Who is Jay Park?
Park Jae Beom was born on the 25th April 1987, in Edmonds, Washington State USA of Korean descent. Better known by his stage name as Jay Park, he is a 32 year old rapper, singer, songwriter, model and entrepreneur. He is also a record label owner and dancer and choreographer. His career has been active since 2008.
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Jay Park: Early Life, Family, Education
Jay Park is one of those people who had the luck to discover their passions at a very young age. Growing up in the Seattle metropolitan area with his parents and younger brother, he got introduced to the world of break-dancing and hip hop music scene where he met his future friends and fellow singers and dancers. His parents, seeing how passionate he was about music and dancing, encouraged him to go to dance lessons and write music on his own. Therefore, during his teenage years Park started writing rap songs. When he was 16, he joined the newly founded break-dancing crew, popularly called “b-boy” crews, named “Art of Movement”.
Regarding his education, after he matriculated from Edmonds Woodway High School, Jay applied for a JYP Entertainment scholarship at the suggestion of his mother. JYP Entertainment is one of the largest South Korean entertainment companies; Jay was accepted and it enabled him to go to South Korea and take lessons in singing, dancing, rapping, and the Korean language as well. During his training days in South Korea, Park did not want to neglect his education, so he enrolled at Dankook University and attended his studies parallel with his growing music career.
Moving to South Korea and signing with JYP Entertainment proved to be the perfect choice for Jay’s career. Not only did he become one of Korea’s biggest stars, but he also reached international fame only few years after departing from the US. His rapid rise to prominence began in 2008, when he joined the reality show “Hot Blood Men”, produced and broadcast by Mnet, one of country’s biggest and most popular music channels. Park was the member of the group “2PM” and he finished first according to the fan votes. As a result, he became the leader of the group, which would soon take Korea’s music scene by storm.
The group’s first song was already a major success – “10 Out of 10” topped the charts for several months. After this, the band released their first album entitled “Hottest Time of the Day”, which was also a massive success. In addition to his involvement with the band, Park recorded several solo songs and features with other prominent Korean singers. He was cast in another reality television show called “Star King”, and in 2009, he became a co-host of the show “Nodaji”, alongside singer Nicole Jung of the band “Kara”.
Controversy and Return to the US
Unfortunately, after his initial success Park’s career took a turn for the worse at the end of 2009. The media discovered his old Myspace account, on which where a number of posts in English which were deemed controversial, as they allegedly contained negative comments towards South Korea. Even though the comments were later proven to be mistranslated and misrepresented by the media, some of the general public was outraged and demanded that Park leave the group.
Park apologized for the comments and expressed his regret, however he felt the pressure to be too immense and decided to go back to the US. The public’s uproar died down after it was shown that Park’s comments were taken out of context, and fans begged him to return, even going so far as to hire a banner plane over Seattle showing ‘J, what time is it now?’.
Rise as a Solo Artist
Thanks to his determination and his fans’ loyal support, Park was able to quickly bounce back and launch a successful solo career. In Seattle, he got in touch with his old friends from the “Art of Movement” b-boy crew. He also created his own YouTube channel, and uploaded his first song entitled “Nothin’ on You” which became a viral sensation, reaching several million views in a matter of days and selling more than five million copies in South Korea alone.
In the months following his return, Park travelled to a number of street dancing festivals with “Art of Movement”, and later collaborated with his fellow crew member Chase Vincent Malone on two songs – “Speechless” and “Bestie”. After that, Park wrote and released a new EP called “Count on Me” which again topped charts both in Korea and internationally and broke several records when it comes to the number of copies sold. His next albums – “Take a Deeper Look”, “New Breed”, “Fresh Air: Breathe It” and “Evolution” solidified Park’s position as one of the most commercially successful and popular hip hop and R&B singers and songwriters in the world.
Jay Park is not only a multi-talented artist but also a successful entrepreneur and model. He acted in two movies – his first role was in 2011’s “Mr. Idol” where he played the role of Jio, and in 2014 he played the character called Darkness in “Hype Nation 3D” which was shot in Korea. In addition to signing with the record label “Roc Nation”, he founded two of his own independent record labels, entitled “H1ghr Music” and “AOMG”. Besides this, he signed several modeling deals with brands such as “Take HD”, “Adidas” and “Umbro Korea”. Park was also one of the judges on AXN’s show “Asia’s Got Talent”.
Ever since Jay Park rose to prominence, his fans wanted to know everything about his private life, especially his relationship status. However, Park stated in an interview that he prefers not to talk about his love life. He admitted in the same interview that during his first visit to Korea he met a girl with whom he later had a relationship for a year and a half. Fans have speculated that he was in a secret relationship with singer Gina Choi, better known as G.Na, with whom Park collaborated on one of her albums. However, he denied the rumors stating that they were just friends. Despite media’s best tries to discover whether he currently has a girlfriend, Park’s relationship status remains a mystery.
With more than a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, several record breaking albums, two movies, numerous modeling gigs and two successful record labels as well, Jay Park has been able to acquire a net worth which is estimated to be around $10 million, according to authoritative sources. Jay remains one of the most popular Korean-American musicians to this day, with an album in the making and a variety of projects. Therefore, it is safe to assume that his overall wealth is on the upward trajectory.
This sh*t a mood!! pic.twitter.com/1XQkPXtfZA
— JAY BUM PARK (@JAYBUMAOM) June 29, 2019
Park’s popularity is also clearly evident on social media. His official Instagram account has more than 3.3 million followers, while his Twitter profile garnered more than 1.5 million. His YouTube channel has more than 1.6 million subscribers and his songs have amassed more than 375 million views.