Brian Joo

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Brian Joo
Brian Joo.jpg
Background information
Birth nameBrian Gintaek Joo
Also known asBrian G. Joo, Brian Minkyu Joo, Joo Min-kyoo (주민규)
Born (1981-01-10) January 10, 1981 (age 38)
New Jersey, United States
OriginAbsecon, New Jersey, United States
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Composer
  • Record producer
  • Actor
  • Television host
  • Vocals
  • Piano
  • Keyboard
  • Drums
Years active1999–present
Associated acts
Korean name
브라이언 주
Revised RomanizationBeuraieon Ju
McCune–ReischauerBŭraiŏn Ju
American name
브라이언 민규 주
Revised RomanizationBeuraieon Mingyu Ju
McCune–ReischauerBŭraiŏn Minkyu Ju
Korean name
Revised RomanizationJu Min-gyu
McCune–ReischauerChu Minkyu

Brian Joo (Korean브라이언 주; born January 10, 1981), better known simply as Brian, is an American-born South Korean K-pop and R&B recording artist who is better known as one-half of the R&B duo Fly to the Sky. His solo album, The Brian was released in December 2006. His 2nd solo album, Manifold was released in December 2009.

He had two birth names: as Brian Gintaek Joo for American and Joo Jin-taek (Korean주진택) for Korean. Later, he changed both of his real names to Brian Minkyu Joo for American and Joo Min-kyoo (Korean주민규) for Korean.[2]

Early life[edit]

Joo was born in Los Angeles, California to Korean immigrants. The family later moved to Absecon, New Jersey.[3] Brian's parents are employed at casinos in Atlantic City and his brother, Jason Joo, is an officer in the US Navy.[citation needed]

While attending Holy Spirit High School, a friend signed him up for an audition with Brothers Entertainment without Joo's knowledge. The company has discovered several Korean-Americans who wish to pursue an entertainment career in South Korea. After several months of training, he was sent to SM Entertainment in South Korea, and on December 9, 1999, made his debut as one of the two members of Fly to the Sky, along with Hwanhee, at the age of 17.

Joo later went on to attend Rutgers University, but only completed a single year. Attending school in the States while simultaneously being a recording artist in Korea became too demanding, and Joo decided to cease his education in the States and go to South Korea. While back in Seoul, Joo enrolled in Dongguk University, where he graduated from the Department of Theatre and Film.[4]

Fly to the Sky[edit]

Joo is a member of Fly to the Sky with Hwanhee, Brian sang and also rapped. As Fly to the Sky made its musical transition from bubblegum pop to heavy R&B, Joo felt discontent and inferior, and felt that Hwanhee was more appreciated for his vocal skills.[5]

Joo has appeared on television many times. Since 2005, he has appeared on a number of variety shows, including hosting MBC's Music Core in 2006 and becoming a host for SBS' Green Gold in 2009.

In August 2009, Fly to the Sky decided to work on separate projects and have become solo singers under different labels.

On April 14, 2014, Brian Joo announced on his Twitter that Fly to the Sky will be making their comeback in May. The band later signed up with H2 Media, the agency of member Hwanhee.[6] Their 9th new album "Continiuum" has been released and the main title track is "You You You".[7] The single peaked at number one on Gaon digital chart.[8]

Although being on hiatus for five years, Hwanhee and Brian expressed their good teamwork and solid friendship in an interview, telling "There were rumors about us being gay and liking men, but it's not like that. We're that close so people feel that way about us".[9]

Solo career[edit]

During September 2006, Joo announced that the release of his debut solo album, The Brian.[10] Originally scheduled for released in November 2006, the album was postponed to December. The album incorporated diverse genres such as classic pop, soul, and jazz. With this album, Joo hoped to gain more respect as an artist, rather than being known as "Fly to the Sky without Fany".[11] He describes the reason for the solo album as,

First of all, I just wanted to do it. I also wanted to show that I could [be successful] as Brian (sic). When (Fly to the Sky) sang, many think Fany is the main vocal, and that I am the second vocal and a rapper. I won't mention his name, but one producer once said to Fany, "You are a really good singer", when he only said "Good job", to me. So I wanted to prove that I could do it too.[12]

Originally, the album was to be fully recorded in English.;[13] due to lack of time, however, all tracks are in Korean, excluding the English track "All I Know". Joo performed his first single, "가지마" (Don't Go), on Mnet Countdown on December 7.[14] He released three songs from the album to music website[15] Released on December 18, the album debuted at #7 behind TVXQ and sold 15,376 copies in the first month.[16] On January 21, "가지마" (Don't Go) was selected as the "Mutizen Song" on SBS Inkigayo.[17] Due to hectic schedule, Joo has been suffering from vocal fold nodule.[18]

Joo is interested in pursuing an acting career, and said his dream was to be a star in Hollywood.[19] Brian is interested in breaking into the American music industry, as Rain and Se7en are doing, but is waiting for the right opportunity.

Most recently, Joo starred (as himself) in the English segment of the mini-series, Homey Korean, presented by Arirang. Joo - along with co-star and real life friend, Chris Pemberton - teach basic Korean language as well as discuss the culture, landmarks, popular tourist sites, and daily life of Korea to English-speaking foreigners.

Recently, Joo made a cover version of Jason Derülo's "In My Head".

7 April, Joo released his new mini album UNVEILED.

May 2011, Joo released the mini album UNVEILED through iTunes. He tweeted: "Great news~! My Mini-Album "UNVEILED" will be released on iTunes on May 17, 2011~ Spread the word & let's get me up on the iTunes charts ;"

The title song was Loved, It's Now Over. A representative from Jellyfish Entertainment stated: "Brian is recognized as the person who's always making people laugh, but he wanted to show that he does have other feelings such as sadness and pain. I think you'll be able to see a more diverse side of Brian through the album that will be released soon and the music video."

In June 2011, Joo went on a solo US Tour. The UNVEILED Tour was held in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.[20] Opening act included LA based electro-pop group IAMMEDIC.[21][22]

On March 21st, 2012, Brian Joo performed at 2K12 Korea Night: Seoulsonic at Kool Haus in Toronto along with artists such as A Pink, Teen Top, G.NA and many more. The show was hosted to around 700-1,600 fans and it was also stated that some fans couldn't get into the concert (even with tickets) because the venue was filled. Brian Joo stated in an interview that he loved Toronto very much, was surprised by how kind and calm the fans were, and stated that once he retires he would like to come and live in Toronto permanently.

Currently Brian Joo is working as a radio DJ at tbs eFM 101.3 for a show titled "What's Poppin'." The show airs Mondays through Fridays 9am-10am.

He is the current host of The Qmentary on 1theK YouTube Channel.[23][24]

In an interview published in the July 2018 issue of Beauty10 magazine, Brian revealed that Fly to the Sky would release an album during the 4th quarter of the year to celebrate the group's 19th anniversary.[25]

Musical theater (2012)[edit]

In 2012, Joo performed as a principal cast member representing the Korean culture in Loving the Silent Tears, a Broadway-style,at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, USA, to commemorate the 19th Anniversary of Supreme Master Ching Hai Day. The musical, based on Supreme Master Ching Hai's poetry collection, Silent Tears.[26][27]


Fly to the Sky[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
[citation needed]
1999 Day by Day 6
2001 The Promise 2
2002 Sea of Love 2
2003 Missing You 2
2004 Gravity 5
2006 Transition 3
2007 No Limitations 1
2009 Decennium 1


Album information Track listing
Volume 1 - The Brian
Track listing
  1. 일 년을 겨울에 살아(Living One Year in Winter)
  2. 가지마 (Don't Go)
  3. First Date
  4. 사랑하지 않으니까요(Because I Don't Love You)
  5. 닮아 가기(Becoming Similar)
  6. 하지 말라고
  7. 신사(Gentleman)
  8. 검은 눈물(Black Tear)
  9. 눈물 속으로(Into the Tears)
  10. 바래! 바래! (I Want! I Want!) (feat. 윤동훈 Trepass)
  11. All I know
  12. 바래! 바래! (I Want! I Want!) (Remix)
Volume 2 - Manifold
Track listing
  1. Dreaming
  2. 내 여자 (My Girl) (feat. Supreme Team)
  3. One Step
  4. Erase
  5. Tell Me Baby (feat. Day Day of Dalmatian)
  6. Lock Me Up
  7. Bullet
  8. Move It
  9. 친구의 여자를 사랑했네 (A Friend's Girl I Loved) (feat. Tablo & Mithra Jin)
  10. 눈물이 마르면... (Tears Run Dry)
  11. Do It (Move It English Ver.)
  12. Tears Run Dry (눈물이 마르면... English Ver.)
  13. Bullet (English Ver.)
Track listing
  1. 눈물의 구성요소
  2. Loved, It's Now Over
  3. 나도 약속이 있었으면 좋겠다
  4. 24
  5. Song 4 U
  6. Domino (English Version)
  7. Loved, It's Now Over (English Version)
  8. 사랑하다 끝났어 [Instrument]
  9. Shine. (On Your Heart_ 단편영화 "출발" OST) (Physical Only) [Bonus Track]
Reborn Part 1 [30]
Track listing
  1. Neo Ttawin Beorigo (feat. Tiger JK) (너 따윈 버리고; Let This Die)
  2. Can't Stop (feat. Jay Park, Beenzino)
  3. Don't Tell Me I'm Wrong (Duet With Jade Valerie)
  4. Let This Die (Extended Eng Ver.) (feat. Flowsik)
  5. Can't Stop (Eng Ver.) (feat. Jay Park, Dumbfoundead)
  6. Domino (Acoustic Ver.)
  7. Neo Ttawin Beorigo (inst.)

TV shows[edit]

Year Title Network
2014 Immortal Songs 2 Heat of the Saturday Night Special! with Hwanhee KBS
2018 Yeonnam-dong 539[31] MBN


Joo's ties to the United States stirred controversy in 2002, when Fly to the Sky was the host of the radio show "1010 Club". At that time, the death of two teenage Korean girls in the Highway 56 Accident caused a surge in anti-American sentiment in Korea. Because of Joo's American citizenship, guest Hyun Jin-Young asked for his opinion regarding this matter. In response, Joo stated that while the American soldier must be brought to justice, he did not want relations between Korea and the United States, his home country, to become strained. His comments were reported as "You can't talk badly about the United States in front of me. I'm an American. Please only hate the American soldiers (responsible for the incident)." (내 앞에서 미국에 대해 나쁘게 얘기하면 안 된다. 나는 미국인이다. (사건을 일으킨) 미군 부대만 싫어해달라)[32]

Joo's statement was met with harsh criticism and backlash. Not long after the airing he posted a statement on the website of 1010 Club, in an attempt to clarify his position:

Unfortunately, during our program, I might have said something that some people took the wrong way...I wanted to make clear that the people involved with the incident are guilty and should face proper punishment. I also understand that the officers involved said that they were not guilty, which in fact they were. Even if they said that it was an accident, they still caused the accident, and for that should be willing to face what comes to them. That is what I wanted to point out and but, since my KOREAN isn't 100% good, I believe what I said threw a lot of people off I would like to take the time to apologize. Please do not be upset with me for this misunderstanding.[33]


  1. ^ (in Korean)
  2. ^ SBS TV Family Outing the 2nd episode, and the video clips A & B at SBS official website.
  3. ^ [dead link] '플라이 투 더 스카이' 브라이언 "난 뼛속까지 한국인" (Brian of Fly to the Sky, "I'm Korean to the bone") Archived 2006-09-21 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [dead link] 브라이언 “대학 못간 거 가장 후회” Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [dead link] 신화, 플라이 투 더 스카이, 쥬얼리, 장수 비결은? Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^
  7. ^ Fly to the Sky Returns with “Continuum” on May 20 (April 30, 2014). Retrieved on May 20, 2014.
  8. ^ Gaon Digital Chart Week 22 of 2014 Archived 2014-06-01 at the Wayback Machine (May 2014). Retrieved May 31, 2014
  9. ^ Fly to the Sky: “Rumors That We Are a Couple Are Better than Rumors of Us Fighting” (June 11, 2014). Retrieved on June 15, 2014.
  10. ^ [dead link] '솔로 데뷔' 브라이언, "주말쯤 녹음 시작 예정" Brian to start recording solo album Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ [dead link] 브라이언 "환희와의 비교에 우울증" (Brian, "Comparison with Fany led to Depression") Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ [dead link] '솔로 데뷔' 브라이언, "나도 할 수 있다는 것 보여 주겠다" Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ [dead link] Garcia, Cathy Rose A. Korea Times. Brian Joo Flies Solo Retrieved January 31, 2007.
  14. ^ [dead link] 브라이언, "솔로 앨범서 올드 팝 선보일 것" (Brian to showcase classic pop) Archived 2008-01-30 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ [dead link] Brian releases songs from his first album! Archived 2007-01-06 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ [dead link] Music Industry Association of Korea: December 2006 Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
  17. ^ "Mutizen" is a portmanteau of "music" and "netizen".
  18. ^ [dead link] 브라이언, 성대 결절 위기.. 솔로 활동 '비상' Archived 2007-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ 브라이언 “환희와 교제설 나올만 해요” Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved January 26, 2007
  20. ^ "notice - Brian Joo's 2011 U.S. Club Tour _ New Info".
  21. ^ "Monday Giveaway: Brian Joo In Concert!". Archived from the original on 2011-10-20.
  22. ^ "Brian Joo releases mini-album 'Unveiled' and MV for 'It's Over Love'". 2011-04-07. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  23. ^
  24. ^ The Qmentary(더큐멘터리) by 1theK
  25. ^
  26. ^ BWW News Desk (8 August 2012). "Liz Callaway, Debbie Gravitte, Jon Secada and More Set for LOVING THE SILENT TEARS in LA, 10/27".
  27. ^ "Loving the Silent Tears... - A New MusicalLoving the Silent Tears… - A New Musical". Loving the Silent Tears... Archived from the original on 2012-09-26.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2010-10-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Brian Joo "Unveiled" tracklist + comeback dates". 2011-04-04. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  30. ^ "Brian Mini Album - ReBorn Part 1 CD - Brian Joo (Fly to the Sky), CJ E&M - Korean Music - Free Shipping". Yesasia. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  31. ^ [공식] 브라이언, 연기자 겸업 선언…'연남동539' 캐스팅 확정. News1 (in Korean). December 20, 2017.
  32. ^ [dead link] 브라이언 '미국에 대해 나쁘게 얘기하면 안 된다' 논란..[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ [dead link] 플라이 투 더 스카이 브라이언... "나는 미국인" 발언 구설수 (Brian of Fly to the Sky, "I'm an American" statement controversy) Retrieved December 24, 2006.

External links[edit]