TAEMIN is legendary in the K-pop world: one of the most talented dancers in the industry and with a super successful solo career outside of his own group, SHINee. His career is so massive, that he’s often credited by other K-pop idols as their own role model, which has given him the title of “idol’s idol.” Keep reading to learn more about K-pop star.


TAEMIN was born Seoul, South Korea, on July 18, 1993, making him a Cancer. He debuted with the K-pop boy group SHINee in 2008 at just 14 years old, as the main dancer and the “maknae,” meaning youngest member. SHINee is one of the most successful groups to come from the second generation of K-pop, which are groups that debuted from around 2003 to 2011.

The K-pop star, who is often credited as the best male dancer in all of K-pop, debuted as a soloist in 2014 with the release of his first extended play, Ace. The EP was a hit, and he’s gone on to release multiple other tracks, EPs and albums.

Not only is TAEMIN known for his impressive dance abilities, but he’s also pushed gender norms and stereotypes through his music and performances — specifically with his 2017 track, “Move.”

“I wanted to go beyond what K-pop typically is perceived as, and through ‘Move’ I was able to show a concept that’s more edgy, more powerful,” he told Billboard in 2017. “Not only that, but regardless of the gender, I believe that all of the audience will be able to enjoy and listen to this as something different from most of what’s coming out in K-pop. My aim was to find a middle ground, mixing both masculine and feminine movements into the choreography together.”

Fun fact: one of TAEMIN’s super close friends is BTS’ Park Jimin!

When Did TAEMIN Return From Military Leave?

In South Korea, it is mandatory for all able-bodied men born in the country to complete two years of military service before turning 30 years old.

TAEMIN enlisted into the military in 2021, and was discharged in April 2023. During an interview with Teen Vogue in his first post-enlistment interview, he spoke about the difficulties he faced while on his musical hiatus.

“My hiatus was difficult and painful and I felt such longing,” he told the outlet in April 2023. “But then that time away, which felt like forever, ended. When I returned, I feel like I was able to come back as a stronger person … I feel like the inner foundation of the human being Lee Taemin has become stronger.”

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