EXODUS: EXO then and now

We round up the five key differences we see in EXO three years after their debut

We round up the five key differences we see in EXO three years after their debut
We round up the five key differences we see in EXO three years after their debut
12 Apr 2015

We round up the five key differences we see in EXO three years after their debut

It seems like yesterday when S.M. Entertainment released – we kid you not – a grand total of 23 teasers to their then-upcoming group, EXO. Anticipation was naturally high for a debut of such epic proportions – who were they and why was such a huge budget pumped into their debut? 

Three years on, we seem to have found our answer: EXO has proven its star power in numerous ways; by amassing a large, dedicated fan base, constantly being introduced in various parts of the entertainment world (such as variety, acting and musicals) and being one of the few groups under the constant spotlight.

We take a look at five key differences we see in EXO, three years after their official debut date on April 8, 2012.

1 member (officially) off the market
1 member (officially) off the market
12 Apr 2015

1 member (officially) off the market

The sound of countless EXO-L’s hearts breaking simultaneously was heard on June 18 when S.M. Entertainment confirmed that Baekhyun was dating Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon.
The confirmation came after photos of the pair cozying up in her car were released by Korean media outlet Dispatch, spurring a frenzy of “Who else is dating?” questions.

Part of the group’s allure to many of their fans is that their oppas may one day date them, and hence Korean entertainment agencies tend to protect their artistes until it becomes impossible to do so. If it was any other less incriminating evidence – they were holding hands to cross the road! – it might have just worked, but there’s really no other way to explain why the two had locked lips in the photos released.

On the bright side, fans, none of the other members are taken (officially, anyway) despite the media’s constant attempts to prove the other members’ relationships.

2 inactive members
2 inactive members
12 Apr 2015

2 inactive members

Those familiar with K-Pop would have heard of the headline-grabbing cases when Chinese members Kris and Luhan filed their respective lawsuits for contract nullifications against their company.

With two members leaving EXO-M – the company initially split the 12-member group into two subgroups to promote simultaneously in China and Korea – many wondered what would happen to their promotional methods. Would they carry on, but with only four members in EXO-M, or would they consider moving one member over so that it would split evenly down to five per sub-group?

The answer was revealed when they released their latest studio album, EXODUS. For now, the group is focusing its activities in Korea but has promised that they have Chinese activities lined up for their fans as well. 

3 years wiser
3 years wiser
12 Apr 2015

3 years wiser

This might seem like the understatement of the year, but it’s clear that EXO has grown a lot in their three years. While they used to be bright-eyed rookies hoping to score the newcomer of the year prizes at the annual year-end awards, they are now toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in the industry vying for the elusive Daesangs (grand prizes) with every release put out.

The trying times for the group, especially with members leaving, almost certainly served as a sobering lesson for the group as well. A quick look at their demeanours during interviews and performances then and now also show that they have indeed matured well into global stars that flourish in the spotlight.

4 Daesangs under their belts
4 Daesangs under their belts
12 Apr 2015

4 Daesangs under their belts

One of the most highly sought-after awards at the year-end awards is the Daesang (grand prize), which is typically determined by a mix of album sales and judges’ votes.

EXO picked up their first Daesang last year with their release of their first studio album, XOXO. Being awarded the prestigious award was no surprise to many as their album, together with its repackaged versions, sold over a whopping one million copies in total.

This time, pre-order numbers for EXODUS have exceeded that of XOXO, raising expectations of the group’s performance at the year-end awards.

With the four Daesangs they have under their collective belts, it has almost surely instilled a knowledge of just how strong their fans’ support is for the group but also incredible amounts of stress to live up to expectations – musical and otherwise.

5 sold-out concert shows in Seoul
5 sold-out concert shows in Seoul
12 Apr 2015

5 sold-out concert shows in Seoul

Back in 2014, EXO launched their first-ever solo tour with a three-night gig in Seoul – an impressive number considering how new they were. They went on to perform at a total of 30 shows in Asia, cementing their statuses as the new generation of K-Pop superstars.

This year, they pulled off an even more impressive feat with five sold-out shows in Seoul for their second concert tour. Spanning a total of two weekends and one Friday, fans were treated to a glimpse at their then-unreleased new material from EXODUS.

While no other concert stops have yet to be confirmed, calls from all over the world for the group to bring their show to fans’ respective countries has us guessing that this tour will likely trump that of their previous one. Right now, it seems like EXO is going nowhere except up.

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