EXO, the K-POP group that made their debut on April 8, 2012, is celebrating their 8th anniversary today. Initially, the group came out as 12-member group, six of EXO-K, and another six of EXO-M, but when the Chinese members of EXO-M left, EXO officially became a 9-member (Suho, Chanyeol, Kai, D.O., Baekhyun, Sehun, Xiumin, Chen, Lay) group.
EXO, which has passed the “seven years jinx’ that is considered the biggest crisis among K-POP groups, still shows close friendships and has a solid fandom. As if to prove its unwavering popularity, EXO has set one impressive record during the past eight years.
On April 8, 2012, EXO officially made its debut with MAMA, the group’s first mini-album. EXO-K performed for the first time on SBS’s Inkigayo, whereas EXO-M held their first stage at the 12th Top Chinese Music Awards. Then, in June 2013, they released their first full-length album XOXO. With the title track “Wolf,” EXO won the first place on local music shows for the first time since its debut.
The group currently has one song that surpassed 300 million views, five songs with 200 million views, and four songs with 100 million views on YouTube. Also, Chanyeol and Punch’s joint OST “Stay With Me” is the first OST music video to reach 100 million views, followed by Chen and Punch’s “Everytime” to reach 100 million views.
In Japan, both their first single and full-length album topped the Oricon’s weekly chart, becoming “the first overseas group” to set such record.
EXO is currently on a break as Xiumin started serving his military service on May 7 last year and D.O. got enlisted on July 1 last year. Suho, born in 1991, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, and Chen, all born in 1992, will soon have to decide when they will join the army. Sehun and Kai, who were born in 1994, have a bit more time than other members.
However, each member of EXO is actively engaging in solo and unit activities based on their solid musical prowess and fandom that they have accumulated over the past seven years, filling the void of those who are currently serving in the army.
Last April, Chen became the first to start the solo career by releasing April, and a flower, topping the local music charts. Then in July last year, Baekhyun also released his first solo album, City Light, topping the album sales of solo albums (525,935 copies) in 2019. Recently, Suho became the third member to release a solo album, Self-Portrait.
There are two units that have been active. EXO-CBX, the first unit, has released albums in both Korean and Japan, and has been holding concerts in Japan, sweeping various music shows, music charts and record charts. EXO-SC, the second unit, released its first mini-album, What a life, in July last year, receiving much love for “Closer to you,” “Just us 2 (Feat. Gaeko),” and “What a life.”
They are also distinguished in their acting careers. D.O., who is currently serving in the army, has been recognized for his solid acting prowess by starring in various films, such as Swing Kids and Along with the Gods series, and drama 100 Days My Prince. Suho (Student A, The Man Who Laughs), Chanyeol (Memories of the Alhambra), Xiumin (Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River), Lay (The Island) and Kai (Rebecca) are also expanding their careers as actors by challenging big and small roles in movies, dramas, and musicals.
The youngest member Sehun has been active in Netflix’s Busted series, and recently appeared in MBC’s I Live Alone as a close friend of Ahn Bo Hyun.
Regarding EXO’s future activities, SM Entertainment said “As EXO, they will repay the love they received by working in various ways including as solo or in units. We will support every member to grow further.”
▶ Meaningful records set by EXO over the past eight years
- The first singer/group, who made a debut after 2000, to record a cumulative album sales of 10 million albums
- The first millions seller in 12 years in Korea
- Chosen as Billboard’s “14 Artists to Watch in 2014“
- Chosen as Korea’s No. 1 Power Celebrity in 2015 by Forbes
- The first K-POP group to win the Golden Disc Album Awards for the fourth consecutive year and the most-winning group
- The first Korean idol to rank fifth on the US album chart
- The first K-POP boy group to top iTunes World Album Chart
- Genesis World Record 2018 Edition (most-winning group in MAMA)
- Two Platinum-certified singles by the Japan Record Association (‘Love Me Right-Romantic Universe’ and ‘Coming Over’)
- 5th full-length recorded No.1 on Billboard World Album Chart for 2 consecutive weeks