|Real Name||Kim Jae-joong (김재중)|
|Stage Name||Hero Jaejoong|
|Date of Birth||January 26, 1986|
|Birthplace||Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea|
Kim Jaejoong (김재중, 金在中; born January 26, 1986), better known by his stage names, Hero, Youngwoong Jaejoong (in South Korea) and Jejung (in Japan), is a Korean singer-songwriter, composer and occasional actor. He is a former member of South Korean boy band TVXQ, and member of JYJ.
Hero was born as Han Jaejoon (한재준, 韓在俊) in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. At a young age, Hero was given up for adoption by his birth mother to the Kims and his name was changed to Kim Jaejoong. When he was sixteen, he moved to Seoul by himself in order to take part in the auditions held by SM Entertainment. Life in Seoul proved to be hard for Hero and he had to take various odd jobs to come up with the 150,000 won needed for the rent. He once took on a role as a soldier in the movie Taegeukgi Hwinallimyeo (태극기 휘날리며); with the money he acquired from the job he used the money to buy gum, which he sold to a female employee at a supermarket.
Hero auditioned at SM Entertainment in 2001 and was accepted into the agency. On December 26, 2003, he debuted with TVXQ at a BoA and Britney Spears showcase. Apart from the group, Hero has worked on solo activities. He sang, "Insa" (인사 lit. Greeting), for the soundtrack of A Millionaire's First Love. Hero collaborated with label-mates The Grace for the Japanese version of song "Just for One Day", which was featured on their fifth Japanese single and their debut album, Graceful 4. Hero also sang the solo track "Maze" which was for the fifth and final single in the Trick project, "Keyword/Maze". Hero wrote and composed "Wasurenaide" which included on TVXQ's twenty-fifth single "Bolero/Kiss the Baby Sky/Wasurenaide", as the last two A-sides. The song later appeared on their fourth Japanese album The Secret Code, along with another song which he composed, "9095". For TVXQ's fourth studio album, Mirotic, Hero wrote and composed Saranga Uljima (Don't Cry My Lover) (사랑아 울지마). In 30th September 2009, he and Micky released a self-written duet, "Colors - Melody and Harmony", which was used as the image song for Hello Kitty's 35th anniversary.
Along with the other members of TVXQ, Hero has starred in two televised programs, Banjun Theater and Vacation. He is set to feature in an episode of Japanese-Korean joint television drama, Heaven's Postman (천국의 우편 배달부).
In September 2005, while rehearsing the dance steps for "Rising Sun", Hero ruptured his cartilage in his knee and was admitted to a hospital in Seoul. He underwent surgery on the same day to repair the tissue.
On April 7, 2006 at 1:20 AM, Hero was pulled over in his father's friend's BMW by a police officer on his way home from the Renaissance Hotels. He was ordered to take a breath test and his level of alcohol was revealed to be 0.071%. After spending 20 minutes at the police station, he was released. Due to violating traffic laws, Hero was temporarily suspended from all TVXQ activities and had his license taken away for 100 days.
On November 21, 2006, a man with the surname Han filed a lawsuit against Hero's guardians. Han claimed he was Hero's biological father, and thus wanted parental rights.
Han cited the reason for the lawsuit against Hero's legal guardians as "for not going through the proper procedures before registering [Hero] in [the legal guardians'] custody." He divorced Hero's biological mother in late 1980s, and gave up his custody over his child, leaving him under Mrs. Han's custody. However, he had found out some years ago Hero had been raised by a third party, not his biological mother. A DNA test was to be performed in order to prove validity of Han's claim. Many legal consultants comment that since the adoption had taken place correctly according to the corresponding law, no legal change will be involved regardless of the outcome.
The first hearing was to be held in Hero's hometown, Gongju, on November 29, 2006. But on November 22, Han dropped the charges against Hero's legal guardians. Han said that he originally intended to resolve his biological son's military duty conflicts after being informed of dual citizenship by Ministry of Military Affairs, which involved verifying the fact that he is the biological father. He did not expect his intention to lead to such a scandal, and states that he was scarred by speculations that he wanted to take advantage of Hero's fame.
In reaction to the matter, Hero uploaded a journal entry on his official fan club website, and said that he was informed of the existence of separate biological parents by his mother two or three years ago, and it had been quite a shock to him. With his current mother's support, his biological mother has been able to keep in touch with him, and to meet occasionally, but whereabouts of his father had been unknown.
He vigorously expressed his will to live by the name of "Kim Jaejoong," not by his birth name Han Jaejoon (한재준), and promised to be loyal to all four of his parents. He also said he did not want his family history exposed to the public due to this incident.
In 2009, Kim Jaejoong, Kim Junsu and Micky Yoochun had filed a case againt SM in accordance with their contract.