Hwang Chi-yeul
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In a k-pop world that is filled with this group and that band, Hwang Chi-yeul is one man who is happy to do it alone. The singer/songwriter has dropped several hit singles as well as bestselling EPs. He is also a prominent TV personality and has featured in several reality shows. Get to know more about Chi-yeul here including some lesser-known facts about the pop star.

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Hwang Chi-yeul 

1. His father is an engineer while his mother is a teacher

Hwang Chi-yeul was born on the 3rd of December 1982 in Gumi, North Gyeongsang, South Korea. He hails from a family of five. His father is an engineer named Hwang while his mother is a teacher named Park. The singer also has two siblings comprising of an elder sister as well as an elder brother. Chi-yeul spent his formative years in Gumi and fell in love with music and dancing as a teenager. He aspired to become an idol and in 2014, moved to Seoul to pursue his dreams. In Seoul, Chi-yeul started out by appearing on several TV and radio shows. He subsequently dropped his debut full-length album, Five Senses, in June 2007. The album was quite successful and reached number one on the Gaon albums charts.

2. He once worked as a music teacher

Despite his impressive debut, Hwang Chi-yeul’s career suffered a setback as his management closed down because of financial difficulties. This derailed the young man’s plans and he was forced to do a variety of part-time jobs, including serving as a music teacher and vocal coach in order to pay the bills. Hwang Chi-yeul, however, did not despair. He soldiered on and got his breakthrough after being featured on the Chinese edition of I Am a Singer in 2016. Chi-yeul performed well on two consecutive seasons of the show, and his fame spread throughout China. He took advantage of this popularity and dropped a Chinese album titled, Chi-yeul, in 2017. The album sold more than 1.2 million copies in China alone and made the singer a household name in that country. Since this breakthrough, Hwang Chi-yeul has not relented. He has dropped several EPs and has also held solo concerts in several countries.

3. Hwang Chi-yeul sparked an online pollution controversy in January 2019

Hwang Chi-yeul
Chi-yeul performing on I Am a Singer: image source

Hwang Chi-yeul found himself at the center of an online war-of-words in January 2019. The singer had previously traveled to the Chinese province of Hunan to perform. On getting back from the trip, he appeared on a Korean talk show and discussed the poor quality of air and water in China. His comments sparked an immediate backlash from Chinese fans who told him not to come to their country again. The singer subsequently issued an apology, in Korean and Chinese languages, and explained that there was no malicious intent behind his statement. This apology led several Korean sources to accuse the Chinese online community of cyberbullying.

4. He was accused of ditching inexpensive fan gifts

In 2016, some people accused Hwang Chi-yeul of being selective with regards to gift items from fans. They claimed that the singer preferred pricey gifts, and would often abandon the cheap and inexpensive ones in his hotel room. Chi-yeul’s management was forced to come out and deny the allegation. They stated that the singer receives numerous gifts and couldn’t take them all as a result of baggage constraints. This resulted in him taking some and then storing the rest away. Chi-yeul’s management made it clear that the singer was kind and friendly, and doesn’t judge gift items by their price tags. They emphasized that he treasured little gifts and fan mail, and threatened to sue the rumor mongers.

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5. He is an accomplished TV personality

Hwang has also established a thriving career as a TV personality. Asides from hosting several TV shows, he has also made guest appearances on several reality shows including Happy Together, I Live Alone, Knowing Bros, Radio Star, Immortal Songs: Singing The Legend, and I Can See Your Voice. I Can See Your Voice is a mystery music show which features a guest artiste and seven contestants. The guest artiste is tasked with guessing whether the contestants are good or bad singers, based solely on their looks. If the final contestant turns out to be a good singer, they get to record a collaboration with the guest artiste. If they are bad, they get prize money. Hwang Chi-yeul participated in the 2015 edition of I Can See Your Voice, and this helped to make him popular in his motherland.

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