Uhm Jung-hwa

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Uhm.
Uhm Jung-hwa
2009Uhm Jung-hwa (2).jpg
Background information
Also known as Madonna of Korea
Born (1969-08-17) August 17, 1969 (age 45)
Jecheon, North Chungcheong, South Korea
Origin South Korea
Genres K-pop, Dance, Electro-pop
Occupation(s) Actress, Singer,
Lingerie designer
Years active 1993–present (singing)
Labels Sim Entertainment (current)
Trifecta Entertainment
Sony BMG
Website ilovejunghwa.com
Korean name
Revised Romanization Eom Jeong-hwa
McCune–Reischauer Ŏm Chŏnghwa

Uhm Jung-hwa (born August 17, 1969) is a South Korean Korean pop singer and actress. Uhm began her career as a chorus member of MBC, one of the three major South Korean broadcasting companies, in 1987 To 1990. She made her film debut in the 1991 To 1994 film Marriage Story and released her first album Sorrowful Secret, in 1993 on Samsung Music.

Considered to be one of the most influential women and the evergreen in the Korean entertainment industry, many Korean female artists recognise her as a role model.[1]


Early life[edit]

Uhm was born in Jecheon, North Chungcheong, South Korea. She is the second child of Yoo Gyeong-sook and Uhm Jin-ok, a music teacher who died in a motorcycle accident when she was four. Her younger and only brother Uhm Tae-woong is an actor. Following her father's death, her family struggled with financial difficulties.[2]

Music career[edit]

1993-1999: Debut[edit]

Uhm Jung Hwa officially debuted as a singer in 1993 with her first album Sorrowful Secret. By the mid-90s she established herself as one of the top Korean female singers and entertainers with a series of hit singles: Sad Expectation (Hangul: 슬픈 기대), A Love Permitted Only by Heaven (하늘만 허락한 사랑), Betrayal of the Rose (배반의 장미), and Tell Me (말해줘 with Jinusean). Jung Hwa's fourth album, Invitation, introduced a new mature side of the singer. The music video caused a lot of controversy due to its suggestive nature. "Invitation" quickly became one of the highest selling albums of the year and received positive reviews from critics and fans. It went to ship over 1,000,000 copies a feat rarely accomplished by female artist in South Korea. She released two of her most recognizable singles of her career, Poison and Invitation (초대). She remained successful the following year, in 1999, with her fifth album 005.1999.06, which sold well over 1,000,000 copies, her second album to do so. It remains one of the best selling albums by a female artist and cemented her status as the "Queen of Korean Pop" in South Korea.


During the 2000s, Uhm Jung-hwa began to focus more on her acting career and committed her self to taking a variety of acting roles. She also began to pursue and experiment with different musical genres, in particular electronica. In 2004, she released her double cd Self Control, which featured songs composed by Jung Jae Hyung, Fractal and Roller Coaster. Music critics praised UJH for her ability to re-invent her image and sound.

After a two year break from the music scene, she released her ninth studio album Prestige. Throughout the year she released two singles: "Come 2 Me" and "Wind Song" (바람의노래) each enjoyed positive critical reception. In early 2007 she won a Korean Music Award for best electronic dance record.

In the summer of 2008 she released her first EP titled "D.I.S.C.O" with help from long time friend Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment. The lead single "D.I.S.C.O" featured popular boy band member T.O.P from the group Big Bang. The EP was one of the best selling albums by a female artist in 2008, and was further promoted by the digital single "D.I.S.C.O PT.2" which was a remix version of "D.I.S.C.O" and featured G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang.

Acting career[edit]

Uhm Jung-hwa has established herself as one of Korea's top actresses. She is known for her roles in the films Marriage Is a Crazy Thing, Singles, Princess Aurora, Dancing Queen and Haeundae, which became one of the highest grossing movies in Korea. She has won 2 Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actress, in 2002 for Marriage Is a Crazy Thing and again in 2012 for Dancing Queen.

Fashion line[edit]

Uhm Jung-hwa launched her new clothing & lingerie line, ‘Corner Suite‘ and ‘ZHUM in New York‘, which made 10 million USD within 3 months of its release. ‘Corner Suite’ became an instant hit when the line debuted on online markets. The line immediately sold out. Future plans include putting her line of clothes on more home shopping channels, as the demand for it is great.[3]


Uhm was diagnosed with thyroid cancer but fully recovered after surgery in May 2010.[4] Uhm said she felt a little afraid leading up to the surgery, but rather than being discouraged by the pain she was experiencing, she made up her mind to dedicate herself to helping others by inspiring them. "I want to use my talent and influence in a meaningful way," she said.[5]


Korean albums[edit]

Album Title Release Date Sales
*SORROWFUL SECRET 1993 359,032
*슬픈기대 1996 552,094
*後愛 1997 500,022
**BEST....My Songs 1998 414,131[6]
*Invitation 1998 923,039[6]
005.1999.06 1999 1,000,373[7]
*All Details 1999 400,549[8]
*Queen of Charisma 2000 507,021[9]
*花 2001 410,403[9]
*SELF CONTROL 2004 252,739[7]
*Prestige 2006 156,342[7]
*D.I.S.C.O (EP) 2008 88,022[10]

Korean digital singles[edit]

  • tvN Remix version (2006)
  • Come 2 Me NEW REMIX (2006)
  • D.I.S.C.O PT.2 (2008)



Television series[edit]

Aerobics video[edit]

We are Yoggy - A Yoga VHF (2002)


Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Work Result
1999 Best Female Solo "I Don't Know"
Best Dance Performance Nominated
2000 Best Female Artist "Cross"[13] Nominated
2001 "Crack" (틈)[14] Nominated
2008 Best House & Electronic "Disco" ft. T.O.P[15] Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
Best Music Video Nominated


  1. ^ "[섈위토크]엄정화, "후배들의 롤모델? 나는 여전히 현재진행형"". 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  2. ^ "엄정화, "엄마는 포차끌고 난 밀고" 시청자 감동". 2006-05-11. 
  3. ^ "Uhm Jung Hwa - singer/actress - kpop". Jpopasia.com. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Uhm Jung Hwa Talks Battle Against Thyroid Cancer and Surgery". Soompi.com. 12 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "'Dancing Queen' Uhm Returns to Screen After Thyroid Surgery". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 January 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "1월 국내음반 판매량집계". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  7. ^ a b c ":: 한국음반산업협회 ::". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  8. ^ ":: 한국음반산업협회 ::". Web.archive.org. 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  9. ^ a b "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "1999 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  12. ^ "1999 Video Music Award part 1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  13. ^ "2000 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  14. ^ "2001 MMF part 1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  15. ^ "2008 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-17.

External links[edit]