Seoul — Korean superstar Rain reflected on the most fateful moments of his life thus far during the latest episode of SBS’s My Ugly Duckling.
Rain appeared as a special MC on the Sunday (Jan 3) broadcast of the reality show, where host Shin Dong Yup asked him to name what he feels are the three most life-changing opportunities he had received.
His mentor Park Jin Young was mentioned, and that he was the one who discovered Rain 20 years ago and debuted him as JYP Entertainment’s first new male artiste in 2002.
In 1998, Rain first debuted under a different agency as a member of the boy group Fanclub. He made his solo debut with the stage name Rain under Park Jin Young’s wing in 2002. Fanclub was not well-known to the public and it disbanded within two years.
“The first [big] opportunity of my life was meeting [Park] Jin Young,” said Rain. “I think everyone knows this, but my family experienced a lot of hardship. Back in about 1997 or 1998, I didn’t have the money to pay my mother’s medical bills. I really turned to so many people and places for help, but not a single person would help me.”
Rain went on, “The situation was such that if she were just able to go to the hospital, she would be able to survive. It was the end of the year, and I still remember it. I think it was Christmas Eve or the day before that, but I made a phone call to Jin Young and asked him, ‘Hyung, please save me. I don’t have the money to pay for my mother’s hospital bills, so she’s currently unable to go to the hospital.’”
“Park Jin Young suddenly cancelled his entire schedule and came to my house, and together, we carried my mother to his car,” recalled Rain. “He drove us to the hospital, where he signed the legal guarantee [that he would pay her hospital bill]. That’s how she was finally able to be admitted to the hospital, and it was thanks to him that she was able to live two or three more weeks.”
Rain grew visibly emotional as he continued, “Recently, while practicing and eating together with [Park Jin Young], there have been times when I thanked him for making it possible for me to live like this. For making it possible for me to earn a living.”
“When I was young, I would look at kids who were able to go into pizzerias and eat pizza, and I would feel so envious,” he went on to share. “Or when I saw kids getting out of nice cars, dressed warmly in coats and holding hands with their parents as they went into family restaurants, I’d think, ‘How are those kids so lucky? When my life is so hard.’”
“But the person who offered me his hand in that kind of situation,” he continued, “was Jin Young.”
As for the second life-changing opportunity of his career, Rain shared, “My second [big opportunity] was meeting the Wachowski directors. That’s how I was able to first experience the U.S. market.”
“The third,” he continued, “was meeting my wife [Kim Tae Hee]. That was the finishing touch [on my life].” /TISG