Zhang Yixing, or Lay, was born on October 7, 1991, in Hunan, China. He has a versatile personality and various talents; he is a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actor, and businessman. He gained popularity in 2005 after participating in the talent show, “Star Academy.” In 2012, he debuted as a member of the K-pop group, Exo, and its Chinese sub-unit, Exo-M, under S.M. Entertainment. He has acted in various movies and T.V. shows as well. This pop star has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Let’s celebrate his birthday today!
Zhang Yixing was born Zhang Jiashuai in Changsha in Hunan, China. He did his first acting assignment at age six, in the 1998 Chinese television drama, “We The People.” In 2000, when he was nine, he participated in a television show as a member of the fan club of Taiwanese singer and actor Jimmy Lin, which was his initial tryst with the entertainment industry. In 2005, after winning third place in a competition organized by the T.V. show, “Star Academy,” Lay became a child celebrity. After that, he went on to play roles in the series “Yue Ce Yue Xin Kai” and Liu Na’s variety show, “Na Ke Bu Yi Yang,” in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2006, he auditioned for a lead role in Zhang Jizhong’s “The Duke of Mount Deer.” However, he was not selected despite being a finalist.
In 2008, when he was 16 and in high school, he tried his luck at the global casting audition organized by S.M. Entertainment in Wuhan. After successfully passing all the rounds, he moved to South Korea to finish his idol training. Before making his Exo debut, he worked with the group, Shinee, on the Shinee World Tour in 2011.
He debuted as a K-pop idol and took the stage name ‘Lay,’ which was given by S.M. Entertainment based on a talented and music-loving character called ‘Huaze Lei,’ in the Taiwanese drama, “Meteor Garden.” In January 2012, he was first introduced as one of the four Chinese members of Exo in a teaser video, ‘Phoenix.’ In 2012, after the release of the singles, ‘What is Love’ and ‘History,’ the group held its pre-debut showcase in Seoul Olympic Stadium, followed by a second showcase along with a press conference at the Great Hall of the Beijing University of International Business and Economics. Exo debuted in April 2012 with the single ‘Mama,’ and Exo-M’s first performance in China was televised at the 12th Yinyue Fengyun Bang Awards.
Lay makes his television debut in the drama series, "We The People."
Lay debuts in K-pop group, Exo, as one of the four Chinese members of the group.
Lay features in a dance project, S.M. the Performance, alongside other members and labelmates.
In September, he publishes his autobiography "Standing Firm at 24," which breaks all the book sales records.
He makes his debut in the movie, "Ex-Files 2: The Backup Strikes Back."
Lay makes his solo debut with the single, 'What U Need?'
Why We Love Lay
His stage presence always raises the heat, and his technique is incredible! But to be where he is right now wasn't a cakewalk. He practiced, trained, and rehearsed for years to hone his dancing skills and achieve success.
He’s great at whatever he does
Lay is the truest definition of an all-rounder idol: he sings, dances, produces, acts, and does so much more. As if that wasn't enough, his book smashed sales records and he ranked fourth on the Chinese Celebrity Writers List, becoming the chart's youngest celebrity author.
He loves his fans
We know it's pretty common for idols to be grateful to their fans, but Lay goes above and beyond and makes sure that his fans are appreciated. Even when extremely busy, he always takes out time to read his fan mail.
5 Surprising Facts
He is an animal lover
He loves animals and is both a cat and a dog person, and is also obsessed with rabbits.
Preferred acting role
He enjoys acting, and the role he prefers the most is that of a killer.
His countless talents
He is extremely multi-talented and can even beatbox!
Driving with Chan
He learned to drive a car from the famous actor Jackie Chan when they filmed "Kung Fu Yoga" together.
He is a best-selling author
His autobiography became a bestseller and broke several sales records in China.
What is Lay Zhang's ideal type?
Lay’s ideal type is someone cute and loyal.
Is Lay Zhang in the military?
He does not need to perform military service as he is Chinese.
What is Lay Zhang doing now?
He is working on Chromosome Entertainment Group, his entertainment venture.
Lay’s birthday dates