TVXQ (often stylized TVXQ! or TVfXQ), an acronym for Tong Vfang Xien Qi (東方神起), is a South Korean boy band quintet formed under SM Entertainment in 2003. In South Korea they are known as Dong Bang Shin Gi (동방신기); they were later introduced in Japan as Tohoshinki (東方神起, Tōhōshinki?) under the Avex sub-label Rhythm Zone in 2005. Their name translates as "the Gods will rise from the East".
In 2008, with the release of their sixteenth Japanese single, "Purple Line", which debuted atop the Oricon single chart, TVXQ became the fifth non-Japanese Asian artist and the first male foreign group to have a number-one single on the chart. With their twenty-third single, "Dōshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandarō?", TVXQ set a new record, becoming the first foreign artist to have three singles debut atop the chart. In 2009, with the release of their twenty-seventh single, "Share the World/We Are!", TVXQ extended their record, making them the first foreign artist to have six number-one singles on the Oricon.
Since their debut, TVXQ has reached the top in Korea and has become one of the most popular singing groups in East Asia, gaining huge popularity in such countries as China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and other East Asian regions.
Before their debut, the group was offered three funny tentative names: O Jang Yukbu (오장육부 lit. The Five Visceras), Jeonseoleul Mukgo Sanun Gorae (전설을 먹고 사는 고래 lit. A Whale That Eats Legends), and Dong Bang Bul Pae (동방불패, the Korean title of Ashes of Time). They decided on Dong Bang Bul Pae; however, the name was rejected because the Hanja was not aesthetically pleasing, and the name was changed to Dong Bang Shin Gi, which was named by Soo-Man Lee's acquaintance.
TVXQ made their debut on December 26, 2003 during a BoA and Britney Spears showcase, where they performed their debut single "Hug" and an a cappella rendition of "O Holy Night" with BoA. The group released their debut single "Hug" in January 2004; it peaked at #4 on the monthly charts and sold a total of 169,532 copies, making it the fourteenth best-selling record of the year. Their second single, "The Way U Are" (July 2004), debuted at #2 spot on the charts, becoming the ninth best-selling-record of the year, selling 214,069 copies. TVXQ released their debut album, Tri-Angle (October 2004). Tri-angle debuted atop the charts and sold a total of 242,580 copies, making it the year's eighth best-selling record.
In April 2005, TVXQ debuted in Japan under the Avex sub-label Rhythm Zone with the single "Stay with Me Tonight". They released their second Japanese single, "Somebody to Love", before returning to Korea and releasing their second Korean album Rising Sun. Rising Sun debuted atop the charts and became the fourth best-selling-record of 2005 with a total of 222,472 copies sold. TVXQ ended the year with two releases: their third Japanese single, "My Destiny", and a Korean single with label-mate Super Junior, "Show Me Your Love". The latter debuted atop the charts and sold 49,945 copies, making it the thirty-fifth best-selling record of the year. At the end of the year, TVXQ received the Best Music Video award for the song "Rising Sun" and the People's Choice Award at the 2005 Mnet KM Music Video Festival.
2006–2007: Foray into Asia
TVXQ began 2006 with their first international tour, Rising Sun 1st Asia Tour. In addition to South Korea, they toured in China, Thailand, and Malaysia, making them the first Korean performers to hold a concert in Malaysia. In March, the group released their fourth Japanese single, "Asu wa Kuru Kara" (明日は来るから, lit. Because Tomorrow Will Come?), and their debut Japanese album, Heart, Mind and Soul. The album debuted on the weekly Oricon album chart at #25 with 9,554 copies sold. Their fifth Japanese single, "Rising Sun/Heart, Mind and Soul", released a month later, debuted on the Oricon singles chart at #22. To support the album, TVXQ held their first Japanese tour, 1st Live Tour 2006: Heart, Mind and Soul, from May to June.. TVXQ released two more Japanese singles, "Begin" and "Sky". The latter debuted at #6, making it the group's first single to reach the Top Ten. In the summer, TVXQ performed in Avex's annual A-Nation summer concert.
The group resumed their Korean activities with the release of their third album, "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap. ("O"-正.反.合. lit. "O"-Thesis.Antithesis.Synthesis)[fn 2] in September 2006. Like their previous Korean albums, "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap. debuted atop the charts; with a total of 349,317 copies sold, it became the number-one record of the year. Two months after "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap, the group released another Japanese single, "Miss You/"O" - Sei-Han-Gō" (miss you/"O"‐正・反・合, lit. Miss You/"O" - Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis?), which debuted on the chart at #3, making it their first Top Five single. At the 2006 MKMF Music Festival, TVXQ won four awards, "Best Artist of the Year", "Best Group", "Mnet.com" and "Mnet Plus Mobile People's Choice Award". At the 16th Music Seoul Festival, TVXQ won three awards including a "Daesang" award. The group won another "Daesang" award at the 21st Golden Disk Awards 2006, in addition to a "Bonsang". At the SBS Gayo Awards 2006, TVXQ won another "Daesang" and "Bonsang" award.
TVXQ began 2007 with a new Japanese single, "Step By Step", which was followed by their second Asian tour, The 2nd Asia Tour Concert 'O'. The tour took place in Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Beijing. In March, the group released their tenth Japanese single, "Choosey Lover", and their second Japanese album, Five in the Black. Both debuted in the Top 10 of their respective charts, the former at #9 and the latter at #10. In May, the group attended the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards Japan and won the "Best Buzz Asia in Korea" award for their album "O"-Jung.Ban.Hap. From June to December 2007, the group released a string of five singles: "Lovin' You", "Summer: Summer Dream/Song for You/Love in the Ice", "Shine / Ride On", "Forever Love" and "Together". "Summer: Summer Dream/Song for You/Love in the Ice" reached #2 on the Oricon, making it the group's highest-charting Japanese single to that point. TVXQ also collaborated with label-mate Kumi Koda for her thirty-eighth single, "Last Angel", which was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of Resident Evil: Extinction.
2008–present: Rise of popularity in Japan and return to South Korea
TVXQ performing at SM Town Live in Bangkok
TVXQ released their sixteenth Japanese single, "Purple Line", on January 16, 2008. It debuted atop the Oricon, becoming the group's first number-one in Japan and making them first foreign male group to have a number-one single in Japan. They then released their third Japanese album, T, which debuted at #4 on the Oricon Weekly album chart. TVXQ's label Rhythm Zone, announced the "Trick" project where five singles would be released consecutively for six weeks, from February to March and each single would contain a solo track by a member. The group released their twenty-third single, "Beautiful You / Sennen Koi Uta" in April. The single became another number-one for the group and made them the first non-Japanese Asians with two number-one singles since Ou-Yang Fei Fei set the record 24 years before. They returned to Korea to participate in the 14th Annual Dream Concert at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul on June 7. On June 12, TVXQ concluded their Asia Tour in Beijing which had begun on February 23, 2007 in Seoul. TVXQ returned to Japan and released their twenty-fourth single, "Dōshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandarō?" The single topped the chart, making TVXQ the first foreign artists to have three number-one singles on the Oricon. They performed at Avex's 20th anniversary meeting and at A-Nation '08. In August, TVXQ returned to Korea once again to take part in SMTown Live '08. They performed alongside label-mates BoA, Cheon Sang Ji Hee the Grace, Zhang Liyin, Girls' Generation, Shinee and Super Junior.
The group's fourth Korean album, Mirotic, was slated to be released on September 24 but due to the large number of pre-orders was pushed back two days. Like their previous Korean album, Mirotic debuted atop the charts with 307,974 copies sold. In early January 2009, the album's sales totaled 502,837 copies, making it the first Korean album in six years to pass the 500,000 mark. In October, TVXQ released "Jumon: Mirotic", the Japanese version of Mirotic's title track. The single topped the Oricon chart, breaking the record that the group had set with their previous single. TVXQ attended Kōhaku Uta Gassen Music Festival on New Year's Eve, making them the first Korean group to attend.
Their twenty-fifth single "Bolero/Kiss the Baby Sky/Wasurenaide", released in January 2009, became another number-one for the group. In March, TVXQ released their twenty-sixth single "Survivor" which debuted at #3 on the charts susequently ending their number-one streak. "Survivor" was followed by their fourth Japanese album, The Secret Code, which debuted at #2 on the charts. To support the album they embarked on their fourth concert tour, Tohoshinki 4th Live Tour 2009: The Secret Code, which ended at the Tokyo Dome, making them the first Korean group to perform there.
On April 22, 2009, they released their twenty-seventh single "Share the World/We Are!". The single debuted atop the charts, extending their Oricon record. Their twenty-eighth single, "Stand by U", was released on July 1, 2009 and debuted at #2 on the charts.
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