(Source: The Korea Herald 2008.01.24)
TVXQ (a.k.a Dong Bang Shin Ki or Tohoshinki), a five-member Korean boy band popular across Asia, has topped Japan's Oricon Weekly chart -- the first time a non-Japanese band has done so.
In this week's rundown of the most influential Japanese music chart, released Tuesday, the vocal group's 16th album titled "Purple Line" ranked first. The title song of the best-of album, released in Japan on Jan. 16, also topped the Oricon Daily Single Top 10 on the its day of release -- the band hitting No. 1 on the Japanese Billboard for the second time, following their 12th "Summer Dream" album released last summer.
The Oricon Charts are based solely on the number of albums sold during the week and is the most influential music chart in Japan. Including the two regular albums, all of their 17 records ever launched in Japan, except for the first single, "HUG International Version," made the top 10. "Such an achievement proves that our localization strategy was successful," SM Entertainment, a major talent agency behind the band, said in a press release.
Before the boy band, the only non-Japanese musician to reach the top of the weekly chart was BoA. Last year, BoA became the first non-Japanese pop artist to have five albums topping the chart, when her fifth album "Made in Twenty," achieved the honor in April.
BoA, 20, established herself as one of the top stars in the Asian music scene after her 2002 album "Listen to My Heart" reached No. 1 on Japan's single charts, the first foreign singer ever to do so. BoA's record of five chart-topping albums ranks second in Japan, only behind Hamasaki Ayumi's eight.
Put together by SM Entertainment, the group is composed of five members -- "Micky," "Hero," "Max," "You-Know," and "Xiah" -- specializing in the areas of dance, a cappella, acting and pop with an R&B vibe. Although the band was initially marketed as an a cappella group, most of the group's music is mainstream K-pop.
Last year, the group became the first Asian band to win two Thailand Music Awards for both Best Music Video ("Rising Sun") and Favorite Asian Artist. They also won the Popular Vote Asia Artist award at the Virgin Hits Awards 2006 in Thailand.
"TVXQ's popularity has soared recently in Japan, as they have put more emphasis on the Japanese market since last year," the press release said. Recent research conducted by Oricon shows that, after the release of "Purple Line," the level of familiarity with the group among the Japanese rose up by 6.8 percent to 68.8 percent.
The "Purple Line" album was released here yesterday. Besides the title song, the best-of album contains the remix version of "Dead End," the original version of which was recorded in their "Five in the Black" album, and a highlight DVD of their concerts in Thailand.
credit: Lee Yong-sung ([email protected])
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