Kim Hyun-joong (Hangul: 김현중; Hanja: 金賢重; born 6 June 1986) is a South Korean actor, singer and songwriter. He was a member of the boy band SS501 and played roles in the Korean dramas Boys Over Flowers, and Playful Kiss.
After debuting with SS501 in 2005, Kim released his first Korean solo album, Break Down, in 2011, and his first Japanese solo album, Unlimited, in 2012. Due to his commercial success, Kim is considered one of South Korea’s biggest Hallyu stars of the early 2010s.
Kim was born on 6 June 1986 in South Korea. He described himself as a studious child, but he dropped out of high school in order to pursue a career in music. He later passed his high school exams and enrolled in Kyonggi University. After dropping out of university to focus on work, Kim enrolled in Chungwoon University in 2011 to study stage production management.
Kim made his debut as a member of SS501 on 23 June 2005, with the group’s first EP, Warning, released by DSP Media. Their second EP, Snow Prince was released in late 2005, five months after their debut. The group quickly gained popularity, winning multiple new artist awards in 2005 and 2006. The following year, in 2007, SS501 debuted in Japan with the single “Kokoro,” which reached number five on the Oricon charts. In January 2008, the group received a Newcomer Award at the Japan Gold Disc Award ceremony, making them one of only a few South Korean artists to win this award. [check quotation syntax] In 2008, Kim joined the cast of the reality variety show We Got Married, where he was paired with singer Hwangbo. Dubbed the “Lettuce Couple,” the pair was popular among viewers and won the Best Couple Award at the 2008 MBC Entertainment Awards. They left the show at the end of 2008 to focus on other projects.
In 2008, Kim was cast in his first lead-acting role in the Korean drama Boys Over Flowers. The show was extremely popular in South Korea and other Asian countries, and Kim won the Most Popular Actor Award at the 2009 Seoul International Drama Awards and the Most Popular Actor for Television Award at the 2009 Baeksang Arts Awards.
Kim and his Boys Over Flowers costars also sparked a trend among South Korean men who copied their “flower boy” style. Tony Moly, a cosmetics brand for which Kim had been a spokesmodel since 2006, saw a 30 percent sales increase in 2009, which the company attributed to the popularity of the show. Kim’s contract with Tony Moly ended in 2010, and he became the spokesmodel for another cosmetics brand, The Face Shop, later that year.
Following the success of Boys Over Flowers, Kim played his second lead role in a drama, in 2010’s Playful Kiss, a Korean adaptation of the Japanese shōjo manga, Itazura na Kiss. The show flopped on South Korean television, but was an international hit on foreign television and on online streaming platforms, helping solidify Kim’s popularity as a Hallyu star.
At the end of 2010, Kim was chosen to represent South Korea at the opening of the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, where he performed the anthem “Sunshine Again” with singers from Chinese-speaking countries.
Kim released his solo debut, the EP Break Down, on 7 June 2011. More than 70,000 pre-ordered copies of the album were sold in just 10 days.The EP was the ninth best-selling album of 2011 on South Korea’s Gaon Album Chart, and was certified platinum in Taiwan. Later that year, Kim released his second album Lucky. The EP debuted at number five on Billboard’s World Chart, and was the 10th best-selling album of the year in South Korea with over 100,000 copies sold.
Following up on the success of a concert he performed in Japan in June, Kim signed a deal with Universal Music Japan in November. Shortly after that, he went on a tour of Japan, performing in seven cities.
At the end of the year, Kim won the award for Best Male Artist at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Singapore. On 15 December, Kim released a digital single titled “Marry Me”.
On 25 January 2012, Kim released his first Japanese single album, “Kiss Kiss / Lucky Guy,” which was certified gold in Japan. In May, his First Impact concert DVD sold 16,000 copies in its first week of release, taking the number one spot on the Oricon DVD Chart. This was the first time a South Korean artist had taken the number one spot, and a second time a foreign artist had taken the number one spot on the chart. Kim later held his Kim Hyun-joong Fan Meeting Tour 2012 for his album promotions, making stops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Thailand.
In March 2012, Kim was appointed the honorary ambassador for United Nation’s Korean Campaign on Contributions to Social Welfare.
Kim released his second Japanese single album “Heat” on July 4. The album was Japan’s third best-selling album in July, selling 196,850 copies, which earned Kim his second consecutive gold certification. The following month, in August, Kim won Best Asian Artist at the 2012 Asia Song Festival.
On 12 December, Kim released Unlimited, his first full-length Japanese album, which included Japanese versions of “Break Down” and “Lucky Guy”. It topped the Oricon Daily Chart and reached number 3 on the Weekly Chart.
Madame Tussauds unveiled a wax figure of Kim in December.
On 6 January 2013, Kim kicked off a Japanese tour called Unlimited at the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, where he performed with a live band. Later that month, he performed alongside other K-pop artists in Brazil for the 2013 FEEL KOREA event, marking his first performance in South America.
On 2 March, Kim performed at the U-Express Live 2013 at the Makuhari Messe in Japan with artists including Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Far East Movement, Naoto Inti Raymi and Kara. That same month, Kim received the Creator’s Factory Best Actor Award for the music video, “Lucky Guy,” at the 5th Okinawa Music Festival.
On 21 April, he began appearing on the South Korean variety show Barefooted Friends. Despite the show, Kim released his third Japanese single “Tonight” on 5 June. Once again, his single topped the Oricon Daily Chart, and took the number two spot by the end of the week. The album received gold certification for selling more than one million copies. He released his third Korean EP, Round 3, on 22 July.
On 20 and 21 October, Kim held two concerts at the Makuhari International Exhibition Hall in Japan, attended by 20,000 fans. At the end of the month, Kim left Barefooted Friends to film a new drama. After playing pretty boys in his first two dramas, Kim played a tougher role in the drama Inspiring Generation, which began airing in January 2014.
That July, he released his fourth Japanese single, “Hot Sun”, which topped the Oricon weekly charts, making him the first foreign male solo artist to top the chart twice. At the end of June, he began a world tour that included stops in Taiwan, China, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, and Peru. The following month, in July, Kim released his fourth Korean EP, Timing.
Kim released his second Japanese studio album, Imademo, on 11 February 2015. The album entered the Oricon daily charts at number two and remained at that spot for 10 days.
Kim enlisted in the army for South Korea’s mandatory military service in May 2015. After completing five weeks of basic training at Gyeonggi-do 30th Recruit Training Squadron he was stationed as a border patrol in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. While he was in the military, The Best of Kim Hyun Joong, a Japanese greatest hits album celebrating his 10 years in music industry, was released. It entered the Oricon daily charts at number one. Kim was discharged from military service in February 2017 after serving for 21 months.
In July 2017, Kim released his first album since leaving the military, the Japanese single album, re:wind. The album reached the number one spot on the Oricon album chart. Following its release, Kim went on Innercore 16-city Japanese tour. In November, he released the EP Haze, his first Korean album in three years.
Kim Hyun Joong’s 2018 World Tour ‘HAZE’ commenced on 2 December 2017. He performed in Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, South America, Japan, Thailand and Macau and the tour concluded in 2018. “Kim Hyun Joong Spent Meaningful Reunion With 40,000 Fans Via His “Haze” World Tour”. HELLOKPOP.
On 6 June 2018 he released Take My Hand, the first Album released from his own record Label Henecia Music. On 26 September of the same year, he then released an album entitled Wait For Me. Starting on 27 September and concluding on 5 November, Kim held his Take My Hand Japan Tour.
In 2018, it was confirmed he would be making his small-screen comeback in the fantasy drama When Time Stopped. The drama ran from 24 October to 29 November 2018.
In November 2018 Kim released a single, ‘Just For My Love’, as the sixth part of the Original Soundtrack for his drama When Time Stopped.
On 4 February 2019 he released a new album entitled ‘NEW WAY’ “Kim Hyun Joong To Return With New Album In February”. Soompi. 29 January 2019. with the title track ‘WHY’.
In August 2014, Kim’s girlfriend, identified only by her surname Choi, filed assault charges against Kim, claiming that he repeatedly beat her, causing bruises and broken ribs. Kim denied the charges, saying he had injured Choi only once and that it was an accident that occurred while he was practicing martial arts. Choi dropped some of the charges against Kim in September after he apologized to her. However, Kim was later fined 5 million KRW for injuring Choi, with prosecutors in the case saying, “While Kim claimed that he had no intention of hurting her, the damage from the attack was clear.”
In 2016 after proper investigation the ROK Courts cleared Kim Hyun Joong of all Ms Choi’s allegations against him. Medical Evidence was even procured that showed the bruised and broken ribs incident in 2014 for which KHJ was fined Ms Choi had in fact injured herself while at a Gym.
In February 2015, a magazine reported that Kim and Choi had reunited, and that Choi was pregnant. Kim stated via a press release that he had not seen Choi since she told him that she was pregnant in January, and could not confirm if he was the father.
In May, Choi filed a lawsuit against Kim for 1.48 million USD for mental distress caused by her relationship with him, and claimed that his abuse had caused her to miscarry a previous pregnancy in 2014. Kim later filed and won a 100 million KRW counter-suit against Choi for defamation, with the court ruling that there was circumstantial evidence that she was not pregnant in 2014. Her lawsuit was dismissed, and she appealed the decision.
In December 2015, a paternity test revealed that Kim was the father of a baby that Choi had given birth to in September of that year.
Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Choi for attempted fraud and defamation in January 2017. In February 2018, Choi was fined 5 million KRW for attempted fraud.
In March 2017, Kim was charged with drunk driving after police found him passed out in his car at a traffic light in Seoul. His driver’s license was revoked and he was eventually fined 2 million KRW.
Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, Kim donated 100 million KRW to earthquake relief efforts in Japan. Later that year, he donated an addition 50 million KRW to earthquake relief efforts, as well as 50 million KRW to the Korean Red Cross, and 50 million KRW to a South Korean organization that gives coal briquettes to people in need. In 2012, he donated proceeds from his debut solo concert to an orphanage in Fukushima prefecture.
Kim has also donated tens of millions of won to the Kim Hyun-joong Scholarship, which was established by a 15 million KRW donation from his fan club in 2010.
In 2013, Kim donated 100 million KRW to the One Foundation for the victims of the Lushan earthquake in China.