BTS’s Jeon Jungkook, the golden Maknae as he’s called (a Korean term used to refer to the youngest person in a group) turns 24 today. Apart from his scintillating dance moves and electrifying vocal skills, the K-Pop idol has a legion of fans, owing to his shy personality and hesitant nature, which ironically almost cost him his debut with BTS.
While Jungkook is reserved right now, he was far more outgoing when he was younger. “I was a very mischievous boy when I was young,” Jungkook told Japan’s FC Magazine, according to Koreaboo. “I loved playing outside as a kid. I really hated studying though. I got in trouble with my mom a lot. I was the type of kid who would run down the hallway and eat lunch fast at school. I even tried out for a b-boy competition even though I wasn’t good at it.”
However, things began to change for Jungkook when he started auditioning to become a singer. He began to hold back from people after encountering them constantly in audition halls. “I became intimidated by large crowds,” Jungkook said. “I started to shrink after being surrounded by so many strangers. This might be the time that I began being shy around people I didn’t know.”
By the time he joined Big Hit Entertainment, he was so shy that that CEO Bang Si-hyuk did not know if it was possible for the young teen to debut as a K-pop idol. “When Jungkook was a trainee, he couldn’t sing when we asked him to,” Bang said in an interview with Korean news outlet OSEN. “He just twisted his body for 15 minutes and was very shy. He didn’t have much talent, so the company questioned if he could even debut.”
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While Jungkook was reluctant to show the enormous amount of talent and skill back in the day, he has come a long way since then. While still one of the most reserved people in the group, his dancing skills, vocals, and sheer passion have impressed ARMY. He has tried rapping as well.
Relationship with other BTS members
It’s well-known that the Bangtan Boys are a close-knit group, and their brotherhood never fails to make ARMY emotional. During Festa 2020, he was asked what each member meant to him. Starting with RM, he called him his ‘leader’, Suga his ‘elder brother’, he called Jin ‘his eldest brother like friend’, and J-Hope his ‘bro’.
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When it came to Jimin, he said ‘You are me, and I am You’, and referred to V as his commonality. The rest of the band members dote on Jungkook, and call him their youngest brother, ‘their cutest friend’, or in J-Hope’s case, ‘bug-heavy doll’, while V says he is his ‘comedian applicant’.
When the group debuted, Jungkook was still in high school. As the eldest, Jin was held responsible whenever a manager wasn’t available, he would drive the others to any important event. Jin would drive Jungkook to school, as he was still a minor and didn’t have a driving license. He even attended his graduation ceremony. According to many K-Pop news sites, Jungkook was practically raised by RM and Jin.
During the BTS documentary, ‘Break The Silence’, Jungkook talked about his relationship with the other members. “After living with them for a long time, there are things you can tell without the need for words. There is a kind of invisible connection. I feel that kind of connection with others. I moved to Seoul at a very young age. I didn’t have any best friends. The members are the ones who are always by my side and the ones I’ve been with, for the longest. They made me feel emotions that are the hardest to describe.”
Jungkook’s most epic performances
ARMY would argue that every performance of the Golden Maknae is electrifying, but there are still three that have an edge over others.
Mic Drop performance at 2017 MAMA’s
In 2017, BTS performed Mic Drop at the MNET Asian Music Awards. Here, Jungkook seemed to have left his innocent-boy vibe back in the dressing room, and this video continues to enthrall his fans till today.
The Boy With Luv performance at the 2019 Lotte Family Concert
This was a time when Jungkook decided to sport curly locks, which was very, very well-received by ARMY.
Jungkook was on fire, during the performance of Fire (one of ARMY’s favourite songs).
Clearly, it only gets better from here. Happy birthday, Jungkook.