Ma-re is an enthusiastic writer about Korean and Japanese culture.
Who Is Kang Daniel?
You may have heard his name in some Korean interviews and talk shows, but upon seeing his charming smile, cute eyes, and handsome face, you are now hooked up to learn more about him. Apart from being the overall winner of a reality show and being the center visual of a rookie boy group, many new fans are curious about him. Who is that cute and hot idol that is storming the internet? Why is he so popular? What made him famous?
Did you know that behind his adorable look and bright vibes, he actually had a difficult time at school? He recalled how he was, "ostracized a lot because I was ugly when I was young." But he boosted his self-esteem on his own and said to himself, "I thought I may be uglier than you, but I can dance and I can sing." That's just the beginning of his amazing journey to the K-pop world.
Let's get to know more about the most wanted and most lovable icon in Korea that will slowly melt your maiden heart—Kang Daniel.
1. Quick Facts About Kang Daniel
- His original birth name was Kang Eui Geon (강의건), but it is quite difficult to pronounce, so he legally changed his name to Kang Daniel (강다니엘).
- His nicknames are Niel, Danik, and peach.
- He was born on December 10, 1996, in Busan, and he is the only child in the family.
- His height is 180 cm (5.9 ft.)
- He weighs 67 kg.
- He has sexy broad shoulders (60 cm / 23 in). He gained it by doing 100 push-ups daily.
- With a total of 1.5 million votes, he won 1st place in the second season of the reality boy-group survival show, Produce 101.
- Besides being the main dancer, he holds the center position in Wanna One.
- Also known as the "Dark Horse" at the beginning of Produce 101 S2, many people placed their trust and put their faith in him that he will be the champion of the show.
- He was a trainee under the music label agency, MMO Entertainment, along with fellow Wanna One member, Yoon Ji Seong.
- He really looked up to other boy groups as his role models. He revealed that he likes Seventeen because of their teamwork, BTS because they are powerful, and EXO because they are cool.
2. He Is the Most Popular Celebrity in Korea Right Now
Yes, his popularity is no joke. We cannot deny the truth that Daniel has become the prince of Korean entertainment since his rising stardom in 2017. So don't be surprised if this man influences you. He's a real eye candy with a face of a flower, and a heart of an angel.
As he continues to become world-famous, many celebrities are also 'fangirling' for him. K-pop singer Serri from Dal Shabet said that Kang Daniel is her ideal guy. She said, “Appearance-wise, I like guys with puppy-like features…and someone who is ‘beagle-y’ (as cute as a beagle dog)." Also, the ballad duo, Davichi, asked him for an invitation to become the star of their music video!
Even the top-rated actress, Song Ji-hyo, cannot hide her fangirl moments when her idol guested in Running Man. In episode 374, we've witnessed a cute transition of Ji-hyo's image from a cool and tough-hearted ace, to a big fan who can't hide her intense excitement!
You can really feel the strong love from Ji-hyo because she clearly represents the feeling of every fangirl in the world! Other RM members were also stunned to see the good-looking idol before their eyes. Jeon So-min is also caught glancing at him!
Because of his irresistible charm, he also signed three advertising contracts on his own. Right now, he is the main model for Think Nature hair products and a home fabric brand called The Spring Home. He is also chosen for the Hollywood fashion brand, LAP (Los Angeles Project) Korea. Not only that, he has been appointed as the honorary ambassador for the special cultural exhibit of the '2018 Pyeongchang Olympics', where he showcases his handsome face as the Emperor of the Goryeo Dynasty! Isn't it a big honor for him?
But despite the popularity and fame, he remains with his humble attitude just like in his trainee days. In a 2017 interview, he shared his thoughts on his immense popularity with humility, “I think I’m getting so much more love than I deserve. I don’t know if I’m the kind of person that deserves all this treatment…I’m still not used to it.”
Although Wannables would definitely say that he deserves it all, to Daniel who is always down-to-earth and selfless, he's still a normal guy who likes to laugh and goof around.
3. He Is a Talented Dancer
Daniel is one of the sexiest K-pop dancers slaying the stage, thanks to his killer 'thigh dance' in "Open Up". This seductive move, together with his angelic face, makes a perfect blast, and many people are liking it!
So, what's the story behind it? He revealed it in an episode of Night of Real Entertainment, where he shared how he created the iconic thigh slide. He said: “The thigh dance move (in “Open Up”)…I didn’t practice that at all. Teacher Kahi had told me, ‘It’s your part, so come out a little and perform.’ I thought that I needed to do something, so I added that dance move on impulse, but that ended up (receiving a good response)." That's a pretty great move he invented out of nowhere!
But dance is not a new talent that he discovered through training. In fact, our young Daniel has already developed a thing for it since his early childhood days. He is also drawn to B-Boying since junior high school and won first place in a rookie B-Boying battle in his hometown. It was also revealed that he, his fellow member Woojin, and BTS' Jimin were in a dance competition called Busan City Kids! Isn't it amazing to see that the little boys who struggle to reach for their dreams are now dominating the stage with their dancing skills?
His love for dance is something that Wannables are so proud of. He doesn't need to be in a show or a concert to express himself through dancing. He is a natural-born dancer who finds happiness by simply swaying his body to some K-pop songs.
In the first episode of Wanna One Go, fans started to confirm that he is a Twice fanboy who would cheerfully dance to "Signal" even when he's half-asleep! He was also doing the famous “Jjirit jjirit” pose in his makeup promotional poster, which shows that he's a certified 'ONCE'. Twice must be so happy to have him as one of their biggest fans in the world!
He also danced to 'Gashina' before he had it live with Sunmi in an episode of Happy Together, where everyone, including the MCs, were greatly impressed by their performance!
4. He's a Total Cutie Pie
Kang Daniel has a strong love for jellies. He can eat the snack while lying on the bed, just sitting around, or doing other tasks. Maybe he can feel extreme happiness by munching those sticky and somewhat elastic sweets bursting with fruity flavors.
When he appeared in an episode of It's Dangerous Beyond the Blankets, he explained how he really loves gummy snacks, and, “Back in my hometown, I have a snack box that I keep next to me. I fall asleep while eating, and sometimes I wake up with a gummy snack in my mouth.”
When his fans learned about it, they become addicted to the colorful jellies, and it turned into a trending snack. But it wasn't too long before Daniel revealed that he stopped eating them! Some are disappointed to hear it, but once you hear his reasons, you'll understand him well. As much as he would like to munch it forever, he had no choice but to give up. He explained, "I went to the dentist recently and was shocked when I found out I had cavities." Yes, it was really bad for his teeth. It's quite sad, but it's better than having his teeth rotten.
Another cute fact about him is his great hatred of bugs. He shared, “What I hate the most in this world are bugs. To start, I really hate anything that has more legs than me.” Can you relate to him? He resents them like they are the worst thing on the planet!
When he was in a vacation house, he immediately put on an anklet that would shoo away the mosquitoes, hold the electrocuting fly swatter tightly, and prepared several cans of bug spray. As he goes downstairs, he brought his fly swatter with him. He encountered a moth, to which he softly exclaimed, “What is this?” and managed to carefully shock it with the swatter to death. He tried to be careful but became frightened again by another moth he spotted. He's really a precious innocent boy we must protect.
5. He's a Cat Lover
They say that people who like cats are warm and kind, and it's pretty true because Kang Daniel is a cat person. Raising a feline on your own has good health benefits since it can reduce stress and boost a person's energy. We can really see the effects of his two cats on his bright and jolly personality!
Daniel has two female cats that were named Peter and Rooney. It's a manly name because he initially thought that they were males, but it turns out that they are both sweet ladies. Because he adores cats, he understands some body language and gestures. In Wanna One Go S2, he greets Wannables in the video by blinking slowly, which is actually a sign of a cat's love and affection for humans (it's like a kitty kiss).
His love for cats become a trend, so his generous fans decided to protect more stray cats and give some donations to a cat organization. His fan cafe announced that they have donated 2.5 million won (approximately $2,230) to the Korean Organization for the Protection of Cats. The organization is known for rescuing stray cats and giving them medical treatments.
The donation will be used to cover the medical fees of the adopted cats. The fans presented a certificate showing that the donation was made in Kang Daniel’s name. It was such a heartwarming deed that they made!
6. He Uses His Popularity to Do Good
He became a Korean superstar not just because of his good looks, but also because of his kindness. He is such a gentleman who has a caring and loving personality, even in the simplest ways.
Back to his Produce 101 trainee days, he was spotted wearing a T-shirt from Marymond and a bracelet from Heeum, both companies are known for financially supporting comfort women who were victims of the sexual slavery of Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Going back in history, these women had already a deep scar through the hardships they endured during the war era. Most survivors who were left are suffering from sexual trauma due to the horrors and nightmares of their early days. Today, there is a nursing home, called House of Sharing, for former comfort women in South Korea.
His act of simple support was very touching, and in order to help him raise awareness, his sweet fans donated 9.9 million won to The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. This shows that his small efforts made a huge impact and created a big help to those who are truly in need.
His other bracelet spotted is reportedly from B.CONNECT, which supports children in poverty, and in December 2017, he was seen at Incheon Airport wearing a special model of sneakers called “LAKAI KR” from LAKAI, which he wore to promote awareness and preservation for Dokdo, an island where both Japan and Korea claims sovereignty.
7. He Speaks English
For international fans, one of the major turn-on talents for a K-pop idol is the ability to speak English. Of course, who wouldn't like that phonetic words that sound like a melody from the lips of your favorite singer?
There are many stars out there who can speak English, and Niel is one of them. If you have already fallen for his deep Korean voice, then you might just explode with joyfulness when you hear him speak English…more importantly, with a British accent.
He showed his fluency during his self-introduction at P101 while wearing a Harry Potter Gryffindor robe and holding a wand as his microphone. His intro goes, "Hello everyone, my name is Daniel Kang. My concept is Gryffindor from Harry Pote (Potter), so I try to speak British accent."
The video became viral and his popularity strikes hard because of that sexy voice and 'Harry Pote', which made him become the automatic bias from the rest of the contestants. Do you think you can 'Slytherin' through his heart and 'a-Dumbledore' him forever?
8. His Smile Reminds You of BTS' Suga
It's not an illusion, but every time he smiles, he looks like Min Yoongi (Suga) of BTS. Their personalities are quite different, since Daniel is playful and cheerful, while Suga is cool and reserved. But they both have that unique gummy smile that highlights their beautiful lips and teeth, and their eyes that have the same shape when they laugh. There is something in their smiling faces that captivates us. They are both handsome guys whose smiles can save a country.
Recently, when BTS wins the Daesang (Grand Price) at Seoul Music Awards, many have speculated that he and Suga are actually friends. Although this is a combination that we didn't expect to happen, there's a friendly contact between them when Suga and other BTS members passed by Wanna One members during the event. Suga half-hugged him upon passing by, and during BTS' speech, he and Park Ji-hoon were spotted cheering for them. There were some talks about Suga liking Daniel, so let's wish for their friendship to strengthen more!
9. He Has Look-Alikes
When Daniel is still a trainee, a lot of people have said that his visuals somewhat seem familiar. There are some blog posts that suggest that when he's serious, his charismatic look reminds you of the popular actor Jisoo, who starred in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon as In Gook-du.
Somehow, they share the same face and eye shape when they pose fiercely in the camera. And yes, they both have that sexy and hot aura impression. But looking intensely, Jisoo looks more chiseled and sharp, which makes him perfect in portraying cold-hearted roles and a man with a tough personality. Daniel, on the other hand, is more of a pretty-boy type.
Another look-alike of our cute peach is BTOB's Yook Sungjae. He is a K-pop idol turned actor who recently starred in the 2016 hit drama, Goblin, as Yoo Duk Hwa. At the start of P101 season 2, upon first seeing Daniel, people started to notice that they looked like twins when they smile.
We can clearly see that they both have the same facial features—the eyes that shaped like a crescent moon, the sparkly corners of their lips, their beautifully-defined brows, and the soft charisma in their cheeks. We can sense the cute and bubbly feeling from their strong resemblance!
10. His Ideal Type Is Someone Older Who Catches Bugs
This is the kind of information that every girl is dying to know. What is his ideal type? How can I get on a date with him? Am I the 'Miss Right'? Unlike other boys who prefer girls who are pretty, kind, and sexy, he has a unique taste. These are the two main Kang Daniel standards that you should meet.
“Please catch the bugs. I fall for people who catch bugs for me.”
That's what he revealed in an interview. Since we all know that he has a serious hatred for these icky insects, he definitely needs someone who will be there to defend him in times of their attack.
Can you become the heroine who will save him from those insects? Can you catch all the bugs to protect him? Can you imagine yourself being in a battle with those flying and crawling creatures? If yes, you've passed the first requirement. Thanks to his preference, there are probably millions and billions of ladies who have lost their phobia of bugs.
During a fan sign event, a fan asked him what kind of woman makes his heart flutter. He has eight choices:
- A girl with a pretty face
- A girl with an aura
- A girl who sings well
- A girl who dances well
- A girl who cooks well
- A girl who treats her peers well
- A girl with a nice voice
- Other. He had to go with 8 and wrote: someone who catches bugs. His desire for such kind of woman is way beyond your imagination!
"I prefer older than younger. My ideal type is someone who I can learn from."
Hooray there, fellow noonas, because our Daniel is fascinated by a mature woman that is born earlier than 1996. In an episode of Happy Together, he revealed things he like when dating. He is a sweet guy who expresses his interest first. He said, “I’m the type to ask someone out first. Usually, Busan guys tend to be cold but I would approach my girlfriend more tenderly.”
He even gave some examples, like, “If we’re eating and my girlfriend says, ‘This place is delicious,’ I would say, ‘I can come here forever with you.'” He also added, “When we go watch a movie I would say, ‘My friends were all available, but I want to watch the movie with you.'” Aww…That's so cheesy! If Wanna One would sing to me the "Pick Me" song, I'll definitely choose you, Daniel!
It seems like he wants to play oppa to her future noona girlfriend. “Females generally tend to be shorter than me and have small hands, so I want to call her ggo-maeng-ee (little kid/baby).” He also said that he would like to help his girlfriend with simple things that she could do herself, just like putting her shoes on with his hands.
Have you ever wondered how it feels like to be Kang Daniel's girlfriend? Take a look at this hilarious 3-minute boyfriend scene from SNL and see if you can open your heart for him.
So, have you been caught by the Kang Daniel fever? Take note, it's contagious, so tell your friends and let's see if they will fall in the worldwide fandom. Let us know what you think about our precious peach by leaving a comment below!
Questions & Answers
Question: Who is Kang Daniel's girlfriend?
Answer: Nice question you've got there. Unfortunately, there's no confirmed news about Kang Daniel dating anyone, but he has opened up about his ideal girl in some of the interviews.
Question: Is Kang Daniel the most talented dancer in South Korea?
Answer: Kang Daniel is indeed a good and talented dancer, however, he's not the only one who has that incredible talent in dancing. There are other passionate K-pop male dancers from other groups as well, who became popular for their awesome abilities, just like J-Hope (BTS), Kai (EXO), Taemin (Shinee), Hoya (Infinite), and Jay Park (2PM).
© 2018 Mare-sensei
Thisisdani on February 21, 2019:
He is perfect, Kang Daniel deserves the popularity
Kang daniel on September 15, 2018:
firstname.lastname@example.org on June 17, 2018:
I stumbled upon Produce 101 by chance & actually noticed Daniel for his peachy pink hair & his broad shoulders. Daniel is just amazing ..great if i have a son/sibling
like that hahahahaah can laugh All day
jolene on June 07, 2018:
japanese boys song
Ayna on May 28, 2018:
Only one word can describe him perfectly. He's just perfectly perfect.
Samantha Tamayo on April 25, 2018:
I've caught a Daniel fever once..... I watched Kang Daniel videos and stares at his pictures and I always think about him and imagine different scenarios with him then after the following days, I've caught a fever but I still went to school.
Chi on April 07, 2018:
I don't know what to say! I'm completely fall in love with him