What a journey it has been, indeed! In April, EXO marked its 9th debut anniversary. At that time, EXO-Ls, who also go by the endearment Eris/Aeris that Baekhyun made, celebrated this wonderful milestone with a plethora of projects, brief to lengthy heartfelt messages that took over K-pop Twitter and beyond, fanmade video edits featuring the group through the years, and more—and the nine EXO members were nothing but grateful. And with all these, one can say that EXO-Ls and EXO have stood by each other’s side through thick and thin.
As we celebrate EXO-Ls’ 7th birthday on August 5, let’s have a recap of several of the many proofs that the nonet and their fandom got each other’s backs, and the attestations that EXO and EXO-Ls have a relationship like no other.
1. Baekhyun and Chanyeol release contents for fans even while they’re enlisted.
Missing ChanBaek? Fret not, ‘cause they got you covered!
Knowing that they’d be away for two years, both Baekhyun and Chanyeol expressed their consideration for EXO-Ls as they pre-recorded contents before they commenced fulfilling their mandatory military service.
Chanyeol’s videos get released one by one on his channel, NNG, every 27th of the month; while Baekhyun drops a new vlog every month on his own YouTube channel, 백현 Baekhyun.
2. EXO pushed through with their performance even without getting paid.
EXO was scheduled for a performance at the K-Friend Concert in Shanghai back in 2016, but they didn’t get a single penny for it. Reports revealed that there were contractual issues between the event organizer and the agencies involved, leading to the group and other lineup of performers receiving the same mistreatment.
But the EXO members insisted on proceeding with their performance—even with no makeup on, no rehearsals, no food, the stage unappealing, no nothing—for the fans who attended, and to celebrate EXO-Ls’ 600th day! And did we forget to mention that Kai’s leg was injured at that time? Talk about dedication!
3. EXO-Ls gifted EXO with this simple but huge project.
During the EXO’RDIUM DOT IN SEOUL in 2017, EXO-Ls filled the entire stadium and collaboratively utilized it for a big surprise. Seen all over the arena during Day 1 was the vast balloon sign project that EXO-Ls organized, which read, “EXO [heart] EXO-L”.
On Day 2, the project continued and showed the message: “NO EXO, NO LIFE”.
4. Bunnyzens volunteered to participate in Suho’s drama “The Universe’s Star”.
EXO’s Suho headlined and portrayed the role of an idol in the mini-series “The Universe’s Star” in 2017. And here was where his fans, called the Bunnyzens, extended their love for the “Self-Portrait” singer as they volunteered to appear in his drama without pay just to show their support to EXO’s leader.
5. Soondingies spearheaded this new fandom culture.
Did you know? The fanmade online concert trended among K-pop fandoms because of EXO’s Chen’s fans!
In April 2020, three months after Chen announced his marriage, Soondingies expressed their ceaseless support for the singer through their organized online concert called “DAECON” (an amalgamation of Chen’s real name Jongdae and Concert). This fanmade concert was held on Mixlr, where over 100,000 fans listened to Chen’s incredible vocals.
After “DAECON,” more fan bases followed suit for their favorite acts, with some even advancing to Twitch. But even then, it’s safe to say that Soondingies are trendsetters!
6. Chanyeol’s tattoo symbolizes his love for EXO-Ls.
We still can’t hold back from blushing and feel loved whenever we recall Chanyeol’s words: “All of you will always be a part of my body until the day I die.”
He was referring to his tattoo—L-1485—which stands for the date the fandom was born: August 5, 2014.
7. EXO-Ls celebrated Chen’s new milestone in life.
Contrary to the antis who demanded to boot out the main vocalist from EXO, EXO-Ls and Soondingies (who stated that they are the majority) were over the moon after SM Entertainment confirmed in April 2020 that Chen and his wife welcomed their firstborn.
Fans from all over the world celebrated Chen’s new milestone in his life, and the words “CONGRATULATIONS JONGDAE” and the hashtag #CHEN_BEST_DAD (yup, both in all caps for emphasis) landed on the top spots of the trending list of Twitterverse for prolonged hours.
While the details about Chen’ family are kept under wraps, EXO-Ls now call her EXO’s little princess and the rest of the EXO members as her adorkable uncles.
Needless to say, it’s not always that we encounter such an affinity between idols and their fans. There’s honestly a lot to mention that proves how genuine EXO and EXO-Ls’ relationship is, so much so that we’ll probably end up with a 1,485-page book!
Happy birthday, EXO-Ls!