Kim Jong-hyun, better known by the mononym Jonghyun or his stage name JR (Junior Royal), is a South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter and actor. He debuted in 2012 as the main rapper, dancer and leader of South Korean boy group NU'EST.

In 2017, NU’EST halted all promotions as four NU’EST members, including JR, participated in the second season of Produce 101.

Early Life

JR was born and raised in Kangreung, Kangwon-do, South Korea. He is the youngest in his family, having two older sisters.

One day, JR was heading home from school when he was approached by a Pledis agent to join the company. He thought the offer was a scam at first since he was not interested in the entertainment industry. However, his interest grew and decided to accept the offer.

After becoming Pledis' trainee, he attended Seoul Broadcasting High School, along with Baekho, and graduated in 2014. He is currently attending Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts.



JR was the first male trainee of Pledis since 2009. He spent an extended training period and taught other trainees dance from time to time. In 2011, JR and Baekho appeared on KBS‘s “Hello” and were revealed by After School Kahi as two of the members of the group. This drew attention from the viewers, so they became a topic of interest on the internet.

Prior to debut, JR also made numerous appearances in their labelmates' music releases as a member of Pledis Boys. JR was featured in Orange Caramel's "Bangkok City" MV. He later returned as the rapper for After School's Uee's Debut song "Sok Sok Sok". He was also a backup dancer of After School Blue's "Wonder Boy" and appeared in both the music video and live performance. JR also took part in the CF "New Balance" with Lizzy.


JR was the first NU'EST member to be revealed by Pledis. Since debut, along with Aron, Baekho, Minhyun and Ren, JR has been writing the lyrics and taking part in making of NU'EST's songs. The Korea Music Copyright Association has 16 songs listed under his name.

Produce 101

In 2017, NU’EST halted all promotions since JR, Baekho, Minhyun and Ren were announced to be participating in the second season of Produce 101

First Round of Elimination

He started off being placed in group D due to the weak group performance in the first episode. However, he managed to level up to group B after performing well during the rank re-evaluation in episode 2. In episode 3, JR was named leader for his team, Justice League, in the first live-audience mission. His team performed "Sorry Sorry" by Super Junior, and was able to win the votes over the competing team. He ranked #25 in the first round of elimination.

Second Round of Elimination

In the position-based challenge, he once again took on the leadership role, and, with his team, covered Song Mino’s "Fear (겁)" (feat. Taeyang) with self-written lyrics. He was ranked first in the rap category, earning himself 100,000 bonus points. The bonus points helped boost JR rankings, placing him in first place in the second round of elimination.

Third Round of Elimination

During the third challenge, Concept Evaluation, JR led his team, Nation's Son, to perform the song Never, written by Triple H. Despite not winning the votes during the live performance, Never had ranked #1 in many music charts across Korea and attracted lots of attention due to powerful and attractive performance of the group. He ranked #11 in the third round of elimination.

Final Round of Elimination

In the last challenge, debut song evaluation, JR took on the leadership role one more time and led his team to perform "Super Hot" by Ryan Jhun. He finished the competition in 14th place.


  • JR knows how to play piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba, drums and trombone.
  • His inspiration is Eminem.
  • He shares the same birth name as late singer-songwriter Jonghyun of SHINee (Kim Jong-hyun).
  • His father wanted to be a singer, so JR says that he accomplished his dad’s dreams for him.
  • He likes to play video games. Some of his favorites are GTA and Prototype.
    • He also likes to read manga. His favorites are D.Gray-man and ONE PIECE.
  • JR's favorite anime is Fairy Tail.

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