Yoon Jeonghan is the lead vocalist and visual of Pledis Entertainment’s self-producing Korean Pop (K-Pop) idol group called Seventeen, which earned the million-seller title with their albums, “An Ode,” “Heng:garae,” and “Semicolon.”
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Early life and family
Yoon Jeonghan was born on 4 October 1995, in Hwaseong, South Korea; his name is sometimes spelled as Junghan.
He has a younger sister whom he is very protective of, and feels sad when she brings her boyfriend over, regardless of who he is.
He matriculated from Hyangnam High School in 2014, apparently the third best student in his year. Jeonghan then attended the Dong-A University of Broadcasting Arts in the Advertising Production Department, but had to drop out. He then enrolled at Hanyang University Institute for Future Talents with a major in Practical Music K-Pop Division.
With his good looks, he was often scouted by casting agents from various entertainment agencies. He was once out playing billiards with his friends when they noticed a guy staring at Jeonghan which made them uneasy, so they decided to leave but the guy, who turned out to be a high-level executive from an entertainment company, wanted to cast him. Although he was timid and nervous, he auditioned but didn’t pass because he couldn’t get past the first line of his script; he was enrolled at an acting academy at that time, so this was what he prepared.
Two weeks had passed when he was approached while he out shopping by a casting agent from Pledis Entertainment, which launched idol groups such as After School and NU’EST. He took a friend with him when he went to the company, to help him cope with his nervousness. He left with no expectations, so he was really surprised to receive a call from them three days later saying they wanted to sign him up as a trainee.
The training period was tough, as his life revolved around attending various classes and practicing. He knew being a trainee offered no guarantee he would debut, so he never missed a single class and worked hard on improving his skills. About 22 trainees left the agency when he first joined, indicating difficulty adjusting to trainee life, or failure to show progress over time.
With many trainees vying for a spot on the group Pledis Entertainment was planning to launch, to introduce them to the public they produced a pre-debut reality show entitled “Seventeen TV”, featuring several trainees during their training process. They were grouped and given missions to showcase their talents, then fans got to vote for their preference through the official website, revealing which among them appealed most to K-Pop fans. It was aired from 2013 to 2014 on the live video streaming platform called UStream.
Jeonghan joined the trainees in the show’s rehearsal room later than the others, and was first seen in the third season of the show. It lasted for five seasons, with some seasons culminating in a concert entitled “Like Seventeen.” He participated in teams that performed “That You’re Mine” by Huh Gak, “My Homies Still” by Lil Wayne, and “Mirotic” by DBSK. He also appeared in the music video of “My Copycat” by Orange Caramel in 2014.
Instead of debuting at the end of the fifth season, the remaining 13 members starred in another reality show called “Seventeen Project: Big Debut Plan”, for a chance to have an hour-long live broadcast debut showcase, that no other male idol group had ever done. The CEO of Pledis Entertainment met them at the MBC Dream Center, and announced that they needed more verification from the public on whether they were ready to debut or not.
They failed their first mission, which was the random play dance mission with songs they had performed in the past, and were then asked to return the Seventeen rings given to them. The CEO encouraged them to carry out the missions successfully, with the end goal of debuting. Jeonghan had a mental breakdown, as he felt that he’d lost everything without that ring on his finger – it was a customized ring engraved with “SEVENTEEN” and their names, which was given to them on 30 January 2015 by their CEO as they officially became members of the group.
The 13-member group was divided into three sub-units – the vocal unit (Jeonghan, DK, Joshua, Seungkwan, and Woozi as the unit leader), performance unit (Dino, The8, Jun, and Hoshi as the main choreographer and unit leader), and hip hop unit (Vernon, Wonwoo, Mingyu, and S.Coups as the unit and overall leader).
The rings were eventually returned to them by their parents after they accomplished their last mission, and their live debut showcase pushed through on 26 May 2015 on MBC. Jeonghan and the boys performed their lead single, “Adore U,” from their first extended play “17 Carat,” released three days later. Also included in the EP are “Shining Diamonds”, and the tracks performed by each sub-unit in the debut showcase, such as “Ah Yeah,” “Jam Jam,” and “20.” As a self-producing group, the members took part in the songwriting process and creation of dance choreographies for their music, not just for their debut EP but for all their releases.
The EP peaked at No.4 on South Korea’s Gaon Album Chart with over 52,000 copies sold and cumulative sales of more than 108,000 copies. It reached No.8 on the Billboard World Albums Chart, staying in the chart for 11 weeks, then landed on Billboard’s list of “Top 10 K-Pop Albums of 2015”; the official music video of the lead single has 34 million views.
hannie: jeonghan: pic.twitter.com/1rTzjJQOPD
— ً (@JE0NGHANEY) September 17, 2020
To further promote the song, they released a dance practice fixed cam version, dance practice follow me version, and acoustic version, with each one garnering millions of views.
Rumor has it that it was not Jeonghan’s voice on the studio version of the lead single, although he sang his part during live performances. Reportedly, he was not confident about singing or his voice was not in good condition at the time of the recording, so it was Seungkwan who recorded his part.
The group’s second EP, “Boys Be,” released on 10 September 2015 peaked at No.2 on the Gaon Album Chart with over 122,000 copies sold that year, and claimed the top spot on Billboard’s World Album Chart. It has five tracks including the lead single “Mansae,” which reached No.5 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart.
Jeonghan and the boys won the New Artist of the Year Award from the Seoul Music Awards and Golden Disc Awards. In December, they held a series of sold-out concerts in Seoul called “2015 Like Seventeen – Boys Wish”, followed by a two-day encore concert in February 2016.
Their first studio album, “Love & Letter,” topped the Gaon Chart with over 190,000 copies sold that year. It peaked at No.3 on the Billboard World Albums Chart with 1,000 copies sold, and No.8 on Japan’s Oricon Chart with 75,000 copies sold. The album consists of 10 tracks, including the lead single “Pretty U” which peaked at No.11 on the Gaon Digital Chart, and No.4 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart. The song gave them their first music show win through MBC M’s “Show Champion”, being the No.1 song in the first week of May in 2016.
For their first tour called “Seventeen 1st Asia Tour 2016 Shining Diamond”, from 13 August to 11 September, Jeonghan’s group visited 10 cities overseas, including Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney and Beijing with 20,000 fans in attendance. They also held their first world tour, “2017 Seventeen 1st World Tour Diamond Edge,” and performed to around 200,000 fans in total.
In May 2018, they released their first Japanese EP, “We Make You,” which was eventually certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for surpassing 100,000 copies sold.
The succeeding releases of Seventeen were commercially successful, as they all topped the Gaon Album Chart. In July 2018 they received their first Platinum certification from the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) with the release of their fifth EP, “You Make My Day,” for exceeding 250,000 copies sold, as it has cumulative sales of 426,000 copies. It also peaked at No.2 on the Oricon Chart with 140,000 units sold.
“You Made My Dawn”, released in January 2019 was certified double Platinum by the KMCA with over 515,000 copies sold, and it topped not just the Gaon Chart but also the Oricon Chart with more than 175,000 units sold.
Jeonghan and the boys became million-sellers with the release of their third studio album entitled “An Ode,” but it hasn’t been certified Million by the KMCA, and only awarded triple Platinum certification. It won them the Album of the Year at the Asia Artist Awards, Asian Music Festival, and Gaon Chart Music Awards (Third Quarter); they also received the Digital Bonsang (Main Prize) at the Golden Disc Awards. The album made it to the top of Billboard’s list of “The Best 25 K-Pop Albums of 2019”, with the tracks “Lie Again,” “Fear,” and “Hit” receiving positive reviews from music critics.
Pledis Entertainment announced on 20 December 2019 that Jeonghan would be taking a break from all activities for at least two weeks, as he had been advised to rest by his physician after experiencing bouts of dizziness.
Two more EPs released in 2020, namely “Heng:garae” with the lead singles, “My My” and “Left & Right,” and “Semi-colon” with the lead track, “Home;Run,” received Million certifications from the KMCA, as they sold over 1.4 million and 1.1 million copies, respectively.
As a host
From 2015 to 2019, Jeonghan was tasked to serve as a special MC for music shows such as MBC’s “Music Core” and Mnet’s “M Countdown”, as well as for the Korean Wave Convention (KCON) in Japan 2018, and New York 2019. He has a radio series, “Jeonghan’s Glass of Warm Milk,” on the V Live app since 2017.
As a songwriter
He took part in writing the lyrics for “Don’t Wanna Cry” from the fourth EP entitled “Al1” (2017); four tracks including “Without You” and “Clap” from the second studio album, “Teen, Age” (2017); “Falling For U” from the special album, “Director’s Cut” (2018); and “Ah! Love” from the eighth EP, “Semicolon” (2020).
Jeonghan is 25 years old and single. When it comes to his ideal type, he said he wants someone who can take care of him, which is why he prefers dating an older woman. He hasn’t been caught in a dating scandal since his debut, although there were rumors of him dating Sowon of GFriend in 2020. A fan posted on Twitter her disappointment with Jeonghan making his interest in a female idol so obvious by going to her group’s waiting room in the broadcasting station, wearing “couple items” when appearing in variety shows, and exchanging glances with her during an award show. A video clip of his co-members giving him knowing looks when GFriend won an award added to the speculation. Fans are checking out past interactions to see when it all started.
He has his own room in the dormitory that the agency provided for the group.
Hobbies, favorites, rumors, and interesting facts
- He gave himself the nickname, “cheonsa” (Angel), due to his birthdate, 4 October, pronounced as such in Korean.
- He was dubbed by K-Pop fans as the Idol Star Athletics Championships (ISAC) scandal maker, back when he was sporting long hair as he was thought to be a girl who’s hanging out with their favorite male idols at that time.
- The sports that he enjoys playing include badminton, basketball and soccer.
- Jeonghan admitted to being the weakest among the members, as he tires easily and sleeps whenever and wherever possible. He would often use going to the washroom as an excuse to take power naps in secret, when he feels sleepy while they are at the broadcasting stations.
- He believes in aliens and ghosts, but not in Santa Claus.
- When out drinking with friends, he doesn’t like getting drunk, so stops when he reaches his limit, and just secretly pours his drink somewhere else.
- He is known as the cheater in the group, as he would often find creative ways to win in individual or team games played in variety or reality shows.
- Jeonghan gained male fans as they found the idol relatable after cursing when playing a video game with a friend during an online broadcast. He apologized right after saying it.
He is 5ft 8ins (1.78m) tall, weighs 135lbs (61kgs), and has a lean build. He has black hair and dark brown eyes – since he was young, Jeonghan was often praised for having cute eyes. Since he grew up pretty much under the eyes of his fans, some of them noticed minor changes in his eyelid fold over the years, making his double eyelid more prominent, and he appears to have nose filler on his upper nose bridge to correct a crooked nose.
Yoon Jeonghan has an estimated net worth of $100,000 as of December 2020, according to sources.