S.M. Entertainment. The group was formed in 2012 in Seoul South Korea, EXO comprises twelve members separated into two subgroups, EXO-K and EXO-M, promoting their music simultaneously in both South Korea and China.
Their name was taken from exoplanet, a term referring to planets beyond the Solar System. Their debut single MAMA was released on April 8 2012, followed by the release of their debut EP MAMA on April 9, 2012
In January 2011, SM Entertainment producer Lee Soo Man, announced his plans to debut a new boy band in March or April of 2011. Temporarily named M1, the group to have considered of only seven members when a photo of them in a dance studio leaked online. In May 2011, Lee spoke about the group in a Hallyu Business seminar held in Stanford University. In the presentation, he explained his strategy of separating the group into two subgroups, M1 and M2, and have them promote the same music in both Korea and China, performing the songs in both Korean and Mandarin. Lee planned to launch the group in May 2011, but their debut was delayed and news concerning the group did not surface until October 2011, when Lee briefly discussed about the group's concept plans in an interview with The Chosun IIbo.
In December 2011, the group finalized their name to EXO, with the names EXO-K for the Korea subgroup and EXO-M for the China subgroup. The twelve members were introduced individually through twenty-three teaser trailers released from December 2011 to February 2012. Kai, Luhan, Tao, Chen, the first four members introduced, debuted their first public performance at the SBS's Gayo Daejun on December 29, 2011.
EXO-K and EXO-M's prologue single WHAT IS LOVE was released on January 30, 2012, through iTunes and various online retailers from China and South Korea, where the single peaked at number eighty-eight on South Korea's Gaon Single Chart. On March 9, the group released their second prologue single HISTORY, which was written and produced by Thomas Troelsen and Remee. The single peeked at number sixty-eight on the Gaon Single Chart and number six on China's Sina Music Chart.
A concert showcase for the group was held in Seoul's Olympic Stadium on March 31, one hundred days after EXO debuted their first trailer on December 21, 2011. Approximately 3,000 fans from 8,000 applicants were selected to attend the showcase. A second showcase was held in the Great Hall of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China on April 1.
EXO-K and EXO-M released their debut single MAMA on April 8, followed by an EP MAMA, on April 9. On April 8, EXO-K made their debut performance on South Korea's music program The Music Trend, while EXO-M performed at China's 12th Yinyue Fengyun Bang Awards that same day. One day after the release, MAMA reached number one on various Chinese online retailers and music charts. EXO-M's album peaked at number two on China's Sina Album Chart, number Five on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart, and debuted at number twelve on the Billboard World Albums Chart, while EXO-K's album peaked at number one on the Gaon Album Chart and debuted at Number eight on the Billboard World Albums Chart. EXO-M's MAMA music video peaked at number one on Chinese Streaming websites, and EXO-K's version reached to number seven on YouTube's Global Chart.
- Kim Joon Myun- Stage Name is Suho. He is the leader EXO-K and the oldest.
- Byun Baekhyun- He is the second oldest. And is the main vocalist of EXO-K.
- Park Chanyeol- He is the third oldest. And is the main rapper of EXO-K
- Do Kyung Soo- Stage Name is D.O. He is the fourth oldest and is also a main vocalist.
- Kim Jong In- Stage Name is Kai. He is the fifth oldest and the main dancer of the group.
- Oh Sehun- Is the youngest or the maknae of the group
- Wu Yi Fan- Stage name is Kris. He is the leader of EXO-M. The third oldest
- Kim Min Seok- Stage name is Xiumin. The oldest of EXO-M and all of EXO
- Luhan- Main vocalist and is the second oldest of EXO-M and all of EXO
- Zhang Yixing- Stage name is Lay. He is the main dancer and 4th oldest.
- Kim Jongdae- Stage name is Chen. Main Vocalist and 5th oldest.
- Huang Zitao- Stage name is Tao. The youngest of EXO-M and is the Wushu expert of EXO