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Seungri 2016.png
Seungri at the premiere of Big Bang Made on June 28, 2016
Native name 이승현
Born Lee Seung-hyun
(1990-12-12) December 12, 1990 (age 27)
Gwangju, South Korea
Other names Seungri
Education Chung-Ang University
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • entrepreneur
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active 2006–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Seung-hyeon
McCune–Reischauer Yi Sŭnghyŏn

Lee Seung-hyun (Hangul: 이승현; born December 12, 1990),[1] better known by his stage name Seungri (Hangul: 승리, Victory) and V.I when performing in Japan,[2] is a South Korean singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. In the mid-2000s, Seungri rose to prominence as one of three vocalists and youngest member of the South Korean boy band Big Bang under YG Entertainment, which eventually became one of the best-selling digital group of all-time in Asia and one of the best-selling boy bands in the world.[3] With the release of the group's second studio album Remember (2008), in which the second single released, "Strong Baby", was performed solely by Seungri, he began to adopt a more mature image as an artist.

Seungri furthered this image with the release of his first extended play, V.V.I.P in 2011. The EP debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart and yielded two singles: "VVIP" and "What Can I Do" (Korean: 어쩌라고, Revised Romanization: Eojjeolago). The latter peaked at number seven on the Gaon Digital Chart, and the album sold over 50,000 copies. His second Korean EP Let's Talk About Love (2013) fared better, becoming his second number one album and selling over 80,000 copies. Let's Talk About Love was supported by "Gotta Talk to You" (Korean: 할말 있어요, Revised Romanization: Na Jigeum Halmal Isseoyo), which charted at number three on the Gaon Chart, and was later re-released in Japan as his first full Japanese studio album, containing previous materials from the two EPs recorded in the country's native language.

Making his theatrical debut with the musical Sonagi in 2008, Seungri went on to star in films such as Nineteen and Why Did You Come to My House?, both released in 2009. He branched into television with the Japanese drama Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo (2013) and the South Korean television series Angel Eyes (2014). In recent years, he's explored other ventures, including opening a dance academy, owning a nightclub and restaurant franchise, founding a record label, and investing in other businesses.


Early beginnings and debut with Big Bang[edit]

Seungri at the TV show Fast Forward in Thailand on December, 2007

Born and raised in Gwangju, South Korea, Seungri was noted for his dancing skills growing up,[4] with the singer participating in the dance group II Hwa.[5] Hoping to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, Seungri appeared in survival program Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa, a reality television series to find the next Shinhwa. He was eventually eliminated in the ninth episode.[6][7] Following his appearance on the show, Seungri was scouted by YG Entertainment to audition for the new boy band, Big Bang, alongside five other members: T.O.P, Taeyang, G-Dragon, Daesung, and Hyun-seung. The formation of the group was documented on television.[8] Despite the initial plan of debuting six members, Seungri and Hyun-seung risked elimination due to their lack of stage presence and were given one final opportunity to impress Yang Hyun-suk, founder of YG Entertainment. While Seungri was picked to stay, Hyung-seung (who went on to debut with the boy band Beast) was dropped before the official debut.[9][10] Seungri later admit that bandmate G-Dragon was initially cold towards Daesung and himself because G-Dragon had trained for six years with Taeyang to become a hip hop duo and disliked being placed in a band. Despite this, the two eventually bonded over watching the Korean drama Princess Hours.[11]

Following the release of several single albums, Big Bang's first album Big Bang Vol.1 - Since 2007 was a moderate success. Seungri also recorded his first solo song "The Next Day" (Korean: 다음날; Revised Romanization: Daeumnal) for the album. The group's breakthrough came with the release of their first extended play, Always (2007), which included the number one song "Lies" (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal). The song went on to top major Korean music charts for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks,[3] and won the group the Song of the Year award at the 9th Mnet Korean Music Festival.[4] Their following EPs followed its predecessor's footsteps: Hot Issue yielded "Last Farewell" (Korean: 마지막 인사; Revised Romanization: Majimak Insa) while Stand Up spawned "Day by Day" (Korean: 하루하루; Revised Romanization: Haru Haru); both singles were chart-toppers.[[#cite_note-빅뱅_쥬크���차트_8주_연속_1위_기염,_JOO도_2주만에_7위_진입-12|[12]]][13] Seungri continued to hone his dancing skills by competing against bandmate Taeyang in several dance competitions, as well as against Super Junior's Eunhyuk, TVXQ's Yunho and Shinee's Taemin.[14] He also choreographs a large portion of Big Bang's dances.[15]

2008—2011: Solo career development, acting, and VVIP[edit]

In 2008, members of Big Bang began branching out to develop their solo careers. Seungri became the first member of Big Bang to act in a musical with Sonagi in 2008. He also ventured into hosting, becoming a host for MBC's music program Show! Music Core alongside Daesung. After filming wrapped up, Seungri went back into the studio with Big Bang to record for their second Korean studio album, Remember (2008). The album was promoted with two singles: "Sunset Glow" (Korean: 붉은노을; Revised Romanization: Byulkeun Noeul) and "Strong Baby," a solo release by Seungri. In order to shed the "youngest member" image from Big Bang,[16] he promoted the single with a more mature look complete with a stylized dance.[17][18] He won his first triple crown for "Strong Baby" on SBS's live music show Inkigayo.

When promotional activities for Remember ended, Seungri returned to acting and starred in his first film Why Did You Come to My House?, playing the love interest of Kang Hye-jung.[19] He then starred in his second musical Shouting, alongside bandmate Daesung, who was unable to perform at the last minute due to a car accident.[20] The same year, he also starred in the film 19-Nineteen alongside fellow member T.O.P.

Seungri's first extended play, VVIP, was released on January 20, 2011 with two singles: "VVIP" and "What Can I Do." To establish an identity away from Big Bang through his music, Seungri involved himself in the production of the album, composing and writing six out of the seven songs.[21] "VVIP" and "What Can I Do" won a triple crown on Mnet's M! Countdown. Seungri also won the SBS Inkigayo Mutizen Award. Promotional activities were cut short in order for Seungri to focus on Big Bang's comeback.

2012—2014: Japanese promotions, scandal, and Let's Talk About Love[edit]

Seungri performing in 2012

In 2012, Seungri started his first Japanese promotions by appearing on variety shows, such as Yomiuri TV's Yoshimoto Jounetsu Comedy and Run for Money.[22] He was also chosen as the special MC on Fuji TV's Sakigake! Ongaku Banzuke Eight, interviewing celebrities such as Oguri Shun, Exile's Akira, Miori Takimoto, Takei Emi, Perfume. He had his first Japanese show Seungchan's Complete Victory Declaration on Space Shower TV.[23] The first episode was broadcast in August.[22] That same month, he held his first solo fan meeting in Tokyo. Daesung showed his support to him by appearing on stage to sing "Fantastic Baby" with him. His next solo fanmeeting was on September 9, 2012 held in Osaka.[23][24] Seungri later appeared in the Nihon TV special drama Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Japanese broadcasting company, NTV.[25] The drama was based on the manga The Kindaichi Case Files, and premiered in January 2013. It later won the Best Drama SP (Excellence Awards) at the Tokyo Drama Awards. He also became a regular cast of Music On! TV's program Count Down E.T, hosting the Men’s Bar Food section.[26]

Seungri's career took a setback when he became embroiled in a sex scandal with a Japanese woman. As a result, he stepped out of Big Bang's promotional activities for self-reflection.[27][28] He would revisit the scandal one year later on SBS talk show Incarnation, discussing how it helped him grow up and how fans began to view him more as an adult.[29]

Recording for Seungri's second Korean EP Let's Talk About Love took over two years, where the artist also involved himself with the production of the album.[30] The EP was released on August 19, 2013, debuting at number one on the Gaon Chart[31] and went on to sell over 70,000 copies.[32] He promoted the singles "Gotta Talk to You" (Korean: 할말 있어요, Revised Romanization: Na Jigeum Halmal Isseoyo) and the eponymous title track. In October of the same year, he released his first Japanese album, selling over 14,000 copies in its first day and topping the Oricon Charts.[33][34] The album contained songs from his previous albums, as well as the new song "The Feelings Painted in the Sky" (Japanese: 空に描く思い), which was later used as the theme song for Seungri's first Japanese television drama Yubikoi ~Kimini Okuru Message~.[35] In September, Seungri joined Popular Women 100 as a co-host alongside comedian Hiroshi Yamazaki, becoming the first international celebrity to clinch a hosting spot on a regular cable show in Japan.[36]

Returning to acting, Seungri took a supporting role in the 2014 drama Angel Eyes alongside labelmate Ku Hye-sun, playing the role of Teddy who returns to Korea after living abroad with the dream of becoming an emergency rescue worker.[37] The drama received medium ratings during its broadcast.

2015–present: Japanese and Chinese activities[edit]

Though he toured extensively from 2015 to 2016 with his band to promote their third Korean album Made (2016),[105][106] Seungri also appeared as a professional judge on the Chinese TV program Girls Fighting in 2016, where he mentored trainees. He also produced the song "36 Tricks of Love" for the show, a remake of the Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai's song under the same title. The song took the number one spot on the QQ Music and Weibo charts in China.[38][39] He later starred in the Japanese movie, High & Low: The Movie (2016), playing the son of a Korean mob boss.[40][41] The film was commercially successful, and placed second at the Japanese box office on its opening, grossing ¥668.3 million.[42] On its second weekend, it fell to fifth place, with a total gross of over ¥1 billion.[43] He also recorded the song "We Run Dis" with PKCZ for the soundtrack, with the album topping the Oricon Chart[44] and selling over 360,000 copies, making it the fifth best-selling album in Japan in 2016.[45]

In August 2016, he started filming for his first Chinese film Bonjour L'amour; the film is set to be released in 2017.[46]

Other activities[edit]

Seungri DJing in his night club in 2015

Seungri has helped establish two branches of a music and dance academy called "Plug In Music Academy," also known as "Seungri Academy". The dance academy is located in Gwangju, Daejeon, Mokpo, and Seoul. Students of the academy learn how to sing, dance, and act. Some of the past students of the academy includes 2NE1's Minzy, his best friend Hara of Kara, TVXQ's Yunho, B.A.P's Zelo, BTS J-Hope and Seungri himself.[47][48]

In 2015, Seungri joined label-mate Sean for a briquette charity. He had previously promised fans to deliver and donate 30,000 briquettes but donated a total of 130,000.[49] He brought along notable celebrities to the charity, including F.T. Island's Choi Jong-hoon and Jung Joon-young of Drug Restaurant (formerly JJY).

In May 2015, FC MEN announced through their instagram that Seungri would be joining their celebrity soccer club. He was given the forward position and the number 11.[50]

Seungri opened his private bar called Monkey Museum night club in Changsha City, South Korea, in partnership with Luk Hing Entertainment.[51] He also founded a record label Natural High Record alongside other DJs.[52] In early 2017, he invested in the medical cosmetic brand Dr. Gloderm, acquiring 10% of the cosmetic company's shares.[53][54] Seungri now has a company name for all his investments under YURI HOLDINGS.[55]

Seungri, under the name Richard Lee, participated in his first jiu-jitsu match under the Japan Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation in 2017. He won two medals, silver medal in adult white open-weight class and bronze medal for adult white featherweight class. He also earned a black belt in taekwondo.[56][57][58]

Personal life[edit]

After passing his college entrance exams, Seungri was accepted by Chung-Ang University and began his college education in the spring of 2010, along with Yuri and Sooyoung of Girls' Generation.[59] He dropped out of Chung-Ang University in 2012 after being placed on academic probation several times due to his demanding schedule with Big Bang,[60] opting instead to enroll at Gukje Digital University so he could take online classes and attend his schedules at the same time.[61]




Year Film Role
2009 Nineteen Park Min-seo
2009 Why Did You Come to My House? Park Ji-min
2016 Big Bang Made Himself
2016 High & Low: The Movie Li

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2010 Haru Cameo
2011 Lights and Shadows Ahn Jae-su (cameo, ep 9-10) MBC
2013 Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo (The Files of Young Kindaichi - Lost in Kowloon) Kim Yong-dong NTV
2013-2014 Yubikoi ~Kimini Okuru Message~ - A Message Send To You Han Seung-ho
2014 Angel Eyes Teddy Seo SBS


Year Title Role
2008 Sonagi
2009 Shouting! (소리쳐!)

Variety show[edit]

Year Channel Title Role Other
2005 Arirang TV Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa Contestant
2008-2009 MBC Show! Music Core Co-host with Daesung
2010 Enjoy Today Host
2012 Space Shower TV Seung-chan’s Complete Victory Declaration Cast member Reality show
2013 Music On! TV Count Down E.T - Men’s Bar Food Regular cast
Fuji TV Popular Women 100 Co-host with Hiroshi Yamazaki
2016 Dragon TV Girls Fighting Instructor

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award-Giving Body Category Work Result
2009 3rd The Musical Awards Popularity Award[62] Himself Won
2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance - Male Solo[63] "Gotta Talk To U" Nominated

Music show wins[edit]

SBS's Inkigayo[edit]

Year Date Song
2009 January 22 "Strong Baby"
February 5
February 19
February 6 "What Can I Do"
February 13

Mnet's M Countdown[edit]

Year Date Song
2009 January 22 "Strong Baby"
February 5
February 19
February 26
2011 January 27 "V.V.I.P"
February 3 "What Can I Do"
February 10


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External links[edit]