Tao (entertainer)

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Huang.
Edison Huang (Tao Huang) at the Fashion Kode 2014 01.jpg
Z.Tao at Fashion Kode 2014
Chinese name (traditional)
Chinese name (simplified)
Pinyin Huáng Zǐtāo (Mandarin)
Birth name Huang Zitao
Ethnicity Han
Ancestry Qingdao, Shandong, China
Born (1993-05-02) May 2, 1993 (age 22)
Qingdao, Shandong, China
Other name(s)
  • Edison Huang
  • Z.Tao
  • Tao
Instrument(s) Vocals

S.M. Entertainment (Korea)

Huang Z.TAO Studio (China)
Years active 2012 - present
Associated acts
Alma mater Qingdao Foreign Service Vocational School

Huang Zitao (Chinese: 黄子韬; pinyin: Huáng Zitao), simply known as Z.Tao or Tao (born May 2, 1993), is a Chinese rapper, singer, actor, and dancer. He was a member of South Korean-Chinese boy group Exo and was the lead rapper of its sub-group Exo-M.

Early life[edit]

Huang Zitao was born in Qingdao, Shandong, China. He attended Humen Centre Primary School, one of the most prestigious primary schools in Qingdao, and Qingdao Middle School. Huang is a martial artist, and has been practicing Wushu since he was five years old,[1] and competed in several martial arts championships in Qingdao. Huang won the "Top Rap Award" at Beijing's 3rd Annual Collage Street Jam.[citation needed] Tao auditioned for S.M. Entertainment's global casting system in Qingdao and became an S.M. trainee in late 2010.


2011-2015: EXO[edit]

Main article: Exo (band)

Tao was formally introduced as the third member of Exo on December 27, 2011.[2] He was one of four Chinese members out of twelve. He is one of the last Exo members to join the company and had a training period of less than one year. Along with Lu Han, Chen, and Exo-K's Kai, Tao made his first televised performance on SBS Gayo Daejeon event on December 29, 2011.

In 2013 during the months of August and September, Tao took part in filming for MBC's celebrity diving program Splash!.[3] After a run of four episodes, the show was cancelled due to a number of celebrities who were reportedly injured. The episodes aired from August 23, 2013 to September 13, 2013.[4]

In June 2014, Tao was spotted filming for Zhang Liyin's music video for her single Agape, alongside labelmate Victoria of f(x). The music video was released on August 5, 2014.[5] Tao was featured in the Chinese version music video of Rewind for Zhou Mi's album of the same name where he also featured in the song Love Tonight. The music video was released on October 30, 2014.[6]

In July 2014, it was confirmed that Tao would be joining the Solomon Islands edition of SBS' Laws of the Jungle. The episodes aired from September 12, 2014 to November 21, 2014.[7] In January 2015, Tao was cast for the role of William in the Chinese movie adaptation You Are My Sunshine starring Huang Xiaoming and Yang Mi which was released on April 30, 2015.[8]

On April 22, 2015, Z.Tao's father posted a letter through Weibo expressing his sentiments for his son to withdraw from the group and return to China due to lack of support concerning individual career developments and health issues.[9] Z.Tao had previously sustained several injuries, including a torn ligament in his ankle, that had not been properly treated and caused him to be absent during promotions for the group's second studio album Exodus. Through an interview with Chinese media outlet Sina, Z.Tao's father stated that Tao had agreed to discuss possible contract termination.[10] On April 23, 2015, S.M. Entertainment released an official statement saying that they would be "seeking a solution in a developmental direction" by negotiating with Tao and his father.[11] On May 29, 2015, S.M. Entertainment released another statement regarding Tao amidst the group's return as nine members for the repackage album Love Me Right, stating that negotiations were still ongoing and it could not currently be confirmed whether Z.Tao would be withdrawing from the group. The company also stated that Tao would not be participating in promotions for Love Me Right.[12]

On August 10, 2015, Z.Tao confirmed that he had left SM Entertainment.[13] On August 24, 2015, after failed negotiations[14][15] it is confirmed, that Z.Tao has filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment for the termination of his exclusive contract[16][17]

2015: Solo career[edit]

It was revealed on May 19, 2015 that Tao had been selected to be a celebrity endorser for mobile game Chao Shen Zhan Dui.[18] He was selected because of his style, image and popularity in China.

In June 2015, it was reported that Tao had set up his own personal management agency in China to manage his solo activities.[19] On July 13, 2015, Z.Tao announced that he would be releasing his first mini album.[20] The mini album, titled T.A.O. was released in China on July 23. Shortly after the release of his mini album, it was announced that Tao would be holding a series of mini concerts in China. Starting with Beijing on August 23, 2015. After releasing T.A.O., he soon released another self-titled album, Z.TAO, on August 19, 2015.

On August 24, 2015, Tao filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment for termination of his contract and he's being represented by the same legal team as Kris and Luhan.[21] SM Entertainment responded to his legal actions by stating, "Our company plans to use everything in our power including both Korean and Chinese legal professionals and partners to respond legally both in Korea and China in a multi-faceted manner. We also plan to take legal steps to respond to Tao's illegal promotions and actions."[22] On 22, September, 2015, the label submitted a lawsuit against Huang Zitao and the production company that produced the singer's album to the Beijing Court.[23]

On 23, September Huang Zitao's personal workshop Huang Zitao Studio released a statement in response to SM Entertainment's lawsuit, in which they stated, that "SM Entertainment failed to provide the basic minimum living standards for Huang Zitao, causing for him to not be able to recover from work injuries." Furthermore they stated that Huang Zitao attempted to negotiate 8 times with his former company, but it failed, when SM Entertainment proposed very harsh solutions, and were not willing to negotiate. Huang Zitao's Studio furthermore stated that "The contract issues exist solely between Huang Zitao and SM Entertainment and as such should not involve third parties.[24]

On September 19, 2015, Z.Tao attended the London Fashion Week after being invited by Versus Versace.[25] Before the show, Huang had taken part in the official Versus Versace SS16 collection's street style photo-shoot.[26]

Huang Zitao has been confirmed to be joining Jackie Chan, director Ding Sheng and actress Xu Fan in Railroad Tigers,[27] a movie based on real historical events during the Anti-Japanese war, in which a group of railway workers use their work experience to cause major damage to the Japanese invasion by sabotaging their supply lines. Filming will start on October 16, 2015, and the movie is planned to be released at the end of 2016.[28]

Public Image[edit]

Since his debut in 2012, Tao had been receiving a lot of online hate. He talked about this in an interview with Sina.[29] In this interview, he addressed several of the rumors that were spread about him as a form of blackmail. There was some backlash to Tao's public image after the news of his leaving EXO was released, with a portion of fans deeming his leave as a betrayal. However, for his first solo concert on August 23, 2015, more than 14[30] million people signed up to acquire access to the live stream of the event—an indication that his public image seems to have recovered from the hate and false rumors that had been spread.

On 19 September, 2015, he arrived a few minutes late to the show of Versace Versus during the London Fashion Week, where he was then led by a staff member to his seat, which due to the passage's narrowness forced him to walk on the runway. These brought a wave of hate and criticism against him. Later on, Zitao's studio revealed the delay to be due to very bad traffic forcing the singer to run eight blocks in hopes of arriving on time. Furthermore, they added that they wouldn't hesitate to take legal measures against the people spreading malicious rumors with the intention of harming Huang Zitao's reputation and name. .[31][32]


See also: Exo discography


Album information Tracklisting
  • Extended play
  • Released: July 23, 2015
  • Label: Huang Z.TAO Studio
  • Extended play
  • Released: August 19, 2015
  • Label: Huang Z.TAO Studio

Featured songs[edit]

Year Album artist Album Song
2014 Zhou Mi Rewind "Love Tonight"
Zhou Mi Rewind "Rewind (Chinese Version)"


See also: Exo videography

As lead artist[edit]

Year Song title Album Director
2015 "T.A.O" T.A.O Colin Tilley
"皇冠 (Imperial Crown)" Z.TAO Nick Lentz[33]

As featured artist[edit]

Year Song title Artist Album
2014 "Rewind (Chinese Version)" Zhou Mi Rewind

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song title Artist Role
2014 "Agape" Zhang Liyin Lead
"Not Alone" Zhang Liyin Lead

Music show awards[edit]

榜上榜 Music Chart[edit]

Year Date Song
2015 August 6, 2015 Yesterday

Global Chinese Music[edit]

CCTV's Global Chinese Music is Chinese music show

Year Date Song
2015 August 6, 2015 Yesterday
August 12, 2015



Year Title Role Remarks
2015 You Are My Sunshine William Supporting Character
2016 Railroad Tigers Lead

Television dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Network Remarks
2010 That Love Comes Party participant Ep. 9
2015 EXO Next Door Tao Naver TV Cast Fictionalized version of himself

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Role Network Note
2013 Splash! Main cast MBC Ep. 1-4
2013 - 2014 Exo's Showtime Main cast MBC Every 1 Ep. 1-13
2014 Laws of the Jungle Guest SBS Ep. 5-8
2015 New Generation Sound of China 3 (Let's Sing Kids) Mentor Golden Eagle Cartoon Satellite Television Ep. 3
The Real Hero Guest Jiangsu TV Ep. 4-7
Day Day Up Guest Hunan TV Ep.
Challenge the Impossible Guest CCTV Ep.
See You Monday Guest CCTV Ep.
The First Lesson 2015 Guest CCTV Ep.
Muse Dress Judge Dragon TV Ep.


Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Exo (2012-04-11). 韩国组合Exo-M做客《明星在线》 [Korea group Exo-M guests in Star On Line] (Television clip) (in Chinese). Sohu.com. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  2. ^ "EXO introduces martial artist member, TAO". allkpop.com. 
  3. ^ "아이비 클라라 ‘다이빙쇼’ 출연확정, 섹시 수영복 입고 다이빙 대결". newsen.com. 
  4. ^ "‘Splash’ injuries have reality TV in hot water". joins.com. 
  5. ^ "Zhang Li Yin stirs emotion with 'Agape' MV starring EXO's Tao, f(x)'s Victoria, & Song Jae Rim". allkpop.com. 
  6. ^ "Zhoumi Drops "Rewind" Music Videos Feat. EXO's Chanyeol and Tao - Soompi". Soompi. 
  7. ^ "EXO's Tao to join 'Laws of the Jungle'". allkpop.com. 
  8. ^ "EXO's Tao shows loyalty to friend Huang XiaoMing and to cameo in upcoming Chinese movie 'My Sunshine'". allkpop.com. 
  9. ^ "Tao's father posts emotional plea to SM Entertainment; rumors of lawsuit spread". Koreaboo. 
  10. ^ "独家对话黄子韬父亲:Tao因孝顺同意解约". sina.com.cn. 
  11. ^ "SM "타오父 글 안타까워…발전적 방향 모색할 것" 공식입장". 네이트뉴스. 
  12. ^ "엑소, 리패키지 앨범 타오 빼고 9인 체제로 컴백". 네이트뉴스. 
  13. ^ "【PT韬吧】黄子韬 Z.TAO Sina Exclusive Interviw.". YouTube.com. 
  14. ^ http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/206326/20150529/sm-entertainment-exo-tao.htm
  15. ^ http://news.nate.com/view/20150423n01093?mid=n1008
  16. ^ http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0009783362&code=61181111&cp=nv
  17. ^ http://tvdaily.asiae.co.kr/read.php3?aid=1440400965966597011
  18. ^ "Tao lands solo endorsement deal for Chinese mobile game, "Chao Shen Zhan Dui"". Koreaboo. 
  19. ^ "Tao sets up his own management for activities in China?". allkpop.com. 
  20. ^ "Tao confirms new mini-album with official teaser and Weibo announcment". Koreaboo. 
  21. ^ "[★BREAKING] Tao sues SM Entertainment using Kris & Luhan's lawyer". Koreaboo. 
  22. ^ "SM Entertainment responds to Tao’s legal actions". Koreaboo. 
  23. ^ "SM Entertainment filed lawsuit against Tao for illegal promotions in China". Allkpop. 
  24. ^ http://goodmomusic.net/huang-zitao-formerly-tao-and-his-studio-releases-clarifying-statement-on-sm-entertainment-lawsuit/
  25. ^ "Versace副线Versus斜裁出性感 黄子韬美瞳猫眼造型亮相". fashion.ifeng.com. 
  26. ^ http://www.happyjuzi.com/article/11440
  27. ^ http://weibo.com/1164100672/CyEvUuUVL?from=singleweibo&mod=recommand_weibo&type=comment#_rnd1441342937541.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ http://weibo.com/3976117741/CipFS4NVm?from=singleweibo&mod=recommand_weibo&type=comment#_rnd1441343481881.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "150810 Sina Interview with Tao". 
  30. ^ http://littlehailang.tumblr.com/post/127146550444/ichilidzs-ichilidzs-littlehailang-10.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "[★TRENDING] Z.Tao under fire after barging onto the runway of a London fashion show". Koreaboo. 
  32. ^ "Z.Tao Studio to possibly seek legal action on malicious rumours against Z.Tao". Koreaboo. 
  33. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2052013/

External links[edit]