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DBSK vs JYJ: Who is More Successful Now?

DBSK/TVXQ broke up in 2009. The three members who left are now known as JYJ. The two bands are undeniably successful.

DBSK/TVXQ broke up in 2009. The three members who left are now known as JYJ. The two bands are undeniably successful.

The DBSK/TVXQ breakup is probably one of the most controversial and heartbreaking disbandment in the young history of Korea entertainment.

While there are a lot of arguments on what really transpired that motivated the three members to leave the group and sue their management company, there is one steadfast truth - JYJ and TVXQ are now living separate lives but pursuing the same career path.

Some people think that JYJ got most of the talent when they left while TVXQ kept the looks. Some think that JYJ is more successful despite the lack of TV appearances while TVXQ has done nothing different since launching as a duo.

Although both are still very much active, the three years of separation give a good indication on who is more successful. Let's determine it in a way that has never been done before, compare their career side by side.

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The - an extended record released in Japan, went number 1 on Oricon chart

SM Announced that DBSK will continue on as a duo

Sold 140,000 copies and the DVD sold 116,000 copies


Avex suspended their contract following some disagreement over contract renegotiation


Released The Beginning, an English-language CD under Warner Music Asia , in October


Collaborated with Kanye West for their carrier single, Ayyy Girl


2 weeks before the release of the album, 500,000 copies had been pre-ordered


Pre-sales for the special edition reached 400,000


Note that JYJ did it all with no TV exposure in Korea




Their Rooms "Our Story" , their first EP, was released January 25, 2011 as a musical essay

Keep Your Head Down - first EP as a duo released January 5, 2011

Majority of the sales was counted as a book but they managed to chart on Hanteo

Went #1 on the Gaon Chart two weeks after release

September, released their first Korean studio album, In Heaven

Gaon Chart's half-year sales chart ranked it as the highest selling album of the year with a total of 230,922 copies sold

Over 300,000 pre-orders on the first day

Repackaged album of Keep Your Head Down ranked #9 and sold 55,243 copies

Sold 165,000 copies within 3 days of released

Japanese single Why? (Keep Your Head Down) was released

Reached 220,000 copies sales

Sold 231,000 copies in the first week


reached #1 on the Oricon singles Daily, Weekly, and Monthly charts


Released the Japanese single Superstar which sold over 184,000 copies


Japanese single 'Winter Rose' was released on November 30


Selected as the commercial song for Seven & i Holdings’s “Winter Gift – Tohoshinki (Snow Episode)” with TVXQ themselves as actors, which begun airing on November 8


TVXQ participated in 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift album with the song "Sleigh Ride”


Tone - Japanese album, released September 28. Over 300,000 copies by month’s end


#1 on Oricon Daily and Weekly Charts, and #1 on Oricon October Monthly Chart.


TVXQ broke Bon Jovi’s record of selling more than 200,000 copies in its first week


TVXQ surpassed the 250,000 mark, and achieved the Platinum certification in just three days of release.



Junsu released his first Korean full-length solo album, Tarantallegra, in May 2012

Japanese single "STILL" went to No. 1 in Oricon Weekly Chart with 138,664 units sold


26th single to enter the Top 10 ranking, breaking BoA’s record of 25


Released 34th single, "Android" on July 11, sold 98,550 copies on the first day, #1 on Oricon chart l


This the group's 11th Oricon Weekly chart topper, breaking the group's record of 10


Recognized by Japan's Oricon chart as the biggest selling international artist in terms of singles with 3,104,000 sales


Broke the 10 year and 10 month long record held by The Carpenters



Jaejonong launched a solo project, January 17, 2013 - mini album titled I/MINE

Time - 6th Japanese album became the fastest selling studio album with 277,000 copies on 1st month

#1 on Hanteo and Gaon weekly charts in Korea

Catch Me - 6th Korean studio album, topped Oricon for the 12th time with the single, "Catch Me - If You Wanna" with over 137,000 copies

Topped the iTunes overall chart in Japan and iTunes rock charts in nine countries

First foreign artists to top the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart 12 times

Junsu released his 2nd album, Incredible last July


The figures already add majority of the singles they put out in Korea and Japan.

The figures already add majority of the singles they put out in Korea and Japan.

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Looking at the figures, it seems the race is tight. With three albums each and if you take into consideration possible sales from the last time the figures were releases, it is possible that the difference is so tight, that it is almost immaterial.

If we count the solo projects, JYJ could have outsold TVXQ BUT we are not counting that. I just put it there for reference but this comparison is about their group.

However, TVXQ released Time and Catch Me which me puts them one album over JYJ. Add to that the records they have broken in Korea and Japan, TVXQ is the clear winner.


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Concerts and Big Performances




Four-day Thanksgiving Live in Dome concerts at Osaka Dome and Tokyo Dome in June

August to September 2010, Yunho and Changmin performed as TVXQ in Seoul, Los Angeles and Shanghai as part of the SMTown Live '10 World Tour

Performances at the nationwide a-nation tour throughout AugustThey also went on a worldwide tour to promote The Beginning






First Worldwide Tour as a group with concerts held in Thailand, Taiwan, China, Canada, and the United States

Performed in A-Nation, made its way through five cities, Ehime, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. During the live concert in Tokyo, TVXQ unexpectedly became the first foreign artist to become A-Nation's "Big Bird," or the ending performer

Charity concert in Tokyo for the victims of Tōhoku Earthquake.

September 2–4, 2011, TVXQ participated in SMTOWN Live In Tokyo

Encore concert performances in South Korea

2011 Hallyu Dream Concert at Gyeongju Citizens’ Stadium

"Unforgettable Live Concert in Japan" on October 15 and October 16 with over 84,000 in attendance

“New York-Korea Festival", a specially planned program by KBS Global

Additional World Tour date in Barcelona, Spain and in Berlin, Germany

SMTOWN Live In New York, at the Madison Square Garde


2011 K-pop Music Festival in Sydney, Australia


62nd NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen



Concert in Santiago, Chile Lima, Peru

First Japanese solo tour 3 years. Tickets were drained within minutes. 26 shows in 9 cities in 4 months


Only the 3rd foreign artist to hold a concert at the Tokyo Dome, for 3 consecutive days


Tone's 550,000 audience is the biggest audience a Korean ever drew in Japan


18th Annual Dream Concert


SMTown Live World Tour III in Los Angeles


2012 MBC Korean Music Wave


SMTOWN World Tour III to Taiwan



18th South Korean Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

Tohoshinki Live Tour 2013 Time five-dome tour, 2st K-pop artist, and the fourth foreign artist to do a five-dome tour

3-day concert series in Japan titled "The Return of the JYJ"

Final leg of the tour is at Nissan Stadium, the first foreign act to perform at the venue

Scroll to Continue

JYJ is at a disadvantage because of the lawsuit they filed against Avex, their management company in Japan.

However, no excuses, right?

Winner: TVXQ

Click here to understand why KPOP and JPOP are being criticized.

Musical Growth

This is an easy one. Note that this is since the two group separated. No account of their own compositions when they give were still together.


  • Changmin wrote Confession for "Keep Your Head Down", "I Swear" for Catch Me, Sleepless Night SHINee
  • Jung wrote and choreographed "Checkmate" in Japanese

The rest of the songs were penned, composed or arranged by someone else.


JYJ either arranged, penned or composed all of the songs in their album In Heaven.

DBSK before their debut... who would have thought?

DBSK before their debut... who would have thought?

Final Judgment

It is clear that in terms of records and live performances, TVXQ is the clear winner. It is a given that they get the support of a bigger company. That must also be taken into consideration given the success of JYJ despite the lack of monetary back up that SM provides TVXQ.

However, they could have caught on with the number of albums had they not elected to do solo projects.

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On the other hand, it is those solo projects that seem to allow JYJ to grow as artists which could, eventually, allow them to create better music.

TVXQ did express their intention to use more of their own materials in future albums but for now, JYJ takes the cake in musical growth while TVXQ is the clear winner in terms of album and live performance success.


Judith on December 12, 2015:

It's pretty clear that JYJ has done all this while SM has done everything possible to destroy them. I wonder how long TVXQ would have lasted if they had been the focus of a boycott and received absolutely no support from a company. JYJ was the talent pool; the remaining TVXQ was the looks, currently sustained by a fandom and a company that would lose face if they failed.

apple on November 06, 2015:

That's exactly the point and I think every boy group has their own color and meaning behind their music. JYJ and TVXQ have a huge fan base ! They support them and this is right all fans want to see their idols happy . With happiness they can do good music and get great energy for the concerts.Personally i don't like how SM treats their artists ,it's not right all SM only cares about is money and not about the health of their artists, because of that so many idols and artists left SME...

saki on November 06, 2015:

I'm an ELF and I'm from midle east (Dubai). I love any groups who catch my attention to there music and the first one was jyj with the song In heaven I almost cries, for who says that jyj lack in emotions that realy wrong, I'm not comparing between them and TVXQ because this group also has there own songs but evryone must admit the fact that jyj make it without the TV or money support but with there music only.

there is a fact we ELF all khow is that the beak up of the groups in SM is not the falt in the singers that they left sm but in SM company her self because they treat her Idol like slave that what I noticed in all the hardship that face super junior and what said hankyung the ancien member of super junior that they have to perform even they are realy sick. and that is against humain right .

so don't blame jyj any more or critique the other groups but support them and made them the power to begin a new what ever they are in SM or not.

blackrose on November 01, 2015:

*I think they don't lack emotions or experience...

srry a mistake in my post

blackrose on November 01, 2015:

JYJ does their best in music think about it they would have given up when they don't love music and I think they don't lake emotions or experience to perform their songs !

JJ and YC are in the army but Junsu is still there and tries his best to con- vince people with his OWN music and his OWN feelings . JYJ had a hard time since they left SM and I think it was a hard decision to do that. You just can't say who is better both are good in their own ways . And TVXQ is good with their songs too. We can support both or is it so hard to be on both sides ? Aren't you happy to see JYJ or TVXQ smile ? Isn't it important ? I think it is when I heard JYJ's song "UNNAMEND SONG PART 1" I could feel the emotion TVXQ with KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN was good too ! I can't see where the problem is ...


AThought on September 15, 2015:

Hmmm well obviously the list is pretty outdated now... But I am pretty sure with their individual activities + group activities + businesses JYJ slay all the way. Lol at some Homin stans who still clinge to the 'Japan tour' life line. And in Korea JYJ is definitely more succesfull. Anyways.... Obviously the comparison is of no use.... But ahaha seeing salty stans going 'solo activities don't count' is such a lol. That was one of the reasons they got out you know? It counts because it is taking their time from group activities and if they had ignored that they would be even more successful as a group.

MsFairLady on September 08, 2015:

I'm not in this fandom, but I thought I could give a few thoughts on the topic. This article is ridiculous and so biased. JYJ is the true winner, three artists who go against the big SM, Goliath, and still make a decent living while being abused by this trashy company. SM is falling apart and people have less and less respect for this agency. They spend hundreds of hundreds on trainees and the result is not as amazing as they want people to believe it, not surprising. Karma is getting back to SM for all the wrong doings they did to some of their artists.

TVXQ is garbage and nothing compared to JYJ. They are given hundreds to be successful and still can't destroy JYJ when those only have pennies to work with. That's figurative btw. They are are not starting at the same starting line, you can't compare them. JYJ members are being discriminated because of their unwillingness to be a part of the brainless SM puppets. Shame on the Korean entertainment industry for boycotting three artists who want to make a difference in the industry.

I heard that you can only make a change if you stay in the system (SM), quitting the SM doesn't really help, it's a missed opportunity to change the system from the inside, could be true.

Those three traitors left two members behind, they don't deserve sympathy. Poor two members. I agree that's sad. However, there must be shared responsibilities in the disbandment that's why nobody wants to talk about it.

I highly dislike SM and I don't like any of their artists.

Kira on July 07, 2015:

Okay it is clear that TVXQ is the winner, but it's not true.

I mean Junsu made three solo albums, made the best musical actor, and won lots of awards. Like Dracula the main role, Death in Elisabeth, Tears of Heaven, again lead main role, and don't forget L in Death Note musical.

Jaejoong and Yoochun has been doing acting in drama series and films, Yoochun won 25 awards, Jaejoong won lot of awards too.

TVXQ has becoming more and more popular that's true, but they also made few appearing in tv shows, like Cool Kidz with Changmin as MC, and they both has been in acting as well. Like Yunho's role in The NightWatch Man, Mimi with Changmin, and both latest acting dramas, is Changmin in The Scholar Who Walks in the Night, and Yunho in I Order You.

Lets not forget TVXQ made the world record for having largest fan club, but like my friend Faith15 said to her blog in Quotev, even though they're split some things never change, like Junsu never change his stage in his solo albums, instead of Junsu it was Xia, both fan-club of TVXQ and JYJ has never change the color, or fan name.

Like it or not, me and my friend stilled supporting both of them, and if you got a problem with that, deal with that!

Quinn on May 29, 2015:

On a very positive note for TVXQ: their performances still blew me away and give me the chills! I just hate SM for holding the reins too darn tight, loosen up a bit and give them space! Sometimes TVXQ's voices are not properly showcased with the songs given to them -_-. But listening to Yunho's and Max's voices, they have improved a lot actually.

(I just need to air this out. Feels like a lot of people are just too hard on TVXQ. No hate)

Quinn on May 29, 2015:

I think we need to give credit to JYJ for being able to survive even without much monetary backup (actually, kudos to the fans.) As per TVXQ, they should also be applaud for continuing the name and living up to the expectations of the people.

On the negative side, first, JYJ. The group may have the freedom now but their music is...I don't find it that appealing. During their initial releases, I was quite excited and I religiously tracked their activities but they lost my interest somehow. Yes, they seem to be successful with their individual activities but as a group...I don't feel them. Although I still love their voices of course but some of their songs just don't appeal to me. I think they were overwhelmed with the freedom and just was a bit out of place, idk how to describe it.

Now, TVXQ. Of course, they are completely controlled by SM which prohibits them to evolve musically since the songs they perform are mostly spoon fed to them. As a fan, I look forward to hearing more of their self-composed songs. Their musical growth as artists are quite slow which is why I think some people say that they have nothing new to offer. They still have catchy songs but I can't see where they are going. Unlike in their previous albums where you could see (hear) the musical progress for every album releases. (I guess, they are still experimenting since TVXQ were supposed to be an a capella group now turned into a duo.)

I still have high hopes for both group.

jessi on May 23, 2015:

But JYJ is still more popular tho. Especially Junsu in Korea, and Jaejoong everywhere outside Korea. Tvxq nowadays are only desperately hanging to the popularity they has in Japan. They are pretty much nothing in Korea. Their fans keep telling us they are on their peak in Japan, even bigger than when they were 5. It was all bull tbh. Back when they were 5 , nobody, not even Big Bang and their grandmothers can touch their popularity in Japan.

JYJ sells less TVXQ, but Jaejoong's solo album alone can sell more thn JYJ as a group and can rival TVXQ's fully promoted release, even when Jaejoong barely promotes. And to those talking about how JYJ should hire professionals instead of writing their own songs, I beg to differ. I guess it depends on your taste. I personally dislike TVXQ's release, they are too generic and just downright hurt my hearing lol. I like songs from other SM groups better.

I don't like JYJ's title song as well, but I personally feels that their b-side tracks like Creation and Be My Girl are masterpieces.

The one I love the most from JYJ tho, is the member's solo album. Omg 'Healing by Myself', 'Rotten Love', 'Flower '... LIKE OMG. The first two are written by Jaejoong btw. There's got to be something with your ears if you didn't like them.

So... that's about it LOL.

anonymous on April 25, 2015:

JYJ and TVXQ popularity is astound big..though more TVXQ, but still both group popularity is WOW..why compare them to each other??I felt like this post is asking for trouble..who like, it doesn't matter because they both are doing great's sad that they went their ways, but their career is explosively well..I think we all should just stop attacking each other with hurtful, negative, rude comments and whatnot and just be happy that the five of them are doing what they love, and support them all in our own way..we all should move on with what happen, yes, I said that, WE ALL SHOULD MOVE ON, because though it did happen, it's life..look to the future of seeing them all standing on the same stage, it's coming soon..I know it's going to happen because it just happen..eventually after all of them come back from military service, yes, I said that, AFTER THEY FINISH THEIR MILITARY SERVICE ONE BY ONE, we are going to see them on a fan, I look forward to their projects now and future projects, I wish them well and good luck..I hope they all will bring joy, happiness, and create many many memories as well as music, movies, dramas, and whatnot in the present and a I hope and wish they will find true love that will accept them for themselves..I wish and hope that their friendship will last forever and that one day am able to sit together with coffee, water, soda, or soju and talk and laugh and cry together..

a on March 30, 2015:

its clearly JYJ. they have a faithful fans, they always think about their fans and do their best

a on March 28, 2015:

truth always triumph. talented and hard working person always become the winner.

vjhhj on March 13, 2015:

What the heck? Having a fanwar inside the fandom? Why can't we cassies stop arguing who is better? can't we just support them both? Oh please im new to this fandom .. I'm pretty sure that they are friends now... we just can't really go back to the past now.. let's see the future together by supporting both groups okay?

Db5k on February 24, 2015:

I love them both equally and hope that someday they reunite and become db5k ...I really wanted to go to their concert before they broke up...:(

a on February 22, 2015:

whatever maybe the TRUST between JYJ and their fans is amazing. album sales is nothing when compared to gaining hearts of people. every people admire personality of JYJ members and there are highly talented when compared to other kpop idols.

Anny on February 11, 2015:

I believe and I like JYJ. There are too many motives for this, in my opinion. Thanks to Yuchun I discovered JYJ (SKKS 2010, KBSWORLD) and, of course, their past. I prefer JYJ.

mv on January 03, 2015:

It's too biased.

TVXQ is the clear winner!

TVXQ is the clear winner!

TVXQ is the clear winner!

three times in the same article.

a on December 09, 2014:

even though technically jyj song may be lacking but the feel given to the song is mindblowing

me on November 25, 2014:

i love TVXQ i'm listening to their song Chandelier ryt now,meh Yunho and Changmin's voice is just sooo beautiful,nice blending.TVXQ's charisma and stage presence is Awesome.they always own the stage when they perform,JYJ is lacking in this even though they have beautiful voices as well :)

a on November 23, 2014:

jyj song can make our heart taken away.they always care about their fans. because of jyj other kpop artist were able to do concert in south america now

LLBAB on November 17, 2014:

I like TVXQ now actually. I tried listening to JYJ but somehow I really can't. They obviously are both great entertainers but I find myself drawn more to Yunho and Changmin. I hope they continue to be successful in fulfilling their dreams.

CcDBSK on October 03, 2014:

DBSK as duo or JYJ?

This article is just stupid. Do you ever know about DBSK/TVXQ?

A true Cassiopeia would never say, that JYJ are better than DBSK or DBSK are better than JYJ.

That's impossible. DBSK as five are the best! No matter what they say. I'm supporting DBSK AND JYJ.

And fans, who say, that they lost their interest when they broke up, aren't true fans. Just sayin'

Well, stop the fanwar about JYJ and DBSK! We're all a family so please keep calm... better Keep the faith and wait for the comeback as five! ♥

a on September 26, 2014:

by showing unfair treatment to jyj. kpop industry is damaging their own could they they treat their own citizen like this?

a on September 26, 2014:

jyj always do work for their fans to make them happy even though they face troubles. they never fail to help people in many ways. they have done lots of charitable works and donation. jyj always supports dbsk duo. they have strong bond. don't do such stupid comparison.

JustMe on August 29, 2014:

For me, I really love TVXQ duo, Yunho and Changmin. I just can't get enough with them. I even buy all their concerts DVD and albums which are worth it for a stingy person like me. Watching just the two of them, how they work hard together to hold up TVXQ name as high as possible just blow my mind away. At first I support and love JYJ but I'm quite disappointing with them because they seem to focus more on their SOLOS work rather than group. And their concerts, I don't know, I don't really like it. But well, this is my opinion and I still support all of them. Talk about my OT5 Anyway, for me TVXQ duo is the WINNER! Peace ^^

sugarryyyyy on August 28, 2014:

This comparison is all nonsense. I still see both groups as five but I would chose jyj if I had to. JYJ songs are more touching than those of tvxq. so I like them better.

I support both groups and I will never agree with this bias comparison.

Hope to see their comeback as five. Always keep the faith.

a on August 14, 2014:

lets hope to see both of them stand in one stage to sing together

Jessica on August 07, 2014:

Bull Shit. Why because JYJ, unlike TVXQ - who are under a company as a group, has to stay a group, JYJ have been focusing more on their individual activities. Would we see Junsu as the successful Musical Idol he is today if he stayed? Would SM even let him do musical and release all his solos? Would they let Yoochun take part in SOO MANY dramas? Would they let JaeJoong release solos, compose, direct, and act?

No. They wouldn't. This is a bias comparison. While I understand that you are comparing JYJ and TVXQ - JYJ have not been solely focusing on singing only. They barely do. It's been 3 years since they last released anything as JYJ.

I support both group, but this is such a bias comparison I can't even.

LOLITA on August 02, 2014:

i think they are good in their own ways.

homin will never get praise for their voice and song if JYJ not get out from SM (You know who the best singer is) and JYJ will never doing such drama, film, and musical freely if they not coming out from SM.

And I think both Homin and JYJ still in good relation as friend so why their fan always figth for stupid think like more famous or success.

Anonymous on July 20, 2014:

Just stop comparing them~~

Meru on July 09, 2014:

this article is biased..

I like both equally, but if I had to choose it'd be JYJ's music, because it's genuine, emotional and it comes right from the hearts of them

if SM lets HoMin express their honest feelings in music, there's high possibility I'd like their music even more

Haruka on July 06, 2014:

Funny how the poll does not have the 'support both tvxq and jyj' option. fact is both are pretty successful in their own way, as a group or as solos. Whether their songs are nice is what matters most, to me at least. If their songs aren't likeable, people won't even listen to them.

mimiexo on June 30, 2014:

Tvxq way better. Do you know, if not SM who brought old tvxq to the peak of their carier, JYJ will not be so successful lile now. JYJ being popular thanks to SM, but at the end because the grudge between CJ to SM ent, CJ make the trio betray SM. And because of money, JYJ agreed to cooperated with CJ. what the hell? Blindly agreed after so many things SM done to them. That's why they only success for a while at japan, meanwhile current TVXQ was very successful whether at asia,europe, or korea. Their selfish mind of JYJ which brings them down. So serve them right.

babydoo on June 03, 2014:

what can I say ? haha after seeing this, I'm just speechless. Just look at the positive side. Although they're not together now, and the fans is breaking they still achieving something right ? actually I want them to come back as five so they can see how great their fandom are. But you know It's impossible.