|Jay Park poses for photos during a press conference for KBS' upcoming late-night music talk show, 'The Seasons-Jay Park's Drive,' in Seoul on Jan. 17. Courtesy of KBS|
HONG KONG ― Jan. 22 marks the beginning of a new cycle in the lunar calendar ― and the Year of the Water Rabbit.
Traditional wisdom has it that the rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace and prosperity, so those born under the sign of this zodiac animal tend to be energetic yet also cautious, gentle and patient.
So which K-pop stars were born in the Year of the Rabbit?
Many stars born in 1987 ― the Year of the Fire Rabbit ― are no longer active on the K-pop scene, but some, including Jay Park, and Super Junior's Kyuhyun and Ryeowook, are still pursuing careers either in music or in other areas of entertainment.
Jay Park, who debuted as a member of the K-pop group 2PM in 2008, founded his new label, More Vision, in March 2022, after quitting his role as head of two hip-hop labels he founded, AOMG and H1ghr Music.
He recently became the host of public broadcaster KBS' new music talk show, The Seasons. He also launched a megahit soju brand, Won Soju, which generated 30 billion won ($24 million) in sales in 2022.
|Super Junior's Kyuhyun, left and Ryeowook / Courtesy of SM C&C Studio|
Kyuhyun and Ryeowook still have a powerful presence both in the 13-member group Super Junior and as solo artists. They are both currently busy with Super Junior's "Super Show 9" world tour, which will keep them on the road until March.
Singer Ga-in, a member of the girl group Brown Eyed Girls, and rapper Beenzino, who tied the knot with German model Stefanie Michova in August 2022, were also born in the Year of the Fire Rabbit.
(As an aside, while Korea celebrates Lunar New Year on the same dates as the rest of Asia, it does not change the zodiac animal until the beginning of the first solar term in the traditional Chinese calendar, which usually falls on Feb. 3 or 4, marking the first day of spring. All K-pop stars on the list are, however, rabbits in both Korea and other countries).
|NCT's Mark / Korea Times file|
Many K-pop idols born in the Year of the Earth Rabbit (1999) play major roles in today's music scene, either debuting in K-pop's third generation (between 2012 and 2017) or fourth generation (from 2018).
Girl group members and solo artists who were born in the Year of the Earth Rabbit include Yeri of Red Velvet; Chaeyoung and Tzuyu of Twice; Su-hyun of Akmu; Arin of Oh My Girl; Yuqi of (G)I-dle; solo artist and actress Yena; solo artist Chuu; and Mashiro and Xiaoting of Kep1er.
Boy group members and solo artists born in the Year of the Earth Rabbit include Dino of Seventeen; Ju Hak-nyeon of The Boyz; U of ONF; solo artist Park Ji-hoon; Mark of NCT; Yeonjun of Tomorrow x Together (TXT); and Yunho, Yeosang, San, Minki and Wooyoung of Ateez.