‘American Idol’ Star HeeJun Han Gears Up for Solo Debut

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 American Idol alum HeeJun Han is on the cusp of dropping his first single in the United States and Korea, but don’t call him a K-pop singer.

Born in South Korea and raised in Flushing, N.Y., since the age of 12, the 24-year-old singer made it to the top 10 of the 11th season of the hit reality show. After his time on American Idol, Han wanted to secure a record deal and returned to South Korea where he stood a better chance of getting signed.

He told the Hollywood Reporter that he met with executives from 10 different labels, but he specifically pursued Korea-based Polaris for three months. Polaris signed Han but wanted to release his album in Korea, but the young musician was sure he would find success in the U.S. and pushed for an American release.

“My first language is Korean,” says Han. “I eat Korean food every day. Trust me, I can’t eat non-Korean food. Deep down inside, I’m most Korean in this Korean world. But I am not a K-pop singer. I’m in America. I’m an artist who also happens to be Korean.”

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