TVXQ

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TVXQ
Kpop World Festival 113.jpg
U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin performing at the K-Pop World Festival, November 2012
Background information
Also known as
  • Tohoshinki
  • DBSK
  • TVfXQ[1]
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres
Years active 2003 (2003)–present (present)
Labels
Associated acts
Website tvxq.smtown.com
toho-jp.net
Members
Past members
TVXQ
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Korean name
Hangul 동방신기
Hanja 東方神起
Japanese name
Kanji 東方神起
Hiragana とうほうしんき

TVXQ (stylized as TVXQ!), an initialism for Tong Vfang Xien Qi[2] (Chinese: 東方神起), is a South Korean pop group consisting of the duo U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. They are known as Tohoshinki (東方神起 Tōhōshinki?) in Japanese releases, and are sometimes referred to as DBSK, an abbreviation of their Korean name Dong Bang Shin Ki[3] (Hangul: 동방신기). Their name roughly translates to "Rising Gods of the East".[4][5]

Formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2003, TVXQ began as a five-member boy band composed of members U-Know Yunho, Max Changmin, Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun, and Xiah Junsu. They were immediately launched to mainstream recognition following the release of their first physical single "Hug" (2004), which peaked at number four on the MIAK monthly music chart. Their first studio albums Tri-Angle (2004) and Rising Sun (2005) were both top sellers, pushing the band's popularity beyond Korea. Under the management of Avex, TVXQ entered the Japanese-language market in April 2005 with their debut single "Stay with Me Tonight", but their first Japanese album Heart, Mind and Soul (2006) was met with limited success.

TVXQ rose to international prominence in the late 2000s, after the group achieved critical acclaim in the Korean music industry for their best-selling albums "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap. (2006) and Mirotic (2008), both winning the Golden Disk Award for Album of the Year. Their 2008 hit single "Mirotic" was touted by international music critics as a staple song of K-pop. TVXQ's success in Japan was solidified with their fourth Japanese album The Secret Code (2009), which spawned four chart-topping singles. However, despite their commercial success, TVXQ plunged into legal turmoil and internal conflict when members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu attempted to split with their Korean agency S.M. Entertainment, resulting in the trio's departure from the group in 2010. A year later, TVXQ returned as a duo with remaining members Yunho and Changmin, and they released TVXQ's fifth Korean album Keep Your Head Down (2011), topping album charts in most major Asian markets upon release. Since their 2011 comeback, the duo have sold more than 3.8 million albums and singles in Korea and Japan.

With over 13 million albums sold since 2004,[6][7][8] TVXQ has become one of Asia's most successful music acts of their generation. They are often referred to as "Asia's Stars" and the "Kings of K-pop"[9][10] for their immense success and contributions to Korean pop.[11][12] According to the Oricon, TVXQ is the first foreign music act in history to have thirteen number-one singles in Japan.[13] With their Japanese Time Tour, one of the highest-grossing concert tours of 2013, the duo became the first non-Japanese Asian artists to headline a nationwide five-dome tour. They were also the first foreign artists to perform at the Nissan Stadium. Billboard has described the group as "K-pop royalty".[5]

History[edit]

2003: Formation[edit]

With the disbandment H.O.T. in 2001 and Shinhwa's departure in 2003, producer Lee Soo-man of S.M. Entertainment had to search for another boy band to compete against other popular idol groups in the K-pop market. In early 2003, Lee eventually selected five teenage boys from four different S.M. training teams to debut in a vocal dance unit. Xiah Junsu, the first to join the new group, became an S.M. trainee at age eleven and was originally trained to be a solo singer. He was later put into an R&B trio with trainees Sungmin and Eunhyuk (both now of Super Junior fame), and the trio made their first appearance on the reality show Survival Audition - Heejun vs. Kangta, Battle of the Century, a 2002 series that starred former H.O.T. members Kangta and Moon Hee-jun as mentors for prospective singers.

U-Know Yunho, who signed with S.M. Entertainment in 2000, was a member of several failed project groups throughout his years as a trainee. In 2001, he was featured as a rapper in Dana's debut single "Diamond" and briefly toured with her. That same year, Hero Jaejoong auditioned for S.M. Entertainment and was subsequently accepted into the agency after going through various auditions. Following trainees Heechul and Kangin, Yunho and Jaejoong joined the project group Four Seasons in 2002, but the quartet disbanded when Yunho and Jaejoong were selected to join Lee's new group in 2003. Heechul and Kangin went on to debut as members of Super Junior two years later.

Max Changmin, the youngest at age fifteen, was the fourth to join the new band. Micky Yoochun, who started his training only a few months before the group's official debut in December 2003, was the last member to make the cut. The boys received phone calls from Lee and were told to attend a photo shoot session, which turned out to be a briefing for their upcoming debut. To build group chemistry, the members moved into a small dormitory room arranged by their management. After a few weeks of training and rehearsals, they recorded their first song "Thanks To" and performed it at the S.M. New Face Showcase. Yunho was appointed as the group's leader.

During their early recording sessions, the group was offered some tentative names to use: SM5, Dream Team, O Jang Yuk Bu (Hangul: 오장육부; Hanja: 五臟六腑; literally "The Five Visceras and the Six Entrails"), Jeon Meok Go (short for Jeonseoleul Meokgo Saneun Gorae; Hangul: 전설을 먹고 사는 고래; literally "A Whale That Eats Legends"), and Dong Bang Bul Pae (Hangul: 동방불패; Hanja: 東方不敗), the Korean name for the Chinese wuxia character, Invincible East.[14] They decided on Dong Bang Bul Pae, and even obtained permission to use the name from Film Workshop, but the name was later rejected by their management because the Hanja was not aesthetically pleasing. Their name was subsequently finalized to Dong Bang Shin Ki (Hangul: 동방신기; Hanja: 東方神起), which was suggested by Lee's acquaintance.[15]

2003–05: Debut and early years[edit]

TVXQ made their debut on December 26, 2003 in a BoA and Britney Spears showcase, where they performed their debut single "Hug" and an a cappella rendition of "O Holy Night" with BoA.[16][17] The group released the physical single of "Hug" on January 14, 2004, which was followed by the premiere of its accompanying music video (shot in December 2003 at the Ilsan Art House).[18] The single debuted at number thirty seven on the monthly MIAK chart[fn 1] with a meager 5,000 copies sold.[19] The sales of "Hug" eventually picked up in the following months, and on March 28, 2004, TVXQ won their first music show award with "Hug" on The Music Trend (Inkigayo). "Hug" won two more awards in April 2004. By May 2004, "Hug" sold 118,114 copies and reached a peak at number four on the MIAK.[20][21] "Hug" stayed charted for ten consecutive months.

On June 24, 2004, TVXQ released their second single "The Way U Are", which entered the MIAK at number two.[21][22] In July 2004, TVXQ participated in their first SM Town project and collaborated with other label mates to release the SM Town album, 2004 Summer Vacation in SMTown.com. In October 2004, TVXQ released their first full-length studio album Tri-Angle. It was TVXQ's first record to debut at number one, selling a total of 242,580 copies in the first month. According to the MIAK, "The Way U Are" and Tri-Angle became two of the top ten best-selling albums of 2004.[21]

During the promotions of Tri-Angle, S.M. Entertainment had plans to promote TVXQ in mainland China and Taiwan under the support of its overseas partner, Avex Group. TVXQ members recorded Mandarin versions of their popular singles and released them exclusively on the Taiwan presses of Tri-Angle. Rumors spread that S.M. Entertainment had considered temporarily replacing a TVXQ member with a Chinese trainee for the convenience of overseas activities. However, the rotation plan was reportedly scrapped after the fans, the members and their parents, strongly protested.

Inspired by the success of BoA's Japanese music career, TVXQ signed with Japan's Avex Group management in late 2004. The members learned Japanese and moved to Japan to record their first single. Introduced as Tohoshinki (東方神起?), TVXQ released their debut Japanese single "Stay with Me Tonight" in April 2005 through Avex's record label Rhythm Zone. The single reached to number thirty-seven on the weekly Oricon Singles Chart.[23] Before returning to Korea to prepare for their second Korean album Rising Sun, TVXQ released their second Japanese single "Somebody to Love" in July 2005, which peaked at number fourteen. TVXQ's debut in Japan was not as successful as their management had hoped, and the group said their first few months in Japan were "difficult."[24] In August 2005, TVXQ performed for Avex's annual A-Nation summer concert tour, their first musical festival in Japan.[25]

Rising Sun was released in South Korea on September 12, 2005 and became the group's first breakthrough album. It debuted at number one on the Korean charts and was the fourth best-selling record of 2005.[26] The album's lead single "Rising Sun" was a popular hit, and it eventually became the group's signature piece. TVXQ ended the year with two more releases: their third Japanese single "My Destiny" and a Korean maxi single "Show Me Your Love", featuring Super Junior. The latter single entered the Korean charts at number one.[26][27] Rising Sun garnered several popularity awards for the group at the end of the year, including M.net KM Music Video Festival's Best Popular Music Video award, the ceremony's daesang ("grand prize").[28]

2006–07: Japanese albums and "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap.[edit]

In February 2006, TVXQ embarked on their first headlining international concert tour, the 1st Asia Tour: Rising Sun. Comprising 6 shows only, the tour started off with four shows in Seoul, South Korea. On July 14, 2006, the tour stopped by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where TVXQ were the first Korean artists to hold a concert in the country.[29] The tour's second and last overseas stop was in Bangkok, Thailand on July 15, 2006. A CD recording of their concert in Korea was released on July 14; the DVD was released six months later in January 2007, and had initial sales of 38,000 units.

On March 8, 2006, TVXQ released their fourth Japanese single, "Asu wa Kuru Kara" (明日は来るから?), which became the seventeenth ending theme for the long-running anime series One Piece. Their debut Japanese album Heart, Mind and Soul was released two weeks later, and it debuted on the Oricon Albums Chart at number twenty-five, selling 18,000 copies.[30] In April 2006, TVXQ released their first double A-side single "Rising Sun / Heart, Mind and Soul" as a follow-up from their album. The single peaked at number twenty-two.[31] To support Heart, Mind and Soul and its subsequent releases, TVXQ held their first Japanese tour, the 1st Live Tour 2006: Heart, Mind and Soul, from May to June 2006.[32] The tour consisted of eleven shows that attracted an audience of 14,800. After the tour, TVXQ released two more Japanese singles, "Begin" and "Sky". The latter debuted at number six on the Oricon, making it the group's first single to reach the top ten in Japan.[33][34][35]

The group resumed their Korean activities with the release of their third Korean album, "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap.[36] on September 29, 2006. The album entered the Korean charts at number one and became the best-selling record of 2006 after one month of release.[37][38] The success of the album gave TVXQ four coveted grand prize awards in 2006: at the M.net KM Music Festival, they received four awards, including Artist of the Year and Best Group.[39] TVXQ won all three of their nominations at the 16th Seoul Music Awards,[40] and at the 21st Golden Disk Awards, "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap won Album of the Year, the ceremony's grand prize.[41] TVXQ also took home the biggest awards at the SBS Gayo Daejeon.[42] The album's international success won the group their first award in Japan, the Bess Buzz Asia in Korea award at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[43]

In November 2006, TVXQ returned to Japan to release their eighth Japanese single, "Miss You / 'O'-Sei-Han-Gō" (miss you / 'O'‐正・反・合?), which became TVXQ's first top three single on the Orico'.[44] In January 2007, TVXQ announced their second international tour, the 2nd Asia Tour: O,[45] and toured Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Beijing. The tour attracted an audience of 390,000.[46]

TVXQ released their second Japanese album Five in the Black in March 2007, debuting at number ten on the Oricon with nearly 27,000 copies sold on its first week. Drawing in an audience of 46,600, the group toured Japan from May to June 2007. The five singles TVXQ released upon completion of the tour, including "Lovin' You", "Summer", "Shine / Ride On", "Forever Love" and "Together", peaked in the Oricon top five, their most successful being "Summer", which peaked at number two. TVXQ were also featured in Kumi Koda's thirty-eighth single "Last Angel", which was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of Resident Evil: Extinction.[47] Released in November 2007, the single peaked at number three on the Oricon and won Best Collaboration Video at Japan's MTV Video Music Awards.

2008–09: Japanese breakthrough and international success with Mirotic[edit]

TVXQ's sixteenth Japanese single "Purple Line", released on January 15, 2008, became the group's first single to debut at number one on the Oricon.[48] Their third Japanese album T was released a week later and debuted at number four,[49] selling over 52,000 copies. With the critical and commercial success of T, TVXQ delayed their Korean comeback to put more focus on their new Japanese releases, and from February to March 2008, the group released a series of five singles consecutively for six weeks, promoting the releases as the "Trick" project. Each single contained a solo track by a member, as well as some of their own compositions.[50][51] With their new records the group toured around Japan from March to May 2008. The T tour concluded with 17 shows and attracted an audience of 216,000, more than four times the size of their previous Five in the Black tour. The tour's DVD, released in August 2008, sold 112,000 copies. T also received a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) in May 2008.

Shortly before completing the T tour, TVXQ released their twenty-second Japanese single, "Beautiful You / Sennen Koi Uta". The latter track, "Sennen Koi Uta," was used as the opening theme for the historical Korean drama The Legend when it aired in Japan. Despite the drama's disappointing ratings, the single was a number-one seller, making TVXQ the first non-Japanese Asian performer to release two number-one singles in Japan, a record which was last held by Taiwanese artist Ou-yang Fei-fei twenty-four years prior.[52][53] In July 2008, TVXQ released their twenty-third single, "Dōshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandarō?", their third number-one single in Japan.[54] They performed the single at Avex's 20th anniversary meeting[55] and at A-Nation 2008, their fourth consecutive concert with Avex.[56]

In August 2008, TVXQ returned to Korea to prepare for the release of their fourth Korean album, Mirotic. The group assumed more creative control in this album compared to their last Korean releases: Yunho wrote the rap for several tracks, Junsu and Changmin wrote the lyrics to two tracks, and Jaejoong recorded his own solo track, yoochun too. A month before the release of Mirotic, TVXQ teased some of the tracks from the album at S.M. Entertainment's first international tour SM Town Live '08, an Asian-wide concert tour that featured SM Town artists.[57] Mirotic was slated to be released on September 24, 2008, but due to an unprecedented amount of pre-orders, the release was postponed to September 26.[58] The album entered the charts at number one and sold over 110,000 copies in one week, setting a new record.[59][60] With over 4 million downloads worldwide, the album's lead single "Mirotic" became TVXQ's most successful single of their career, and was considered as one of the biggest K-pop hits in the world. The song won a total of nine number-one trophies on Korean music programs The Music Trend, Music Bank, and M! Countdown, and was touted by international critics as a staple song of K-pop. Mirotic has sold over 600,000 copies, the first Korean album in six years to surpass half a million sales in South Korea.[61][62][63] It became the best-selling album among Korea's second-generation idols, and earned the name "Album of the Decade."[64]

In October 2008, TVXQ released the Japanese version of "Mirotic," which topped the Oricon, breaking a record that the group had set with their previous single.[65][66] TVXQ were the first Korean group to attend the Japanese New Year Eve's music festival Kōhaku Uta Gassen, and their invitation to the event was considered as one of the biggest highlights of their Japanese music career.[67] In January 2009, the group released their twenty-fifth Japanese single "Bolero / Kiss the Baby Sky / Wasurenaide", which was another number one single for the group.[68][69] "Bolero" was used as the theme song for the Japanese film Dance Subaru, and TVXQ also made brief cameo appearances in the film.[70] In February 2009, the group kicked off their third international tour, the 3rd Asia Tour: Mirotic, which went through five cities in Asia.

TVXQ released their fourth Japanese album The Secret Code in March 2009 and it debuted at number two on the Oricon.[71] It managed to sell over 317,000 copies in Japan, earning a platinum certification. From May to July 2009, TVXQ went on their fourth headlining Japanese tour, the 4th Live Tour 2009: The Secret Code, which consisted of 21 shows to an audience of 279,500. The last two shows of the tour were at the Tokyo Dome, making TVXQ the first Korean group to perform at the venue.[72][73] The concert's DVD, which was released in September 2009, pre-sold 107,000 copies and ultimately sold more than 353,000 copies. A number-one seller, TVXQ were the first foreign artists in twenty years to peak at first place on the Oricon's DVD rankings.[74]

2009–10: Lawsuit, Best Selection 2010 and the split[edit]

In July 2009, members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu attempted to split with their Korean management S.M. Entertainment, claiming that their thirteen-year contract was excessively long, schedules were held out without permission of the members, and profits were unfairly distributed.[75][76] In October 2009, the Seoul Central District Court granted the trio a temporary contract injunction, and TVXQ's group activities in Korea were ceased. In November 2009, Yunho and Changmin released a joint statement in support of S.M. Entertainment, and urged the trio to resolve their issues with their management quickly if they wished to continue their careers as TVXQ members.[77] As a result of the legal battle, the Shenzhen show for the group's Mirotic tour was canceled a week before its scheduled date on November 21, 2009, thus prematurely ending the tour. Despite the injunction, Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu maintained their activities as TVXQ members under Avex's management in Japan, and the group continued to release new Japanese singles together until early 2010. However, the members' last public performance together was on December 31, 2009, at the 60th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen, where they performed their twenty-eighth single, "Stand by U".

In January 2010, TVXQ released their twenty-ninth single, "Break Out!", which created a new record for the group. The single topped the Oricon and broke Elton John's fourteen-year record of having the highest first-week sales for a foreign artist.[78][79] On February 17, 2010, TVXQ released their Japanese greatest hits album Best Selection 2010, a compilation of their number-one hits including new singles released after 2009's The Secret Code, such as "Share the World / We Are!", "Stand by U", and "Break Out!". The album sold over 400,000 copies in one week, earning RIAJ's double platinum status by the end of February. Best Selection 2010 ascended to 700,000 copies by the end of March and became their best-selling album in Japan.[80] In March 2010, the group released their last single together, "Toki o Tomete", which was certified platinum by the RIAJ.[81]

On April 3, 2010, Avex declared the suspension of TVXQ's Japanese activities, stating that each member would be pursuing a solo career.[82] However, a week later, Avex announced the formation of a "special unit" with members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu—later known as JYJ—and placed Yunho and Changmin on indefinite hiatus.[83] After JYJ's announcement, S.M. Entertainment filed a lawsuit against JYJ to validate their contracts.[84] In June 2010, JYJ submitted a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment to void their exclusive contracts.[85] Following the suits, S.M. Entertainment attempted to denounce JYJ and their new agency C-JeS,[86] while Yunho and Changmin remained silent throughout the legal proceedings. In the meantime, Avex released two of TVXQ's greatest hits albums, including the Complete Single A-side Collection and the Single B-side Collection, all of which were released on June 30. They were TVXQ's closing releases under their contract with Rhythm Zone.

After several months of inactivity, Yunho and Changmin made their comeback appearances in August 2010 for the Seoul stop of the SM Town Live '10 World Tour,[87] where they performed re-recorded versions of older TVXQ songs. Their two-piece performances garnered strong and supportive reactions from the audience, prompting Yunho and Changmin's decision to continue TVXQ activities without the other three.[18] There was an attempt to add new members to the group, but their mentor Lee Soo-man suggested that they should continue as a duo act.[88] Shortly after the concert, the duo began working on their comeback album and brought in a new line of producers, including E-Tribe and Outsidaz.[89] On November 24, Avex announced that TVXQ had signed a new record contract with Rhythm Zone's sister label Avex Trax. Their Japanese management was switched to S.M. Entertainment Japan.[90]

2011: Return as a duo, Keep Your Head Down and Tone[edit]

Yunho and Changmin released TVXQ's comeback Korean album Keep Your Head Down on January 5, 2011. The album debuted at number one on the Gaon Albums Chart, and maintained its position for a second week.[91] With 230,922 copies sold by mid-2011, Keep Your Head Down won the Album of the Year for the first quarter of 2011 at the Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards.[92][93] The album's title single, "Keep Your Head Down" also stayed strong on the charts, winning seven number-one trophies on music shows The Music Trend, Music Bank, and M! Countdown. The Japanese version "Keep Your Head Down", which was released as a physical single in Japan on January 26, 2011, was a chart-topper and became TVXQ's second best-selling single in Japan, earning a platinum certification by the RIAJ. In March 2011, Keep Your Head Down was reissued with a new single, "Before U Go", and the repackaged album Before U Go peaked at number nine on the Gaon, pushing the album to be the third best-selling record of 2011 in South Korea.[94]

While promoting Keep Your Head Down, Yunho and Changmin spoke up for the first time about their 2010 hiatus and breakup with JYJ. According to Yunho, JYJ had "exceedingly deep conflicts"[95] with their agency and the members had irreconcilable differences about their career.[96][97] Changmin added that the team had worked so hard to the point where they felt like they could finally "harvest the fruits of [their] labor," yet instead of being happy they had to perform their final stage with heavy hearts.[98] JYJ responded by saying that they did not regret their decision in leaving S.M. Entertainment.[99] The lyrics of "Keep Your Head Down" also came under media scrutiny, with claims that they were directed at JYJ; however, TVXQ clarified that "Keep Your Head Down" was not a diss track, and that similar claims would still happen even if they were to release a different song with different lyrics.[98][100][101] Yunho said, "The song is about a man's mind towards a woman who had left him. We can sometimes find out that a certain song seems to talk about my own story. In this way it totally depends on the interpretation using our own thoughts."[95]

In July 2011, TVXQ released their thirty-second Japanese single "Superstar", which was certified gold by month's end.[102] From July to August 2011, a month prior to the release of their comeback Japanese album Tone, the duo toured around Japan for Avex's A-Nation summer concert, and at the Tokyo stop, TVXQ performed as the closing act, breaking Ayumi Hamasaki's record of closing the concert eight years in a row.[103] TVXQ were the first foreign performers to close the festival. On September 19, TVXQ released the music video for their promotional track "B.U.T (Be-Au-Ty)" as an introduction to Tone,[104] which was officially released on September 28. Tone became TVXQ's first number-one studio album in Japan. It sold over 200,000 copies on its first week and earned RIAJ's platinum certification on its second week. TVXQ was the second overseas artist in Japan to achieve album sales of more than 200,000 in a week; the previous holder was Bon Jovi with their 2000 album, Crush.[105][106]

In the latter months of 2011, the duo performed for a string of K-pop music festivals around the world. They first performed at the 2011 Hallyu Dream Concert at Gyeongju Citizens’ Stadium in South Korea on October 3.[107][108][109][110] On October 9, 2011, TVXQ participated in the New York-Korea Festival, a concert produced by KBS Global to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Korea’s entry into the United Nations. It was held in New Jersey.[111] On October 23, TVXQ performed with SM Town at the SM Town Concert in New York at Madison Square Garden concert and garnered international media attention.[112][113] TVXQ were also the closing act at the 2011 K-pop Music Festival in Sydney, Australia, presented by JK Entertainment on November 12.[114]

Their new Japanese holiday single "Winter" was released on November 30. The single's A-track, "Winter Rose", was selected as the commercial song for Seven & i Holdings’s Winter Gift – Tohoshinki (Snow Episode). TVXQ starred in the episode, which premiered on November 8.[115] TVXQ also contributed in their Korean management's December compilation album 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift, and released the song "Sleigh Ride".[116] On December 31, TVXQ performed "Keep Your Head Down" at the 62nd NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen. It was their first time performing at the Kohaku since the split, drawing media attention.[117]

2012–13: Groundbreaking success in Japan, Catch Me, Time and touring[edit]

TVXQ started 2012 with their comeback Japanese solo tour, the Tone tour, in January 2012. Tickets were sold out in a few minutes.[118] Spanning a total of twenty-six shows in nine cities, the Tone Tour reached to an audience of 550,000, more than twice the audience count of their 2009 Japanese tour, The Secret Code. TVXQ also became the third foreign artist, after Michael Jackson and the Backstreet Boys, to perform at the Tokyo Dome for three consecutive days, attracting crowds of over 165,000.[119][120] The Tone tour's 550,000 audience was also the largest mobilization for any Korean artist in Japan at the time,[119][121] until TVXQ broke their own record with their 2013 Japan tour Time.[122]

With the release of their thirty-fourth chart-topping Japanese single, "STILL" in March 2012, TVXQ became the first foreign artist to release ten number-one singles in Japan.[123] By July 2012, TVXQ came to be recognized as the first foreign artist in Japan to sell over 3.1 million CD singles, breaking a ten-year, ten-month long record that was previously held by the American vocal duo, The Carpenters.[124] With over 120,000 fans in attendance, TVXQ's 2012 BigEast fanclub event tour The Mission also broke another record for being the largest fanclub event in Japan's music history.[125]

TVXQ returned to South Korea in September 2012 to release their sixth Korean album Catch Me, followed by the announcement of their first world tour, the Live World Tour: Catch Me. Catch Me was released online on September 24 and on September 26 through normal commercial outlets.[126] It became Yunho and Changmin's second number-one album and TVXQ's fifth number-one album in South Korea, and maintained its number-one position on the Gaon Albums Chart for three weeks. On November 26, TVXQ released Humanoids, the repackage of Catch Me, which also peaked at number one. Two days after the reissue's release, S.M. Entertainment and JYJ dropped their lawsuits against each other and reached a settlement, ending their three-year legal dispute.[127] As part of the agreement, both parties stated that they would no longer interfere with each other's activities, and it was agreed upon that JYJ's contracts with S.M. Entertainment had ended in July 2009.[128]

On January 16, 2013, TVXQ announced on their official Japanese site the release of their sixth Japanese album Time for March 6. The album became their fastest selling studio album to date, selling over 277,000 copies in its first month of release.[129] Its lead single, "Catch Me -If You Wanna-", sold over 137,000 copies, and topped the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, making the group the first foreign artist to have had twelve number ones on Oricon.[130] In March the group took part in the TRF tribute album TRF Tribute Album Best for TRF's 20th anniversary. They sang a cover of "survival dAnce ~no no cry more~" and were the only Koreans to participate on the album.[131][132]

TVXQ set several records with their Time tour, which commenced at the Saitama Super Arena in April 2013. The duo became the first K-pop artist and the fourth foreign artist to embark on a five-dome tour,[133] and were the first foreign musical act to perform at the Nissan Stadium as a headlining artist.[134] The tour attracted a record audience of 850,000 people[135] and an additional 40,000 people from cinemas. The tour grossed nearly US$93 million, breaking Tone's record.[136]

In December 2013, two tenth anniversary concerts were held at the Korea International Exhibition Center in Ilsanseo-gu, South Korea to mark the duo's tenth anniversary in the music industry. The sold-out concerts, called Time Slip, was held on December 26 and 27, 2013.[137]

2014–present: Tense and Tree[edit]

Promoted as TVXQ's tenth anniversary debut album, their seventh Korean studio album Tense was announced in November 2013.[138][139] The album was released on January 6, 2014 and debuted at number one on South Korea's Gaon Albums Chart and Hanteo Albums Chart, with first-week sales of 73,100 copies. First-month shipments reached 194,198 units, making Tense the best-selling album of January 2014 in South Korea.[140] Music critics rated Tense favorably,[141] with a general consensus that the album is the duo's best Korean record to-date.[142] Musically Tense has elements of neo soul with throwback-inspired pop,[143] and it is described to be more mature than the duo's earlier efforts. The lead single "Something", a swing jazz pop number,[144] debuted at number four on the Gaon Singles Chart and reached to number seven on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100,[145] TVXQ's highest debut on both charts. In Japan, "Something" was released as a double A-side single with "Hide & Seek" on February 5, 2014. In late February 2014, TVXQ announced their follow-up Korean single "Spellbound". An expanded version of Tense, re-titled Spellbound, was released on February 27, 2014 and debuted at number two on the Gaon Albums Chart, shipping 61,405 copies in two days.

Tree, TVXQ's seventh Japanese studio album, was released on March 5, 2014.[146] It debuted at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart, moving 225,000 copies on its first week of release. With Tree, TVXQ became the first foreign band in Japan to have three consecutive studio albums with first-week sales of over 200,000 copies, breaking Bon Jovi's thirteen-year record.[147][148] TVXQ continued to break new records with their seventh Japanese concert tour Tree: Live Tour 2014, which toured Japan from April to June 2014. The tour drew in over 600,000 people in total, pushing the duo to become the first foreign artists of Japan to bring in the largest number of concertgoers in the last three years, reaching over 2 million.[149]

On August 30, TVXQ announced at Avex's A-Nation concert that they will hold their second five-dome tour in early 2015.[150] The tour is expected to begin on February 7, 2015 at the Fukuoka Dome.

Artistry[edit]

TVXQ have labeled their lead singles as "SMP",[151] a supposedly experimental genre with a mix of orchestral pop, rock, hip hop, and contemporary R&B, topped with harmonizing vocals and high notes.[152] Many of TVXQ's songs feature lyrics with dark social commentary.[152][153]

TVXQ performing Bolero live as the encore to their 2009 tour The Secret Code at the Tokyo Dome.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

TVXQ's musical style has evolved over the years.[154] Dance-pop and contemporary R&B ballads persisted throughout their releases, and they have released a cappella versions of their music. In their first two albums, TVXQ explored rap rock, and have collaborated with the rock band TRAX in those attempts. With their fourth Korean album Mirotic (2008), TVXQ delved into urban contemporary and electropop, and the album's lead single "Mirotic", a song marked by heavy-urban dance and Europop sounds, is considered one of the staple songs of K-pop.[155][156][157] In the albums after the split, Yunho and Changmin experimented with more electronic dance music, traditional R&B, and pop songs with strong hip hop cadences. However, the duo's tenth anniversary album, Tense (2014), saw a drastic change in TVXQ's musical direction, in which acoustic genres such as adult contemporary pop music took focus.[158]

TVXQ's dance choreography has been called "intense and powerful".[159][160][161] Their stage performances have been described as "imaginative" and "captivating",[162][163] with Yunho and Changmin being lauded for their stability and stamina to perform live, with some live concert sets lasting for more than three hours.[164][165] On an episode of Mnet's Idol Chart Show that aired on May 4, 2011, TVXQ were ranked number one among music removed (MR) idol singers.[166]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Main article: TVXQ filmography

The five original members of TVXQ made their first appearance as actors in 2005, through the sitcom Rainbow Romance[167][168] and their own seven-episode miniseries titled Banjun Theatre.[169][170] In 2006, TVXQ starred in their second miniseries Vacation, also releasing a soundtrack. In 2012, Yunho and Changmin appeared in the 2012 biographical movie I AM.

Yunho debuted his first leading role in Heading to the Ground in 2009[171] and has taken on musicals as well. In 2013 and 2014, he starred in the television drama series Queen of Ambition[172] and Night Watchman's Journal, respectively.[173] Changmin secured a lead role in the drama series Paradise Ranch and then played a North Korean spy in Japanese film Fly with the Gold, which won him the Newcomer of the Year award at the 36th Japanese Academy Awards.[174] In 2014, Changmin starred in the four-episode cable miniseries, Mimi.[175]

Controversy[edit]

Lyrics of "Mirotic"[edit]

Main article: Mirotic

In November 2008, the Korean Commission of Youth Protection ruled that "Mirotic" was detrimental to youths and declared that the lyrics were provocative and overly sexual. As a result, the album was labeled with stickers indicating that it was unsuitable for people under 19 years old and any performances of the song would have to be broadcast after 10 PM.[176][177] In response to the ruling, SM Entertainment agreed to make a clean version but also had filed an injunction to overrule the commission's decision.[176] The lyrics were changed from "I got you" to "I chose you" and "I got you under my skin" to "I got you under my sky."[176] In March 2009, the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of SM Entertainment.[178] The Commission of Youth Protection announced they would appeal the ruling to a high court after having an emergency meeting and deeming that the phrase, "I got you under my skin", was inappropriate for minors.[179]

Lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment[edit]

On July 31, 2009, three of the members—Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun, and Xiah Junsu—submitted an application to the Seoul Central District Court to determine the validity of their contract with their management agency, S.M. Entertainment.[75][76] Through their lawyers, the trio stated that the 13-year contract was excessively long, schedules were held out without the confirmation or permission of the members, contract terms had been extended and changed without their knowledge or consent, and that the group's earnings were not fairly distributed to the members.[180] Early termination penalty of their contract would cost them twice the profit that the group was estimated to earn for S.M. Entertainment in the rest of the contract period.[181] The news of their lawsuit was enough to cause S.M. Entertainment's stock price to drop over 10% on the KOSPI.[182]

The Seoul Central District Court granted the three members a temporary contract injunction in October 2009 and stated that S.M. Entertainment could not interfere with their individual activities, but also clarified that they could only act as members of TVXQ through S.M. Entertainment. The members claimed that the contract was unfair and they were left out of proper profit distribution.[183] In response, S.M. Entertainment called a press conference and claimed that the lawsuit was not about unfair contracts or human rights, but motivated by the three members’ greed to pursue their cosmetics business uninhibited by the restrictions of their exclusive contract with S.M. Entertainment. The agency submitted a complaint on criminal misdemeanor charges against the cosmetics company CreBeau; however, it was never brought to court by the prosecutor on grounds of insufficient evidence. The three replied that they hoped S.M. Entertainment would respect the court’s decision.[184]

In response to the lawsuit, 120,000 TVXQ fans filed a petition against S.M. Entertainment’s long-term contracts to the Seoul District Court.[185] TVXQ's Korean fanclub Cassiopeia also filed for compensation from S.M. Entertainment for the cancelled S.M. Town Live Concert, as both S.M. Entertainment and TVXQ initially stated that the concert would go on as planned. The concert was canceled a week before its scheduled date.[186] TVXQ's Mirotic Asia Tour Concert in Shenzhen, which was scheduled to be held on November 21, 2009, was also canceled.

Though TVXQ's activities in Korea were ceased, the three continued activities as TVXQ members til the end of the year in Japan, where they were managed by Avex. On April 3, 2010, Avex announced the indefinite suspension of TVXQ's Japanese activities. The three, later known as JYJ, signed a new contract with Avex to form a new special unit, which was announced on April 13, 2010. The trio released their debut Japanese EP, The... in September 2010.

On February 17, 2011, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed S.M. Entertainment's injunction against the three, filed in April 2010 for damage compensation.[187] In September 2012, the final decision on the case was postponed indefinitely by the Seoul Central District Court for mediation under the justice department.[188]

The lawsuit came to an end on November 28, 2012, with both parties mutually agreeing to withdraw their lawsuits, stating that the three members' contracts came to an end on July 31, 2009 and that both parties would mutually not interfere with each other's activities.[189] A S.M. official was quoted as saying, "We made a judgment that we don’t have to manage the three members of JYJ any longer as they expressed their intention not to keep their activity as TVXQ" and further added that they have decided to end the litigation "to avoid bringing additional harm to U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin, who are active as TVXQ, and to avoid making any more unneeded issues".[190][191]

Endorsements[edit]

TVXQ has endorsed products such as Samsung's Anycall, sportswear Fila, and Oronamin C.[192][193][194] Some of their songs have even been used as theme songs for television shows, commercials and motion pictures;[fn 2] such as One Piece,[195][196] Chevrolet[197] and Subaru.[198][199]

In 2011, the newly reformed TVXQ duo landed endorsement deals in Korea with brands such as Nike, The Shilla Duty Free, Pepsi NEX Zero, Missha,[200] and most recently with Lacoste.[201] In Japan, they have endorsed Seven & i Holdings, 7-Eleven products, the Seibu Silver card, 7-net shopping, and Ezaki Glico ice cream products.

On August 14, 2012, Missha launched a new limited-edition TVXQ perfume set and had a special TVXQ fan signing event at the Missha store in Myeong-dong.[202] On September 10, 2012, Missha announced that TVXQ had signed an exclusive contract with them to represent the brand worldwide and that their advertisements would soon be featured in some 1,000 stores across Asia.[203]

Other activities[edit]

In 2005, the Los Angeles Tourism Corporation launched the "See My L.A." campaign. TVXQ, along with label-mate BoA, became the spokespeople for the campaign.[204] Since April 2007, TVXQ host their own weekly radio program, TVXQ Bigeastation on the Japan FM Network.[205] On March 28, 2008, TVXQ were chosen as the "Goodwill Ambassador for Asia" by Universal Studios Japan in order to further promote the attractions of the USJ.[206] TVXQ were also chosen to be the new faces for the Lotte duty-free shop, due to their popularity throughout Asia.[207]

Fan club[edit]

The official fanclubs of TVXQ are called Cassiopeia[208] in South Korea and Big East (stylized Bigeast)[209] in Japan, formed in 2006.[208] According to news sources in 2008, Cassiopeia was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as "the world's largest fanclub" with more than 800.000 members (80.000 fanclub);[210][211][212] however, the Guinness World Records later stated that "[w]e currently have a category for the largest fanclub for a group, but no record has yet been set and we haven’t been provided with any evidence".[213]

When Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu started their lawsuit against their management, 120,000 Cassiopeia members filed a petition with the Seoul District Court in 2010 against S.M. Entertainment’s long-term contracts.[214] Cassiopeia also filed for compensation from S.M. Entertainment for the canceled SM Town Live Concert, as both SM and TVXQ initially stated that the concert would go on as planned; the concert was canceled a week before its scheduled date.[215]

Awards and achievements[edit]

According to news sources in 2008, TVXQ made it in the Guinness World Records for having the world's largest official fan club. TVXQ also made the Guinness World Records a second time in 2009 for being the Most Photographed Celebrities in the World.[216]

TVXQ are known for breaking numerous sales and attendance records in Japan. In 2008, with the release of their 16th Japanese single "Purple Line", TVXQ became the first foreign boy band in Japan to top the weekly Oricon Singles Chart and the second Korean artist after BoA to do so. Their 23rd Japanese single "Dōshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandarō?" was TVXQ's third single to top the Oricon, hitting a record for a foreign music act in Japan. Their 29th Japanese single "Break Out!" released in 2010 was the band's first single to top the monthly Oricon Singles Charts. Their greatest hits album Best Selection 2010 was TVXQ's first album to debut atop the weekly Oricon Albums Chart and the first album by a foreign artist to sell over 400,000 copies in one week, breaking Bon Jovi's record fourteen years prior.[217] TVXQ was also first foreign group in Japan to sell over 700,000 albums, but this record was later broken by Girls' Generation in 2011.

With the release of TVXQ's 31st Japanese single "Keep Your Head Down" in 2011, the band's first comeback single after the split, TVXQ expanded their record for having the most number-one singles in Japan by a foreign artist.[218] The duo's 35th Japanese single "Android", released in 2012, pushed TVXQ's single sales in Japan to over 3.1 million copies, the highest of any foreign artist in the country.[219] TVXQ's 2014 Japanese album Tree also broke several records in a row: Tree was TVXQ's fourth consecutive number-one album and their fourth consecutive album to surpass 200,000 copies in its first week of release, breaking yet another record that was previously set by Bon Jovi in Japan.[220]

TVXQ are the first Korean idol group invited to perform at the Kōhaku Uta Gassen, Japan's most prestigious New Year Eve's music festival. They performed there three times, from 2008 to 2011. TVXQ are the first Korean group to headline their own concert at the Tokyo Dome (The Secret Code Tour in 2009), the first foreign group to embark on a five-Dome tour in Japan (Time Tour in 2013),[133] the first foreigners to perform at the Nissan Stadium (Time Tour),[134] and the first foreign singers to mobilize over 850,000 in Japan for a single tour.[135] In 2014, the TVXQ duo were credited to be the first foreigners in Japan to bring in the largest number of concertgoers in the last three years, at 2 million people.

Concerts and tours[edit]

Headlining[edit]

Co-headlining[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Prior to the establishment of the Gaon, South Korea's music charts were supplied by the Music Industry of Korea (MIAK), which only published monthly and yearly rankings. Thus, all rankings for Korean records in this article up to 2010 refer to the monthly charts, and all rankings for Japanese records refer to the Oricon's weekly charts, unless otherwise stated.
  2. ^ For a complete list of the commercial tie-ins of TVXQ's songs, see their discography.

See also[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • The Prince in Prague, Aimhigh Global (December 9, 2006) ISBN 89-958968-1-7
  • Bonjour Paris, S.M. Entertainment (November 24, 2007) Unknown ID 8809049752800
  • TVXQ Off Stage + Singles, The Book Company (December 22, 2008) Unknown ID 2239010700008
  • Tohoshinki: El Sol, Gentosha (October 29, 2011) ISBN 978-4-344-02077-1, ISBN 4-344-02077-4

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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rain
with "It's Raining"
Mnet KM Music Festival for Best Popular Music Video
with "Rising Sun"

2005
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
Mnet KM Music Festival for Artist of the Year
2006
Succeeded by
Super Junior
Preceded by
SG Wannabe
with Saldaga
Golden Disk Awards for Album of the Year
with "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap.

2006
Succeeded by
SG Wannabe
with The Sentimental Chord
Preceded by
Shinhwa
Seoul Music Awards for Artist of the Year
2006
Succeeded by
Big Bang
Preceded by
Epik High
with Remapping the Human Soul
Mnet KM Music Festival for Album of the Year
with Mirotic

2008
Succeeded by
G-Dragon
with Heartbreaker
Preceded by
SG Wannabe
with The Sentimental Chord
Golden Disk Awards for Album of the Year
with Mirotic

2008
Succeeded by
Super Junior
with Sorry, Sorry
Preceded by
None
South Korea in the ABU TV Song Festival
with "Catch Me"

2012
Succeeded by
Sistar
with "Give It to Me"