2PM (Hangul: 투피엠) is a South Korean boy band managed by JYP Entertainment. The current members areJun. K (formerly known as Junsu), Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho and Chansung. Former leader, Jay Park, officially left the group in early 2010.
The members of 2PM found their start under Korean musician Park Jin Young, who formed an eleven-member band known as One Day. Eventually the band was split into 2PM, and a similar but independent group known as2AM. 2PM debuted with the song “10 Jeom Manjeome 10 Jeom” (10점 만점에 10점, lit. 10 Points Out of 10 Points), which showcased their acrobatic dance styles. They achieved their first Number 1 single with “Again & Again”. Both singles featured on their first studio album, The First Album 1:59PM, released in 2009. The band went on to release another Korean album, known as Hands Up, in 2011. They made their Japanese debut later that year with Republic of 2PM.
The members of 2PM all auditioned (except Nichkhun, who was scouted)) to become part of JYP Entertainment. Some members already had experience in the entertainment industry, including Jun. K, who had won several singing competitions. Ok Taecyeon, Lee Junho and Chansung had participated in the show SuperStar Survival. Meanwhile, two members were from America: Jaebeom was from theSeattle area, while Nichkhun was from Southern California. Taecyeon spent seven years in Massachusetts before returning to Korea.
Originally, the members of 2PM were part of a larger group known as One Day. A documentary called Hot Blood Men captured the group’s training days. In this documentary, former member Jaebeom finished at the top spot and received the most fan votes. It also featured the elimination of three trainees from the group: Lee Swichi, Im Daehun, and Yoon Doo-joon were all cut.
Debut and controversy
Most Korean boy bands have adopted a “pretty boy” (Korean: ggotminam) image. JYP Entertainment opted to brand them as a more mature group.
Jaebeom was chosen to serve as the group’s leader, as he was the oldest member and also the one where all the members acknowledged as the most talented one. He would play key roles in several of the band’s early singles and associated music videos.
In April 2009, the group released their second mini album, 2:00PM Time For Change, which they began promoting that month. In May they won their first Mutizen Song award on M!Countdown, followed by two more and a Music Bank award. On 11 June, 2PM began promotions for “Niga Mipda” (니가 밉다, lit. I Hate You) on M!Countdown. In July 2PM achieved first place on the M!Countdown and Music Bank charts for the song “Niga Mipda”. On 30 July, 2PM won the ‘Only One Song’ award on M!Countdown.
Later that year a controversy regarding Jaebeom emerged. On 4 September 2009, articles surfaced on the internet regarding Jaebeom‘s posts from 2005 on his personal Myspace account, in which he expressed his dislike for Korea while still a trainee for JYP Entertainment. These posts, leaked by a netizen who hacked his Myspace account, were taken out of context and severely misinterpreted by the Korean media. Jaebeom issued an apology regarding this matter. Although some demanded that Jaebeom should be forced out of 2PM, JYP Entertainment CEO Park Jin-young stated on 7 September lent the singer a vote of confidence, suggesting that he would remain in the group. Yet the following day, Jaebeom announced on his official fancafe that he would leave the group and return to the United States for a while to calm the situation. He planned to return to school and improve his understanding of music. At the same time, he apologized to his fellow band members for not being a good leader and older brother for them. He also promised to come as a better person.Park Jin-young confirmed that 2PM would continue on as a six-member group. Due to the sensitive topic of Jaebeom‘s departure, 2PM withdrew for several weeks from their appearances on variety shows.
First album and rise to prominence
Despite the controversy, the group went ahead with release of its first studio album. Known as 01:59PM, the album was released on 10 November 2009. Yet questions about Jaebeom remained. The day after the album’s release, Park Jin-young announced that Jaebeom could return to 2PM if he wished to make a comeback, although the singer’s return was not imminent. In support of Jaebeom, the six 2PM members decided to equally split their income from their first album with him. The album included tracks voiced by Jaebeom, although his face was excluded from the cover. The group finished re-filming their music video for “Heartbeat“, the title song, without Jaebeom in October 2009. Nevertheless, Jaebeom’s vocals remained in the audio track.
Both the album and title track, “Heartbeat,” quickly rose to the number one position on multiple music sales charts. The group began promotional activities for the album on a variety of music shows, including M.Net O Good Concert, KBS Music Bank, MBC Music Core and SBS Inkigayo in November 2009.[importance?]
A week and a half after the album’s release, 2PM performed at and was honored at the M.net Asian Music Awards[importance?] with awards for Best Male Group and Artist of the Year (the latter being one of the three most prestigious awards at the show). The group paid homage to Jaebeom during their performance of “Again & Again”. During the performance, a spotlight shone over Jaebeom’s usual position in the dance formation, and his vocals played over the speakers without being replaced.
In late November 2009, after two weeks of promotional activities for the 1:59PM, 2PM earned their first #1 on a TV music show (KBS Music Bank’s “K-Chart”)[importance?] since the album’s release, with “Heartbeat”, which went on to take #1 on the K-Chart for three more weeks. In addition, “Heartbeat” achieved the “Mutizen” song award Triple Crown on SBS Inkigayo by being the #1 song the Inkigayo “Take 7” chart for three weeks, the maximum amount of time for which a nominated song is eligible to win. On 30 December 2009, at Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)’s end of the year Music Festival, “Again & Again” was recognized as “Song of the Year”, winning with 57,060 votes.[importance?]
2PM’s second single from 01:59PM was “Tired of Waiting”. The song was performed live for the first time at the SBS Music Festival in December 2009. 2PM’s promotion for the album ended with their SBS Inkigayo performance in January 2010.
Don’t Stop Can’t Stop
In February 2010, JYP Entertainment announced that Jaebeom would not return to 2PM, as his contract with the company had been permanently terminated, with the agreement of all 6 members. A combined fan meeting and press conference was held two days later with the six remaining members of 2PM and JYP Entertainment CEO Choi Jungwook in attendance. Various 2PM fansites were shut down immediately after the conference as a protest of Jaebeom‘s termination. Management announced that although 2PM would move forward with six members, a new leader would not be chosen to replace Jaebeom.
In April 2010, the band released Don’t Stop Can’t Stop, a mini-album consisting of six tracks. The group intended for the release to illustrate a stronger[clarification needed] side of themselves than did their previous releases. The lead single, Without U, quickly rose to the #1 position on six different Korean music charts. The group made their television performance comeback[clarification needed] on Mnet’s music program M! Countdown in April 2010.
2PM served as the opening act for nine Wonder Girls summer shows in the United States in 2010. 2PM also performed at the eighth annual Korea Times Music Festival in Los Angeles, California in May 2010, and at the Dream Concert in Seoul, South Korea in May 2010.
In July 2010, Taecyeon and Wooyoung left their position of emcees at SBS Inkigayo. The next month, Wooyoung also left Winwin[clarification needed] to concentrate on 2PM’s busy schedule. The 1st concerts took place on 31 July, 1 August (in Seoul) & 7, 8 August (in Busan) (2AM & Miss A were invited as the guests of the concert).
More than 12,000 fans attended 2PM’s first concerts in Seoul. 2PM performed all their hit-songs since 2008 plus solo performance from each member. 2PM held two encore concerts in Seoul on 4–5 September to celebrate their second anniversary.
In October 2010, 2PM released their fourth EP, Still 2:00PM, with the lead single “I’ll Be Back” staying at number one for two consecutive weeks in theMusic Bank. In November 2010, Still 2:00PM debuted unexpectedly on the 13th spot of the Billboard’s World Album-Chart though no promotions for the album were made in the United States.
2PM was granted the “Most Popular Asian Singer” award at the Mandarin Music Honors 2010 in China.[context?] The group attended the event on 18 October at Wukesong Arena; it was the tenth annual MMH. Previously, Rain, Jang Nara, and Shin Seung Hoon have each taken home the “Year’s Best Korean Singer” award, but this is the first time a Korean artist has won the “Most Popular Asian Singer” award. 2PM performed “Heartbeat” and “I’ll Be Back”.
2PM officially made their Japanese debut in December 2010 with their first live event in Japan at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Gymnasium, a place well known for sumo games. The platinum showcase was called “2PM 1st Contact in JAPAN” LIVE.
Japanese debut and Hands Up
In May 2011, 2PM released their Japanese debut-single, “Take Off.” The song was featured as an ending song in the Blue Exorcist anime series. Due to considerable online pre-orders of the limited version A, regular version and limited version B of the single, “Take Off” ranked from No. 1 to 3, respectively, on the pre-order chart of Tower Records Japan. It also reached Number 1 in the USEN’s J-Pop Chart. 2PM was the first Korean band to top that chart.
2PM’s first Japanese concert tour, known as the “2PM 1st Japan Tour 2011 Take Off,” began in Sapporo on 6 May and ended a week later in Tokyo.
In June 2011, JYP Entertainment released the tracklist of their upcoming second studio album, which would be known as “Hands Up.” The album was released later that month on 20 June 2011. For the first time, the album featured two songs composed by 2PM members: “HOT” by Minjun and “Give it to Me” by Junho.
Hands Up got an “all-kill” crown on all of the major charts. Their title track landed at number one, and several additional songs also placed. The promotion period for the album was short; it ended just one month after the album’s release. This allowed the band to prepare for their Japanese promotions and for their “Hands Up Asia Tour.”
The 2PM Show began broadcasting in July 2011 on SBS’s E!TV cable channel and featured all six members. It was the first time 2PM would emcee a program with their name on it.
On 30 November 2011, 2PM released their first studio album in Japanese language, Republic of 2PM. It contains all of their Japanese singles released to date (Take Off, I’m Your Man and Ultra Lover) plus the Japanese version of their most recent Korean hit song “Hands Up”, as well as a new song composed by Minjun for Japanese fans called “Hanarete Itemo” (離れていても, Even When We’re Apart) and 4 other completely new songs. The main point of the album artwork motif is a taste of the 50’s and 60’s.
Oricon released their sales for 2011, announcing that 2PM was the 2nd best selling new artist in Japan, only behind Johnny & Associates‘s group Kis-My-FT2, with 990 million yen (12.68 million USD) only in singles, albums and DVDs sales.
In April 2012, 2PM announced plans to release a documentary film with 2AM, to be known as Beyond The One Day, in Japan. One Day refers to the group from which 2PM and 2AM both split. On 13 April, they released the trailer for the film.
The group also starred in a reality show on M.net, titled “Wild Bunny”, in which the members escaped the pressures of stardom by performing ten forbidden activities of idols. The show ran from 21 July 2009 to 1 September 2009, with seven episodes aired; the airing of the final episode, which coincidentally featured the members engaged in a “Leader Olympics” game to select a new leader, was postponed indefinitely due to Jaebeom‘s internet controversy and his subsequent departure from the group.
In addition, Taecyeon and Wooyoung have been hosting SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System)’s weekly music show Inkigayo, while Jaebeom and Chansung have also made regular appearances on ‘Introducing Star Friends’. Since Jaebeom was voted off, Nichkhun replaced his position as the guest. Nichkhun and Wooyoung were also frequent guests on SBS’s variety talent show Star King between April and October 2009, with the other 2PM members occasionally joining them.
Recently, Taecyeon became a permanent cast member of the second season of Family Outing, a celebrity variety show airing on SBS. Wooyoung is also now a co-host of the KBS celebrity talk show Win Win. In March 2010, Junho returned as a permanent cast member of the sports variety show Dream Team 2, also on KBS, for which he was part of the pilot episode in September before having to withdraw due to Jaebeom’s controversy. In June 2010, Nichkhun signed on to be a part of the popular MBC celebrity reality show We Got Married, where he acted as a make-believe husband to Victoria of Korean girl group f(x).
The members of 2PM have made numerous appearances in TV series, commonly known as K-Dramas, from cameos to lead roles. Chansung, even before 2PM’s debut, has starred in MBC‘s “Unstoppable High Kick“, along famous actors such as Jung Il Woo, Park Min Young and Kim Bum, continuing his acting career with roles in “Jungle Fish”, Japanese drama “Kaitō Royale” and a cameo in KBS‘s “Dream High“. Taecyeon and Wooyoung have also had lead roles in the popular television series “Dream High” broadcasted by KBS in 2011, along top actor Kim Soo Hyun and celebrities from the Korean music scene, including IU and miss A‘s Suzy. Taecyeon has also had roles in “Cinderella’s Sister” and in the drama of Japanese production “Boku to Star no 99 Nichi.
In March 2009, 2PM was selected to model for EXR, a clothing company in Korea. In July 2009, the members of 2PM were selected as the representatives of foreign artists by the Thai government-led tourism campaign, I Love Thailand. Member Nichkhun has also been selected by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) as the face of their newest campaign, “Come to Thailand; Let’s Take a Break!”
In August 2009, 2PM collaborated with the Body Shop in ‘Soft Hands, Kind Heart’, a worldwide campaign that calls for the protection of children and teenagers against sex trafficking. The members will act as Korea’s spokespeople for the campaign.
In late October 2009, a commercial film (CF) of 2PM promoting Hanami (a Thai snack company) was released, which also included Jaebeom; the commercial was said to be filmed prior to his departure in September.
November 2009 saw multiple new endorsement deals for the group, the first of which being a commercial and print campaign for Market O’s “Real Brownie” pastry. Shortly thereafter, the group endorsed the Samsung Corby mobile phone, one of the newest mobile devices in Samsung’s popular “Anycall” series, both on television and on the Samsung website. 2PM is also currently endorsing Paris-Croissant Food Company‘s Paris Baguette bakery franchise, for which the group recorded a special Christmas song and are featured in a series of commercials with popular Korean actress Kim Tae Hee.
In 2010, 2PM has signed on to endorse Coca-Cola as well as the clothing company SPRIS (also known as PONY). Members Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Minjun and Wooyoung endorse Cass Beer, and Nichkhun has continued advertising for the Suzuki Jelato motorcycle in Thailand. In addition, 2PM now endorses Calvin Klein South Korea, as well as, most recently, It’s Skin, a South Korean cosmetics and skin care brand.
In mid-2010, 2PM were chosen along with Girls’ Generation to be the spokesperson for Caribbean Bay. Shortly after, the members of 2PM (except for Nichkhun) were chosen to sing the song “Fly to Seoul (Boom Boom Boom)” to support tourism in Korea. Due to renewal of their endorsement deal with Samsung, 2PM recorded the song “Nori For U” for Samsung Anycall NORi.
On 8 June 2011, 2PM participated in Coca Cola‘s 125th anniversary event, held at the Canon Plex Gallery in Apgujung, Seoul. To commemorate the milestone, Coca Cola opened an exhibition with their logo collector’s items and consumer products at the Gallery. Since they’re popular endorsement models for the brand, 2PM were invited to the event and even presented a Coca Cola bottle that they had designed themselves. A giant cake also wowed the crowd with its unique design featuring 125 special bottles and Coca Cola’s limited-edition NRGB bottle.
For 2011, 2PM topped the TV commercial charts of the biggest advertising portal site as hit models because they hold the most viewed commercials. 2PM ranked first (Nichkhun), second (2PM), and tenth (Taecyeon) in the popularity list, tenth (2PM) in total number of commercials, and ninth (2PM) and tenth (Nichkhun) in average ratings. Through this, 2PM have proved that they are TV commercial models loved by both advertisers and consumers. The TV commercial model charts show ranking lists of models based on TV commercials aired on Public TV channels for last 12 months. TVCF’s draws its data from commercials aired on the main channels in the past year, and the site divides up its ranks based on the number of commercials starred in, average grades, number of viewers, and downloads, out of these four charts, 2PM stood out in the viewer hit list. A rep from JYP Entertainment stated, “2PM is not only starring in commercials in Korea, but also in Thailand for the health drink BRAND’S and the body product line Eversense. Countries across Asia such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan are sending in love calls for more.”