Kim Jong-kook (singer)

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Kim Jong-kook
Kim Jong Kook at Malaysia for Running Man Fan Meeting Asian Tour 2014.jpg
Kim in Malaysia for Running Man Fan Meeting Asian Tour, 2014
Native name 김종국
Born Kim Jong-kook
(1976-04-25) April 25, 1976 (age 41)
Hapcheon, South Korea
Musical career
Years active 1995–present
  • GM Agency (1995-2000)
  • Mnet Media (2001–2003)
  • QUEEN Entertainment (2005)
  • 101 Entertainment (2008–2010)
  • JK Entertainment (2011–2014)
  • Urban Works ENT (2014-2015)
  • Maroo Entertainment (2015-present)
Associated acts
Website Official Website
Korean name
Revised Romanization Kim Chong-guk
McCune–Reischauer Gim Jong-guk

Kim Jong-kook (Hangul: 김종국; Hanja: 金鐘國; born 25 April 1976) is a South Korean singer, actor and TV personality. He was initially part of the Korean duo Turbo, but later pursued a successful career as a solo artist. Apart from being a triple Daesang award-winning singer, he is also an active participant in variety shows such as X-man and Family Outing (since episode 19). He gained worldwide popularity as part of the SBS variety show Running Man.


Kim was born in Hapcheon, South Korea.

Kim attended Myeong Hak Elementary School, Shin Seong Middle High School and graduated from Hansei University in BA (music composition). He then obtained a master's degree from the Pop Culture Performing Arts – School of Arts Department of Dankook University.[1]


1995–2000: Debut with Turbo[edit]

Kim Jong-kook first entered the Korean music industry in 1995 as a member of the duo, Turbo, which became immensely popular for their catchy music. After the duo disbanded a few years later, he became a solo singer in 2001, mostly concentrating on ballads.[2]

2001–2005: Successful solo career[edit]

Kim Jong-kook had a set back after Turbo as he faced difficulties settling down as a solo artist. Problems like lack of songs from composers, less support from his respected agency and also a change of taste within the fans caused his first album as a solo artist to fail. However he made a successful comeback with his second album Evolution in 2004, which spawned the hit single "One Man". Kim then became a permanent cast member of the popular variety game show, X-Man, which further raised his popularity.

In 2005, Kim released his third album, This Is Me. The album sold over 300,000 copies and became one of the best-selling albums in Korea that year.[3] The lead single, "Lovable" topped various music charts, and was included in online games such as Pump It Up and Audition Online. Kim swept the Daesang (Artist of the Year) Award from all three major Korean TV stations, SBS, KBS and MBC; becoming the second artist to accomplish this feat since Cho Yong-pil in the 1980s.

2006–2008: Shootdori, Military service and Return to the music industry[edit]

Kim was made the leader of the first series of Shootdori, where kids who are interested in soccer form teams and compete. However, he had to leave the team after receiving an enlistment notice. He wrote and sang a song for his team, titled "Toward a Dream". Kim enlisted in March 2006. Around that time, he released his 4th album, Volume 4 - Kim Jong-kook's Fourth Letter. The music video of the lead single, Saying I Love You featured Yoon Eun-hye, whom was previously involved in a love-line with him in X-Man. Though Kim was unable to directly promote the album as he was in the military, the album sold more than 100,000 copies[4] and later won "Album of the Year" at the Melon Music Awards.

It was announced in late April 2008 that the singer would end his military service on May 23, 2008. On that day, he was greeted by fans, and during an interview, he said that he was "relieved".[5] His fifth studio album, Here I Am was released on October 22, 2008 with songs such as "Today More than Yesterday" and "Thank You".

2008–2010: Family Outing and Sixth album[edit]

Kim also returned to television, becoming a permanent member of reality-variety show Family Outing since episode 19, part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup. Family Outing has become one of the top-rated shows in Korea, consistently achieving the highest ratings for the Sunday mid-afternoon time-slot, and has gained online popularity among Hallyu fans.

His sixth album, titled The Eleventh Story was released on January 27, 2010. The album featured the singles "This is the Person" and "Don't Be Good to Me". The music video of the latter single featured fellow Family Outing cast member Park Ye-jin.

2011–present: Running Man, Turbo reunion and music collaborations[edit]

Since 2010, Kim became a cast member of SBS' variety show Running Man. In 2011, he won the "Best TV Star Award" at the SBS Entertainment Awards.[6] Kim gained pan-Asia popularity from the show, becoming one of the most searched Korean stars in Singapore, and having his showcase there sold out with more than 1,700 fans in attendance.[7] He also enjoyed success in China, where he consistently topped polls, such as being voted #1 Korean singer on the Chinese streaming website, Tudou[8] and being ranked second most popular Korean male celebrity on Baidu.[9]

On November 1, 2012, following a pre-release of selected songs from his new album, Kim made a comeback to the music scene with the release of his seventh studio album, Journey Home after three years.[10][11] His fellow Running Man co-stars Haha and Gary participated in the album as well as former Running Man member Song Joong-ki, who starred in the music video for lead single "Men Are All Like That".[12] The same year, he began to host the documentary program Crisis Escape No. 1, which won him the "Best Entertainer Award" at the 2013 KBS Entertainment Awards.

Running Man Brothers, Kim Jong-kook and Haha, in Dallas, December 14, 2014

In 2014, he formed a duo with fellow Running Man cast member Haha, known as Running Man Brothers. The musical duo held a concert tour in the United States in July and December.[13][14]

In 2015, Kim made his official acting debut with a supporting role in the KBS drama, The Producers, and was praised for his "solid acting chops".[15]

In September 2015, he left Urban Works ENT after his contract expired.[16] He later went on to sign an exclusive contract with Maroo Entertainment in October 2015.[17]

In December 2015, he and fellow Turbo members Kim Jung-nam and Mikey reunited for Turbo's 20th anniversary album. The album, titled Again was released on 21 December 2015. The eponymous lead single, 다시 (Again), which features Yoo Jae-suk, topped online music charts upon its release.[18]

On 23 August 2016, he officially made his singing debut in China with his first single, "Hate That Happiness Came" (恨幸福来过), produced by JJ Lin and lyrics written by Vincent Fang.

After the Running Man Controversy with Kim and Song Ji-hyo, the show was supposed to end near the end of February 2017. However, on 30 January, it was revealed that Kim played a big role in keeping Running Man going, after the show was previously announced to come to an end in 2017. Kim accepted SBS' Entertainment Director Nam Seung-yong's request to stay with the show, and persuaded the other members to do so as well.

Personal life[edit]

Kim is the uncle of Soya. Kim is known to be good friends with Jang Hyuk, Cha Tae-hyun , Hong Kyung-min and Hong Kyung-in. The five are known as the "Dragon Brothers" because they were all born in 1976, the year of the dragon.[19]

On 27 August 2010, Kim received a lumbar microdiscectomy surgery to relieve a herniated disk. Kim’s management company, 101 Entertainment stated, “Kim Jong-kook carried on with his daily activities without knowing that he had a ruptured disk. However, he did feel pain, but didn’t think much of it, and he endured his condition with painkillers while filming SBS Running Man."

In 2011, Kim controversially attended the wedding of Yoo Seung-jun (Steven Yoo) in person, who is banned from re-entering South Korea after evading military service.[20]

In January 2015, he was a guest on the popular talk show, Healing Camp, where he shed light on many personal controversies, including his choice to work as a public service worker instead of an active-duty soldier during his mandatory military enlistment.[21]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Information Track listing
2001 Volume 1 - Renaissance
2004 Volume 2 - Evolution
  • Released: June 18, 2004
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
2005 Volume 3 - This Is Me
  • Released: July 1, 2005
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
  • Sales: 350,000+
2006 Volume 4 - Kim Jong Kook's Fourth Letter
  • Released: April 13, 2006
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
  • Sales: 100,000+
2008 Volume 5 - Here I am
  • Released: October 22, 2008
  • Label: Mnet Music
  • Language: Korean
2010 Volume 6 - Eleventh Story
  • Released: January 27, 2010
  • Label: 101 Entertainment
  • Language: Korean
Kim Jong Kook Remake Album - Song
  • Released: September 9, 2010
  • Label: 101 Entertainment
  • Language: Korean
2012 Volume 7 - Journey Home
  • Released: November 1, 2012
  • Label: JK Entertainment
  • Language: Korean

Digital albums[edit]

Year Album Information
2007 Turbo & Kim Jong Kook Digital Mini Album: 2007 Hwesang (Recollection)
  • Released: December 23, 2007
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean
2008 Turbo & Kim Jong Kook Digital Mini Album: 2007 Hwesang (Recollection) part 2
  • Released: January 4, 2008
  • Label: CJ Music
  • Language: Korean

Single albums[edit]

Year Album Information
2016 Hate That Happiness Came
  • Released: August 28, 2016
  • Label: YS Entertainment
  • Language: Mandarin
Listening to the Sound of Rain
  • Released: October 1, 2016
  • Label: YS Entertainment
  • Language: Mandarin
2017 Don't Need To Return My Love
  • Released: January 18, 2017
  • Label: YS Entertainment
  • Language: Mandarin

Digital singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart
Sales Album

(feat. Epik High)
2005 N/A
"White Love"
(feat. Mikey)
"Give To Me" 2009 N/A
"Happy Virus"
(feat. Shorry J)


Title Year Peak chart
Sales Album

"How Come You Don't Know" 2013 Good Doctor OST
"Tear Marks" 2014 Love in Memory 2 - Dad's Notes OST
"Fool" 2016 Sweet Stranger and Me OST

Collaborations and featuring[edit]

Title Year Peak chart
Sales Album

"Highway Romance"
(Kim Jang-hoon feat. Kim Jong-kook)
2004 N/A
"When That Day Comes"
(with various artists)
N/A Special Album: Love
"Gone With The Wind"
(with SG Wannabe, Vibe and M to M)
2005 N/A Big4 Of Voices In My Dream
"Only Wind, Only Wind"
(with SG Wannabe)
2006 N/A S.101
"Family Day"
(with Family Outing cast)
2008 N/A
"I Love You Everyday"
(Soya feat. Kim Jong-kook)
2010 N/A
"All For You"
(with Mikey)
2011 N/A



Year Original Title English Title Role Film Production Notes
2012 원더풀 라디오 Wonderful Radio Taxi Passenger Showbox Cameo
2015 奔跑吧!兄弟 Hurry Up Brother Film Himself Huayi Brothers


Year Original Title English Title Role Network Notes
2004 대결! 반전 드라마 Banjun Drama Himself SBS Cameo
Special TV Story MBC
2005 올드미스 다이어리 Old Miss Diary KBS2
2015 냄새를 보는 소녀 The Girl Who Sees Smells SBS
프로듀사 The Producers Kim Hong-soon KBS2 Supporting role
2016 마음의 소리 The Sound of Your Heart Jo Jong-kook / Jo Jong-wook Cameo (Episode 17-18)

Variety shows[edit]

Year Original Title English Title Network Notes
2001-2003 Dream Team KBS Main Cast
2004-2006 X맨 X Man SBS Main Cast
해피 선데이 Happy Sunday KBS
2005-2006 리얼 로망스 연애편지 Real Situation Saturday Love Letter SBS
날아라 슛돌이 Shootdori KBS
2008-2010 패밀리가 떴다 Family Outing SBS Main Cast
2010–present 런닝맨 Running Man SBS Main Cast
2012-2016 위기탈출 넘버원 Escape Crisis No.1 KBS Main Cast
2014 Everybody JTBC Main Cast
2015 叮咯咙咚呛 Ding Ge Long Dong Qiang CCTV Main Cast
2016 어서옵SHOW Talents for Sale KBS Main Cast
2017-present 너의 목소리가 보여 I Can See Your Voice Mnet Main Cast
빅픽처 Big Picture Naver Corporation Main Cast
용띠클럽-철부지 브로망스 Dragon Club – Childish Bromance KBS2 Main cast with Jang Hyuk, Cha Tae-hyun, Hong Kyung-min, Hong Kyung-in

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2004 KBS Music Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
SBS Music Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
MBC Best 10 Music Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
Seoul Music Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
Golden Disk Awards Popularity Award N/A Won
2005 MBC Music Awards Most Popular Singer "Lovable" Won
Best Artist: Daesang Award (Grand Prize) Won
KBS Music Awards Best Artist: Daesang Award (Grand Prize) Won
SBS Music Awards Best Artist: Daesang Award (Grand Prize) Won
KBS Entertainment Awards Best Entertainer Award Shootdori Won
SBS Visual Arts Award Photogenic Award N/A Won
Golden Disk Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Male Artist[27] "Standstill" Won
Best Ballad Performance Nominated
Korean Entertainer Awards Ballad Award N/A Won
2006 Golden Disk Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
Melon Music Awards Album Of The Year Volume 4 - Kim Jong Kook's Fourth Letter Won
2008 2008 Asian Model Awards BBF Popular Singer Award N/A Won
2009 Seoul Music Awards Bonsang Award N/A Won
Mnet Asian Music Award Best Ballad Performance "Today More Than Yesterday" Nominated
2010 SBS Entertainment Awards Best TV Star Award Running Man Won
2011 Excellence Award (Variety Category)[28] Won
2013 Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards 2013 Asia’s Most Charismatic Korean Host[29] N/A Won
KBS Entertainment Awards Best Entertainer Award Escape Crisis No. 1[30] Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Excellence Award (Male)[31] Running Man Won
Viewers Choice Popularity Award [32] Won
2014 High Excellence Award[33] Won
Sohu China Netizen Popularity Award N/A Won
2015 Sohu China Netizen Popularity Award N/A Won
Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards Prime Minister′s Award[34] N/A Won
2016 2nd Annual KU Music Asian Music Awards (China) Asia's Most Focused Artist Award[35] N/A Won
4th Annual DramaFever Awards Best Bromance (with Lee Kwang-soo)[36] Running Man Won

Music chart wins[edit]

SBS's Inkigayo[edit]

Year Date Song
2004 26 September "One Man"
3 October
2005 7 August "Walking in One Spot / Standstill"
14 August
21 August
11 September "Lovable"
25 September
2 October
2008 23 November "Today More Than Yesterday"

KBS's Music Bank[edit]

Year Date Song
2008 7 November "Today More Than Yesterday"
14 November


  1. ^ Kim Jong Kook receives his Master's degree. 17 February 2011. Retrieved: 4 March 2011
  2. ^ "Kim Jongkook to make a comeback to the music scene Archived 2013-11-11 at the Wayback Machine."
  3. ^ April 2006 Album Sales Music Industry Association of Korea. Retrieved April 2, 2009. Archived June 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ September 2006 Album Sales Archived 2009-04-30 at the Wayback Machine.. Music Industry Association of Korea. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  5. ^ [MD동영상]소집해제 김종국,"원더걸스와 소녀시대 반가워요~". MyDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  6. ^ Winners from the 2011 SBS Entertainment Awards. AllKpop. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Kim Jong-kook Hopes to Reclaim Singing Career". Chosun Ilbo. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (1 November 2012). "Kim Jong Kook Says 'Men Are All Like That' with Song Joong Ki". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 October 2012). "Song Joong Ki Appears in Kim Jong Kook's MV For Free". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  13. ^ benightedxflame (December 2, 2014). "Exclusive: Win Tickets to See Running Man's Kim Jong Kook and Haha in NYC, Dallas". Soompi. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ Lee, Min Ji (November 27, 2014). "Kim Jong Kook and Haha to Hold 'Running Man Bros' Concert in America". CJ E&M MWave. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ 윤효정 (September 10, 2015). 김종국 측 "소속사와 계약만료, 1인기획사로 활동". Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ 김은애 (October 21, 2015). 김종국 1인기획사 아닌 마루기획 택했다 "대표와 친분"(공식입장). Sports Today (in Korean). Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Jang Hyuk will join his real-life best friends Cha Tae Hyun and Kim Jong Kook for a cameo on Producer". DramaFever. 13 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Running Man Producer And Idols Expose Kim Jong Kook's True Character — Koreaboo". Koreaboo. 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Peak positions on the Gaon Digital Chart:
  23. ^ Peak positions on the Gaon Digital Chart:
  24. ^ "Gaon Download Chart - Week 39". Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  25. ^ "Gaon Download Chart - Week 44". Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  26. ^ Peak positions on the Gaon Digital Chart:
  27. ^ "2005 Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  28. ^ Lee, Nancy "Yoo Jae Suk Wins Big, Winners from 2011 SBS Entertainment Awards" CJ E&M enewsWorld. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-14
  29. ^ Kim Jong Kook Takes Home the MC Award from the “Yahoo Asia Buzz Award 2013”. 02 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-06
  30. ^ [1] 21 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-21
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ [2]. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-31
  34. ^ Ko Soo-jin (29 October 2015). "Kim Jong Kook Thanks ′Running Man′ at ′Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards′". CJ E&M enewsWorld. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  35. ^
  36. ^

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
SBS Gayo Daejun Award - Daesang Award
Succeeded by
Preceded by
KBS Music Award - Daesang Award
Succeeded by