Jeon Jung-kook (Korean: 전정국) was born on September 1, 1997, in Busan, South Korea. His family consists of his parents and an elder brother. He attended Baekyang Elementary and Middle School in Busan. When he became a trainee, he transferred to Singu Middle School in Seoul. Jung Kook initially had dreams of becoming a badminton player when he was young, but after seeing G-Dragon perform "Heartbreaker" on television, it influenced him to want to become a singer.
In 2011, Jung Kook auditioned for the South Korean talent show Superstar K during its auditions in Daegu. Though he was not selected, he received casting offers from seven entertainment companies. He eventually chose to become a trainee under Big Hit Entertainment after seeing RM, now his fellow band member and leader in BTS, perform. To work on his dance skills in preparation for debut, he went to Los Angeles during the summer of 2012 to receive dance training from Movement Lifestyle. In June 2012, he appeared in Jo Kwon's "I'm Da One" music video and also worked as a backup dancer for Glam before his debut. He graduated from Seoul's School of Performing Arts, an arts high school, in 2017. In November 2016, he decided to forgo taking the CSATs, Korea's nationwide university entrance exam. As of 2020, he is enrolled at Global Cyber University, majoring in Broadcasting and Entertainment.
On June 12, 2013, Jung Kook made his debut as a member of BTS (also known as Bangtan Boys) with the release of the single 2 Cool 4 Skool Under BTS, he released two solo tracks; the first was a pop track entitled "Begin" on the 2016 album Wings, about moving to Seoul to become an idol and meeting BTS members. The second, a future bass track entitled "Euphoria", was originally released as part of a BTS short film entitled "Euphoria: Theme of Love Yourself 起 Wonder" and later on Love Yourself: Answer. Euphoria, co-produced by DJ Swivel, charted #5 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and has charted for 11 weeks on the Gaon Digital Chart, the longest out of BTS members' solo songs.
Jung Kook has also been credited as the main producer on a few of BTS' songs, including "Love is Not Over" and "Magic Shop". On October 25, 2018, Jung Kook (together with the rest of the BTS members) was ordained with the fifth-class Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit by the President of South Korea. members of the group.
2015–present: Solo activities
In September 2015, Jung Kook participated in the "One Dream, One Korea" campaign, taking part in a song collaboration alongside numerous Korean artists in memory of the Korean War. The song was released September 24 and presented at the One K Concert in Seoul on October 15.
In 2016, Jung Kook was cast in the pilot episode of Flower Crew. He also appeared on Celebrity Bromance, and competed in King of Mask Singer under the name "Fencing Man," appearing in episode 72.
On November 6, 2018, Jung Kook performed "We Don't Talk Anymore" with original singer Charlie Puth in a special collaboration stage during the MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards. The song was one he had previously covered twice, solo and with fellow BTS member Jimin.
On June 4, 2020, Jung Kook released the song "Still With You", for free on platforms such as SoundCloud as a part of BTS' yearly debut celebrations. Billboard described the song as having "tinkling synths and gently strummed guitars and brushed drums". Jung Kook produced the piece himself.
Impact and influence
In a 2019 survey conducted by Gallup Korea, Jung Kook ranked as the third most-loved celebrity of the year in South Korea. He debuted on the list in 2016 at 20th, then ranked 17th in 2017, and then 8th in 2018. In 2018, Jung Kook placed first for 10 weeks in a row for magazine Hi China, under the most beloved celebrities list in China. Jung Kook is also extremely popular on social media amongst fans. In December 2018, a video of him singing in the studio became the most retweeted tweet in South Korea that year. Various artists have cited him as an influence and role model, such as Kim Dong-han and Hyeongseop X Euiwoong. Jung Kook has cited Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake and Usher among his musical inspirations.
Jung Kook's popularity has earned him the nickname "Sold Out King" as items that he is seen using often sell out quickly. These include shoes, Downy fabric softener, wine, novels—namely I Decided to Live as Me by Kim Soo-hyun, which became a best-seller in both Korea and Japan—and Hanbok. Korean media reported that Jung Kook had created a "Modern Hanbok" fashion trend in the Korean entertainment industry when celebrities such as Jun Hyun-moo, Jang Do-yeon, Gong Hyo-jin, MC Oh Seung-hwan and The Return of Superman's Park Joo-ho began wearing similar clothing after he was photographed wearing it.
Jung Kook was 2019's most-searched male K-pop idol on Google according to their mid-year chart. He topped the chart again in 2020, and was the most searched K-pop idol on YouTube in 2019 and 2020. On Tumblr, he ranked 1st in 'Top K-Pop Stars' for 3 consecutive years. On Twitter, he had the most retweeted tweet of 2019, and the 2nd most retweeted tweet of 2020. In March 2021, Jung Kook set a new all-time record for the most real-time viewers in V Live history when his solo live broadcast surpassed 22 million simultaneous viewers—he first broke the record in October 2018, when his broadcast surpassed 3.7 million viewers worldwide.
In June 2021, a lawmaker of the Justice Party used photos of him to promote the legalization of tattoos in South Korea, which works under regulations. The posts were widely condemned by netizens, who accused the lawmaker of taking advantage of Jung Kook's fame for political purposes.
He owns his own studio called 'Golden Closet' (Golden Closet Film/Studios). The name comes from Jung Kook's old dorm room, which was basically a big walk-in closet and the first part of his nickname, Golden Maknae. This is where he recorded his covers and such before moving to the new current dorm.
His Zodiac sign is Virgo.
He is the youngest member of BTS.
He attended Baek Yang Middle School.
His hobbies including drawing, filming and photography, playing games, playing football, and dancing.
He has a habit of sniffing a lot because he has rhinitis. He wiggles his fingers often as well.
His shoe size is 7.5 (US conversion).
He likes shoes.
He does not like tasteless things, insects, hurting himself, or studying.
In Grade 7, Jung Kook learned B-boying at a club with friends and hyungs.
He has a black belt in Taekwondo.
His dream when he was younger was to become a badminton player. In his first year of high school, he listened to G-Dragon songs and changed his dream to that of becoming a singer.
He likes to read comic books.
Jimin says that Jung Kook smiles when he swears.
He generally doesn’t like bugs, but he likes cool bugs like (stag) beetles. He used to have a stag beetle when he was younger, but it died because he didn’t take care of it well.
The other members say that Jung Kook’s dorm room is the messiest, but Jung Kook denies this claim.
He likes collecting Bluetooth speakers.
He said he usually didn’t exercise much but started working out after seeing the bodies of idols such as Taeyang and Jay Park.
He is friends with GOT7's Bambam & Yugyeom, Seventeen's DK, Mingyu & The8, and NCT's Jaehyun (aka the '97 line). Jung Kook and Bambam mentioned the '97 squad in their 'thanks' from their recent albums. Jung Kook, Bambam & Yugyeom (GOT7), The8, Mingyu, & DK (Seventeen), and Jaehyu (NCT) are in a group conversation called "The Passengers of 1997."
His ideal date is "walking along the beach at night."
Things he wants to steal from other members: RM's knowledge, Suga's diverse knowledge, j-hope's positive spirit, Jimin's persistence and effort, V's natural talent, and Jin's broad shoulders.
He likes matching sets. He feels uneasy whenever his top and pants are different. (Run BTS! - EP. 29)
He has a driver's license.
He can play games on two computers at once. (Knowing Brother - EP. 94)
Thinks that V is the most similar to him, quote: “V Hyung. He’s random, our comedic cords match well, and I think our personalities are similar.”
BTS member ranking according to Jung Kook: "Rap hyung - Jin hyung - SUGA hyung - Hope hyung - Jimin hyung - V hyung - Jung Kook."
He likes to do imitations/impersonations of his fellow band members, particularly Jimin.
He likes to tease Jimin about his height.
He has said RM is a role model of his, mentioning on numerous occasions how much RM continues to inspire him and being the primary reason why he joined BTS/BigHit.
In his earlier days, Jung Kook would cry if he felt he didn't sing a song correctly or well.
He is a perfectionist and is very self-critical and meticulous.
He is a huge fan of IU; his ringtone is one of IU's songs.
His favorite avenger is Iron Man.
He has seen the Japanese animation 'Kimi No Na Wa'. He jokingly believes he will have found his true love/soulmate if he hears a bell ring.
He graduated from the Seoul School of Performing Arts (SOPA) high school in February 2017.
Out of all the members, Jung Kook responds to texts the least.
He prefers to wear darker hair colors (black and various shades of brown). He thinks unnatural and bright colors don't suit him. However, he will wear colorful highlights (ex. pink, reddish-pink, blonde, etc...) in his hair occasionally.
He once bleached his hair completely white, but changed it back to brown because he thought he looked too much like a grandpa.
When Jung Kook first moved into the dorms and met the other members, he was very shy and would shower late at night when everyone was asleep to avoid seeing or disturbing them.
His solo song "Begin" is a song dedicated to the other members. He explained that the song was about how his journey started at the age of 15 (Korean age) and was a way of him thanking his hyungs for helping him become the person he is today.
He, along with Jimin and V, were voted as one of the 100 most handsome faces of 2017. Earning him a spot at #13.
He is very competitive and hates losing, especially in things pertaining to athletics and games.
He is very athletic himself and considered the strongest (after Jin) and the fastest out of the members.
He is known and serves the title as the bunny of the group, most notably for his bunny smile/teeth.
He has had the most ear piercings of all the members. He has 9 in total. (Wears multiple piercing on each ear currently. 5 on the right, and 4 on the left)
SUGA and Jung Kook always joke about opening a lamb skewers restaurant when they retire.
He likes Banana Milk.
He is currently learning how to play piano. He is the third member to play piano, after SUGA and Jin. (However, in a recent Vlive, he mentioned that he stopped because he didn't have someone to properly teach him.)
He mentioned one of the most embarrassing moments for him was when he got scolded by Jimin.
He is sensitive to smell. (i.e has a good sense of smell.) His favored type of scent is soap smell.
His BT21 character is a pink rabbit named Cooky.
He has a small scar on his left cheek (Because of a fight with his older brother to play first on the computer when he was little)
Originally, Jung Kook's stage name was going to be Seagull. However, he and the members, as well as Bang PD decided his real name suited him best.
Out of all the members, Jung Kook has had the least amount of hair colors. This is possibly due to back in 2014, Jung Kook had red hair at the time and got negative comments and reactions to his hair wasn't favorable. He took those comments to heart and it upset him. This may be a reason why nowadays he doesn't wear bright or unnatural colors and is hesitant to do so. (However, his hair was dyed red during 'Lotte Family Concert' as well as SBS Super Concert in Taipei in 2018.). In early August 2018, he reveals a peach-blonde hair colour via Twitter. It was also revealed that Jung Kook avoids dyeing his hair due to his hair being weak and not being able to take harsh chemicals such as dye and bleach very often.
Jung Kook admitted that when he was a trainee, he wasn't very ambitious about singing. He was more passionate about dancing and never expected to become the group's main vocalist. (Burn The Stage EP.5)
He participated in the song 'One Dream One Korea' along with many other famous idols/singers back in 2015. This is a song of hope and prayer that North Korea and South Korea can one day be unified and end the long war between the two countries as well as longing for peace.
j-hope once got angry and threw a banana at Jung Kook. Jung Kook explained in a Vlive that the reason j-hope threw a banana at him was because Jung Kook received a fruit basket as a gift from an A.R.M.Y and he wanted to cherish the gift. He decided to share the fruits with the other members, but told them to stop to avoid all of them being eaten and that the gift rightfully belonged to him. j-hope thought Jung Kook was being selfish for arguing over the fruits and threw a banana as a result. He was shocked because he never expected someone as nice as j-hope to get mad at him. (Burn The Stage EP.4)
He is said to be one of the members who can cook very well. The others being Jin and j-hope. (Run BTS! EP.50)
In the behind-the-scenes of the 'Euphoria' short film video, Jung Kook revealed he enjoys reading ARMYs' theories and likes to be on the look out for them. Especially very intricate and detailed theories.
He wants to go on a trip with his lover someday.
In a 2018 fansign, Jung Kook revealed his pet dog, Gureum, no longer recognizes him. This is possibly due to Jung Kook rarely being at home in Busan and not being able to see Gureum often.
Jung Kook has microvophobia (The fear of microwaves). He's confirmed several times that he gets wary around them and avoids being near and/or using them, out of fear that they will explode.
He often refers to Jimin as 'Jimin-ssi' rather than 'Hyung'.
He revealed that he wants to get a tattoo.
When Jung Kook gets nervous he will fidget frequently.
He has said that he rarely wore anything pink colored, but that changed because of his BT21 character, "Cooky."
During the World Tour for Love Yourself, Jung Kook injured his foot and couldn't perform for 7 concert days. He had to get stitches in his heel.
Before joining the group he was a handball player.
He ranked 1st in The Sexiest Man in the World 2018.
He ranked 2nd in The 100 Most Handsome Faces of 2018.
During a press conference for Love Yourself 'Tear' promotions in South Korea, it was confirmed that Jung Kook is the next member who will release a mixtape. He will be the 4th member to do so, after RM (RM, 2015), SUGA (Agust D, 2016), and j-hope (Hope World, 2018).
He currently holds the record of the most watched solo broadcast on Vlive in real-time in 16 different regions across the globe; with 3.7 million views and 149 million hearts. This record was previously set by V, who had 2.5 million views on his solo broadcast.
He has taken an interest in writing lyrics as of lately. He wants to create his own songs and reads books for word choice and inspiration.
His solo song 'Euphoria', has become one of the longest music chart-running solo songs released from BTS thus far. Entering Gaon at #2 and has remained on the chart for 8 consecutive weeks. Landed #5 on Billboard's 'bubbling under Hot 100' in the US, reached #47 in Japan's RekoChoku, #1 in Apple Music China, #4 in Apple Music Japan and #2 in Line Music singles chart. His solo has also been featured as background music for culture and travel-based television programs as well as having been played on radio stations. 'Euphoria' has also charted in 93 different countries, earning #1 in Taiwan, Peru, and Saudi Arabia. According to Billboard, 'Euphoria' could have made it into 'Hot 100' if the song had an MV.
He has guested on multiple variety shows, most notably Flower Crew, Celebrity Bromance, Let's Eat Dinner Together and King Of Masked Singer.
Jung Kook hates cigarettes (particularly the smell). He once sent his dad a message begging him to stop smoking because he was worried for his health. However, Jung Kook confirmed that his dad had finally quit at some point.
He stated in a Vlive that he doesn't like to eat late at night, as doing so will give him heartburn and an upset stomach the following morning.
He is shy and introverted. (However, he's gotten a lot more outgoing and social over time)
His voice deepens whenever he speaks in Satoori.
His nickname, 'Golden Maknae', was given to him by RM.
Jung Kook has stated that he takes an interest in make-up and he's moderately knowledgeable about it. (BTS DNA Comeback Show)
During the group's pre-debut days, J-hope had left BTS and BigHit Entertainment when things got complicated. Jung Kook cried upon learning of J-hope's departure from the company and he, along with the other members, made the effort to get him to stay and that they wouldn't be the same without him. (Burn The Stage Ep.4)
In a Vlive, Jung Kook has stated that he's been studying English very hard; learning and memorizing vocabulary words and how to use them in sentences. His main goal in studying English is to become fluent enough to be able to help RM in future English interviews so he doesn't have to do all the talking. He hopes to become fluent in a year's time if he's consistent. He's slowly accomplishing this feat, as he has mentioned that the group had an interview earlier before appearing on SNL. He was able to understand what both Namjoon and the interviewer were saying. (190414, Vlive)
He is multi-talented; he has a wide variety of skills and broad knowledge and is fairly good at everything he does or attempts. He would be considered a 'Jack-of-all Trades'.
His favorite song from Map of the Soul: Persona is "Mikrokosmos".
He has taken up boxing.
He listens to Billie Eilish; his favorite songs are "Lovely" and "Ocean Eyes". He also wants to collaborate with her.
He went to Ariana Grande's Sweetener World Tour in Los Angeles on May 7, 2019.
He finds the word 'frustrated' difficult to pronounce in the English language.
During 2019 FESTA, "Bangtan Attic" video was released; in which the members sit down and eat snacks while answering questions. One question was "How are your stage personas and real selves different?". Jung Kook answered by stating his stage persona "shines brightly" while in the group, whereas, his normal self individually as 'Jeon Jeong-guk', he finds himself insignificant. He elaborated by saying that he didn't study much in school, feels that he progresses slower than others and didn't take things very seriously as a kid, he oftentimes regrets it.
Jung Kook's solo song "Euphoria" was featured on the American television show "Euphoria" on HBO.
Jung Kook is Trypophobic. (The fear of small or tiny holes; especially when clustered together) (Run BTS EP.70-71)
He has multiple tattoos, specifically on his right hand/arm.
Jung Kook gets flustered and his ears turn red whenever he's openly expressing his feelings. (Winter Package 2020)