Kihyun was born on November 22, 1993 in Seoul, South Korea. He comes from a family of four, which includes his father, mother, older brother, and himself. He is a graduate of Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts.
2014–2015: Debut and career beginnings
In December 2014, Kihyun competed in Mnet's survival show No.Mercy. Along with six other trainees from the show, Monsta X was formed, a hip-hop idol group that debuted under Starship Entertainment on May 14, 2015, with the EP Trespass. Through the survival show, he also released 2 collaboration tracks; "Pillow" with Sistar's Soyou and Giriboy on January 14, 2015, and "0 (Young)" with Giriboy, Mad Clown, Jooyoung and a few other remaining trainees in No.Mercy on February 4, 2015.
In May 2015, Kihyun and fellow Monsta X member Jooheon recorded a television soundtrack titled "Attractive Woman" for KBS2's Orange Marmalade. In October, he also sang his first solo original soundtrack "One More Step" for the MBC's television drama She Was Pretty.
2016–present: Original soundtracks and solo activities
Kihyun appeared as a contestant on King of Mask Singer with the name "Tell Them I'm the Dragon King" on January 3, 2016. He won the first round against Apink's Namjoo, known as "Good Daughter Shim Cheong". On the second round of the competition, he lost to Lim Jeong-hee, known as "Rolled Good Fortune", with the difference of 3 votes.
Kihyun sung the acoustic version of "The Tiger Moth" for the soundtrack for MBC's drama Shopping King Louie, which was released on October 27, 2016.
In June 2017, an original soundtrack titled "I've Got A Feeling" for SBS's drama Suspicious Partner was released.
In May 2018, he recorded "Can't Breathe" for MBC's Partners for Justice with fellow Monsta X member Jooheon, and in June, he recorded "Love Virus" for tvN's drama What's Wrong with Secretary Kim together with WJSN's SeolA.
For Monsta X's album All About Luv, Kihyun participated in the writing and producing of three songs on the album; "Who Do U Love?" (and it's remix by will.i.am), "Middle of the Night", and "Beside U". He had previously co-written "널하다" from Take.1 Are You There?, alongside three other Monsta X members, and co-written and produced the song "No Exit" for Monsta X's debut EP Trespass.
In April 2020, Kihyun released a song for the soundtrack of KBS2's Welcome, titled "Again Spring" (다시, 봄), and then a song for KBS2's Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, titled "To Be With You", in October. In October, Kihyun had a solo stage for M Studio on M Countdown, where he performed a cover of the song "Bad" by Christopher.
In January 2021, he donated 10 million won to the Good Neighbors, a charity that helps low-income families in South Korea.
In February, Kihyun released a song for the soundtrack of the drama Replay, titled "O.M.O.M.". Kihyun was praised for his work on the drama, in particular that his voice was able to express the "sweetness and softness" that complemented the drama.
In August, Kihyun appeared as a special guest on the Night Studio on Naver Now, where he sang covers of several songs, including "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons and "Middle of the Night" by Monsta X, with a live band. He also became a new DJ for Naver Now's Midnight Idol, alongside group member I.M.
In September, Kihyun appeared again as a contestant on King of Mask Singer's special duet episode for the 2021 Chuseok holiday. He paired up with co-label solo artist Jeong Se-woon as the "Cheongdam-dong Sworn Brothers". The duo lost in the first round against MeloMance's Kim Min-seok and actor Kim Woo-seok as the "Brave Brothers".
Main article: Monsta X discography
As featured artist
Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Album
(Soyou and Giriboy feat. Kihyun) 2015 5
No.Mercy OST Part 2
(Jooyoung, Mad Clown and Giriboy feat. No.Mercy contestants) 71
No.Mercy OST Part 3
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.
Year Song title Album Ref.
2015 "Attractive Woman" with Jooheon Orange Marmalade OST Part 2 
"One More Step" She Was Pretty OST Part 3 
2016 "The Tiger Moth" (Acoustic ver.) Shopping King Louie OST Part 7 
2017 "I've Got A Feeling" Suspicious Partner OST Part 7 
2018 "Can't Breathe" with Jooheon Partners for Justice OST Part 1 
"Love Virus" with SeolA (WJSN) What's Wrong with Secretary Kim OST Part 1 
2020 "Again, Spring" Welcome OST Part 7 
"To Be With You" Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol OST Part 1 
2021 "O.M.O.M" Replay: The Moment OST Part 2 
Main article: Monsta X § Filmography
Year Network Show Role Ref.
2014–2015 Mnet No.Mercy Contestant 
2016 MBC King of Mask Singer 
CEO Next Door Cast 
2017 KBS2 Singing Battle "Hidden card" Singer 
2021 MBC King of Mask Singer Contestant (with Jeong Se-woon) 
Year Network Title Role Ref.
2021–present Naver Now Midnight Idol DJ