Celeb crushin’: JYJ’s Jaejoong

It's time once again to swoon over our star hottie pick of the week (and today’s birthday boy), Kim Jaejoong

Celeb crushin’: JYJ’s Jaejoong
Celeb crushin’: JYJ’s Jaejoong
25 Jan 2016

Celeb crushin’: JYJ’s Jaejoong

Five-member DBSK* has always been a gang of good lookers but it’s not hard to see why Kim Jaejoong was appointed as the group’s “visual” – with his milky skin, piercing gaze and bod-of-a-god (not to mention hair and eyebrows that are usually on point), he resembles an ethereal vampire – move aside, Edward Cullen – more than a dork with an infectious laugh (more on that later).

To celebrate his “official” 30th birthday today (Jaejoong was born on February 4 but was given January 26 as his birthday after he was adopted, although he acknowledges both dates as tattoos on his lower back), we’ve compiled a list of reasons why there is more to this heartthrob than meets the eye:

*In 2009, Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu filed their now-infamous lawsuit to split from company SM Entertainment and formed JYJ while Changmin and Yunho continued as a duo in TVXQ

Related:
Celeb Crushin’: Park Yoo-chun
Celeb crushin’: TVXQ!’s Changmin

He walked a tough road to achieve his dream
He walked a tough road to achieve his dream
25 Jan 2016

He walked a tough road to achieve his dream

It’s tempting to assume that Jaejoong had an easy road to fame simply because he is handsome but unlike many of his peers, he was not discovered on the street by a dazzled casting agent. Instead, at the tender age of 15, he took a bold leap of faith by moving to Seoul all by himself to take part in SM Entertainment’s auditions, which he only passed on his second attempt.

Life alone in a big city was tough: in order to support himself financially, Jaejoong took up a variety of odd jobs – from delivering newspapers and chicken to working at a convenience store – in order to pay his bills and training fees.

His discipline and tenacity paid off and in 2003, he debuted with DBSK during a BoA and Britney Spears showcase – and we can only imagine how emotional that must have been for someone who once donated blood in exchange for cookies because he didn’t have enough money for food.

He trained himself to be a good singer
He trained himself to be a good singer
25 Jan 2016

He trained himself to be a good singer

Some vocalists practically come out of the womb belting out notes from multiple octaves, but not Jaejoong.

In fact, believe it or not, the silky-toned lead singer used to be tone deaf and – as most celebrity “rags to riches”-like stories go – was taunted mercilessly by his classmates for daring to have lofty dreams of superstardom. Clearly, that did not stop the tenacious lad from practising his behind off, and now, well, you only need to watch any of his live performances to see how very, very far he has come since then.

What was that Einstein quote again? “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.” And Jae here is living, breathing, high note-hitting proof of that.

He has a delightfully amusing “4D personality”
He has a delightfully amusing “4D personality”
25 Jan 2016

He has a delightfully amusing “4D personality”

He may not look like it when he’s strutting his stuff on stage, but long-time fans would be familiar with the occasional spacy, awkward and somewhat peculiar behaviour displayed by Jaejoong that has landed him under the “4D personality” umbrella (the term is used to describe idols who appear a little off their rockers, but in a charming and positive way).

Some of the entertaining eccentricities he has blessed viewers with include spouting random and even mildly inappropriate remarks (which, to be honest, is a refreshing change from the painfully preened and rehearsed image idols usually have), being clumsy in a way that betrays his otherwise graceful appearance, or just looking very “blur” and out of touch with the current situation.

Our personal favourite trait of his (though it can’t really be attributed to his “4D”-ness), however, is his laughter, which is one of the most joyful, infectious and uninhibited ones we’ve ever heard from a Hallyu star of his standing. One only need to run a search on “Jaejoong laughter” and you’ll find we’re not alone: there are loads of video montages dedicated to his distinct guffaw, guaranteed to make anyone’s day.

Photos: Jaejoong's Twitter (@bornfreeonekiss)

He successfully broke the negative “acting-dol” stereotype
He successfully broke the negative “acting-dol” stereotype
25 Jan 2016

He successfully broke the negative “acting-dol” stereotype

These days, it’s common – even expected – for K-pop idols to venture from the stage to the small screen, but such a transition is often looked down upon by critics. Thankfully, we could all count on Jaejoong, who made his Korean drama debut in 2011’s Protect the Boss and has been making marked improvements with subsequent acting projects, to go against this prejudice.

His latest two dramas in particular, 2014’s Triangle and 2015’s Spy, drew favourable comments from reviewers and top bloggers alike, most of which pointed out how he has managed to excel in his portrayals despite being better known for being an idol singer. One analysis even declared that he was deserving of the proper title “actor” rather than just “acting-dol” (“acting idol”), which is definitely something we’d love to read about ourselves if we were in Jaejoong’s shoes.

The tributes have taken form in trophies as well: Jaejoong is currently the proud owner of several acting awards, including the Top Excellence Award for an Actor from last year’s Korea Drama Awards and Best New Male Actor from 2012’s MBC Drama Awards.

He writes his own songs
He writes his own songs
25 Jan 2016

He writes his own songs

As if having a pretty voice and electrifying stage presence aren’t enough, Jaejoong has to add “accomplished songwriter” to his long list of achievements as well. And he hasn’t just co-penned a few simple tunes with other composers – almost all the tracks in his debut studio album WWW were composed and/or lyricised by him, and he has also written for JYJ and a few other artistes.

Singer, actor, dancer, songwriter… this man is a quadruple threat!

Photo: TPG

He endured a complicated family background
He endured a complicated family background
25 Jan 2016

He endured a complicated family background

Around the same time that Jaejoong made his debut in DBSK, he learned the shocking truth about his parentage: when he was very young, his mother, who couldn’t afford to take care of him, sent him to live with a more financially stable family.

Despite the initial blow (imagine finding out you were adopted when you’re already in your late teens), Jaejoong managed to keep up a good relationship with both his biological and adoptive brood. In 2006, his birth father – who divorced his mother years ago and was nowhere to be found before this – decided to file a lawsuit against his guardians in order to gain custody (it is this case that led SM Entertainment, who was still representing Jaejoong at that time, to confirm his adoption, which had not been previously disclosed), but he dropped the charges the very next day.

Through it all, Jaejoong managed to keep his head held high, which couldn’t have been easy, what with such personal family history and hardship being aired out for the world to see like that.

Photo: Couple Familia Studio

He plans ahead for his fans
He plans ahead for his fans
25 Jan 2016

He plans ahead for his fans

Just when devotees thought they would have to wait two long years for any new material from Jaejoong when he enlisted for his mandatory military service in March last year, they were happily proven wrong: this morning, in line with his birthday, he pre-released a brand new single 'You Know What?' from his upcoming second studio album NO.X, which will drop in February.

According to his agency C-JeS Entertainment, Jaejoong, in a flawless and professional demonstration of planning ahead, found time to write and record the tracks before he entered the army so he would have “a special present” for the fans (awww, Jaejoong, it’s your birthday, you shouldn’t have!). In addition, he even managed to prepare a hologram concert, which will play for two days in Japan.

We’re sure fans highly appreciate the effort he put into minimising the pain of not seeing him in action until the end of this year at the earliest.

He’s a great friend to his army mates
He’s a great friend to his army mates
25 Jan 2016

He’s a great friend to his army mates

If you thought only love-struck fan girls got all starry-eyed over this striking oppa, think again – even his fellow male soldiers have been swooning over him, posting hilarious and self-deprecating posts about how his handsomeness puts their own looks to shame, but they just can’t bring themselves to hate him.

But more than that, the anecdotes that are truly heart-warming are those about Jaejoong being a kind and generous friend. From buying chicken and pizza for everyone to giving advice to an army mate studying music (and even giving him his manager’s phone number to contact him if he needs help), we’d say he’s done a bang-up job of shattering the so-called “wall” between celebrities and the rest of us mere plebeians.

Can we enlist right now and be placed into his platoon too?

Photos: Instagram (@ujin3304 and @jwleetz)

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