[BIRTHDAY BIOS] A jack-of-all-trades, NCT's Doyoung celebrates 28th birthday

NCT's Doyoung, winner of Celeb Confirmed's February birthday vote [CELEB CONFIRMED]

In a galaxy of talented stars that shine in K-pop, birthdays are one of the biggest festivities for fans to get together and remember just how much they love their dearest artists. To add to the celebration, the Korea JoongAng Daily’s entertainment brand Celeb Confirmed will take votes from fans on their favorites from stars born in the respective month and dive into their careers, achievements and more in the newest series Birthday Bios.

For this month’s Celeb Confirmed K-pop birthday vote, Doyoung of NCT, who recently turned 28, was voted No. 1 among February-born stars.

What does it mean to be a K-pop “idol,” whose job description encompasses such a wide range of talents?

For Doyoung, it entails quite the list of titles: the main vocalist of NCT 127, member of NCT U, NCT DoJaeJung, former presenter of two weekly music shows and the global ambassador of luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana.

Doyoung was born on Feb. 1, 1996, in Ansan, Gyeonggi, as the second child. His elder brother, who goes by the stage name Gong Myoung, is a renowned actor known for his role in films “Extreme Job” (2019), “Hansan: Rising Dragon” (2022), TV series “Be Melodramatic” (2019) and more.

Doyoung’s legal name, Kim Dong-yeong, literally means "manage the East": a befitting name for a K-pop idol with global fame.

Doyoung discovered his dream to become a singer early on in his life, taking part in the school band and regional festivals as a young student. SM Entertainment recognized Doyoung's talent early, offering him a chance to audition after seeing his high school music performances, and made him a trainee in late 2013.

But even before his debut in 2016, Doyoung was a familiar and promising trainee for fans of SM Entertainment, as he was introduced under the SMRookies program, the agency’s project to shed light on its trainees before their debut.

Doyoung, alongside fellow future NCT member Jaehyun, was made one of the hosts of “Show Champion” (2012–). While unorthodox to have a yet-to-debut trainee hosting a weekly music show, Doyoung proved to be a skillful presenter.

Doyoung eventually debuted as a member of NCT in 2016 and participated with subunit NCT U for its debut single, “The 7th Sense.” NCT is a supergroup featuring a flexible member structure and multiple subunits. Doyoung took part in both tracks of the single: “The 7th Sense” and “Without You." He also joined NCT’s Seoul-based subgroup NCT 127 as its main vocalist from the group’s second EP, “NCT #127 Limitless” in 2017.

Though NCT, with its many subunits and subgroups, may appear complicated and convoluted to many, Doyoung’s ability as a main vocalist nevertheless rang clear as the group continued its activities. His signature clean-yet-husky vocals can be easily heard not only in NCT’s songs such as “Boss” (2018), “Coming Home” (2019) and “Make A Wish (Birthday Song)” (2020), but also in his duet with Sejeong “Star Blossom” (2017), solo performances in music competition show “King of Mask Singer” (2015-), the YouTube show “Leemujin Service” and more.

Doyoung continued his role as a show host, co-hosting SBS’s weekly music show “Inkigayo” (1998-) and other music festivals over the years and hosting many of NCT’s press showcases including NCT Dream’s “ISTJ” showcase last July.

NCT’s Doyoung hosted NCT Dream’s press conference for the subgroup’s third full-length album “ISTJ” in July. [NEWS1]

And following in his brother's footsteps, Doyoung also started an acting career, starring in Tving’s original drama series “To X Who Doesn’t Love Me” (2022), and joined the musical “Marie Antoinette” in 2021.

Last year was a particularly busy year for Doyoung. He released NCT's fourth full-length album "Golden Age" as a member of NCT and NCT U, dropped a repackaged album "Ay-Yo" and the fifth full-length album "Fact Check" in October as a member of NCT 127. Doyoung also debuted as a member of NCT's new subunit, NCT DoJaeJung, in April with its debut EP “Perfume.”

“Fact Check” in particular saw good album sales and music show scores, selling 1.64 million copies in the first week of its release and winning four music show trophies.

Also last year, Doyoung was named the global ambassador of Dolce & Gabbana in October after joining the brand’s fashion shows in Italy as its Korea and Japan brand ambassador.

In celebration of his 28th birthday, Doyoung donated 30 million won ($22,500) to the Direct Donation foundation to support young females in need. While Doyoung has frequently donated to organizations to help people in need, he explained that his birthday donation was his way of repaying his fans.

“I know my fans have been doing a lot of things to celebrate my birthday [including] sending gifts to others and helping people in need,” Doyoung said during a Weverse livestream on his birthday. “I wanted my donation to be proof that we have a healthy relationship with our fans, [because] the love and support from [fanclub] NCTzen have been precious to me.”

This year will be a big year for Doyoung and his fans, as the agency revealed on Feb. 7 that the singer is currently preparing for his first solo debut in the second quarter of this year. Fellow NCT member, Taeyong, also shared during Doyoung’s birthday livestream that Doyoung recently recorded tracks for his solo release.

“Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me,” Doyoung said during his birthday livestream. “I hope you encounter many happy moments.”

Doyoung released a cover of IU’s song “Love wins all,” which they worked on together, as a gift to his fans the same day.

Doyoung from boy band NCT [SM ENTERTAINMENT]