Kim Hyun-joong

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Kim Hyun-joong
Kim Hyun Joong 2018 Press Conference Still Image.png
Kim Hyun-joong in 2018
Born (1986-06-06) June 6, 1986 (age 35)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationKyonggi University
Chungwoon University
Hanyang Technical High School
  • Actor
  • Dancer
  • Model
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
Years active2005–present
AgentHenecia Incorporated
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Piano
Years active2005–present
Associated acts
Hyunjoong Signature.png

Kim Hyun-joong (Korean김현중; Hanja金賢重; born June 6, 1986) is a South Korean actor, singer and songwriter.[2] He is a member of the boy band SS501 and played roles in the Korean dramas Boys Over Flowers and Playful Kiss.[3]

After debuting with SS501 in 2005, Kim released his first Korean solo album, Break Down, in 2011, and his first Japanese solo album, Unlimited, in 2012. Due to his commercial success, Kim is considered one of South Korea's biggest Hallyu stars of the early 2010s.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Kim Hyun-joong was born on June 6, 1986 in Seoul.[2] He described himself as a studious child,[5] but he dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music. He later passed his high school exams and enrolled in Kyonggi University. After dropping out of university to focus on work, Kim enrolled in Chungwoon University in 2011 to study stage production management.[6]


2005–2008: Career beginnings[edit]

Kim Hyun-joong performing in Hong Kong with SS501 in 2009

Kim made his debut as a member of SS501 on June 23, 2005, with the group's first EP, Warning, released by DSP Media.[7][8] Their second EP, Snow Prince was released in late 2005, five months after their debut.[9] The group quickly gained popularity, winning multiple new artist awards in 2005 and 2006. The following year, in 2007, SS501 debuted in Japan with the single "Kokoro," which reached number five on the Oricon charts.[10] In January 2008, the group received a Newcomer Award at the Japan Gold Disc Award ceremony, making them one of only a few South Korean artists to win this award.[11]

In 2008, Kim joined the cast of the reality variety show We Got Married, where he was paired with singer Hwangbo. Dubbed the "Lettuce Couple," the pair was popular among viewers and won the Best Couple Award at the 2008 MBC Entertainment Awards. They left the show at the end of 2008 to focus on other projects.[12]

2008–2010: Career breakthrough and success[edit]

In 2008, Kim was cast in his first lead-acting role in the Korean drama Boys Over Flowers.[13] The show was extremely popular in South Korea and other Asian countries,[14][15] and Kim won the Most Popular Actor Award at the 2009 Seoul International Drama Awards[16] and the Most Popular Actor for Television Award at the 2009 Baeksang Arts Awards.[17]

Kim and his Boys Over Flowers costars also sparked a trend among South Korean men who copied their "flower boy" style.[18] Tony Moly, a cosmetics brand for which Kim had been a spokesmodel since 2006, saw a 30 percent sales increase in 2009, which the company attributed to the popularity of the show.[19] Kim's contract with Tony Moly ended in 2010,[20] and he became the spokesmodel for another cosmetics brand, The Face Shop, later that year.[21]

Following the success of Boys Over Flowers, Kim played his second lead role in a drama, in 2010's Playful Kiss, a Korean adaptation of the Japanese shōjo manga, Itazura na Kiss.[22] The show flopped on South Korean television, but was an international hit on foreign television and on online streaming platforms, helping solidify Kim's popularity as a Hallyu star.[23][24]

At the end of 2010, Kim was chosen to represent South Korea at the opening of the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, where he performed the anthem "Sunshine Again" with singers from Chinese-speaking countries.[25]

2011: Solo debut, chart success and first Japanese tour[edit]

Kim Hyun-joong at the promotion event of The Face Shop in 2011

Kim released his solo debut, the EP Break Down, on June 7, 2011.[26][27] More than 70,000 pre-ordered copies of the album were sold in just 10 days.[28] The EP was the ninth best-selling album of 2011 on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart,[29] and was certified platinum in Taiwan.[30] Later that year, Kim released his second album Lucky.[31] The EP debuted at number five on Billboard's World Chart,[32] and was the 10th best-selling album of the year in South Korea with over 100,000 copies sold.[29][33]

Following up on the success of a concert he performed in Japan in June, Kim signed a deal with Universal Music Japan in November. Shortly after that, he went on a tour of Japan, performing in seven cities.[34]

At the end of the year, Kim won the award for Best Male Artist at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Singapore.[35] On December 15, Kim released a digital single titled "Marry Me".[36]

2012: Japanese debut and overseas promotions[edit]

On January 25, 2012, Kim released his first Japanese single album, "Kiss Kiss / Lucky Guy," which was certified gold in Japan.[37][38] In May, his First Impact concert DVD sold 16,000 copies in its first week of release, taking the number one spot on the Oricon DVD Chart. This was the first time a South Korean artist had taken the number one spot, and a second time a foreign artist had taken the number one spot on the chart.[39][40] Kim later held his Kim Hyun-joong Fan Meeting Tour 2012 for his album promotions, making stops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Thailand.[41][42]

In March 2012, Kim was appointed the honorary ambassador for United Nation's Korean Campaign on Contributions to Social Welfare.[43]

Kim released his second Japanese single album "Heat" on July 4.[44] The album was Japan's third best-selling album in July, selling 196,850 copies,[45] which earned Kim his second consecutive gold certification.[46][47] The following month, in August, Kim won Best Asian Artist at the 2012 Asia Song Festival.[48]

On December 12, Kim released Unlimited, his first full-length Japanese album, which included Japanese versions of "Break Down" and "Lucky Guy".[49][50] It topped the Oricon Daily Chart[51] and reached number 3 on the Weekly Chart.[52][53]

Madame Tussauds unveiled a wax figure of Kim in December.[54]

2013–2014: Barefooted Friends, Japanese concerts and Inspiring Generation[edit]

On January 6, 2013, Kim kicked off a Japanese tour called Unlimited at the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, where he performed with a live band.[55] Later that month, he performed alongside other K-pop artists in Brazil for the 2013 FEEL KOREA event, marking his first performance in South America.[56]

On March 2, Kim performed at the U-Express Live 2013 at the Makuhari Messe in Japan with artists including Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Far East Movement, Naoto Inti Raymi and Kara.[57] That same month, Kim received the Creator's Factory Best Actor Award for the music video, "Lucky Guy," at the 5th Okinawa Music Festival.[58]

On April 21, he began appearing on the South Korean variety show Barefooted Friends.[59] Despite the show, Kim released his third Japanese single "Tonight" on June 5.[60] Once again, his single topped the Oricon Daily Chart,[61] and took the number two spot by the end of the week.[62] The album received gold certification for selling more than one million copies.[63] He released his third Korean EP, Round 3, on July 22.[64][65]

On October 20 and 21, Kim held two concerts at the Makuhari International Exhibition Hall in Japan, attended by 20,000 fans.[66] At the end of the month, Kim left Barefooted Friends to film a new drama.[67] After playing pretty boys in his first two dramas, Kim played a tougher role in the drama Inspiring Generation, which began airing in January 2014.[68][69]

That July, he released his fourth Japanese single, "Hot Sun",[70] which topped the Oricon weekly charts, making him the first foreign male solo artist to top the chart twice.[71] At the end of June, he began a world tour that included stops in Taiwan, China, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, and Peru.[72] The following month, in July, Kim released his fourth Korean EP, Timing.[73]

2015–2016: Japanese activities and military enlistment[edit]

Kim released his second Japanese studio album, Imademo, on February 11, 2015. The album entered the Oricon daily charts at number two and remained at that spot for 10 days.[74]

Kim enlisted in the army for South Korea's mandatory military service in May 2015.[75] After completing five weeks of basic training at Gyeonggi-do 30th Recruit Training Squadron he was stationed as a border patrol in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.[76] While he was in the military, The Best of Kim Hyun Joong, a Japanese greatest hits album celebrating his 10 years in music industry, was released. It entered the Oricon daily charts at number one.[77] Kim was discharged from military service in February 2017 after serving for 21 months.[78]

2017–present: Tours and Korean-Japanese album[edit]

In July 2017, Kim released his first album since leaving the military, the Japanese single album, re:wind. The album reached the number one spot on the Oricon album chart. Following its release, Kim went on Innercore 16-city Japanese tour.[79] In November, he released the EP Haze, his first Korean album in three years.[80]

Kim Hyun Joong's 2018 World Tour 'HAZE' commenced on December 2, 2017. He performed in Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, South America, Japan, Thailand and Macau and the tour concluded in 2018.[81] On June 6, he released Take My Hand, the first Album released from his own record Label Henecia Music. On September 26, he then released an album entitled Wait For Me. From September 27 to November 5, Kim held his Take My Hand Japan Tour.[82] Later in the year, it was confirmed he would be making his small-screen comeback in the fantasy drama When Time Stopped.[83] The drama ran from October 24 to November 29, 2018.[84] He released a single, "Just for My Love", as the sixth part of the original Soundtrack for the drama.[85]

On February 4, 2019 he released a new album entitled New Way with the lead single "Why".[86] On August 21, he released a Korean EP entitled SALT and on September 11, he released a Japanese EP entitled "THIS IS LOVE" which debuted at number one on the Oricon Weekly Rock Singles Chart and number two on Oricon year-end Indie Chart.[87] On August 21, he embarked on a World Tour titled BIO-RHYTHM which ended on January 25, 2020.[88] The tour took place in Japan, South Korea, Macau, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru and the Philippines.[89]

On February 5, 2020, he released a full-length Japanese album titled The Moon, The Sun and Your Song which debuted at number three on the Oricon Daily Albums Chart and Number 4 on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart.[90] He also embarked on a two-month (February and March) Japan tour of the same name. On February 21, he appeared in the cover of the Korean Wave Japanese Magazine Hanryu Pia for the fourth time.[91][92]

On April 14, 2020, it was announced that Kim Hyun-Joong has decided not to renew his contract with KeyEast.[93] A representative from KeyEast Stated “Recently, Kim Hyun Joong’s exclusive contract expired. Rather than renew, we mutually decided to support each other’s futures.” They continued, “Kim Hyun Joong’s album activities will continue through his personal label, which he established last year.”

On October 17, 2020, Kim Hyun-Joong held his first online concert, "A Bell of Blessing"[94] and on October 19th, 2020, he released his second full Korean album, a limited edition album titled "A Bell Of Blessing"[95] which debuted at 14 on the Gaon Weekly Albums Chart. The title track of the Album and it's music video features vocals and appearances from Kim Hyun-Joong's fans all over the world.[96]


False Assault charges[edit]

In August 2014, Kim's girlfriend, identified only by her surname Choi, filed assault charges against Kim, claiming that he repeatedly beat her, causing bruises and broken ribs.[97][98][99] Kim denied the charges, saying he had injured Choi only once and that it was an accident that occurred while he was practicing martial arts.[100] Choi dropped some of the charges against Kim in September after he apologized to her.[99] However, Kim was later fined 5 million KRW for injuring Choi, with prosecutors in the case saying, "While Kim claimed that he had no intention of hurting her, the damage from the attack was clear."[100] This was later rescinded in 2016 when the Republic of Korea's army and civil courts acquitted Kim of these charges due to evidence that came to light. Text messages between Choi, her mother and friends, statements by the director of Dispatch (the tabloid to which Choi provided her evidence) and statements given by the hospitals visited by Choi led the prosecution to state that there was "little to no credibility behind the former girlfriend's allegations that she had to receive a six-week medical treatment for her fractured ribs".[101][102] Hospital records also showed that she was not pregnant at the time she visited to get treatment for the injuries to her ribs.[101]

On November 12, 2020, the Supreme Court of South Korea ordered “A” to pay Kim Hyun Joong 100 million won (approximately $89,700) in damages, upholding the verdict from the first and second trials in which they stated, “There is no evidence that ‘A’ suffered a miscarriage due to abuse, or that he had pressured her to have an abortion. As a celebrity, Kim Hyun Joong’s public image has suffered greatly and his reputation has been damaged.”[103]

Paternity case[edit]

In February 2015, a magazine reported that Kim and Choi had reunited, and that Choi was pregnant. Kim stated via a press release that he had not seen Choi since she told him that she was pregnant in January, and could not confirm if he was the father since she had not been in touch.[104] His agency indicated that he would take full responsibility if he was found to be the father of the child.[105]

In December 2015, a paternity test revealed that Kim was the father of a baby that Choi had given birth to in September of that year.[106][107]

Criminal case[edit]

In May 2015, Choi filed a lawsuit against Kim for 1.48 million USD for mental distress caused by her relationship with him, and claimed that his abuse had caused her to miscarry a previous pregnancy in 2014.[108][106] Kim later filed and won a 100 million KRW counter-suit against Choi for defamation, with the court ruling that there was circumstantial evidence that she was not pregnant in 2014.[109] Her lawsuit was dismissed, and she appealed the decision.[80]

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Kim's ex girlfriend, Choi for attempted fraud and defamation in January 2017.[110] In February 2018, Choi was fined 5 million KRW for attempted fraud.[111]

In November 2020, the 3rd Criminal Division of the Supreme Court (Judge Lee Dong-won, Chief Justice) confirmed a court trial that sentenced Choi to a fine of 5 million won on charges of attempted fraud and defamation by publication. Choi was found to have filed a civil lawsuit while knowing that her allegation that Kim had caused her damage, such as forced abortion, was false. In addition, she was also charged with falsifying evidence related to civil lawsuits, such as deleting some of the contents of KakaoTalk's conversation, and defaming Kim's reputation, including providing reporters with false evidence.[112]

Drunk driving[edit]

In March 2017, Kim was charged with drunk driving after police found him asleep in his car at a traffic light in Seoul. His driver's license was suspended and he was eventually fined two million KRW.[113][114]


Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, Kim donated 100 million KRW to earthquake relief efforts in Japan.[115][116] Later that year, he donated an addition 50 million KRW to earthquake relief efforts, as well as 50 million KRW to the Korean Red Cross, and 50 million KRW to a South Korean organization that gives coal briquettes to people in need.[117] In 2012, he donated proceeds from his debut solo concert to an orphanage in Fukushima Prefecture.[118]

Kim has also donated tens of millions of won to the Kim Hyun-joong Scholarship, which was established by a 15 million KRW donation from his fan club in 2010.[119]

In 2013, Kim donated 100 million KRW to the One Foundation for the victims of the Lushan earthquake in China.[120]

In 2019, during his BIO-RHYTHM World Tour in Thailand, he donated 9.7 million KRW to support the tuition fees for the students from Sumakee Learning Center, Mae Sot District, Tak Province.[121]


Concert tours[edit]

  • First Japan tour (2011)[122]
  • Asia Fan Meeting Tour (2012)[41]
  • Unlimited Japan tour (2013)[55]
  • Phantasm World tour (2014)[72]
  • Gemini Japan tour (2015)[123]
  • Inner Core Japan tour (2017)[79]
  • Haze World tour (2018)[124]
  • Japan Take My Hand Tour (2018)
  • "New Way" concert Tour (2019)
  • "Bio-Rhythm" World tour (2019)
  • "Moon, Sun and Your Song" Japan Tour (2020)
  • "A Bell Of Blessing" Distance Concert (2020)[125] [126]
  • "Prism Time" Kim Hyun-Joong 2021 online monthly concert. (May to November)[127]



Year Title Role Ref
2006 Pi's Story (Korean version) Bap; Max [128]
2021 Indian Pink (Main character) [129]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Ref
2005 Nonstop (Season 5) Kim Hyun-joong (Cameo) MBC
2005–2006 Can We Refill the Love? William KBS2
2009 Boys Over Flowers Yoon Ji-hoo [13]
2010 Playful Kiss Baek Seung-jo MBC [22]
2011 Dream High Kim Hyun-joong (Cameo) KBS2 [130]
2014 Inspiring Generation Shin Jung-tae [68]
2018 That Time When Time Stops Moon Joon-woo KBS W [83]

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Notes Ref
2008 We Got Married (season 1) Episodes 9–38 (with Hwangbo) [12]
2012 K-Pop Star Captivating the World Documentary series
2013 Barefooted Friends Episodes 1–29 [59]

Voice Acting[edit]

Year Title Character Ref
2006 Doraemon Santa Claus / Father Nobita [131]
2010 Cheburashka (voice) [132]
2013 Moshi Monsters Katsuma [133]
2018 Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Treasure Island Flock / Santa Claus [134]
2019 Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no getsumen tansaki Luca [135]

Awards and nominations[edit]


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  4. ^ Lee, Nancy (January 16, 2012). "Who is the Most Successful Hallyu Star?". Mnet. Archived from the original on April 21, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Choe, Yeong-a (June 9, 2011). '어린시절 꿈 과학자‥무조건 올백 성적' 모범생 학창시절. Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved April 4, 2013.
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  8. ^ Garratt, Rob (March 21, 2016). "K-pop band SS301 is grateful for supportive fans". The National. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "2nd SS501". Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (August 7, 2007). "Skull, TVXQ Hitting Overseas Charts". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  11. ^ 더블에스501, 일본 골든디스크상 신인상 수상. Daily Sports (in Korean). March 4, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Lee, Hyeon-u (December 30, 2008). "황보-김현중 MBC연예대상 베스트 커플상 수상". Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved April 4, 2018.
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  14. ^ Yoo, Bo-lam (March 3, 2010). "'Boys Over Flowers' explodes in popularity". The Korea Herald. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Kang, Hye-ran; Lee, Young-hee (June 9, 2009). "The next 'Korean wave' washes ashore". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  16. ^ "Seoul Int'l Drama Awards End With Promise". The Korea Times. September 13, 2009.
  17. ^ "The cast of hit KBS drama 'Boys Over Flowers' strut the..." The Korea Times. Yonhap News Agency. March 1, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  18. ^ Tai, Crystal (June 24, 2017). "The cutting edge of beauty: male plastic surgery in South Korea". South China Morning Post. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  19. ^ Jang, Seo-yun (February 2, 2009). 토니모리, '꽃남 김현중' 인기에 싱글벙글. Daily Cosmetics (in Korean). Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  20. ^ Kim, Ye-rang (August 17, 2010). 브아걸, 김현중 뒤이어 글로벌 화장품 모델 발탁…'뷰티 아이콘' 입증. The Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). Retrieved April 4, 2018.
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  23. ^ Yu, Roger (March 21, 2013). "American audiences: I want my international TV". USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
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  30. ^ (in Chinese) "韓國首席新巨星的金賢重,14日傾盆大雨下舉辦見面會仍聚集超過2,000名粉絲" Yam News. August 15, 2011
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  34. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong Inks Deal with Universal Japan" The Chosun Ilbo. November 11, 2011.
  35. ^ "Winners' list of 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards". MSN Singapore. September 19, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
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  37. ^ Park, Yeong-ung (February 11, 2012). 김현중, 발매 2주만에 日레코드協 '골드' 인증. Money Today Star News (in Korean). Retrieved April 5, 2018.
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  40. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong's 'First Impact' snags No. 1 spots on Oricon charts". Korea JoongAng Daily. May 18, 2012.
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  42. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong's fan meet tour, a success". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 9, 2012.
  43. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong elected ambassador". Yahoo. March 13, 2012.
  44. ^ Lee, Rachel (July 4, 2012). "Kim Hyun-joong releases single 'Heat' in Japan". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
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  46. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong, DBSK Certified Gold in Japan". Mwave. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  47. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong sets new record as a foreign artist in Japan". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 6, 2012.
  48. ^ "Fann Wong, Kim Hyun Joong named Best Asian Artist at Asia Song Festival". Channel NewsAsia. August 6, 2012. Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  49. ^ "Kim Hyun Joong Reveals Jacket Image for First Full-Length Japanese Album". Mwave. October 22, 2012.
  50. ^ "Kim Hyun Joong Reveals New Teaser for Japanese Album and Song 'Your Story'". Visit Korea. November 28, 2012.
  51. ^ "Oricon Daily Album Chart, 2012-12-11" Oricon. Retrieved February 14, 2013
  52. ^ "December 2012 ~December 2012 オリコン週間 CDアルバムランキング". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  53. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong may be the new 'Prince of Asia'". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 14, 2012.
  54. ^ Ho, Stewart (December 21, 2012). "Kim Hyun Joong's Wax Figure for Madame Tussauds Unveiled". Visit Korea. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  55. ^ a b "Kim Hyun-joong Starts Off On His Japan Tour". Mwave. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  56. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong stops over in Sao Paulo". Korea JoongAng Daily. February 26, 2013.
  57. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong Represents at the Universal Music Joint Concert in Japan" Mnet. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  58. ^ "【沖縄国際映画祭】キム・ヒョンジュンを板尾創路が推薦「次のジェームズ・ボンドに」".Cinemacafe. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  59. ^ a b Choe, Bo-ran (April 3, 2013). 강호동 새 예능, 제목 '맨발의 친구들'·멤버 8人 출격. Star News (in Korean). Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  60. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong Releases Photos from His Upcoming Japanese Single Album". Mwave. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  61. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong Rises to Top Ranks on the Oricon Charts Again". Mwave. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  62. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart, June 3–9, 2013" Oricon. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  63. ^ (in Japanese)"ゴールドディスク認定作品一覧 2013年6月". RIAJ. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  64. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong to Return with a Korean Album". Mwave. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  65. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong highlights Korean culture in 'Unbreakable'". The Korea Herald. July 30, 2013.
  66. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong Gets the Japanese Crowd Roaring with Special Appearance by Bae Yong Jun". Mwave. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  67. ^ "Singer Kim changes shows". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 1, 2013.
  68. ^ a b Oh, Jean (December 3, 2013). "Kim Hyun-joong's pretty boy days over?". The Korea Herald. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  69. ^ "Kim Hyun-joong Turns Tough Guy for New TV Series". 10Asia. November 27, 2013.
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  75. ^ "K-pop star Kim Hyun-joong to enlist in Army". Yonhap News Agency. May 5, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  76. ^ 김현중, 파주 30사단 예하부대 경계병 군복무 (in Korean). June 18, 2015.
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  78. ^ "Fans Elated as Kim Hyun-joong Ends Military Service". The Chosun Ilbo. February 13, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
13th Mnet Asian Music Awards – Best Male Solo Artist
Succeeded by