Han Hee-jun

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Han Hee-jun
181123 한희준.png
Background information
Native name
Birth nameHan Hee-jun
Born (1989-04-20) April 20, 1989 (age 30)
Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea
OriginFlushing, New York, United States
GenresPop, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s)Singer, actor, host, non-profit organizer
InstrumentsVocals, piano, drum
Years active2012–present
LabelsPolaris Entertainment[1]

Han Hee-jun (Hangul: 한희준; April 20, 1989) is a South Korean[2] singer from Flushing, Queens, New York, who finished in ninth place on the eleventh season of American Idol. He signed with Polaris Entertainment in 2012.[1] In 2013, he applied for third season of K-pop Star, passed the audition,[3] and reached the Top 6.

Early life[edit]

Hee-jun Han was born on April 20, 1989, to Jae Chun and Sun Ae Han, in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea. He has an older brother name HeeSeung Han (Aiden). Hee-jun and his family migrated to Flushing, New York, when he was 12 years old. He attended Francis Lewis High School.[4]

Before he auditioned for American Idol, he was a non-profit organizer from Milal Mission in New York, a faith-based non-profit in Flushing, working with children with special needs.[5] He has spoken of suffering from emotional depression and credited the children that he worked with for helping him to recover from his illness. He has also said that the children motivated him to audition for American Idol.[6]

Music career[edit]

2012: American Idol, post-Idol and future projects[edit]

Han auditioned for the eleventh season of American Idol in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a performance of Michael Bolton's version of the song, "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You". His audition brought Jennifer Lopez to tears, and Steven Tyler stated "I think you are really great. I think you could be an American Idol". He received a golden ticket and advanced to Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Han performed the same song, "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You", for his first solo performance in Hollywood and was put through to the next round. He then formed a group with Phillip Phillips, Richie Law and Jairon Jackson for the Hollywood group performance, under the name, "M.I.T." ("Most International Team"). The group had issues during the preparation of their performance, as Law insisted that the performance would "do it in his own way" and refused to accept the suggestions given by the other group members. They performed "Broken Strings" by James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado and despite the judges not being satisfied with their performance, they were put through to the next round as the judges believed they deserved a second chance. Han was put through to the next round once again after his second solo performance in Hollywood.

Han went to Las Vegas and performed "I Only Have Eyes for You" by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin, with Phillip Phillips, Neco Starr and Jairon Jackson. He was put through to the final Las Vegas round as one of the Top 42 contestants. During the final Las Vegas performance, he performed "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel and was put through to the semi-final as one of the Top 25 contestants of the season. During the semi-finals, he performed "Angels" by Robbie Williams and was one of the five highest male vote getters in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13 thus becoming the first ever male contestant of East Asian descent to do so. He was the first Korean American to make the finals of American Idol. Previously Paul Kim (season 6) and John Park (season 9) had become semifinalists.

During the Top 13 week, he performed "All in Love Is Fair" by Stevie Wonder. His performance received generally positive feedback from the judges, with Randy Jackson stated "It wasn't perfect, but it was really good". During the Top 11 week, the remaining contestants had to perform songs that were released during their birth year. Han chose the song "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx. Jackson stated that it was not a great performance for him, but Lopez rebutted and said that she loved the performance by the end of it though she commented about his vocal issues. Being one of the Top 10 contestants of the season, he gained a spot on the summer concert tour after the season of the competition ended. During the Top 10 week, he performed "My Life" by Billy Joel. The performance was not well received by the judges, with Lopez and Jackson mentioning that the performance was entertaining, despite the vocal issues. Steven Tyler told Han that at some point he would have to start taking the show seriously. Han landed in the Bottom 3 for that week and was declared safe after Erika Van Pelt was eliminated. During the Top 9 week, he performed Leon Russell's song, "A Song for You". He received a standing ovation from all the judges after the performance and Lopez commented "That was the most beautiful tone and the most beautiful vibrato" and Jackson added "Finally the Hee-jun we selected came back to us tonight". However, it was announced during the results show on the following night that Han received the lowest number of votes and the judges did not use their save on him and he was eliminated in ninth place.[7]


Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" Laura Branigan N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 1 First Solo "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" Laura Branigan N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group Performance "Broken Strings" James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Second Solo Not aired N/A Advanced
Las Vegas Round Songs from the 1950s
Group Performance
"I Only Have Eyes for You" Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler N/A Advanced
Final Judgment Final Solo "New York State of Mind" Billy Joel N/A Advanced
Top 25 (13 Men) Personal Choice "Angels" Robbie Williams 11 Advanced
Top 13 Stevie Wonder "All in Love Is Fair" Stevie Wonder 9 Safe
Top 11 Year They Were Born "Right Here Waiting" Richard Marx 3 Safe
Top 10 Billy Joel "My Life" Billy Joel 8 Bottom 31
Top 9 Their Personal Idols Solo A Song for You Leon Russell 4 Eliminated
Trio The Lady in My Life / Rock with You / P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
with DeAndre Brackensick & Joshua Ledet
Michael Jackson 8
  • ^Note 1 When Ryan Seacrest announced the results for this particular night, Han was among the Bottom 3 but declared safe second, as Erika Van Pelt was eliminated.


After Idol, Han was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live! with Kelly and The Wendy Williams Show for interviews and performances with other contestants. In April 2012, he performed live on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.[8] He later went on to sing "God Bless America" at a New York Mets game. In May 2012 he performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Awards Gala.[9]

Han took part in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2012, which began July 6, 2012 and ran till September 21, 2012.[10] He was featured and was on the cover of the July 2012 issue of Mom and I Family Magazine, a magazine for Korean-American families.

In August 2012, Colton Dixon and Han appeared on The 700 Club and Soulcheck TV, during which they both were interviewed about their Christian faith.[11][12]

Han performed and appeared as a judge in a K-pop competition at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in September 2012.[13] In September 2012, he performed as the opening act for Kim Kyung Ho The concert was at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.[14]

Later that fall, Han performed at the New Jersey Korean Thanksgiving Festival,[15] and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to a New York Mets game.[16] In November 2012, he served as a guest judge for the Kollaboration finale in Glendale, California.[17] Han's debut single, "Bring the Love Back", featuring rapper Pusha T, was released on September 17, 2013.[18]

In 2013, he tried out for the third season of K-pop Star and passed the audition.[19] He reached the Top 6 of K-pop Star 3. Since then he has concentrated on his K-pop career and released the single "Q&A" feat. Tiffany from Girls' Generation.[20]

In 2018, he replaces Jae of Day6 as co-host of After School Club.[21]



Year Title Role Ref.
2007 West 32nd Danny [22]
2015 Seoul Searching Chow [22]


  1. ^ a b "Toonaripost". Toonaripost. Archived from the original on 2013-03-17.
  2. ^ "아메리칸 아이돌 설문 1위, '코리언' 한희준 인터뷰 (American Idol Popularity Poll Leader 'Korean' Hee-jun Han Interview)". OhMyNews. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  3. ^ "'K팝스타3' 한희준, 1회만에 폭발적인 인기 "한국의 제이슨므라즈!"". Chosun-entertainment. 2013-11-30.
  4. ^ "'American Idol' star in the making: NYC's Heejun Han makes final 24". Daily News. New York. February 23, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  5. ^ Shen, Maxine (January 27, 2012). "Three local contestants are reported to have made it to 'Idol' semifinals". New York Post. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Happy in his own Skin". News Strait Times. September 30, 2012. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "Heejun Han: After the Elimination". March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  8. ^ "Hee-jun Han Will Be Stopping By".
  9. ^ "President Obama Keynotes APAICS Gala".
  10. ^ "American Idol Live tour kicks off in Detroit". USATODAY.COM.
  11. ^ "Dixon Han say Idol Tour Fun But a Test of Faith". Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  12. ^ "American Idol's Colton Dixon and Hee-jun Han". Soul Check TV. August 18, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  13. ^ "K-Pop Festival 2012 in New York: Success! Next Year: Take-Over in Wall Street?!". Kpopstarz. September 1, 2012.
  14. ^ "Heejun Han To Sing God Bless American". The Real Dirty Mets. 2012-04-04. Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  15. ^ "Korean Thanksgiving Festival Performance".
  16. ^ "Han performs national anthem". Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  17. ^ "Kollaboration finale performance". Archived from the original on 2012-12-19.
  18. ^ Fred Bronson (July 23, 2013). "'American Idol' Alum Hee-jun Han Enlists Rapper Pusha T for New Song, Video". Hollywood Reporter.
  19. ^ "Hee-jun Han from 'American Idol' starts fresh on 'K-Pop Star 3'". allkpop. November 24, 2013.
  20. ^ "Han Hee Jun Marvels at Girls' Generation Tiffany's Glowing Beauty". Soompi. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  21. ^ "Stray Kids' Seungmin And Han Hee Jun Announced As New "After School Club" MCs". Soompi.
  22. ^ a b "Heejun Han - IMDb".

External links[edit]