Choi Seung-Hyun, better known by his stage name T.O.P., is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, and model born on November 4, 1987. T.O.P. introduced himself as an underground rapper before joining Y.G. Entertainment as a trainee. In 2006, he achieved great success by debuting as a member of the group Big Bang. The pop star is a force to be reckoned with, and we’ll help you celebrate his birthday today.
Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Choi Seung-Hyun is the great-nephew of pioneering Korean abstract artist Kim Whanki. From an early age, Seung-Hyun was interested in hip-hop music. He and his future groupmate Kwon Ji-Yong later became neighborhood friends in elementary school and often danced and rapped together. Even after Ji-Yong moved out and the two parted ways, Seung-Hyun contacted Ji-Yong again when Y.G. Entertainment was looking for possible candidates to create a boy group.
After signing with Y.G. Entertainment, Seung-Hyun and Ji-Yong recorded several demos and sent them to C.E.O. Yang Hyun-suk, who later gave him the opportunity to audition. However, Seung-Hyun was rejected by the agency because he did not fit the ideal image of an idol. Unbeaten, he lost twenty kilos and returned six months later for a new audition, which was successful. Seung-Hyun joined Y.G. as a trainee and was given the stage name T.O.P. He was paired with Ji-Yong, Taeyang, Daesung, Seungri, and Hyun-Seung to form the group Big Bang in 2006.
In 2007, T.O.P. made his acting debut through K.B.S.2’s romantic comedy-drama “I Am Sam.” The following year, he joined Dankook University to pursue a degree in theater. Three years later, T.O.P. made his film debut in the war film “71: Into the Fire,” which reached one million viewers in a week. During 2011 and 2012, T.O.P. held promotional activities as a member of the Big Bang. When they wrapped up, he turned his focus back to acting, starring in the spy drama film “Commitment.” In 2017, T.O.P. began his mandatory military service at the army training center in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province, as an active-duty soldier.
T.O.P. wins the "Rap Battle" contest held by K.B.S. radio.
T.O.P. debuts as a rapper in the group Big Bang.
T.O.P. receives an invitation to work as the “Show! Music Core” presenter from the M.B.C. channel.
T.O.P. forms a subunit with G-Dragon called G.D.&T.O.P.
Alongside G-Dragon, T.O.P. is featured on the song ‘Dancing On My Own,’ from the Japanese edition of Pixie Lott's album "Young Foolish Happy."
After some time away because of military service and several controversies, T.O.P. returns with his group and releases the single ‘Still Life.’
Why We Love TOP
He’s a philanthropist
In 2016, in partnership with Sotheby's, T.O.P. curated a collection of contemporary art in Hong Kong. The project was named #TTTOP, featured 28 works by both Asian and Western artists, and sold for more than $17million. A portion of this cash was donated to the Asian Cultural Council (A.C.C.) to support emerging Asian artists.
He creates excellent music
Several critics have praised T.O.P. for his individuality and ability to fuse a pop song with rap, hip-hop, and R&B elements. He also works tirelessly on his lyrics, scrapping them hundreds of times before he’s satisfied with them. No wonder he creates great music!
His fans are awesome
T.O.P. fans also carry out philanthropic actions. In 2018, on T.O.P.’s birthday, fans from four Asian countries donated $9,900 on his behalf to the Yongsan Welfare Foundation to help the less fortunate.
5 Surprising Facts
Hip-hop is not his only love
Among T.O.P.’s musical preferences and references, in addition to hip-hop, are classical music and Pink Floyd.
He is multi-talented
T.O.P. composed ‘Hi Haruka’ for C.J. E.N.M.'s “Secret Message” web series.
He’s more than meets the eye
In 2015, T.O.P. worked as a furniture designer through a collaboration with the Swiss furniture company Vitra, which won him an award at the Prudential Eye Awards.
He’s not an alto
T.O.P. has a bass vocal range.
He ended his contract with Y.G.
T.O.P. has ended his exclusive contract with Y.G. Entertainment — though he’ll still participate in group activities.
What is Big Bang T.O.P. doing now?
T.O.P. is set to join Big Bang for their long-awaited comeback as a quartet.
Who wrote ‘Still Life’?
T.O.P., G-Dragon, and Kush wrote ‘Still Life.’
What is T.O.P.'s ideal woman like?
T.O.P.’s ideal type is a woman who “knows how to dress,” is “respectful to adults,” and doesn’t “swear.”
TOP’s birthday dates