Jung Ji-Hoon; Born June 25, 1982 – is a South Korean pop and R&B singer, dancer, model, actor, businessman, and designer.
Rain spent most of his childhood living with his parents and younger sister, Jeong Hanna, near Yeon Se University. Despite being an introverted and shy child, he discovered he had a passion for dance when he performed in a talent show for Sungmoon Junior High School. Rain initially had a difficult time balancing dance and academics and received low grades during the beginning of junior high because of his frequent dance practices. He decided to follow his passion and attended Anyang High School of Arts in Anyang, Gyeonggi, where he received his first formal instruction in acting and was able to continue dancing as well. Rain again found he could not focus on both dance and his studies in acting; he was truant on several occasions.
Rain lost his mother as she struggled with diabetes and died in 2000. Within that same year, Rain was recruited as a trainee for JYP Entertainment, led by recording artist and producer Park Jin-Young. In a CNN interview and also in a Discovery Channel documentary called Discovering Hip Korea, however, he recalled being repeatedly rejected because of his looks: “In fact, I was told after one audition that my singing and dancing was great but I did not make it because I did not have double eyelids.” During the early years of training, Rain was a backup dancer.
Years: 2002-2003; [Early Debut]
In 2002, Jung debuted with the album Bad Guy where he was introduced to the media through his stage name, Rain. The album’s title was “Bad Guy” and was followed by “Handshake”. After his first album, in 2003, he made his television debut in the KBS drama, Sang Doo! Let’s Go To School. Following the success of his debut as a singer and actor, Rain released his second album, How to Avoid The Sun, and released the title song “Ways to Avoid the Sun.”
Years: 2004-2005; [A Rise in Popularity]
In 2004, he starred in the popular drama called “Full House” with one of Korea’s most popular actresses, Song Hye Kyo. The drama had viewer ratings of over 30% for every episode. It was broadcasted in various other countries including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Israel, Cambodia and the United States. His performance in the drama won him the Best Actor Award at the KBS Acting Awards.
His third album, It’s Raining (2004), sold over 1 million copies in Asia. According to a report by Rain’s previous agency JYP Entertainment to the Korea Culture & Content Agency, It’s Raining topped the charts in all of the following countries as of December 29, 2005: Japan (100,000 copies), China (500,000 copies), Taiwan (70,000 copies), Thailand (150,000 copies), Indonesia (50,000 copies), and South Korea (154,000 copies), for a combined total of 1,074,000 units sold.
Rain then went on his Rainy Day 2005 Tour, starting in Seoul and followed by Tokyo and Hong Kong. The tickets sold out quickly. The Rainy Day global tour in 2005 sold out over 150,000 seats in 8 cities in Korea, China and Japan. His first solo concert in Japan, entitled Rainy Day Japan held at the Tokyo International Forum had all the tickets sold out 30 seconds after going on sale.
Rain’s fourth album, Rain’s World, was released in Korea on October 14, 2006. He acted in his first film, I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK, directed by Park Chan-wook. The film won the Alfred Bauer Award at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival,and was selected as the opening film for the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Also, Rain was nominated for and won Best New Actor at the 43rd Baeksang Awards.
The “Rain’s Coming” tour began on December 15, 2006 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul and was scheduled to continue through 2007 to the following countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, United States, and Canada. His tour incorporated the talents of producers and stage designers (such as Jamie King and Roy Bennett) who have been involved with the concert tours of other artists such as U2, Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin, Madonna, Britney Spears, and The Rolling Stones. Ticket sales were expected to be over US$100 million.
His two-day concert in the United States, Rainy Day New York was marketed and promoted by the Asian concert production company Rainstone Live. Tickets were sold out within a matter of days and the concerts were held at Madison Square Garden. Rain performed two concert dates in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 23–24, 2006; the tickets to these concerts sold out within the first week of sales. These concerts were held at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Rain released his first Japanese album, Eternal Rain on September 13, 2006. His concert at the Tokyo Dome on May 25, 2007 attracted nearly 40,000 people. Rain was the first Korean artist to perform at the Tokyo Dome, the largest auditorium in Japan.
In April 2006, Rain was mentioned in the Time magazine website article that named the “100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World.” In 2007, Rain topped Time Magazine’s online user poll although he was not in the magazine’s actual list.He also made it into People’s 2007 list of the “Most Beautiful People” in the world. In a press release, Rain stated that he was honored to be on the list, and also noted that it will be a great boost to his efforts to raise his public awareness in the United States.
Also in 2007, Rain topped Time’s open online poll: he defeated Stephen Colbert by 100,000 votes;Colbert jokingly retaliated by producing a parody of Rain’s music video for “Ways to Avoid the Sun” called “He’s Singin’ In Korean”. Stephen Colbert then challenged Rain to a dance-off “or a cuddle-off, or a spoon-off”. On May 5, 2008, Rain appeared in a surprise guest segment at the end of The Colbert Report, and proceeded to engage Colbert in a dance-off on a Dance Dance Revolution machine.
On October 16, 2008, Rain released his fifth Korean album, Rainism. Rain released “Love Story”, as the first single from the album, shortly followed by the single, “Rainism”. On November 24, 2008, The Commission of Youth Protection judged Rain’s album, Rainism, inappropriate for people under 19 years old because of the song “Rainism”. In “Rainism”, the lyrics (translated from Korean) “Trembling inside your shaking body is my magic stick/Feeling the impassable limit of the body shake” were considered problematic due to their phallic and sexual references. Rain has re-released a “clean version” of “Rainism” shortly after, but instead of changing the original album’s contents, he has labeled a sticker that deemed “Rainism” inappropriate for those under 19 years old.
In 2008, he acted in his first American film, the Wachowski Brothers-directed Speed Racer, where he played Racer Taejo Togokahn. He made his starring role debut in Ninja Assassin (2009), as the main character Raizo. Ninja Assassin was directed by James McTeigue, and produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers. The project was inspired by the ninja scenes featured from Speed Racer, in which Rain had impressed the Wachowskis with his portrayal as a fighter. He won the Biggest Badass Award at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards because of his performance in Ninja Assassin.
Rain concluded The Legend of Rainism Tour at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 24–25, 2009. He performed most of the songs on his recent album, Rainism. The Legend of Rainism Tour had concerts in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Las Vegas
Other activities / Involvement.
Six to Five: Rain’s Designer Clothing Line.
“Six to Five” was Rain’s first clothing line, since it also was his dream to become a fashion designer. It was launched on December 23, 2008 and was followed by a “fashion show–launch party–mini-concert” to introduce “Six to Five“. Many stars came to support him, such as Lee Hyori, Kim Suna, Chae-Rim and Girls’ Generation‘s Seohyun. He designs and models the clothing. The label “Six To Five” is described by Rain as the idea of having an extra sense (i.e. from five senses to six). This label name also is said to represent his birth date, 6/25.
J. Tune Entertainment /J.Tune Camp.
Rain’s Self Created Entertainment Company.
In November 2007, Rain told the Korean media that he has left JYP Entertainment and started his own entertainment company, J. Tune Entertainment (formerly known as Rainy Entertainment). He was scheduled to be CEO of the company, but told the media that he still kept in touch with his mentor and long-time trainer Park Jin Young. J. Tune debuted MBLAQ, an all-boy group, in October, 2009. Rain actively participates in MBLAQ’s music, either composing, writing, producing or choreographing dance routines.
Humanitarian work /Campaign Work.
Rain’s Work With MTV’s EXIT Documentary.
Rain was involved with MTV EXIT, a campaign against human trafficking in Asia. He presented Traffic: An MTV EXIT Special, a documentarywhich gives insight into the realities of trafficking, addresses the part everyone can play in the issue, and gives information on how people can protect themselves as well as what people can do to help end exploitation and trafficking.