Cho Yong-pil

This is a Korean name; the family name is Cho.
Cho Yong Pil

Cho Yong-pil in April 2013
Background information
Native name 조용필, 趙容弼
Born (1950-03-21) March 21, 1950,
Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, Korea
Genres K-rock, K-pop, trot, new wave
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, singer
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1968–present
Labels Jigu Record, Pil Record, Universal Music (Japan)
Associated acts Atkins, Five Fingers, Kim trio, 25si, Geurimjadeul, Widaehan tansaeng
Website Official Website
Korean name
Hangul 조용필
Hanja 趙容弼
Revised Romanization Jo Yong-pil
McCune–Reischauer Cho Yongp'il

Cho Yong-pil (hangul: 조용필; hanja: 趙容弼; also written Jo, Yong-pil) is a South Korean pop singer born in 1950. Many Korean Pop fans believe that Cho is one of the most influential figures in Korean pop music and has produced many hits of Korean pop music history, including "Return to Busan Port", "Dear Friend" and "The Lady Outside the Window".


Early years: 1950–1968

Cho Yong-pil was born in Hwaseong, South Korea. When he was seven, he happened to listen to Ray Charles playing the harmonica, and this inspired the young Cho to play music. Thus, he commenced music career as a guitarist, but he became successful as a great pop singer in East Asia.

Atkins and Five Fingers period: 1969–1971

Cho formed a band called Atkins (Aeteukinjeu 애트킨즈), a country & western group, and played for the United States Army. Later, he founded Five Fingers (Hwaibeu Pinggeoseu 화이브 핑거스), which played music by black artists.

Kim Trio: 1971

In 1971, Cho joined the band, Kim trio (Kim Teurio 김트리오), which motivated him to perform rock music. Members of Kim Trio were Pa Kim (guitar), Dan Kim (drum) and Sun Kim (keyboard).

Commercial success: 1980–1992

His first single, "Dorawayo Busanhange" 돌아와요 부산항에 (Come Back to Busan Port), brought him national attention when it was released in 1975, later becoming a hit in Japan. Cho then made a Japanese-language version of the song, and sang live in Japan. His first album, Chang bakkui yeoja 창 밖의 여자 (The Woman outside the Window), was released in 1980 and has been followed by many others. In 1980, he had a concert at Carnegie Hall in the city of New York, the first Korean singer at Carnegie Hall. With a total of 19 albums, he has received numerous awards such as the KBS and MBC Best Artist Award (1980–1986), AMPEX Golden Reel Award (1982) and the CBS-Sony Golden Disc Award (1984).

Commercial decline and concerts: 1992

His commercial success declined after the appearance of the renowned group, Seo Taiji and Boys and many other young musicians. His studio albums released after 1992 were not so successful. Noticing this, he announced that he would stop appearing on television, concluding that he would hardly make any hits. Subsequently, he focused more on concerts and music performance. In 1993, his Busan concert attracted an audience of 1 million, a record for South Korea. In 2005, Cho performed a concert in Pyongyang, North Korea, an extremely rare event for a South Korean singer. He performs over thirty concerts per year. However, he attempted to compose diverse kinds of pop music, including rock music. In the end, he composed a great hybrid album based on pop and classical music, which revealed his inherent ultimate musical sense, comparable to that of famous western musicians. Such gifted musical talent is a major driving force to maintain great live tours at the World Cup Soccer Stadium in South Korea, even at the age of over 60.

19th album "Hello": 2013

In April 2013, Cho released his 19th album titled "Hello," which debuted at #1 on the Korean pop charts eclipsing Psy's "Gentleman" On 25 April 2013, he came back to TV via the showcase 'Hello'. This show was also broadcast live on YouTube.[1]

The album ranked number 1 in GAON Album Chart for the week of April 21–27, 2013. Two songs from the said album also managed to grab top spots in Korean Music Shows. Hello was on top spot in MBC Music Show Champion on May 1. "Bounce" on the other hand, grabbed the top spot over Roy Kim's "Spring Spring Spring" and Psy's "Gentleman" in KBS Music Bank on May 3 and another one over SHINee's "Why So Serious?" on May 10. MBC Show! Music Core also gave the top award for the same song on May 4.


Studio albums

No. Name Year Representative Songs
1 Woman outside window 1979
  • 창밖의 여자 (Woman outside window)
  • 단발머리 (Short Hair)
2 Blessing(Candlelight) 1980
  • 축복 (촛불) (Blessing (Candlelight))
3 Hate Hate Hate…Woman & man 1981
  • 미워 미워 미워 (Hate Hate Hate)
  • 고추잠자리 (Redpepper dragonfly)
4 Do not find oriole 1982
  • 못찾겠다 꾀꼬리 (Do not find oriole)
  • 비련 (Tragic love)
5 A friend 1983
  • 친구여 (A friend)
  • 나는 너 좋아 (I like you)
6 Party of tear 1984
  • 눈물의 파티 (Party of tear)
  • 정의 마음 (Mind of emotion)
7 Let's go travel 1985
  • 어제 오늘 그리고 (Yesterday today and)
  • 그대여 (Darling)
  • 여행을 떠나요 (Let's go travel)
8 Cho yong-pil Vol.8 1986
  • 허공 (The empty sky)
  • 킬리만자로의 표범 (Leopard of mt.kilimanjaro)
  • 바람이 전하는 말 (Speech which wind conveys)
9 Love and life and I 1987
  • 마도요 (Curlew)
  • 그대 발길 머무는 곳에 (Wherever you stay)
10 '88 Cho yong-pil 10th album 1988
  • 모나리자 (Mona Lisa)
  • 서울 서울 서울 (Seoul Seoul Seoul)
11 Cho Yong-pil 10th Album Part.II 1989
  • Q
12 90 Vol Sailing Sound 1990
  • 추억속의 재회 (Reunion in memory)
13 The Dreams 1991
  • 꿈 (Dream)
14 CHO YONG PIL 14 1992
  • 슬픈 베아트리체 (Sad beatrice)
15 CHO YONG PIL 15 1994
  • 남겨진 자의 고독 (Solitude of rest people)
16 Eternally 1997
  • 그리움의 불꽃 (Spark of longing)
17 Ambition 1998
  • 친구의 아침 (Morning of friend)
18 Over The Rainbow 2003
  • 태양의 눈 (Sun's eye)
19 Hello 2013
  • Bounce
  • Hello

Music Video

Year Title M/V
2013 Hello Link on YouTube
걷고 싶다 (Walking along) Link on YouTube
설렘 (Romance) Link on YouTube
Hello (Japanese Ver.) Link on YouTube



Year Awards
  • KBS Best Artist Awards (1980–1986)
  • MBC Best Artist Awards (1980–1986)
  • AMPEX Golden Reel Award (1982)
  • CBS-Sony Golden Disc Award (1984)
  • Korean Golden Disk Awards, "The empty sky (허공)" (1986),
  • Japanese Golden Disk Awards, "Memory of lost (추억의 미아)" (1986)
  • Golden Disk Awards, Bonsang Award
  • Seoul Music Awards, Bonsang Award and Record of the Year

Music programs

These are collection of Cho Yong-pil's wins on Korea's televised music shows.

Top 10 Songs

Top 10 Songs is now known as Music Bank on KBS.

Year Date Song
1981 February 10 "Candlelight" ("촛불")
February 17
February 24
March 10
March 17
March 24
March 31
October 13 "Hate hate hate" ("미워 미워 미워")
October 20
October 27
November 3
December 22
1982 January 5
August 18 "Do not find oriole" ("못찾겠다 꾀꼬리")
August 25
September 1
September 8
September 15
September 22
September 29
October 6
October 27
November 3
1983 January 12 "Tragic love" ("비련")
January 19
January 26
February 2
February 16
August 28 "I like you" ("나는 너 좋아")
September 11
September 18
September 25
October 2
1984 February 12 "A friend" ("친구여")
February 19
February 26
March 4
March 11
August 5 "Mind of emotion" ("정의 마음")
August 12
August 19
August 26
September 2
November 4 "Party of tear" ("눈물의 파티")
November 11
November 18
1985 June 19 "Yesterday today and" ("어제 오늘 그리고")
June 26
July 10
July 17
July 24
October 23 "Darling" ("그대여")
October 30
November 13
November 20
November 27
December 4
December 11
1986 March 19 "The empty sky" ("허공")
March 26
April 2
April 9
April 16
November 5 "Speech which wind conveys" ("바람이 전하는 말")
November 12
November 19
1988 January 20 "Wherever you stay" ("그대 발길 머무는 곳에")
October 5 "Seoul Seoul Seoul" ("서울 서울 서울")
1989 May 21 "Q"

Show Network

Show Network is now known as Show! Music Core on MBC.

Year Date Song
1990 August 24 "Reunion in memory" ("추억속의 재회")
September 7
September 14
September 21
September 28
October 5

KBS Music Bank

Year Date Song
2013 May 3 "Bounce"
May 10
December 20 (Year End Special)

MBC Show! Music Core

Year Date Song
2013 May 4 "Bounce"

MBC Music Show Champion

Year Date Song
2013 May 1 "Hello"


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