It is with great sadness that I must write that Tiger JK’s father, Suh Byung Hoo, passed away today at 4pm. Feel Ghood Music stated that he passed away in his UiJeongBu home, with JK and Tasha watching over him.
Mr. Suh, 72, was battling lung cancer since he was diagnosed in July 2013.
He was more affectionately known to fans as “G-pa,” short for grandpa, and reference to his relationship to grandson, Jordan. While G-pa was well-known to many music professionals, he became a Drunken Tiger fan favorite once he created his Twitter account, SmilinGrandaddy.
Mr. Suh was an inspiration to many. He graduated with a degree in Economics from Korea’s top university, Seoul National University. In 1968, he worked as a journalist at Kyunghyang Newspaper, writing about both Western and Korean pop. In 1978, he started working at Joong-Ang News and was the head writer of the music column. From 1981 to 1996, he was a correspondent for Billboard Magazine. He is credited as the country’s first pop columnist and the first person to introduce Korean music into a Western publication.
Even in his later years, he was always listening to music, old and new, and utilized social media sites such as Twitter to communicate with people worldwide. He was not afraid to interact with others, and openly shared his opinions on various topics. He was a well-liked gentleman. Fans took a special liking to him because of his sociability, humor, and genuine care for others. On paper, he was the Chief Advisor to the Feel Ghood label, but he enjoyed giving guidance to anyone who asked.
Tiger JK, who had a very strong bond with his father, released an album after a 4 year and 3 months hiatus aptly titled “살자 – salja – Let’s Live/The Cure.” Tiger JK dedicated the title track, appropriately named the same as the album, to his father. The title track contains positive messages telling listeners that all things under the sun are your friends and they are protecting you.
Mr Suh showed dedication to the Korean Martial art of Taekwondo. He worked as an Editor of World Taekwondo, an international English Taekwondo Federation magazine, while also working as a General Managing Editor for “음악세계 –Music World” magazine.
Additionally, he was well known in the Buddhist community. He had a significant interest in Tantric Buddihism and held office in Shakyamuni Buddhist Center Sininjong, Vajrayana Buddhism. He lived at a Buddhist temple hidden in the Korean mountains in the later years of his life.
Finally, Mr. Suh was a teacher at heart. He published a number of books on Buddhism and gave occasional lectures on music.
The wake is being held at Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Nowon, Seoul, and the funeral will conclude on the 3rd at 9:30 AM KST.
My greatest condolences go out to my Drunken Tiger/MFBTY fam as they go through this difficult time. Father, grandfather, writer, teacher, intellectual, pioneer, friend. Rest in peace, G-Pa.
Article credits: Newsis
translation credits: JSK