Monday marks the 22nd birthday of the rising K-pop star Kang Daniel, leader of the boy band Wanna One.
It’s still unclear whether the 11-member group, which formed in 2017, will be disbanding early in the new year.
However, Daniel – whose real name is Kang Eui-geon – is surely someone who will not disappear into oblivion.
To mark his birthday, we have compiled a list of some of the highlights of his music and modelling career.
Surviving elimination on ‘Produce 101’
Last year, Daniel won the South Korean reality television show Produce 101.
The show, which is known for putting contestants through a series of gruelling challenges, saw 101 wanna-be pop stars eliminated at various stages as they competed for one of the final 11 places to secure a place in the line-up of a new K-pop band, which became Wanna One.
Debut as part of Wanna One
After the boy band’s debut, Daniel assumed a series of roles, including that of the group’s figurehead, main dancer, rapper and supporting vocalist.
Because of the prowess and natural charm he showed during Produce 101, it was natural for Daniel to take on the leading role in the group.
His impressive moves as a dancer – a talent he has practised since he started break-dancing as a youngster – have been the talk of the town.
Since making its debut, the band has enjoyed a number of hit singles, including Energetic, Beautiful and Boomerang, and has also been honoured at K-pop events such as the Gaon Chart Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards and Melon Music Awards.
Last month, the band released its first – and probably last – album, titled “1¹¹=1 (Power of Destiny)”, with the track Spring Breeze as the first single release.
The new face of brands
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Daniel’s strong brand endorsement and marketing power have gained him recognition by the Korean Corporate Reputation Research Institute.
Apart from being part of Wanna One’s group endorsement deals, Daniel has also been snapped up by brands for solo deals.
Since the start of this year he has been the face of the South Korean clothing brand (LAP) LOS ANGELES PROJECT.
His charming looks have been used to promote other brands, too, including the South Korean beer company Hite.