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This is a Korean name; the family name is Choi.
Juniel (South Korean singer) at Super M Concert, on July 28, 2012.jpg
Juniel at Super M Concert, on 28 July 2012
Background information
Native name 최준희
Birth name Choi Jun Hee
Born (1993-09-03) 3 September 1993 (age 23)
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Years active 2011–present

Choi Jun Hee (Korean: 최서아; born 3 September 1993) better known by her stage name Juniel (Hangul: 주니엘, often stylized as JUNIEL) is a South Korean singer-songwriter.[1] She began her career in Japan before eventually debuting in South Korea.[2] She was first known as 'Junie', but eventually changed her name to 'Juniel', which was derived from combining her name, Junie, and L for 'love'.[3] She was also a member of the duo Romantic J with CNBLUE's Lee Jong-hyun. She changed her native name from 최준희 to 최서아 in 2016.

Life and career[edit]

1993–10: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Choi Jun-hee was born on 3 September 1993, in South Korea.[4] As a child, she began dancing and singing, with popular soloist BoA being her inspiration.[5] She started playing the guitar in her third year of junior high school.[6] She wrote her first song, "Boy", when she was sixteen,[7] which was later included on her first Japanese EP.[8] While studying in Japan, she won the Japanese audition program Niji Iro Supernova, beating out many other singers and songwriters from all over the country.[9] Juniel started her Korean training at Good Entertainment, the same agency which formerly housed celebrities such as G.NA, the Wonder Girls' Yubin and After School's Uee.[10] She later auditioned at FNC Entertainment, and became a trainee the same day as CN Blue's Jung Yong-hwa.[8]

2011: Ready Go, Dream and Hope, and label change[edit]

Juniel made her official debut on 29 April 2011 releasing her first Japanese EP titled Ready Go.[11] She was the opening act for Oh Won-bin's live concert Good For You, which was held at the at Akasaka Blitz on 26 June 2011.[12] Juniel was later the opening act for F.T. Island's Messenger tour, performing at their Zepp Tokyo concert on 6 July 2011.[13]

Juniel's second Ep Dream & Hope released on 12 July 2011.[11] The fourth song on the album, "Kamen" (仮面; "Mask"), was inspired by the musical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.[5] In November, Juniel underwent a label change to Warner Music Japan and made her major debut with the single "Forever".[14] The song was written to give support to those who suffered from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and was released on 2 November 2011.[15] "Forever" was later selected as a monthly recommendation by CD shops in Japan,[16] and was used as the ending theme song for Gamers Yoasobi Sanshimai. "Travel", a B-side from the single, was also used for a television commercial.[17] Juniel was selected as the opening act for Lawson Presents Music For All All For One Supported by Skapa! which was held at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium on 24 December 2011.[18]

2012: My First June, 1&1 and South Korean debut[edit]

Juniel released her second Japanese single, "Sakura: Todokanu Omoi" (さくら~とどかぬ想い~), on 15 February 2012.[19] The song was used as an ending theme for various television shows, such as Music B.B., Music Focus and King Kong no Arukoto Naikoto. She appeared on MBC's documentary show K-Pop Star Captivates the World on 22 April 2012,[20] where her hype track, "Fool" (feat. Jung Yong-hwa (CN Blue)), was released.[21]

Her debut Korean single, "Illa Illa", was released on 7 June 2012.[22] She released her first EP My First June and held her debut showcase on the same day.[23] Her self-composed songs, which were previously released in Japan, were also included on the release.[24] "Illa Illa" was later chosen as the theme song for the character Im Mae-ari, played by Yoon Ji-ni, in the popular Korean drama series A Gentleman's Dignity.[25] Juniel made a cameo appearance on the series as a street performer in Hongdae.[26] In August 2012, she was chosen to endorse Bean Pole's sub-brand Bike Repair Shop alongside the indie band Busker Busker.[27]

Juniel's second EP, 1&1, was released on 20 November 2012.[28] 1&1 peaked at number four on the Gaon weekly album charts, and number twenty-one on the monthly charts, selling a total of 3,097 copies. The music video for its lead single, "Bad Man", was released on the same day,[29] peaking at number four on both the Gaon and Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 charts. Other songs included on the album are Korean remakes of "Boy", "Oh Happy Day", "Cat Day" and a new song co-written and co-composed by Juniel titled, "Happy Ending".[28]

2013: Juni, Fall in L, DOKKUN PROJECT and Romantic J[edit]

Juniel received the Rookie Award at the 27th Golden Disk Awards on 15 January 2013, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,[30] and was invited to perform at MIDEM festival's Happy Hour Business Party in Cannes, France on 27 January 2013.[31] She released her debut Japanese studio album Juni on 6 March 2013, which consists of eleven self-composed songs and a Japanese version of the duet "Babo" with CNBLUE's Jung Yong-hwa.[32]

A month later, her third extended play titled Fall in L released on 25 April 2013.[33] The EP is composed of four songs: the lead track "Gwiyeoun Namja" (귀여운 남자; "Pretty Boy"), "Date" (데이트), "Jamkkodae" (잠꼬대; "Sleep Talking") and "My Lips".[34] On the same day of its release, "Gwiyeoun Namja" topped several Korean real-time music charts.[35] On 2 May 2013, Juniel was appointed honorary ambassador for teenagers at the 2013 Teenage Family Month Ceremony.[36]

On 18 July, Juniel released a digital single titled "Love You More Than Ever" featuring Hanhae from PHANTOM as a part of producer Kim Do Hoon's 'DOKKUN PROJECT'.[37] The song immediately topped the online Korean music charts such as Bugs, Soribada & Naver Music after its release.[38]

On 9 December, Juniel and CNBLUE's Lee Jonghyun formed a duet and released a winter special digital album called 'Romantic J' with the song titled "Love Falls".[39] The song was inspired by the movie "Music and Lyrics", where Lee Jonghyun is the music composer and Juniel as the lyricist.[39]

2014-2015: I Think I'm in Love and collaboration[edit]

FNC Entertainment has confirmed Juniel's comeback, on 29 September with her title track I Think I'm in Love. It has been over one year and five months since her last comeback with Pretty Boy.[40]

In April 2015, Juniel collaborated with Teen Top's Niel for release a duet called "Spring Love".[41] Niel & Juniel had their debut stage on Mnet's M! Countdown on 16 April 2015.[42]

On August 21, Juniel made a comeback with her second digital single "Sorry" on Music Bank.[43]

2016-present: Label change[edit]

On January 20, FNC Entertainment announced that Juniel would not be continuing her contract. The agency stated that "Juniel′s contract expires at the end of the month. Both parties discussed whether or not to renew the contract, and in accordance with Juniel′s own intention, we′ve decided not to renew the contract."[44][45]

On February 22, a C9 Entertainment representative said that they've recently signed a contract with Juniel. C9 Entertainment is home to Younha, Jung Joon-young and Cheetah.[46] [47]


Main article: Juniel discography

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Result
2010 Japan Niji Iro Supernova Winner[9] Won
2012 Cyworld Digital Music Awards Rookie of the Month (June) ("Fool")[48] Won
14th Mnet Asian Music Awards Artist of the Year[49] Nominated
Best New Female Artist[50] Nominated
19th Korean Entertainment Arts Awards Rookie Singer Award[51] Won
4th Melon Music Awards Rookie Award[52] Nominated
T-Store Best Song Award ("illa illa")[53] Nominated
The 27th Golden Disk Awards Digital Bonsang ("illa illa")[54] Nominated
Popularity Award[55] Nominated
New Rising Star Award[56] Won
The 22nd High1 Seoul Music Awards Rookie Award[57] Nominated
Popularity Award[58] Nominated


Year Title Role Notes
2012 A Gentleman's Dignity Street performer Episode 13
Cameo appearance[59]
2013/14 Cheongdam-dong 111 herself reality show



  • Official Fanclub Name: Banila 바닐라.[63] Combination of Bbanini (her first guitar) and 'illa illa' (her debut song)
  • Announced on: 26 December 2012


Juniel is often shown in videos playing a 6 string acoustic Taylor 214ce, made in Taylor's Tecate factory (Mexico), on September 7, 2011. It was the 110th guitar made in the factory that day.


  1. ^ "Juniel profile". juniel.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  2. ^ "Singer JUNIEL gathers interest in Japan, prepares for Korean debut next year". allkpop.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  3. ^ "MBC Younha's Starry Night". imbc.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  4. ^ "주니엘, "일본 사람이냐고요? 토종 한국인이에요"(인터뷰②)". nate.com. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Sports Korea Interview". Sports.hankooki.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  6. ^ "[스타 인터뷰] 데뷔곡 일라일라 기타소녀 주니엘 "난 지금 하얀색… 내 감성대로 마음껏 칠할래요"". sports.hankooki.com. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  7. ^ "주니엘 "원래 긴장 안해요..데뷔 무대 신나!"". osen.com. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  8. ^ a b "OSEN Interview". Osen.mt.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  9. ^ a b "Korea Times – Juniel's debut showcase". koreatimes.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  10. ^ "Ilgan Sports Interview". isplus.joinmsn.com. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  11. ^ a b "Juniel album". juniel.jp. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  12. ^ "Juniel as opening act in Oh Won Bin's "Good For You" tour". dkpopnews.net. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  13. ^ "@fncmusicjapan". twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  14. ^ "FNC Music's Juniel reveals Japanese debut single "Forever" MV teaser". koreaboo.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  15. ^ "JUNIEL Interview at Musicshelf". junielindo.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  16. ^ "yokane". fukuoka-yokane.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  17. ^ "Jingle Homemate TV Commercial". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  18. ^ "Lawson Presents Music For All All For One Supported by Skapa!". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  19. ^ "FNC Music's solo singer Juniel to release 2nd single "Sakura ~ todokanu omoi ~" in Japan". koreaboo.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  20. ^ "Juniel's CUT on CNBLUE Kpop Star". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  21. ^ "'Fool' music video". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  22. ^ "Juniel releases debut album 'My First June' + "Illa Illa" MV". allkpop.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  23. ^ "'illa illa' music video". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  24. ^ "Korea Music Copyright Association". Komca.or.kr. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  25. ^ "Juniel's 'Illa Illa' to be Used as a Theme Song in 'A Gentleman's Dignity'". enewsworld.mnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  26. ^ "Singer Juniel makes a surprise cameo on 'Gentlemen's Class'". eto.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  27. ^ "'Bike Repair Shop' releases teaser for upcoming ad campaign featuring Juniel and Busker Busker". allkpop.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  28. ^ a b "주니엘, '나쁜 사람' 음원 공개와 함께 음원 차트 싹쓸이". obsnews.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  29. ^ "Juniel releases "Bad Man" MV + '1&1′ mini album주니엘, '나쁜 사람' 음원 공개와 함께 음원 차트 싹쓸이". allkpop.com. Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  30. ^ "주니엘, 신인상 수상 "트로피는 소속사에 보관할래요"". nate.com. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  31. ^ "Juniel to Perform at the MIDEM Festival's VIP Stage in France". soompi.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  32. ^ "주니엘, 日 정규 앨범 자작곡으로 채웠다". nate.com. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  33. ^ "Juniel turns into a redhead for her next album!". allkpop.com. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  34. ^ "Juniel Mini Album Vol.3 – Fall in L". yesasia.com. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  35. ^ "주니엘, '귀여운 남자'로 음원차트 1위". Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  36. ^ "Juniel Appointed Honorary Ambassador for Teenagers". Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  37. ^ "주니엘, 김도훈 프로젝트 신곡 '감동이 중요해' 공개…팬텀 한해 지원사격". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  38. ^ "주니엘vs강승윤vs다비치, 3:2:2…음원차트 경쟁". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  39. ^ a b "씨엔블루(CNBLUE) 이종현-주니엘, 듀엣 입맞춤 'Romantic J' 앨범 발표". Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  40. ^ [1]
  41. ^ "Niel releases a romantic collaboration track 'Spring Love,' featuring Juniel". Allkpop.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  42. ^ Niel and Juniel will perform "Spring Love" for the first time on M! Countdown
  43. ^ [2]
  44. ^ "fnce contract expiry". 
  45. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2016/01/juniel-leaves-fnc-entertainment
  46. ^ ck525. "Juniel Signs Contract With New Managing Agency". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  47. ^ "Daum - 요청하신 페이지의 사용권한이 없습니다.". m.media.daum.net. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  48. ^ Cyworld Digital Music Awards – Rookie Of The Month (June) Cyworld. Retrieved 4 July 2012. (registration required)
  49. ^ "[MAMA] Nominees for the 2012 MAMA Announced". 2012 Mnet Asian Music Award. Mnet Media Corp. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  50. ^ "[MAMA] Nominees for the 2012 MAMA Announced". 2012 Mnet Asian Music Award. Mnet Media Corp. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  51. ^ 대한민국 연예예술상 오늘(28일) 개최, '힐링캠프' 최우수프로그램 선정 Nate. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  52. ^ "[MelOn award] Nominees for the 2012 MelOn Music Awards". 2012 2012 MelOn Music Awards. melon.com. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  53. ^ "[MelOn award] Nominees for the 2012 MelOn Music Awards". 2012 MelOn Music Awards. Melon.com. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  54. ^ "[Golden Disk Awards] Nominees for the 27th Golden Disk Awards". 2012 27th Golden Disk Awards. goldendiskawards.asia. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  55. ^ "[Golden Disk Awards] Nominees for the 27th Golden Disk Awards". 2012 27th Golden Disk Awards. goldendiskawards.asia. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  56. ^ "[Golden Disk Awards] Nominees for the 27th Golden Disk Awards". 2012 27th Golden Disk Awards. goldendiskawards.asia. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  57. ^ "[Seoul Music Awards] Nominees for the 2012 Seoul Music Awards". 2012 2012 Seoul Music Awards. seoulmusicawards.com. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  58. ^ "[Seoul Music Awards] Nominees for the 2012 Seoul Music Awards". 2012 Seoul Music Awards. seoulmusicawards.com. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  59. ^ "Singer Juniel makes a surprise cameo on 'Gentlemen's Class'". Allkpop. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  60. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/2012/08/bike-repair-shop-releases-teaser-for-upcoming-ad-campaign-featuring-juniel-and-busker-busker
  61. ^ http://enewsworld.interest.me/enews/contents.asp?idx=10278
  62. ^ http://myelite.co.kr/main.asp
  63. ^ http://cafe.daum.net/JUNIEL

External links[edit]