Kim Jong-kook (singer)

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Kim Jong-kook
Kim Jong Kook at Malaysia for Running Man Fan Meeting Asian Tour 2014.jpg
Kim Jong Kook at Malaysia for Running Man Fan Meeting Asian Tour 2014
Background information
Also known as The Commander, The Tiger
Born (1976-04-25) April 25, 1976 (age 39)
Origin Hapcheon, South Korea
Genres K-pop, Dance, Hip Hop, Ballad, Trot
Occupation(s) Singer, Dancer, Entertainer
Years active 1995 – Present
Labels CJ Music (2001–2006)
Mnet Media(2007–2008)
101 Entertainment (2010–2011)
JK Entertainment (2011–2014)
Urban Works ENT (2014-Present)
Associated acts Turbo, Mighty Mouth, SG Wannabe, Soya, Haha, Gary, Running Man Brothers, Mikey (마이키)
Website Official Site
Korean name
Hangul 김종국
Hanja 金鐘國
Revised Romanization Gim Jongguk
McCune–Reischauer Kim Chongguk
This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.

Kim Jong-kook (Hangul: 김종국; Hanja: 金鐘國; born 25 April 1976) is a South Korean singer and TV personality. He was initially part of the Korean duo Turbo, later pursuing a successful career as a solo artist. Apart from being a 3 Daesang Award Winner Singer, he also participates actively in variety shows in the past such as X-man and Family Outing (since episode 19). Currently, he is present as a cast member in the variety show, Running Man. He is also known for hosting a documentary program called Escape Crisis No.1 (also known as Safety First!) as well as co-hosting the show Everybody.

Kim So-ya, a Korean female singer under the mononym Soya, is his niece.

Education Background[edit]

  • Elementary Education: Myeong Hak Elementary School
  • Secondary Education: Shin Seong Middle and High School
  • Tertiary Education: Han Se University
  • Postgraduate: Dankook University (Master’s degree from the Pop Culture Performing Arts – School of Arts Department) [1]


1995–2000: Debut with Turbo[edit]

Kim Jong-kook first entered the Korean music industry in 1995 as a member of the group Turbo, which became immensely popular for their catchy music. After the group disbanded a few years later, he became a solo singer in 2001, mostly concentrating on ballads.[2] Although his unusually high tone of voice is often joked about (with many stars jokingly calling it a "mosquito voice"), he has had many hit singles and has also been a frequent guest on many variety shows, most notably X-Man.[3] In addition, his muscular body is often considered one of the best in K-pop, due to constant weight training.[4]

2001–05: Solo artist : 3 Daesang Winner[edit]

Kim Jong-kook had a set back after Turbo which he faced difficulties to settle down as a solo artist. Problems like lack of songs from composers, less support from his respected agency and also a change of taste within the fans cause his first album as a solo artist to failed. However he made a huge comeback with his second album (Evolution). One of the songs in the second solo album called Han Nam Ja (One Man) was the reason for all his success. This song became his trademark song and left a very deep impression to the listeners. Furthermore, a scandal rumor between him and Yoon Eun Hye grabbed a lot of attention. This rumor started when both of them were permanent members of a famous variety show called X-Man. This rumor actually brought them close and they started to act like a couple in X-Man.[5]

On 2005; which was his tenth year in Korean Entertainment Industry, Kim Jong-kook became one of Korea's most popular artists when his third album sold in excess of 300,000 copies,[6] making it one of the year's best-selling albums in Korea. He capped off that year by sweeping the Daesang (Best Artist of The Year) from all 3 major Korean TV stations; SBS, KBS and MBC. In doing so, he became the second artist ever to accomplish this feat since Cho Yong-Pil in the 1980s. The lead single from the album, "Lovable", topped many charts. It was also included in Pump It Up and Audition Online. Apart from that, other songs like "Walking in One Spot" and "Star, Wind, Sunshine and Love" also topped many other charts as well.

On January 21, 2006, Kim Jong-kook, Jeon Hye-bin, and Im Tae-kyung participated in Thuy Nga's Paris by Night 81 Vietnamese concert in California. During the concert, Kim Jong-kook performed one of his song from his third album entitled "To Her Man".

KBS Shootdori[edit]

Kim Jong-kook was made the leader of the first series of Shootdori. Shootdori is a show where kids that are interested in soccer take a test (see if they have the basic knowledge and are involved in a soccer game) and are chosen by the production team to be involved of the team. Kim Jong-kook thought that the show would not succeed due to their first game which they lost 21 to 0. But the Shootdori team practiced hard and became a better team and had gotten a lot of love from viewers. However, Kim Jong-kook had to leave the team due to his sudden mandatory military service. He wrote and sang a song for the Shootdori team in his 4th album 'Volume 4 - Kim Jong-kook's Fourth Letter', which is called 'Toward A Dream'. On the day before he was enlisted, he spent his time with the Shootdori kids and telling them that he will no longer be able to see them for a while. He was devastated because he wanted to end the season with the kids but had to leave the kids and the show. Kim Jong-kook even shed tears bidding his goodbye through an interview. After he came back from his military service he went on the show 'KBS2TV Immortal Musical Classics' and the production team had gathered all of the Season 1 Shootdori members and made a reunion with Kim Jong-kook. As he saw the kids, he had tears in his eyes, and they had sang their favorite song 'Lovable' by Kim Jong-kook together.

2006–08: Military Service[edit]

On March 2006, Kim Jong-kook received his mandatory military service enlistment letter at the height of his popularity and career. Kim Jong-kook also released his fourth album around that time. Since he was unable to directly promote it while in the military, he used the unorthodox methods. To comply with the Korean law, the music video was shot so that his face would never be seen on screen. He asked Yoon Eun-hye, whom he is famous to have a love-line with, to star in the music video. Though there has been no direct promotion, his fourth album has sold in excess of 100,000 copies.[7]

It was announced in late April 2008 that the singer would end his military service on May 23, 2008. On that day, he was greeted by fans, and during his interview, he said that he was "relieved".[8] His fifth studio album was released on October 22, 2008 as "Here I am" with the featuring song as "Today More than Yesterday" and "Thank You." Proving false the "tradition" of not being able to rise once again after military service, Kim Jong-kook made a successful comeback, making one album, one digital single [Happy Virus] and one trot [Ddajo].

2009–11: Variety shows[edit]

Kim Jong-kook also returned to television, becoming a permanent member of variety show Family Outing, part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup and earning popularity, especially with the love scandals between Lee Hyori and Park Ye-jin. Kim Jong-kook's Hoolala CF with Kim Sooro was released on July 2009. He has also posed for many advertisements for clothing. His sixth album was released on January 27, and a preview of the album was released with the song "Don't Be Good to Me." However the title song for the album is titled "This is the Person". The music video for the song included Park Ye-jin who is famous for the "Family Outing Scandal" between Kim Jong-kook, Lee Hyori and Park Ye-jin. His sixth album is titled "The Eleventh Story" because in his music career, he has so far released 11 albums. It included 3 MV. Right now, he is a regular on SBS's Running Man.

On August 27, 2010 Kim Jong-kook received a lumbar microdiscectomy back disk surgery at Seoul’s Kwan Ahk Goo Chung Ryong Dong Kangnam Choice hospital. Kim Jong-kook’s management company, 101 Entertainment, stated, “Kim Jong-kook carried on with his daily activities without knowing that he had a ruptured disk. He did feel pain, but didn’t think much of it, and he endured his condition with painkillers while filming SBS Running Man."

Kim Jong-kook's active participation in SBS Running Man makes him one of the biggest names in Korean Variety Shows World. He had been called "SpartaKook" and "Mr.Capable", throughout the SBS Running Man and he has received a favorable evaluation leading the mission with his muscular body and extraordinary intelligence. This proved as he won SBS 연예대상 (SBS Entertainment Awards) Best TV Star Award on 2011.[9]

2012–present: 7th album, variety shows, and music collaborations[edit]

On 1 November 2012, following a pre-release of selected songs from his new album, Kim Jong-kook made a comeback to the music scene with the release of his seventh studio album Journey Home after three years.[10][11] His fellow Running Man co-stars HaHa and Gary participated in the album as well as former Running Man member Song Joong-ki, who starred in the music video for lead track "Men Are All Like That".[12] On 2013, he attended MAMA 2013 as a presenter along with Running Man co-host Song Ji-Hyo.

He also continues his variety and MC activities in Running man and Safety First! His performance in these shows is well-received among Korean fans and he earns himself Excellence award and Best Entertainer award at 2013 SBS and KBS Entertainment Awards.[13][14] He proves to be very popular among international fans as well. He ranked #1 in the list of most searched/googled Korean stars in Singapore in 2013 (beating the likes of Super Junior, Girls Generation, and Yoon Eun Hye in doing so).[15] His 2013 sold-out showcase in Singapore was also a huge success with more than 1,700 fans in attendance; in addition, 2,000 fans who were unable to attend the showcase crowded out the IMM Level 3 Garden Plaza where his fan signing session was held.[16][17] He was also voted as #1 Korean solo singer by Tudou (Chinese equivalent of YouTube) viewers. He received more than 1.75 million votes and beat popular K-pop idols such as G-Dragon, Kim Hyun-joong, and Lee Hyori by a surprisingly wide margin.[18] Kim Jong Kook continues to be successful amongst international fans. His first solo concert in Harbin, China sold out. He is reported to be fluent in English which will no doubtedly aid him in his growing popularity.[19]

Running Man Brothers, Kim Jong-kook and Haha, in Dallas, December 14, 2014

In 2014, he again joined fellow Running Man cast member Haha, this time in a musical duo, Running Man Brothers, and debuted in a concert tour in the United States in July and December.[20][21]

In January 2015, he was a guest on a popular talk show, Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy, where he shed light on many personal controversies, including his choice to work as a public service worker instead of an active-duty soldier during his mandatory military enlistment. [22]


Solo Albums[edit]

Year Album Information Tracklisting
2001 Volume 1 - Renaissance
2004 Volume 2 - Evolution
  • Released: June 18, 2004
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
2005 Volume 3 - This Is Me
  • Released: July 1, 2005
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
  • Sales: 350,000+
2006 Volume 4 - Kim Jong Kook's Fourth Letter
  • Released: April 13, 2006
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
  • Sales: 100,000+
2008 Volume 5 - Here I am
  • Released: October 22, 2008
  • Label: Mnet Music
  • Language: Korean
2010 Volume 6 - Eleventh Story
Kim Jong Kook Remake Album 'Song'
2012 Volume 7 - Journey Home

Group Albums (Turbo)[edit]

Year Album Information Tracklisting
1995 280 km/h Speed
  • Released: September 6, 1995
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
1996 New Sensation
  • Released: August 14, 1996
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
  • Sales: 800,000+
X-Mas Dance Party Mix with Turbo
  • Released: November 29, 1996
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
1997 Turbo Summer Remix
  • Released: June 24, 1997
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
Born Again
  • Released: October 22, 1997
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
1998 Perfect Love
  • Released: October 17, 1998
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
1999 Millennium Turbo Dance Megamix
  • Released: July 15, 1999
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
2000 E-Mail My Heart
  • Released: January 27, 2000
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean
2001 History
  • Released: June 19, 2001
  • Label:
  • Language: Korean

Digital singles[edit]

  • December 1, 2005: Big4 Of Voices In My Dream (Kim Jong Kook, SG Wannabe, Vibe and M to M): 바람과 함께 사라지다 (Gone With The Wind)
  • December 11, 2006: Kim Jong Kook and SG Wannabe: 바람만 바람만 (Only Wind, Only Wind)
  • December 2005: Kim Jong Kook and Mikey: 스키장에서 (White Love)
  • November 23, 2007: Turbo & Kim Jong Kook Digital Mini Album "2007 Hwesang (Recollection)" (part1)
  • January 4, 2008: Turbo & Kim Jong Kook Digital Mini Album "2007 Hwesang (Recollection) " (part2)
  • March 5, 2009: Kim Jong Kook ft. Shorry J (MM): 행복병 (Happy Virus)
  • April 13, 2009: Kim Jong Kook: 따줘 (Give To Me)
  • December 21, 2012: Kim Jong Kook ft. Sangchu (MM) and Joosuc: 2012 Remake: 회상 (Reminiscene)
  • September 16, 2013: Kim Jong Kook: 모르나요 (How Come You Don't Know) for Good Doctor OST Part 5
  • March 10, 2014: Kim Jong Kook: 눈물자국 (Tear Marks) for Love in Memory 2 - Dad's Notes OST


  • April 23, 2004: special appearance in "나가 남자이기 때문에" (Because I'm Still A Guy) (MC Mong's first album)
  • June 22, 2004: 김장훈 - 二色英雄新聞
    • Track 3 - 고속도로 로망스
  • December 24, 2004: 통일염원 Special Album 사랑 (Love)
    • Track 1 - 그날이 오면 (When That Day Comes)
  • November 15, 2006: S.101 Digital Single "I'll Follow You (ParamMan ParamMan)" (ft.SG Wannabe)
  • June 8, 2009: Family Outing - 패밀리의 하루
    • Track 1 - 패밀리의 하루
  • November 16, 2010: Soya - 매일매일 사랑해 (I Love You Everyday)
    • Track 1 - 매일매일 사랑해 (I Love You Everyday)
  • June 23, 2011: Mikey - All For You
    • Track 1 - All for You



  • 2004: SBS's Banjun Drama, (special appearance)
  • 2004: MBC's Special TV Story
  • 2005: Old Miss Diary (special appearance)
  • 2005 to 2006: KBS's 슟돌이 Shootdori (coach)
  • 2008: Kim Jung Eun's Chocolate [080903]
  • 2008: KBS2TV Immortal Musical Classics [080907]
  • 2008: Happy Together [081106]
  • 2008: KBS2 Star Golden Bell [081202]
  • 2008: MBC Golden Fishery [081203]
  • 2010: KBS2 Yoo Heeyeol’s Sketchbook [100129]
  • 2010: Kim Jung Eun's Chocolate [100206] & [101010]
  • 2010: Happy Together [100211]
  • 2010: KBS2 Star Golden Bell [100312]
  • 2011: KBS 2TV ‘Yoo Heeyeol’s Sketch Book’ [110715] (ft. Mikey)
  • 2012: KBS Yoo Heeyeol's Sketch Book
  • 2012: MBC Come To Play [121224]
  • 2013: jTBC Hidden Singer [130511]
  • 2015: SBS The Girl Who Sees Smells (cameo)
  • 2015: KBS2 The Producers - Kim Hong-soon (PD of the variety division)

Variety Shows[edit]


Music Video[edit]

  • 2011: Rosa by Haha


Year Award
  • KBS 가요대상 (KBS Music Awards) 본상
  • SBS 가요대전 (SBS Music Awards) 본상
  • MBC 10대 가수가요제 (MBC Best 10 Music Awards) 본상
  • 서울가요대상 (Seoul Music Awards) 본상
  • Golden Disk Awards: Popularity Awards
  • MBC 가요대제전 (MBC Music Awards) 최고인기가수상 (Most Popular)
  • KBS 가요대상 (KBS Music Awards) 대상 (Best Artist)
  • SBS 가요대전 (SBS Music Awards) 대상 (Best Artist)
  • KBS 연예대상 (KBS Entertainment Awards) Best Entertainer
  • SBS 영상대전 (SBS Visual Arts Award) Photogenic Award
  • Golden Disk Awards: Bonsang Award
  • Mnet Asian Music Awards - Best Male Artist for "Standstill"[23]
  • Korean Entertainer Awards Ballad Award
  • BBF Popular Singer Award
  • SBS Entertainment Awards - Best TV Star Award
  • SBS Entertainment Awards: Excellence Award (Variety Category)[24]
  • Eat your Kimchi Awards: BEST BROHOHO VIDEO (Men Are All Like That)
  • Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards 2013 - Asia’s Most Charismatic Korean Host [25]
  • 2013 KBS Entertainment Awards - Best Entertainer Award (Show/Entertainment) - Kim Jong-Kook ('Safety First!') [26]
  • SBS Entertainment Awards 2013 - Excellence Awards (Male) [27]
  • SBS Entertainment Awards 2013 - Viewers Choice Popularity Award (Running Man) [28]
  • SBS Entertainment Awards 2014 - High Excellence Award (Variety Shows)[29]
  • SBS Entertainment Awards 2014 - Sohu China Netizen Popularity Award

Music chart wins[edit]

SBS's Inkigayo[edit]

Year Date Song
2004 26 September "One Man"
3 October
2005 7 August "Walking in the Same Place"
14 August
21 August
11 September "Lovely"
25 September
2 October
2008 23 November "Today More Than Yesterday"

KBS's Music Bank[edit]

Year Date Song
2008 7 November "Today More Than Yesterday"
14 November


  1. ^ Kim Jong Kook graduates from Dankook University with a Master degree. 17 February 2011. Retrieved: 4 March 2011
  2. ^ "Kim Jongkook to make a comeback to the music scene"
  3. ^ "Xman 46 - EP 102"
  4. ^ "Kim Jong Kook is Looking Good"
  5. ^ "Kim Jong Kook and Yoon Eun Hye - XMan Story"
  6. ^ April 2006 Album Sales. Music Industry Association of Korea. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  7. ^ September 2006 Album Sales. Music Industry Association of Korea. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  8. ^ [MD동영상]소집해제 김종국,"원더걸스와 소녀시대 반가워요~". MyDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  9. ^ Winners from the 2011 SBS Entertainment Awards. AllKpop. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  10. ^ "Kim Jong-kook Hopes to Reclaim Singing Career". Chosun Ilbo. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (1 November 2012). "Kim Jong Kook Says ‘Men Are All Like That’ with Song Joong Ki". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 October 2012). "Song Joong Ki Appears in Kim Jong Kook’s MV For Free". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Kim Jong Kook Impresses with His English Skills". Soompi. 2014-12-27. Retrieved 2014-12-27. 
  20. ^ benightedxflame (December 2, 2014). "Exclusive: Win Tickets to See Running Man’s Kim Jong Kook and Haha in NYC, Dallas". Soompi. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ Lee, Min Ji (November 27, 2014). "Kim Jong Kook and Haha to Hold ‘Running Man Bros’ Concert in America". CJ E&M MWave. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "2005 Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  24. ^ Lee, Nancy "Yoo Jae Suk Wins Big, Winners from 2011 SBS Entertainment Awards" CJ E&M enewsWorld. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-14
  25. ^ Kim Jong Kook Takes Home the MC Award from the “Yahoo Asia Buzz Award 2013”. 02 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-06
  26. ^ [1] 21 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-21
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ [2]. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-31

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
SBS Gayo Daejun Award - Daesang Award
Succeeded by
Preceded by
KBS Music Award - Daesang Award
Succeeded by