "AtomicMari" on "Smosh Pit Weekly".

In 2009 and 2010, SM labelmates Super Junior regularly included a cover of "Gee" in their setlist for Super Show 2. The performance was preceded by a video interlude entitled The Secret of "Gee" including Jessica and Tiffany respectively dancing Heechul's and Kangin's parts in "Sorry, Sorry" during a Girls' Generation dance practice before the practice is infiltrated as a prank by Heechul, Kangin, Leeteuk and Sungmin respectively disguised as Jessica, Tiffany, Taeyeon and Sunny.[36]


The success of "Gee" was deemed as a landmark for K-pop and the Korean Wave; online search for K-pop has gradually increased since the song was released in early 2009.[37]

"Gee" has been widely recognized as a K-pop classic and the group's signature song. On writing the group's biography for AllMusic, Chris True selected "Gee" as one of their outstanding songs.[38] Chuck Eddy from Spin ranked the single fifth on his list of 21 greatest K-pop song of all time in 2012, opining that the song has set up the group's "huge deals" ever since.[39] Pitchfork Media editor Jakob Dorof included the song on his list of 20 essential K-pop songs in 2014, noting it for being the "magnum opus" of modern Korean bubblegum pop genre, which he regarded as K-pop's "comfort zone." He further recognized the "formally irrefutable" song as overcoming half a millennium of historical animosity to broker pop cultural peace between South Korea and Japan for only one year.[7] Abigail Covington writing for The A.V. Club regarded Girls' Generation as the K-pop "premier, ubiquitous provider," particularly with "Gee", which helped to promote Korean music's full potential despite the fact that K-pop had existed long before the group's debut in 2007.[8]

Billboard magazine labelled "Gee" "arguably the most iconic K-pop song in the past ten years."[40]

In 2016, "Gee" was voted the top K-pop girl group song in the past 20 years in a poll involving 2,000 people and 30 music industry experts by South Korean magazine Dong-a Ilbo, web magazine Idology and research company M Brain.[41][42]

Track listing[edit]

CD single — Japanese version[43]
1."Gee" (Japanese version)Kanata NakamuraE-Tribe3:23
2."Gee" (Korean version)
  • Ahn Myung-won
  • Kim Young-deuk
3."Gee" (without main vocal) E-Tribe3:21
Total length:10:05


Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Japan (RIAJ)[54]
physical single
Gold 206,346[55]
Japan (RIAJ)[56]
digital download
Platinum 250,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[57]
2× Platinum 500,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[58]
full-length Chaku-Uta
Million 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone

Awards and nominations[edit]

Music programs awards[edit]

Program Date Note
KBS2's Music Bank January 16, 2009
  • Record for most consecutive wins (9) on the show, until PSY's "Gangnam Style" in 2012.
January 23, 2009
January 30, 2009
February 6, 2009
February 13, 2009
February 20, 2009
February 27, 2009
March 6, 2009
March 13, 2009
December 25, 2009
SBS's Inkigayo January 18, 2009 First Triple Crown (or three total wins on the show) for the group.
February 1, 2009
February 8, 2009

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Korean version of "Gee" was released in 2009, therefore it did not enter the Gaon Digital Chart, which launched in 2010. The Japanese version peaked at number three on the Gaon Album Chart in 2011.[48]


  1. ^ "MIAK Albums Chart" (in Korean). Music Industry Association of Korea. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ Han Sang-hee. "Idol Stars Gearing Up for Various Activities". The Korea Times. Retrieved February 9, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "The First Mini Album 'Gee'" (in Korean). Melon. Retrieved February 9, 2018. 
  4. ^ "소녀시대, 올 첫 10만장 돌파..2연속 10만장 판매" [Girls' Generation, two albums exceeding 100 thousand sales mark] (in Korean). Star News. March 17, 2009. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Girls' Generation Has Returned! 'Comeback After 9 Months, We're Excited' Interview Part 1" (in Korean). Newsen. January 6, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "SNSD teaser released, fresh and bright charms shown". Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). January 3, 2009. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "20 Essential K-Pop Songs". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Covington, Abigail (May 15, 2014). "Navigating through the excessive world of K-pop". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ Schwartz, Rob (December 3, 2010). "Korea's Girls' Generation/SNSD Ready to Storm Japan". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ Gee (Japanese version) (CD liner notes) (in Japanese). Nayutawave Records. 2010. 
  11. ^ Fuhr, Michael (2015). Globalization and Popular Music in South Korea: Sounding Out K-Pop. Routledge. p. 4. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  12. ^ Benjamin, Jeff; Oak, Jessica (April 30, 2014). "Top 10 K-Pop Girl Groups". Billboard. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  13. ^ Gee (Japanese version) (music video/DVD). Girls' Generation. S.M. Entertainment. 2010. 
  14. ^ "YouTube Stats of Girls' Generation 소녀시대 'Gee' MV". Retrieved 2018-05-06. 
  15. ^ a b (in Korean)Golden Disk Awards: 수상자 (Golden Disk Awards Winners List). Golden Disk Awards. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
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  17. ^ Girls Generation to Return With New Album (June 15, 2009). Retrieved on January 27, 2015.
  18. ^ Girls' Generation topped Music Bank for 9 consecutive weeks (in Korean) (March 13, 2009). Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
  19. ^ Girls' Generation broke Mnet's record, staying at number 1 for 8 consecutive weeks (in Korean) (March 3, 2009). Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "Legendary 'Gee' is officially 'Song Of The Decade'". 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. 
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  22. ^ Half worthy awards ceremony, music fans feel bitter (in Korean) (December 11, 2009). Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
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  24. ^ Girls' Generation, 韩 Pop Music 'netizens selected geurupsang (in Korean) (March 30, 2010). Retrieved April 3, 2010.
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  28. ^ Billboard's 2010 Japan Hot 100 Billboard (2010). Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
  29. ^ Billboard's 2011 Japan Hot 100 Billboard (2011). Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
  30. ^ Recording Industry Association of Japan's certification for January 2014 (in Japanese) Archived 2014-03-05 at the Wayback Machine. RIAJ (January 2014). Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
  31. ^ (in Korean) 디지털 뮤직 어워드. Cyworld. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  32. ^ "2009 Melon Music Awards". Melon (in Korean). Loen Entertainment. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  33. ^ (in Korean) 소녀시대, 韓대중음악상 '네티즌 선정 그룹상 (Girls' Generation, 韩 Pop Music 'netizens selected geurupsang) Money Today. March 30, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  34. ^ "유이 탁재훈 '제19회 하이원 서울가요대상 더블MC 맡았어요'" (in Korean). Joins!. February 3, 2010. Archived from the original on February 10, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2010. 
  35. ^ Kim, Swung-yen. ‘아내의 유혹’ 신애리, 노래 ‘hee’로 가수 데뷔? (Wife's Temptation Shin Ae-ri, Debuting as Singer with "Hee"?) Archived 2009-07-21 at Maeil Yungaburra. February 27, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  36. ^ Super Show 2: The Secret of Gee (featuring Girls' Generation) YouTube (created by SM Entertainment)
  37. ^ Jackson, Julie (August 13, 2013). "Then & Now: A look back at the changing tides of K-pop". The Korea Herald. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  38. ^ True, Chris. "Girls' Generation | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  39. ^ Eddy, Chuck; Bevan, David (June 21, 2012). "The 21 Greatest K-Pop Songs of All Time". Spin. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  40. ^ Herman, Tamar (September 8, 2016). "'Better Late Than Never' Stars Team Up With K-Pop Power Group Girls' Generation". Billboard. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  41. ^ "New survey ranks top K-pop artists & songs of the past 20 years". Special Broadcasting System Australia. September 2, 2016. 
  42. ^ "'반짝반짝 눈이 부셔'… 빅뱅-소녀시대 역대 최고 아이돌". Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). September 1, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
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  44. ^ "Gee [+DVD]" (in Japanese). Universal Music Japan. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
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  48. ^ "Ggaon Album Chart: Week 22, 2011". Gaon Album Chart. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. 
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  51. ^ "CDシングルランキング: 2010年度" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Japan Hot 100: 2011 Year-End". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  53. ^ "2011 Gaon Album Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  54. ^ "Japanese single certifications – Shoujo Shidai (Girls' Generation) – Gee" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved May 15, 2015.  Select 2010年10月 on the drop-down menu
  55. ^ "Oricon Ranking Service 'You Big Tree'" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved July 6, 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
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External links[edit]