Jungwoo is a South Korean singer-dancer, who became popular in 2018, when he joined the Korean Pop (K-Pop) boyband NCT, short for Neo Culture Technology, formed and managed by SM Entertainment. He became part of the sub-units NCT U and NCT 127. His group was a KMCA-certified million-seller artist after they released their second full-length studio album, “NCT 2020 Resonance Pt.1,” in October 2020, with over 1.4 million units sold in South Korea within a month of its release.
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- 1 Early Life and Family
- 2 Educational Background
- 3 Career
- 3.1 First Steps – SM Rookies and Debut (2017-2018)
- 3.2 NCT127 Second Sub-Unit, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Billboard 200 (2018)
- 3.3 World Tour, Japanese Album, “We Are Superhuman” on Billboard 200 (2019)
- 3.4 Brief Hiatus and Takes a Break (2019-2020)
- 3.5 His Comeback, Second Studio Album Neo Zone, Billboard 200 (2020)
- 3.6 Certified Million-Seller with “NCT 2020 Resonance Pt.1” (2020)
- 4 Personal Life
- 5 Hobbies, favorites, rumors, and interesting facts
- 6 Appearance
- 7 Net Worth
Early Life and Family
Kim Jungwoo was born on 19 February 1998, in Sanbondong, Gunpo, South Korea; he has an older sister. When he was four years old, his parents move to Gimpo City in Gyeonggi Province, a 25-minute taxi ride from Seoul. He grew up dreaming of becoming an actor, chef, and football player. However, his plans and goals changed when he got hooked on dancing after watching a music show.
He attended the Jangee Elementary School and the Gochang Middle School, and later matriculated from the Gimpo Jeil Technical High School.
Jungwoo took the usual route to pursue his K-Pop stardom, by participating in auditions for entertainment agencies in Seoul. He passed the weekly audition in 2014 by singing the national anthem for SM Entertainment, the biggest entertainment agency in South Korea. For three years he was given professional training in vocals, dance, acting and public speaking, along with foreign language lessons. He was still a high school student back then, and kept his K-Pop training from his classmates; he would rush off from school each day, telling them that he was attending cooking classes.
First Steps – SM Rookies and Debut (2017-2018)
After his extensive training, Jungwoo was included in the pre-debut training team, SM Rookies, on 18 April 2017, and was given assignments and projects which could be likened to an internship.
One of those projects was getting featured in the music video of Super Junior’s Yesung song, “Paper Umbrella.”
2018 changed Jungwoo’s life, as his agency announced that he’d be joining the K-Pop boyband NCT (Neo Culture Technology), by having him and fellow trainees Lucas and Kun included in the NCT 2018 Yearbook, launched in January of 2018. The unlimited member group concept was a personal idea of SM Entertainment founder, Lee Soo Man, which he launched back in 2016. The boyband has several sub-units such as NCT U (United) with rotational members, NCT127 with members based in Seoul, NCT Dream originally with teenage members, and WayV with members based in China.
On 18 February 2018, he officially debuted as part of NCT U with the release of the single “Boss,” which peaked at No.97 on the Gaon Digital Chart, and No.80 on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 Chart. Only seven NCT members recorded the song, five were senior members along with newbies Jungwoo and Lucas.
💕 2018 and 2021 💕 pic.twitter.com/Gv1Q6yJ6qR
— jungwoo pics (@picsjungwoo) February 11, 2021
It was the second track in the boyband’s first full-length studio album, “NCT 2018 Empathy,” released on 14 March 2018. Out of the 14 tracks, Jungwoo participated in just two songs, “Boss” and “Black on Black.”
The album peaked at No.2 on the Gaon Album Chart, and landed in three US Billboard Charts including World Albums at No.5, Top Heatseekers at No. 9, and Independent Albums at No.29. People were surprised that it also entered music charts in other countries, such as Japan, France, Netherlands, and United Kingdom. It was certified platinum by the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) in May 2018, two months after it was released. As of January 2020, the album had close to 400,000 units sold.
The lead track, “Touch,” gave Jungwoo his first taste of winning a music show trophy for the Top Song of the Week courtesy of SBS MTV’s “The Show” on 27 March 2018.
NCT127 Second Sub-Unit, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Billboard 200 (2018)
Jungwoo also became part of the second sub-unit called NCT127, along with nine other members; the unit’s name was derived from the longitude co-ordinate of Seoul City. He debuted as an official member of the sub-unit on 12 October 2018, with the release of the first full-length studio album entitled “Regular-Irregular” – had 11 tracks including “Replay,” “City 127,” “No Longer,” and the lead track “Regular.”
They started their US promotions by making guest appearances on TV and awards shows. The group’s debut TV performance in the US was in the TV show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on 8 December 2018. They performed the lead track of the album along with the hit single, “Cherry Bomb,” which was released in 2017 when Jungwoo hadn’t yet debuted.
Jungwoo and the boys were quite excited, as they also attended the 2018 American Music Awards and were featured on the red carpet.
SO AWESOME 😍😍😍(HQ 20181221 music bank)..©yo, jungwoo.💚 @nct @nct127 @smtown 💚#JUNGWOO #정우 #NCT #NCT2018 #NCTU…
As part of their US promotions, Apple Music launched them as their featured artist for their “Up Next” program on all the Apple-based platforms. A short movie was shown introducing the boyband and their music, and they also had an interview with Beats1 music radio station, accessable through the Apple Music app.
After their US promotions, the boyband went back to Seoul and performed the new song in popular music shows. It gave them four music show trophies as the Top Song of the Week from KBS’ “Music Bank,” Mnet’s “M Countdown,” and two wins from SBS MTV’s “The Show.”
The album was certified platinum by KMCA for having sold close to 310,000 units in South Korea, around 26,000 in Japan, and about 8,000 in the US. It peaked at No.1 on the Gaon Album Chart, and entered four US Billboard charts including No.2 on World Albums, No.5 on Independent Albums, No.23 on Top Album Sales, and for the first time, NCT127 entered the Billboard 200 at No.86.
It also charted in Japan at No.6, France at No.43, and the UK at No.47. It debuted in the Australian Digital Albums at No.19, and the lead track, “Regular” peaked at No.2 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart, and No.16 on K-Pop Hot 100.
Due to the overwhelming success of the album, Jungwoo and his sub-unit released a repackaged version entitled “Regulate” on 23 November 2018, which peaked at No.2 on the Gaon Album Chart, No.10 on the Oricon Album Chart, and No.9 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. The sales weren’t as explosive as the original version, but it still had close to 195,000 units sold in South Korea, and over 26,000 in Japan. The lead track, “Simon Says” only peaked at No.39 on Billboard K-Pop Hot 100, but it dominated the US Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart by peaking at No.1 for a week.
World Tour, Japanese Album, “We Are Superhuman” on Billboard 200 (2019)
2019 was a busy year for Jungwoo, as NCT127 embarked on the concert “NCT 127 1st Tour: NEO CITY – The Origin.”
It started with two shows held at the KSPO Dome, previously known as the Olympic Gymnastic Arena, in Seoul on the 26th and 27th of January. From February to March, they performed 14 shows in seven Japanese cities, including Sapporo, Osaka, Saitama, and Fukuoka.
On 17 April 2019, NCT127 released the group’s first full-length studio Japanese album, “Awaken,” with 12 tracks including the lead track, “Wakey Wakey.” It had 14 versions, but once the limited supplies were sold, only the original version would be available. The album peaked at No.4 on the Oricon Album Chart and No.15 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart, and sold close to 55,000 units during the first week of release – the concert series held before its release helped in the promotion of the album.
Jungwoo and the boys were quite ecstatic when they found out that the tour was extended, as additional shows were scheduled from 24 April to 12 May.
The boyband traveled to the US, and performed in nine cities including Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles. They had two stops in Canada as well as one stop in Mexico City in May 2019. They went back to Seoul for a short break, then in June the group performed for three nights at the Thunder Dome in Bangkok.
Before the boys performed in the US, they signed up with Capitol Music Group and Caroline Distribution. With these US companies handling the worldwide distribution and marketing of their music. A week before their concert, Jungwoo and the boys made guest appearances in popular American TV shows such as “Strahan and Sara,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” They announced that their fourth EP would be released on 24 May 2019, and they performed the album’s lead track, “Superhuman” on these shows.
The EP topped both the Gaon Albums Chart and Billboard’s World Albums Chart, and charted in six other international music charts, including Australia, France, the UK and Canada. Most importantly, it debuted on the US Billboard 200 chart at No.11, making it their second album to enter the chart. It was certified platinum by KMCA for having sold 250,000 units, and as of January 2021, close to 310,000 units were sold in South Korea, and also sold around 25,000 units in the US and 10,000 in Japan. The lead track debuted at No.3 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart, and No.13 on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100.
Jungwoo and his boyband continued with their tour, and performed in four cities in Europe in June and July. They had two stops in Russia, one in the UK and another in France. The boys ended their world tour at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 20 July 2019.
— jungwoo pics (@picsjungwoo) February 10, 2021
Brief Hiatus and Takes a Break (2019-2020)
Due to the group’s busy schedule Jungwoo’s health deteriorated, and in August 2019 SM Entertainment announced that he would take a temporary hiatus. No specific reason was given, but his label said he needed to take a break so that he could make a full recovery. He missed out on his group performing on the Spotify on Stage music event in Japan, 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards in Spain, Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, and the “Today” show.
His Comeback, Second Studio Album Neo Zone, Billboard 200 (2020)
Jungwoo made his comeback with the release of their second full-length Korean studio album, “Neo Zone,” on 6 March 2020, contributing to writing the lyrics of the 13th track, “Dreams Come True.” The EP debuted at No.5 on the US Billboard 200 Chart and No.1 on World Albums Chart, with 196,000 units sold in the US. Locally, it topped the Gaon Album Charts with close to 885,000 units sold in South Korea, and in Japan around 57,000 units sold.
It was the most successful NCT127 album at that time, as it earned them a 3 x Platinum certification from KMCA on 6 May 2020.
A repackaged version entitled “Neo Zone: The Final Round” was released on 19 May 2020, with four songs added to the original 13-track list. It sold more than 600,000 copies and was certified double-platinum by KMCA. It also charted at No.14 on the US Billboard 200 Chart and topped both the Gaon Album Chart, as well as the Billboard’s World Albums Chart. By adding the number of copies sold with the original version, Jungwoo and the boys became million-sellers.
Certified Million-Seller with “NCT 2020 Resonance Pt.1” (2020)
While NCT127 became a million-seller group through two versions of their latest album, NCT as a whole group was given a million-seller certification by KMCA with the release of the album “NCT 2020 Resonance Pt.1.”
All NCT members from the four sub-units came together to record, release, and promote the album, with pre-orders alone reaching 1.2 million in South Korea, and when it was released, close to 650,000 units were sold. By 5 November 2020, it had officially sold over 1.4 million units, making it the group’s first million-selling album without any reissues or repackaged editions. The album had 40,000 units sold in the US, close to 120,000 units in China, and around 130,000 units in Japan. When the repackaged album was released in November, close to 940,000 units were sold in South Korea, as of January 2021.
Jungwoo is currently single – he isn’t allowed to date anyone, as most K-Pop artists have a “no dating” clause on their contracts for the first three to five years after their debut. He resides in a dormitory provided by his agency, and shares the room on the upper floor with Jaehyun.
SO AWESOME 😍😍😍(HQ 20181221 music bank)..©yo, jungwoo.💚 @nct @nct127 @smtown 💚#JUNGWOO #정우 #NCT #NCT2018 #NCTU…
Hobbies, favorites, rumors, and interesting facts
- He has a few nicknames, such as Zeus, Juwoos, and Snoopy.
- Jungwoo’s favorites: football and archery (sport), “Ratatouille” and “Finding Nemo” (animated movie), autumn and spring (season), Manchester (soccer team).
- He likes watching movies during free time, but dislikes the horror-thriller genre.
- Jungwoo can survive in a month by just eating his mom’s chicken dish, but it has to be in big portions as he eats a lot.
- Woojin of Stray Kids is one of his celebrity close friends.
Jungwoo is 5ft 11ins (1.80m) tall, weighs 130lbs (59kgs), and his shoe size is 260mm. He has black hair, but he is seen sporting a different hair color during TV promotions or live concerts – he’s dyed his hair in orange, gray, auburn, platinum blonde, and blue. His eyes are dark brown.
According to authoritative sources, Jungwoo has an estimated net worth of close to $1 million, as of January 2021.