How Successful Is Kang Gary’s Solo Career Compared to His Band Career and Who Is His Wife?

Kang Gary is one of the accomplished rappers, record producers, and songwriters in the Korean music industry, the artist is best known as the lyricist of the famous rap music group, Leessang that he established with his friend, Gil. The music duo has had many megahit albums including, Unplugged and Asura Balbalta. They have also achieved several incredible feats in the music industry such as having their song, Turn Off The TV from Asura Balbalta album occupy No. 1 spot on the MelOn chart for 25 consecutive days. The talented rapper is also known for his title song, Shower Later from his Mr. Gae album that rose to No.1 on 8 real-time music charts.

The lyricist was already part of the Korean music scene prior to forming Leessang, he had been a fellow of many musical groups, notable among them are X-Teen, Honey Family, and Leessam Trio. The young talent has also had successful collaborations with many prominent musicians including the likes of Dynamic Duo, Psy, and Lee Hyori. Kang Gary has amassed millions of fans, not just in his home country Korea, but in several Asian countries and other parts of the world.

Kang Gary Launched His Music Career As A Member Of X-Teen

Born with the given name of Kang Hee-gun, the South Korean musician adopted the stage name “Gary” as he emerged on the music scene. After trying his hands at many other career paths like boxing and dancing, Kang Gary kick-started his music career by joining a rap music group, X-Teen in 1997. It was during his days with the group that he met Gill who later became his partner in Leessang.

Both Gill and Gary contributed to X-Teen’s album that came to light the following year, after which the group decided to drop Gary alongside his friend Gill. In an interview, the South Korean singer stated that they had neither the talent nor the looks which made them quit the group.

Gary Joined Honey Family And Later Formed Leessam Trio with Gill and Diggity

Subsequently, the duo adjoined another music group, Honey Family, and released a couple of albums with them in 1999 and 2000. Before the end of 2000, the group disbanded and according to Kang Gary, he is partly responsible for the breakup of the group by stating that he began feeling like a celeb after their initial success.

Still going strong with Gills, the duo decided to do their own thing by forming a hip-hop band, “Leessam Trio” in 2000 with another member of Honey Family, Diggity. (“sam” means “three” in Korean comprising of Gary, Gill, and Diggity). A while later, the talented trio went ahead to launch a compilation album called 2000 Korea. However, Diggity opted out of the group before the end of 2000 which led the remaining two (Gary and Gill) to change the group’s name to Leessang.

Leessang Released Several Albums Featuring A good Number Of Hits

Following the formation of Leessang in 2002, Kang Gary and Gil went on to do exploit in the South Korean music scene. All in all, the group has released eight albums with several hits. However, during their early days, Leessang remained underground even though their earlier albums achieve critical success.

Leessang wasn’t all that popular until the release of their last three albums, Hexagonal, Asura Balbalta, and Unplugged. This trio succeeded in breaking numerous records and guided the group’s entry to the mainstream Korean music industry. Most notable among their tracks is the title song from Asura Balbalta, Turn Off the TV which managed to remain at the top of the Melon chart for 25 days in a row.

Kang Gary Recorded Even More Success With His Solo Career

In the first month of 2014, Kang Gary launched a solo album titled, Mr. Gae. Out of the major television stations in the country, KBS, MBC, and SBS considered the album to be unfit for broadcast, reasons being that the lyrics were too explicit and the entire album was too sexually provocative. The ban notwithstanding, the title track Shower Later landed at the #1 spot on 8 real-time music charts.

In a later interview, the South Korean singer made reference to the ban. According to Gary, he has always felt confined by his image and wanted to break the mold. The album just served as a good outlet for pent up emotions.

His Ensuing Collaborations Were Equally Successful

Kang Gary went into collaborations in May 2014 when he joined effort with Jung-in releasing their first collaboration track Your Scent. It was Gary who penned the lyrics while Jung-In worked with another artist Duble Sidekick to produce the music.

Despite the fact that they never had any live promotions, Gary and Jung-In went on to take the win on June 7 Music Core. In a testament to its popularity, Your Scent earned the #6 position by the Gaon Chart on the year-end national digital single ranking. Encouraged by that initial success, the two later dropped their second collaboration Bicycle which hit the music stand in September 2014.

His Recent Solo Effort Won Him A Prestigious Award

Kang Gary
Kang Gary with his co-host on Running Man, Song Ji-hyo image source

September 2015 saw the release of Gary’s second solo album, 2002 where he featured Mi-woo of Leessang Company in the title track Get Some Air. Other tracks in the album also featured popular Asian musicians such as Deepflow, Koonta, Jay Park, Skull, John Park, and Park Myung-ho Double K. Others include DJ Pumkin, Jung-in, Don Mills, and Young-jun of Brown Eyed Souls.

He dropped the single Lonely Night in January 2016 featuring Gaeko of Dynamic Duo. The same day, a music video was released, featuring actress and fellow castmate of Running Man, Song Ji-hyo. Subsequently, Gary was nominated as a no.1 candidate on SBS Inkigayo on the 10th of January 2016, winning the award at the end of the day. From what is perceivable, Kang Gary’s solo effort is far more successful than his band activities.

Kang Gary’s works as a musician have been highly recognized as he has won many awards which includes, 2002 Mnet Music Video Festival Hip-Hop Artists of the Year, 2009 Best Collaboration of the Year, 2011 MelOn Music Awards, Top 10 Artists, 2014 Youku Nights Awards, Entertainment Spirit Awards, and many others.

The artist has since gone into television hosting as the co-host of the successful theatrical entertainment show, Running Man alongside Song Ji-hyo. He has equally recorded guest appearances in many movies and television series including Emergency Couple, Wonderful Radio, and The Girl Who Sees Smells. He also functions as a DJ.

Kang Gary Is Married with One Child

Kang Gary is stingy when it comes to revealing details about his personal life as he has kept information concerning his marriage and the identity of his wife away from the prying eyes of the media. However, these titbits were later disclosed by a reliable source that cited her name as Miss Kim and also went on to reveal that Gary is ten years older than her.

Prior to their wedding, Miss Kim used to work in Gary’s label company, Leessang. The couple kept their relationship under lock and key for the five years she was employed at the company.

The eminent record producer walked down the aisle with the love of his life, Miss Kim in a private ceremony held in April 2017, and the union has been blessed with a son Kang Ha Oh who joined the family seven months later. Gary made the news about the birth of his son known to fans through his Instagram account. He likewise posted pictures of his little boy’s leg on Instagram.

Gary Is Enjoying His New Role As A Father

Kang Gary is definitely enjoying being a father as he has been sighted in several photos having fun with his son Kang Ha Oh. There was an adorable picture of the toddler playing in the sand with the Korean lyricist which he shared on Instagram.

Gary also takes Kang Ha Oh out on shows. When the boy was 26 months old, he joined his dad in a show where fans were happy to see Gary’s new side as a father. The boy also seems to love music, singing, and playing various instruments, much like his dad.

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