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Let’s get to know more Running Man’s Sparta: Kim Jongkook!

Kim Jongkook was born in Yongsan, South Korea, on April 25, 1976. And as he is celebrating his birthday, let’s get to know more about the one and only Mr. Capable of Running Man!

Image Source: The Turbo Company


Kim Jongkook debuted in the Korean music industry in 1995 as part of the duo Turbo, which became famous for their catchy songs. After the duet broke up a few years later, he went solo in 2001, focusing primarily on ballads.

Image Source: The Turbo Company

He and fellow Turbo bandmates Kim Jungnam and Mikey reunited in December 2015 for Turbo’s 20th-anniversary album.

Solo Debut

Kim Jongkook suffered a setback after Turbo, as he struggled to establish himself as a solo artist. His first album as a solo artist failed due to issues such as a shortage of music from composers, less backing from his recognized agency, and a shift of taste among fans.

Image Source: 22nd Asian Television Awards 2017 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre

However, with his second album Evolution, released in 2004, and the hit track ‘One Man,’ he made a great comeback. ‘This Is Me,’ Jongkook’s third album, was released in 2005.

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The album went on to sell over 300,000 copies in Korea, making it one of the best-selling albums of the year. ‘Lovable,’ the main song, reached the top of several music charts and was used in online games including ‘Pump It Up’ and ‘Audition Online.’

Variety Shows

He later went on to become a permanent cast member of the popular variety game program ‘X-Man,’ which helped him gain even more fame. He was named the leader of the first series of Shootdori, a soccer-themed competition in which children create teams and compete.

Screenshot from the show X-Man

He then returned to television after his enlistment, becoming a permanent member of the reality-variety show ‘Family Outing,’ which is part of S’BS’s Good Sunday’ lineup since episode 19.

Running Man

In 2010, Kim Jongkook joined the cast of SBS’s variety show ‘Running Man,’ which is presently South Korea’s longest-running variety show.

Image Source: SBS

He is the cast’s most powerful member, and others dread him, especially during ‘Name Tag Elimination Matches.’ He is known as Sparta, Commander, Tiger, and Mr. Capable.

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Acting Debut

Jongkook made his official acting debut in the KBS drama ‘The Producers’ in 2015, where he was recognized for his strong acting talent.

Image Source: KBS2


Kim Jongkook made history on December 19, 2020, when he became the first male celebrity and just the second person in history to win a Daesang in both music and entertainment.

Image Source: SBS

For his roles in Running Man and My Little Old Boy, he got the ‘Grand Prize Award’ (Daesang) at the 2020 SBS Entertainment Awards.

Do you have a wish for Kim Jongkook? Share it with us in the comment below!

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