Everything You Need To Know About Kris Wu
Just announced as an iHeartRadio MMVAs performer, Kris Wu (吴亦凡) is a Chinese actor, singer-songwriter, producer, and model sure to take over our iHeartRadio MMVAs stage on Sunday, August 26.
After moving from Guangzhou to Vancouver at the age of 10, Wu found a passion for basketball, leading to his discovery of hip-hop music, thus launching his serious pursuit of the latter. At only 27, Wu has many accomplishes under his belt, including the title of being the first Chinese artist to have a No. 1 single on the U.S. iTunes chart.
After getting his start in the music industry as a member of the K-pop boyband, EXO, Wu has since expanded his brand to a solo career in music, acting, modeling, and fashion. On two separate occasions, Wu has even appeared as a member of Team Canada in the NBA’s All-Star Games.
Wu’s success in becoming a globally recognized star is undeniable, and he’s definitely on his way to conquering North America too. Until that happens, we got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about Kris Wu.
In 2012, Wu joined the K-pop band, EXO, as its eleventh member. After making their debut, the boyband quickly rose to fame in South Korea. EXO’s introductory studio album, XOXO, saw huge commercial success, comprising hit songs like “Growl” and “Wolf.” With over one million copies sold, the album became one of the best-selling projects of all time in Korea.
Two years later in 2014, Wu left EXO while the group was in the middle of promoting their second EP project Overdose. Though his reasons for leaving were quite vague at first, in a 2015 interview with Chinese television show, 春滿 (Chunman, translated to “Spring”), Wu chalked the reason up to missing his family.
“Trainee life is very difficult. But it was the distance that was really hard. For seven years I was in Korea far from my family and I couldn’t be with them even for holidays. I missed my home.” Wu said, “Other things were okay. It’s what I wanted to do.”
Solo Music Career
Recently signed to Universal Music Group under an exclusive international recording contract, Wu began his solo music career in 2014 with the release of his first single, “Time Boils the Rain” as part of the soundtrack for a Chinese film called Tiny Times 3.
Citing Drake as one of his musical inspirations, Wu has delivered many successful singles, including his electronic pop song, “July,” the hip-hop project, “6,” his Billboard hit, “Deserve” with Travis Scott, and one of his latest tracks, “Like That.”
Wu also made his presence in the hip hop music scene when he appeared as a judge on a Chinese online musical competition show called The Rap of China, which ended up becoming a huge success.
“Kris is a fantastic talent who represents the incredible opportunity of the modern music business—one without borders, where hit songs can come from anywhere in the world and seamlessly translate into great success whether in Asia, North America or the U.K.,” President of Island Records, Darcus Beese said to Billboard regarding the addition of Wu to UMG.
Kris Wu made his runway debut at Burberry’s Fall 2016 Menswear fashion show in London, which the Business of Fashion called an “Internet-breaking” event in China. But this wasn’t the first time Wu entered the world of fashion.
Back in 2015, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung found interest in Wu’s influence and decided to put him on the cover of Vogue China next to Kendall Jenner––an issue which sold out online within a few minutes.
“Apart from being good-looking, he can sing, dance and act, which makes him a more all-round idol,” Cheung said to the Business of Fashion. “The fact that he speaks good English also makes it easier for him to communicate with fans and partners outside China.”
Following his successful runway debut, Wu collaborated with Burberry in 2017 to create the designer fashion house’s “Kris Wu Edit” collection, becoming the brand’s first Chinese ambassador in the process.
Since starting his solo career, Wu has starred in a number of Chinese box office films, including Mr. Six and Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back. But his Hollywood appearance in xXx: Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel, is his most recognizable acting project thus far. Wu also created the single, “Juice” as part of the film’s soundtrack.
At this point, we think it’s safe to say that Kris Wu is more than ready to give us one of the best performances we’ve ever seen at the iHeartRadio MMVAs.
Find out on Sunday, August 26 at 9ET/7MT when the iHeartRadio MMVAs go live on CTV and Much.