If you’re even remotely into K-pop, you know of him. Either you stan him or your favorite idols do (or you all do!).
This 18th July marks K-pop legend Lee Taemin’s thirtieth birthday! We’re celebrating his special day with thirty facts about the K-pop legend!
Lee Tae-min: Personal Life
1. Taemin was born in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
2. Taemin has one brother named Taesun, who is two years older than him.
3. Taemin enlisted for his mandatory military service on May 31, 2021, intending to serve as an army band member.
4. On January 14, 2022, SM Entertainment announced that Taemin would be completing his service as a public service worker due to his anxiety and depression worsening.
5. Taemin was discharged earlier this year on April 4 after nearly two years (one year, ten months, and four days).
6. Before they were grouped to become SHINee, Lee Jin-Ki (who'd later become our dubu leader) gave Taemin his first vocal lessons during their early trainee days.
7. In his signature adorable naughty Taemin style, he revealed that he could “forge” the autographs of all four other SHINee members. He then gleefully demonstrated his skills during SHINee’s 12th anniversary live (when Onew, Key, and Minho were still serving).
8. Taemin is part of the ‘Friendship Parkas’ squad - a close-knit group of friends that include HOTSHOT’s Timoteo, EXO’s Kai, HOTSHOT and Wanna One’s Ha Sung Woon, BTS’s Jimin, VIXX’s RAVI and their non-celebrity friend Kwon Ho. Fans so named the group of friends for the self-designed parkas Taemin gave all of them.
9. He’s been friends with EXO’s Kai and HOTSHOT’s Timoteo since their trainee days, and as Kai explained the trio’s dynamics - he and Timoteo are the father and mother of the group while Taemin’s their baby.
11. In 2021, he received the honor of ‘Exemplary Taxpayer Commendation,’ making him one of the few idols to receive this honor while still in his twenties.
12. In 2016, Taemin and fellow SM artists endorsed UNICEF X Louis Vuitton’s #MakeAPromise campaign, which aimed to “support children that are exposed to conflicts, diseases, natural disasters and other situations that threaten their safety and well-being.”
13. In 2013, Taemin appeared on Korean reality variety show “We Got Married” partnering with A Pink's Na-Eun.
Taemin as a Musician
14. He debuted on May 25, 2008, as the youngest member of SHINee at the age of fourteen.
15. Taemin made his official solo debut on August 18, 2014 with the extended play “ACE”.
16. Taemin is one of the few idols to have debuted across multiple generations - as SHINee debuted in 2nd generation, solo debuted in 3rd generation, and in SuperM debuted in 4th generation.
17. Taemin’s first OST appearance was for the 2012 K-drama “To the Beautiful You” in the track “U” (btw, the drama co-starred bandmate Choi Minho, and also featured Onew on another OST).
18. In the summer of 2016, Taemin released his Japanese debut extended play “Sayonara Hitori”.
19. Taemin’s first Japanese solo album, self-titled “Taemin”, released in 2018,
20. Prior to his enlistment, Taemin recorded his contribution to “Colorful”, the official song for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics & Paralympic Games.
21. Taemin's songs’ lyrics explore themes of the complexities of relationships with self and others, love, lust, faith and philosophies.
22. Taemin frequently tries to breakdown gender stereotypes through his choices in fashion and choreography. Speaking to Billboard on the subject and his album “MOVE”, he said -
" I always want to be the person that’s able to try something new. I want to experiment more and challenge myself more on different musical styles and elements, and bring things that others don’t into the industry. I want to make a good impact on the K-pop music world. (...) My aim was to find a middle ground, mixing both masculine and feminine movements into the choreography together. (...) I wanted to break the idea of what male performers are supposed to show, what performances girl groups are supposed to show. I really wanted to break those labels, showing that dance is a form of art. (...) A lot of K-pop fans tend to react to what is shown on the outside due to appearances… I wanted my fans to see that what I bring on the inside is more important than the outside. ”
23. One of Taemin’s many epithets is “Idol’s Idol”, having been cited by innumerable idols as a role model and source of inspiration.
24. Taemin has said that draws on the feelings inspired in him for inspiration.
26. 5HINee members named their solo debut albums/EPs going off of Taemin’s solo debut extended place “ACE” - “BASE” (Jonghyun’s 2015 debut EP), “FACE” (KEY’s 2018 debut studio album), “VOICE” (Onew’s 2018 debut EP), and “CHASE” (Minho’s 2022 debut EP).
27. Taemin has named Sia as one of his favourite musicians, drawing inspiration from her ‘faceless’ performances for the masked scenes in the music video for “MOVE”.
Taemin as an Actor
28. Taemin made his acting debut in the 2009 MBC sitcom “TaeHee, HaeGyo, JiHyun.”
29. He made his Japanese acting debut in the Amazon Prime Video crime series “Final Life – Even If You Disappear Tomorrow” which aired in September of 2017.
30. In 2014, Taemin was part of the Korean cast performing musical “Goong” in Japan.
From his memorable performances and ever-evolving artistry to his odorable heartwarming down to earth interactions, Taemin continues to shine brightly in the K-pop universe and make an impact. Here's to many more years of success, happiness, and mind-blowing music from the one and only Lee Taemn!
Happy birthday, Taeminnie!
To keep the celebrations going, check out our Taemin and SHINee merch on the Daebak Shop while you discover his artistic stylings on our Spotify playlist.