The members of 2PM all auditioned (except Nichkhun, who was scouted.) to become part of JYP Entertainment, to which the Wonder girl’s & 2AM also belong. Some members held their auditions in other countries; for example, Park Jaebeom auditioned in the United States. Other members already had experience in the entertainment industry prior to their acceptance into JYP Entertainment, such as Kim Junsu, who had won various singing competitions, and Ok Taecyeon, Lee Junho and Hwang Chansung, who had participated in the show ‘SuperStar Survival’.
2PM’s and 2AM’s training days were filmed in a documentary called Hot Blood Men, which aired on Mnet. The show documented the time by time training program of the JYP trainees who were to be part of the group “One Day”, as well as the elimination of three trainees from the group during the time.
2008: Debut and early success
Unlike other Korean record labels, their record label JYP Entertaiment opted to promote them with a more mature than “pretty-boy” (in Korean ggotminam) image.
2PM debuted with their single “10 Jeom Manjeom 10 Jeom” (10점 만점에 10점, lit. 10 Points Out Of 10 Points) on September 4, 2008. On October 17, 2008, they began promotion of “Only You”, another song from their debut mini album “Hottest Time of the Day.”
On April 16, 2009, the group released their second mini album 2PM Time For Change, which they began promoting on April 23. On May 9, 2009, they won their first Mutizen Song award onM!Countdown since their debut; in the same week, they won their second Mutizen on SBS Inkigayo. The group earned their third Mutizen the following week, completing the triple crown and making them ineligible to win for the following weeks. However, the award that had been eluding them – Music Bank – was quickly won soon after. On June 11, 2PM began promotions for “Niga Mipda” (니가 밉다, lit. I Hate You) on M!Countdown. On July 2 and 3, 2PM achieved first place on the M!Countdown and Music Bank charts for the song “Niga Mipda”. They achieved the triple crown for the song onM!Countdown by July 16. On July 30, 2PM won the ‘Only One Song’ award on M!Countdown.
2009: Controversy and rise to prominence
On September 4, 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 Entertaiment . Jaebeom issued an apology regarding this matter. Although outraged protesters demanded that Jaebeom should be forced out of 2PM, JYP Entertainment CEO Park Jin Young stated on September 7 that he was going to continue to remain part of the group. The following day, Jaebeom announced on his official fancafe that he would be leaving the group and returning to the United States, with plans of going back to school and bettering his understanding of music, and also apologized to the other 2PM members for not being a good leader and older brother to the group. Park Jin-young has confirmed that he will respect the singer’s decision, and that 2PM will continue on as a 6-member group. Additionally, due to the sensitive topic of Jaebeom’s departure, all 2PM members were withdrawn from their regular appearances on variety shows.
The group finished re-filming their music video for “Heartbeat”, the title song of their first full-length album, without Jaebeom on October 31, 2009. During a press conference, it was revealed that Jaebeom’s vocals would not be removed from the songs. The day after the now 6-member 2PM’s full-length album was released, Park Jin-young released a statement that Jaebeom would return as a member of 2PM if he wanted to make a comeback, while indicating that his return was not imminent. In further support of Jaebeom’s place in the group, the six 2PM members have also decided to distribute their income from their 1st album with him, sending him an equally divided amount of the earnings.
The group’s first full length album, titled 1:59 PM, was released on November 10, 2009. Both the album and title track, “Heartbeat”, quickly rose to the #1 position on multiple music sales charts. The group made their first comeback performance, signifying the beginning of their promotional activities for the album, on M.Net’s ‘O Good Concert’ on Thursday, November 12, 2009, subsequently making their KBS Music Bank, MBC Music Core and SBS Inkigayo comebacks on Friday, November 13, Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15, respectively.
On November 20, 2009, 2PM performed at and was honored with two awards by the M.ent Asian Music Awards (previously known as M.net KM Music Festival): the award for Best Male Group and Artist of the Year (the latter being one of the three most prestigious awards, or “Daesang”s, at the show, which also include Song of the Year and Album of the Year). The group paid homage to him during their performance of “Again & Again”, in which a spotlight was shown over Jaebeom’s usual position in the dance formation and his vocals were not replaced.
On November 26, 2009, after two weeks of promotional activities for the 1:59PM album, 2PM earned their first #1 on a TV music show (KBS Music Bank’s “K-Chart”) 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 December 30, 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.
2PM followed up end-of-2009 activities with the second single off of 1:59PM album, “Tired of Waiting”. The song was performed live for the first time at the SBS Music Festival on December 29, 2009. 2PM’s promotion for the album ended with their SBS Inkigayo performance on January 17, 2010.
2010: Don’t Stop Can’t Stop
On February 25, 2010, JYP Entertainment announced that Park Jaebom would not be returning to 2PM, as his contract with the company had been permanently terminated. A fan meeting/press conference was held two days later with the 6 remaining members of 2PM and JYP Entertainment CEO Choi Jungwook in attendance, where it was announced that although 2PM would continue promoting as 6 members, a new leader would not be chosen to replace Park.
In mid-April 2010, 2PM released image and video teasers for their third single Don’t Stop Can’t Stop, for which the group promised to showcase an even stronger side of themselves than before. The EP, containing six tracks, was released on April 19, 2010. The lead single, Without U, quickly rose to the #1 position on 6 different music charts. The group made their television performance comeback on Mnet’s music program M! Countdown on April 22, 2010.
2PM has been confirmed as the opening act for their label-mates, popular girl group Wonder girl for 9 shows on the latter’s United States headlining summer tour. 2PM also performed at the 8th annual Korea Times Music Festival in Los Angeles, California on May 1, 2010, and at the Dream Concert in Seoul, South Korea on May 22, 2010.
On May 24, 2010, 2PM released the song “What’s Your Celebration?” for the FIFA 2010 world cup. The song samples K’naan’s Wavin Flag.
On July 11, Taecyeon & Wooyoung left the position of MCs at SBS Inkigayo. And a while after, on August 2, Wooyoung also left Winwin to concentrated on 2PM’s busy schedule. Then they have prepared so hard for their 1st concert in Seoul & Busan. The 1st concerts took place on July 31, August 1 (in Seoul) & August 7, 8 (in Busan) (2AM & missA were invited as the guests of the concert).
2PM’s first concerts were ended successfully with the number of 12,000 people (not only are Korean, but also come from Japan, Taiwan, China & Thailand) attended each day. In these concerts, 2PM performed in turn all their hit-songs since 2008. Also, the members put their impressive solo performances on the stage; which attracted a lot attention. The concerts ended with the song “THANK YOU” written by 2PM. 2PM sent the messages to all fans, who always stand by them & support them no matter what. Towards these concerts, 2PM proved how they improved & how they passed through together with their fans, Hotttest. After the success of first concert, JYPE has informed that 2PM will have two encore concerts in Seoul on September 4 & 5 to celebrate their 2nd anniversary.
On October 11, 2010, 2PM released their fourth extended play, Still 2:00 PM, with the lead single “I’ll Be Back” staying at number one for two consecutive weeks in the Music Bank On November 1, 2010, Still 2:00PM debuted unexpectedly on the 13th spot of the Billboard’s World Album-Chart though no specific promotions for the album were made in the US.
2PM was granted the “Most Popular Asian Singer” award at the Mandarin Music Honors 2010 in China. The boys attended the grand event on October 18th at Wukesong Arena; it was the tenth annual MMH, and was broadcasted on MTV and CCTV in China. 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 ever won the “Most Popular Asian Singer” award. To the delight of fans, boys performed “Heartbeat” and their new hit, “I’ll Be Back.” 2PM shared, “We are so happy to be at one of Asia’s biggest music award shows as Korea’s representative; we wanted to perform for all our Asian fans. We also won this award! We would appreciate more love and support in the future.”
2PM officially debuted on Japan on December 8th with their first live event in Japan at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Gymnasium, a place well known for sumo games. The platinum showcase was called the “2PM 1st Contact in JAPAN” LIVE. The stadium holds more than 10,000 spectators and 2PM put on a total of three showcase performances, so in total more than 30,000 people came to get a glimpse of 2PM.
2011 – Present
On March 6, 2011, it was announced that 2PM will release their Japanese Debut-Single “Take Off” on May 18, which was also featured as an Ending Song for the Blue Exorcist anime series. Due to the major online pre-order of the limited version A, regular version and limited version B of the single, “Take Off” has ranked from No. 1 to 3, respectively, on the pre-order chart of Tower Records Japan. It has also reached No.1 in the USEN’s J-Pop Chart. 2PM is the first Korean band that has reached that spot in this particular chart.
While dominating the music charts with #1 spot on Japanese music charts with ‘Take Off,’ 2PM also managed to dominate ticket booth sales as they quickly sold out all the seats for their Japanese concert tour. Well, the tour is over now and it has reportedly been a huge success. 2PM’s first Japanese concert tour–entitled ‘2PM 1st Japan Tour 2011 ‘Take Off”–kicked off in Sapporo on May 6th and ended earlier today on the 13th in Tokyo. Tour stops also included Fukuoka (8th), Osaka (9th) and Nagoya (10th). 2PM also added another concert in Tokyo on the 12th to please fans who couldn’t get a hold of a ticket when they were first released. In response to the success of their tour, 2PM stated, “Before the tour started, we were nervous and had our worries. However, the love that our fans showed us at the concert became our strength; it was really touching. We deeply thank our Japanese fans for loving both our music and us. In addition, we want to thank the staff members for working so hard. We will work even harder in the future.”
After 2PM’s first venture to the Japanese music market, JYP Entertainment released a set of publicity photos of the band along the tracklist of their upcoming second studio album entitled “Hands Up” on June 12, 2011. One day later, MTV korea announced the release date of the album as June 20.The MV for the title track was filmed in Singapore and for the first time, the album featured two songs composed by 2PM members: “HOT” by Junsu and “Give it to Me” by Junho.
Hands Up successfully managed to snag the coveted “all-kill” crown on all of the major charts. Not only has their title track landed at the number one spot, several of their ancillary songs on their album also managed to place on the charts as well. The promotions ended on Sunday, July 24th, with a total of only 1 month after its release in order for the boys to prepare for their japanese promotions and their ‘Hands Up Asia Tour’.
Starting in July, “2PM Show“ will broadcast on SBS’s E!TV cable channel with all six members, and it will mark the first time 2PM emcees a program with their name on it. SBS E!TV’s PD Kim Yong Kyu expressed great anticipation for the show, as he stated, “The key point is that all of the members will be included in the show. 2PM is showing great enthusiasm for the program, especially because the show will require the members to fulfill missions given to them by the viewers.” “2PM Show” will heavily rely on social networking sites to communicate with fans and netizens alike. Currently, producers are utilizing the official “2PM Show”Twitter website to ask survey questions such as “Which member seems to have the least perseverance?”, “Who is most likely to be the best father in the future?”, “Who is most likely to get married first?“, and more. PD Kim commented further by saying, “We will not only focus on 2PM’s younger fan base, but also on their growing 20-to-40 year old fan base as well. The program will concentrate on unlikely mission topics like ‘Be a father for a day’ to appeal to a larger audience. 2PM will distance themselves from their ‘beastly idol’ image and will even take on a cooking mission as well.” 2PM previously starred in cable shows like “Wild Bunny” and “Idol Army Season 3” during their rookie years. However, after their rise in popularity, it is rare for all the 2PM members to appear on a single show together. As such, fans are showing fervent support for the show, especially because of the busy overseas and individual schedules the members had to endure until now. Regarding 2PM’s busy schedule, PD Kim replied, “The members have shown an interest in having a show with their own name before. It is true that 2PM has a tight schedule, but the members have a strong desire to carry out the program, so I do not expect members to pull out midway through.”
On September 2nd, ‘Beast idols’ 2PM finally held their first concert for their first Asia tour titled “2PM HANDS UP TOUR CONCERT“. With amazing performances, stellar live vocals as well as colorful stages, this 2PM concert made the crowd’s hearts beat with excitement and sheer satisfaction. The concert was applauded as a success, and the boys hope to deliver even better ones for the future stops. 2PM stated with overflowing joy, “We waited patiently and prepared diligently for today, the day we got to meet with our fans. The two hours we spent together was like a happy dream. Armed with the love and energy that fans gave us today, we will show an even better stage for our Asia Tour. For the people who suffered for our fans and our concert, thank you. We will always be a 2PM who tries our best“. 2PM kicked off their Asia Tour with a two-day concert in Seoul on September 2nd and 3rd. They headed to Taiwan for October 7th and 8th, Indonesia for November 11th, Singapore for November 19th and Malaysia for November 26th until now.
On November 30, 2011, 2PM released their first studio album in Japanese language called “REPUBLIC OF 2PM”. It contains all their japanese singles released so far (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 Junsu for Japanese fans called “Hanarete Itemo,” and 4 other completely new songs. The main point of the album artwork motif is a taste of the 50’s and 60’s. The high production cost of this unique work includes a reserved hotel, a gigantic constructed set, a chartered helicopter, a limousine, and more.
The boys of 2PM showcased their masculine appeals at their most recent Arena Tour stop. 2PM kicked off their first Japanese Arena Tour: ‘Republic of 2PM‘ at the Osaka-Jo Hall on December 5th and 6th, and their explosive fame was confirmed by the 20,000 fans that filled every seat in the enormous facility. The arena tour began after the boys released their first full-length Japanese album ‘Republic Of 2PM’, and they will be performing 9 shows total in six different cities. The members performed their major Korean hits as well as the songs from their first full-length Japanese album. 2PM put on an energetic performance that lit up the stage, and even spoke to their fans in an Osakan accent. 2PM also gifted their fans with a performance of “Hanarete Itemo“, a song member Junsu wrote and composed for their fans, which caused the touched audience members to shed some emotional tears. The official Japanese 2PM fanclub ‘Hottest Japan‘ was also established along with the arena tour kick off, and the boys will be heading to Nagoya to perform on the 8th, followed by Tokyo on the 14th, Fukuoka on the 17th and 18th, and the Nippon Budokan on the 20st and 21st.
In order to celebrate their first anniversary in Japan, 2PM held a special event for the chosen 10,000 of the many fans that purchased their first japanese album ‘Republic of 2PM‘ on December 10 at Makuhari Messe. The night was filled with fun programs, such as special video footage, a talk show, Q&A session, a quiz game, present give-away, and more.
Oricon released their sales for 2011, announcing that 2PM was the 2nd best selling new artist in Japan, only behind Jhonny & Associates’s group Kis-My-FT2, with 990 million yen (12.68 million USD) only in singles, albums and DVDs sales.
2PM concluded their “2PM Arena Tour 2011 ‘Republic of 2PM’” at the Nippon Budokan on December 21st. During the final encore, 10,000 fans sang “Hanarete itemo” surprising the boys. 2PM thanked the audience with teary eyes by saying, “We were deeply moved by everyone’s surprise event“. 2PM is already scheduled to have a 6 day performance at Nippon Budokan. While reflecting on their tour 2PM remarked, “It’s hard to believe that our first arena tour is over. Thank you so much. When you’re tired or when it’s hard, we hope that you can look back at this moment and get energy and power from it. We hope to continue making great music. Let’s see each other again at our next live!”. In regards to the impact 2PM’s upcoming Budokan performance, JYPE recently commented, “While other Korean artists have performed at the Budokan, never before has a K-pop act held six consecutive shows. 2PM will be the first ever Korean band to do that. Given that they only made their official Japanese debut last year, this is a phenomenal feat.”
2PM made their first overseas performance in Thailand in late February 2009 at the Nine Entertain Awards. On June 25, they released their “Thailand Special Edition” album, and began promotions in Thailand shortly afterward. 2PM also performed at the Pop Music Awards in Pattaya.
2PM advanced into the Chinese market on November 25, 2009 as they met with their Chinese fans at the 2009 Hanryu showcase (Korea-China Music Festival), held in Shanghai, China. 2PM planned to gradually enter the market through promotions and the release of their first full album.
Malaysia & Philippines
JYPE released 2PM first full album 1:59 in Malaysia and Philippines through Sony Music Malaysia and Philippines.
Their popularity among Japanese fans has grown tremendously since the release of their first official album, 1:59 PM—a 2PM Café just opened up in Shibuya, and all last week, 2PM stole the top five spots on the widely-known Japanese ringtone site called Recochoku. Furthermore, the KPop group released their first ever DVD entitled, Hottest, which showcases their entire music video collection as well as some photo shoot footage and a general history of them becoming 2PM. A sneak preview of Hottest was held in Ginza before the release, and the excitement was a sure sign of the product’s imminent success, as over 1,000 fans attended the event. The DVD was then available for purchase beginning November 23 and quickly hit number two on the Ociron charts. Now, on the second day of sales, it has been reported that the DVD it at #1.A
The Japanese music market has been the only international music market so far that 2PM has specifically focused on by releasing exclusive singles and a studio album in Japanese Language
In December 2008, 2PM began to host the third season of MBC’s Idol Show (아이돌군단의 떴다!그녀).The segment ran from December 4, 2008 to March 26, 2009, with a total of seventeen episodes.
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 July 21, 2009 to September 1, 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 are 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 will act as a make-believe husband to Victoria of Korean girl group F(X).
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 Thailand 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, Junsu 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 has been chosen along Girl’s Generationto be the spokesperson for Caribbean bay, Shortly after, the members of 2PM (expect 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 June 8th 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 (Nickhun), second (2PM), and tenth (Ok Taec Yeon) in the popularity list, tenth (2PM) in total number of commercials, and ninth (2PM) and tenth (Nickhun) 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.”