Yoona in April 2018
May 30, 1990|
Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul, South Korea
|Alma mater||Dongguk University|
|Revised Romanization||Im Yun-a|
Im Yoon-ah (Hangul: 임윤아; born May 30, 1990), better known by the mononym Yoona, is a South Korean singer and actress. She debuted as a member of girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007, who went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea's most popular girl groups worldwide.
Apart from her group's activities, Yoona has participated in various television dramas, notably You Are My Destiny (2008), marking her career breakthrough, Love Rain (2012), Prime Minister & I (2013), The K2 (2016) and The King in Love (2017).
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Other ventures
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Discography
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Fan meetings
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Life and career
1990–2007: Early life and career beginnings
Yoona was born on May 30, 1990 in Yeongdeungpo-gu of Seoul, South Korea. Her family consists of her father and an older sister by five years. While growing up, she listened to girl group S.E.S and dreamed of becoming a singer. In 2002, she was cast in the SM Saturday Open Casting Audition and spent five years "doing nothing but constant training" in singing, dancing and acting. During her trainee days, she had low self-esteem about her low voice, and once thought of giving up singing in order to pursue an acting career. A SM choreographer persuaded her to continue, saying it would be "a waste to give up becoming a singer" with her "outstanding dancing skills". He also considered her as the best female dancer within the agency. Vocally, though Yoona is not known to have a wide vocal range, she has been described by critics to have a "very sweet voice". Prior to debuting, Yoona was introduced to the public through various appearances in music videos and commercials; she first appeared in TVXQ's "Magic Castle" music video in 2005. She made her official debut as a member of Girls' Generation in August 2007, becoming the "center" of the group. The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.
2008–2016: Acting roles and overseas popularity
Apart from Girls' Generation's activities, Yoona has acted in several television dramas. Her acting career began in 2007 with a minor role in MBC's drama Two Outs in the Ninth Inning. She then appeared in MBC's Woman of Matchless Beauty (2008), and was complimented by veteran actress Bae Jong-ok for her cameo performance.
In May 2008, Yoona landed her first leading role in KBS's drama You Are My Destiny, playing the character Jang Sae-byuk. The drama achieved viewer ratings of up to 41.5%, and Yoona received wider public recognition. She considered the role a turning point in her career, and won two "Best New Actress" awards at the 2008 KBS Drama Awards and 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2009, Yoona was cast in MBC's drama Cinderella Man along with Kwon Sang-woo.
In March 2012, Yoona was cast in a lead role alongside Jang Geun Suk in KBS2's drama Love Rain, a fantasy drama about fate where the offspring of an ill-fated couple who met in the 1970s, meet and fall in love with each other in the modern era. Yoona played two characters: Yun-hee of the 70s and Ha-na of modern times. Although the drama scored low domestic viewership and was criticized for its failure to relate to the viewers, Yoona's acting received positive reviews. Yoon Ga-ee of OSEN wrote: "The speed at which her acting is improving is blinding. She has matured to the point where you want to ask, 'When did her acting get so good?' The criticism that trailed behind her during Cinderella Man is now nowhere to be found." Choi In-kyung of Hankook Ilbo said her acting was continuously improving and "Yoona is completely immersed in her character and has now become 'Hana' herself." The drama garnered much positive overseas interest and was sold to Japan for $10 million, the second highest price for a KBS drama at the time, partly due to Yoona's popularity.
In December 2013, Yoona starred alongside Lee Beom-soo in KBS2's romantic comedy drama Prime Minister & I. Loosely based on the musical film The Sound of Music, Yoona played Nam Da-jung, a young and stubborn reporter who falls in love with the prime minister. The drama received low ratings but Yoona's performance was praised and she won an Excellence Award at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards for the role.
In March 2016, Yoona released her first solo single “Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway”, a collaboration with the South Korean indie group 10cm, as part of SM Station. The urban-pop song peaked at number 24 on Gaon Digital Chart. Fuse described it as "breezy and easy-listening" and complimented how "lovely" Yoona delivered the song.
In April 2016, Yoona was cast in her debut Chinese drama God of War, Zhao Yun, based on the Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. She played dual roles–one falls in love with the male lead character but later finds out he killed her father while the other is skilled in martial arts. The drama's viewership ratings peaked at more than 2%, which was described to be "a huge success" relative to China's large population. It also recorded more than 10 billion hits through various online videos sites, reflecting Yoona's popularity in China. Following the success, in August 2016, Yoona released a Chinese digital mini-album titled Blossom, which contains her renditions of well-known Mandarin songs.
2016–present: The K2 and film debut
In September 2016, Yoona starred in tvN's action thriller The K2. Tired of being typecast with a candy-like image and having always been burdened by the idol-actress prejudice, Yoona cast away the public perception and focused on the role as her "personal challenge". Her effort gained positive viewers' recognition, and earned her acting acclaim from critics.
In January 2017, Yoona made her film debut in action film, Confidential Assignment.  She then starred in MBC's historical drama The King in Love, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Kim Yi-ryung. In September 2017, Yoona released her second solo single "When The Wind Blows" as part of SM Station.
In May 2018, Yoona released her third solo single "To You". Composed by Lee Sang Soon, “To You” is an acoustic ballad with lyrics written by YoonA.
In April 2018, SM Entertainment announced that Yoona will be going on a fan meeting tour around Asia. Her first meet-and-greet will be in Seoul, South Korea on May 20, under the title of "So Wonderful Day #Story_1". She will head to Bangkok, Thailand, followed by Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in July, and Hong Kong in August. In June 2018, it was revealed that YoonA becomes the first Korean female solo artist to sell out fan meeting at Thailand’s Thunder Dome. Shortly after tickets went on sale on June 9, all the tickets were completely sold out, making her the first-ever Korean female solo artist to sell out the venue for a fan meeting.
Yoona has been called a "CF Queen" due to her several television commercial films, and has been a spokesperson for various brands. CNN credited her as "one of the household names in the Asia-Pacific region" which has helped Korean beauty brands become popular in China. In 2010, she became the first idol to endorse S-Oil, a large South Korean petroleum and refinery company. In 2012, she appeared in at least 20 commercials and was ranked fifth among celebrities with the most commercial appearances by TVCF, South Korea's largest advertisement information site. In 2013, she became the first overseas endorser for Alcon Taiwan. Since 2009, Yoona has been a long-term spokesperson for Amor Pacific's comestic brand Innisfree. Other major endorsements included Crocs and Lee Jeans. In 2016, Yoona was listed by Forbes magazine as one of Asia's "30 under 30" most influential celebrities in the entertainment and sports.
In January 2015, she became a member of South Korea’s Honor Society as a recognition for her charitable donations. In August of the same year, Yoona was among a group invited to lunch at Blue House by the then South Korean president Park Geun-hye to honor those who have contributed charitable and voluntary work to the society.
In July 2018, she was once again invited to attend a luncheon held at the Blue House by the First Lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook, spouse of Moon Jae-in, the current President of South Korea, due to her major contribution to the Community Chest of Korea. Along with her are the other donors of the Community Chest of Korea.
Yoona graduated from Daeyoung High School in 2009. She went on to major in theater studies and graduated from Dongguk University in February 2015, receiving a lifetime achievement award at the graduation ceremony. Her fellow Girls' Generation member, Seohyun, attended the same university. She was also chosen as an ambassador for the university in 2014 along with Apink's Naeun and actress Park Ha-sun.
|Year||Album Title||Details||Track listing|
|As lead artist|
|"Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway"
(덕수궁 돌담길의 봄)
||SM Station Season 1|
|"When The Wind Blows"
(바람이 불면) (如果妳也想起我)
|2017||—||—||N/A||SM Station Season 2|
(with Lee Sang-soon)
(with Jessica, Tiffany, and TVXQ)
|"Amazing Grace"||2016||—||—||N/A||The K2 OST|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2012||I AM.||Herself||Biographical film of SM Town|||
|2015||SMTown The Stage||Documentary film of SM Town|||
|2017||Confidential Assignment||Park Min-young|||
|2007||Two Outs in the Ninth Inning||MBC||Shin Joo-young|
|2008||Unstoppable Marriage||KBS2||Bulgwang-dong's Seven Princesses Gang||Cameo (EP 64)|
|Woman of Matchless Beauty, Park Jung-geum||MBC||Mi-ae||Cameo (EP 19, 20, 23)|
|You Are My Destiny||KBS1||Jang Sae-byuk|
|2009||Cinderella Man||MBC||Seo Yoo-jin|
|2012||Love Rain||KBS2||Kim Yoon-hee / Jung Ha-na|
|2013||Prime Minister & I||Nam Da-jung|
|2015||Because It's The First Time||OnStyle||Im Yoon-ah (Yoon Tae-oh's senior)||Cameo (EP 1) |
|2016||God of War, Zhao Yun||Hunan Television||Xiahou Qingyi / Ma Yurou||Chinese drama|
|The K2||tvN||Go An-na|
|2017||The King in Love||MBC||Eun San / So-hwa|
|2015||Innisfree Summer Love||Youtube Innisfree Channel, Insight TV||Im Yoon-ah|
|2010||Family Outing 2||SBS||Regular cast|||
|2018||Hyori's Homestay (Season 2)||JTBC|||
|2009||KBS Entertainment Awards||With Lee Kyung-kyu & Lee Ji-ae|
|2010||World Cup Festival||With Kim Yong-man & Yoon Hyun-jin|
|Sharing Love Concert||With Jung Yong-hwa & Jo Kwon|
|2011||KBS Entertainment Awards||With Shin Dong-yup & Lee Ji-ae|
|SBS Gayo Daejeon||With Lee Seung-gi & Song Ji-hyo|
|2012||KBS Song Festival||With Sung Si-kyung & Jung Yong-hwa|||
|2013||KBS Drama Awards||With Lee Mi-sook, Shin Hyun-joon & Joo Sang-wook|
|Korea-China Friendship Concert||With Ok Taec-yeon & Cho Kyuhyun (at Beijing, China)|
|2014||KBS Song Festival||With Lee Hwi-jae & Ok Taec-yeon|||
|2015||DMZ Peace Concert||With Kim Sung-joo|
|MBC Gayo Daejejeon|
|2016||Women in Film Awards||at ARTNINE in Seoul|
|MBC Gayo Daejejeon||With Kim Sung-joo|
|2017||22nd Busan International Film Festival||With Jang Dong-gun|
|2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics G-100 K-POP Concert||With Bae Sung-jae|
|MBC Gayo Daejejeon||With Suho and Cha Eunwoo|
|Bangkok, Thailand||Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Hotel|||
|Beijing, China||Beijing Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium|||
|Guangzhou, China||Guangzhou Gymnasium Hall 2|
|Chongqing, China||Chongqing People's Auditorium|
|Shanghai, China||International Gymnastic Center|
|Taipei, Taiwan||National Taiwan University Sports Center|||
|Tokyo, Japan||Saitama Omiya Sonic City|||
|Seoul, South Korea||Sejong University Daeyang Hall|||
|Bangkok, Thailand||Thunder Dome|
|Tokyo, Japan||Nakano Sun Plaza Hall|||
|Osaka, Japan||NHK Osaka Hall|
|Hong Kong, Hong Kong||Asia World Expo Hall 11|
Awards and nominations
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- "이승기 윤아 열애, 윤아 과거발언 눈길 "5살 많은 언니보다 어렸으면". TVDaily (in Korean). January 1, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
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- "K팝 프린세스에서 한류 여왕으로, 소녀시대 윤아의 네버엔딩스토리" [Kpop princess to Kpop Hallyu Queen - Yoona's Never Ending story]. Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). February 17, 2014. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016.
- "SM 비밀병기 '얼짱' 윤아는 동방신기 '마법의 성' 뮤비로 데뷔". Newsen (in Korean). July 7, 2007. Archived from the original on December 8, 2014.
- "(Yonhap Feature) Girl bands flourish on S. Korean pop music scene, groomed for more than singing". Yonhap News Agency. August 26, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
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- "'Love Rain' Viewership Ratings Still Low". enewsWorld. May 9, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Why 'Love Rain' Failed to Relate to Its Viewers". enewsWorld. March 27, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- '사랑비' 윤아, 얼굴보다 100배는 더 예쁜 연기력. Osen (in Korean). April 18, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- 소녀시대 '윤아'의 향상된 연기력이 화제다. Hankooki (in Korean). April 24, 2012. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "Jang Keun Suk and Yoona (of SNSD)'s Love Rain is sold to twelve countries". Star News (in Korean). May 11, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
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- Lee, Sun-min (September 12, 2013). "Yoona offered lead role on KBS drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- "SNSD's Yoona to play lead in 'Nodame Cantabile'". The Korea Herald. July 7, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- "SNSD's Yoona to release first solo track". The Korea Herald. March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Digital Chart – Week 11 of 2016". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Archived from the original on March 23, 2016.
- "Yoona acts in Chinese drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 27, 2014.
- Jung Eun-jin (April 17, 2016). "SNSD Yoona making waves in China". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
- "SNSD Yoona Positions Herself as 'Chinese Goddess". BNT News. April 27, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- "New age of hallyu goddesses emerges". The Korea Times. April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
- "Yoona "China 'God of War, Zhao Yun' 10 billion views, an incredible feat"" 윤아 "中 '무신조자룡' 100억뷰, 정말 어마어마한 일". Xportsnews (in Korean). XportsMedia. July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
- Chow, Pamela (August 4, 2016). "SNSD's Yoona Launches New Mini-Album – In Chinese". Weekender Singapore. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- "Yoona takes on dark role in 'The K2'". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- Lee Ji-hae (August 11, 2016). "SNSD's Yoona to star in drama". Kpop Herald. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
- "[D터뷰] "다시 만난, 연기 세계"...임윤아, 캔디의 작별사" [[D Interview] "Into The Acting World"...Im Yoon-ah, Farewell to Candy Character]. Dispatch (in Korean). November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- Press Conference with Ji Chang Wook & Yoona For The K2 (news program). Youtube. United States: DramaFever. September 22, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Lee Sang-won (November 6, 2016). "The K2' tops weekend drama ratings". Kpop Herald. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
- Seon Mi-gyeong (November 12, 2016). "[스타톡톡] 윤아, 고심 끝 '더케이투' 하길 참 잘했다" [Hard work ended, Good job doing The K2]. OSEN (in Korean). Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- No Han-sol (October 12, 2016). "[스타포커스] 윤아, '연기돌' 벗고 '연기자'로... '이젠 믿고 보자 임윤아'" [Im Yoon-ah shed her acting-idol title and become the real actress...believe in the Im Yoon-ah you see now]. TopStarNews (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- Woo Jae-yeon; Lee Woong (November 15, 2016). "(Yonhap Interview) Singer-actor Im Yoona says 'The K2' helps change her image on small screen". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Yoo Hae-jin, Yoona, Hyun Bin to star in action movie". The Korea Times. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Lee Sang-won (September 21, 2016). "Siwan and Yoona confirmed for new drama". Kpop Herald. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- Chung, Jin-hong. "Yoona and Siwan to star in 'King". Korea JoongAng Daily. JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "YoonA's 'You Are My Star' next in line for SM Station". Kpop Herald. September 4, 2017.
- "JO Jung-suk and Yoon-a Cast for New Action Disaster Movie EXIT". Korean Film Biz Zone. May 21, 2018.
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- "윤아, 여성 솔로 아티스트 팬미팅으로 방콕 썬더돔 최초 매진 기록". MK Sports News (in Korean). June 12, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
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- "How South Korea drives Asia's love affair with cosmetics". CNN. November 6, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
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- Hicap, Johnathan M. (November 23, 2015). "Korean stars help boost sales of beauty products". Manila Bulletin. Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
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- 윤아‧손나은‧박하선... 동국대 동문 스타 한자리 [Yoona, Son Naeun, Park Ha-Sun at 108th Anniversary of Dongguk University]. Epoch Times. September 18, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
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