April 8, and with it EXO’s debut anniversary, has come and gone, but not without some special memories.
Since their debut in 2012, EXO has risen to become one of the most decorated groups in K-pop history with 17 daesangs (grand prizes) alone, as well as one of the best-selling artists with their last three full albums all selling over a million physical copies each.
By their side for the last five years, every step of the way when every piece of history was made, were their fans. As a special thank you to EXO-Ls around the world for always being there, EXO revealed a special video later on the evening of April 8.
While they also held an unexpected V live broadcast at midnight KST, the members all expressed feelings of nostalgia and awe as they thanked their fans.
Baekhyun noted how EXO and fans have been able to share many memories together, “from their first win to their first concert to winning Daesangs for four years in a row.” Sehun reflected on how he debuted as a teen but is now in his 20s, while Xiumin, Chen, and D.O said that while they may not be able to celebrate with fans on April 8, they will work hard to be able to energize everyone during their encore concerts in May.
Chanyeol discussed how the anniversary makes him think of past years, and allows him to realize that EXO and fans will be together for a long time, and Kai similarly said, “We have a lot of time left together. 10, 20, 30 years later, we will always be together with you all.” Finally, Suho ended with a similar message to what he said during their V Live broadcast, as he looked back on the last five years. Unfortunately, Lay was unable to participate as this was filmed during their Singapore concert.
Suho also added an additional, pun-ladened message later through EXO’s fan board, and said he hoped they could stay together for a long, long time. Baekhyun also greeted fans with another surprise, casual V Live broadcast, where he chatted about random topics.
Their longtime manager Noh Yong Min, who has been with them before they even debuted, also relayed his congratulations through a short and sweet message.
— YONGMIN.NOH (@Groovechaja) April 7, 2017
Meanwhile, EXO-Ls celebrated this day with numerous projects and events throughout the day. One notable happening was when 10 of EXO’s songs climbed the ranks of music charts, and their debut track “MAMA,” even re-entered the top 100 chart.
마마 K 18위 ?
마마 M 52위 ?
마마는 5년만에 최고 순위 기록 자체갱신중? 새벽에도 스트리밍 최고예요?? pic.twitter.com/XmbOW8aYsW
— TRAVEL TO EXOPLANET (@since120408_) April 7, 2017
Fans worldwide also celebrated with ads in some of the biggest places like Times Square in New York, and SM Mall of Asia Globe in the Philippines. Several international fanbases also teamed up to promote a Twitter ad, dubbed, “Spread the Love with EXO.”
— 에리카 (@ex0522_09) April 8, 2017
— Beshies (@beshiesofexo) April 8, 2017
Spread The Love with EXO
To the stars who shine the brightest, we want to gift you this
— #5YearsWithEXO (@EXOGlobal) April 7, 2017
While countless of billboard, newspaper, bus advertisements, and trending worldwide on Twitter as well as on search rankings are impressive, the real celebration was how fans banded together to donate and participate in philanthropic events in EXO’s name.
Just to name a few of the countless projects, Chinese fans participated in numerous projects to help everyone from children to workers, Korean fans donated 100 kilograms of rice to those in need, and Indian EXO-Ls donated 1 million won (approximately $900) to help less fortunate children.
— BAIDU EXO BAR (@baiduEXObarCN) April 8, 2017
— TRAVEL TO EXOPLANET (@since120408_) April 8, 2017
— ♡Dula_Talukdàr♡ (@drtalukdard) April 7, 2017
Happy fifth anniversary to EXO, as well as EXO-Ls, once more!
*A previous version of this incorrectly stated the conversion of won to dollars.