EXO at the Rosemont Theatre
EXO is a 12-member Chinese-South Korean boy band based out of Seoul, South Korea. The group was formed in 2011 by S.M. Entertainment & debuted in 2012 with 12 members, separated into 2 subgroups EXO-K and EXO-M. The 2 subgroups perform their music in Korean & Mandarin languages, respectively, while both subgroups simultaneously promote separately in both China and South Korea. EXO began their rise to fame during the release of their first album XOXO in 2013 which featured their breakthrough hit “Growl”. All 4 of Korea’s major music programs charted “Growl” at number 1 & the track won a total of 10 trophies in 3 consecutive weeks. XOXO was a commercial & critical success, selling over one million copies, making EXO the fastest selling Korean artist in 12 years while breaking the record for being the fastest selling K-pop act. It also won best selling album in South Korea in 2013 and won the Disk Daesang Award (Record of the Year) at multiple award shows like the Golden Disk & Seoul Music Awards.
In 2014, they released their album, Overdose which went on to be the highest charting Korean male act on the Billboard 200. Thanks to separate promotional efforts in both Korea & China by both subgroups, Overdose reached a staggering 660,000+ preorders, the most pre-ordered mini-album in history. In May of 2014, Kris, the leader of EXO-M filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment to terminate his contract due to violation of human rights. Fellow EXO-M member Luhan filed a similar lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment in October 2014 with claims of health issues and being treated differently than the Korean members. The band continued to promote with 10 members & held their first solo concert titled EXO From EXOPLANET #1 – THE LOST PLANET which sold out in less than 2 seconds & broke the record for fastest concert sellout by a Korean artist.
The band announced their 2nd solo concert in January 2015 entitled EXO From EXOPLANET #2 – The EXO’luXion. Over 1.2 million fans attempted to buy tickets online when they went on sale. In February 2015, a counter-suit was filed against Kris and Luhan by S.M. Entertainment for illegally continuing to promote in China. The lawsuit was to stop acting & advertising under the use of the S.M. trademark. EXO’s next studio album, EXODUS, was released at the end of March 2015 & racked up over 500,000 presales within 24 hours, which broke the band’s previous record. The video for the albums first single “Call Me Baby” totaled 4 million views for the Korean version & 2 million views for the Mandarin version within the first 24 hours of being released. The most watched K-pop music video in the first half of 2015 was “Call Me Baby”. EXODUS went on to sell over a million copies & was named Album of the Year at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, which gave the band their third consecutive win since 2013. EXO also starred in their own drama mini-series titled EXO Next Door which was the most watched Korean web drama in 2015 until a fellow EXO member’s (Xiumin) web drama Falling For Challenge premiered. In April, a letter was submitted Tao‘s father, showing concern for Tao’s health issues & lack of support regarding his individual career advancement. Tao had suffered multiple injuries that weren’t properly treated & worsened which caused him to miss significant promoting time. S.M. Entertainment released a statement that they would seek a solution in a developmental direction by negotiating with Tao & his father. Tao later confirmed that he left S.M. Entertainment after a failed negotiation period which reduced EXO to 9 members. Near the end of 2015, entertainment industry leaders ranked EXO number 7 on their top 10 list of pop culture leaders of 2015. Out of all the dates on their world tour, they visit only 5 cities in North America so you don’t want to miss their show at the Rosemont Theatre on February 19. Great seats are available for purchase here.