U-Know, Yunho or U Know as he is fondly referred to has built a very robust career in the South Korean entertainment industry. He is a singer, dancer, songwriter, and actor who belongs to the TVXQ (former 5 but now 2 members) boy band. He has been given many titles, including “K-pop’s dancing king” by fans and critics and was the only Asian performer invited to the tribute concert for Michael Jackson. The singer has released several chart-topping songs all over Asia and made several acting appearances. Yunho has been credited as one of the idols who set the precedent for the success of the younger generation in the entertainment industry.
Yunho’s Early Life
He was born Jung Yun-ho in Gwangsan, Gwangju South Korea on the 6th of February 1986. Yunho was raised alongside his younger sister Jung Ji Hye with whom he shares a very close bond. He is fluent in his native Korean and Japanese. Yunho has always been passionate about dancing and he formed a dance team called A+ with some of his friends and they competed and won at several dance competitions around the country.
In 1999, they came first in the Annual SM Best competition after which Yunho signed with S.M. Entertainment and began his training. As he schooled in Gwangju he spent his holidays, training in Seoul. At some point, Yunho considered giving up his training as he suffered a hormonal imbalance in his throat which affected his vocal cords and made him lose his voice. He had to undergo surgery.
Moreover, during his training years, he was put in 4 temporary groups which all disbanded. In 2001 when he was 15 years of age, he began to feature as a backup dancer and rapper for established acts like Shinhwa. He joined TVXQ in 2003 and they officially debuted on the 26th of December 2003.
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Yunho
He was Once Poisoned By an Anti-fan
On the 14th of October 2006, while the TVXQ was filming a variety show, Yunho was poisoned after drinking a beverage laced with superglue by an anti-fan. The suspect named Ko was apprehended 2 days later and was discovered to have been a member of an anti-TVXQ website for several years. Yunho who later revealed that the girl was about the same age as his sister refused to press charges.
He Had a Different Career Planned While Growing Up
While growing up, several members of his family worked in the legal profession. Yunho himself dreamt about being a prosecutor before he discovered ‘his calling’ in entertainment. This must have been why his decision to become a singer didn’t sit well with his parents initially.
Service in the Military
On the 21st of July 2015, Yunho began his 5 weeks basic military training at Yangju, Gyeonggi Province, after his induction into the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. At the completion ceremony held on the 27th of August 2015, he was awarded the “Best Recruit” honor. He then joined the military for the 26th Mechanized Infantry Division on the 31st of August. While in service, he was honored as a Special Warrior on the 9th of May 2016 and was honorably discharged from service on the 20th of April 2017.
Yunho is well educated. He studied at the Myongji University, graduating in 2011. He also pursued a Master’s degree at Chungwoon University.
Awards and Recognition
He was named an honorary ambassador of the National Assembly Library in 2004. Asides the numerous awards he has won as part of the TVXQ, in 2013, he won the Seoul International Drama Awards for “Most Popular Actor” and has been nominated for Baeksang Arts Awards and MBC Drama Awards for his exceptional acting skills.
For someone that got ridiculed for his non-existent acting skills when he first appeared in the 2009 romantic comedy titled Heading to the Ground, Yunho who is known to be a very determined individual has worked on his acting skills. After the criticism he endured for his performance in the series which was a commercial flop, he began to appear in musicals dramas which were very successful. He then featured in the melodrama titled King of Ambition and his performance earned him a People’s Choice Award in 2013.
Devotion to Family
Despite the initial rift Yunho had with his family when he chose to pursue singing, he is very responsible and devoted to his family. He considers his sister his greatest treasure and travels to his hometown every vacation where he visits his grandfather’s grave, his former school, local nursing homes, and pastors.