Kim Jong Kook is a South Korean singer, entertainer, and actor. In 1995, he debuted as a member of the South Korean duo Turbo, considered to be one of the most popular groups at the time. They sold a million albums in South Korea and Asia before disbanding in 2000. By December 2001, Jong Kook had released his debut solo album, ‘Renaissance’,
As a solo artist, he has earned several awards, including three Golden Disk Awards, two Seoul Music Awards, two KBS Music Awards, two SBS Music Awards, two MBC Music Awards, one MBC Best 10 Music Awards, one Mnet Asian Music Awards, and one Melon Music Awards.
A part of his music career, he established himself as an entertainer, notably with his participation in variety shows including X-man and Family Outing. He gained worldwide popularity following his participation in Running Man.
He is the uncle of Soya Kim, and is known to be good friends with Jang Hyuk, Cha Tae Hyun, Hong Kyung Min and Hong Kyung In. The five are known as the "Dragon Brothers" as they were all born in 1976, the year of the dragon.
On August 27, 2010, Kim had a lumbar microdiscectomy to relieve the pain from a herniated disk. Kim’s management company, 101 Entertainment stated, “Kim Jong Kook carried on with his daily activities without knowing that he had a ruptured disk. However, he did feel pain but didn’t think much of it, and he endured his condition with painkillers while filming SBS Running Man."
In 2011, Kim created controversy over his attendance at the wedding of Yoo Seung Jun (Steven Yoo) who is banned from re-entering South Korea after evading military service.
In January 2015, while a guest on the popular talk show, Healing Camp, he shed light on his choice to work as a public service worker during his mandatory military enlistment, citing his back issues as being partly the reason.