Let’s Meet the Queen, Twice’s Leader, Park Jihyo
There must be something wrong if you’re into K-Pop but don’t know who Twice is. The girl-group that made its debut under JYP entertainment consists of 9 pretty and talented members. After the day that they debuted with a song called “OOH-AHH” in 2015, Twice gained a lot of popularity inside and outside Korea. They’ve also made a huge impact on the Japanese music industry, and even held a dome tour in some cities in Japan.
However, we’re not going to talk about Twice, in general, in this article. Instead, we’re going to talk about that one important person who will always be there for the other Twice members and who is always concerned for Once, the fandom name for Twice’s fans.
It’s Jihyo, everyone. The leader/mother figure in Twice that always takes care of the members.
Jihyo is not the eldest member in Twice. She was born on February 1, 1997 in Guri, South Korea. Although Jihyo is ranked fifth in terms of age order in Twice, she was chosen as the leader because she spent more years as a trainee than anyone in Twice. She even got trained in JYP entertainment way before some of the 2PM or Miss A members. Since she was selected as a trainee at a very young age and was trained for almost ten years, she was chosen as the leader of Twice without a doubt.
Now you must be wondering about Jihyo’s backstory, what she is like, and how she does as the leader of her group. Well, worry not, just scroll down to find out more about our leader, Park Jihyo!
Jihyo’s Full Profile and Facts
Born Name: Park Jisoo
Full Name: Park Jihyo
Stage Name: Jihyo
Birth date: February 1, 1997
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Position: Lead vocalist, lead dancer, leader
Education: Cheongdam High School
Specialty: Aegyo, mimicking Thomas from “Thomas and his Friends” tv show, singing, etc.
Trainee years: 10 years
Jihyo’s Pre-debut Days
Jihyo spent the longest time as a trainee at JYP Entertainment, when compared to other idols in Twice, GOT7, DAY6, and even Stray Kids or ITZY. Being a trainee since she was a third grader in elementary school, Jihyo has been friends with other senior idols that debuted before her in JYP Entertainment, such as Wonder Girls, 2AM, 2PM, and even Miss A.
So it is not weird to see that Jihyo seems close to 2PM members. There were also some videos of her and senior idols just talking or joking around around comfortably. Jihyo is so lucky to have 2PM as her reliable oppas.
There were also rumors that Jihyo was supposed to be in Miss A along with other Miss A members, such as Fei, Jia, Min, and Suzy. However, the time wasn’t right and Jihyo had to wait a little more.
Even so, Jihyo made good relationships with the trainees that were way older than her, and even debuted faster than she did, while she had to wait until the right timing.
In the photo above, Jihyo is the only little girl in the photo, posed in the middle, while the other trainees are mature teenagers. It feels so surreal to see Jihyo with other trainees that mostly debuted as second-generation idols, such as 2AM, 2PM, Wonder Girls, and Miss A members. There are also some other idols that later on debuted in other agencies, such as female soloist Hyuna, Dongwoon of Highlight, etc.
Jihyo also had a good relationship with Taecyeon, who is almost ten years older than she is. The clip below was recorded by Taecyeon (you can hear his voice in the background, after getting hit by little Jihyo). They were so cute back then!
Little Jihyo hitting Taecyeon with a ball will forever be funny and adorable pic.twitter.com/EceOXoIP4c
— Jihyo’s (@parkjihyostan) January 18, 2019
Even now, Jihyo and Taecyeon still share some cute interaction sometimes. When Jihyo was having a birthday, Taecyeon, who was still in the military service, congratulated her on Twitter by teasing her as a “senior JYP trainee”, since Jihyo literally joined as a trainee way before Taecyeon.
Not only Taecyeon, Jihyo also had a good relationship with other ex-trainees that have debuted as a member of various idol groups. Some evidence of that is when Jihyo posted a picture on Instagram, showing her pretty and cute face, just like a child. Sunmi couldn’t handle it, and left a comment as soon as she saw it.
In the comment, Sunmi said that the photo reminded her of Jihyo when she was a baby, with a tearing eyes emoji. They must have shared a precious moment together back then!
Let’s see more proof of Jihyo who trained with other second gen idols.
— twice fans club (@TwiceFansClub) January 11, 2016
It was a pity knowing that Jihyo could only wait, while her fellow trainee friends debuted in girl-groups or boy-groups and became famous K-pop idols. A lot of other trainees came and went while Jihyo patiently waited and kept improving her skills to become a proper idol.
However, due to her patience, she finally perfected all the skills and talents that she could have while she was waiting to debut. In 2015, Jihyo appeared as one of the participating trainees in SIXTEEN, a TV Program from JYP Entertainment that was aired on Mnet to search for a fixed lineup for JYP’s new girl-group. Later on, Jihyo was chosen as one of the members that succeeded to debut, and even became the leader in Twice.
As Jihyo was patiently waiting to debut, she made a lot of contributions in JYP Entertainment projects, such as appearing in Miss A’s music video, “Only You”, a song that released in 2014, along with other JYP Entertainment female trainees that later on debuted as Twice members, as well.
Jihyo also appeared in INNISFREE’s ads, along with Nayeon and other JYP Entertainment female trainees. She and the others were promoting a product called TN. Let’s take a look at some photos of young Jihyo along with Nayeon.
As a trainee, Jihyo was closest to Nayeon and Jeongyeon, since the three of them are around the same age. Both Nayeon and Jeongyeon also spent quite a long time as trainees, even though it wasn’t as long as Jihyo did. Let’s take a look at some pre-debut photos of them when they were still trainees.
Seeing pre-debut photos of Jihyo, we can say that her beauty is so natural. Don’t you think? Her big eyes were already sparkling so brightly when she was a little girl. She was a pretty little princess that turned to be a goddess, now. Jihyo continues to wow us with her inevitable beauty.
Jihyo’s Appearance on MNet’s SIXTEEN
In May 2015, JYP Entertainment and Mnet launched a new show called Sixteen, where sixteen female trainees from JYP competed and hoped to become members of JYP’s new girl-group. One of the sixteen trainees was Jihyo, who had the longest training period of any of the contestants.
Other than Jihyo, there were other trainees, who are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Mina, Song Min-young, Park Ji-won, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, Tzuyu, Lee Chae-yeon, Kim Eun-seo, Jeon So-mi, Lee Chae-ryeong, and Natty. Some of the female trainees succeeded in being chosen as JYP’s new girl-group, that later on was known as Twice.
On Jihyo’s introduction video, she said that it was the tenth year of her trainee years, and it made her want to debut even more.
Beside Jihyo and the rest of the Twice members, there are other female trainees that contributed as Sixteen members, and even though they didn’t make it as a Twice member, they now have their own success path. For example, Somi, who is now a solo artist under Black Label Entertainment, Chaeryeong, who participated in Mnet’s survival show Produce x 48 and debuted with IZ*ONE, and Chaeyeon, who became one of the members of JYP’s latest girl-group, ITZY.
On Sixteen, just like other trainees, Jihyo worked hard to prove to the judges that she was capable enough to become a member of Twice. Jihyo practiced for a long time, even in the midnight time, just to get the best result when it was time to perform. Whether it was a team performance or a solo performance, Jihyo did not stop practicing.
Jihyo’s energetic aura, her shooting voice, and her precious smile when performing.. it was all so perfect! No wonder that she was chosen as one of the members of Twice.
Even so, she had her own struggles during Sixteen. One of her struggles was the comments about her weight gain, which undermined her confidence about showing up in front of the camera when the members did a photo shoot. Sometimes, Jihyo also had her bad times when her performance just didn’t seem good enough.
Then again, Jihyo had been trained for almost ten years, and she spent half of her life to prepare to be a K-pop star. She finally succeeded in proving to the whole world that she was capable to debut as a member of Twice. Not only did she become a member of the group, but also the leader of the next big thing in K-pop, Twice.
Jihyo Debuted as Twice’s Leader
After all the struggles, Jihyo finally debuted as one of the members of Twice, as well as becoming the leader. Along with the other eight members, Nayeon, Jungyeon, Momo, Sana, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu, Jihyo officially made a debut in the Korean entertainment industry on October 20, 2015, with the song called “OOH-AHH”. The song became a big hit, since everyone were curious about the new girls from JYP Entertainment.
Later on, Twice continued to gain popularity in Korea and even worldwide. After their success with “OOH-AHH”, Twice came back with another good song that became a big hit, as well. Jihyo accomplished her dream by winning her very first number one on a music show with a song called “Cheer Up!” on May 5, 2016.
Not only getting their first win, Jihyo and the girls succeed in getting 11 more wins with the cheerful song, “Cheer Up!”. As the leader, Jihyo had the winning speech with teary eyes, yet she couldn’t handle the tears falling down like other members. Since this was the first win they got after their debut day, they all felt very touched by it.
Following this success, Twice became more popular, and the music video for “OOH-AHH” hit over 100 millions view on YouTube the same year as their second title song, “Cheer Up”‘s release, 2016.
In the next year, 2017, Twice held their first solo concert, called Twiceland, on February 17, 18, and 19, 2017. The opening concert was held for three days in Seoul. And, as expected, all the tickets for the three days of concerts all sold-out. They also debuted in Japan, and released a Japanese album called “#Twice” that was released on June 28, 2017.
All that just made Twice became bigger in the K-pop industry, as they won a lot of people’s hearts. Jihyo also gained lots of fans because of that. Jihyo made a transformation from year to year, maturing and improving her skills, and making fans to love her more.
Twice probably would not have become this big if the leader was not a kind-hearted person like Jihyo. She might not be the oldest in the group, but she is as caring as a mother. Look how Jihyo acts like a mother figure toward Twice members!
When it comes to Twice and Once, Jihyo has no time to think about herself. She is just like a mother who only cares about the Twice members and Once. We surely can rely on Jihyo!
When it comes to handling Twice members, Jihyo is the only one that can do that. But, what if Jihyo was nowhere to be found? Well, even Once have said that it was a mess to leave the girls without the leader Jihyo. Let’s see how it turned out when Jihyo was not the one who gave their winning speech at MAMA 2019.
Jihyo really has a big impact in Twice. What a true leader she is!