2019 was an incredible year for EXO. Although the group didn’t make an official comeback until November, there were still special experiences sprinkled throughout the year. From the beginning to the end, the group has achieved and been through so much before the conclusion of the decade.
Here are TheHoneyPop’s Top 7 EXO Moments of 2019:
1. EXO surprised Xiumin at his fan meeting
Before his mandatory military enlistment, Xiumin hosted a good-bye party for EXO-L’s during a solo fan meeting titled Xiuweet Time on May 4. After Xiumin took a picture with fans in the audience, his fellow EXO members Chen, Suho, D.O., Chanyeol, and Baekhyun came out from behind the stage to surprise him! All of the members each gave a short speech wishing Xiumin well during his military service, and this resulted in Xiumin becoming emotional, especially during Kai’s speech. Additionally, Lay even called from China to say good-bye to Xiumin, and along with Baekhyun, they recorded a special video message together. It’s been a while since we had any moments with all 9 EXO members, so this parting moment was especially bittersweet.
2. Xiumin and D.O. enlisted in the South Korean military
The active Korean members in the group shrank from 8 to 6, when two of the members enlisted for mandatory military service. Xiumin enlisted on May 7 a few days after his fan meet, and he is expected to be released in December 6, 2020. D.O. surprised everyone when he suddenly announced his decision to enlist early on July 1, and he is expected to be released on January 25, 2021. As a parting gift to the fans, both members released SM station songs around the time of their enlistment. Xiumin released his song titled ‘You’ while D.O. released a track titled ‘That’s Okay’.
The members’ enlistment weren’t all tears though. Lay took time out of his busy schedule preparing for his solo tour Grand Line in order to fly to Korea and see D.O. off. Unfortunately we didn’t get a reunion of all 9 members, but Lay sacrificing his time to come out and say good-bye to his group member was a sweet and precious memory we’ll never forget.
3. EXO attended the G20 Summit
On June 29 EXO accompanied the president of South Korea Moon Jae-in to the G20 summit to meet the President of the United States. The meeting between the two presidents was to discuss a trade deal revision, and occurred outside in the garden, right before before the dinner banquet in the presidential office. EXO greeted the American president at the Blue House (the residence and executive office of the South Korean President) in Seoul and gifted him and his daughter with autographed copies of their fifth Korean studio album repackage, Love Shot.
4. EXO released their first OT6 song
On October 10, EXO released their first ever track featuring only 6 out of the 9 members (due to Xiumin and D.O.’s military enlistment and Lay’s solo career in China). ‘Bird’ is a song that EXO made for their fans with lyrics that talk about the members protecting EXO-L’s and promising to always support them. The song was their third Japanese single and showcases the vocals of Chen, Suho, Chanyeol, Sehun, Kai, and Baekhyun. The live premier of the song occurred on October 11 during the EXO PLANET #5-EXplOration stop in Fukuoka, Japan. Originally, the song was supposed to be released on November 4 in order to celebrate the four year anniversary of EXO’s debut in Japan, however the official release was moved up.
The shadow of clouds cover the light
I’ll say, don’t be afraid
Don’t look at anyone else
Just look at me
I will always be by your side
Hold tightly onto this hand
Of a true love and let’s go on a trip
Imagine a white canvas
5. EXO released their sixth Korean studio album “Obsession”
Towards the end of the year on November 27, EXO finally made a comeback with their seventh studio album Obsession. This became their fourth number 1 on World Digital Song Sales, and their fourth entry on the Billboard 200. As of now they are the KPOP group with the second-highest amount of entries on the albums chart. This album was highly anticipated by fans, since their last album Love Shot, was released in December 2018, which was a repackage of their sixth overall studio album Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. The Obsession comeback only included the 6 remaining Korean members that did not yet enlist: Chen, Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, Sehun, and Kai. The group received 5 music show wins with their title track ‘Obsession’, which resulted in EXO having a total of 117 music show wins, allowing them to retain their title as the KPOP group with the most music show of all time.
6. When Ryan Reynolds became the tenth member of EXO
EXO attended a green carpet event before the premier of the Netflix film 6 Underground at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea on December 2. The group attended in order to perform their title track “Obsession” from their brand new album of the same name. While attending the event, they met the star of the film, Ryan Reynolds who, immediately after their encounter, announced that he was the tenth member of the group! Since his last meeting with the members, Ryan has been enjoying his status as the latest addition to the KPOP group. He can’t stop mentioning his newfound position in EXO everywhere, such as on Instagram and Twitter, as well as on variety shows, and even in interviews. Congratulations, and welcome to the group Ryan!
7. Xiumin and D.O. attended the EXplOration tour
Last, but certainly not least, EXO embarked on their fifth tour, EXO PLANET #5 – EXplOration on July 19. On July 28, (the group’s last day of their concert at the KSPO Dome in Seoul) Xiumin surprised fans by attending the concert while still being an active duty soldier. He gave a military salute to the EXO members on stage when they greeted him, and they were just as happy to see him in the crowd as EXO-L’s were. He even had an eribong (EXO lightstick) in his hand, and he could be seen waving it cheerfully throughout the concert during the performances. It was a sweet reunion, and the only thing that could have made it better was if D.O. had been able to attend with him!
Several months later on December 29 while EXO were participating in their encore concert EXO PLANET #5 – EXplOration [dot] in the same venue, D.O. also used his day off from the military to attend the tour and see his members. When Chanyeol asked him to greet everyone, D.O. stood up with a huge smile and waved cheerfully. During the concert he even held up a banner for a fan project, and was seen bobbing his head and singing along to EXO’s songs throughout the night. He brought an EXO lightstick and waved it while enjoying the performances, and even filmed and took pictures of the show and the crowd. D.O.’s unexpected appearance was the most heartwarming surprise, and definitely was the best way to end 2019, and the decade, for EXO and EXO-L’s.
Thank you EXO for an amazing 2019, and more importantly, an incredible decade. We can’t wait until all of the members are reunited again, and we look forward to see what great accomplishments you guys will achieve as individuals and a group in the new year.
What were your favorite EXO moments of 2019? Comment down below or tweet us at @TheHoneyPop on Twitter!
Featured image source: SM Entertainment