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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, 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
Native name
Kim Jong-dae

(1992-09-21) September 21, 1992 (age 27)
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 made his solo debut 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 his success, his second extended play Dear My Dear was released later the same year and charted at number one upon release.


2011–2014: Career beginningsEdit

Chen became a trainee through SM Entertainment's Casting System in 2011 when he was 19 years old. 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.[1]

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.[2]

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..[3][4] "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.[5]

2015–present: 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.[6] 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".[7]

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."[8] In February 2016, Chen and South Korean singer Punch released a duet titled "Everytime" as a soundtrack for the KBS drama Descendants of the Sun.[9] The song debuted at number one on Gaon's weekly digital chart.[10]

Chen at Melon Music Awards in 2016

In April 2016, 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.[11] 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.[12] In October 2016, he collaborated with DJ Alesso on another song for the Station project titled "Years".[13][14] 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!.[15]

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".[16] The song reached number two on the Gaon Digital Chart.

In February 2017, 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.[17]

Chen performing at the Lotte Family Concert in 2018

In July 2017, it was revealed that Chen participated in co-writing the lyrics for "Touch It" and "Ko Ko Bop", two songs from Exo's fourth studio album, The War. In November 2017, Chen collaborated with South Korean singer 10cm on a song titled "Bye Babe" for the second season of SM Entertainment's station project.[18] In December 2017, Chen wrote the lyrics for "Lights Out" for 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 his fellow Exo member D.O. played the lead role.[19] He also revealed that he and Chanyeol had 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.[20]

On February 7, 2019, Chen released an original soundtrack titled "Make It Count" for the drama Touch Your Heart.[21]

On March 8, 2019, SM Entertainment confirmed that Chen was preparing for his first solo album, which was set to be released in April.[22] Named April, and a Flower and consisting of six songs,[23] the album was released on April 1 with the title song "Beautiful Goodbye"[24] On August 29, it was reported that Chen will make his solo comeback in early October.[25] His second mini-album, Dear My Dear was released on October 1 and consisted of six songs with title track Shall We?.[26] Chen’s “Dear My Dear” debuted at No. 1 on the physical album chart and iTunes top album charts in a total of 36 different countries. [27][28]

Personal lifeEdit

On February 28, 2017, it was revealed that Chen has been accepted into the advertisement media MBA program at Hanyang Cyber University.[29]


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 [30]
"The Best Luck" 2014 [31]
"Everytime (with Punch) 2016 [32]
"Lil' Something (with Vibe and Heize) [33]
"Beautiful Accident" (with Suho) [34]
"Imagine" (as part of UNICEF) [35]
"Bye Babe" (with 10cm) 2017 [36]
"Dear My Family (Live Concert Ver.)" (as part of SM Town) [37]
"Beautiful Goodbye" 2019 [38]
"Flower" [39]
"May We Bye" (with Lim Han Byul) [40]
"Shall We?" [41]
Guest appearances
"No.1" (remake; BoA) 2014 [42]


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 Best OST by a Male Artist The Best Luck Won
2017 19th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Collaboration with Dynamic Duo Nosedive Won
Qoo10 Song of The Year Nominated
9th Melon Music Awards 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[43] Male Solo Artist Chen Nominated
Vocal Artist Nominated
Annual Fresh Asia Music Awards 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 Best Vocal Performance – Solo Beautiful Goodbye Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
34th Golden Disc Awards [44] Digital Bonsang Pending
Disc Bonsang April, and a Flower Pending


  1. ^ "S.M.'s rookie group EXO made debut in the SBS Gayo Daejun". Newsen (in Korean). December 29, 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  2. ^ Julie Jackson. "SM ballad artists serenade fans in joint recital". Kpop Herald. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (July 17, 2014). "EXO's Chen Sings Best Luck for It's Ok, It's Love OST". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Kim, Erika (July 23, 2014). "EXO Chen's Solo OST for It's Okay, It's Love to be Released Today (July 23)". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  5. ^ tofutraveller. "APAN Star Awards 2014: Winners, Performers & Winning Fashion". Time-Travelling Tofu. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  6. ^ "첸 동우 성규 루나 키 등…뮤지컬 '인 더 하이츠' 캐스팅 [스포츠투데이]" [SHINee, INFINITE, EXO, and f(x) Members Cast in Musical "In the Heights"]. Asiae News. Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  7. ^ "EXO's Chen Shocks Audience On 'King of Mask Singer' As Legendary Guitar Man". KpopStarz. 2015-08-31. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  8. ^ Park Soo-young. "엑소 첸, 유명 피아니스트와 합동 무대…아동 캠페인 일환" [EXO's Chen to Perform With World-Renowned Pianist Steve Barakatt for UNICEF]. OSEN. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "EXO's Chen, Punch sing in 'Descendants of the Sun' soundtrack". Kpop Herald. February 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart, Week 9 – 2016". Gaon Music Chart. Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  11. ^ Kim Ji-young (April 5, 2016). "EXO's Chen to collaborate with Heize". Kpop Herald. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Lee Ji-hae (August 10, 2016). "EXO members to sing drama's sound track". Kpop Herald.
  13. ^ "[POP스포]엑소 첸XDJ 알레소, 10월 7일 콜라보 'Years' 발표(공식)". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  14. ^ "엑소 첸, 스웨덴 유명 DJ 알레소와 콜라보…7일 음원 발표". 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  15. ^ SMTOWN_EN. "[Vyrl] SMTOWN_EN : #EXO's first unit #EXO-CBX 1st mini album 'Hey Mama!' drops Oct 31, 0A". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  16. ^ "Dynamic Duo Teams Up With EXO's Chen on 'Nosedive'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  17. ^ "엑소 첸, '미씽나인' OST '안녕 못해' 오늘밤 공개..찬열 지원". Osen (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  18. ^ "EXO's Chen Joins Forces With 10cm for Performance of 'Bye Babe': Watch".
  19. ^ "EXO's Chen to release OST Part.3 for D.O's drama '100 Days My Prince'!".
  20. ^ "'K팝의 왕' 엑소, 신곡 'Love Shot'으로 연말 가요계 정조준 예고". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  21. ^ "엑소 첸, '진심이 닿다' OST 첫주자…'Make it count' 7일 공개 [공식입장]". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  22. ^ "엑소 측 "첸, 솔로앨범 준비 중"…OST 킹의 솔로 데뷔 [공식]". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "사월, 그리고 꽃 - The 1st Mini Album". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  25. ^ "[단독] 엑소 첸, 10월 초 초고속 솔로 컴백". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  26. ^ "EXO's Chen Unveils Second EP 'Dear My Dear,' Video For 'Shall We?': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  27. ^ "EXO's Chen, SEVENTEEN, BTS, And More Top Gaon Monthly + Weekly Charts; AKMU Earns Triple Crown". Soompi. October 10, 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  28. ^ "EXO Chen's 2nd mini album 'Dear my Dear' tops iTunes album charts in 36 countries". allkpop. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  29. ^ Kim, So-yeon. "Jin of BTS, Chen of EXO enter graduate school at Hanyang Cyber University". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  30. ^ SMTOWN (2012-04-24), I AM. OST_Dear My Family_Music Video, retrieved October 31, 2018
  31. ^ Stone Music Entertainment (2014-07-28), [괜찮아 사랑이야 OST Part 1] 첸 (CHEN) (EXO) - 최고의 행운 (Best Luck) MV, retrieved October 31, 2018
  32. ^ MUSIC&NEW 뮤직앤뉴 (2016-02-24), [MV] CHEN(첸)XPunch(펀치) - Everytime l 태양의 후예 OST Part.2, retrieved October 31, 2018
  33. ^ SMTOWN (2016-04-07), [STATION] 바이브 X 첸 X 헤이즈 '썸타 (Lil' Something)' MV, retrieved October 31, 2018
  34. ^ SMTOWN (2017-05-30), SUHO X CHEN_Beautiful Accident (From Movie '美好的意外')_Music Video, retrieved October 31, 2018
  35. ^ Universal Music India (2015-01-04), Imagine (UNICEF: World Version), retrieved October 31, 2018
  36. ^ SMTOWN (2017-11-03), [STATION] 10cm X CHEN 'Bye Babe' Live Video, retrieved October 31, 2018
  37. ^ SMTOWN (2017-12-29), [STATION] SMTOWN 'Dear My Family (Live Concert Ver.)' MV, retrieved October 31, 2018
  38. ^ SMTOWN (2019-03-31), CHEN 첸 '사월이 지나면 우리 헤어져요 (Beautiful goodbye)' MV, retrieved March 31, 2019
  39. ^ SMTOWN (2019-03-31), [눈으로 듣는 노래] CHEN 첸 '꽃 (Flower)', retrieved April 8, 2019
  40. ^ 1theK (2019-05-13), Special Clip(스페셜클립): Onestar(임한별) _ May We Bye(오월의 어느 봄날) (Feat. CHEN(첸)), retrieved May 13, 2019
  41. ^ SMTOWN (2019-09-30), CHEN 첸 '우리 어떻게 할까요 (Shall we?)' MV, retrieved September 30, 2019
  42. ^ Mnet K-POP (2014-10-17), Mnet [EXO 902014] 엑소 첸이 재해석한 '보아- No.1' 뮤비/EXO CHEN's 'No.1' M/V Remake, retrieved October 31, 2018
  43. ^ "2019 MGMA 방탄소년단vs엑소 실시간 순위 결과는? 지니뮤직어워드 티켓 예매 일정 라인업 기대↑투표기간·방법 알아보기". Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  44. ^ "BTS·트와이스·위너·첸·태연…'골든디스크' 음원+음반 본상 동시후보는 5팀". Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-12-08.

External linksEdit