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Lay (EXO) Profile, Bio, & Facts


Lay (레이) is a Chinese singer and a member of the boy group EXO under SM Entertainment. He debuted solo in October 2016 with single ‘What U need?’.

Lay (EXO) Profile

Stage NameLay (레이)
Birth NameZhang Yixing (장이씽/ 张艺兴)
OccupationSinger, Producer, Song-writer, Composer, Dancer, Rapper, Businessman
BirthdayOctober 7th, 1991
Active Years2012–present
Age32 (in 2024)
Zodiac SignLibra
Height177 m (5’10’’)
Weight60 kg (132 lbs)
Blood TypeA

Lay (EXO) Facts

Early Life

– He was born in Changsha, China.
– His birth name was Zhang Jiashuai which was later changed to Zhang Yixing.
– He lived with his grandparents when he was a child and still is quite close to them.
– He went to Hunan Normal University High School.

Personal Life

– His grandfather is a primary school principal, his grandmother is a history teacher, and his father is a singing teacher.
– He is an only child.
Lay and Luhan joined SM Entertainment on the same day and became close.
He has hemophilia which is inherited. (Soompi)
His Chinese friends nicknamed him “Da Tou” which means Big Head.
– He was initially the first choice to become a leader of EXO-M however, it was later changed to Kris.
– His most used emoji is 😎. (ELLE Singapore)
– He believes he has a talent for making the best toasts.
– He used to practice for a very long time.
He was practicing alone in a studio one time when Baekhyun saw him and stopped to look at him practicing, he told him ‘Naga Juseyo’ in Korean which means to ‘Get Out’. Baekhyun still teases him about that.
– He really wants to go to Hawaii. (Billboard)
– His superpower in the group is of Unicorn (Healer).
He used to be the cook in EXO-M.
– At the age of 14, he realized music was important to him. (buzzfeed celeb)
– The very first song that he composed was about the weather.
– He used to call his cat just ‘Cat’ when he was 17 years old. His cat never had a name.
He has four cats ‘Rookie’, ‘Lulu’, ‘Luobo’, and ‘Laosan’.
– His fandom name is ‘Xingmi’ which means ‘Crazy about Xing’
He once expressed that if he were a girl, he would choose to date someone like himself.
– His name “Lay” means tiredness. (METAL China)
He really likes to get handwritten letters from his fans and he tries to read every one of them.
He has a good friendship with Leo from VIXX.
– He bought a Jay Chou album with his own money at the age of 10. (MTV News)
When he was a trainee in SM, he learned how to dance with “two boys” who cursed while dancing, not knowing they were cursing in Korean. He thought it was cool. So, one day he was asked to perform in front of his teachers, he did what he learned and cursed while dancing.
His ideal type is someone who possesses qualities of being cute and filial.
– A goal he wants to achieve is to find himself. (Prestige)
– He has several nicknames including King of Changsha and XingXing.
– The first CD he ever bought was ‘Billie Jean’ by Micheal Jackson.
– He first owned a cat when he was 17 years old. However, he gave his pet cat away to his friends in 2008 when he was traveling to Korea for training. (buzzfeed celeb)
– When he was 13 years old, he performed in a competition for the first time back in his hometown.
– He has recently been listening to the song ‘Veil’. 


– He has been appearing in several TV shows in China since 1998.
– He was cast into SM in 2008 through global auditions held in China.
– His training period is 4 years.
– He was announced as a member of EXO on January 17th, 2012.
– He is a vocalist and dancer in the group.
– He won 3rd place in 2015 for TV Star Academy. (Hunan Economics TV Show)
– In 2010, he replaced JongHyun as a dancer on the tour of SHINee because of his injury.
– He was cast in various Chinese movies, including “Ex Files 2: The Backup Strikes Back” (2015), “Oh My God” (2015), “Kung Fu Yoga” (2017), “The Founding of an Army” (2017), and “The Island” (2018).
– He has also made appearances in several Chinese dramas, such as “The Mystic Nine” (2016), “Operation Love” (2017), “The Golden Eyes” (2019), and “Empress of the Ming” (2019).
– He is also a composer and composed all the songs in his debut album titled ‘LAY 02 SHEEP’.
– On October 28, 2016, he released his first mini album titled ‘Lose Control’. Impressively, all the songs on the album were written and composed by himself.
– He takes on the role of the MC in the popular reality show “Idol Producer.”
– He served as a mentor in the reality show “Rave Now” in 2018, where he shared his expertise and guidance with the participants.
– He collaborated with Alan Walker for the remix version of his song ‘Sheep’ titled ‘Sheep Relift’ in 2018.
– His second album ‘Namanana’ debuted at 21 on Billboard 200.
– He was ranked 18th on TC Candler’s “The 100 Most Handsome Faces of 2018” list.
– He established his own entertainment industry ‘Chromosome Entertainment Group’ in October 7th, 2020.
– He left SM Entertainment on April 8th, 2022 after the completion of his 10 year contract.
– He was a guest speaker at the conference of Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School in 2022.


– He is also an ambassador for Valentino.
– He holds the distinction of being the inaugural ambassador for several renowned brands in China and the Asia-Pacific region. He is the first ambassador for the Perrier company, the Valentino brand, the Milka company, and Converse.

Likes & Dislikes

– He likes movies that dig into the personality and conflict. (Variety Magazine)
His hobbies includes playing instruments like piano and guitar, cooking, dancing, and mastering languages.
He really likes to dance.
His favorite colors are black and purple.

Food Preferences

His favorite foods are his own cooked food, junk food, and tidbits.
He enjoys carbonated drinks.
He really likes to eat fruits.
He likes to eat pepper steak.
He also enjoys cinnamon rolls. (Back to Field S6E12)


– He can speak Chinese, English, and Korean.
– He can do butterfly technique when swimming. (MTV News)
– He excelled playing piano on his own.
– The dish he can cook the best is braised pork ribs. (ELLE Singapore)

Personality & Habits

He is pretty slow in terms of reaction. He would understand a joke much later after everyone is done laughing.
He has a habit of drinking coffee in the morning. (Youku)
He is a very humble, down-to-earth, funny, and hard-working individual.
He has a habit of rubbing or pinching his lips.
He sleeps on the hard floors of the living room because he likes the cool temperature there.
He sings while showering.
He is scared of pigeons.
When he gets shy, he covers his face with his hand.
He is sensitive to wind, especially his neck.
He had a habit of kissing his members behind their ears or neck randomly.
He is easily forgetful at times.
– He would cheer his members by playing guitar.


– He has a charity foundation under his name ‘Zhang Yixing Art Scholarship’.
– In 2016, he made a donation to a joint Weibo public welfare funding project for poor families.
– In 2017, he donated 15 ambulances to BAZAAR Stars’ Charity Night.

Wax Statue

– Both the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Beijing and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Shanghai have honored him by creating wax figures of him.
– In Beijing, the wax figure portrays him in modern clothes, while in Shanghai, the wax figure is styled after the character Er Yue Hong, which – Lay played in the drama “The Mystic Nine.” This recognition in wax form demonstrates his popularity and impact as an artist.

Major Works

– His popular songs include “Let’s SHUT UP & DANCE ”, “Veil (Eng ver)” and “Break My Heart”.
– He also sang the OST ‘Alone’ for Ex Files 2: The Backup Strikes Back’ movie.


– In 2017, he won the ‘Top Male Artist’ award at the V Chart Awards.
– In 2018, he won the ‘Producer of the Year’ award at the Annual Power Fashion Awards.
– In 2023, he won the ‘Artist of the Year’ award at Weibo Music Awards.

Social Media Handles
Instagram: layzhang
Youtube: layzhang
Twitter: layzhang
TikTok: layzhang

Streaming Platform Links
Genie | Spotify | Bugs | Melon | Apple Music | Deezer

NOTE: How did you get to know Lay? Mention your story in the comments section and also share more facts with us if you know!

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Park Emma

I'm a big fan of K-pop, especially the group EXO, and Baekhyun is my Bias. When I'm not writing about K-pop, I enjoy reading books. Join me as I explore the world of K-pop and literature through my writing.

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