Katalogue: Birthday boy Ok Taeyeon in 2PM, Dream High, Save Me, Vincenzo and more
Singer, actor, dancer and more, Ok Taecyeon celebrates his 34th birthday today. Here are the highlights of his career spanning almost a decade and a half.
Ok Taecyeon is a South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter, and actor. He was born in South Korea but moved to the USA at the age of 10 along with his family, only to return 7 years later after auditioning for JYP Entertainment and becoming one of the participants on 'Superstar Survival' alongside now-members Lee Junho and Hwang Chansung.
Debut with 2PM
The formation of the boy group 2PM was nothing like the ones that preceded it. While JYP Entertainment, an agency founded by the talented and famed Park Jinyoung had made a name with its solo artists like Rain and girl group Wonder Girls, it was yet to make a mark with boy groups. Thus, the Mnet documentary ‘Hot Blood Men’ came to be and resulted in One Day which was eventually divided into the ballad focused 2AM and the hip-hop focused 2PM, the latter of which Ok Taecyeon became a part of. The group was different from others in its time with a more rugged concept, stunts being performed by all the members, and heavy rap throughout their tracks.
Rise of 2PM and My Ear's Candy
‘10 Out of 10’, a part of 2PM’s debut release has become one of their signatures over the years with ‘My House’ following close. The group achieved viral fame in South Korea and became one of the most talked about K-pop idols of the time. Ok Taecyeon himself has been monumental in spreading the name of the group as well as making one for himself by participating in releases like ‘My Ear's Candy’ with Baek Ji Young. The song marks a crucial spot in the pop history of the Korean music industry with its performance receiving massive favour. The handsome K-pop idol was showered with compliments for his part in the sultry, catchy number. Multiple performances of the song by the two stars have shaken the industry since then.
Ok Taecyeon’s military service and relationship with JYP Entertainment
The K-pop star is known to have given up his US citizenship and permanent residency, and was sent for active military duty in September 2017. His contractual tenure was up while serving and it was under discussion if the artist will renew it. While the group continues to be under the management of JYPE, Ok Taecyeon has packed his bags for his solo work and moved to actor So Ji Sub’s agency 51K in 2018, shortly after returning from his military service and deciding not to renew the contract unlike the rest of the 5 members of the group. Hwang Chansung followed with his own departure in December 2021. However, Ok Taecyeon continues to be a part of 2PM and regularly joins the members for promotions while keeping his acting career running.
Ok Taecyeon as an actor
Ok Taecyeon’s first prominent acting participation has to be in the iconic KBS 2TV K-drama ‘Dream High’ as a lead, which also starred fellow member Wooyoung. Actor Kim Soo Hyun, Bae Suzy of Miss A and soloist IU were some of the other cast members on the show. A high school story of musically talented kids, Ok Taecyeon played Jin Guk. His unsuccessful relationship arc with Suzy earned him a lot of fans as his character was praised for his actions.
While the show heavily focused on Seo Ye Ji’s character and her battle with the cult, Ok Taecyeon’s role as Han Sang Hwan once again received applause. The character recognises the trouble and the struggle of a girl whose family is sucked into the shackles of a terrible cult and uses his power and influence to seek the truth as well as get her free.
The breakout role for Ok Taecyeon, he aced his role as the villain, Jang Han Seok. A ruthless monster-like character hidden under the facade of a sheep, he seemed to have found his colour with this drama. Ok Taecyeon became the enemy of the crowd favourite, mafia consigliere Vincenzo Cassano, played by Song Joong Ki. As the actual Chairman of Babel Group, he faces off against the residents of Geumga Plaza who are backed by Vincenzo and Hong Cha Young (Jeon Yeo Been) in a fierce legal battle which soon turns bloody. His merciless actions towards Jang Han Seo, played by Kwak Dong Yeon, take the crown for some of the best acting executed by himself over the years as well as on the show.
Secret Royan Inspector & Joy
Joining Kim Hye Yoon in this jolly and chaotic rush, Ok Taecyeon played Ra Ian, a public service worker whose wishes of staying low are ruined as he becomes a secret royal inspector and is joined by a rare and unique divorced woman in the Joseon era. The two hunt down corrupt officials ensuing a lot of trouble in their lives.
After completing her engineering, Ayushi followed her passion for journalism and has been a professional writer for over 4...