Fly to the Sky (플라이 투 더 스카이)

Envy almost caused the downfall of this R&B duo. Korean-American Brian Joo (pic below, right) felt that Hwanhee – the surgically-enhanced Korean stud – was receiving more attention and recognition than him.

Brian then suggested that they go their separate ways after their first contract expired and that irked Hwanhee so much, the pair got into a heated argument. But that’s history. The duo apparently got their differences sorted out as they are still together.

The pair debuted in 1999 under SM Entertainment. A year earlier, Brian auditioned while he was still studying in a New Jersey high school in the US of A. Meanwhile, Hwanhee (or Fany – goodness, that is too sissy a name for my liking) was encouraged to audition by the label’s staff member at his high school festival. And that’s how Fly to the Sky got its wings.

While their debut album Day by Day wasn’t a smash hit, the pair was noted for singing mid-tempo ballads. Following their debut, the duo consistently released albums and their popularity gradually increased.

Their third album, Sea of Love, was released in 2001 and it featured a track titled Condition of My Heart, which was written by Brian McKnight. Their sound matured and the pair adopted a more R&B feel, leaving behind bubblegum pop. The gamble paid off as it gave them greater success.

A tragedy occurred just before the release of the duo’s 4th album Missing You. Fly to the Sky’s manager died in a car accident and the guys were shaken, especially Hwanhee, who cheated death by a few hours. The singer was actually travelling in the same van with his manager before the accident occurred.

In 2003, Brian stirred up controversy when he was misquoted during a radio interview. At that time, anti-American sentiments were high because an American soldier had murdered two teenage girls.

When asked for a comment on the topic, he reportedly said: “Don’t insult the United States, because I am an American.” However, the guy apparently meant that while the American soldier should be brought to justice, he did not want relations between Korea and the United States, his home country, to become strained.

Hmm, how did he get misquoted so badly? Something fishy’s going on. Brian, next time steer clear from touchy issues like this. Just say “No comment” or act dumb…go “Du-uh” or something. It’d save you a whole load of cra-, trouble.

Apart from Fly to the Sky, the guys also have their own pet projects. Hwanhee made his acting debut in Over the Rainbow, a 2006 drama series where he plays a cocky singer named Rex. Check it out if you want to see a pre-operation Hwanhee.

Meanwhile, Brian released a solo album in December 2006. I guess he still has something to prove, as this was the reason he gave for the album:

“First of all, I just wanted to do it. I also wanted to show that I could (be successful) as Brian. When Fly to the Sky sang, many think Fany (Hwanhee) is the main vocal, and that I am the second vocal and a rapper. I won’t mention his name, but one producer once said to Fany, ‘You are a really good singer’, when he only said ‘Good job’, to me. So I wanted to prove that I could do it too.”

Awww Brian, still feeling a little inferior, are we? Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt already. That’s why K-popped! is going to show support for the underdog by mentioning you first in the profile section. Step aside, Hwanhee. You’re still a stud, but please, just step aside for a moment.

Name: Brian Joo (브라이언 주)
Korean name: Joo Min-kyu (주민규)
Nickname: Sexy Man
Date of birth: Jan 10, 1981
Nationality: American
Height: 176cm
Weight: 60kg
Blood Type: A
Religion: Christian
Education: Holy Spirit High School, Dong Gook University
Brian Joo’s MySpace:

Name: Hwang Yoon-suk (황윤석)
Nickname: Hwanhee (환희) – I’m not going to list “Fany” down because I don’t like it
Date of birth: Jan 17, 1982
Nationality: Korean
Height: 177cm
Weight: 58kg
Blood Type: B
Religion: None
Education: Kwang Moon Go Highschool, Woo Song Jung Bo University – Music


  • Recollection (2008)
  • No Limitations (2007)
  • Transition (2006)
  • Gravity (2004)
  • Missing You (2003)
  • Sea of Love (2002)
  • The Promise (2001)
  • Day by Day (1999)

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  1. Their world tour starts fm Seoul (Korea) last 2 weeks, then Tokyo (Japan) now to LA(USA). Envy envy envy.. some lucky fans from Malaysia going..

  2. This is the first time i come across kpopped.I’ve just discovered ftts from youtube.I simply loved them. where can i read about their personal life – family etc?

  3. HI EVERYONE…..IT’S PAULINE FRM THE U.S….i am so glad my fellows have made it to the STATES…..i hope the folks in SF do them proud..i know they won’t regret it…luv to you all ……see ya!!

  4. I love their music! And you should really check out Brian’s booty-shaking vids in xman and other variety shows… They’re all over youtube… He is so funny! Luv ya, Brian!

  5. Yeah Pauline, I like Hwanhee’s strong and gruff vocals opposite Brian’s softer one. What a contrast.

    And yeah, Hwanhee looks superhot after surgery. Can’t wait for his new drama to air (in 2008,I hear) so I can get my fill of the new Hwanhee on the small screen!

    Whoo hoo! 🙂

  6. i have been a FTTS fan for quite a few years…i am not a teeny bopper lol…i don’t speak KOREAN…but i love their sound. they just keep geting better..i have all but their last two albums.i started a scrapbook years ago when they were very young..i like Hwanee’s new face lol….at least he kept his voice…lol

  7. are you interested in buying their cds? i have an extra Fly to the Sky Best Album (overseas version) that i am selling~ because back when it was first released i bought the korean version and i was frustrated that taiwan released it with a vcd so i ended up having like 4 copies (2korean and 2overseas)!!! anyway 1 of the overseas copy is still spankin’ brand new.. with plastic and everything – since it’s their “best album” i highly recommend it for new fans! their hits songs from 1st to 5th jib are compiled! that version’s out of stock now but if you want info here’s the link -> ( — let me know if you’re interested maybe we can work something out?!

  8. I was at Rock Corner the other day and I asked the guy at the cashier if they carried any Fly to the Sky albums. He checked his comp and no, the don’t have any of FTTS’s albums!!!

    On a brighter note, Rock Corner is having a promotion on all K-pop and J-pop albums. 20% discount off any K-pop or J-pop album while stocks last.

    They have outlets at 1 Utama, The Curve…and I don’t know where else.

    Darn, they should be paying me for doing that plug.

  9. Hmm, I’ve just watched the vids. I love Hwanhee’s strong vocals…very sexy.

    Where can I get their album in Malaysia? Speedy? MPH? Tower Records? Rock Corner?

  10. Hi in’vincible, thanks for sharing about Fly to the Sky :-)…ah a big fan, I see. 🙂

    Appreciate all that you’ve told us…and the video links.

    Keep “poppin’ up” yah.

  11. ^ glad you enjoyed the vids… ^o^

    i was once part of Heavenly-Sent but due to my busy schedule at school i gave up my position but i’m still around to help (as a shadow) i guess~ lol

  12. Hi IN’vincible,

    Thank you for introducing me to the FTTS MVs and for sharing your personal favourites. I viewed all of them. I liked the clip of the duo singing Missing You live. Both their voices are such a contrast. Brian is more high pitched and HwanHee is lower and slightly hoarse.

    I also noticed you had a hand in encoding one of the videos.

    Are you managing the fan site : ?

    I know more about Fly To The Sky now. Thanks!

  13. in’vincible…or other Fly to the Sky fans…can you introduce some good YouTube links for the duo’s music videos and songs?

    Thanks! 🙂

  14. hi! popping up again ^o^
    Brian went through a lot compared to HwanHee that’s why he can’t help but feel inferior. As for the “controversy”~ Brian is a very opinionated person so he can’t just pull a “no comment” answer… From what I can still remember, some listeners took what he said the wrong way thinking he’s flaunting that he is an American. And I think from there he was removed as a 1010club DJ?! aah that was a long time ago~ i hardly remember the reason… but yeah, i think that’s pretty much it! Thanks for featuring Fly to the Sky!!! They are the reason why I’m into this whole Hallyu thing ^o^

  15. Whoa, you lost me there, ~A. Who are Sechkies…HOT and Shinhwa fanfic? The fans pit them against Shinhwa or something?

  16. They’re lookin good! I remember when them and Sechkies were the bad guys in every HOT and Shinhwa fanfic!


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