(Hangul: ????) is a South Korean girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2014. They made their debut with the digital single "Happiness", which was released August 4, 2014. The group originally consisted of four members: Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, and Joy. Yeri was added to the group in March 2015.Pre-debutThree of the original four members of Red Velvet were previously part of S.M. Entertainment's pre-debut team, S.M. Rookies. Seulgi, the first member who joined the agency, was brought in through an audition in 2007. Irene, the next member to join the company, was cast in 2009. Wendy auditioned through the SM Global Audition in Canada in 2012. Joy, the member who wasn't part of S.M. Rookies, auditioned through the SM Global Audition in Seoul in 2012.As part of S.M. Rookies, several clips of Irene, Seulgi and Wendy were released on S.M. Entertainment's official YouTube account. The three members were rumored to debut as a group in July, which was then confirmed by S.M. Entertainment. With the addition of member Joy, the four-member group would debut as Red Velvet, S.M. Entertainment's first girl group in five years after f(x).
2014: Debut, "Happiness" and "Be Natural"
Red Velvet's debut single, "Happiness", was digitally released on August 4, 2014, through various South Korean online music stores and debuts high on music charts. Its music video was released alongside the song and was the second most-viewed K-pop music video worldwide for the month of August. The group made their official debut stage on the music program Music Bank
.Red Velvet released their second digital single "Be Natural", a remake of a song by S.E.S, on October 13. The group started their promotional activities for this release on October 9, making their first appearance on the music program, M! Countdown
. The music video for the song was released during the same day.
2015: Ice Cream Cake and new member Yeri
On March 11, 2015, SM Entertainment announced that the group's first mini-album will be called Ice Cream Cake
and was released on March 15. On the same day, they released a video announcing the addition of a new member, Yeri, to the group's lineup. Yeri was formerly part of S.M. Rookies with Irene, Seulgi and Wendy. "Automatic," the group's first music video featuring Yeri, was released on March 14.The group started promotions on music shows on March 19 and also promoted the album through the program, Ice Cream TV
which was streamed through Naver Music and was hosted by SHINee's Minho. On March 15, it was announced that both "Automatic" and "Ice Cream Cake" will be promoted as double lead singles off the album. The music video for "Ice Cream Cake" was released on March 15. Ice Cream Cake
topped Gaon's Weekly Album Sales Chart in its first week. It also debuted at #2 on Billboard'
s World Albums Chart and "Ice Cream Cake" peaked at #3 on Billboard's
World Digital Songs Chart, while "Automatic" peaked at #9. On March 27, they won their first music show trophy on Music Bank
.ImageThe group's image is based around both words in their name. "Red" is used to reflect a strong and sensual concept, with songs like "Be Natural" and "Automatic" while "Velvet" is used to reflect a soft, feminine concept, with songs such as "Happiness" and "Ice Cream Cake".
Shortly after the release of the music video for "Happiness," Japanese media reported that images referencing the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the September 11 attacks were seen in the video. S.M. Entertainment responded to the reports, explaining, "After questioning the director, we found that he simply used a collage source for the images, and there was no intention behind it." The representative added, "As SM wasn't able to catch it before, we will remove the material that caused the misunderstanding as soon as possible. We will make sure not to let this kind of thing happen in the future." On August 3, S.M. Entertainment deleted the original "Happiness" music video and uploaded a re-edited version without the controversial scenes.