Happy 10th Anniversary, TVXQ! 10 Shining Moments in the K-Pop Icons' Career
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.
Strong Return as a Duo
Unfazed and full of confidence, the two remaining members -- Yunho and Changmin -- stampeded back onto the scene after a two-year break with the hard-hitting 2011 single, "Why (Keep Your Head Down)." TVXQ! proved supreme as it swept up No. 1 trophies from major TV music programs. The Japanese version snagged the No. 1 spot on Oricon Weekly Singles chart, giving TVXQ! the title of holding the most No. 1 singles for a foreign artist. The track also topped the Japan Hot 100 that year, the first of four singles the duo has sent to the chart's summit so far.
First Foreign Artist at Nissan Stadium
Even as a pair, TVXQ! continued to break records in Japan. The finale concert of their "2013 LIVE TOUR TIME" tour at Japan's Nissan Stadium was a milestone achievement. The first K-pop group to perform at this mammoth-sized venue, the guys confirmed their status as legends by drawing in 144,000 fans to their two-day event.
Headline Billboard's K-Pop Masters Concert
For the first time ever, a slew of K-pop acts came together under the Billboard and Billboard Korea umbrella for a mega-concert at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. None other than the TVXQ! boys headlined the show that brought together Beast, Brown Eyed Girls, MBLAQ, 4Minute, SISTAR, SHINee, G.NA and more. The show was one of the very first concerts that proved K-pop's draw in America.
First Solo Concert in Los Angeles
As the U.S. becomes a more frequent tour stop for K-pop acts, it's a wonder that it took TVXQ! almost a decade to perform their own solo concert. The boys rocked L.A.'s Nokia Theatre on July 5. "This is the first time we have performed in L.A., so we were kind of worried that not a lot of people might show up," Yunho told Billboard. "So many people supported us that we feel really sorry that this is the first time we came here in the last 10 years. It made us realize that we want to come here more often."
Decade Anniversary Concert in Korea
To celebrate the incredible milestone of not only lasting, but still thriving 10 years into their careers, TVXQ! held a concert on the date of their anniversary in their native South Korea. The concert -- a part of SM Entertainment's ongoing SM Week concert series that featured labelmates Super Junior, Girls' Generation, SHINee, f(x), EXO and more -- saw 20,000 fans come to support Yunho and Changmin. At the concert, the duo unveiled a new track, "Always With You," that is the album closer for their new LP "Tense."
In the track, the guys promise to always be there -- an appropriate dedication for their global fanbase who sent to record-breaking heights and never abondoned them. The huge concert added extra hype for the record that was led by new jazz-pop single "Something" (below).