Kihyun, the main vocalist of K-pop boy band Monsta X, turns 25 on Thursday and to celebrate this milestone, we take a quick look at his career and pick out the five times we were blown away by his talent.
2014: Cover of ‘Hyey’ on the survival programme ‘No.Mercy’
Before making his debut as part of Monsta X, Kihyun took part in Mnet’s survival television programme, No.Mercy, to win a spot in the soon-to-launch boy band.
The reality show, which pitted 13 K-pop wannabes against each other, was created by Starship Entertainment, the agency which ultimately produced Monsta X.
Kihyun sang a cover of Hyeya during the second episode of No.Mercy, stunning the panel of judges with his sophisticated interpretation of the song by Jonghyun of popular boy band Shinee.
2015: Song on soundtrack of ‘She was Pretty’
Kihyun showed off his vocal prowess with One More Step, which was used as one of the original soundtrack songs in the hit South Korean drama She Was Pretty, which aired in 2015.
The upbeat song tells the tale of a lovesick man who yearns to become closer with his love.
The track showcased Kihyun’s strong vocals and put him on the list of up-and-coming singers to look out for.
2016: ‘The Blue Night of Jeju Island’ duet on ‘M Countdown’
Kihyun teamed up with Yeun-jung of girl group I.O.I to sing a live duet of The Blue Night of Jeju Island during a special stage performance on the Korean television show, M Countdown, in October that year.
The unlikely duo seamlessly complemented one another’s vocal talents to create a melodic performance.
M Countdown, a music programme broadcast every Thursday, also charts weekly hits, acting as one of the biggest barometers of the music industry.
2017: Live performance on ‘Singing Battle’
Kihyun made a surprise cameo on the television programme Singing Battle, appearing as a “hidden card” of one of the competing teams.
The show splits 12 contestants into four teams, and pits them against each other in a singing battle where the final winners are chosen via a live voting round.
Kihyun performed the song Love love love, a song by Kim Hyun-sik and released in 1991 – two years before Kihyun was born.
2018: Song on soundtrack of ‘What’s wrong with Secretary Kim?’
This year, Kihyun teamed up with Seola from WJSN on Love Virus, a track used on the original soundtrack of the popular Korean television drama series, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?.
The love song reveals the euphoric high that a couple feels when they finally find “the one” in each other and perfectly reflects the drama’s theme of discovering love in the most unexpected of places.