Kim Taehyung, who also goes by the name V, is a South Korean singer-songwriter, dancer, and actor, who became a global superstar when his Korean pop (K-Pop) group, BTS (Beyond the Scene/Bangtan Boys), topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with the song, “Dynamite,” for six consecutive weeks. His face became one of the most recognized K-Pop artists in the world and was chosen as the most handsome face in 2017 by TC Chandler.
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- 1 Early Life and Family
- 2 Educational Background
- 3 Career
- 3.1 First Steps – Debut Year (2013)
- 3.2 A Better Year with First Concert Tour and First Studio Album Released (2014-15)
- 3.3 As a Show Host
- 3.4 As an Actor in “Hwarang, The Poet Warrior Youth” (2016)
- 3.5 Mainstream and Commercial Success 2016-17
- 3.6 Most Handsome Face in 2017
- 3.7 BTS Global Domination 2017-present
- 3.8 BTS Dominated the Billboard Hot 100 with Dynamite
- 3.9 V’s Brand Endorsements in 2020
- 3.10 As a Songwriter
- 4 Personal Life
- 5 Hobbies, favorites, rumors, and interesting facts
- 6 Appearance
- 7 Net Worth
Early Life and Family
Kim Taehyung was born on 30 December 1995, in Daegu, South Korea. His parents are from humble beginnings, and tended to the family’s farm when his grandparents became older. Due to the busy, tiring farming life, his grandparents raised him in Geochang County, with his two younger siblings, Kim Jeon Gyu and Kim Eun Jin. He is very fond of his paternal grandmother, considers his father as his role model, and his parents are very supportive of his chosen career.
They knew he had a thing for music since he learned to play saxophone when he was in high school, and his father encouraged him to continue learning the instrument.
V went to Changnam Elementary School, and then attended Korea Arts High School. He later enrolled in Global Cyber University.
During one of Big Hit Entertainment’s open auditions in Daegu, V accompanied his friend, and an executive of the company asked him to join the audition. He called his father that moment to ask for his opinion and was given permission. After the auditions, V was the only person from Daegu who was successful.
First Steps – Debut Year (2013)
After training for three years at Big Hit Entertainment, he along with six other trainees – RM (leader), Suga, J-Hope, Jin, Jungkook, and Jimin – debuted on 13 June 2013 as the K-Pop group named BTS, standing for Bangtan Boys or Bulletproof Boys, which was later changed to Beyond the Scene.
He was the least known member at the beginning, as his inclusion was kept under wraps for some unknown reason.
They debuted with the release of a single album entitled “2 Cool 4 Skool”, with the lead single “No More Dream.” However, it only peaked at No. 124 on the South Korean Gaon Chart for having only sold 24,000 units at that time. They tried again with the follow-up single, “We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2,” but the result was even worse, because it didn’t chart at all.
Big Hit Entertainment continued with its thematic ‘school trilogy’ concept, and released the group’s first extended play (EP), “O!RUL8,2?.” It did better than its predecessor as 34,000 were sold, but still only peaked at No. 92 on Gaon Album Chart.
While V and the boys’ debut year was considered weak due to low sales of their records, music insiders saw their potential to become bigger. Three major music award-giving bodies gave BTS the New Artist of the Year awards – Golden Disc, Seoul Music, and Melon Music Award.
A Better Year with First Concert Tour and First Studio Album Released (2014-15)
V and the boys’ careers started to pick up in their second year, as they enjoyed moderate success with their second EP “Skool Luv Affair,” released on 12 February 2014, with the song “Boy in Luv” as the lead track, and over 86,000 units were sold. It was also the year they released the group’s first studio album, “Dark & Wild.” It debuted at No. 2 on the Gaon Album Chart and peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s World Album Chart, selling over 100,000 units in that year.
With their rising popularity, they made their first concert tour entitled “BTS Live Trilogy Episode II: The Red Bullet”, in key cities in Asia, which kicked off in Seoul in October. After they released the Japanese album, “Wake Up,” they also held a series of shows in Japan – “1st Japan Tour 2015 Wake Up: Open Your Eyes in 2015.”
Two more EPs were released – “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1” (March 2015) and “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2” (November 2015) – and both charted well on the local and international charts, marking the group’s first entry to the Billboard 200 Chart.
As a Show Host
V hosted two popular music shows – MBC’s “Music Core” and SBS’ “Inkigayo” from 2014 to 2016.
As an Actor in “Hwarang, The Poet Warrior Youth” (2016)
2016 became a busy year for V as he debuted as an actor, accepted a supporting role in an historical Korean drama series, “Hwarang, The Poet Warrior Youth,” with Park Seo Joon and Go Ara. It has 20 episodes and was aired over KBS, with V also singing one of the theme songs, “It’s Definitely You,” with bandmate Jin.
Mainstream and Commercial Success 2016-17
BTS’ success and popularity continued to soar each time they released an album, so Big Hit Entertainment capitalized on that and released a compilation album this early in the group’s career – “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever” – on 2 May 2016. It did well on Billboard charts, debuting at No. 2 on World Album and No. 10 on Top Heatseekers.
Locally, it topped the Gaon Album Chart for two weeks, and it was also the first time V and the boys took a Daesang (Grand Prize in Korean) for Album of the Year from Melon Music Awards. The lead track, “Fire,” achieved an all-kill status on Instiz Chart as it dominated major online music charts. It peaked at No.1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales, as well as charting at No.7 on Gaon Singles Chart.
When BTS released their second studio album, “Wings,” it became the highest-charting album for a K-Pop act on Billboard 200, debuting at No.26 on 10 October 2016. It was the best-selling album in 2016 according to Gaon Album Chart, with over 750,000 units sold. It was repackaged with the name, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” in February of 2017, and the sales went up with an accumulated total of 1.8 million units sold, adding BTS to the exclusive million-seller artist club in South Korea.
The lead track, “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” topped both the Gaon and Billboard charts – it was also on this album that all individual songs of each member were included: V’s self-composed “Stigma” was the fifth track.
Most Handsome Face in 2017
TC Chandler rewarded V as the Most Handsome Face in 2017, among 100 artists worldwide, making a huge jump from ranking at No.60 in 2016. In 2018 he was in 5th place, and 4th in 2019.
BTS Global Domination 2017-present
His group released several studio albums and singles that dominated worldwide charts, and conducted World Tours from 2017 to 2019.
Some of the most notable moments in their career –
It was the single, “DNA,” from the EP, “Love Yourself: Her,” that made V and the boys the most popular K-Pop artists in the world. They broke the ceiling in reaching for that elusive dream of making it big in the US, and putting the spotlight on K-Pop artists. It was BTS’ first entry to Billboard’s Hot 100, debuting at No.85, and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. In South Korea, over 2.5 million units were sold. They made history by being the first K-Pop boy group to perform at the American Music Awards.
In 2018, V and the boys performed “Fake Love,” at the Billboard Music Awards, and won the Top Social 50 Award beating Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. The single debuted at No.10 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and was certified Gold by RIAA.
In 2019 they released another EP, “Map of the Soul: Persona,” which Nielsen Music declared the second best-selling physical album in the US, and was in 6th place in the Top 10 of the best-selling albums (physical and digital).
In 2020, “Map of the Soul: 7” was released, and was eventually certified Quadruple Million by Gaon Chart with over four million units sold. It debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and in other countries including Canada, France, Germany and Australia.
BTS Dominated the Billboard Hot 100 with Dynamite
On the 3rd Saturday of August 2020, BTS dominated the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with the release of their song, “Dynamite.” It topped the chart for six consecutive weeks, and shattered the most-watched MV in 24 hours upon release, a record set by Blackpink, by attracting over 100 million views.
— VDAY (@Vday218) October 12, 2020
V’s Brand Endorsements in 2020
BTS members have a funny way of promoting the brands that they are endorsing, either as a group or as individual artists. It started with Jin, and now V followed his bandmate’s marketing strategy – he would also caption his Instagram posts or comment on other posts by mentioning the brands he currently endorses as naturally as possible, including FILA, Lemona, Boyfriend, Baskin Robbins, and Tokopedia.
As a Songwriter
A total of 15 songs are credited to his name on the KMCA. He has been writing songs since his debut. and some of the most notable are “Run,” “Stigma,” “Inner Child,” and “Sweet Night.”
V is not currently dating anyone, or if he is, no one outside his close circle would know about it since it is taboo in South Korea to talk about it.
While he is no longer required to follow the ‘no dating’ policy in his management contract, as this only applies to the first three to five years after debut, no active K-Pop idol would be brave enough to admit it. It’s not because they aren’t proud of their partners, but it is to protect them from harassment from their fans, as most Korean fans are known to be very possessive. If ever he dates anyone, she would be someone who is cute and would love taking care of him, as these are the qualities of his ideal girl.
BTS members live together in a dormitory provided by Big Hit Entertainment. In the past, he shared a room with RM, but each member today has their own room to enjoy. In July of 2019, he bought a luxury apartment at the Apelbaum Complex in Gangnam for about $4.55 million, but it wasn’t clear if he’s living there.
Hobbies, favorites, rumors, and interesting facts
- V’s nicknames are TaeTae (pronounced as TeyTey); CGV, which stands for Computer Graphics Visualization, as his face profile seemed to be perfectly similar to computer game characters; and Blank Tae for his blank expression and poker face.
- His favorites: Grey (color), 10 (number), Hot Cocoa (beverage), Gucci (designer brand), Vincent Van Gogh (artist).
- V is fond of dogs and has three of them: Ssyongssyong, Soonshim, and a black Teacup Pomeranian named Yeontan.
- According to the other BTS members, he has a cheerful and playful personality that sometimes doesn’t match his age. He has this certain innocence and naivete, meaning that he doesn’t really notice what’s happening around him.
- V likes to visit his parents whenever he’s given a day off.
- For him to achieve total happiness, he needs to have his family, honor, and good health.
- While he enjoys hip hop, V also likes to listen to classical music, and plays it when he sleeps at night.
- If given a superpower, he would like to have the ability to converse with cars.
- Originally, he’s left-handed, but he learned how to use his right hand properly, and now he’s ambidextrous.
- V would have been a farmer and tending his family’s farm, if not a K-Pop artist.
- He recently became interested in photography and takes pictures whenever possible.
- BTS members are quite close and treat each other as brothers, but V is pretty close to several other South Korean celebrities as well, including actors Park Bogum and Kim Minjae; K-Pop idols Mark of GOT7 and Sungjae of BTOB. He also belonged to a “Wooga Squad”, composed of actors Park Seo Joon, Park Hyung Sik, Peakboy, and Choi Woo Shik, with whom he got close to during the filming of his past Korean drama series, “Hwarang.”
V is 5ft 10ins (1.79m) tall, weighs 135lbs (62kgs), and has five ear piercings, with two on his right and three on his left. He has black hair and dark brown eyes. He doesn’t have a distinctive look as he always changes his style based on the group’s thematic promotion concept. His hair color would often change, but he reverts to his natural color after promotions are over. During photoshoots or live performances, V would experiment with colored contact lenses, to bring out a different look. His eyes have one monolid and one double eyelid.
According to authoritative sources, V has an estimated net worth of $20 million as of October 2020, earned from touring, album sales, endorsements, and recent Big Hit IPO trading.