Name : Chae Dong-ha (real name: Chae Do-shik)
Born/Death : June 23, 1981 / May 27, 2011 (aged 30)
Physical : Height 182cm, Weight 73kg
Debut : 2002 1st album ‘Nature’
Label : WS Entertainment
Education : Broadcast from Seoul Institute of The Arts
This is Soompi’s special tribute for the talented singer Chae Dong Ha, who tragically died on May 27 after committing suicide. His real name is Choi Do Shik and was a recording artist, singer-songwriter and an actor. Chae Dong Ha is recognized as the former leader of SG Wannabe. With the group, he become popular with their album becoming Korea’s best selling album of the year in 2007. Prior to joining SG Wannabe, Chae actually debuted as a solo singer in 2002 with his an album Na Ture.
Chae was the main vocalist and leader for SG Wannabe when the group debuted in 2004. He left the group in March of 2008 to pursue a solo career. The group gained a reputation for being quite mysterious because they did not show their faces and did not star in any of their music videos. Nevertheless, their vocal abilities attracted many fans. The trio decided that they will debut faceless so as to let fans appreciate their music and vocals rather than good looks. Their music video, which took after concepts from dramas and used famous actors and actress, gained much popularity from fans of all ages. The “SG” in their group name is the representation of “Simon & Garfunkel” a duo male singing sensation of the 70s from America.
Chae released four albums with SG Wannabe. Each of the albums broke various music record and gained awards in the music industry. The first album SG Wanna Be+ won Best New Artist in all the newcomer awards with track title “Timeless”. The second album Saldaga (2005) was No. 1 in album sales and they won Daesang (best album) in year end music awards. For third album The 3rd Masterpiece (2006), they were the first to release a digital album. During this time, they also were vocal trainers and producers for See Ya first album, from which they won the Best Producer award. SG Wannabe released their fourth album in 2007 and took home the Daesang in Golden Disk Award. That was the peak of their career.
The fifth album My Friend (2008) was the last album Chae Dong Ha with the group. He did not participate in the album, with the exception of one song “I Miss You”. His last performance on TV was a tearful event.
Chae decided not to continue his contract with the current company due to his solo expansion career in acting. After leaving SG Wannabe, Chae Dong Ha took some time out to prepare for a solo career. He was ready to captivate the hearts of music lovers with his powerful voice colored with rich emotions. Chae’s last album was an ambitious endeavor, which featured 40-plus pages of photos and 12 tracks, making it one of the must-have albums. He said at the time he put his heart and soul into the album so that anyone who listens to it can feel his sincerity and dedication to music.
Unfortunately, Chae couldn’t be active as an entertainer for a year due to neck injuries. More recently, he released his mini album last September resuming his activities.
Chae just returned from Japan after completing his Japanese promotions. It was just last week when fans received the shocking news that he died on May 27th committed suicide by hanging himself in his home in Bulkwang-dong. He was 30 years old. According to his agency, “Chae Dong Ha has always suffered from depression.” His death triggered concerns over the deepening problem of celebrity suicides in Korea—and its adverse effect on the country’s alarming suicide rate, which has ranked among the world’s highest in recent years.
Everyone here in Soompi express our deepest condolences to Chae Dong Ha and his family. May he rest in peace and fans will never forget him. Even though Chae Dong Ha has left us, his music will stay with us forever.
* Na Ture (2002-11) : Gloomy Sunday, You Came 2 My Life, Gonna Make You Free, In Your Eyes, Blind Man, etc.
* Essay (2009-11-10) : Thank You, Love = Tming, How Can I Forget, Young Love, etc.
* D day (2010-09-16)
* Seems Like Yesterday (2011-01-14)