Park Ji-hoon (born May 29, 1999) is a South Korean singer and actor, best known as the runner-up contestant in Produce 101 (season 2) and debuted with the group Wanna One.
Park Ji-hoon was born in Masan, South Korea. Although he comes from Gyeongsang Province, Park has lived in Seoul since he was seven years old. He graduated from National Middle School of Traditional Arts, where he majored in musical theatre. Park majored in broadcasting arts at School of Performing Arts Seoul and graduated in January 2018. Park was accepted into Chung-Ang University’s Department of Theater for 2018.
Park Ji-hoon debuted as a child actor, participating in musicals Peter Pan (2007–2009), The Harmonium in My Memory (2010) and Radio Star (2010–2011), television dramas Jumong (2006-2007), The King and I (2007–2008), Kimchi Cheese Smile (2007–2008), Iljimae (2008) and more. Park also previously appeared in SS501’s reality show SS501 SOS (2006), although his face was blurred out through the episodes. In 2007, he appeared in KM Idol War with Big Bang. During his childhood, he continued to be active in musical theatre, television broadcasts and film, as well as working as an advertisement model.
Less active in the entertainment industry in his teen years, Park began training to become an idol singer under S.M. Entertainment and Fantagio. Due to a knee injury, he did not make the final line up of Fantagio’s boy group Astro and subsequently transferred to his current agency, Maroo Entertainment.
In 2017, Park represented Maroo Entertainment in the second season of Produce 101. He experienced a sudden rise in popularity after going viral as “wink boy (ko: 윙크남)” after the introductory “It’s Me (Pick Me)” stage on M! Countdown before the show had started airing. Consequently, Park’s participation in the survival show received extensive media attention, to the extent that his self-made aegyo catchphrase “save you in my heart (ko: 내 마음 속에 저장)” trended on social media and was used by various companies using the phrase for marketing purposes. The phrase was later crowned as the best catchphrase of 2017 by KOCCA. Furthermore, Park started receiving offers from companies to become their advertisement model while the show was still being aired, and it was later revealed that Park had signed an exclusive contract with Maroo Entertainment before the show had started. He finished second, which made him a member of the project boy group Wanna One under YMC Entertainment.