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Kim Jae-joong

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Kim Jae-joong
Jaejoong cropped.jpg
Native name 김재중
Born Han Jae-joon
(1986-01-26) January 26, 1986 (age 31)
Gongju, South Chungcheong, South Korea
Other names
  • Hero
  • Jejung
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • director
  • designer
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2003–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Hangul 김재중
Revised Romanization Gim Jae-jung
McCune–Reischauer Kim Chaejung

Kim Jae-joong (Hangul김재중; Hanja金在中; born January 26, 1986), also known mononymously as Jaejoong, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, actor, director and designer. He is best known as a member of the Korean pop group JYJ, and was one of the original members of boy band TVXQ. Kim was also known by the stage names Hero Jaejoong (in South Korea), Jejung (ジェジュン) (in Japan), and 英雄在中 (영웅재중) (in China). Kim is now using Kim Jae-joong (JYJ) for his activities.

Kim has branched out to act in TV dramas including Sunao ni Narenakute, Protect the Boss, Dr. Jin, Triangle and most recently SPY and in films such as Heaven's Postman and Jackal is Coming. He was also the Executive Director for JYJ's 2011 Worldwide Tour and the 2011 LG Whisen Rhythmic All Stars.

In January 2013 he released his first EP, titled I, followed by a full-length album, WWW in October the same year.

Early life

Kim was born Han Jae-joon (한재준; 韩在俊) in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. His real birthday, as revealed by his biological mother, was on 4 February, instead of 26 January. At a young age, he was given up for adoption by his biological mother to the Kim family, and his name was changed to Kim Jae-joong.[1]

When Kim was fifteen, he moved to Seoul by himself in order to take part in the auditions held by SM Entertainment. Life in Seoul was financially difficult and he took various odd jobs to pay for rent, food, and training fees, he even appeared as an extra in movies.[2] In an interview he admitted he used to be tone-deaf in primary school and was frequently ridiculed for his dream of becoming a singer. He practiced singing on his own.[3]

Kim attended Gongju Jungdong Elementary School (중동초등학교), Kongju National University Middle School (공주대학교 사범대학 부설중학교), Kongju Information High School (공주정보고등학교) and then dropped out in 2001. He enrolled Hanam High School (하남고등학교) in 2005[4] and Kyung Hee Cyber University (경희사이버대학교), majoring in Digital Media Engineering.[5]

Music career


In 2001, at fifteen years old, Kim auditioned for S.M. Entertainment and was accepted into the agency. From 2003 to 2010, he was the lead vocalist of South Korean boy band TVXQ. After TVXQ went on hiatus in early 2010, he and two other fellow band members Yoochun and Junsu formed a new trio boy group, initially known as JUNSU/JEJUNG/YUCHUN in Japan.


In 2009 Kim, Junsu and Yoochun, started a lawsuit against their agency, S.M. Entertainment, and separated from TVXQ, soon founding their own band, JYJ.[6] Their debut Japanese language EP The..., released in September 2010, and their first concert DVD from Tokyo Dome Thanksgiving Live in Dome both reached No. 1 on the Japanese Oricon album and DVD charts.[7] The group's global, English language debut album, The Beginning, was released in October 2010, featuring Kanye West.[8]

In January 2011 they released a Korean EP, Their Rooms "Our Story", with three of Kim's own compositions, "Pierrot" (삐에로), "Nine" and "I.D.S.".[9] In April he toured Asia and North America with JYJ,[10] and later South America and Europe. He was also stage director of the Asian leg of the tour.[11] In September the band released a studio album called In Heaven, which sold 350,000 copies[12] and ranked first on the Gaon charts.[13] He composed two new songs for the album, "In Heaven" and "Get Out".[14][15] He composed "In Heaven" in memory of his good friend, Park Yong-ha, who committed suicide.[16]

In July 2014, JYJ released their second full-length album Just Us. Kim wrote lyrics for 4 songs, “Let Me See”, “Babo Boy”, “Dear J” and “Creation”. Recently over 160,000 and 40,000 copies were sold in South Korea and Japan respectively. The album ranked first and second in Gaon and Oricon charts.[17] [18]

Solo singing projects

Kim Jaejoong in 2011

Apart from TVXQ and JYJ, Kim has worked on solo activities as a singer. He sang, "Insa" (인사 lit. Greeting), for the soundtrack of A Millionaire's First Love.[19] Kim collaborated with label-mates The Grace for the Japanese version of their song "Just for One Day", which was featured on their fifth Japanese single and their debut album, Graceful 4.[20][21]

Kim also sang the solo track "Maze" for the fifth and final single of the Trick Project, "Keyword/Maze".[22] Jaejoong wrote and composed "Wasurenaide" (忘れないで, lit. Don't Forget) which was included on Tohoshinki's twenty-fifth single "Bolero/Kiss the Baby Sky/Wasurenaide."[23][24] The song was also on their fourth Japanese album The Secret Code, along with the songs "9095" and "9096" which were also composed by Kim. The song, "忘れないで" was used in television advertisement for cosmetics in Japan.[25]

On September 30, 2009, Kim and bandmate Yoochun released a self-composed single "Colors (Melody and Harmony)/Shelter." The A-side track, Colors (Melody and Harmony), was used as the image song for Hello Kitty's thirty-fifth anniversary. Jaejoong and Yoochun also participated in "m-flo TRIBUTE -maison de m-flo" singing "Been So Long."[26]

Kim sang "Love" for the soundtrack of the movie Heaven's Postman in which he starred as the male lead. He also sang "Found You" and "For you It’s Separation, For me It’s Waiting" for the soundtrack of the television drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal, "I'll Protect You" for the soundtrack of the television drama Protect the Boss, and "Living Like A Dream" for the soundtrack of the television Drama Dr. Jin.

Kim Jaejoong in 2013

On January 17, 2013, Kim released his first solo mini-album titled I/MINE. The rock-themed album debuted at the top of both the Hanteo and Gaon weekly charts in Korea and broke previous pre-order records in Japan.[27][28][29] It also topped the iTunes overall chart in Japan, as well as the iTunes rock charts in nine countries.[30][31] On 26 and 27 January, Kim held two days of special concerts at the KINTEX Ilsan to celebrate the launch of the album, as well as his birthday.[32] The 16,000 tickets to the concert were sold in record time.[33]

His first full-length solo album, WWW, was released on 29 October 2013. A duet with Lee Sang-gon of Noel was pre-released on the October 15, 2013.[34]

Composing and songwriting

Role Song Language Album(s)
Composer; Lyricist 사랑아 울지마 (Sarang-a Uljima; Don't Cry My Lover) Korean Mirotic – The 4th Album by TVXQ
Co-composer Kiss したまま、さよなら (Kiss Shita Mama Sayonara; As We Kissed, Goodbye) Japanese T – The 3rd Album by TVXQ
Composer; Lyricist 忘れないで (Wasurenaide; Don’t Forget) Japanese The Secret Code – The 4th Album by TVXQ
Composer; Lyricist; Arranger; All instruments 9095
Composer; Lyricist; Arranger; All instruments 9096
Co-composer; Co-arranger Colors~Melody and Harmony~ Japanese Colors (Melody and Harmony)/Shelter by JEJUNG & YUCHUN from TVXQ
Co-composer; Co-arranger; Programming Shelter
Composer Still in Love English The Beginning by JYJ
Composer; Lyricist; Arranger Nine Korean Their Rooms "Our Story" (우리 이야기 "Our Story") by JYJ, In Heaven by JYJ
Composer; Lyricist; Arranger Pierrot
Composer; Lyricist I.D.S.
Composer; Lyricist 지켜줄게 (Jikyeojulge; I'll Protect You) Korean Protect the Boss OST
Lyricist Boy’s Letter Korean In Heaven by JYJ
Co-composer; Co-arranger; Co-lyricist Get Out
Composer; Lyricist; Co-arranger In Heaven
Composer; Lyricist No Gain Korean Tarantallegra by Junsu
Lyricist 살아도 꿈인 것처럼 (Sarado Kkum-in Geotcheoreom; Living Like A Dream) Korean Dr. Jin OST
Composer; Lyricist Until the Sun Rises Korean Until the Sun Rises by Baek Seung Heon
Composer; Lyricist Stay Korean Jackal is Coming OST
Co-composer; Co-lyricist Kiss B Jackal is Coming OST, Y by Kim Jae-joong
Composer; Lyricist 나만의 위로 (Naman-eui Wiro; Healing for Myself/My Only Comfort) Jackal is Coming OST, I/MINE by Kim Jae-joong
Lyricist One Kiss Korean I/MINE by Kim Jae-joong
Lyricist Mine
Composer; Lyricist All Alone
Co-composer; Co-lyricist Only Love Korean Y by Kim Jae-joong
Composer; Lyricist On My Mind Korean New Born by M.Pire (엠파이어)
Lyricist 빛 (Bit; Light/Brighter) Korean WWW by Kim Jae-joong
Lyricist Don't Walk Away
Lyricist Just Another Girl
Lyricist Butterfly
Composer; Lyricist Rotten Love
Lyricist Let The Rhythm Flow
Composer; Lyricist; Arranger 그랬지 (Geuraettji; It is/I said I am sorry)
Composer; Lyricist 9+1#
Co-Lyricist Modem Beat
Composer; Lyricist Paradise
Lyricist 싫어도 (Sirheodo; But I) Korean Triangle OST
Lyricist 우연 (Uyeon; Coincidence)
Lyricist Let Me See Korean Just Us by JYJ
Lyricist Babo Boy
Lyricist Dear J
Lyricist Let Me See
Lyricist Good Morning Night Korean No.X by Kim Jae-joong
Lyricist Love You To Death
Co-composer; Lyricist Good Luck
Co-composer; Lyricist 원망해요 (Wonmanghaeyo; Blame)
Lyricist Breathing
Lyricist All That Glitters
Lyricist 다시 만나지만 다시 만나겠지만 (Dashi Mannajiman Dashi Mannagettjiman; Meeting Again, Will Meet Again, but...)
Lyricist 그거 알아? (Geugeo Ara?; You Know What?)
Lyricist Run Away

Acting career

Kim at the Golden Disc Awards in 2017

Prior to his debut as a singer, Kim worked as an extra, playing a soldier in film Taegeukgi. Along with the other members of TVXQ, he acted in television programmes, Banjun Theater and Vacation.[35][36]

In November 2009 Kim co-starred with Han Hyo-joo in a joint Korean-Japanese telecinema Heaven's Postman, as Shin Jaejun, a young man who delivers letters written by the living to the dead and helps lingering ghosts settle their earthly affairs.[37] This was followed by Fuji TV's Japanese television drama Sunao ni Narenakute in September 2010. Where he portrayed a "doctor", who moved from Korea to Japan with his younger sister, working for a medical equipment manufacturer.[38]

In August 2011, he starred in his first television series in South Korea, with Choi Kang-hee and Ji Sung in Korean drama Protect the Boss. He played the role of seemingly perfect Director Cha Mu-won, nicknamed "Prince of the Financial World" for his business acumen, who becomes frustrated and fight against the constraints in his life.[39] He was also in Ayumi Hamasaki's music video for her 2010 song "Blossom".

In May 2012, he starred in his second South Korean television series, Dr. Jin, with Song Seung-heon. He played the role of Kim Kyung Tak, a high-ranking officer of the police force of Joseon Dynasty, who is an illegitimate son of the Joseon era's Prime Minister and his concubine. His character was entangled in a love triangle with his childhood friend, Hong Young-rae, and the drama's main protagonist, Dr. Jin.[40]

Kim starred in a teaser video along with actress Kim Ji-won, for debut song for Baek Seung-heon.[41] He also wrote the lyrics for the song "Until the Sun Rises", which was released on 7 November.[42] However neither he nor Kim Ji-won were featured in the official full-length music video.[43][44]

In November 2012, Kim in his big screen debut in dark comedy feature film Jackal is Coming, portrayed Choi Hyun, a Hallyu star who is kidnapped by the assassin Bong Min-jung, played by labelmate Song Ji-hyo.[45][46]

In May 2014, Kim starred in MBC drama Triangle as the male lead. He portrayed Jang Dong-chul / Heo Young-dal, the middle brother who grows up to become a lowlife gangster; his older brother Jang Dong-soo (Lee Beom-soo) becomes a detective, while little brother Jang Dong-woo (Yim Si-wan) is adopted into a chaebol family. Jang Dong-chul eventually becomes a senior executive of a casino and starts his plan for revenge.[47] The character brought Kim the “Top Excellence Award, Actor” at the 7th Korea Drama Awards in October the same year.

In January 2015, Kim starred in KBS2 drama SPY as the male lead Kim Seon-woo, who is a genius analyst working for South Korea's National Intelligence Service along with actress Bae Jong-ok as his mother Park Hye-rim, an ex-spy from North Korea. The drama is based on the Israeli drama The Gordin Cell, modified to depict North/South Korean relations.[48][49][50]

Directing career

Kim served as Executive Director for the Asian leg of JYJ's 2011 Worldwide Tour.[11] He also participated in the directing team for the 2011 LG Whisen Rhythmic All Stars.[51]

Personal life


In September 2005, while rehearsing the dance steps for "Rising Sun", Kim ruptured his cartilage in his knee and was admitted to a hospital in Seoul.[52] He underwent surgery on the same day to repair the tissue.[53]

Custody battle

On November 21, 2006, a man with the surname Han filed a lawsuit against Kim's guardians. Han claimed he was Kim's biological father, and thus wanted parental rights.[54]

Han cited the reason for the lawsuit against Kim's legal guardians as "for not going through the proper procedures before registering [Jaejoong] in [the legal guardians'] custody."[55] The first hearing was to be held in Kim's hometown, Gongju, on November 29, 2006, but on November 22 Han dropped the charges against Kim's legal guardians.[56]

In reaction to the matter, Kim uploaded a journal entry on his official fan club website, and said that he was informed of the existence of separate biological parents by his mother two or three years ago, and it had been quite a shock to him. With his current mother's support, his biological mother has been able to keep in touch with him, and to meet occasionally, but whereabouts of his father had been unknown.[57]

He expressed his will to live by the name of Kim Jae-joong, not by his birth name Han Jae-jun (한재준).[57]

Military Service

Kim returning from his military service

Kim enlisted in the army on 31 March 2015, the first five weeks spent for his mandatory basic training at the 1st Infantry Division (Republic of Korea) recruit training center in Gwangtan-myeon, Paju, Gyeonggi province. He later ended up as the top recruit among the 244 in his batch, earning the Excellence Award during the graduation ceremony. He was under the 55th Infantry Division in Cheoin-gu, Yongin to serve as an active-duty soldier for 21 months and was also a member of the military band. He was discharged on 30 December 2016.[58][59]


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
WWW 1 4
No.X 1 8 3
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Extended plays

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
  • Released: January 13, 2013
  • Repackage Album: Y, released on February 26, 2013
  • Label: C-JeS Entertainment, A&G Modes
  • Format: CD, Digital
1 8 2

Music videos

  • Personal videos
Release date Song Artist
2013-01-17 Mine Kim Jae-joong
2013-10-29 Just Another Girl Kim Jae-joong
2016-02-11 Love You More Kim Jae-joong
  • Appearances
Release date Song Artist
2009-01-15 Call Me Taegoon
2010-07-14 Blossom Ayumi Hamasaki
2012-11-02 Until the Sun Rises Baek Seung-heon

Soundtrack contributions

Release date Song Album
2006-02-09 인사 (Greetings) A Millionaire's First Love》OST
2009-11-11 사랑아(Love) Heaven's Postman》OST
2010-08-30 To You It's Goodbye, To Me It's Waiting 《Sungkyunkwan Scandal》OST
2011-08-10 "지켜줄게" (I'll Protect You) Protect the Boss》OST
2012-05-25 살아도 꿈인 것처럼" (Living Like A Dream) Dr. Jin》OST[67]
2012-12-15 Stay Jackal is Coming》 OST
2014-06-09 싫어도 (But I) 《'Triangle》OST
2014-07-21 우연 (Coincidence)


Television series

Release date Title Role
2010-04-15 Sunao ni Narenakute Park Seon-su/Doctor
2011-08-03 Protect the Boss Cha Mu-won
2012-05-26 Dr. Jin Kim Kyung-tak
2014-05-05 Triangle Jang Dong-chul/Heo Young-dal
2015-01-09 SPY Kim Seon-woo


Release date Title Role
2004-02-06 Taegeukgi Extra
2009-11-11 Heaven's Postman Shin Jae-joon
2012-11-15 Jackal is Coming Choi Hyun


Release date Title Role
2013-08-12 The Zoo is Alive 2 Animal documentary

Concerts and Tours

  • Solo Fan meeting
Date City Country Venue Audience
December 10, 2011 Shanghai China Shanghai Changning Gymnastic Center 6,500
February 5, 2012 Ankara Turkey Ankara University 800
May 23, 2012 Taipei Taiwan ATT BOX 3,500
October 20, 2012 Nanjing China Nanjing Olympic Sports Center 6,000
October 20, 2012 Bangkok Thailand Bitec Hall 6,000
November 3, 2012 Jakarta Indonesia Mata Elang International Stadium 7,000
November 9, 2012 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center 3,500
  • 1st Asia Tour - Your,My&Mine mini concert&Fan meeting
Date City Country Venue Audience
January 26, 2013 Gyeonggi South Korea KINTEX Ilsan 10,000
January 27, 2013 10,000
February 17, 2013 Bangkok Thailand BITEC Hall 8,000
March 17, 2013 Shanghai China Shanghai Gymnasium 8,000
March 24, 2013 Hong Kong HKCEC Hall 6,000
April 6, 2013 Nanjing Nanjing Olympic Sports Center 5,000
April 13, 2013 Taipei Taiwan Taiwan University Gymnasium 6,000
  • 2013 Grand Finale Live Concert and Fanmeeting in Japan
Date City Country Venue Audience
June 24, 2013 Yokohama Japan Yokohama Arena 15,000
June 25, 2013 15,000
June 26, 2013 15,000
  • 1st Solo Album Asia Tour - WWW
Date City Country Venue Audience
November 2, 2013 Seoul South Korea Coex Hall D 10,000
November 3, 2013 10,000
November 15, 2013 Yokohama Japan Yokohama Stadium 35,000
November 16, 2013 35,000
November 23, 2013 Taipei Taiwan Taiwan University Gymnasium 6,000
December 7, 2013 Nanjing China Wutaishan Stadium 8,000
December 8, 2013 6,000
December 17, 2013 Osaka Japan Osaka-jō Hall 15,000
December 18, 2013 15,000
January 4, 2014 Busan South Korea Busan Exhibition and Convention Center 6,000
January 22, 2014 Nagoya Japan Nippon Gaishi Hall 10,000
January 23, 2014 10,000
January 25, 2014 Seoul South Korea Korea University Tiger Dome 5,000
January 26, 2014 5,000
  • 2015 Kim Jae Joong J-Party
Date City Country Venue Audience
January 21, 2015 Yokohama Japan Yokohama Arena 12,500
January 22, 2015 12,500
January 26, 2015 Seoul South Korea Jamsil Indoor Stadium 6,000
  • 2015 Kim Jae Joong Concert in Seoul
Date City Country Venue Audience
March 28, 2015 Seoul South Korea Korea University Tiger Dome
March 29, 2015


Drama Awards

Date Awards Category Work Result
2010-07-08 14th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Supporting Actor for Spring Season[68] Sunao ni Narenakute Won
2011-12-31 SBS Drama Awards New Star Award[69] Protect the Boss Won
Best Couple Award(withWang Ji-hye) Nominated
2012-04-26 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV) Protect the Boss Nominated
2012-10-02 5th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Dr. Jin Nominated
2012-12-30 MBC Drama Awards Best New Male Actor[70] Dr. Jin Won
Popularity Award Nominated
2013-05-09 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV) Dr. Jin Nominated
Most Popular Actor (Film) Jackal is Coming Nominated
2014-10-01 7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor[71] Triangle Won
2014-12-30 MBC Drama Awards Best Actor in a Special Project Drama Nominated

Music Awards

Date Awards Category Work Result
2013-09-05 Seoul International Drama Awards Best Hallyu Drama OST Award[72] Living Like A Dream
Dr. JinOST

Other Awards

Year Awards Category Result
2001 2nd Annual SM Best Competition Best Appearance[73] Won
2010 27th Best Jeanist Award Best Male Jeanist[74] 3rd Place
2011 28th Best Jeanist Award Best Male Jeanist 2nd Place
Shorty Awards Best Celebrity on Twitter[75] Won
2012 29th Best Jeanist Award Best Male Jeanist 2nd Place


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