MANILA, Philippines – And he’s off to the military.
Asian pop star Rain enlisted in the Korean military Tuesday, leaving thousands of fans in despair and temporarily abandoning his showbiz career for his mandatory service.
The 29-year-old popular singer, whose real name is Jung Ji Hoon, reported this afternoon to the Uijeongbu 306 Reserve Troop Station in Geonggi Province in South Korea for his enlistment.
Rain will receive his basic military training at the camp after which he will be in active duty.
Rain met fans and the media briefly before entering the camp. He saluted and bowed and thanked the fans for coming.
About 1,000 fans from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and China are at the site to bid Rain goodbye. Fans arrived at Uijeongbu early morning Tuesday armed with banners and streamers proclaiming their support and love for their idol, adding that they will be waiting for his comeback.
Last Sunday, Rain held his free concert dubbed as “Last for the Best” for fans in Samseong in Gangnam, Seoul. Thousands trooped to the concert to see Rain perform for the last time.
On his Twitter, Rain announced that the concert would be aired on Mnet TV station after his enlistment.
Rain also visited his mother’s grave on Monday to pay his respect.
In the last 10 years, Rain has become one of the most successful Korean artists.
Early this year, Rain won the 2011 TIME 100 Poll readers’ choice as the No. 1 most influential person in the world, edging out the likes of Beyonce (No. 6), US President Barack Obama (No. 46), and Lady Gaga (No. 12).
Rain also became successful in acting on TV and films. He starred in the Hollywood films “Speed Racer” and “Ninja Assassin.”