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140824 EXID 01.jpg
EXID in September 2014 (from left: LE, Solji, Hyelin, Hani, Jeonghwa)
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres K-pop
Years active 2012 (2012)–present
  • Banana Culture Entertainment (2014–present)
  • AB Entertainment (2012–2014)
Associated acts
Website bananact.com/main_exid
Past members

EXID (/ ˈɛks ˈd/; Hangul이엑스아이디; short for "Exceed in Dreaming"),[1] is a South Korean girl group formed in 2012. The group is composed of five members: Solji, LE, Hani, Hyelin and Jeonghwa. EXID debuted in February 2012 with the single "Whoz That Girl". Though the album gained some attention, it was not until 2014 that the group unexpectedly gained mainstream popularity with the single "Up & Down", which reached number one on the Gaon Singles Chart four months after its release, when a fan-recording of one of EXID's performances of the song became a viral video.[2][3][4] EXID released their second EP Ah Yeah in April 2015, to commercial success.[3] They followed this with their first studio album Street (2016) and the EPs Eclipse and Full Moon (2017).


2011: Formation[edit]

In May 2011, Shinsadong Tiger and AB Entertainment scouted several trainees from JYP Entertainment to form a new girl group. Yuji was the first trainee to join when a JYP girl group failed to debut. Yuji contacted the trainees Hani, Haeryeong, and Junghwa to audition for AB, and all three were subsequently signed to the agency. The group added a fifth member when Shinsadong Tiger discovered LE, an underground rapper and songwriter who performed under the name Elly. Dami, who was already an AB trainee, was the sixth and last member added to the group.[5]

Originally named "WT", an acronym for "Who's That", the group changed their name to EXID a few months before their debut.[6] In December 2011, LE was featured in Huh Gak's single "Whenever You Play That Song", which charted in Korea.[7][8] EXID was scheduled to debut in January 2012, but their debut was delayed to February when LE sustained a leg injury during rehearsals.[9] On February 3, AB Entertainment announced that EXID would debut with the single "Whoz That Girl".[10]

2012: Debut and line-up changes[edit]

EXID released their first single "Whoz That Girl" from the digital single album Holla on February 16, 2012.[11] They made their debut performance on M! Countdown, and also performed on Music Core and Inkigayo.[11][12] "Whoz That Girl" peaked at #36 on the Gaon Singles Chart and sold 840,000 digital copies.

EXID in October 2013

In April 2012, AB Entertainment announced the departures of Yuji, Dami, and Haeryeong. The agency stated that Yuji and Dami had left the group to focus on their studies, while Haeryeong had left in order to pursue an acting career.[13][14] They were replaced by Solji, a former member of vocal duo 2NB, and Hyelin, who was previously considered for EXID's original lineup.[15][16] With the new members, EXID returned in August with their second single "I Feel Good" from their first EP Hippity Hop.[17] Hippity Hop debuted at #13 on the Gaon Albums Chart, selling 1,500 copies. EXID released the digital single "Every Night" in October. The title track is an alternate version of LE's self-written song "Phone Call", which was recorded in their debut EP.[18] "Every Night" debuted at #43 on the Gaon Singles Chart, selling 105,000 digital copies.

On October 11, EXID released the song "Hey Boy" as part of the soundtrack release for MBC's sitcom The Thousandth Man. The song is the female version of B1A4's song "Hey Girl". Producer Shinsadong Tiger rearranged the song into a "reggae style" to create a different approach from B1A4's original version.[19] It was revealed on November 30 that EXID, along with Big Star and D-Unit, would release a collaboration album, in addition to performing a special year of end show.[20] The concert, entitled "The Bugs Show Vol. 1", was held on December 22 at the V-Hall in the Hongdae area of Seoul.[21] On December 6, EXID won the rookie award at the 20th Korea Culture & Entertainment Awards.[22]

2013–2014: Breakthrough[edit]

In February 2013, EXID released the single "Up & Down", from the Incarnation of Money soundtrack. It was announced shortly afterwards that members Hani and Solji would form a subunit called "Dasoni".[23] Dasoni released their debut single "Goodbye" on February 15, with the B-side track "Said So Often".[24]

EXID in December 2014

In June 2014, EXID signed an exclusive contract with Yedang Entertainment, and were preparing a comeback in collaboration with Shinsadong Tiger.[25] On August 24, EXID held their comeback showcase at the Ilchi Art Hall, performing their new single "Up & Down".[26] The song was released on August 27 and initially charted poorly, failing to make it onto the top 100 of the Gaon Chart; though it peaked at #94 on the domestic chart.[27] However, the song slowly gained popularity in early October after a fan-recorded video of member Hani performing the song went viral on Korean social networking websites. The video has been viewed more than 24 million times to date.[4][28] This led to the song shooting back up record charts, eventually climbing to the top 10 on the real-time charts and topping the Gaon Chart. Because of the success of the fancam, EXID was re-invited to perform the single on music programs despite the fact that its promotions had ended months before.[29][30][31][32] The song was subsequently nominated for a first place award on Show! Music Core, The Music Trend, and M!Countdown, where they took their first music show win since debut on January 8, 2015.[33][34][35] The group won a second award at KBS's Music Bank on January 9,[36] and a third one at SBS's Inkigayo on January 11.[37]

2015: Ah Yeah and Hot Pink[edit]

In February 2015, Solji participated in the pilot episode of MBC's singing competition program King of Mask Singer. She became the first winner of the show[38] and the performance brought greater publicity to the group.[39][40] On April 13, EXID's second EP Ah Yeah was released with the title track of the same name.[41] The group won first place with "Ah Yeah" on both April 26 and May 3 episodes of SBS's Inkigayo, as well as the April 29 and May 6 episodes of Show Champion.

In May, the group made their first American performance at the Korean Music Festival in Los Angeles, California. EXID featured in their own season of the MBC Every1 reality show Showtime in July.[42] That month, Junghwa also made her acting debut as the female lead in Webtoon Hero Toondra Show, which also aired on MBC Every1.[43]

On November 7, EXID won the MBC Music Star Award at the 2015 MelOn Music Awards. Their single "Hot Pink" was released on November 17.[44] The group received their first win for "Hot Pink" on November 25 on Show Champion, and their second win on December 6 on Inkigayo.

2016: Street, Solji's hiatus and Chinese debut[edit]

EXID in July 2016

On June 1, 2016, the group released their first full-length studio album Street with the title track "L.I.E".[45] The album included thirteen total tracks, many of which were written and/or composed by LE. EXID's first studio album also included "Hello", a solo by Hani and "3%", a solo by Solji. The album reached #1 on China's Weibo Chart[46] and #2 in Korea on the Gaon Album Chart, while "L.I.E" peaked at #5 as a single.[47] On June 8, EXID won first place with "L.I.E" on Show Champion[48] and soon after, they won first place on both Inkigayo[49] and The Show[50] as well.

Following the success of Street in China, on December 20, EXID released their first Chinese single, "Cream". The single reached #2 on China's QQ Music Popularity Chart and #5 on YinYueTai's V Chart.[51] On the same day, Banana Culture announced that Solji had been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, and that she would halt all her activities until after the upcoming awards season while the remaining members continued as a group of four.[52][53]

2017: Eclipse and Full Moon[edit]

On January 10, 2017, the group released their second Chinese single "Up & Down" (Chinese: 上下; pinyin: Shàngxià).[54] Its music video was taken down and an edited version was re-uploaded three days later due to controversy over "revealing" attire given the video's setting in a location similar to the Beijing imperial palace.[55][54]

On March 17, EXID performed at the Mexico City Arena as part of the KCON music festival, with member Hani covering Mexican duo Jesse and Joy's "Ecos De Amor".

Due to Solji's ongoing health issues, the group's comeback was delayed until April. It was announced in March that EXID would return as a four-piece while Solji received treatment for hyperthyroidism.[56][57] On April 10, EXID officially released their third mini album Eclipse and its lead single "Night Rather Than Day."[58] The album peaked at #1 China’s Yin Yue Tai chart and on iTunes K-pop Songs charts in the US, Malaysia and Vietnam.[58] It also debuted at #4 on the Billboard World Albums chart, becoming the group's best-charting and first Top-5 album on the chart to date.[59][58] On April 25, EXID won first place on The Show with "Night Rather Than Day".[60] This was followed by their second win with this song on Show Champion the following day[61] and their third win on The Show on May 2.[62]

EXID's Asia Tour began in Hong Kong on July 17[63] and visited a total of four Asian cities (including in Singapore and Taiwan[64]). Solji temporarily reunited with the group during the Seoul concert on August 12.[64]

Their fourth mini album Full Moon was released on November 7, marking the end of Solji's year-long hiatus.[65][66] Solji participated in recording for the album, but did not appear in the music video or related promotions for the album's lead single "DDD".[67] The single was deemed unfit for broadcast on music programs by KBS due to profanity, before having its lyrics changed to comply with broadcast regulations.[68][69] On November 21, EXID won first place on The Show with "DDD".[70]



Reality shows[edit]

Year Network Title Note
2016 MBC Every1 EXID Showtime 8 episodes


Year Network Title Role
2012 tvN Twelve Men in a Year Themselves (episode 8)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Since their debut in 2012, EXID has received nineteen nominations and won twelve awards, including an MBC Music Star Award at the 2015 Melon Music Awards and a Digital Bonsang at the 2016 Golden Disk Awards. They have also received twenty music show wins.


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External links[edit]