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190927 최강창민.jpg
Changmin in 2019
Shim Chang-min

(1988-02-18) February 18, 1988 (age 33)
Seoul, South Korea
Other names
  • Max
  • Max Changmin
  • Singer-songwriter
  • lyricist
  • actor
Years active2003–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSim Changmin
McCune–ReischauerSim Ch'angmin
Stage name
Revised RomanizationChoegang Changmin
McCune–ReischauerCh'oegang Ch'angmin
Changmin's signature.png

Shim Chang-min (Korean심창민; Hanja沈昌珉; born February 18, 1988), also known by his stage name Max Changmin (최강창민; Choegang Changmin) or simply as Max, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, actor, and a member of the pop duo TVXQ. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Changmin was scouted by an SM Entertainment talent agent when he was fourteen years old. He made his debut as TVXQ's youngest member in December 2003.[1]

Fluent in both Korean and Japanese, Changmin has achieved commercial success throughout Asia as the main vocalist of TVXQ. He has also starred in several dramas.

Early life[edit]

Changmin was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea to a Buddhist family. He has two younger sisters, and both of his parents are teachers. When he was fourteen years old, a talent scout from S.M. Entertainment spotted Changmin while he was singing and playing badminton at the same time during gym class. The scout suggested him to audition for S.M., but Changmin had no interest in becoming a singer. His mother, wanting for a chance to meet BoA,[2] urged Changmin to attend the casting auditions anyway. Three days after auditioning, S.M. called in Changmin for a second audition, which he passed. After winning the Best Singer and Best Artist award at S.M.'s 6th Annual Youth Best Contest, Changmin signed with the company.[3]

Music career[edit]


The final line-up of TVXQ consisted of Changmin, U-Know Yunho, Kim Jae-joong, Park Yoo-chun, and Kim Jun-su. The group officially debuted on December 26, 2003 during a BoA and Britney Spears showcase. They performed their debut single "Hug", which became a hit in South Korea. TVXQ have been releasing number one albums in Korea since their second studio album Rising Sun (2005), which was also the album that gave the group their first Daesang (대상), or Grand Award, at the Mnet KM Music Festival. Their fourth Korean album Mirotic (2008) was the Album of the Year at the 2008 Mnet KM Music Festival and the 2008 Golden Disc Awards. The album features the group's most well-known and best-selling single, "Mirotic."

In 2005, TVXQ made their Japanese debut with the single "Stay with Me Tonight," debuting at number 37 on the Oricon Singles Chart. They grabbed their first number one single in Japan with "Purple Line" (2008). Their fourth Japanese album The Secret Code spawned two platinum-selling singles "Dōshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandarō?" and Share the World" (2009), a theme song for the anime One Piece.

TVXQ was plunged into legal turmoil when members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu filed an injunction against their agency in July 2009. This led to their much-publicized departure from the group in 2010. A year later, Changmin and Yunho returned as a duo, releasing albums in both Korean and Japanese. As a duo, TVXQ set sales records and concert attendance records in Japan, becoming the country's best-selling and highest-grossing foreign music act.[4]

S.M. The Ballad and solo career[edit]

In 2014, Changmin joined the ballad group S.M. the Ballad, initially formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2010. On the group's 2nd album Breath, he sang the Japanese version of the title track "Breath" with f(x)'s Krystal Jung.[5]

2015–2020: Close to You and Chocolate[edit]

Changmin released his first Japanese solo mini album Close to You on November 18, 2015, one day before his enlistment. The lead single is a ballad titled "Into the Water", among six other tracks.[6] Bundled with a DVD that includes a music video and behind-the-scenes footage, Close to You was a limited release and was only made available for purchase to members of TVXQ's Japanese fanclub, Bigeast.[7]

On March 13, 2020, it was reported that the TVXQ member was preparing to release a solo album. A source from SM Entertainment confirmed the news and stated, "Changmin is currently working hard, with the goal of releasing his solo album in April."[8]

On March 23, 2020, SM Entertainment announced that Changmin would be releasing his debut mini-album Chocolate on April 6.[9] The mini-album consists of six songs of varying genres—including the title track "Chocolate" and features a collaboration with Korean singer Chungha.[10]

Although Changmin had previously released solo songs in the past, through TVXQ's albums, contributions to soundtracks and as well as a Japanese solo mini-album, Chocolate marked Changmin's official solo debut in Korea after debuting in the band more than 16 years ago. Fellow member Yunho also released his first solo mini-album True Colors the previous year.

Television and acting career[edit]

Changmin made his acting debut alongside TVXQ in the miniseries Vacation,[11] which had a special premiere and screening at the main auditorium of Yonsei University.[12] He also participated in a number of episodes of Banjun Drama, a popular mini series that aired on SBS network.[13][14]

In 2010, Changmin had a guest role in the action thriller series Athena: Goddess of War, playing a NIS explosives specialist.[15]

In 2011, Changmin took on his first lead role in the romantic comedy drama Paradise Ranch opposite Lee Yeon-hee.[16][17] He also dubbed his own voice for the Japanese release of Paradise Ranch.[18]

In 2012, Changmin made his big-screen debut in the Japanese film Fly With the Gold based on the novel by Takamura Kaoru. He plays Momo, a North Korean spy disguised as an engineering student.[19][20] He has been praised for his fluent Osaka dialect in the film by director Izutsu Kazuyuki.[21] Changmin was nominated for the Newcomer Award at the prestigious 37th annual Hochi Film Awards in Japan, becoming the first Korean artist to be nominated.[22] On January 21, 2013, it was announced that Changmin had won the for Newcomer of the Year award at the 36th Japanese Academy Award.[23]

In 2013, Changmin became a co-host alongside Kang Ho-dong for the KBS variety show Moonlight Prince. This is Changmin's first stint as a regular host.[24] Following the end of the show in March, Changmin joined the cast of sports variety show Cool Kiz On The Block as a cast member and left in 2014.[25]

In 2014, Changmin starred in Mnet's four-episode miniseries Mimi.[26][27] He next starred in the historical fantasy drama Scholar Who Walks The Night as Crown Prince Lee Yoon.[28]


24-year-old Korean man with a microphone and purple clothing
Changmin at the 2012 K-pop World Festival

Changmin is known for his high tenor register, particularly his screams and high notes.[29] He is also active as a lyricist, and has written for several of the band's music, including 2007's "Evergreen" (Only Love),[30][31] the Korean version of "Love in the Ice" (Mirotic),[32] "Confession" (Keep Your Head Down), and "I Swear" (Catch Me).[33]

Changmin has also written for other groups and artists; such as "Sleepless Night", a track in SHINee's third album Chapter 2. Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me;[34] and "Ace", the title track of Taemin's album Ace;[35] as well as "My Thoughts, Your Memories", a track on Kyuhyun's album At Gwanghwamun.

Personal life[edit]

Besides his native Korean, Changmin is fluent in Japanese. Changmin graduated from Gaepo High School in 2006 and was accepted into Kyung Hee University in 2009,[36] majoring in postmodern music. In 2011, he pursued a second degree in Film and Arts at Konkuk University.[37] He went on to pursue a master's degree at Inha University.[citation needed] He also has an interest in becoming a professional photographer, and is a student of photographer Kim Young-joon.[citation needed] The singer originally had planned to marry his non-celebrity girlfriend on September 5, 2020,[38] but the wedding was later postponed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.[39] The couple subsequently married in a private ceremony on October 25, 2020.[40]

Volunteer work[edit]

In January 2008, Changmin volunteered with his father in the cleanup of the beaches in Taean, South Korea following the nation's worst oil spill in history. His trip to Taean was intended to be done in secrecy during a short break from his activities with TVXQ during the new year and was only made known to the media and public when another volunteer posted his sighting on a fan site. The incident was later confirmed by TVXQ's agent.[41]

Military service[edit]

On July 7, 2015, Changmin applied for the Military Police to fulfill his compulsory national service.[42][43] He was inducted into the Republic of Korea Armed Forces as a conscripted policeman on November 19, 2015.[44][45] Changmin received five weeks of basic training at the Chungnam Nonsan Military Training Camp, and was the leader of his squad. He was honorably discharged from service on August 18, 2017.[46]


Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
Chocolate 2 3
Close to You
  • Released: November 18, 2015 (limited)
  • Label: Avex Trax
  • Format: CD+DVD
Track listing


  1. "Into The Water"
  2. "Michinori" (道程) (The Journey)
  3. "Oh No!"
  4. "Rock with U"
  5. "Gold Dust"
  6. "Admit It, You Love It"
  7. "Kogarashi ga Todoku Koro ni" (木枯らしが届く頃に) (When the Cold Winter Wind Comes)


  1. "Into the Water" (Video clip)
  2. Jacket Making Movie
  3. Off Shot Movie
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Year Song Originating album Notes
2008 "Wild Soul" Two Hearts/Wild Soul
2010 "Big Time" N/A Performed at SM Town Live '10 World Tour
2011 "고백 (Confession)" Keep Your Head Down
2012 "눈물 같은 사람 (A Person Like Tears)"[51] Jeon Woo-chi Original Soundtrack
2013 "Rock With U" Close To You Performed at Time: Live Tour 2013
"Gold Dust" Performed at The Mission II tour
2014 "Breath" (Japanese version) SM the Ballad Vol. 2 – Breath duet with Krystal of f(x)
"Heaven's Day" Spellbound
"슬픔 속에 그댈 지워야만 해 (Because I Love You) – Acoustic version"[52] Mimi Original Soundtrack
"Over" N/A Performed at Tree: Live Tour 2014
"사랑한다 그 말을 못해서 (Because I couldn't say the words "I Love You")"[53] The Night Watchman's Journal Original Soundtrack
2015 "Rise as One" Rise as God
2018 "Closer" New Chapter No. 1: The Chance of Love Co-written by Duncan Laurence, winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2019
"아스라이... (Beautiful Stranger)" New Chapter No. 2: The Truth of Love
2020 "Chocolate" Chocolate
"All That Love" SM Station Season 4

Lyric credits[edit]

Year Song Artist(s) Originating album Notes
2007 "Evergreen" TVXQ 2007 Winter SMTown – Only Love
2008 "Love In the Ice" Mirotic Korean version of "Love In the Ice"
2009 "12시 34분 (Nothing Better)" 2009 Summer SMTown – We are Shining
2011 "고백 (Confession)" Max Changmin Keep Your Head Down Also recorded in the original soundtrack for Paradise Ranch
2012 "I Swear" TVXQ Catch Me
"기억을 따라서 (Everlasting)" Live World Tour: Catch Me in Seoul Korean version of "Toki o Tomete"
2013 "떠나지 못해 (Sleepless Night)" Shinee Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me
2014 "Rise..." TVXQ Tense
"Heaven's Day" Max Changmin Spellbound
"Ace" Taemin Ace
" 나의 생각, 너의 기억 (My Thoughts, Your Memories)" Kyuhyun At Gwanghwamun
2017 "In a Different Life" Max Changmin
2018 "Sun & Rain" TVXQ New Chapter No. 1: The Chance of Love
"Jelly Love" New Chapter No. 2: The Truth of Love
"아스라이... (Beautiful Stranger)" Max Changmin
2019 "Come a Little Closer" (너와 나) Leeteuk, Shindong, Eunhyuk, Donghae Analog Trip Original Soundtrack
2020 "Chocolate" Max Changmin Chocolate
"No Tomorrow"
"All That Love" SM Station Season 4



Title Year Role Notes
Dating on Earth 2009 Changmin Direct-to-video
I AM. 2012 Himself Documentary film
Fly with the Gold Momo Japanese film
SMTOWN The Stage 2015 Himself Documentary film

Television series[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
Banjun Theater 2005 Max Changmin
Vacation 2006 Episode: "Beautiful Life"
Athena: Goddess of War 2010 Choi Tae-hyun Guest role
Paradise Ranch 2011 Han Dong-joo
Welcome to the Show Himself Cameo (Episode 1)
Saki 2013 Cafe customer Cameo (Episode 11)[54]
Mimi 2014 Han Min-woo
The Scholar Who Walks the Night 2015 Crown Prince Lee Yoon
Tensai Bakabon 3 2018 Changmin Cameo


Title Year Role Notes
Hologram Musical: School Oz[55] 2015 Oscar Main role

Travel series[edit]

Title Year Network Role Notes
Analog Trip 2019 YouTube Originals Himself [56]

Variety show[edit]

Title Year Notes Ref.
Cool Kiz On The Block 2013–14 Cast Member
Kingdom 2021 Host [57]
Free Hug 2021 Host [58]

Selected awards[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2012 Hochi Film Awards Best New Artist Fly with the Gold Nominated
2013 Japan Academy Awards Newcomer of the Year Won
Japan Film Critics Awards Best New Artist[59] Won
KBS Entertainment Awards Best Entertainer (Variety)[60] Cool Kiz On The Block Won
KBS Entertainment Awards Best Newcomer Moonlight Prince Nominated


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External links[edit]