South Korean singer and rapper Key is a gifted performer known for his pop-, dance-, and R&B-influenced sound. He first came to prominence in the 2000s as a member of the massively successful boy band Shinee before launching his solo career with 2018's Face.
Born Kim Ki-Bum in 1991 in Daegu, South Korea, Key was initially interested in athletics growing up and participated in competitive water skiing. In 2006, he successfully auditioned for S.M. Entertainment where he trained for several years before joining his bandmates Lee "Onew" Jinki, Kim Jonghyun, Choi Minho, and Lee Taemin as a member of the boy band Shinee. He debuted with the group on 2008's Shinee World, which peaked at number one in South Korea and paved the way for a string of hit albums, including 2010's Lucifer, 2015's Odd, and 2018's The Story of Light.
Away from Shinee, Key was a featured singer on several songs, including Girl's Generation's "Boys & Girls" in 2010 and EXO's "Two Moons" in 2012. He also sang on a 2018 remix of Years & Years' "If You're Over Me." Along the way, he moved into acting, appearing in various musical productions and TV dramas. He also continued to pursue his education, graduating from Myongji University with a degree in Film and Musical and taking post-graduate courses in "Culture and Education Contents Development" at Woosuk University.
In 2018, Key made his solo debut with the full-length Face, which included the tracks "Forever Yours" and "One of Those Nights". The album peaked at number five in South Korea, landed at number nine on the Billboard World Albums chart. A Japanese EP, Hologram, also arrived that year and featured the title-track, as well as a Japanese version of "One of Those Nights." A repackaged version of Face arrived in November 2019; renamed I Wanna Be, it added the title track featuring (G)I-DLE's So-yeon. Following the album's release, Key entered the South Korean military to serve his mandatory conscription service. ~ Matt Collar