It’s quite an understatement to say that EXO took over 2013. They took the #1 spot on M! Countdown New Year’s special, won “Song of The Year” at the 2013 KBS Music Festival and sold over a million copies of their album in a single year. This is an accomplishment that no other kpop group has been able to achieve in twelve years.
Let’s not forget that the dance video to their hit song “Growl” has over 23,000,000 views.
So what’s the secret behind their overwhelming success? Is it the fact that there are 12 members? Is it because there are Korean and Chinese members? Is it their good looks, charming personalities and talented voices? We’re gonna go ahead and say that it’s probably all of these reasons combined.
According to allkpop, EXO responded to all their success in 2013 by saying, “We sincerely thank everyone who helped us break the valuable record of being a million seller. 2013 has become an unforgettable year for us as we received a lot of love from many people and received good results. In order to return the love, we will become an EXO who will continue to work hard next year.”
EXO is certainly living up to their word and are already turning heads in 2014. At the KBS Music Festival, EXO performed a squeal-worthy “Dubstep Intro.” Today, they released the dance practice video to the performance.
Although the video is only a little over a minute long, it will certainly be your favorite minute of the day.
Still can’t tell the 12 members apart? Click here for theUltimate Guide to EXO and be sure to check out more of their dance skills with their other practice video below:
2013 was quite the year for Audrey Magazine. Not only did it mark our ten year anniversary, it was also the launch of our revamped website. While we’re more than excited to kick off this new year, let’s take a moment to look back on all the stories of style, beauty and inspiring Asian Americans of the previous year.
Ranked by which stories were the most popular of the year, we bring you Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013!
1) Breaking The Asian Myth | Asian Hair “If there’s one Asian stereotype we’re all very familiar with, its Asian hair. No one knows when this actually happened, but at one point people began thinking that all Asian women had the same kind of hair…”
3) Korean Twin Sisters Unrecognizable After Plastic Surgery
“It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift. Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal…”
5) Korean American K-Pop Star Embroiled in Nude Photos Scandal “Korean American singer Ailee has been receiving enormous attention from the Korean media after nude photos of the K-pop star surfaced on the Internet. Allkpop, a popular New York-based K-pop website, published censored versions of the photos last night, igniting a firestorm of controversy…”
6) The Ultimate Guide to EXO “EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it? YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes…”
7) False Rumor: Philippines Disqualified From Pageants For The Next Two Years “In the midst of all this good news for the Philippines, a strange rumor has begun to spread. According to The Adobo Chronicles, the Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) has disqualified the Philippines from international beauty pageants for the next two years claiming that Filipina candidates had an “enormous advantage” this year…”
10) Where I Went and What I Bought: Seoul “I took a dream vacation last month. Not to some tropical hideaway surrounded by crystal clear waters. Not to a romantic European capital overflowing with crumbling palaces and fine wine. No, I went on a shopping vacation. To Korea…”
Situations like this is precisely the reason Audrey created the Daily SHAG (Smoking Hot Asian Guy) to prove that, contrary to popular belief, Asian men in all shapes and sizes can be desirable.
Who better to portray this than K-pop’s current dreamboats, EXO? The 12 member boy band, which consist of Korean and Chinese members, clearly bring an array of looks, personalities and body types. They easily prove that Asian men are perfectly capable of being hot.
The boys are accompanied by actress Seo Yea Ji while they make school uniforms look more attractive than we could have ever imagined.
Click below for some Daily SHAG pictures you’re sure to enjoy. As an added bonus, we’ve included the behind-the-scenes footage of this swoon-worthy photoshoot. And if you still find yourself lost and unable to distinguish the members, have no fear. Check out The Ultimate Guide to EXO.
Big Bang’s Taeyang is back and is catching all eyes with the release of his dance performance music video.
To kick off his solo comeback, Taeyang has released the audio and dance performance of his new song “Ringa Linga.” Although the video was only released earlier today, it has already gathered an impressive 260,000 views. It clearly proves that Taeyang is a force to be reckoned with.
This solo comeback is exciting fans worldwide, but it seems that the members themselves are even more excited. Taeyang’s instagram shows all the members dancing along to the “Ringla Linga” dance to celebrate the release of the video. Check out the adorable instagram video here and watch the much anticipated dance performance below.
Unfortunately, there seems to be signs of drama amidst all this excitement.
EXO fans, otherwise known as EXOTICS, are claiming that the “Ringa Linga” dance performance copies EXO’s very popular dance performance music video to their song “Growl.”
The Korean-Chinese boyband consists of twelve members separated into two subgroups, Exo-K and Exo-M. They shot into popularity with the release of their dance video to “Growl.” Currently, the video has over 18,000,000 views, has set the number one record on The Music Trend charts, has reached number one on all four of Korea’s major music programs, won ten trophies in three consecutive weeks and the album XOXO has collectively sold over 910,000 copies.
Now, fans are claiming that Taeyang’s video is a direct copy of “Growl.” The main argument is the way in which both dance videos were shot. One of the selling points for “Growl” was its tactic of using a single shot for the entire video. The camera simply swiveled back and forth to capture all the dancers. This same method is used in Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” video. Some fans have even gone so far as to say the dance moves are very similar. This heated debate has caused quite some tension between VIP (Big Bang fans) and EXOTICS.
Luckily, even more fans are coming to the defense of both Taeyang and EXO. The majority of youtube comments say that the two videos should not be compared and both have done a spectacular job. Others point out that exotics merely think the method of a no-cut video is similar, but acknowledge that the videos are obviously different. In fact, youtube commenters seem even more upset at those who claim Taeyang’s video was a copy.
One of the highlights of this year’s KCON for many attendees were the artist engagement sessions held throughout the convention. During these brief meetings, a select group of fans was able to see their favorite idols in the flesh, with the stars only standing only a few feet away from them. For many, such an opportunity and experience was very surreal; their favorite stars were right in front of them, in the flesh and not just appearing through a glowing screen.
Audrey was fortunate enough to get into two of the most in-demand artist engagement sessions, Bigbang’s G-Dragon and EXO, and we have some exclusive photos just for you!
Though he was flying solo, it was no question that G-Dragon was an artist that most KCON fans were excited to see. Once he got on stage, the crowd electrified with numerous screams of joy and countless professions of love. That energy remained throughout his Q&A session, especially when he expressed his anticipation and admiration for EXO and his cravings for the California culinary staple, In-N-Out. Dressed in a simple tank, sunglasses and beanie, he was the charismatic, cool guy that fans have come to know and adore.
With an innumerable amount of t-shirts with the group member’s names strewn on the front, “Wolf”-inspired outfits and impromptu dance covers of “Growl” being seen all around the convention, it became quickly clear that the guys of EXO were clearly a fan favorite. Dressed in uniforms, the boys proved their prowess in pleasing fans, having impromptu performances and answering questions in the most adorable way possible (for instance, D.O.’s profession of his love for steak).
With such a jam-packed, exciting weekend, what was your favorite part of this year’s KCON?
With the rise of EXO’s popularity, we can confidently say that Ivy Club made quite a good decision to have the boys model and endorse their Autumn 2013 look.
Already strong in their “school-boy” concept, EXO looks even more adorable in this fashion line. September is near and “back to school” is here. In case you’re not excited for the new school year, check out EXO-K sporting Ivy League’s Autumn 2013 Schoolboy look. Trust us, its sure to brighten up your day.
After two jam-packed days of anything and everything hallyu, it was finally time for the convention’s biggest and most anticipated event — the star-studded concert and recording of Mnet’s über-popular music show, M Countdown. But just before the curtains (or more appropriately, LED screens) rose, Audrey was lucky enough to have red carpet access, and we’re bringing you some photos of some of K-pop’s top stars.
A finalist on Mnet’s talent competition program, Superstar K4, sixteen year-old Yu Seung Woo melted hearts with his adorable smile and sweet, acoustic tunes.
Next up was the ever-charming ballad group, 2AM, dressed to a tee in suspenders, bow-ties and perfectly pressed shirts.
Despite the scorching LA heat, DJ Koo kept it cool in his all-leather outfit and later on, made sure to hype up the crowd with his K-Pop mix at the start of the show.
The only female artists in the line-up, SM Entertainment’s f(x) looked stunning in their printed, Versace-inspired outfits. During the red carpet, Amber was able to express their excitement for the big show, as well as their gratitude to their American fans for their continued support, even being halfway around the world.
Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated acts of the night, if the ear-piercing screams proved to be any indication, the 12 boys of EXO showed no signs of jet lag (after arriving in L.A. just the day before), making jaws drop with their perfectly fitting uniforms, coiffed hair and handsome looks.
The guys of Teen Top, caught our attention with their colorful hair and charming charisma, showing very little signs of nerves, despite their KCON stage being their first performance outside of Korea.
Decked out in a clean, well-fitted suit (brownie points for him!), Super Junior-M’s Henry hit the red carpet, delighting fans with his lovable personality, showing off an endearing sense of confidence that you couldn’t help but get drawn to.
For more exclusive KCON Red Carpet photos, check out our gallery below:
Before they were the famous and beloved idols they are today, some of our favorite KCON 2013 attendees were once wee, adorable children. Our favorite idols (and some very clever, stealthy netizens) have revealed their über-precious, squeal-worthy photos online. Take a peek below!
G-Dragon (Big Bang)
Jo Kwon (2AM)
L. Joe (Teen Top)
Niel (Teen Top)
Ricky (Teen Top)
SO CUTE, RIGHT? Who do you think has the most precious photo?
There’s no denying it- when it comes to KCON 2013, EXO easily ranks as the group we’re most excited to see. Admittedly, we had some doubts when we first laid eyes on this group. You see, EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it?
YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes.
Any doubts we may have had about this group were blown out the window when EXO released the music video to their song “Growl” and created an online frenzy. How good is this thing? People who had no previous interest in KPOP what-so-ever were complimenting the song, the hypnotizing dance, and the music video style.
Needless to say, we had this video on repeat for days. In less than four minutes, the boys were able to grab our attention and keep it there. Suddenly we were watching their interviews, listening to their songs, and slowly but surely learning their names and personalities. (We were also squealing, blushing, and hyperventilating over our favorites, but lets not get into that)
So we’re here to help you out. Having some trouble distinguishing the boys from one another? Check out Audrey’s Ultimate Guide to EXOand you’ll be all set for this weekend!
1) S U H O
NAME: Suho (Kim Joongmyun) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDATE: May 22, 1991 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Leader, Lead Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Suho likes a girl with an interest in literature and long, straight hair. He wants someone that is knowledgeable with an explosive personality. FUN FACT: Known for spoiling his band members by buying them lots of food.
DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: It is said that he looks similar to Super Junior’s Choi Siwon
2) B A E K H Y U N NAME: Baekhyun (Byun Baekhyun) HEIGHT: 5’7” BIRTHDATE: May 6, 1992 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Baekhyun likes a gir that is full of charm. He likes a girl that looks good wearing jeans, which means someone with a good figure. FUN FACT: Some of his international fanbase has nicknamed him “Bacon” DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Thick Eyeliner and Charming Smile
3) C H A N Y E O L NAME: Chanyeol (Park Chanyeol) HEIGHT: 6’1” BIRTHDATE: November 27, 1992 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Rapper, Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Chanyeol wants someone cute, someone who smiles a lot, and someone who is sincere person. Someone who will laugh when he is talking to her and has a bubbly personality. FUN FACT: He is very musically talented and plays the guitar, drums, bass, djembe, and more. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Big Smile (sometimes jokingly a creeper smile)
4) D. O. NAME: D.O. (Do Kyungsoo) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDATE: January 12, 1993 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: D.O.’s priority is that the girl is kind and appreciates good food. He wants a sexy, cute, and beautiful girl. FUN FACT: He is the cleanest and tidiest member of EXO DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Thick lips and strong brows
5) K A I NAME: Kai (Kim Jongin) HEIGHT: 6’0” BIRTHDATE: January 14, 1994 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Dancer, Vocalist, Lead Rapper IDEAL TYPE: Kai likes girls who are gentle and passionate. His ideal type is Han Ye Seul. FUN FACT: He has amazing dance skills – He’s been doing ballet and jazz since childhood DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: ABS
6) S E H U N NAME: Sehun (Oh Sehun) HEIGHT: 5’11” BIRTHDATE: April 12, 1994 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Lead Dancer, Rapper, Sub-Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Sehun likes girls who are bright and cheerful. He also wants them neat and clean. FUN FACT: He is the youngest of the group and has a habit of sticking his tongue out DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Uninterested/stoic resting face
__________________________________________ EXO M
7) X I U M I N NAME: Xiumin (Birthname: Kim Min Seok) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDAY: March 27, 1990 NATIONALITY: Korean BAND POSITION: Lead vocals, Lead dancer IDEAL TYPE: A comforting person who can keep him warm with hugs and will also smile at him brightly. FUN FACT: He’s often been told that he looks like the Wonder Girls’ Sohee (http://24.media.tumblr.com/ff03db8621b7dd8579a0993a88b390d2/tumblr_mprfjwCbom1st49nxo1_500.jpg_ ) and is the “high note champion” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqaWYRvk2P4) of the group. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Sharp eyes and round cheeks (one of his nicknames is Baozi, or “Little Bun”)!
8) L U H A N NAME: Luhan (Birthname: Lu Han) HEIGHT: 5’10” BIRTHDAY: April 20, 1990 NATIONALITY: Chinese BAND POSITION: Lead vocalist, lead dancer, “Face” of the group IDEAL TYPE: A gentle, quiet girl who is graceful and elegant and someone who will cheer him on. Physically, he likes a girl with long straight hair and fair skin. FUN FACT: He’s scared of heights; in fact, when the group went to Disneyland, he stayed with their manager and didn’t go on a lot of the rides. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Large, doe-like eyes
9) L A Y
NAME: Lay (Birthname: Zhang Yi Xing) HEIGHT: 5’9.5” BIRTHDAY: October 7, 1991 NATIONALITY: Chinese BAND POSITION: Main dancer, Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: A girl who is kind-hearted, cute and respectful with a positive personality. Physically, someone who has large eyes, long hair and shorter than him. FUN FACT: In 2010, he was in SHINee’s concert tour as Jonghyun’s dance replacement. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: One dimple on his right cheek
10) K R I S NAME: Kris (Birthname: Wu Yi Fan) HEIGHT: 6’1.5” BIRTHDAY: November 6, 1990 NATIONALITY: Chinese-Canadian BAND POSITION: Leader, Main Rapper, Sub-Vocals IDEAL TYPE: Likes girls who can cook, are kind-hearted and willing to take care of people. FUN FACT: Though he doesn’t draw well by most people’s standards, he firmly believes in his artistic ability. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Strong, bold eyes and eyebrows
11) T A O
NAME: Tao (Huang Zi Tao) HEIGHT: 6’0” BIRTHDAY: May 2, 1993 NATIONALITY: Chinese BAND POSITION: Lead Rapper, Vocalist, Maknae (Youngest) IDEAL TYPE: A girl who is pretty with a nice body and has a nice personality. But, he’s revealed that love isn’t something he’s necessarily looking for, saying in an interview, “I really don’t care [about love/ideal types] because I’m still young and I’m a hardworking ninja that want to focus on my career.” FUN FACT: He’s trained in wushu, a skill he often shows off on variety shows. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Dark circles under eyes (One of his nicknames is Kung Fu Panda!)
12) C H E N NAME: Chen (Birthname: Kim Jong Dae) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDAY: September 21, 1992 NATIONALITY: Korean BAND POSITION: Main vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Someone who is noona-like (“noona” = a woman who is older) and will take care of him and treat him well. He also likes a girl who is pretty when she smiles, has a faithful personality and an open mind. FUN FACT: His main specialty is singing high notes (and even participated in a high note battle against fellow EXO members Xiumin and Baekhyun). DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: A super sweet smile
In just a matter of days, KCON makes its way back the City of Angels to celebrate all things hallyu. This year’s two-day convention will be filled with workshops and panels and culminate in a star-studded concert and filming of the popular Korean music show,M Countdown.
Excited yet? We know we are!
But just in case you aren’t yet, us here at Audrey wanted to give you taste of what to expect for this year’s show through our musical go-to guide of some of this year’s featured artists!
The newest boy group to come out of mega-label SM Entertainment (and an Audrey favorite!), EXO is a 12-member Korean-Chinese band made up of two subgroups, EXO-K and EXO-M, who promote in both Korea and China. Though they just debuted last year, they have made a name for themselves in the K-Pop industry, already winning an Mnet Asian Music Award (MAMA) for “Best New Asian Act.”
For their latest comeback, the two sub-groups have reunited and have gained notice with their cool, R&B-inspired single “Growl.”
Starting his training at YG Entertainment at the tender age of 13, G-Dragon is known as a K-Pop multi-hyphenate as the leader, a rapper and producer of mega-popular boy group Big Bang. Alongside projects with Big Bang as well as a duo project with fellow Big Bang rapper T.O.P., GD launched his solo career in 2009 with the release of his first album. After his hugely successful “One of a Kind” world tour this past year, he has recently announced the release of his third solo record, “Coup D’Etat,” which will have a feature from hip-hop heavyweight, Missy Elliott.
Debuting in 2010 with TOP Media (the media company founded by Andy of K-Pop legends, Shinhwa), Teen Top broke onto the scene with their first single, “Clap.” With a string of hits under their belt, including “Supa Love” and “Crazy,” the young teen idols will be releasing their new album, “Class,” in the coming weeks.
With a distinct electronic pop sound, f(x) has become known as one of the hottest girl groups in K-Pop today. With songs like “NU ABO,” “Hot Summer,” and “Electric Shock,” the girls are nothing short of a K-Pop powerhouse. Composed of members Luna, Krystal, Amber, Sulli, and Victoria, this SM Entertainment quintet has continued to surprise and delight fans with their unique style.
Henry Lau, known just as Henry, is multi-talented member of Super Junior’s Chinese sub-group, Super Junior-M. Knowing a wide range of languages, including English, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and French, this 23-year old has a penchant for music. He is able to play both the violin and piano and has composed songs. Earlier this year, he released his first solo mini-album, “Trap” and has just released the song “1-4-3” featuring fellow SM Town family member, Amber of f(x).
From JYP/Big Hit Entertainment comes 2AM, a popular ballad group made up of members Seulong, Changmin, Jo Kwon and Jinwoon. Winning their first Mutizen award in 2010 for “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die,” they have melted hearts with their sweet harmonies and outstanding voices. Earlier this year, they made their Korean comeback with the release of their second full-length album “One Spring Day.”
YU SEUNG WOO
At just 16 years old, Yu Seung Woo first began to catch people’s attention when he appeared on Mnet’s popular singing audition program, Superstar K4. His soothing guitar playing and gentle voice have made many a fan, especially on tracks like “You and I” and “Hello,” off of his recently released album, “First Outing.”
This team, made up of long-time friends Choiza and Gaeko, have become one of the most respected acts in South Korea’s hip-hop scene. Active since 2003, they have released a number of hit albums, including “Taxi Driver” and “Enlightened.”
As the only female rapper to have six platinum albums, to say that Missy Elliott is a major player in the hip-hop scene is an understatement. A five-time Grammy Award-winner, the rapper-producer-singer-songwriter has sold over 30 million records worldwide. With a discography that boasts six albums and 70 singles (including 43 features), including hits like “Work It,” “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” and “One Minute Man.” Her connection to the K-Pop scene? She’s recently collaborated on G-Dragon’s latest album, to be released at the end of this month.
A former member of ‘90s dance duo Clon, DJ Koo is a popular electro-house DJ who made his debut in 2003. Playing festivals like Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, DJ Koo has demonstrated his immense skill and creativity in arranging, mixing and producing electronic dance hits, even mixing for some of K-Pop’s biggest names including f(x) and SHINee. In 2013, he released his latest single, “BOB BOB DEE LALA.”
As a finalist on the 11th season of American Idol, Heejun Han caught America’s attention with his soulful voice and funny antics. Recently singing with Polaris Entertainment in Korea, he will soon be releasing a single in the US entitled “Bring the Love Back” with Pusha T.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.