K-pop phenom TVXQ! celebrating a decade in the K-pop scene is cause for celebration not only in its native South Korea, but also around the world. Since its late 2003 debut, the male act has pushed the boundaries of what it means to be a global Korean act -- most notably leading the way for K-pop's ability to seep in and thrive in the lucrative Japanese market.
A mere 10 years later, TVXQ! is K-pop royalty. While many idol acts struggle to make it to the five-year benchmark, TVXQ! continues to break records and stay a step ahead of the pack.
In honor of the act's decade in the spotlight, check out the 10 moments that have thus far defined the boy band's career.
TVXQ! Breaks Through
SM Entertainment's new quintet boy band TVXQ! -- consisting of members Yunho, Changmin, Junsu, Jaejoong and Yoochun, ages 16 through 18 -- stepped on stage and premiered its boy-next-door charm and exceptional vocal prowess at a televised showcase for labelmate BoA and Britney Spears on Dec. 26, 2003. The teens performed an a cappella version of "O Holy Night" and debut track "Hug."
It might have signaled the biggest moment for the K-pop boy band scene as it only took few months for the fivesome to emerge as one of the most sought-after groups in Korean pop music history. The group's debut album became an instant classic, helping TVXQ! simultaneously garner both best new artist and artist of the year wins at Korea's top award shows.
World Record for Largest Fan Club
Less than three years later, their blockbuster debut and slew of consistent hits, TVXQ! scooped up fans all across Asia in a complete state of frenzy. In 2006, the band was listed on the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest official fan club in the world -- named Cassiopeia -- with more than 800,000 members.
Fourth LP "Mirotic" Is Sweeping Success
After propelling into superstardom in both Korea and Japan, TVXQ! made its long-awaited K-pop comeback in 2008 and released "Mirotic," which became the highest-selling album of the year. The record was the first album in four years to surpass the 500,000 sales mark since K-pop icon Seotaiji's "7th Issue" LP. The title track won No. 1 trophies from all major TV music programs and was named Album of the Year at the Golden Disk Awards, likened to Korea's Grammy Awards.
First Foreign Artist to Perform on "Kohaku Uta Gassen"
Nearing an impressive five years in the industry, 2008 proved to be the golden year for the quintet. With commercial success all throughout Asia, the boys were on top of their game with no real threat to their throne. TVXQ! continued to hit new heights in Japan, becoming the first K-pop group to be invited to perform at the prestigious Japanese show "Kohaku Uta Gassen" -- a barometer through which an artist's success is measured in the nation.
Tokyo Dome Tour
In July of 2009, TVXQ! became the first Korean artist to hold a solo concert at Japan's renowned Tokyo Dome, a venue commonly known as the "dream stage" for many musicians. Before TVXQ!, international superstars like Madonna, Mariah Carey and the Rolling Stones performed at the 55,000-seat arena, along with J-pop sensations Ayumi Hamasaki, GLAY and SMAP.
However, the highlight of their Japanese musical career ended the same year at that year's "Kohaku Uta Gassen," after three members of the group -- Yoochun, Jaejoong and Junsu -- filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment.