K-pop star Jimin of BTS: the singer-dancer’s rise to the top and his drive for perfection
As the lead vocalist and dancer of K-pop’s most popular boy band, Jimin has certainly hit a high note with his fans. Learn where he draws his inspiration from and what he has to say about his eyeliner
You know you’ve made it when you join the likes of American celebrities, including Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Michael Jordan, as official Coca-Cola ambassadors. Now world-conquering K-pop supergroup BTS are part of this elite club, signing a deal with the drink giant ahead of the Fifa World Cup in June.
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The sponsorship deal comes at a busy time for the seven-member boy band, as BTS also prepare to release their new album, Love Yourself: Tear, on May 18. The group have also been working hard on rehearsals for the “Love Yourself World Tour” which will start with shows in Seoul on August 25, before moving onto concerts across North America and Europe.
All seven performers have their own diehard fans, but besides the band’s rapper, known as RM, another member who boasts a huge following is the group’s lead vocalist and dancer Park Ji-min. Better known as Jimin, the 22-year-old is a self-professed perfectionist whose singing and dancing talents will be in the spotlight as BTS move into the next stage of their career in the coming months.
Here we take a look at Jimin’s life and role within BTS so far.
Jimin was born and raised in Busan, a port city in South Korea. There, he attended a local arts high school where he specialised in dance. While he initially dreamt of becoming a police officer, his life changed when a teacher suggested he audition to become an entertainment trainee. Jimin took the advice and was accepted by the Big Hit Entertainment Group, which invited him to be part of BTS.
Inspired by veteran K-pop star Rain, Jimin decided he would learn to sing as well as dance, and apparently trained so hard that he sometimes slept only three hours a night.
His role in BTS
Jimin is the lead vocalist and main dancer in BTS. At 174cm, Jimin is also the shortest member of the boy band, something the other members like to tease him about.
From Jimin’s debut until the present, fellow member Jin says his bandmate’s image has barely changed. “One person remains the same and surprises me. That one person is Jimin. He was the best-looking member when we made our debut, and he has held onto that position until now,” Jin said in an interview with IZE Magazine.
His solo work
While Jimin hasn’t quite achieved the same level of independent success as fellow BTS member RM, who was previously known as Rap Monster, the group has released a solo track by Jimin titled Lie.
“This song describes a man who tries to run away from lies and temptation. Because it has a lot of high notes, it was very difficult to sing. I hope you all enjoy it, but please but don’t look forward to me singing it live. I can’t do it,” Jimin joked during an interview broadcast in Korean.
Unlike the more outgoing members of BTS, Jimin is seen as a more quiet, reserved and serious member. Known as a perfectionist, he often talks about how hard he needs to work in order to give his best for his fans, also known as BTS Army.
Hardworking and goal-oriented, Jimin draws to relax. He is also not afraid to wear eyeliner. “When I don’t wear eyeliner, I am shy and I feel like I can’t dance. Sometimes, when I’m dancing in the practice room with no eyeliner, I feel like I can’t even make strong facial expressions because I look so [basic] in the mirror,” he told IZE Magazine, adding that he always relies on his make-up artists to apply it, as he doesn’t know how.
In his words
“I’ve been on the world news, and within 10 years, I hope to become a man that the world wants,” Jimin said during a video interview in 2015.
“I always get made fun of … I’m not going to do these things on camera any more,” he said about massaging his bandmate’s shoulders, during a behind-the-scenes video about a group photo shoot.
“I like the Hulk from Avengers. Most people like Iron Man, but I like how the Hulk smashes everything. He doesn’t try to be sneaky – he just dominates whatever [villain] is in front of him,” he said of his favourite superhero during an interview with IZE Magazine.