Cho Yong-pil

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Cho Yong Pil
Cho Yong-pil from acrofan.jpg
Cho Yong-pil in April 2013
Background information
Born (1950-03-21) March 21, 1950 (age 68)
Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, Korea
GenresK-pop, trot, new wave
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1968–present
LabelsJigu Record, Pil Records, Universal Music
WebsiteOfficial Website
Korean name
Revised RomanizationJo Yong-pil
McCune–ReischauerCho Yongp'il

Cho Yong-pil (Hangul조용필; born March 21, 1950)[1] is a South Korean pop singer who is considered one of the most influential figures in Korean popular music. He debuted as a member of the rock band Atkins in 1968 and made his solo debut with the hit single "Come Back to Busan Port" in 1976. Cho has released 19 solo albums and has remained consistently popular during his 50-year career.[2][3]


Early years: 1950–1968[edit]

Cho Yong-pil was born in Hwaseong, South Korea. When he was seven, he happened to listen to Ray Charles playing the harmonica, and this inspired the young Cho to play music. Thus, he commenced music career as a guitarist, but he became successful as a great pop singer in East Asia.

Atkins and Five Fingers period: 1969–1971[edit]

Cho formed a band called Atkins, a country & western group, and played for the United States Army. Later, he founded Five Fingers, which played music by black artists.

Kim Trio: 1971[edit]

In 1971, Cho joined the band, Kim Trio, which motivated him to perform rock music. Members of Kim Trio were Pa Kim (guitar), Dan Kim (drum) and Sun Kim (keyboard).

Commercial success: 1980–1992[edit]

His first single, "Come Back to Busan Port," brought him national attention when it was released in 1975, later becoming a hit in Japan. Cho then made a Japanese-language version of the song, and sang live in Japan. His first album, Chang bakkui yeoja 창 밖의 여자 (The Woman outside the Window), was released in 1980 and has been followed by many others. In 1980, he had a concert at Carnegie Hall in the city of New York, the first Korean singer at Carnegie Hall. With a total of 19 albums, he has received numerous awards such as the KBS and MBC Best Artist Award (1980–1986), Ampex Golden Reel Award (1982) and the CBS-Sony Golden Disc Award (1984).

Commercial decline and concerts: 1992[edit]

His commercial success declined after the appearance of the renowned group, Seo Taiji and Boys and many other young musicians. His studio albums released after 1992 were not so successful. Noticing this, he announced that he would stop appearing on television, concluding that he would hardly make any hits. Subsequently, he focused more on concerts and music performance. In 1993, his Busan concert attracted an audience of 1 million, a record for South Korea. In 2005, Cho performed a concert in Pyongyang, North Korea, an extremely rare event for a South Korean singer. He performs over thirty concerts per year. However, he attempted to compose diverse kinds of pop music, including rock music. In the end, he composed a great hybrid album based on pop and classical music, which revealed his inherent ultimate musical sense, comparable to that of famous western musicians. Such gifted musical talent is a major driving force to maintain great live tours at the World Cup Soccer Stadium in South Korea, even at the age of over 60.

19th album "Hello": 2013[edit]

In April 2013, Cho released his 19th album titled "Hello," which debuted at #1 on the Korean pop charts eclipsing Psy's "Gentleman" On 25 April 2013, he came back to TV via the showcase 'Hello'. This show was also broadcast live on YouTube.[4]

The album ranked number 1 in GAON Album Chart for the week of April 21–27, 2013. Two songs from the said album also managed to grab top spots in Korean Music Shows. Hello was on top spot in MBC Music Show Champion on May 1. "Bounce" on the other hand, grabbed the top spot over Roy Kim's "Spring Spring Spring" and Psy's "Gentleman" in KBS Music Bank on May 3 and another one over SHINee's "Why So Serious?" on May 10. MBC Show! Music Core also gave the top award for the same song on May 4.


Korean studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales

Hot 100

Woman Outside The Window
(창밖의 여자)
  • Released: March 20, 1980
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
No data No data
  • KOR: 1,000,000+[7]
  • Released: December 5, 1980
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
No data
Cho Yong Pil 3
  • Released: July 10, 1981
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
Can't Find the Oriole
(못찾겠다 꾀꼬리)
  • Released: May 17, 1982
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
Cho Yong Pil 5
  • Released: June 25, 1983
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
Cho Yong Pil 6
  • Released: February 9, 1984
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
Cho Yong Pil 7
  • Released: April 4, 1985
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
Empty Space
  • Released: November 15, 1985
  • Label: Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
Love and Life and Me!
(사랑과 인생과 나!)
  • Released: May 10, 1987
  • Label: Pil Company, Jigu Records
  • Format: LP
No data
Cho Yong Pil '88
  • Released: October 30, 1988
  • Label: Pil Company, Jigu Records
  • Format: CD, cassette
10th Album Part II
(10집 Part II)
  • Released: January 1, 1989
  • Label: Pil Company
  • Format: CD, cassette
Sailing Sound
(추억속의 재회)
The Dreams
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, cassette
Cho Yong Pil 14
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, cassette
Cho Yong Pil and the Great Birth
(조용필과 위대한탄생)
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, cassette
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, cassette
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, cassette
Over The Rainbow
  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, cassette
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Universal Music
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
1 1
  • KOR: 250,046+[8]

Japanese studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
Hello (Japan Edition)
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Universal Music
264 N/A


  • Speech which wind conveys (1985)


Gaon Chart Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
2013 Album of the Year - 2nd Quarter Cho Yong Pil Won
Lifetime Achievement Award Won

Golden Disc Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result[10]
1986 Album of the Year (Daesang) Empty Space Won
1986 Best Artist (Bonsang) Cho Yong Pil Won
2005 Special Achievement Award Won
2014 Best Artist (Bonsang) Won

KBS Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Result
1980 "Woman Outside The Window" Won
1981 "Red Dragonfly" Won
1982 "Tragic Love" Won
1983 "Dear Friend" Won
1985 "Yesterday, Today, And..." Won

Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result[11]
2013 Album of the Year (Daesang) Hello Nominated
Artist of the Year (Daesang) Cho Yong Pil Nominated
Song of the Year (Daesang) "Bounce" Won
Best Music Video "Hello" Nominated
Best Male Artist Cho Yong Pil Nominated
Best Vocal Performance - Male "Bounce" Nominated

Seoul Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result[12]
2003 Best Live Performance Cho Yong Pil Won
2013 Main Prize (Bonsang) Won
Record of the Year Hello Won

Other awards[edit]

Year Award-giving body Category Recipient Result
1982 Ampex Ampex Golden Reel Award Cho Yong Pil Won
1984 CBS-Sony CBS-Sony Golden Disc Award Cho Yong Pil Won
1986 Japan Gold Disc Award "A Lost Child of Memory" Won
2013 Melon Music Awards Best Rock Award[13] "Bounce" Won
Music Bank 1st Place Award of the Year Won
SBS MTV Best of the Best Best Comeback[14] Hello Won
2018 Korea Popular Music Awards Thanks to You Award Cho Yong Pil Won

Music programs[edit]

These are collection of Cho Yong-pil's wins on Korea's televised music shows.

Top 10 Songs[edit]

Top 10 Songs is now known as Music Bank on KBS.

Year Date Song
1981 February 10 "Candlelight" ("촛불")
February 17
February 24
March 10
March 17
March 24
March 31
October 13 "Hate hate hate" ("미워 미워 미워")
October 20
October 27
November 3
December 22
1982 January 5
August 18 "Do not find oriole" ("못찾겠다 꾀꼬리")
August 25
September 1
September 8
September 15
September 22
September 29
October 6
October 27
November 3
1983 January 12 "Tragic love" ("비련")
January 19
January 26
February 2
February 16
August 28 "I like you" ("나는 너 좋아")
September 11
September 18
September 25
October 2
1984 February 12 "A friend" ("친구여")
February 19
February 26
March 4
March 11
August 5 "Mind of emotion" ("정의 마음")
August 12
August 19
August 26
September 2
November 4 "Party of tear" ("눈물의 파티")
November 11
November 18
1985 June 19 "Yesterday today and" ("어제 오늘 그리고")
June 26
July 10
July 17
July 24
October 23 "Darling" ("그대여")
October 30
November 13
November 20
November 27
December 4
December 11
1986 March 19 "The empty sky" ("허공")
March 26
April 2
April 9
April 16
November 5 "Speech which wind conveys" ("바람이 전하는 말")
November 12
November 19
1988 January 20 "Wherever you stay" ("그대 발길 머무는 곳에")
October 5 "Seoul Seoul Seoul" ("서울 서울 서울")
1989 May 21 "Q"

Show Network[edit]

Show Network is now known as Show! Music Core on MBC.

Year Date Song
1990 August 24 "Reunion in memory" ("추억속의 재회")
September 7
September 14
September 21
September 28
October 5

KBS Music Bank[edit]

Year Date Song
2013 May 3 "Bounce"
May 10
December 20 (Year End Special)

MBC Show! Music Core[edit]

Year Date Song
2013 May 4 "Bounce"

MBC Music Show Champion[edit]

Year Date Song
2013 May 1 "Hello"

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "조용필 소개" [Cho Yong Pil Profile]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  2. ^ "Pop legend Cho Yong-pil to hold national tour to mark his 50th anniv". Yonhap News Agency. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  3. ^ Baek, Byung-yeul (2013-04-18). "Cho Yong-pil is still Korean king of pop". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  4. ^ "조용필 쇼케이스 인터넷 생중계 25만명 시청…대학축제 섭외 봇물". 헤럴드경제. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Gaon Album Chart". Gaon Music Chart.
  6. ^ "Billboard K-Pop Hot 100". Billboard.
  7. ^ "[노래의 탄생]조용필 '창밖의 여자'". The Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). 2018-03-25. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  8. ^ Sales of Hello:
  9. ^ "Oricon Album Chart". Oricon.
  10. ^ "역대수상자 | 골든디스크" [Previous Winners]. Golden Disc Awards (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  11. ^ "2013 Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  12. ^ "역대 수상자" [All Winners]. Seoul Music Awards (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  13. ^ "Melon Music Awards". Melon (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  14. ^ "2013 SBS MTV Best of the Best". MTV Korea (in Korean). 2013. Retrieved 2018-02-05.