Same Name, Same Job, Same Fate?
Korea is known for their common, three-syllable names. It’s also known for its successful entertainment industry, especially K-Pop, which has spread around the world. Thus, it is unavoidable to find more and more idols who have the same birth names in different groups. Who are they? Which groups are they are in? Channel-Korea has made a list of idols with the same name, complete with their career information, let’s check them out!
1. Kim Ki-bum
Super Junior – Kibum
Kibum was born on August 21, 1987, in Seoul, South Korea and was scouted through an audition with Starlight Casting System by SM Entertainment before signing contract with them. He was first debuted as an actor through the KBS drama April Kiss as young Han Jung-woo on April 21, 2004, followed by roles in two other dramas, KBS’s Sharp 2 as Joo Yeo-myeong and MBC’s Marrying A Millionaire as young Kim Young-hoon. He was debuted as a Super Junior member on November 6, 2005, through the SBS music program Popular Songs, performing their first single “TWINS (Knock Out)”. The album Super Junior 05 (Twins) was released a month later and debuted at number 3 on the monthly MIAK K-Pop album chart.
In 2009, Super Junior released their third album, Sorry Sorry, and Kibum was absent in the promotion of its first single “Sorry Sorry”. Moreover, he was once again absent and didn’t even sing in the second single, “It’s You”. This led to speculation that the artist had left the group which was denied by both the agency and the other members. Although Kibum was featured in the promotional video for their tour Super Show 2, he did not join the tour due to an injury to his foot, which required him to rest for at least six weeks.
After the release of the single “Sorry Sorry Answer”, which he did not participate in, he stated that he was currently preparing for an upcoming drama and whether or not he continued with Super Junior needed to be discussed further. He then continued to focus on his acting career and was absent from all Super Junior activities. On August 15, 2015, Kibum announced on his personal SNS that his contract with the company had ended, then he continued his acting career. Recently, the artist reunited with Kim Hee-chul, his former band-mate, on KBS2’s dating survival program, Matching Survival 1+1.
SHINee – Key
Key was born on September 23, 1991, in Daegu, South Korea, and joined SM Entertainment in 2006 through SM National Tour Audition Casting. A year later, he appeared as a background dancer in the Super Junior movie Attack on the Pin-Up Boys. He was debuted as a SHINee member on May 22, 2008, and the group released their first mini-album, Replay, which debuted at number 10 on the charts. In 2010, he was also featured in many songs by his label-mates, like TRAX’s “치유” (Healing) and SNSD’s “Hwaseongin Virus (Boys & Girls)”. In 2013, he was featured in EXO’s “Two Moons” for their debut album, MAMA, and BoA’s “One Dream”.
In 2012, Key, along with other label-mates like Super Junior’s Kyuhyun and SNSD’s Sunny, were cast in a Broadway musical theater production titled Catch Me If You Can, which also marked his theatrical debut. In 2014, he formed a unit with his close friend in school, Infinite’s Woohyun, called ToHeart, which became a collaboration between SM and Woolim. They were debuted on March 10 and released their debut album, Delicious. He made his acting debut in September, 2016, through a tvN drama, Drinking Solo. Key made his official solo debut on November 26, 2018, and released an album, Face, along with the music video for its title track, “One of Those Nights”, featuring Crush.
He released the repackaged version of the album, with the title I Wanna Be, on March 4, 2019, with title track “I Wanne Be”, featuring (G)I-dle’s Soyeon. On the same day, Key started his enlistment and is still on his military service.
U-KISS – Kibum (later known as Allen)
Allen Kim, or Kim Kibum, was born on December 29, 1990. He’s also known as SS501’s Kim Hyung-joon’s younger brother. He was first debuted as one of the XING member, along with Kevin Woo, in 2006. However, he left the group the next year to better his future and joined NH Media. He was debuted in the 6-member boy-group U-KISS (including Kevin Woo) on August 28, 2008, and they released their first mini-album, N-Generation, with its title track “Not Young”.
On November 29, 2010, he established HnB company with his brother, Kim Hyung-joon. On February 23, 2011, it was came out that Kibum’s contract with the agency had been terminated. Later, it was revealed that the agency thought the artist was lacking in sufficient singing ability, so they wanted to change the member line-up for the group. After that, he started solo activities such a fan-meeting in Singapore and becoming an MC at the K-Pop Music Festival in Japan. He also made his acting debut through a Japanese musical titled Bond 2011, Boys Be Ambitious. He is now known as Allen Kim since he started his solo activities in Japan.
He made his solo debut in Japan on December 26, 2012, and released his first solo CD, titled Dream, before making his debut in Korea in April, 2013, with the track “Longing”. Recently, it was reported that the artist became a father on January 18, 2019. However, news about his marriage was difficult to confirm due to his wife’s identity as a daughter of a large food service and karaoke chain company in Japan.
2. Park Jin-young
J.Y. Park (JYP)
J.Y. Park, or JYP, was born on December 31, 1971, in Seoul, South Korea. He started his musical career in 1994 when he released his first album, Blue City, with the title track “Don’t Leave Me”. In 1997, he founded his own company, JYP Entertainment (previously known as Tae-Hong Planning Corporation). Two years later, their first idol group, g.o.d, was debuted and was a huge success in the early 2000s. He continues to release some tracks and wrote songs for some of the artists under his management, like Wonder Girls’ “Nobody”, I.O.I’s “Very Very Very”, and others.
He was debuted as an actor though a popular KBS2 drama, Dream High, along with many artists under his management, like Miss A’s Suzy and 2PM’s Taecyeon and Wooyoung. He then received a nomination for New Actor of the Year at the Baeksang Arts Awards. He married Seo Yoon-jeong in 1999 but they divorced in 2009 after ten years of marriage. He married again, with a woman who is nine years younger, on October 10, 2013, and was blessed with his first daughter on January 25, 2019.
Got7 – Jinyoung
Jinyoung was born on September 22, 1994. When he was still a JYP trainee, he appeared as an actor for the first time through KBS2’s sequel drama Dream High 2, along with another JYP trainee, JB. Both were debuted in a duo group called JJ Project and released their first single, “Bounce”, on May 17, 2012. He was originally debuted as Jr. (stands for Junior) due to the similar birth name with the agency’s CEO, J.Y. Park.
He was re-debuted as a Got7 member on January 16, 2014, and they released their first EP, Got It?, with its title track “Girls Girls Girls”. It was also reported that JJ Project became a Got7 sub-unit from then on. Later, in 2015, he changed the spelling of his name to Junior because many were confused about its pronunciation. On August 16, 2015, he changed his stage name again, to his real name, Jinyoung. He marked his first lead role in acting through tvN’s fantasy rom-com drama He Is Psychometric, along with Kim Kwon, Kim Da-som, and Shin Ye-eun in December, 2018. Currently, he is holding the world tour Keep Spinning with Got7.
3. Kim Jong-hyun
SHINee – Jonghyun
Jonghyun was born on April 8, 1990, and was scouted by SM Entertainment when he was 15, after performing with his band in a song festival. He was debuted as a SHINee member on May 22, 2008, and they released their first mini-album, Replay. He contributed as a song-writer for “Juliette”, which was included in their second EP, Romeo. He was debuted as a composer with the track “Gloomy Clock”, which was co-written by him and was included in IU’s third album, Modern Times.
He made his solo debut on January 12, 2015, and released his first EP, Base, with title track “Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)”, for which he wrote the lyrics. Prior to his solo debut, he released the track “Déjà-Boo”, which was co-composed by Zion.T. He held his first solo concert, The Story by Jonghyun, in August. A month later, he published a book titled Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released and Set Free, which talks about his experiences in songwriting and his inspirations. He released his first studio album, She Is, on March 24, 2016, which he wrote and composed himself.
Jonghyun held another concert, titled Inspired, on December 9-10, 2017, at South Korea Olympic Handball Gymnasium. At the time, he was preparing to release the album Poet I Artist, which was set to be launched in January, 2018. However, he was found unconscious by the police in an apartment he rented before,on December 18, 2017. He was immediately brought to the hospital, but failed to regain consciousness and passed away. It was confirmed that the artist committed suicide by inhaling toxic fumes from burnt coal briquettes on a frying pan in his apartment.
His funeral was held on December 19 at Asan Medical Center’s funeral hall and was attended by his fellow SHINee members as well as the other artists, like Super Junior, BTS, and more. The album Poet I Artist was released posthumously on January 23, 2018, with all profits given to Jonghyun’s mother to establish a foundation to help those who are living difficult circumstances.
NU’EST – JR
JR was born on June 8, 1995, in Gangwon, South Korea. He first appeared in Orange Caramel’s “Bangkok City” music video and later was introduced by After School’s Kahi on KBS2’s Hello Counselor, together with another Pledis trainee, Baekho. He was also featured in After School’s Uee’s “Sok Sok Sok” and became After School Blue’s back dancer in the “Wonder Boy” music video.
He was debuted as the leader of the boy-group NU’EST on March 15, 2012, and they released their first single, “Face”, along with the accompanying music video. Their first EP, Action, was released on July 11. They continued releasing EPs and singles, including promotions in Japan. On October 6, 2016, they dropped the music video for the track “Daybreak”, which was included in their fifth EP, Canvas. It was a duet track sung by JR and Minhyun. In 2017, JR along with Minhyun, Ren, and Baekho participated in Mnet’s survival program Produce 101 Season 2. JR ended up in 14th place, so he couldn’t debut as a Wanna One member. Yet, he gained popularity from the show and he became a model for cosmetics brand Labiotte and a regular member of JTBC’s variety show, Night Goblin. Recently, JR and NU’EST released their sixth EP, Happily Ever After, with its title track “Bet Bet”.