While these past few years have seen K-pop rise to global prominence, the early 2000s were not so glamorous for the genre. TVXQ pop duo is one of the most important forces that helped make K-pop into the multi-million dollar, globally-recognized music industry it is today, hence, their recognition as royalty in K-pop, even by Billboard.
Formed by artiste management label, SM entertainment in 2003, TVXQ maintains their legendary status over sixteen years later and are known by both old and new K-pop stands all over the world. But no matter how well you think you know the duo, here are seven things you probably don’t know yet.
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About TVXQ Pop Duo
1. Their Name is Chinese
TVXQ is the short form of their Chinese name, Tong Vfang Xien Qi. In Japan, they are known as Tohoshinki, and in Korea they are sometimes referred to as Dong Bang Shin Ki (shortened as DBSK). These names can be loosely translated as Rising Gods of the East, which is quite fitting, considering how fast the group is rising. Although they are generally called TVXQ, their Japanese releases bear the name, Tohoshinki.
2. Originally a Group of Five
In the beginning, the band was made up of five members, U-Know Yunho, Xiah Junsu, Max Changmin, Hero Jaejoong, and Micky Yoochun. The five of them promoted together for the first seven years of TVXQ’s career until the departure of Micky Yoochun, Xiah Junsu and Hero Jaejoong in 2010 to form their own band, JYJ. The group has been promoting as a duo act ever since.
3. The Exit of the Other Three Members was Not Smooth
Between the end of July and early August 2009, Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun realized that the terms of their 13-year contract with S.M Entertainment were unfair and that their earnings were not properly distributed to members of the group. As a result of this, they took legal actions, which was supported by over 120,000 fans who filed petitions against the entertainment company, this, in turn, docked SM’s stock price by over 10%.
The company responded by holding a press conference stating that the lawsuit was motivated by greed rather than an unfair contract. The lawsuit finally came to an end in November 2012 with both parties agreeing to withdraw their suit and the trio’s contract considered terminated in July 2009.
Meanwhile, the three debuted as JYJ with Japanese EP The… in 2010 and JYJ is currently being managed by C-JeS Entertainment.
4. Idol of Idols
Be it a group or solo act, South Korean fandom culture automatically ascribe the term idol to any K-pop artist with a dedicated fan base. But despite the fact that idols are now numerous and new ones are being introduced every day, most of these people consider TVXQ their role models, whose work paved the path on which they now walk in the industry. For the group’s fifteenth anniversary, all k-pop compiled a long list of several celebrities and big artists within and outside South Korea who cite past and present members of TVXQ as their idols including members of BIGBANG, BEAST/HIGHLIGHT, BLACKPINK, EXO, FT ISLAND, SUPERNOVA, NU’EST, Top Combine, and FAHRENHEIT, among others.
5. TVXQ Pop Duo’s Military Enlistment
Both members enlisted in the military for the mandatory service to their country in 2015, leading to the group’s second time away since JYJ broke away from them. However, they wasted no time to return to the spotlight after U-know and Changmin were discharged honorably in April and August 2017 respectively. Their comeback was marked with a series of projects, including their ninth Japanese tour beginning at Sapporo Dome in November 2017 and ending at Nissan Stadium in January 2018. The tour sold over a million tickets and made over US$ 50 million in revenue.
6. One of the Richest K-pop Groups
According to a list of top richest K-pop bands compiled by a columnist for Billboard K-pop, Jeff Benjamin, based on each group’s income streams and the figures that were available as at April 2019, TVXQ was ranked number 4, behind Blackpink, Twice and BTS who were ranked 3, 2 and 1 respectively.
7. Maker and Breaker of Records
TVXQ pop duo has made and broken several records both in Japan and Korea. They broke Bon Jovi’s 14-year record by releasing 4 consecutive #1 albums, all of which sold over 200,000 copies in their first week, they have the highest number of top single releases (44, 12 of which were #1) and their Begin Again tour holds the record of highest-attended tour by any foreign artist in Japan. This does not even begin to scratch the list of their achievements.