He was a finalist on the 2005 edition of the reality talent competition Star Academy. He auditioned for S.M. Entertainment when he was sixteen years old and joined EXO four years later.
He appeared in several television variety programs, including Na Ke Bu Yi Yang and Yue Ce Yue Kai Xin.
Born Zhang Yixing, he grew up in the city of Changsha in China's Hunan province.
He replaced Jonghyun Kim in SHINee's 2011 music tour.