25 December 1980 (age 37)
Gang'weondo, Korea, Republic of
Park Ji-Young (born December 25, 1980 in Gangwon-do, South Korea), better known by her stage name Kahi, is a Korean dance-pop musician best known for her role as the former leader of popular South Korean girl group After School. In addition to being a singer-songwriter, she is well known for being a dance choreographer and having notable rapping skills. In 2011, after nearly ten years as a professional dancer/recording artist, Kahi debuted solo with the release of her first mini-album 돌아와 나쁜 너. Later in June of 2012, Kahi graduated from After School though its graduation system. Pledis Entertainment announced on September 25, 2013 that Kahi would be releasing her second mini album, titled "Who Are You?", on October 10.
Born in a small village, Kahi was a late dancer, not finding her passion for dancing until she was 16. As a teen, she was fascinated by the hip hop group Roo'Ra (룰라), which became a major influence in her becoming a singer. Due to initial family opposition to her dream of music, Kahi left her hometown after graduating high school, arriving in Seoul empty-handed. Luckily, a friend took her to an interview for a backup dancer. She did well in the trial, and got the job. Park Kahi then started her dancing career at age 18.
In 2000, she was chosen as the main dancer for DJ DOC's mega-hit, "Run to You", just three months into being a dancer. However, her instant success also brought her newfound stress, and eventually she was forced to leave. For a period of time, Kahi worked as a waitress and cleaning lady. Finally, a choreographer in SM Entertainment gave her a chance to become a temporary dancer for BoA. Shocking the staff at SM Entertainment with her dancing ability, she was kept as a full-time dancer. Kahi was also a famous backup dancer for several other artists, and was the dance teacher of Son Dam Bi and May Doni.
In 2006, Kahi joined the Korean American girl group S. Blush, whose first digital single peaked at #2 at the Billboard Hot Dance Chart in May 2007. However, due to various reasons, the band disbanded in the end.
In late 2007, Kahi contacted industry friends she had known for several years who then worked at Pledis Entertainment about creating a new girl group. After two years of preparation, she debuted in January 2009 as the leader of After School, and has since then become a nearly household name in the Korean music industry.
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