Zhong Chenle (Chinese: 钟辰乐; born 22 November 2001), known professionally as Chenle, is a Chinese singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor based in Seoul, South Korea. He is a member of South-Korean boy group NCT, as a part of their sub-unit NCT Dream. He debuted with NCT Dream in August 2016 with a debut single called “Chewing Gum”.
Chenle was born in Shanghai, China on 22 November 2001. He studied at Beijing Contemporary Music School. In 2006, he entered the small television station Shanghai Ying Siu Sing School and went to dance classes. In 2008, he was admitted to Shanghai Little Flute Art Troupe and studied vocal music with Huang Jing.
In 2009, Zhong participated in the Hajj children’s channel held by Yueyue Elf Vs Season Trial and won the runner-up and “Elf Genie Award”. In 2010 he participated in the national Chinese young talent selection activities, and won the vocal group A gold medal. On 16 June 2011 as a part of the starring actress Xiao Jiabin attending the second Nie Er Music Week opening ceremony (Shanghai Grand Theater), Zhong led the audience of thousands to sing the national anthem.
In July 2011, his second solo album, “My Wings”, was released with a total of 12 songs. On 31 July 2011 in Shanghai Grand Stage he participated in the opening ceremony of Shanghai International Children’s Art Festival and also on 4 August 2011 Closing Ceremony of Shanghai International Children’s Art Festival at Shanghai International Convention Center. Chenle began his professional career as a singer after competing in singing competitions such as China’s Got Talent. When he was younger, he came out with 3 albums. He used to do cover songs and upload them to YouTube. Many of his covers are of former child star Declan Galbraith. In January 2011, Zhong was invited to perform a song from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats at the Golden Hall of Vienna. He is part of the World Organization of Children Ambassadors of Peace in Washington representing China in many places and countries. In December 2012, Zhong participated in the first Plenary Session of the Huangpu District of Shanghai, and elected the district chief with the highest votes. His first known acting minor roles were in 2013 when he was 11 years old, he was featured in Chinese Drama “The Queen of SOP 2”. In 2014, he held a solo concert at the Shanghai Concert Hall.
In August 2016, he started doing activities in South Korea by debuting as a member of the sub-unit NCT Dream, a rotational unit of NCT consisting of teenage members. He is one of the two members in the entire group alongside Renjun (the other Chinese member of NCT Dream) who was not introduced as a part of SM Rookies before the group’s debut. He debuted in NCT after only 2 months of training.