Park Jihoon, is a singer and actor most popularly known as the runner-up in the second season of hit Mnet survival program, Produce 101. He debuted as part of Wanna One after the conclusion of the show. He has since started his solo career after the group ended their promotions.
Although born in Masan, South Korea and hailed in Gyeongsang Province, Park Jihoon has lived in Seoul since he was seven years old. He graduated from National Middle School of Traditional Arts where he majored in musical theatre. He also attended School of Performing Arts Seoul where he graduated in January 2018. In 2018, he was accepted to Chung-Ang University’s Theater Department.
2006 to 2016: Career beginnings
Park Jihoon began his career as a child actor in 2006, appearing in the television dramas Jumong (2006-2007), The King and I (2007-2008), Kimchi Cheese Smile (2007-2008), Iljimae (2008), and more. For musicals, his first project was with Peter Pan (2007-2009), followed by The Harmonium in My Memory (2010), and Radio Star (2010-2011).
He also previously appeared in SS501’s reality show, SS501 SOS, in 2006 although his face was blurred out in the episodes he was part of. In 2007, he appeared in KM Idol War with BIGBANG. Aside from television broadcasts and musical theatre, Park Jihoon also worked as an advertising model throughout his childhood.
During his teenage years, Park Jihoon became inactive in the entertainment industry. Instead, he began training as an idol singer under SM Entertainment and Fantagio. However, he did not make it to the final lineup of Fantagio’s boy group, Astro, due to a knee injury. He then transferred to his current agency, Maroo Entertainment.
2017 to 2018: Produce 101 and Wanna One promotions
In 2017, Park Jihoon represented his agency in the second season of Mnet’s Produce 101. He immediately gained a following early on in the program after he went viral as “wink boy” after the introductory “It’s Me (Pick Me)” stage on M! Countdown. His catchphrase “save you in my heart” also had considerable media mileage and greatly contributed to the show’s popularity among the younger demographic.The phrase was later recognized by the Korea Creative Content Agency as the best catchphrase of 2017. Additionally, Park Jihoon started receiving offers to become an advertisement model for various companies even while the show was still being aired.
He finished in second place on Produce 101 and became part of the project group Wanna One under YMC Entertainment. He promoted with the group immediately after the conclusion of the program until their disbandment on December 31, 2018.
2019: Solo debut and return to acting
Following the end of Wanna One’s promotions, Park Jihoon was among the first few members who launched their respective solo careers. He released his first solo album, OÇlock, on March 26 featuring the title track “L.O.V.E.”. The same month, he was cast in jTBC’s upcoming historical drama, Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency.
He earned his first music show win on April 5 with his title track despite not having any promotions. He also sold 82,000 physical albums on the first day of his album’s release, which eventually surpassed 100,000 sales in one week. He was in the top 4 of Hanteo’s 2019 Highest 1st week of sales for the first quarter of 2019 and topped GAON’s Retail Album chart for March.