Chen (singer)

Kim Jong-dae (born September 21, 1992), better known by his stage name, Chen, is a South Korean singer and songwriter. He debuted in 2012 as a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo and its subgroup Exo-M, and has since further participated in SM Entertainment's projects Exo-CBX and SM the Ballad. He is predominantly known for his role as the main vocalist of Exo. Apart from his group's activities, Chen has also recorded songs for various television dramas, most notably "Best Luck" for It's Okay, That's Love (2014) and "Everytime" for Descendants of the Sun (2016).

Chen at April, and a Flower showcase on April 1, 2019 (5).jpg
Chen at April, and a Flower showcase in April 2019
Kim Jong-dae

(1992-09-21) September 21, 1992 (age 28)
Daejeon, South Korea
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Musical career
Years active2011–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Jong-dae
McCune–ReischauerKim Chongtae
Stage name
Revised RomanizationChen
Chen's Signature for Thai wiki.png

In 2019, Chen debuted as a solo singer with the extended play April, and a Flower, which peaked at number two on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart and spawned the hit single "Beautiful Goodbye". Continuing the success, his second extended play Dear My Dear accompanied by the single "Shall We?" was released later the same year and charted at number one upon release.

Life and careerEdit

1992–2014: Early life and career beginningsEdit

Chen was born on September 21, 1992, in Daejeon and grew up in the Jeongwang-dong neighborhood of Siheung.[1][2] He became a trainee at SM Entertainment through the company's Casting System in 2011 at the age of 19. On December 29, 2011, he was formally introduced as the fourth member of Exo. He made his first public appearance as an Exo member alongside Luhan, Tao, and Kai at the 2011 SBS Gayo Daejeon.[3]

In 2014, Chen joined the ballad group SM the Ballad, initially formed by SM Entertainment in 2010. On the group's second album Breath, he sang the Chinese version of the lead single "Breath" with Zhang Liyin. He also sang a duet with f(x)'s Krystal titled "When I Was... When U Were...", and "A Day Without You" with Shinee's Jonghyun. Chen performed his duets with Krystal and Jonghyun live at the SM the Ballad Joint Recital on February 12.[4]

In July 2014, Chen released his first solo song since debut titled "The Best Luck" as an original soundtrack for the SBS drama It's Okay, That's Love, which stars his fellow Exo member D.O..[5][6] "The Best Luck" was awarded the "Best OST by a Male Artist" and "Best OST Song" at the 5th So-Loved Awards and the 16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival respectively. Chen was also invited as a special performer at the 3rd APAN Star Awards on November 11, 2014, where he performed the track live.[7]

2015–2018: Solo activities and Exo-CBXEdit

In June 2015, Chen co-wrote the lyrics for "Promise," a song from the reissued edition of Exo's second studio album Exodus, along with fellow members Chanyeol and Lay. In August 2015, he made his musical theatre debut playing the role of Benny in the SM C&C production In the Heights.[8] He also participated in and became the runner-up in the eleventh round of the music television show King of Mask Singer under the alias "Legendary Guitar Man".[9]

Chen at the 8th Melon Music Awards in November 2016

In January 2016, Chen performed John Lennon's song "Imagine" with world-renowned pianist Steve Barakatt at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, as part of UNICEF's "Imagine Project."[10] In February, Chen and South Korean singer Punch released a duet titled "Everytime" as a soundtrack for the KBS drama Descendants of the Sun.[11] The song debuted at number one on Gaon's weekly digital chart.[12] In April, Chen and South Korean rapper Heize released "Lil' Something", a song produced by Vibe member Ryu Jae-hyun, as the ninth weekly single of SM Entertainment's Station music project.[13]

In August 2016, Chen collaborated with fellow Exo members Xiumin and Baekhyun on an original soundtrack titled "For You" for the SBS drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.[14] In October, he collaborated with DJ Alesso on another song for the Station project titled "Years".[15][16] Later in October, together with Baekhyun and Xiumin, Chen became a member of Exo's first sub unit Exo-CBX. The group made their debut with the extended play Hey Mama!.[17]

In January 2017, Chen collaborated with Dynamic Duo in a song titled "Nosedive", becoming the first artist to be featured in the group's collaboration project "Mixxxture".[18] The song reached number two on the Gaon Digital Chart. In February, he released an original soundtrack titled "I'm Not Okay" for the MBC drama Missing 9 in which his fellow Exo member Chanyeol played a supporting role.[19]

In March, Chen was accepted into the advertisement media MBA program at Hanyang Cyber University.[20] In July, he was revealed to have co-written the lyrics for the tracks "Touch It" and "Ko Ko Bop" from Exo's fourth studio album, The War. In November, Chen collaborated with South Korean singer 10cm on a song titled "Bye Babe" for the second season of SM Entertainment's station project.[21] In December, Chen wrote the lyrics for "Lights Out" from Exo's EP Universe, which he performed alongside fellow members Suho, Baekhyun, and D.O..

On October 16, 2018, Chen released an original soundtrack titled "Cherry Blossom Love Song" for the drama 100 Days My Prince, in which fellow Exo member D.O. played the lead role.[22] He and Chanyeol also participated in writing lyrics for "Love Shot", the title track from the reissued edition of Exo's fifth studio album, Don't Mess Up My Tempo.[23]

2019–present: Solo debut, marriage and military serviceEdit

Chen at the Nature Republic Fan Festival in March 2018

On February 7, 2019, Chen released an original soundtrack titled "Make It Count" for the drama Touch Your Heart.[24] On March 8, SM Entertainment confirmed that Chen was preparing for his first solo album, which was set to be released in April.[25] Named April, and a Flower and consisting of six songs,[26] the album was released on April 1 with the title song "Beautiful Goodbye".[27] He also participated in writing the lyrics for one of the songs, "Flower".[28] April, and a Flower peaked at number 2 on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart.

In May, Chen collaborated with South Korean singer Onestar for a single titled "May We Bye".[29] In July, he was featured on Ailee's song "Love" from her album Butterfly.[30] On October 1, Chen released his second mini-album, Dear My Dear with six songs including the title track "Shall We?".[31] He participated in writing the lyrics for "My Dear", one of the songs on the album.[32] Dear My Dear debuted at number 1 on the physical album chart and iTunes top album charts in a total of 36 different countries.[33][34]

On January 13, 2020, Chen and Dynamic Duo released another collaboration song titled "You".[35] The same day, he announced his upcoming marriage to a non-celebrity, with a private ceremony attended by both their families. It was also announced that Chen's fiancée was pregnant.[36] Their first child, a daughter, was born on April 29.[37] In September, he released an original soundtrack titled "Your Moonlight" for the drama Do You Like Brahms?.[38] On October 16, Chen released a digital single titled "Hello",[39] before announcing that he is set to enlist for his mandatory military service.[40] He enlisted as an active duty soldier on October 26.[41]


Extended plays



Title Year Network Role Notes
Exo Next Door 2015 Naver TV Cast Chen Web drama; minor role

Variety showsEdit

Title Year Network Role Notes
King of Mask Singer 2015 MBC Contestant Episodes 21 and 22; Stage Name : Legendary Guitarman
Travel without Manager 2016 Cookat TV Main cast Episodes 1-8

Music videosEdit

Title Year Ref.
"Dear My Family" (as part of SM Town) 2012 [42]
"The Best Luck" 2014 [43]
"Everytime (with Punch) 2016 [44]
"Lil' Something (with Vibe and Heize) [45]
"Beautiful Accident" (with Suho) [46]
"Imagine" (as part of UNICEF) [47]
"Bye Babe" (with 10cm) 2017 [48]
"Dear My Family (Live Concert Ver.)" (as part of SM Town) [49]
"Beautiful Goodbye" 2019 [50]
"Flower" [51]
"May We Bye" (with Lim Han Byul) [52]
"Shall We?" [53]
Guest appearances
"No.1" (remake; BoA) 2014 [54]


Title Year Role Notes
In the Heights 2015 Benny Main Role

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2014 16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival[55] Best OST by a Male Artist The Best Luck Won
2017 19th Mnet Asian Music Awards[56] Best Collaboration with Dynamic Duo Nosedive Won
Qoo10 Song of The Year Nominated
9th Melon Music Awards[57] Best Rap/Hip Hop Award with Dynamic Duo Won
2018 7th Gaon Chart Music Awards Song of the Year – January Nominated
2019 2nd Genie Music Awards Male Solo Artist Chen Nominated
Vocal Artist Nominated
Annual Fresh Asia Music Awards[58] TOP 10 Asia-Pacific Gold Song of the Year Make It Count Won
11th Melon Music Awards Top 10 Artists Chen Nominated
Album of the Year April, and a Flower Nominated
21st Mnet Asian Music Awards[59] Best Vocal Performance – Solo Beautiful Goodbye Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
34th Golden Disc Awards[60] Digital Bonsang Nominated
Disc Bonsang April, and a Flower Nominated
29th Seoul Music Awards[61] Popularity Award Chen Nominated
Hallyu Special Award Nominated
Bonsang Award Nominated
Daesang Award Nominated
2020 Korea First Brand Awards[62] Male Vocalist Won


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External linksEdit