Today, Korean pop sensation Kim Jong In (stage name Kai) turns 20, and Twitter has turned the event into an international holiday, as hormonally-addled teens across the world tweet their best wishes beside the hashtag #happyjonginday. Here’s what you need to know about the Bieber of Seul music:
1. He Is a Leading Member of South Korean Boy Band Exo
In 2012, South Korea’s S.M. Entertainment debuted their latest boy band, a twelve member outfit called EXO. The group consists of two separate units, EXO-K and EXO-M, the former releasing music in South Korea, the latter in Mainland China. “Exo” refers to exoplanet, a planet beyond out solar system.
Kim Jong In however, is from down here on Earth. Born in Seoul, South Korea on January 14, 1994, he performs under the name “Kai” with Exo-K. Both supgroups release the same songs and videos, but EXO-K’s are released in Korean, EXO-M’s in Mandarin.
On April 9, 2012, EXO dropped an EP titled “Mama.” A day later, “Mamma” was number 1 on a variety of Chinese pop charts, and ended up reaching the 12 spot on the Billboard World Albums Chart.
In May of 2013, EXO’s first full-length album XOXO was released, and has since sold over one million copies. It’s lead single “Growl” reached the top spot on all four of Korea’s major music programs.
2. He Discovered a Passion for Ballet After Seeing The Nutcracker
Kai first signed with S.M. Entertainment after winning the 10th S.M. Youth Best Contest in 2007, when he was just thirteen years old. He is considered EXO’s “lead” dancer, having trained in jazz dance and ballet since he was eight years old, after a viewing of The Nutcracker awoke his inner ballerino. After joining S.M. he gained training in hip hop, popping, and locking.
He’s said that his inspiration to become a singer was his exposure to late 90′s South Korean boy band Shinwa.
3. He Would Like to Have a Healthy Wife
So we learn from an interview snippet featured at kim-jongin.com/ , in which Jong Gin says he hasn’t thought much about the qualities he’s looking for in a wife, except that she be passionate about her work, and able to produce healthy children.
That tumblr is just one of several sites dedicated to dreamy photographs and gifs of the heart-throb. The Official Kim Jon Gin thread begins with exhaustive lists of fun facts about the star, including that he believes he can teleport, and enjoys biting his lips, but NOT killing his female fans:
4. He Was the First Member of EXO to Be Introduced to the Public
The members of EXO were introduced through a series of “teasers,” and Kai’s was the first to air. The video shows Kai exiting a classic automobile, wearing a tophat and twirling a cane. He then throws off his formal wear, and dances in slow-motion in a suddenly flooded street.
5. His Fans Twitter Messages Show a Religious Reverence
Kai has taught fans how to love selflessly, and be grateful for existence. Kim Jong In deserves the world:
Happy bday to you, the love of my life. The one who teaches me how to love someone in the right way. Without selfishness. #HappyJonginDay
— jongin's day!♥♥♥ (@qisty) January 13, 2014
— Mei Ge Ni ~ (@starlightlily1) January 13, 2014
my baby, my love, my everything, your existence brings me happiness. ur voice turns me beyond delighted. thanks for existing #HappyJonginDay
— l i s s a (@thespringlady) January 13, 2014
— GRD#05 ^^ (@Izaa_Ih) January 13, 2014