Get to Know Former H.O.T Member and One of SM Entertainment’s Stockholders, Kangta

Find Out More About SM Entertainment Stakeholders and Former Boy Band Member – Kangta

Kangta, or Ahn Chil-hyun, is a South Korean singer, composer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and radio personality. In the past, he was famous as a member of the boy band H.O.T which was created by SM Entertainment in 1996 and had to end in 2001.

After the band H.O.T disbanded, in 2001, Kangta decided to focus on his solo career. Kangta made his solo debut after renewing his contract with S.M. Entertainment. He released his first solo album Polaris, which became a huge hit; it was followed by his second album Pinetree in 2002. His first solo concert took place in the summer of 2003.

Kangta was discovered at Lotte World, a theme park, when he was only 13 years old. He is an experienced songwriter and composer, having written over 100 songs. In this article, Channel Korea will provide you with a run-through of everything about Kangta. Want to learn more? Stay tuned!

Kangta’s Full Profile

Real Name: Ahn Chil-hyun

Stage Name: Kangta

Date of Birth: October 10th, 1979

Age: 40 years old

Occupation: Singer, composer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and radio personality

Height: 178 cm

Weight: 65 kg

Religion: N/A

Blood Type: B

Zodiac: Libra

Agency: SM Entertainment

Instagram: @an_chil_hyun

Fun Facts About Kangta:

  1. Kangta was the first member to join H.O.T.
  2. Kangta likes to sleep to release his stress.
  3. His hobbies include listening to music, singing, dancing, collecting CDs.
  4. He was scouted in an amusement park at the age of 13, where he was singing and dancing with a friend.
  5. Kangta’s favorite color is black and his favorite season is winter.
  6. Kangta’s favorite foods are Nakji bokkeum and Bulgogi and he doesn’t like carrots.
  7. He originally debuted as a backup dancer with Heejun for Yoo Young-jin.
  8. Kangta’s favorite number is 27.
  9. He can play the guitar really well.
  10. Kangta’s ideal type is someone cute, has puppy eyes, and semi-long hair. Someone who’s short, smart, kind, likes hip-hop. Someone that makes him feel needed.

Kangta’s Debut with H.O.T

As we already know, H.O.T is a first generation boy band from SM Entertainment that was formed in 1996. H.O.T is an acronym that stands for “High-five Of Teenagers.” H.O.T. had five members: Moon Hee-joon, Jang Woo-hyuk, Tony An, Kangta, and Lee Jae-won. H.O.T. sold over 6.4 million records in South Korea during their career. They were also commercially successful in China and Japan, and were among the first stars of the Korean Wave in Asia. Unfortunately, H.O.T broke up in 2001 because none of the members wanted to renew their contract with SM Entertainment.

The first member to join the group was Kangta, who was discovered in an amusement park. Next are the friends and singing partners, Moon Hee-joon and Lee Jae-won. The fourth to join was Jang Woo-hyuk who attracted Lee’s attention after winning first place in a dance contest. Finally, Tony An joined the group after auditioning for Lee in Los Angeles.

H.O.T. debuted in September 1996 with the album, We Hate All Kinds of Violence, which was a success; it sold 1.5 million copies. Their first single, “Descendants of Warriors,” was a critique of bullying schoolyard, while their second single, “Candy,” was a cheerful bubblegum pop song that established H.O.T’s popularity, especially among teenage girls. That year, H.O.T. won the Best New Artist Award at the Golden Disc Awards.

However, in 2001 Kangta again renewed his contract with SM Entertainment and decided to pursue a solo career. Kangta became the first member to make a solo debut. He released his first solo album Polaris, then released a second solo album titled Pine Tree in 2002. He held his first solo concert in the summer of 2003.

H.O.T’s Disbandment and Kangta’s Solo Debut

Five years after their debut, in 2001, H.O.T decided not to renew the contract with SM Entertainment and H.O.T was declared disbanded after holding their last concert. All members left SM Entertainment and decided to focus on their solo careers, but in 2001 Kangta decided to renew his contract with SM Entertainment and debut as the first solo artist at SM Entertainment.

After releasing his first two solo albums, in 2006, Kangta was selected as a runner-up for Best Korean Singer, which was recorded at Arirang International Broadcasting. An opinion was issued via the internet, allowing only people outside Korea to vote. Shinhwa’s song “Once In A Lifetime” won with 60% of the vote, defeating Kangta, who finished second with 20.3%.

In 2017, at the Variety show Infinity Challenge, H.O.T members reunited and talked about the funny stories while promoting together but also recalled moments of their precious time together, such as the very last concert they held together on February 27th, 2001.

Kangta shared, “Because of those reasons, I think we were too young. Because of those reasons, we weren’t able to keep our promise to the unintended fans. It’s true that the fans are even up to now for 17 years.”

Tony An added, “To speak with my heart, it felt like everything was ending. There weren’t any senior groups for us to seek advice from as we were the first generation of idol groups.”

Kangta’s Military Service

In 2008, Kangta enlisted for Military Service, at the beginning of the year, but SM Entertainment requested Kangta’s schedule to be postponed because he was promoting his album Eternity which was released on March 12th, 2008. On March 29th and 30th, Kangta held a small concert in Yonsei University’s main auditorium. On April 1st, Kangta started his military service in Euijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province. Kangta completed his military service on February 29th, 2010.

After serving for nearly two years, he finally got discharged. After being formally discharged from the military he thanked Girls’ Generation and said, “SNSD came to visit me once and my unit went crazy. It was so bad that it would have been rude of me to ask them to come again. The girls asked their manager to take a polaroid photo of them and they gave it to me. After that my popularity went straight through the roof.” He continued, “In my unit, I was, of course, an SNSD fan. Many girl groups were my energy throughout my army life. Thank you. Now I’ll try my best to be a helpful senior.”

Kangta and Vanness Project

Kangta and Vanness is a pop duo composed of Korean singer Kangta from the former band H.O.T and Taiwanese singer Vanness Wu from F4. They formed in 2006 and have released one album, Scandal. The collaboration was speculated since the Golden Melody Awards on May 8th in Taiwan, and was officially announced on April 27th, 2006, with the stated purpose of sweeping the Asian music market.

Kangta & Vanness’ first single album, Scandal, was released on May 19th, 2006, in South Korea, with localized versions following in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. A repackage featuring album versions of singles’ Mandarin songs were released, as well. Music videos for “Scandaland “127 Days” were filmed and released in both Mandarin and Korean language.

They also performed in Beijing, China, on September 22nd and September 23rd, 2006,  at the Great Hall of the People. Kangta & Vanness performed at SM Entertainment’s SM Town Summer Concert at the Olympic Park in Seoul on June 30th and July 1st, 2007.

Check out the Music Video here!

Kangta’s Appearance in Knowing Brothers

Knowing Brother is one variety show that is quite popular in South Korea. Kangta was a guest star on episode 48 in November 2016 along with Davichi and they even sang together.

Check out the video here!

Kangta’s Acting Career

After launching a successful solo career in music in 2001, Kangta tried acting in 2004. He began acting by starring in one of the dramas in China, Magic Touch of Fate along with Taiwanese actor and actress, Ruby Lin and Alec Su. Kangta plays the evil witch Jin-Xiu.

Then, in May 2011, Kangta was cast as the leading role for the new Chinese drama Jae Kum. The drama is a TV adaptation of the popular Chinese novel written by Mok Bi under the same title. It is about the power struggle and love/revenge relationships between the old and new royal families in ancient China. In this historical show, Kangta plays the emperor of ancient China, becoming the first foreign artist to ever land an emperor’s role in a Chinese TV drama.

Kangta also acted in the Chinese, Love In The City 2. In Love In The City 2, Kangta was portraying the life of a successful CEO whose life is boring. In March 2012, Kangta announced that he would star in the drama on JTBC titled Happy Ending as Kim So Eun who is looking for love.

In 2007, he starred in two dramas and Love In The City 2 which began airing on October 1st, 2007. In January 2007, Kangta was part of the Hallyu Festival in Osaka featuring Jun Jin and Lee Min Woo from Shinhwa, SG Wannabe and actor Song Seung Heon at the Osaka Dome.