February 24, 1978 |
|unnamed (m. 2017)|
|Revised Romanization||Gang Hui-geon|
Kang Hee-gun (Hangul: ; born February 24, 1978), better known by his stage name Gary (Korean: , often spelled as Garie), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and television personality. Besides a solo artist, he is also the rapper and lyricist of the former hip hop duo Leessang. Since their formation in 2002, the group has produced a total of eight albums and had several hits under their belt. In 2014, Gary made his debut as a solo artist with the mini-album Mr.Gae. Despite the album being banned by all major TV broadcast stations for its 19+ content, his songs still managed to top several charts. He and long time collaborator Jung-in later went on to form the duo, Jung In & Gary. The two released the singles "Your Scent" and "Bicycle."
Aside from his own work, Gary has been featured in works by famous artists such as Psy, Baek Ji-young, Lee Hyori, Dynamic Duo, and MC Mong. He is also a former cast member of the variety show Running Man.
Gary was born on February 24, 1978. His nickname in middle school was "Gae" (meaning "dog" in Korean), which he adapted to become his stage name, after deciding between "gaemi" (ant) and "Gary". In his younger years, he was more interested in dancing than rapping. Gary revealed that he participated in a dance competition and actually won, defeating other competitors, Jang Woo Hyuk and Moon Hee Jun, who eventually became members of H.O.T. Lee Soo Man scouted all three boys, and offered them a contract to SM Entertainment. Ultimately, Gary rejected the offer. Gary went to Yong In University and trained as a bodyguard. He was an amateur boxer for 10 years.
In 1997, Gary joined X-Teen, a hip-hop group where he met his future Leessang partner, Gil. Gary participated in the group's album release in 1998 before being dropped along with Gil. In an interview, Gary said they had neither the look or the talent which made them quit the group.
Afterwards, Gary and Gil ended up joining "Honey Family" and released two albums in 1999 and 2000. Gary took part of the responsibility for the break up of the group by stating that he "started feeling like a celebrity" after their initial success. Gary, Gil, and fellow Honey Family member Diggity decided to form "Leessam Trio" ("sam" means "three" in Korean). They released a compilation album called 2000 Korea, in the year 2000. When Diggity left the group, Gary and Gil changed the name to LeeSsang.
Leessang was created in 2002 by Gary and Gil. So far, the group has produced eight albums with numerous hits. Although the duo achieve critical success from their earlier albums, they remained underground. Their last three albums, Hexagonal, Asura Balbalta, and Unplugged broke numerous records and guided their entry to the mainstream Korean music industry. The title song from Asura Balbalta, "Turn Off the TV" managed to stay at the top of the Melon chart for 25 days in a row.
In January 2014, he released a mini album, Mr.Gae. Three major TV broadcast stations, MBC, KBS, and SBS, all deemed the album unfitting for broadcast, stating reasons such as explicit lyrics and being too sexually provocative. Despite the ban, Gary's title track "Shower Later" clenched the number 1 spot on 8 real-time music charts.
Gary later commented on the ban saying that he felt confined by his image and wanted to break the mold.
In May 2014, Gary and Jung-in released their first collaboration "Your Scent." The lyrics was penned by Gary while Jung-In and Duble Sidekick produced the music. Despite not having any live promotions, Gary and Jung-In took the win on June 7 Music Core. In a testament to its popularity, the Gaon Chart ranked the single #6 on the year end national digital single ranking. The two later released their second collaboration "Bicycle" in September 2014.
In September 2015, Gary released his second solo album, 2002. The title track of the album is "Get Some Air" featuring Mi-woo of Leessang Company. Several other tracks in this album also featured Koonta, Deepflow, Skull, Jay Park, DJ Pumkin, Park Myung-ho Double K, Don Mills, Jung-in, John Park and Young-jun of Brown Eyed Souls.
In January 2016, Gary released a single, "Lonely Night" featuring Gaeko of Dynamic Duo. A music video was released on the same day, featuring actress and fellow castmate of Running Man, Song Ji-hyo. Gary was nominated as a no.1 candidate on SBS Inkigayo on January 10, 2016 and subsequently won the award.
In 2010, Gary joined Running Man as a co-host, an urban variety show, along with 6 other original cast members, including Yoo Jae-suk, Haha, Ji Suk-jin, Kim Jong-kook, Lee Kwang-soo and Song Joong-ki while the only female member, Song Ji-hyo, joined the cast a few episodes afterward.
In October 2016, the producers of Running Man announced the departure of Gary, who wanted to focus on his music career after being a regular member for nearly 7 years. His last filming with the main cast was for episode 324. However, he made a brief return in the following episode 325 as a guest.
In January 2017, Gary appeared for Member's Week on episode 336.
On April 5, 2017, Gary revealed on his social media account that he had married a non-celebrity woman. The news of his sudden marriage shocked fans, the cast and crew of Running Man, his agency and his close acquaintances. On November 17, 2017, Gary and his wife welcomed their first child. 
|2015||The Girl Who Sees Smells||Cameo with Running Man members||SBS|
|2010-2017||Running Man||SBS||Cast member (ep. 1-324)
Guest (ep. 325, 336)
|2002||Brown Eyes||I Wanna Fall in Love With You|
|2004||Kim Bum-soo||About Eternity|
|Dynamic Duo||It's Alright|
|Eun Jiwon||Gotta Go|
|2009||Fly to the Sky||Hide and Seek|
|Kim Jong-kook||Come Back to Me|
|Dynamic Duo||Keep The Change|
|C-Luv, Crush||Where Do You Wanna Go?|
|Kim Jong-kook||Words I Want to Say to You|
|2013||Jung-in||Let's Walk a Little|
|2014||MC Mong||Broken Fan|
|2015||Youngjun||Thinking of You|
|2016||Park Myung-ho||Bed Room|
|San E||Like An Airplane|
|2002||Mnet Music Video Festival||Hip-Hop Artist of the Year||Leessang||Won|
|2003||Hip-Hop Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2005||Korean Music Awards||Hip-Hop Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2007||Mnet/KM Music Awards||Hip-Hop Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Music Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2007||Cyworld Digital Music Awards||Song of the Month||Won|
|2009||Best Collaboration of the Year||Won|
|MIAK Golden Disc Awards||Hip-Hop Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Mnet Asian Music Awards||Music Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Hip-Hop Artist of the Year||Won|
|2010||4th SBS Entertainment Award||Variety New Star Award||Running Man||Won|
|Cyworld Digital Music Awards||Bonsang||Leessang||Won|
|Cyworld Digital Music Awards||Best Collaboration of the Year||Won|
|2011||MelOn Music Awards||Top 10 Artists||Won|
|Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Rap Performance||Won|
|2012||5th SBS Entertainment Award||Excellence Award in Variety||Running Man||Won|
|2013||NATE Awards||Best Couple with Song Ji-hyo||Won|
|7th SBS Entertainment Awards||Best Couple Award with Song Ji-hyo||Nominated|
|7th SBS Entertainment Awards||Viewer's Most Popular Award (with Running Man members)||Won|
|Melon Music Awards||Rap/Hip-Hop Award||Leessang - "Tears"
|MelOn Music Awards||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2014||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Rap Performance||"Shower Later"||Nominated|
|Best Collaboration with Jung-in||"Your Scent"||Nominated|
|Singapore Entertainment Awards||OMY Hot Star with Song Ji-hyo||Nominated|
|2nd Annual DramaFever Awards||Best Kiss with Song Ji-hyo||Running Man||Won|
|Best Couple Not Meant To Be with Song Ji-hyo||Nominated|
|2015||2014 Youku Night Awards||Entertainment Spirit Award||Won|
|Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Rap Performance||"Get Some Air"
(Korean: ? ? ?)
|UnionPay Song of the Year||Nominated|
|9th SBS Entertainment Awards||Top Excellence Award in Variety with Song Ji-hyo||Running Man||Won|
|2016||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Rap Performance||"Lonely Night"||Nominated|
|UnionPay Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2014||June 7||Your Scent|
|2016||January 10||Lonely Night|