At age 16, Rain first debuted as a member of the South Korean boy group Fanclub before launching a solo career in 2002 with the release of his debut studio album Bad Guy. He went on to release six more albums including 2004’s It’s Raining and 2008’s Rainism. In 2003, he made his acting debut in the KBS2 series Sang-doo! Let’s Go to School! It won him Best New Actor at the KBS Drama Awards and Most Popular Actor at the 40th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2004, he starred in the widely popular KBS2 romantic comedy Full House, opposite Song Hye-gyo. His work in the series earned him an Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2006, he made his big screen debut in director Park Chan-wook’s I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK, which gave him the Best New Actor trophy at the 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards.  In 2008, he was cast in his first English-language film titled Speed Racer, which was followed by a starring role in the neo-noir martial arts film Ninja Assassin in 2009.

Rain enlisted for his mandatory military service in October 2011. In January 2013, Rain was put on probation and confined to his barracks for seven days after he was caught meeting with his girlfriend, actress Kim Tae-hee, while on active duty. He was also caught on photographs flouting military guidelines by not wearing a beret. He was officially discharged in July 2013. In January 2017, Rain and Kim Tae-hee tied the knot after five years of dating. They welcomed their first daughter on October 25, 2017. Their second daughter was born on September 19, 2019.