Exo is a South Korean-Chinese boy group based in Seoul. They were formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2011, and the group debuted in 2012 with twelve members, also known to their fans as OT12, separated into two subunits, Exo-K and Exo-M, performing music in Korean and Mandarin respectively.
Exo’s first album XOXO (2013), which contained the breakthrough hit “Growl”, was a critical and commercial success, winning both Disk Daesang at the 28th Golden Disk Awards and Album of the Year at the 15th Mnet Asian Music Awards. It sold over one million copies, making Exo the best-selling Korean artist in twelve years. Subsequent albums and EPs continued with strong sales, and Exo were ranked the most influential celebrity by Forbes Korea for the year 2014 and 2015.
They have been named “the biggest boyband in the world” by media outlets, saying that “EXO are at the forefront of pop domination, with knife-point choreography seamlessly gelled to songs crafted by some of the world’s most gifted writers and producers, honed by their myriad of personalities and talents.” During their first tour, tickets sold out within 1.47 seconds!
In May 2014, Wu Yifan (Kris), a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment to be removed from the group because he wanted to pursue his acting career. Luhan, also a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, followed suit in October 2014 due to the same reason as Kris. In April 2015, Huang Zitao (Tao), also a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, suspended his activities due to a leg injury and subsequently followed suit in August 2015. Following their departures, Exo carried on with nine members, also known to their fans as OT9. In July 2016, it was announced that the lawsuit between Luhan, Kris, and S.M. Entertainment had been settled: the two idols will maintain their contract with SM until 2022, S.M. Entertainment will contract out their work outside of Korea and Japan to their current Chinese agencies—and they will “share related revenues with S.M. Entertainment.”
Although Exo is now a nine piece band, they still continue to work hard and release good songs and albums. In fact, Exo recently won ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Gold Disk Awards for the fouth year in a row.
Desiree Lim (1G)