Exo (band)

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OriginSeoul, South Korea
GenresPop, R&B, dance
Years active2011–present
LabelsS.M. Entertainment
Associated actsSM Town
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OriginSeoul, South Korea
GenresPop, R&B, dance
Years active2011–present
LabelsS.M. Entertainment
Associated actsSM Town

Exo (play /ˌɛks ˈəʊ/ EKS-oh; Korean: 엑소; stylized as EXO) is a Chinese-South Korean boy band produced by S.M. Entertainment. Formed in 2011 in Seoul, South Korea, Exo comprises twelve members separated into two subgroups, Exo-K and Exo-M, promoting their music simultaneously in both South Korea and China respectively. Their name was taken from exoplanet,[1] a term referring to planets outside of the Solar System. Their debut single "Mama" was released on April 8, 2012, followed by the release of their debut EP Mama on April 9, 2012.[2][3]



2011: Formation

In January 2011, producer Lee Soo-man of S.M. Entertainment announced his plans to debut a new boy band in March or April 2011.[4] Temporarily named M1, the group appeared to have consisted of only seven members when a photo of them in a dance studio leaked online.[5] In May 2011, Lee spoke about the group in a Hallyu business seminar held in Stanford University. In the presentation, he explained his strategy of separating the group into two subgroups, M1 and M2, and have them promote the same music in both Korea and China, performing the songs in both Korean and Mandarin.[6] Lee planned to launch the group in May 2011, but their debut was delayed and news concerning the group did not surface until October 2011, when Lee briefly discussed about the group's concept plans in an interview with The Chosun Ilbo.[7]

In December 2011, the group finalized their name to Exo, with the names Exo-K for the Korea subgroup and Exo-M for the China subgroup. The twelve members were introduced individually through twenty-three different teaser trailers released from December 2011 to February 2012.[1][8] Kai, Lu Han, Tao, and Chen, the first four members introduced, debuted their first public performance at the SBS's Gayo Daejun event on December 29, 2011.[9]

2012–present: Debut, Mama and Rumors of a comeback before the year ends

Exo-K and Exo-M's prologue single "What Is Love" was released on January 30, 2012, through iTunes and various online retailers from China and South Korea,[10] where the single peaked at number eighty-eight on South Korea's Gaon Single Chart. On March 9, the group released their second prologue single "History,"[11] which was written and produced by Thomas Troelsen and Remee. The single peaked at number sixty-eight on the Gaon Single Chart and number six on China's Sina Music Chart.[12]

A concert showcase for the group was held in Seoul's Olympic Stadium on March 31, one hundred days after Exo debuted their first trailer on December 21, 2011.[13] Approximately 3,000 fans from 8,000 applicants were selected to attend the showcase.[14] A second showcase was held in the Great Hall of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China on April 1.[15]

Exo-K and Exo-M released their debut single "Mama" on April 8,[16] followed by an EP, Mama, on April 9. On April 8, Exo-K made their debut performance on South Korea's music program The Music Trend, while Exo-M performed at China's 12th Yinyue Fengyun Bang Awards that same day.[17][18] One day after release, "Mama" reached number one on various Chinese online retailers and music charts.[19] Exo-M's album peaked at number two on China's Sina Album Chart, number five on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart, and debuted at number twelve on the Billboard World Albums Chart,[20] while Exo-K's album peaked at number one on the Gaon Album Chart[21] and debuted at number eight on the Billboard World Albums Chart.[20] Exo-M's "Mama" music video peaked at number one on Chinese streaming websites, and Exo-K's version reached to number seven on YouTube's Global Chart. [22]

Exo-K & Exo-M rumors are preparing new material and recording for their new album and is expected they will soon make a comeback with a full-length album or a mini album before the year ends.





Studio album

Mini album


Supporting act

Awards and Nominations

2012Tower Record (K-Pop Lovers! Awards)[40]Best Rookie of the Year (First-Half) (EXO)Won
5th Mengniu Music Billboard Awards[41]Best Dresser Award (EXO)Won
Most Popular Group of the Year (EXO-M)Won


  1. ^ a b "SM introduces new boy group member, KAI". Allkpop. 2011-12-22. http://www.allkpop.com/2011/12/sm-introduces-new-boy-group-member-kai. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  2. ^ "SMTOWN releases official footage from Exo’s showcase, to officially debut on April 9th with "MAMA"". Allkpop. 2012-03-31. http://www.allkpop.com/2012/03/smtown-releases-official-footage-from-exos-showcase-to-officially-debut-on-april-9th-with-mama. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  3. ^ "S.M.'s new group Exo releases their new album" (in Korean). Newsen. 2012-04-08. http://www.newsen.com/news_view.php?uid=201204090834051002. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  4. ^ "S.M. to debut new male idol group" (in Korean). DC News. 2011-01-28. http://www.dcnews.in/news_list.php?code=ahh&id=613609. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Practice photo of SM Entertainment’s upcoming boy group "M1″ leaked!". Allkpop. 2011-03-22. http://www.allkpop.com/2011/03/practice-photo-of-sm-entertainments-upcoming-boy-group-m1-leaked. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  6. ^ "SM's Lee Soo-man announces new boy band" (in Korean). Nate.com. 2011-05-09. http://news.nate.com/view/20110509n18306. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  7. ^ "S.M. Entertainment's chairman Lee Soo-man discusses culture industry secrets and slave contracts" (in Korean). Chosun Ilbo. 2011-10-16. http://biz.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/10/14/2011101401275.html. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  8. ^ "Exo releases teaser #23!". Allkpop. 2012-03-01. http://www.allkpop.com/2012/03/exo-releases-teaser-23. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  9. ^ "S.M.'s rookie group Exo makes debut through SBS Gayo Daejun" (in Korean). Newsen. 2011-12-29. http://www.newsen.com/news_view.php?uid=201112292232371001. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  10. ^ "SM 새 그룹 Exo, 30일 프롤로그 싱글 공개 [Exo releases first single]" (in Korean). Nate.com. 2012-01-27. http://news.nate.com/view/20120127n03950?mid=e0101. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  11. ^ "The Prologue Single II ‘HISTORY’ of SM’s New Groups, Exo-K and Exo-M, will be Released on the 9th at 00:00 a.m.!" (Press release). S.M. Entertainment. 2012-03-26. http://www.facebook.com/notes/smtown/the-prologue-single-ii-history-of-sms-new-groups-exo-k-and-exo-m-will-be-release/345653588810815. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  12. ^ "新歌飙升榜 [Sina Music Charts]" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 2012-03-12. http://rank.music.sina.com.cn/20120312/sina-xg-day.html. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
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  14. ^ "Exo debuts in front of 3000 fans". Korea.net. 2012-04-01. http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Daily-News/view?flag=2&articleId=378. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  15. ^ "SM新团Exo中国发布会劲歌热舞展多样魅力 [S.M.'s new group Exo first press conference in China]" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 2012-04-01. http://ent.sina.com.cn/s/j/2012-04-01/21493596302.shtml. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  16. ^ "The First Mini Album Title Song ‘MAMA’ of Exo-K and Exo-M will be Released Worldwide on the 8th at 00:00!" (Press release). S.M. Entertainment. 2012-04-07. http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/smtown/the-first-mini-album-title-song-MAMA-of-exo-k-and-exo-m-will-be-released-worldwi/364494690260038. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  17. ^ "Exo-K and Exo-M will Make Their Debut on April 8th both in Korea and China!" (Press release). S.M. Entertainment. 2012-04-03. http://www.facebook.com/notes/smtown/exo-k-and-exo-m-will-make-their-debut-on-april-8th-both-in-korea-and-china-/361970087179165. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  18. ^ "Exo-K make "History" with their debut of "MAMA" on 'Inkigayo'!". Allkpop. 2012-04-08. http://www.allkpop.com/2012/04/exo-k-make-history-with-their-debut-of-MAMA-on-inkigayo. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  19. ^ "韩团Exo-M《MAMA》雄踞中国音乐榜榜首 [Korean group Exo-M's single "Mama" reaches number one in China]" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 2012-04-10. http://ent.sina.com.cn/y/2012-04-10/16043601595.shtml. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  20. ^ a b "World Albums". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/charts/world-albums#/charts/world-albums?chartDate=2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  21. ^ "<Exo-K>차트 검색결과 [Exo-K Chart Positions]" (in Korean). Gaon. http://gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/search/chart_list.gaon?Search_str=Exo-K. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  22. ^ Lee, Jinho (2012-04-09). "Exo-K’s Music Video Comes In Seventh on Youtube Chart". Mnet. http://global.mnet.com/news/newsdetail.m?searchNewsVO.news_id=201204091703_5307. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
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  26. ^ "Exo-K’s Chanyeol at 2008 Smart Model Contest". Hellokpop. 2012-03-23. http://www.hellokpop.com/2012/03/23/exo-k%E2%80%99s-chanyeol-at-2008-smart-model-contest/. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
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  33. ^ "Luhan profile on JYP Audition website". baidu tieba. 2012-03-18. http://onexoplanet.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/pre-debut-luhan-profile-on-jyp-audition-site/. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
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  38. ^ Exo (2012-04-11) (in Mandarin Chinese). 韩国组合Exo-M做客《明星在线》 [Korea group Exo-M guests in Star On Line] (Television clip). Sohu.com. http://tv.sohu.com/20120411/n340282390.shtml. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  39. ^ "Exo introduces martial artist member, TAO". Allkpop. 2011-12-27. http://www.allkpop.com/2011/12/exo-introduces-martial-artist-member-tao. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
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