major - Activo (2001 - )
Kangta is currently the only male solo artist under SM Entertainment. First debuting as the lead singer for H.O.T, he continued with his solo work after the group disbanded in May 2001. Not only did Kangta successfully release 3 solo albums, he also worked on a group project entitled S along with fellow friends Shin Hyesung (of Shinhwa) and Lee Ji Hoon.

Currently, apart from working solo, he also formed KANGTA & VANNESS with the Taiwanese singer Vanness Wu.
autor: sianface (2007-09-17)
An Chilhyun, better known as Kangta, was born on October 10th 1979 in North Gyeongsang, South Korea. Throughout his youth he took an interest in all aspects of entertainment and learned to play both piano and guitar, which helped him develop his song writing abilities.

Today Kangta is arguably one of the most important people in the Korean entertainment industry. As a member of H.O.T. he was part of one of the most influential boy bands in Korean history and since then he has gone on to produce an active solo career as well as numerous other projects and an acting career both in China and Korea.

At the age of 14, Kangta was spotted be Lee Soo Man at Lotte World, a theme park in Korea, singing and dancing. Lee Soo Man immediately saw his potential and signed him up to SM Entertainment for further training. He started his career as a backing dancer for the singer Yoo Young Jin, before going on to be a member of the boyband H.O.T., through which he would first find fame.

H.O.T. were formed when Lee Soo Man decided to form both a boy and girl band aimed at the Korean teenage market. The bands formed were H.O.T. and S.E.S. Kangta and four other young men were drafted into the band and were quickly trained throughout 1996 in preparation for their debut. Each of the members had different skills that would add to the group's sound, Kangta's was his powerful voice which was often used on ballads for the group and was the reason his stage name was chosen (Kangta comes from the Korean for "powerful blast").

H.O.T. quickly became one of the most recognisable and popular boy bands in Korea, allowing Kangta to gain legions of fans who not only loved his distinctive vocals but also his good looks.

At H.O.T.'s peak there were several groups with which they had a friendly rivalry, not least was their rivalry with the group N.R.G.. In 2000, vocalist Kim Hwan Sung tragically died of pneumonia at the age of 19 leaving members of both groups shocked and upset. To pay tribute to his friend, Kangta wrote a song, Sorrow, which became the title track of the group's next album.

Due to financial issues, H.O.T. disbanded in May 2001. The individual members went on to have their own careers and Kangta was at the forefront of this. Within a few months of the group disbandment, Kangta had signed a lucrative contract for SM Entertainment and was quick to release his debut album, Polaris. The album was a success, as was the title track with a little help from its video, which featured Kangta in drag.

Almost exactly a year later Kangta returned with his second album, Pine Tree. The album showed a change in sound, as it featured more jazz elements than the first. The album also helped him gain credibility as an artist because he wrote most of the songs on the album himself, which seemed to be an attempt to shed some of the 'idol' image he had gained while being a member of H.O.T.. It was in August of 2002 that Kangta performed his first solo concert, which was later released as the live album 1ST CONCERT PINETREE.

The movie Gimgeubjochi 19ho (Emergency Measures 19) served as his first major acting experience. Although he was only featured as a cameo (as well as other singers such as Lee Min Woo and Harisu), the experience seemed to have a positive effect on him as he chose to pursue this as another career path for himself.

2003 saw the launch of a project he had been planning for year. S (standing for 'supreme') brought him together with two of his best friends: Shin Hye Sung from Shinhwa and solo artist Lee Ji Hoon. Together they released the album Fr.In.Cl. (Friends in Classic) and the single I swear. Both were hits in Korea and even managed to find them a growing fan base in neighbouring Japan. Since then things have been quiet for the group, who seem to have decided to concentrate on other projects so it is uncertain whether there will ever be more activities from the group.

In 2005, he made a welcome return to his solo singing career with the album Persona. Once again, the album was made up mainly of songs that the singer wrote himself. Persona featured two songs in Mandarin, which appealed to his somewhat cult-like following in China and helped solidify his position as one of the major players of the Korean Wave in China.

In June 2005, Kangta appeared for the first time in a major drama. He took up the role of Jin Xiu, an evil magician, in the Taiwanese drama The Magic Touch of Fate. He starred alongside established Taiwanese actors Alec Su and Ruby Lin and series ran for 20 episodes.

Not being able to resist the urge to act, later the same year he appeared in yet another drama in the form of the hugely successful Korean drama Loveholic. Kangta took the lead role, Suh Kang Wook, who is a student that falls deeply in love with his teacher.

The MTV Asia Awards 2006 in Thailand played host to the debut of yet another project from Kangta: Kangta and Vanness. The project was a collaboration with the American-Taiwanese singer Vanness Wu from F4 (now known as JVKV) that combined both their individual fame and the fame from their respective group projects to become a hit all over Asia. Their debut single SCANDAL became popular due to it featuring songs in Korean, Mandarin and English. Their music was accessible to all audiences and their first single was so successful that a repackaged version was released a few months after its initial release.

In 2007, Kangta returned to the small screen for Love in the City 2, a Chinese drama in which Kangta plays the role of Zhang Wei Qi, a CEO who is bored with his life until he meets a young woman through a reality TV show intended to promote the company's product.

What the future holds for Kangta is yet to be revealed. Currently there are rumours that he will release another solo album in late 2007, just in time for him to enrol for his military service in early 2008.
autor: sianface (2007-09-17)