Celeb crushin’: EXO

To get you excited for the top K-pop groups’ visit to our shores, we round up some fun facts about the boys before you meet them again in April

Celeb crushin’: EXO
Celeb crushin’: EXO
15 Dec 2015

Celeb crushin’: EXO

With predecessors like Super Junior and Girls’ Generation, it’s no surprise that even before EXO debuted in 2012, they received a tremendous amount of attention from the K-pop community.

Fast forward four years, and they’re now one of the leading forces in the Hallyu world, despite enduring a seemingly endless barrage of scandals and the controversial loss of three members. The group's third studio album Ex'Act went on to break records and further cement the boys' status as one K-pop's biggest forces to be reckoned with, and they recently made history (again) when they picked up their fourth Daesang (Grand Prize) at the Golden Disk Awards earlier this year.

And guess what, Singapore fans? The boys will be returning to our sunny shores in April once again for EXO PLANET #3 - The EXO'rDIUM in Singapore. But before you get all riled up to see Sehun, Suho, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, Xiumin, D.O and Kai in action once again (sadly, Lay will be unable to make it due to "other commitments"), we gathered some fun facts about each of the members to get you even more excited to see them in the flesh:

Photo: SM Entertainment

Xiumin: The baby-faced aspiring barista
Xiumin: The baby-faced aspiring barista
15 Dec 2015

Xiumin: The baby-faced aspiring barista

Thanks to his cherubic features, one can be forgiven for thinking that Xiumin is one of the youngest members of the group, but the reality is that the 25-year-old is actually the oldest (even before the departures of fellow 1990 babies Kris and Luhan).

Two years ago, the well-known coffee lover had the chance to bring his barista dreams to life when he embarked on a photo shoot that had him posing as the cutest and most stylish brewer we’ve ever seen. He even had the privilege of receiving some quick training from a member of the Barista Association of Korea as he tried grinding beans, creating latte art and other cool café magic. He relived his dream again on reality show EXO’s Showtime where he personally prepared a cup of hand-dripped coffee for the cameras and voiced his ambitions to obtain an official barista licence.

Just imagine walking into a quaint little coffee shop for a cuppa and seeing him behind the counter! We’ll take ten cups – and the barista – to go, please.

Photos: SM Entertainment, The Celebrity

Suho: The tough “mum” with brains and brawn
Suho: The tough “mum” with brains and brawn
15 Dec 2015

Suho: The tough “mum” with brains and brawn

Although highly respected for his leadership skills (which got to shine in times of the group’s many crises), Suho is also often lovingly teased for being the “mother” of the group. He even admitted to his motherliness when he recounted a hilarious tale about nagging Sehun not to stay out too late.

But that’s not all there is to the “guardian” (as his name means): on variety programme Problematic Men, Suho proved his formidable smarts when he disclosed his high-ranking school grades and managed to solve a range of math and logic questions with ease, leaving the other panellists stunned.

Fans have also been left stunned by Suho for an entirely different reason lately – for his chocolate abs, which he has flaunted everywhere from Sehun’s Instagram to their recent Tokyo Dome concert. Now, who said men can’t be dashing, ripped, responsible, caring and intelligent, all at the same time?

Photos: SM Entertainment, Sehun’s Instagram (@oohsehun)

Lay: The child star turned studio boss
Lay: The child star turned studio boss
15 Dec 2015

Lay: The child star turned studio boss

Long before he found fame as the main dancer in the Mandarin subunit of EXO, the Hunan-born lad had already begun his showbiz career after winning third place in a talent scout show in China back in 2005. He even had his own fan club back then, which still supports him to this very day.

Fast forward a whole decade later to April 2015, and SM Entertainment released a confirmation that an agency, titled Zhang Yixing Workshop (after his real name), had been set up in China to aid his activities there. The company was registered under his name and allows Lay the freedom to select his own staff and projects within the country, while still being managed by SM back in Korea.

Since then, in addition to his gigs with EXO, Lay has also been busy with a variety of solo projects on his home turf, most notably his big screen debut with Oh My God, which is produced by Zhang Ziyi, and released his own autobiography. Go build that impressive, international resume, Lay!

Photos: SM Entertainment, Weibo

Baekhyun: The makeup trendsetter who got an SNSD girl
Baekhyun: The makeup trendsetter who got an SNSD girl
15 Dec 2015

Baekhyun: The makeup trendsetter who got an SNSD girl

If you keep up with Korean cosmetics trends, you might have heard the term “burgundy makeup” being thrown around quite a bit some time earlier this year.

Behold, Byun Baekhyun, the puppy-eyed crooner who started it all. After sporting smoky peepers accented with flattering reddish tones to the 2014 Seoul Music Awards, the main vocalist unwittingly kicked off a viral beauty trend that inspired a wave of makeup tutorials and even made its way into a scene from top Korean drama Kill Me, Heal Me.

That wasn’t the only time Baekhyun grabbed headlines on his own: in June 2014, thousands of fan girls’ hearts were shattered when he was revealed to be in a relationship with Girls’ Generation leader Taeyeon. Even though their romance was short-lived and they broke things off at the beginning of this year, both parties have bounced back even stronger in the respective careers, with Taeyeon slaying with her solo debut and Baekhyun not just blazing on strong with EXO, but also on his own: he is reportedly in talks to make his drama debut in Moon Lovers, the Korean remake of Scarlet Heart.

Photos: SM Entertainment, Baekhyun’s Instagram (@baekhyunee_exo)

Chen: The prince of high notes and high cheekbones
Chen: The prince of high notes and high cheekbones
15 Dec 2015

Chen: The prince of high notes and high cheekbones

Back in August, a mysterious “Legendary Guitar Man” captivated audiences on King of Masked Singer, a show where – as the title suggests – singers perform in outrageous masks on stage before listeners guess who they are. When the power vocalist was revealed to be Chen, everybody’s jaw dropped to the floor, as if not expecting the member of a pretty boy band to be that mind-blowing.

Fans, however, have long been privy to his decibel-defying talents. At SBS Gayo Daejun in 2011, months before EXO even debuted, Chen was one of four members who was formally introduced on stage for the very first time and showed off his signature high notes for a short but splendid few seconds. Since then, his range can be heard dominating both album tracks and live performances.

We wonder if the secret to his choral skills have anything to do with those so-sharp-they-could-slice-bread cheekbones.

Photos: SM Entertainment

Chanyeol: The towering, multi-talented musician
Chanyeol: The towering, multi-talented musician
15 Dec 2015

Chanyeol: The towering, multi-talented musician

It’s not difficult to miss the 1.85m-tall “Happy Virus” of the group (as he proudly dubbed himself) in a line-up not just because of his height, but also his adorable Yoda-like ears, enormous grin and bubbly antics. His deep, rich timbre is also hard to miss, whether he’s rapping, singing or even just speaking.

While he is primarily known for his loudness and mischief, underneath his playful demeanour is one heck of a capable musician: as a child, Chanyeol had easy access to many instruments as his dad worked in music, and now, he is able to play the drums, piano, bass guitar, guitar and the djembe (an African goblet drum). Certainly, this is one man who will have no trouble serenading you in any way at any time of the day!

Bonus fun fact: when he was in primary school, Chanyeol was part of a ferret club, where members each had their own furry little critter to take care of. Is that cute or what?

Photos: SM Entertainment, Chanyeol’s Instagram (@real__pcy)

D.O: The rising actor with a killer gaze
D.O: The rising actor with a killer gaze
15 Dec 2015

D.O: The rising actor with a killer gaze

After finding fame and popularity as one of the main singers of EXO (no song would be complete without his smooth voice), D.O is now making a name for himself as an up-and-coming actor – last year, experts chose him as the number one acting idol, thanks to his remarkable growth in the field.

In his cameo in drama I Remember You, D.O put his naturally intense countenance to good use when he portrayed a chilling psychopath. Those who have been in the fandom long enough will be well acquainted with his somewhat threatening glare which, as it turns out, is the result of poor eyesight, according to several interviews (and hilarious demonstrations) by the other members.

D.O has since been seen in two more big screen ventures, Pure Love with Kim So-hyun and Hyung with Cho Jung Seok and Park Shin Hye.

Photos: SM Entertainment, ‘I Remember You’ promotional image

Kai: The dog- and toddler-loving ballerino
Kai: The dog- and toddler-loving ballerino
15 Dec 2015

Kai: The dog- and toddler-loving ballerino

Kai is undoubtedly one of the more popular and well-known members of the large group no thanks to the fact that he was the most heavily and frequently promoted one prior to EXO’s debut. That’s not to say he’s undeserving of the extra attention, of course – the main dancer’s talents never fail to shine, and he has his childhood ballet lessons to thank for his grace and smooth moves.

Although he may appear cool and somewhat intimidating in performances, Kai is actually a huge softie at heart with a weakness for his pet dogs and an even bigger weakness for his baby niece (Xiumin once labelled him a “niece babo [idiot]”). His experience with toddlers came in handy when he made a guest appearance on Oh! My Baby, where he hung out with actor Ricky Kim’s son Tae Oh. Needless to say, that provided plenty of extremely squeal-worthy moments.

Photos: SM Entertainment, Kai via EXO-L official fanclub

Sehun: The sassy baby of the family
Sehun: The sassy baby of the family
15 Dec 2015

Sehun: The sassy baby of the family

Don’t let his sleek build and sharp features fool you: at 21, Sehun is indeed the baby of the bunch, and he does not act like it either. In fact, more often than not, you will find him mercilessly cheeking his hyungs (older brothers) like nobody’s business – behaviour that is reminiscent of evil maknaes (youngest members) before him such as TVXQ!’s Changmin and Super Junior’s Kyuhyun.

And, like the evil maknaes before him, fans adore Sehun, although it’s safe to say that his model-like appearance may also have something to do with it. In fact, if not for his striking looks, he may not even been able to take his first stab at stardom: years ago, Sehun was just another kid minding his own business when he caught the eye of a talent scout. Determined to recruit him, the manager went after him for half an hour before finally convincing Sehun to go for auditions.

It is probably because of these that the former ulzzang (a term for good-looking people) isn’t afraid to frequently proclaim his handsomeness. Then again, if we resembled anything like him, we’d have that level of confidence too.

Photos: SM Entertainment

EXO PLANET #3 - The EXO'rDIUM in Singapore details
Date: April 2, 2017 (Sunday)
Time: 4pm
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium
Tickets are priced at S$288, S$268, S$238, S$188, S$168, S$128 (excluding booking fees) and are now available on SportsHubTix.

Related:
The Force is strong with EXO in Singapore
EXODUS: EXO then and now

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