Jang Na-ra

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Jang.
Jang Na-ra
Born (1981-03-18) March 18, 1981 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
  • Singer
  • Actress
  • Model
Years active 2000 - present
Musical career
Genres Pop
Years active 2001 - present
  • Pure Entertainment
  • WS Entertainment
  • Narajjang.com Corporation
Website Official website
Korean name
Hanja 나라
Revised Romanization Jang Nara
McCune–Reischauer Chang Nara

Jang Na-ra (Korean: 장나라?, born March 18, 1981) is a South Korean singer and actress active in the South Korean and Chinese entertainment industries.[1] She is known for her hit song Sweet Dream and TV roles in New Nonstop, Successful Story of a Bright Girl, Bratty Princess, Baby Faced Beauty, School 2013 and Fated to Love You.

Early life and education[edit]

Jang spent most of her childhood in her birthplace, Yeokchon-dong Eunpyeong District in Seoul, South Korea. She appeared with her father, Ju Heo-Seong who is also an actor, in a play Les Misérables, in her primary school days, thus sparking her interest to become an actress. Jang also went on to become an advertisement model for some television advertisements in her high school days before entering into the Department of Theater, the Faculty of Fine Arts major in Acting at Chung-Ang University in March 2000. She then graduated 10 years after on February 19, 2010. The delay is due to her continuous work since her debut after she entered the University. She also received an alumni association award for her contributions to the University during the graduation rites.[2]

Music career[edit]

Jang made her debut in the entertainment world as a singer on May 2001. She started her singing career by becoming a trainee and signing a contract with SM Entertainment. However, SM Entertainment dropped her due to assumptions that she would have lesser or no popularity than the other competing artists.[3] Despite SM management's opinion, Jang released her debut album First Story with the title track Burying My Face In Tears. Initially, it was not well received as it only reached number 12 in Korean music charts. After starring in the popular sitcom New Nonstop, she became more well known and released the other tracks in the album such as her pop ballad style song, Confession and the April Story, which all ranked at the top in various music charts.[4] The album sold 300,000 copies in the process. Thus, this resulted in Jang holding an MC job at MBC's music show, Music Camp.[4] Jang also served as an MC of the KBS talk show Love Story. By the end of 2001, she received several New Female Artist awards from year-end Music Awards ceremonies and New MC awards from Entertainment Awards ceremonies.[4]

In October 2002, Jang released her second album Jjang Nara Vol.2 Sweet Dream. The song Sweet Dream became immensely popular and reached number 1 in Korean music charts instantly, making Jang a household name. The album also became one of the top selling albums of that year in South Korea. Sweet Dream also became part of the soundtrack for her 2002 drama My Love Patzzi. As a result of the album's popularity, she won several awards including two Daesang awards or the Grand Prize (equivalent to Korean Top Artist of the Year) from MBC Music Festival and KBS Music Awards.[4][5] She also received the Korean Singer of the Year from China's CCTV-MTV Awards in 2003.[5]

In December 2003, Jang released her third album aptly titled 3rd Story. The album was also popular and produced hit songs that went to number 1 but it did not surpassed nor equaled the success of her second album.[4]

Jang released a Best Hits Album in 2004 consisting of songs from her 3 previous albums. She followed it up with her 4th album titled My Story released in December 2004 consisting hits such as I Love School and Winter Diary.

With her popularity in China, she also made a career in music overseas by releasing Chinese-language albums. Her first Chinese album was a huge success and it featured her previously released Korean songs translated into Chinese. The Chinese versions of Sweet Dream, It's Probably Love and I'm A Woman Too have become very popular on radio throughout Asia. She also performed in many concerts across China, often singing both Korean and Chinese songs. In 2006, she released her second Chinese album called Kung Fu.[6] The video for the song featured her in red qipao (Chinese women's traditional dress), fighting villains, and dancing with a cute panda.

She returned to K-pop in 2007 and released her 5th album entitled She. The next year, she released a multi-lingual album called Dream of Asia.

During the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Jang was the only singer from a non-Chinese-speaking country to appear in the 2008 Olympic song Beijing Welcomes You.

Jang also sang soundtracks for movies like Sky and Ocean and TV shows such as Dong Yi and Baby Faced Beauty. She also voiced characters in Korean animated films.

In 2012, four years after releasing Dream of Asia, Jang returned and released the digital single I Only Think Of You.[7]

Acting career[edit]

Jang also has a successful acting career. Her first acting appearance is in the popular MBC TV sitcom New Nonstop. The sitcom is known to produce eventual top stars in Korea and Jang received her big break in the sitcom with her cute image. She appeared with other young stars such as Park Kyung-lim, Jo In-sung, and Yang Dong-geun.[4][8]

In 2002, Jang landed her first leading role in a drama through SBS Successful Story of a Bright Girl (명랑소녀 성공기) pairing her with Jang Hyuk. The drama is well received and recorded high audience rating.[9] She also won the Best New TV Actress Award for the drama at the 2003 Baeksang Arts Awards. The success of the drama and her hit song Sweet Dream launched her to stardom in South Korea that year. She became one of the busiest and most sought-after Korean female artist with her numerous endorsements for TV and print advertisements and multiple offers for TV shows and movies. She immediately had another drama that same year playing Yang Song Yi in MBC My Love Patzzi (내 사랑 팥쥐).

In 2003, she had her first lead role in a movie with Oh! Happy Day (오! 해피데이).[10]

In 2004, she came back to the small screen and starred in the MBC weekend drama Love Is All Around (사랑을 할꺼야). And by the next year, she starred opposite Ryu Si-won in the KBS romance drama called Wedding (웨딩).[11]

In 2005, with her increasing popularity in China, she made a bold move by moving to China to start her singing and acting career. Her first mainstream Chinese drama is Bratty Princess (刁蛮公主).[12] Being the lead actress, she attracted much affection from Chinese-speaking fans and became very popular in China and other Chinese-speaking countries in Asia. The success of Bratty Princess catapulted her as a hallyu or Korean Wave star in China.[13] She made several other drama series in China which includes Good Morning Shanghai (纯白之恋) in 2007, Iron Masked Singer (铁面歌女) in 2010, and Unruly Qiao (刁蛮俏御医) in 2011.

In 2009, she came back to South Korea and filmed a movie called Sky and Ocean (하늘과 바다). She played Haneul, a gifted violinist with a mental age of 6 years old, diagnosed with Savant syndrome. The movie flopped in the Korean box office mainly because of controversies surrounding the movie even before it was released in theaters.[14][15] However, she won the Best Actress for a Foreign Film Award at the 19th China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards for the movie. The film festival is organized by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the China Film Association.[16] The film also became the 1st Asian film to be invited and won the Media Award at the 8th Tirana International Film Festival in Albania.[17]

In May 2011, Jang decided to end her 6-year-hiatus from starring in Korean dramas by taking the lead role as Lee Seo-young who is a 34 year old aspiring designer mistaken for being 25 in the KBS romantic-comedy Baby Faced Beauty (동안미녀). This mini-series marked her comeback in Korean TV drama and coincided with her 10th year anniversary since her debut.[18] She later won the Excellence Award for an Actress in a mini-series at the 2011 KBS Drama Awards.[19]

The following year, she went back to China and filmed her first Chinese movie Flying With You (一起飞) starring opposite Taiwanese singer and actor Jimmy Lin.[20] She also made a cameo in another Chinese movie starring Jaycee Chan called Whoever (愛誰誰).[21] That same year, she appeared together with her father in a Chinese drama entitled Race Course (跑马场).[22]

In December 2012, Jang reunited with her Baby Faced Beauty co-star Choi Daniel for KBS School 2013 (학교 2013).[23][24][25] She played Jung In-Jae, the passionate homeroom teacher of Class 2-2 at Seung Ri High School. While still filming for School 2013, she received her second consecutive Excellence Award for an Actress in a mini-series at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards.[19]

After filming for School 2013 concluded, Jang immediately returned to China to film another drama called Red Palaquin (红轿子).[26]

The year 2014 proved to be a busy year for Jang with three TV projects under MBC network. In July 2014, Jang played the lead role as Kim Mi Young in Fated to Love You (운명처럼 널 사랑해), the Korean adaptation of the 2008 Taiwanese hit drama of the same title. This TV series reunited her with Jang Hyuk 12 years after both starred in the highly rated drama Successful Story of a Bright Girl.[27] Shortly after Fated to Love You ended, Jang starred in a one-episode drama special entitled Old Goodbye/Old Farewell for MBC Drama Festival, pairing her once again with Jang Hyuk. Then, she took on the lead role for another MBC TV series opposite Shin Ha-kyun in the fantasy-romantic-comedy drama Mr. Back (미스터 백).[28] She later won the 2014 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award Best Actress in a Mini-Series for both TV drama series she starred in that year.

Charity and other activities[edit]

Jang does many charity work such as sending free powdered milk to the hungry North Korean children. She also works with the FHI Charity organization.

In 2007, Jang held a fund-raising concert for child patients of leukemia in China. The Jang Foundation was established from the money raised during Jang's fan club meeting at her June 9 concert in Beijing, which was held to mark the 15th year of Korean-Chinese diplomatic relations. Twelve hundred seats at the concert venue sold out early. After the concert on stage, a leading Chinese charity organization appointed Jang as a goodwill ambassador, making her the first foreigner to receive such an honor.[29]

In the aftermath of 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Jang donated 150,000 dollars to a charity organization in China and 8 billion won of clothing for the victims.[30][31]

In June 2010, Jang was appointed as an associate professor at the Beijing Huajia University (北京华嘉学院).[32]

In 2011, Jang was appointed as Seoul’s Gangnam-gu’s ambassador to promote tourism in the area.[33]


TV series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes With Country
2015 I Remember You
너를 기억해
Cha Ji An KBS2 Lead Role Seo In-guk South Korea
One-Winged Eagle
CCTV Cameo Huang Hai Bing China
2014 Mr. Back
미스터 백
Eun Ha Soo MBC Lead Role Shin Ha-kyun South Korea
Old Farewell (one episode - part of MBC Drama Festival)
오래된 안녕
Han Chae Hee Jang Hyuk
Fated to Love You
운명처럼 널 사랑해
Kim Mi Young
2013 Red Palaquin
Huzhou TV China
2012 School 2013
학교 2013
Jung In Jae KBS2 Choi Daniel / Lee Jong-suk South Korea
Race Course
CCTV Supporting Role Bosco Wong / Myolie Wu China
2011 Baby Faced Beauty
Lee Seo Young KBS2 Lead Role Choi Daniel South Korea
Unruly Qiao
He Tian Xin Shenzhen TV China
2010 Iron Masked Singer
Hu Die/Hu Yin Yin Jilin Television Lu Yi
2007 Good Morning Shanghai
You Hao Yun Shawn Yue
2005 Wedding
Lee Se Na KBS2 Ryu Si-won South Korea
My Bratty Princess
Situ Jing/Xiao Long Xia CCTV Alec Su China
Banjun Drama: The Suspicion Man
대결! 반전 드라마
Herself KBS2 Yoo Jae-suk South Korea
2004 Silver Love
Love is All Around
사랑을 할꺼야
Jin Bo Ra MBC Yeon Jung-hoon South Korea
2003 Hello! Balbari
헬로 발바리
Herself KBS2 Cameo None
2002 My Love Patzzi
내 사랑 팥쥐
Yang Song Yi MBC Lead Role Kim Rae-won / Kim Jaewon
Successful Story of a Bright Girl
명랑소녀 성공기
Cha Yang Soon SBS Jang Hyuk
2001 New Nonstop (sitcom)
Herself MBC Main Cast Various


Year Title Role Notes Country
2012 Whoever 愛誰誰 Yawen Cameo China
Flying With You 一起飞 He Qianqian / Baby Lead Role
2009 Sky and Ocean 하늘과 바다 Ha-neul South Korea
2007 Girl's Revolution 麻雀要革命 China
2003 Oh! Happy Day 오! 해피데이 Kong Hee-Ji Lead Role South Korea



# Information Tracks
  1. 고백 (Confession)
  2. 눈물에 얼굴을 묻는다 (Burying My Face In Tears)
  3. 연 (Yun)
  4. Make it Right
  5. 물고기자리 (Pisces)
  6. 4월이야기 (April Story)
  7. 눈물에 얼굴을 묻는다 (Burying My Face In Tears, String Version)
  8. Gloomy Sunday
  9. Blue
  10. 약속 (Promise)
  11. My Pain
  12. 지독한 사랑 (Vicious Love)
  • Title: Sweet Dream
  • Released: October 2, 2002
  • Sales: 411,253[35]
  • Language: Korean
  • Label: Warner Music Korea (77083-2, 8809217680065)
  1. Sweet Dream
  2. 아마도사랑이겠죠 (Amado Sarangigetjyo, "Perhaps Love")
  3. 혼자서도 잘해요 (Honjaseodo Jalhaeyo, "I Can Do It Well By Myself")
  4. Pinekiss
  5. 철부지 (Cheolbuji, "A Mere Child")
  6. Ending
  7. I'll be there for you
  8. 뙈지아가 (Ttwaejiaga, "Pig Baby")
  9. 물망초 (Mulmangcho, "A Forget-Me-Not")
  10. 사막한가운데서 (Samakhangaundeseo, "In The Middle of the Desert")
  11. Snowman
  12. 다시 받아주겠니? (Dasi Badajugenni? "Can You Accept Me Again?")
  13. 바람아 멈추어다오 (Barama Meomchueodao, "Please Stop the Wind")
  14. 아마도 사랑이겠죠 (Amado Sarangigetjyo, "Perhaps Love") (Radio edit)
  15. Snowman (Radio edit)
  • Title: The Third Story
  • Released: December 2, 2003
  • Sales: 161,103[36][37]
  • Language: Korean
  • Label: Warner Music Korea (77083-2, 8809217680065)
  1. We
  2. 별이 빛나는 밤에
  3. 기도 (Last Pray)
  4. 10년이 지난 후 나는
  5. 그게 정말이니?
  6. 나도 여자랍니다
  7. 키키
  8. My Boy
  9. 약속
  10. 늘 그래왔듯이
  11. Say Good-Bye
  12. 눈물로 남을텐데
  13. 그게 정말이니 (Band ver.)
  14. 별이 빛나는 밤에(Ver.2)
  • Title: My Story
  • Released: December 20, 2004/March 23, 2007
  • Sales: 28,940[37]
  • Language: Korean
  • Label: Warner Music Korea (77083-2, 8809217680065)
  1. Intro
  2. 달팽이 (Snail)
  3. 겨울일기 (Winter diary)
  4. I Love School
  5. Always
  6. 이젠 괜찮아요 (Now no problem at all)
  7. 혹시라도 (Perhaps)
  8. 모시는 글 (Mosin Gul)
  9. 연인 (Duet with 신혜성) (Lover, Duet with Shin Hye Sung (Shinhwa))
  10. 사랑하기 좋은 날 (Good Day to Love)
  11. 겨울일기 (Bossa Nova.ver) (Winter diary)
  12. 나 (I)
  13. Make it right
  14. 飛不起來(페이부치라이) (중국드라마'은색연화'주제가) (Cannot fly—Chinese soap opera ' Silver time passage ' Theme song)
  • Title: She
  • Released: February 23, 2007
  • Sales: N/A
  • Language: Korean
  • Label: Warner Music Korea (20276-2)
  1. 사랑 부르기 (Calling out love)
  2. 마음을 잃다 (Losing one's mind)
  3. You & I
  4. 손톱 (Fingernails)
  5. 가면무도회 ft. HaHa (A Masquerade)
  6. 사랑을 향합니다 (Towards love)
  7. Everything for you
  8. Tonight
  9. 이젠 말해볼까 (Shall we talk about it now?)
  10. 당신의 모든 것을 사랑합니다 (I love everything about you)
  11. 사랑 부르기 (Acoustic Ver.) (Calling out love)

CD 01 [Korean / Japanese / English]

  1. 신기루 (Mirage)
  2. Jump!!Jump!!
  3. 흉터 (Scar)
  4. 미련한 미련이란 것이 (Stupidity What Is Stupidity)
  5. Thinkin’ Of You
  6. 거짓말쟁이 (Liar)
  7. Long Good-Bye
  8. 달맞이 꽃 (Evening Primrose)
  9. 눈의 아이 (Snow Child)
  10. 결혼할래요 - feat. 박묵환 / Park Moon Hwan
  11. Shining Day
  12. Fairytale [English Version]
  13. 신기루 (しんきろう) [Japanese Version] (Mirage)
  14. Jump!!Jump!! [Japanese Version]
  15. We [Japanese Version]

CD 02 [Mandarin / Cantonese]

  1. 우리들의 꿈 / 我們的夢想 / Wo Men De Meng Xiang (Our Dream)
  2. 독신주의 / 獨身主意
  3. 신기루 / 海市蜃樓 / Hai Shi Shen Lou (Mirage)
  4. Jump!!Jump!! / 跳!跳! / Tiao!Tiao!
  5. 남은 건 추억뿐 / 只剩下從前
  6. 나를 따라 해 봐 / 跟我走 / Gen Wo Zou (Follow Me)
  7. 못된 성질 / 大脾氣 / Da Pi Qi
  8. 멈춘 사랑 / 停愛 / Ting Ai
  9. 조금만 / 一点点 / Yi Dian Dian
  10. 달빛은 내 마음을 대신해 / 月亮代表我的心 / Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin [Cantonese Version]
  11. 달빛은 내 마음을 대신해 / 月亮代表我的心 / Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin [Mandarin Live Version] (Teresa Teng Cover)

Chinese albums[edit]

Information Tracks
  • Title: 一张
  • Released: February 1, 2005
  • Sales: N/A
  • Language: Chinese
  1. 风儿啊!请你停下来 (Wind, please stop)
  2. 全世界下雨 (The whole world is raining)
  3. 娜拉In China
  4. 飞不起来 (Unable to fly)
  5. Sweet Dream
  6. 恋爱宣言
  7. 我也是女人 (I am also a woman)
  8. 甜蜜蜜 (Sweet)
  9. 可能是爱情 (It's probably love)
  10. Ends
  • Title: Gong Fu
  • Released: December 21, 2005
  • Sales: N/A
  • Language: Chinese
  1. 对不起我不爱你 (Sorry, I don't love you)
  2. 功夫
  3. 爱上你全部 (Loving all of you)
  4. 我要你崇拜
  5. 梦飞翔
  6. Everyday
  7. 危险恋人
  8. 天边
  9. 出乎预料
  10. 烦着呢
  • Title: Journey of Love
  • Released: August 2, 2012
  • Sales: N/A
  • Language: Chinese
  • Label: Wireless Star
  1. 愛的出口 Export of Love
  2. 想說給你聽 Want To Say To You
  3. 耍花招 Flashy
  4. 我知道 I Know
  5. 背靠背 Back To Back
  6. 謝謝你給我的幸福 Thank You To My Happiness
  7. 只想起你﹙中﹚I Only Think Of you (Chinese version)
  8. 只想起你﹙韓﹚I Only Think Of You (Korean version)
  9. 救人哪 Rescue Which
  10. 讓心去流浪 Heart To Stray


Information Tracks
  • Title: Jang Nara and Friends
  • Released: April, 2003
  • Language: Korean
  1. 오 해피데이 (영화‘오 해피데이’삽입곡)
  2. 피노키오
  3. 그날이후 (영화 ‘오 해피데이’ 삽입곡)
  4. Friend (Solo Version)
  5. And
  6. Lately
  7. Will be mine
  8. Luv n u
  9. Today
  10. Friend (Duet Version)
  11. 부디
  12. 그래요
  13. 아무것도 아닌 이야기
  14. 다시
  1. 안 행복해 (I’m not happy)
  2. 그렇담 Good-bye (Then good-bye)
  • Title: 너만 생각나 I Only Think Of You (Digital Single)
  • Released: March 26, 2012
  • Language: Korean/Chinese
  • Label: CJ E&M
  1. 너만 생각나 I Only Think Of You
  2. 바로 너였어 (With 알렉스) It Was You (With Alex of Clazziquai)
  3. I Only Think Of You (Chinese version)
  • Title: Love (Digital Single)
  • Released: October 23, 2013
  • Language: Korean
  1. Love
  2. Love (instrumental)

Original soundtrack (OST)[edit]

Information Tracks
  • Title: Ah Hyeon Dong's Madam OST
  • Released: February 14, 2008
  • Language: Korean
  1. It's alright
  2. It's alright(instrumental)
  • Title: Sky and Ocean OST
  • Released: May 2009
  • Language: Korean
  1. 하늘과 바다
  2. 마녀 여행을 떠나다
  3. If You Ask Me To
  • Title: Dong Yi OST
  • Released: June 15, 2010
  • Language: Korean
  • Label: Neowiz Internet (네오위즈인터넷)
  1. 천애지아 (하늘 끝에 이르는 바람) (Walking On A Dreamy Road)
  1. 오렌지 나무 Orange Tree
  2. 오월의 눈사람
  1. 하루 종일 All Day

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2001 MBC Entertainment Awards Best MC Music Champion Won
Golden Disk Awards Best New Female Artist Award First Story Won
KMTV Music Awards Best New Female Artist Award Won
SBS Music Awards Best New Female Artist Award Won
2002 KBS Music Awards Daesang or Grand Prize Sweet Dream Won
SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Successful Story of a Bright Girl Won
KMTV Music Awards Artist of the Year Sweet Dream Won
Golden Disk Awards Bonsang or Main Prize Won
SBS Music Awards Bonsang or Main Prize Won
Netizen Popularity Award Won
MBC Music Awards Daesang or Grand Prize Won
Seoul Music Awards Bonsang or Main Prize Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Female Solo Won
Mobile Popularity Award Won
2003 CCTV-MTV Music Honors Singer of the Year (Korea) Won
Baeksang Arts Awards Best New TV Actress Successful Story of a Bright Girl Won
2005 Asia-Pacific Music Chart Award Asia's Best Female Singer N/A Won
Most Outstanding Contributor to Korean-Chinese Cultural Exchange Award N/A Won
China Golden Disk Music Awards Most Popular Singer N/A Won
2007 Chunsa Film Art Awards Hallyu Grand Award N/A Won
2008 Today's Young Artist Award Young Artist N/A Won
2009 46th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Sky and Ocean Nominated
2010 Asia Award Asia Star Award N/A Won
China Golden Rooster Hundred Flowers Awards Best Actress in A Foreign Film Sky and Ocean Won
2011 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Baby Faced Beauty Won
2012 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries School 2013 Won
2014 3rd APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Fated to Love You Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Fated to Love You / Mr. Back Won
MBC Drama Awards Popularity Award, Actress Won
MBC Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Jang Hyuk Fated to Love You Won


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  12. ^ zh:刁蛮公主
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  14. ^ http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=001&oid=003&aid=0002937644&
  15. ^ https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=165462591942
  16. ^ http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Showbiz/Story/A1Story20101019-243119.html
  17. ^ http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/12/21/2010122100794.html
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  34. ^ :: 한국음반산업협회 ::
  35. ^ a b :: 한국음반산업협회 ::
  36. ^ :: 한국음반산업협회 ::
  37. ^ a b 2004년 총결산 국내음반 판매량집계

External links[edit]