Juggling multiple responsibilities within the K-pop sphere, Korean singer/songwriter Chen debuted in the early 2010s and spent the decade topping charts as part of boy group EXO and its multi-lingual, dance-pop subgroups EXO-M and EXO-CBX. He also branched out as a solo artist as early as 2014, issuing his official first EP, 2019's ballad-heavy April, and a Flower, which was a Top Three hit in both Korea and the U.S.
Born Kim Jong-dae in Siheung, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, he was recruited by S.M. Entertainment in 2011 and joined EXO at the end of the year. Together with his eight bandmates, Chen was involved as main vocalist on five chart-topping releases that decade, selling millions in Korea, across Asia, and in the U.S., where EXO topped the Billboard World charts four times. In addition to his main EXO duties, he was also part of the Chinese-language subgroup EXO-M -- alongside Kris, Xiumin, Luhan, Lay, and Tao -- and additional sub-unit EXO-CBX with Baekhyun and Xiumin. EXO-M issued a pair of efforts (2012's Mama and 2014's Overdose) before Kris, Luhan, and Tao parted ways with EXO. Chen and Xiumin went on to form EXO-CBX with Baekhyun and that trio released a string of number ones: Hey Mama in 2016, and Blooming Days and Magic in 2018. In between, they also issued a Japanese-language effort, 2017's Girls. During this decade, Chen also participated in the label's collective project, S.M. the Ballad, which issued its Chen-featuring sophomore EP Breath in 2014.
On the side, Chen found time to also nurture a solo career. His debut single, "The Best Luck," arrived in 2014 and was followed by collaborations with Vibe, Heize, Alesso, Dynamic Duo, 10cm, and more. In 2019, Chen issued his debut EP, April, and a Flower, a ballad-heavy set that included the single "Beautiful Goodbye," a Korean Top Four hit. The EP peaked at number two in Korea and rose to number three on the Billboard World Albums chart. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
HOMETOWNSiheung, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
BORN21 September 1992