Who is Jimin, the first South Korean solo artist to top US pop charts?

The singer and dancer is a member of K-pop supergroup BTS, though he is establishing an evocative sound on his own

Jimin is known for his polished hip-hop dancing. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
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K-pop star Jimin is the first South Korean solo artist to top the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The singer, who is a member of K-pop boyband BTS, scooped the prize with new single Like Crazy on Monday.

The song, fashioned in the electro-pop mould of The Weeknd, beat rivals Miley Cyrus (Flowers) and Morgan Wallen (Last Night), who came second and third respectively.

The news continues the solo success of BTS members after the group announced an indefinite hiatus last year.

Jimin’s achievements come on the back of fellow members Jungkook scoring a global hit with the Qatar World Cup 2022 anthem Dreamers and rapper J-Hope headlining last year's Lollapalooza festival in the US.

It extends K-pop's ascendancy in the US, with Blackpink becoming the genre's first to top the Billboard 200 chart with album Born Pink as they prepare to headline this year's Coachella festival.

However, Jimin’s achievement shows the genre is breaking new ground, with solo artists enjoying success away from their colourful and synchronised live shows they made their names as in bands.

A polished performer

Born in 1995 in the South Korean city of Busan, Jimin (full name Park Ji-min) is viewed as one of BTS's most accomplished dancers.

This was down to his time with the hip-hop-inspired Just Dance Academy as a teenager before polishing his technique at the Busan High School of Arts where he studied contemporary dance.

In a normal move for the K-pop industry, Jimin went on to audition for entertainment company Big Hit Music, which found him an ideal choice to join a newly formed group called BTS.

Finding his own sound

With his slick dance moves, Jimin went on to play an integral role in BTS' live performances.

He also hinted at his potential as a future pop star with solo songs, released under BTS' label, becoming big successes.

Lie (2016) and Serendipity (2017) together gained more than 50 million streams on Spotify by 2018. The video of the latter, released under the BTS banner, became the first by a group member to achieve 100 million views on YouTube

One of the reasons for the success is Jimin's flare for the dramatic.

Where Jungkook and J-Hope focus on streamlined pop and hip-hop sounds respectively, Jimin aims for one that’s more evocative than radio-friendly.

Serendipity is a lush ballad defined by its cinematic production. With You (2022) is another slow burner with ambient synths and strings.

While Like Crazy finds Jimin upping the tempo, it shares the same sleek and minimal sound fast becoming his signature.

With new album Face achieving strong reviews, expect to hear more works from Jimin soon.

Updated: April 04, 2023, 2:03 PM