Kim Jong-hoon, alias Yesung, is a well-known South Korean actor and singer, best known as a member of the popular boy band Super Junior. Yesung has released eight albums in Korean as a member of the group to date. The group’s popularity in Japan has also prompted them to record an album in the language. One of South Korea’s most successful music groups, it rose to prominence with the release of its third album, ‘Sorry, Sorry,’ which became an international sensation. Apart from his group activities, Yesung is a solo musician who has composed the soundtracks for numerous films and television series, as well as starring in a number of them. Yesung made his acting debut in the film ‘Attack on the Pin-up Boys,’ and while he generally avoids acting, he is frequently offered meaty roles in films and television dramas. As a musician, Yesung was inducted into the BGM Cyworld Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a Golden Disk Award nominee. Yesung won the Best OST Award at the 2010 Cyworld Digital Music Awards for his song ‘It has to be you.’
Childhood & Adolescence
Yesung was born as the eldest child of an affluent family in Seoul, South Korea on 24th August 1984. He was raised alongside his two younger brothers and the family relocated to Cheonan when he was ten years old. It was there that he developed an apparent interest in singing and competed in a few elementary school competitions.
Another battle won for him was his parents’ support, who left no stone unturned in ensuring that their son practiced enough. As a result, Yesung developed into a competent singer during his early adolescent years.
He began competing in singing competitions across the country at the age of 15 and won his first gold medal at the Cheonan Singing Competition, a local competition for aspiring singers. The judges described his voice as’very artistic and magical,’ which instilled confidence in Yesung and motivated him to work even harder to ensure a successful career in music.
SM Entertainment began accepting auditions in 2001, and Yesung’s mother wasted no time in enrolling her son. Yesung won the judges’ hearts and was signed as a trainee by the record label. This helped him hone his vocal abilities and educated him about the various avenues for success with his musical ability.
There, Yesung met some other music enthusiasts, and a group called Super Junior was formed, initially consisting of twelve members. The group made its debut on SBS Network’s music show ‘Popular Songs’ in 2005, which catapulted the group into the spotlight.
Career of Yesung
Yesung and his group released their debut album, ‘Twins,’ in December 2005 to moderate success. While the group’s success on the music show ‘Popular Songs’ aided in their commercial success, the album remained largely unremarkable.
Yesung briefly worked as a radio host for the show ‘M.I.R.A.C.L.E for You’ in late 2006, where he engaged in discussions with celebrities. Occasionally, members of Super Junior made appearances on the show. Yesung decided to leave the radio job shortly before his one-year anniversary to focus on Super Junior’s second album.
The second album, titled ‘Don’t Don,’ was released in 2007 and quickly became a chart-topper. It eventually topped numerous music charts and was the second best-selling album in South Korea that year.
Yesung’s year 2007 was quite eventful, as he also made his acting debut in the film ‘Attack on the Pin-up Boys’. The comedy film followed a group of high school students as a mysterious force enters their lives and disrupts their peace and fun.
After being sidelined for a period of time due to a leg injury, Yesung appeared in a musical titled ‘Hong Gil Dong’ in 2010, which ran for several weeks at the Olympic Park and was universally praised. Yesung was hired in March 2010 to record the soundtrack for the television series ‘Cinderella’s Sister’.
The song ‘It has to be you’ was a slow romantic number that earned Yesung several awards. Yesung was named Song of the Year and Best OST at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards. For the same song, he was also inducted into the BGM Cyworld Hall of Fame.
Later that year, he starred in another musical, ‘Spamalot,’ and capped off a successful year by recording the soundtrack for the television series ‘President.’
Super Junior continued to grow in popularity in Japan with the release of additional singles and albums, and in late 2012, the group embarked on a successful Japanese tour. Later that year, Yesung released another successful soundtrack, titled ‘Gray Paper,’ for another series, ‘That Winter, the Wind Blows.
Yesung quickly announced that he would be departing in May 2013 to serve his mandatory military service as a public service officer.
Yesung briefly joined the group SM the Ballad during his service. He recorded a solo song titled ‘Blind’ for the group’s second album and sang both the Korean and Japanese versions of the song. Although the song received widespread praise, Yesung opted out of promotional activities in favor of the Japan tour he was scheduled to embark on following his military service.
Mid-2015, following Yesung’s return from the Japan tour, the group announced their highly anticipated Asia Tour at Seoul’s Olympic Hall. To commemorate the band’s tenth anniversary, it was announced that the entire band would collaborate on a special album titled ‘Devil,’ which was released in July 2015.
Later that year, Yesung appeared in a minor role in the drama ‘Awl’ and released his song ‘Dreaming’ from the series ‘Splendid Politics’.
In April 2016, Yesung released a seven-track solo EP titled ‘Here I Am’ and embarked on a solo tour dubbed ‘Sweet Coffee’.
Yesung was then cast in the crime drama series ‘Voice,’ which sparked outrage due to its excessive violence. However, upon its release, the series received positive reviews, particularly for the performances and story.
Private Life of Yesung
Yesung has been coy about his private life, but claims to have been duped numerous times and is thus uninterested in dating.
Yesung has openly expressed his desire to visit Canada at some point in the future, as it is his preferred vacation destination.
Yesung intends to start his own business after he retires from music. He currently owns and operates a cafe called ‘Mouse Rabbit Coffee,’ which he co-founded with his brother.
Estimated Net Worth
The net worth of Yesung is $25.56million.