March 18, 1981 |
Seoul, South Korea
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. 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, My Love Patzzi, Fated to Love You and I Remember You.
Early life and education
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. She also received the Korean Singer of the Year from China's CCTV-MTV Awards in 2003.
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.
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. 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.
In 2012, four years after releasing Dream of Asia, Jang returned and released the digital single I Only Think Of You.
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.
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. 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).
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).
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). 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. She later won the Excellence Award for an Actress in a mini-series at the 2011 KBS Drama Awards.
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. She also made a cameo in another Chinese movie starring Jaycee Chan called Whoever (愛誰誰). That same year, she appeared together with her father in a Chinese drama entitled Race Course (跑马场).
In December 2012, Jang reunited with her Baby Faced Beauty co-star Choi Daniel for KBS School 2013 (학교 2013). 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.
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. 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). 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. In 2015, Jang was cast as Cha Ji-An, a police detective in the police procedural/romance series Hello Monster (also known as I Remember You).
Charity and other activities
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 diplomatic relations between China and South Korea. Twelve hundred seats at the concert venue sold out early. After the concert on stage, a Chinese charity organization appointed Jang as a goodwill ambassador, making her the first foreigner to receive such an honor.
|Year||English Title||Original Title||Role||Network||Country|
|2001||New Nonstop||뉴논스톱||Jang Na-ra||MBC||South Korea|
|2002||Successful Story of a Bright Girl||명랑소녀 성공기||Cha Yang-soon||SBS|
|My Love Patzzi||내 사랑 팥쥐||Yang Song-yee||MBC|
|2003||Hello! Balbari||헬로 발바리||(cameo)||KBS2|
|2004||Love Is All Around||사랑을 할꺼야||Jin Bo-ra||MBC|
"I Got Married to a Weird Woman"
"My Love Mite"
"And There Was Nothing"
"The Golden Age of Gas Man"
|대결! 반전 드라마||SBS||South Korea|
|My Bratty Princess||刁蠻公主||Situ Jing/Xiao Long Xia||CCTV||China|
|Wedding||웨딩||Lee Se-na||KBS2||South Korea|
|2007||Good Morning Shanghai||纯白之恋||You Hao Yun||China|
|2010||Iron Masked Singer||铁面歌女||Hu Die/Hu Yin Yin||JLTV|
|2011||Unruly Qiao||刁蛮俏御医||He Tian Xin||SZTV|
|Baby Faced Beauty||동안미녀||Lee So-young||KBS2||South Korea|
|School 2013||학교 2013||Jung In-jae||KBS2||South Korea|
|2013||Red Palaquin||红轿子||Huzhou TV||China|
|2014||Fated to Love You||운명처럼 널 사랑해||Kim Mi-young||MBC||South Korea|
|Drama Festival "Old Farewell"||오래된 안녕||Han Chae-hee|
|Mr. Back||미스터 백||Eun Ha-soo|
|Hello Monster||너를 기억해||Cha Ji-an||KBS2||South Korea|
|2016||One More Happy Ending||한번 더 해피엔딩||Han Mi-Mo||MBC||South Korea|
|Year||English Title||Original Title||Role||Country|
|2003||Oh! Happy Day||오! 해피데이||Kong Hee-ji||South Korea|
|2009||Sky and Ocean||하늘과 바다||Ha-neul||South Korea|
|2012||Flying With You||一起飞||He Qianqian / Baby||China|
CD 01 [Korean / Japanese / English]
CD 02 [Mandarin / Cantonese]
Original soundtrack (OST)
Awards and nominations
|2001||Golden Disk Awards||Best New Artist||First Story||Won|
|SBS Music Awards||Best New Artist||Won|
|MBC Music Awards||Best New Artist||Won|
|KBS Music Awards||Best New Artist||Won|
|2002||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Female Artist||Sweet Dream||Won|
|Special Jury Prize||Nominated|
|Mobile Popularity Award||Won|
|KBS Music Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Won|
|MBC Music Awards||Most Popular Artist||Won|
|KMTV Korean Music Awards||KMTV Award||Won|
|SBS Music Awards||Most Popular Artist||Won|
|Golden Disk Awards||Main Prize (Bonsang)||Won|
|Seoul Music Awards||Main Prize (Bonsang)||Won|
|KBS Entertainment Awards||Best Newcomer in a Variety Show||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top 10 Stars||Successful Story of a Bright Girl||Won|
|2003||Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (TV)||Won|
|CCTV-MTV Music Awards||Korean Singer of the Year||Won|
|2004||Commendation from the Secretary of Defense||Recipient||N/A||Won|
|Honorary Master's Degree from the Beijing Film Academy||Recipient||N/A||Won|
|Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Female Artist||Is That True?||Nominated|
|2005||China Golden Disk Awards||Most Popular Singer||Won|
|Asia-Pacific Music Chart Awards||Asia's Best Female Singer||Won|
|Award for Outstanding Contribution
to Korean-Chinese Cultural Exchange
|Top 10 Golden Song||Won|
|Inter-Parliamentary Union Award for Social Service||Recipient||N/A||Won|
|2007||Chunsa Film Art Awards||Hallyu Cultural Award||N/A||Won|
|2008||Asia Model Festival Awards||Asia Star Award||N/A||Won|
|Today's Young Artist Awards||Recipient||N/A||Won|
|2009||CSR Korea Awards||Special Award (Individual)||N/A||Won|
|Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Sky and Ocean||Nominated|
|2010||China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards||Best Actress in a Foreign Film||Won|
|2011||KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Baby Faced Beauty||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Won|
|2012||KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||School 2013||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Won|
|2014||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|
|Popularity Award, Actress||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Jang Hyuk||Fated to Love You||Won|
|2015||Korea Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Hello Monster||Nominated|
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