While most K-Pop fans may know TVXQ as a two member group, they once used to be a beloved five member boy group. So what happened, you may ask? If you’re not familiar with the story and you want a “long story short” version, keep reading to find out.
Debuting under SM Entertainment in 2003, everyone was excited to see what this new boy group had to offer. They debuted with the hit song “Hug” which showcased a more pure and innocent side which made sense at the time since they were all still in their teens. Then shortly after, they came out with single “Triangle” which had a very different concept to “Hug.” Going from something soft and innocent to the drastic alternative and intense genre showed how much potential this group had.
Fast forward to a few years later to their hit song “Rising Sun”. This would be the song that got the gears rolling for this group’s future. This song exploded in popularity, winning first place all across the board. They would make appearances on every show imaginable furthering their popularity. It didn’t stop there as they continued to come out with hit after hit, really solidifying their place in the K-Pop world.
So what happened? Why did this group suddenly go from being on top of the world to taking a hiatus? Why did they go from having five members to two? In 2009, during the prime of TVXQ’s career, members Kim Junsu, Park Yoochun and Kim Jaejoong requested to terminate their contracts with SM Entertainment, a move that shocked fans all around the world. They cited two main reasons for this request with the first being that their contracts were too excessively long. Their contract would bind them to SM Entertainment for thirteen years. Their other reason were unfair wages and not being fairly paid for their work.
Due to this request from these three members, a lawsuit began, halting all of TVXQ’s activities at the time. As if the situation weren’t messy enough, Avex, the Japanese agency that was handling TVXQ’s activities at the time came out with a statement stating that they would form a subunit with the three members, which would later be known was JYJ. This would eventually become the reason behind JYJ’s inability to promote actively in Korea.
All of the lawsuits eventually led to the group officially splitting in 2010 and not only did that leave fans sad and upset but it also led fans to wonder about the group’s uncertain future. Would they recruit new members? Would they continue on as a duo or would they just cease to exist? Thankfully for fans all around the world, the group remained as a duo and to this day, we are able to see them do what they do best on stage.
Although the story is unfortunate, it is a sobering reminder of how ugly the K-Pop world can be. It is an honest look at the other side of K-Pop, which shows that it’s not always about the glitz and the glam. It is a sad reminder that our favorite K-Pop stars go through hell and back to get to where they are today.