f(x) is a South Korean multinational girl group formed by SM Entertainment. The group was composed of Victoria, Amber, Luna, and Krystal and previously Sulli until her departure from the group in August 2015. Their last official korean comeback as a 4 member group was with 4 Walls in October 2015.
f(x) is a function of mathematics, which means that they would carry out various activities, based on the various talents and attractiveness of the members, like the formula whose results change depending on the value of x.
In addition, "f" symbolizes flower and "x" symbolizes 'X' on the female chromosome XX which, taken together, symbolizes "flower reminiscent of women."
Krystal was scouted by SM Entertainment in 2000 while on a family visit to Korea, along with her sister Jessica (former member of Girls' Generation). She subsequently appeared in a small role in Shinhwa's music video for the song "Wedding March" ("너의 곁에서 2").
Sulli was a child actress, making her first television appearance in 2005 as the young Princess Seonhwa of Silla in SBS's Ballad of Seodong.
Luna was recruited by SM following her 2006 appearance on the reality television program Truth Game. Victoria was scouted through a Beijing dance competition in September 2007 after winning first place.
In 2008, Amber was cast through S.M. Global Auditions in Los Angeles, California.
2009–2010: Debut and Nu ABO
f(x) was first introduced as a five-member dance-focused pop group in a teaser clip released on August 24, 2009. Their debut single "LA chA TA" was released on September 1, with a showcase held the following day at Samseong Fashion Center in Gangnam. The group's broadcast debut was on September 5, on MBC's Music Core.
Shortly after their debut, f(x) featured in promotions of the LG Chocolate cell phone alongside Girls' Generation. Both groups released versions of the song "Chocolate Love"; f(x)'s being an electropop version released on October 8.
They released their first physical single, "Chu~♡", on November 9.
At the start of 2010, f(x) collaborated with the Chinese boy band M.I.C. to promote the LG Cyon cell phone, releasing a Chinese cover of "Lollipop". In April they appeared in their documentary reality programme, Hello f(x).
On May 4, the group released their first extended play, "Nu ABO". The lead single "Nu ABO" was a commercial success in Korea and become a number-one single on the Gaon Chart. They sold ~54000 physical copies, with their lead single "Nu ABO" ~2.2 million digital sales.
In June, Amber went on hiatus due to an ankle injury, while the remaining members continued group activities without her for the remainder of the year.
They promoted the single "Mr Boogie" as a follow-up single from their EP.
They also participated in the SMTown Live '10 World Tour, as well as filming their second documentary reality show, f(x)'s Koala.
Towards the end of 2010 it was announced that f(x)'s albums would be distributed under Japanese label Avex Entertainment in Japan, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong.
2011–2012: Pinocchio, Hot Summer, and Electric Shock
Amber returned to the group in early 2011.
f(x) released their first full-length studio album "Pinocchio" in April 2011, with the lead single "Pinocchio (Danger)". The single peaked at number one on the Gaon digital single chart, and the group went on to take eight music show wins.
On June 14, Pinocchio was re-released under the title "Hot Summer". The repackaged album contained the title track "Hot Summer" (a remake of a Monrose song produced by Thomas Troelsen and Remee), as well as three previously released digital singles: "LA chA TA", "Chu~♡", and "Is It Ok?". "Hot Summer" peaked at #2 on the Gaon digital single chart and was downloaded over 375,000 times in the week of release. The song went on to become one of the most successful singles of 2011 in South Korea, selling 2,909,384 copies by the end of the year.
In August, the group released a song called "Garagabana" for the game Bust-a-Move and in December they released a song in English, titled "1, 2, 3", as part of the 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift album.
The group released their second EP "Electric Shock" on June 10, 2012. It was met with critical acclaim and they achieved nine music show wins with the title track "Electric Shock".
In November, the group won the 'Best Dance Performance - Female Group' award for "Electric Shock" at the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong. In January 2013, two songs from the EP, "Electric Shock" and "Jet", were nominated for 'Best Dance and Electronic Song' at the 10th Annual Korean Music Awards, with "Electric Shock" going on to win the award.
2013–2014: Pink Tape, critical acclaim, and Red Light
In 2013, f(x) was awarded the Digital Bonsang award at the Golden Disk Awards and Seoul Music Awards, as well as the 'MBC Music Star Award' at the Melon Music Awards.
In March they became the first K-pop artists to perform at SXSW in Austin, Texas. During their visit to the US, the group collaborated with actress Anna Kendrick for a comedy skit for Funny Or Die.
On July 29, the group released their second full-length album Pink Tape with the lead single "Rum Pum Pum Pum", and held a showcase titled "f(x) Music Spoiler - Play! Pink Tape" through Naver Music. The album was a success both in Korea and the US, peaking at number one on Billboard's K-pop Hot 100 and World Albums Charts and the Gaon Albums Chart. It was the only Korean album to appear on Fuse's '41 Best Albums of 2013'. A track from the album, Airplane, was also ranked third on Billboard's '20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2013'.
In 2014, the group won the 'Group Artist' award at the 20th Korean Entertainment Arts Awards, the 'Disk Bonsang' at the 28th Golden Disk Awards, and the 'Best Overseas Artist Performance' award at the Yin Yue Feng Yun Bang Awards in China.
On July 7, they released their third studio album, "Red Light", with the electronic house title track of the same name. The music video gained 2 million hits on YouTube within a day and was again well-received overseas.
Shortly after the album was released, it was announced that Sulli was unable to perform with the group for health reasons, and that she would be taking a temporary hiatus.
2015–2016: Sulli's departure, 4 Walls, first concert tour, and hiatus
Amber officially debuted as a solo artist, releasing her debut EP, Beautiful, on February 13, 2015. The title track, "Shake That Brass", featured Girls' Generation's Taeyeon.
On July 22, 2015, f(x) released a Japanese physical single album, Summer Special Pinocchio / Hot Summer, which debuted at #23 on Oricon's weekly chart.
In August, it was announced that Sulli had officially left the group to focus on acting.
The remaining four members continued as a group, releasing their fourth studio album, 4 Walls, in October. The album sold 66,000 copies upon its first week of release and was well received by critics. To promote the album's release, the group starred in a web reality program titled f(x)=1cm.
In December, they released the single "12:25 (Wish List)" as part of S.M Entertainment's Christmas project, Winter Garden.
At the year-end 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, f(x) performed with Pet Shop Boys, and won the 'Global Fans Choice' award.
In January 2016, the group won the Disk Bonsang award at the 2016 Golden Disk Awards and commenced their first concert tour, Dimension 4 – Docking Station, in Seoul which continued with six concerts in Japan in February.
On January 31, they announced their official fan club name, MeU.
Luna debuted as a solo artist with her first extended play "Free Somebody" on May 31, 2016. It debuted at number five on the Gaon Album Chart, and has sold over 10,000 copies.
On July 22, 2016, f(x) released a new single, "All Mine", through the SM Station project. The song was accompanied by a music video, directed and edited by Amber.
On November 2, 2016, f(x) released their second Japanese physical single album, 4 Walls / Cowboy, including a Japanese version of "4 Walls", along with a new song titled "Cowboy", which was performed live on the same day at the group's encore concert in Yokohama.
On October 16, the music video for "Electric Shock" surpassed 100 million views on YouTube, making f(x) the third Korean girl group, and sixth Korean group overall to reach this milestone.
From 2016, f(x) halted group promotions and the members have embarked on individual music, acting, and modelling careers.
2018-2019: Reunion and departures from SM
In an interview with Krystal on January 19, 2018, she stated that the members frequently discussed making a comeback but timing never worked out.
In August 2019, f(x) officially reunited and performed together at the three-night SM Town Live 2019 in Tokyo concert as a three-piece (without Victoria).
On September 1, Amber announced via her social media accounts that she had not renewed her contract with SM Entertainment.
On September 5, SM Entertainment shared that Luna had also not renewed her contract with the company, and that Victoria's contract with them was still under discussion.
In an interview with Amber on October 1, she stated that f(x) had no plans to reunite, stating "Whether we do music or not, I think there will be a time when we can but I think right now we’re just figuring ourselves out. We have no plans, but it’s never not an option."
Between September 2013 and March 2017, Sulli dated Dynamic Duo rapper Choiza, during which both celebrities endured malicious comments and cyberbullying throughout their public relationship.
In October 2018, Sulli revealed that she had struggled with panic disorder and social phobia since she was young. Prior to her death, Sulli was suffering from severe depression.
June 2019 SM Entertainment released the MV for Sulli's single "Goblin".
On October 14, 2019, Sulli was found dead by her manager [Spoiler (click to open)]after she ended her life in her house in Seongnam, south of Seoul.
Sulli's death was linked by various media outlets to depression caused by cyberbullying. She was constantly bullied and attacked by netizens for speaking up for women’s rights, being pro-choice (abortion), not wearing a bra ("women shouldn't wear them if they are uncomfortable"), her clothes and appearance and she was called an attention seeker and much worse.
Following her death, it was revealed that Sulli had repeatedly asked her agency, SM Entertainment, to take strong measures against the malicious comments and cyberbullying.
A total of seven petitions were posted at the South Korean presidential office website demanding tougher punishment for cyberbullying and strengthening use of the real-name system when posting comments and creating accounts. Moreover, the political circle discussed various ways to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. An act under the proposed title "Sulli Act" was mentioned at a general audit of the Korea Communications Commission on October 21, where Rep. Park Dae-chool of the Liberty Korea Party said he is writing a legislative proposal to enact a new law to increase the responsibility of comments by introducing an Internet real-name system.
Moreover, on October 25, Rep. Park Seon-sook proposed a partial amendment to the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, which imposes an obligation for information and communication service providers to delete hate comments.
In addition, the amendment included marking malicious comments as illegal information, and provide anyone who saw malicious comments, not just the one being attacked, the ability to request its deletion. On the same day, Rep. Park Dae-chool also proposed an amendment to the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection which would allow the disclosure of full names of people posting comments under usernames and strengthen accountability of online comments by disclosing IPs. On October 25, 2019, Kakao announced that they are temporarily disabling comments on entertainment news to prevent hate comments and removing related search terms when searching people's names for a year.
Following her death, "Love You Sulli" (설리 사랑해) started trending in an attempt by fans to hide negative search results. IU's song "Peach", which was written about Sulli, re-entered music charts.
Sources: Wikipedia: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
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I got many requests for f(x), so here we are even though i'm a little nervous about it. Despite being successful, the whole group received a lot of hate and got bullied for many different reasons. Sulli's part was really emotional and diffuclt for me to go through. I tried to keep it short and the most triggering part is behind extra cuts, so make your own decision if you want to read it or not. If you feel like you can not handle the information and content in this post, feel free to skip it or stop reading: do what is best for you. I promise next week will be more lighthearted and fun, but at the same time we should also acknowledge and remember the hard times that come with this fandom and life in general. Even if it's painful, we can still remember all the time we had together, both the beautiful and the sad, and the impact it had on us and our life. I don't think we should forget about the hard work and effort they put into their careers. If we can take one thing away from this is to be kind, you don't know what someone else is going through and what impact your words can have on someone else.
So.. Do you think we will ever see a f(x) reunion? Please take good care of yourself and, if you feel up to it, I would love to hear your opinion on this week's content.