October 12, 2011 09:17
After giving teary-eyed fans a rousing send off on Sunday with a free street concert in Gangnam, a newly-cropped Rain enlisted in the Army on Tuesday afternoon for 21 months of compulsory military service.
The "Ninja Assassin" star and Korean Wave singing sensation reported to the 306th Army draft camp in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province. He is going to take up active duty after a five-week boot camp.
The former back-up dancer who rose to international fame held a press conference at a nearby vacant lot and bade farewell to fans before he disappeared into the Army camp.
The ever-humble star said, "I'm sorry for making a fuss about my enlistment." He thanked fans for supporting him for the best part of a decade and looked emotional as he headed off for a life of drills, discipline and Army fatigues.
He was seen off by friends and acquaintances including K-pop boy band MBLAQ, which he helped create and manage.
About 1,000 fans from home and abroad, including those from the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, gathered to see him carrying placards wishing him the best.
On Sunday night, Rain gave a free concert on Yeongdong Boulevard in Samseong-dong as part of the Gangnam Fashion Festival.
He debuted as a solo artist in 2002 and has since expanded his scope of activities to include TV dramas and films. In 2006, Time magazine named him on its list of the top 100 people who were transforming the world with their talent or power.
"Thanks to his angelic face, killer bod and Justin Timber-like dance moves, Rain … has ridden the crest of hallyu," wrote Time reporter Bryan Walsh.
Rain acted in the Hollywood movie "Speed Racer" in 2008 and starred in the action film "Ninja Assassin" one year later.
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