Im Yoona

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Im.
Im Yoona
Im Yoona at a fanmeet of Lotte Department Store Casio in June 2016.jpg
Yoona at a fan meeting in June 2016
Native name 임윤아
Born Im Yoona
(1990-05-30) May 30, 1990 (age 26)
Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul, South Korea
Alma mater Dongguk University
Occupation
Musical career
Genres K-pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2005–present
Labels S.M. Entertainment
Associated acts
Im Yoona
Hangul
Hanja 林潤妸
Revised Romanization Im Yun-a
McCune–Reischauer Im Yun-a

Im Yoona (born May 30, 1990) is a South Korean singer and actress. She debuted as a member of girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007–the group would later go on to be one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea's most popular girl group worldwide. Apart from her group's activities, Yoona has participated in various television dramas, notably You Are My Destiny (2008) which was a ratings success, marking her career breakthrough, and Prime Minister and I (2013) for which she won an Excellence Award at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards. In 2016, she made her Chinese small screen debut in God of War, Zhao Yun which received over 10 billion online views in China. She has also stared as the lead actress in a Korean drama titled The K2 along with actor Ji Chang Wook.

Life and career[edit]

1990–2007: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Im Yoona was born on May 30, 1990[1] in Seoul, South Korea. Her family consists of her father and an older sister by five years.[2][3] 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 often 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.[4] She made her official debut as a member of Girls' Generation in August 2007, becoming the "center" of the group.[5][6][7] The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.[8] That same year, Yoona graduated from Daeyoung High School.[9]

2008–present: Acting roles and Chinese market breakthrough[edit]

Aside 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.[10] She then appeared in MBC's Woman of Matchless Beauty (2008), and was complimented by veteran actress Bae Jong-ok for her cameo performance.[11]

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 became known for her character.[6][12] She considered the role a turning point in her career,[13] and won two "Best New Actress" awards at the 2008 KBS Drama Awards[14] and 45th Baeksang Arts Awards.[15] In 2009, Yoona was cast in MBC's drama Cinderella Man along with Kwon Sang-woo.[16]

Yoona filming for Love Rain in September 2011

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, met and fell in love with each other in the modern era.[17] Yoona played two characters: Yun-hee of the 70s and Ha-na of modern times.[18][19] Although the drama lacked in domestic viewership[20] and was criticized for its failure to relate to the viewers,[21] 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."[22] 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."[23] The drama garnered much positive overseas interest[24][25] 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.[26]

In December 2013, Yoona starred alongside Lee Beom-soo in KBS2's romantic comedy drama Prime Minister and I. Loosely based on the musical film The Sound of Music,[27] 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 was still noted for her acting ability.[28] Lee Beom-soo praised her, saying "Acting has to go by logic, only when one understands can the audience understand too, Yoona is smart and did very well. I am anticipating her path down as an actress; at the same time, I want to give her applause".[6] She won an Excellence Award at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards for the role.

In November 2015, Yoona was announced to join Hyun Bin in action film Cooperation. The movie marked Yoona's first big-screen acting project and currently in its post-filming process.[29] In March 2016, Yoona released her first solo single “Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway”, a collaboration with the South Korean indie group 10cm. The urban-pop song peaked at number 24 on Gaon Digital Chart and received favorable review. Fuse described it as "breezy and easy-listening" and complimented how "lovely" Yoona delivered the song.[7][30][31]

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 a character named Xiahou Qing Yi, who falls in love with the male lead character but later finds out he killed her father. The drama reached viewership ratings as high as 2%, which was described to be "a huge success in a country of 1.3 billion", and recorded more than 10 billion hits through various Chinese online videos sites, reflecting Yoona's popularity in China.[32][33][34] Following its success, in August 2016, Yoona released a Chinese digital mini-album titled Blossom, which contains her renditions of well-known Mandarin songs.[35]

In September 2016, Yoona returned to Korean small-screen after three years, starring alongside Ji Chang-wook in tvN's action thriller The K2. She plays Go Anna, a recluse character who suffers from a fear of people.[36] She has also been announced as the female lead for the upcoming historical melodrama The King Loves. The drama is planned for a 2017 broadcast.[37]

Public image[edit]

Yoona in the music video for "Chocolate Love" (2009), which was used as a promotional song for LG Chocolate phone

Yoona has been called a "CF queen" due to her many television commercial films, and has been a spokesperson for various brands.[38][39] CNN credited her as "one of the household names in the Asia-Pacific region" which has helped Korean beauty brands become popular in China.[40] In 2010, she became the first idol to endorse S-Oil, a large South Korean petroleum and refinery company.[41] 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.[42][43] In 2013, she became the first overseas endorser for Alcon Taiwan.[44][45] Since 2009, Yoona has been a long-term spokesperson for Amor Pacific's comestic brand Innisfree, a company which was placed 28th on 2015's Forbes’ 100 Most Innovative Companies in the world.[46] In 2016, Yoona was chosen by Forbes magazine to be one among Asia's "30 under 30" most influential celebrities in the Entertainment and Sport category.[47]

Throughout her career, Yoona has volunteered and donated money to help various causes.[48][49][50][51] In January 2015, she became a member of South Korea’s Honor Society as a recognition for her charitable donations.[15] In August of the same year, Yoona was among a group invited to lunch at Blue House by South Korean president Park Geun-hye as a means to honor those who have contributed charitable and voluntary work to the society.[52]

Personal life[edit]

In September 2013, Yoona began dating South Korean singer-actor Lee Seung-gi.[53] They broke up during the early part of 2015.[54]

In February 2015, Yoona graduated from the College of Arts, Dongguk University, with a bachelor's degree in theater studies, after starting the degree in 2009. She received a lifetime achievement award at the graduation ceremony. Her fellow Girls' Generation member, Seohyun, attended the same university, graduating with her.[55][56][57]

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Blossom

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart
positions
Sales
(DL)
Album
KOR
Gaon

[31]
"Haptic Motion" (햅틱모션)[59]
(with Jessica, Tiffany, and TVXQ)
2008 Non-album single
"Innisfree Day" (이니스프리데이)[60] 2010 Non-album single
"Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway"
(덕수궁 돌담길의 봄)[61]
(featuring 10cm)
2016 24 Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Title Year Role Notes Ref
I AM. 2012 Herself Biographical film of SM Town [63]
SMTown The Stage 2015 Herself Documentary film of SM Town [64]
Cooperation 2016 Park Min-young Lead role [65]

Television drama[edit]

Title Year Network Role Notes
Two Outs in the Ninth Inning 2007 MBC Shin Joo-young Supporting role
Unstoppable Marriage 2008 KBS2 Bulgwang-dong's Seven Princesses Gang Cameo
Woman of Matchless Beauty, Park Jung-geum MBC Mi-ae Cameo
You Are My Destiny KBS1 Jang Sae-byuk Lead role
Cinderella Man 2009 MBC Seo Yoo-jin Lead role
Love Rain 2012 KBS2 Kim Yoon-hee / Jung Ha-na Lead role
Prime Minister and I 2013 KBS2 Nam Da-jung Lead role
Because It's The First Time 2015 OnStyle Herself Cameo[66]
God of War, Zhao Yun 2016 Hunan Television Xiahou Qing Yi / Ma Yu Rou Lead role; Chinese drama
The K2 tvN Go Anna Lead role
The King Loves 2017 MBC Wang San Lead role

Variety show[edit]

Title Year Network Role Notes
Family Outing 2 2010 SBS Regular Cast

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref
2008 2nd Korea Drama Awards Netizen Popularity Award You Are My Destiny Won [67]
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress Won [14]
Netizen Award Won
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Won [15]
Most Popular Actress (TV) Won
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Cinderella Man Won
2012 6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Female Drama Star Love Rain Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
Netizen Award Won [68]
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Prime Minister and I Won [15]
Best Couple Award with Lee Beom-soo Won [69]
Netizen Award Nominated [70]
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) Nominated
16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival Best Young Actress Nominated
2015 Global Luxury Award Global Tourism Industry Congress Fusion Seminars with Lin GengXin God of War, Zhao Yun Won
National Tax Service of South Korea Best Public Tax Payer Award Herself Won [71]

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External links[edit]