Holding back tears, the scandal-shaken group told thousands of fans: "The beginning of EXO is now"
It is not an overstatement to say that SM Entertainment's newest boy band EXO has launched a new era of K-pop boy-band invasion.
EXO's rabidly loyal fans made the group's first full-length LP, "XOXO," become Korea's first million-selling album in 12 years and bring millions of clicks to the group's YouTube channel. Plus, the act has already established a global fanbase, seeing its latest EP, "Overdose," hit No. 129 on Billboard 200. With such fan fervor, it is no surprise that the tickets to EXO's first solo concert in Seoul, "EXO FROM EXOPLANET #1 - THE LOST PLANET," sold out in less than two seconds. And after selling out a second night, a third night's show was added as well.
But in the midst of what seemed like a smooth-sailing career kickstart, an unexpected turn hit when Kris, the Chinese-born, Canadian member and leader of EXO sub-group EXO-M, abruptly filed a suit against SM Entertainment in a bid to nullify his exclusive contract. The news broke out a week before EXO's big Seoul date, leaving many fans puzzled and disappointed.
Amid the heated controversy, the 11 remaining members carried out their promotions and first two days of the concert, staying relatively quiet until the final day of the show. Prior to the May 25 concert, EXO held a press conference to address the issues as well as details about its tour.
“Honestly, when we first heard the news [about Kris' departure] we were extremely flustered," explained member Chanyeol. "But our biggest concern was about putting on a high-quality, perfect performance for our fans. We united as a whole and used that energy to put in extensive hours of practice and rehearsals to make a perfect performance.
Baekhyun added, "We want to take this time to thank our staff members who made it possible for us to make this show happen. I am proud of our members for coming together as one."
EXO-K leader Suho added details about the live affair. "The concept of this show is about us from being EXO planet," he explained. "We wanted to create something that you would not experience on Earth."
After indirectly confirming Kris' departure – and putting media drama and scandals down to rest – the boys took off to prepare for what proved to be an epic night.