Park Jin-young (Hangul: 박진영; born December 13, 1971), also known by his stage names J. Y. Park and The Asiansoul or the initials JYP, is a South Korean singer-songwriter, record producer, record executive, and reality television show judge. Park rose to stardom as a singer following the release of his 1994 debut album, Blue City. In 1997, he became the founder and CEO of JYP Entertainment, one of the most profitable entertainment agencies in South Korea. As the head of JYP Entertainment, Park has developed and managed highly successful K-pop acts including Rain, Wonder Girls, Got7 and Twice.
Park was born in Seoul. He attended Yonsei University, during which time he released his first two albums. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology in 1996. He has an older sister.
Park’s career in the Korean music industry began in 1994 when he debuted as a solo artist with the song “Don’t Leave Me” (날 떠나지마) from his first album Blue City. In 1997 he founded his label and agency JYP Entertainment, then known as “Tae-Hong Planning Corporation”. That same year he was tasked by EBM (now SidusHQ) with preparing the members of its project idol group for debut; the five-member group was eventually called g.o.d and debuted two years later. The success of g.o.d as one of the country’s most popular and best-selling groups of the early 2000s would further establish Park’s reputation as a “hit maker”.
In 2004, Park ventured into the U.S. music industry, becoming the first Asian producer to successfully cross over to the U.S., producing music for Will Smith, Mase and Cassie.
In May 2008, Park collaborated with Jackie Chan to form the “I Love Asia” Project, prompted by the earthquake tragedy in China. Park produced the song ‘Smile Again’, along with Chan and Korean director Kang Je-gyu to raise funds for relief efforts in Sichuan. The song featured an array of Korean stars, including various actors and singers, as well as Korean figure skater Kim Yuna. The music video was released on the JYP Entertainment YouTube channel on June 30.
In October 2009, Park became the first Korean songwriter, together with RAINSTONE, to enter the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with the Wonder Girls hit single “Nobody” which debuted at 76.
On December 3, 2009, Park released his single, No Love No More. On April 22, 2011, Park collaborated with Brown Eyed Girls’ Ga-In, releasing a duet track titled “Someone Else.” The song charted at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart and sold over 1 million copies. This was the first song Park released in about two years. Park followed up his success with “Someone Else” by releasing a single titled “You’re the One” on April 28, 2012. The song charted at number three and sold over 1.5 million copies.
In 2015, Park released the song “Who’s Your Mama?”, featuring Lucky J’s Jessi. The song became a hit, consequently displacing fellow label-mates Miss A from first spot on the Korean charts. Later that year, he participated in the Infinite Challenge Yeongdong Expressway Music Festival, forming a duo called Dancing Genome with comedian Yoo Jae-suk and releasing the song ‘I’m So Sexy’.
In 2016, Park released a single titled ‘Still Alive’. During the same period, he appeared in the Conan O’Brien special ‘Conan in Korea’, recording a song with Conan O’Brien, Steven Yeun & Park Ji-min titled ‘Fire’, with label-mates Wonder Girls and TWICE appearing in the music video. The song was released on Conan O’Brien’s YouTube channel on April 9. Park also appeared in the Korean variety show Sister’s Slam Dunk in 2016, producing the cast’s single titled ‘Shut Up’. The song unexpectedly achieved a real-time chart all-kill upon release. On September 22, 2016 it was reported that Park would be producing the title track of girl-group I.O.I for their final album prior to disbandment. The song, titled “Very Very Very” was released on October 16, 2016. It achieved commercial success upon release, earning a perfect all-kill on the Korean charts and topping the Gaon Digital Chart.
In early 2011, JYP made his acting debut in Dream High, for which he received a nomination for New Actor of the Year at the Baeksang Arts Awards. In January 2012 he was seen in the sequel to Dream High called Dream High 2.
In 2011, Park made his film debut as Choi Young In, a man on a mission to hand-deliver 5 million dollars, in Five Million Dollar Man with Jo Sung-ha and Min Hyo-rin. The film was released on July 19, 2012.
On February 10, 2011, songwriter Kim Sin-il filed a lawsuit against Park claiming that “Someday”, sung by IU and composed by Park, plagiarized Kim’s song “To My Man”. Kim alleged that the beginnings of the two songs, including the jazz chords, are almost identical and sued Park for 110 million won. Park denied the allegations, and no settlement was reached after several court hearings. On February 10, 2012, the Seoul Central District Court ruled that “Someday” was plagiarized from Kim’s song, and ordered Park to pay 21.67 million won in damages to Kim. Park appealed the ruling, but on January 24, 2013, the Seoul High Court ruled against Park and ordered him to pay 56.93 million won to Kim. In 2015, the Supreme Court overturned the previous rulings in light of new evidence demonstrating that the melody and chord progressions were very common, citing an American song from 2002.
In 1999, Park Jin-young married Seo Yoon-jeong. In March 2009, the couple announced their divorce. On October 10, 2013, he married an unnamed woman who is nine years younger than him. On January 25, 2019, his daughter was born, and Park wrote “This Little Hand” for her and his father, with a documentary-style MV released on February 9. In the music video, it was revealed that his father is in late-stage of Alzheimer’s disease, and can no longer recognize him. All proceeds from the song will be donated to Green Umbrella Foundation (ChildFund Korea), to help kids in impoverished environments.