With life always giving new twists and turns, not many people who start off working towards a particular career end up doing the same thing at the end of the day. There are numerous examples of people one would think that they would go on to achieve great things in one field but they end up doing great things in another. Former tennis player turned billionaire businessman, Ion Tiriac is a perfect example of this, and the career of South Korean musician, Jackson Wang career appears to be sharing similarities with that of Tiriac.
Like Tiriac, Wang started off as an athlete, although the former can boast of having played two professional sports while the latter competed in just one. The two men further share similarities in the fact that they both appeared in the Olympics before turning their heads towards different endeavors. Read on to find out more about the South Korean’s rise to k-pop stardom.
Early Exploits As An Athlete
Being born to a father and mother who were athletes, all the signs pointed towards Jackson Wang following in the footsteps of his parents. His mother, Sophia, was an acrobatic gymnast in her heyday while his father Wang Ruiji is an Asian Games gold medalist and former member of China’s national fencing team.
Torn between which of the two sports to pay attention to, the Hong Kong native moved towards the direction of his father as he began to train as a fencer from the age of 10. His father and other professional coaches trained him as he went on to win numerous youth competitions. He was ranked eleventh in the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. He also won first place at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championship in 2011 as a part of the Hong Kong national fencing team.
Jackson Wang went on to attend American International School Hong Kong where his prowess in fencing earned him a scholarship to attend one of the top universities in the world, Stanford University. While many would think that the decision to go to the United States and have a chance at a better education as well as taking his game to a higher level would be a no brainer, Jackson Wang opted against doing so. He was motivated by the fact that he had passed an audition to join South Korean multinational conglomerate, JYP Entertainment.
Jackson Wang’s Foray Into Music
Wang got the chance to join the entertainment corporation after he was spotted by a talent agent for the company in 2010. He was given an invitation to audition a few months later which he successfully did and thus opted to pursue a more flashy career than the one that he initially taught he would be having.
In less than a few months after winning the Asian Junior Championship, Jackson Wang found himself moving to Seoul, South Korea where he would be training towards having a K-pop career. Two years after changing the course of his career, he made an appearance on the Mnet reality survival program Win: Who Is Next where he and other JYP trainees came up against trainees of YG Entertainment. The result of his appearance on the show was a place on the new boy band Got7 which comprised a total of seven members.
Success With Got7 And Solo Career
Jackson Wang and his band went on to debut in January 2014 with the single “Girls Girls Girls” from their first EP Got It? They have since then gone ahead to release 14 EPs, 4 studio albums, and 1 video album which has so far earned them a total of 41 awards from 109 nominations.
While going about group activities, Wang launched careers as an actor, TV host and solo artist. His first solo appearance came the same year as Got7’s debut when he joined SBS’ Roommate variety show and was awarded the Newcomer Award at the 2014 SBS Entertainment Awards. Other shows that he went on to appear in include Star King, Happy Together, Problematic Men, and Saturday Night Live Korea before becoming one of the presenters on the Chinese show Go Fridge.
As his popularity soared in China and as he bagged endorsements from various companies and clothing brands, JYP Entertainment announced in June 2017 that he would be working on a solo album. His first single titled “Papillon” was released on the 26th of August and it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s China V Chart. A number of other songs were subsequently released by him as a solo act before his album titled Mirrors eventually dropped in October 2019.