Kevin Woo

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Kevin Woo
Woo with U-Kiss at the press conference for Dream Concert 2013
Woo with U-Kiss at the press conference for Dream Concert 2013
Background information
Also known asWoo Sung-hyun
Born (1991-11-25) November 25, 1991 (age 30)
Danville, California, United States
GenresK-pop
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • actor
  • television host
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2006–present
Labels
Associated acts
Korean name
Hangul
우성현
Revised RomanizationU Seong-hyeon
McCune–ReischauerU Sŏnghyŏn
Stage name
Hangul
케빈우
Revised RomanizationU Ke-bin
McCune–ReischauerU Kebin

Kevin Woo (born November 25, 1991),[1] also known mononymously as Kevin, is a Korean-American singer-songwriter, actor and television host. He is primarily known as a former member of South Korean boy band U-KISS from 2008 until 2017, as well as a host of various programs such as After School Club.

Born and raised in California, he was discovered by South Korean entertainment agency XING Entertainment at the age of 15 and subsequently moved to South Korea. After a few months of training, Woo debuted as a member of boy group XING in 2006. After leaving the group two years later, he re-debuted as a member of U-KISS in August 2008.

In March 2017, he left U-KISS after his contract expired.[2] Following his departure from U-KISS, Woo pursued a solo career in South Korea and Japan; he debuted as a soloist with his first single "Ride Along" in October 2018.

Life and career[edit]

1990–2012: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Woo was born and raised in Danville, California,[3] where he lived with his parents and elder sister. His father is a CF director while his mother is a fashion model. His paternal uncle is Emmanuel Woo,[4] who is an actor and classical singer in Germany. He was inspired to dance after watching a concert of J.Y. Park and Rain, which marked his first K-Pop concert.[5] At the age of 15, Woo was initially discovered through a XING Entertainment audition when he was on a holiday in South Korea. After he was accepted as a trainee, Woo and his mother moved to South Korea.[5]

After a few months of training, Woo debuted as a first member generation of boy group XING in December 2006. After releasing three singles with the group, Woo left the group in April 2008. Following his departure, Woo signed with NH Media and re-debuted as a member of boy group U-KISS in August 2008.

In February 2009, Woo joined Arirang TV's[6] radio show Pops in Seoul as a host of segment "All About You" alongside co-host Kim Isak. In December 2009, Woo with fellow U-KISS member Alexander released a single "Finally", which was composed by Brave Brothers.

In July 2010, Woo with U-KISS members Soohyun, Kibum, Kiseop and Dongho became a part of the drama I Am Legend,[7] acting as a rock band. In August 2010, Woo with fellow members Alexander were selected as the new MCs for Arirang TV's music show The M-Wave.[8]

On January 5, 2011, Woo participated in the musical On Air Live as the lead actor. He acted in a total of 26 shows, his last stage appearance coming on February 14, 2011. On March 17, Woo with U-KISS members Eli and Alexander quit MCing for Arirang's Radio School due to the loss of U-KISS members Alexander and Kibum from the group. On October 12, Woo with U-KISS members Eli announced that they would have a collaboration with Japanese singer JAMOSA from Avex label for her single "Together". The single was released on December 7 and the trio held release events at Lazone Kawasaki Plaza (December 9), Osaka Senri Selcy (December 10) and Asunal Kanayama (December 11).[9] The song "Together" was then selected as the theme song for BeeTV's sweetTV.[10] In November 2011, Woo and bandmate Eli were selected as MCs for Mnet's English-language version of M! Countdown, US M! Countdown.[11]

In 2012, Woo and Soohyun remade UN's "Remember" for the drama Syndrome.[12]

2013–2017: U-KISS uBEAT and television roles[edit]

In April 2013, U-KISS' first sub-unit, uBEAT, was formed with Woo and fellow members Eli and AJ. The sub-unit debuted with the release of an EP titled I Should Have Treated You Better with a title track of the same name, which was composed by Brave Brothers. uBEAT made their debut stage at M! Countdown's special global edition in Taiwan.[13] Woo alongside bandmates Soohyun, Eli and Kiseop participated in the drama KPOP The Ultimate Audition, having small cameo appearances in three episodes as a senior idol group to the main cast.[14] Woo and Soohyun were selected to appear in the Korean adaptation of the musical Summer Snow alongside Super Junior's Sungmin, Supernova's Sungjae, SS501's Heo Young-saeng and FT Island's Seunghyun from April to June 2013. This was Woo's second musical.[15]

On May 1, 2014, Woo was a guest on music talk show After School Club and from episode 43, he became a co-host alongside Eric Nam, Jae Park and Park Jimin. Woo graduated from the program and left as MC on April 10, 2018 after four years as host.[16]

On March 1, 2017, NH Media announced that Woo would officially leave U-KISS following the expiration of his contract on March 31, 2017. He decided to continue his promotion with U-KISS until mid-April.[17]

2018-present: Solo career[edit]

Following his departure from U-KISS, Woo signed with Japan Music Entertainment to pursue his solo career in Japan.[18] He also stated that he intended to pursue his career back in the United States.[5] In October 2018, he debuted as a soloist with his single, "Ride Along," which he released in both Japanese and English.[19]

Woo was part of the cast of the Korean adaptation of the musical Altar Boyz from February to March 2019.[20] In July 2019, Woo was featured in British DJ duo Hollaphonic's single "Over You," which marked his first international collaboration.[21] He debuted the song during his set at music festival KCON at its New York dates, fulfilling one of his dreams to perform at Madison Square Garden.[20][21] He released his first extended play, Treasure, on July 31; it was preceded by its lead single "Freedom," which was Woo's first self-composed song.[19][22] To promote the album, Woo embarked on his first solo tour, Come Alive Tour, spanning four dates in July and August 2019.[23] Woo and former Royal Pirates bassist James Lee collaborated for the single "Falling," which was released on August 2.[24] The duo promoted the single with a two-date concert tour in Los Angeles and San Francisco on August 24–25, and a music video released in November 6.[24][25]

Woo joined the Live From Home livestream charity concert held on May 23, where proceeds benefitted the CDC Foundation's crisis fund for the COVID-19 pandemic.[26] Woo temporarily rejoined U-KISS as a duo with Soohyun as part of a special throwback-themed "Guilty Pleasures" concert from SBS and its variety show MMTG in October 2020. The duo also performed "Shut Up!!" with Teen Top in a special collaboration stage.[27] He joined the lineup of the 2nd annual Joy Ruckus Club concert, which was broadcast online on October 17 & 18.[28]

In March 2021, it was announced that survival horror video game Dead by Daylight would feature a K-pop-themed killer called "The Trickster;" Woo was brought on as a consultant for the character's portrayal.[29] He released his debut English single, "Got It," on June 29, through Sony Music Korea. The song was co-produced by Shintaro Yasuda and co-written by Woo.[30] Woo also plans to release his first NFTs with KLKTN, an NFT platform where he serves as creative director.[31] Woo also signed with FC ENM as his new home company.[32]

Personal life[edit]

In a Japanese survey through popular fortune-telling site Cocoloni, Woo was ranked as the number one luckiest Hallyu star for 2012. 100 fortune-tellers participated in the survey, predicting the stars' fortunes through zodiac, blood type and other methods. When Woo received the news, he stated: "I'm honored to be ranked first. I want to make this really happen this year. U-KISS will go on a Japanese tour and we will also release our album. Please keep supporting us and help us rank first on the Oricon chart."[33]

Woo currently resides in South Korea.[30] He is known to be active in social media, where he regularly posts on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.[28]

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
JPN
Treasure
  • Released: July 31, 2019 (JPN)
  • Label: Japanese Music Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Track listing
  1. "The Greatest Night"
  2. "SPARK!"
  3. "君と僕の約束"
  4. "What's up"
  5. "Beautiful Day" (Japanese)
  6. "Dreamer"
TBA TBA

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Album
JPN
Japanese
"Don't Break Us Down" 2015 N/A Non-album single
"Make me/Out of my life" (feat. K) 2016 7[34] Make me/Out of my life
"Ride Along" 2018 N/A Ride Along
"Freedom" 2019 N/A Freedom
"Dreamer" 2019 N/A Treasure
English
"Ride Along" (English version) 2019 N/A Non-album single
Korean
"Beautiful Day" 2019 N/A Non-album single

Collaborations[edit]

Year Title Album
2011 "Together" with Jamosa, Eli Kim Together
2019 "Over You" with Hollaphonic Non-album single
2019 "Falling" with James Lee[36] (former member of Royal Pirates) Non-album single

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2018 "Camouflage" Top Management OST

Filmography[edit]

Television dramas[edit]

Year Title Network Role Notes
2010 I Am Legend SBS Kiss band member Supporting
2012 K-POP Extreme Survival Channel A Himself as U-KISS member Cameo
2015 About Love Naver TV Cast Kevin Web-drama; Main role
Let's Eat 2 tvN Hye-rim's friend Cameo

Television shows[edit]

Year Title Network Role Notes
2010 The M-Wave Arirang TV Host
2011 US MCountdown Mnet Host
2014—2018 After School Club Arirang TV Co-host Left to focus on music career.

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 On Air Live
2013 Summer Snow
2014 On Air - Night Flight
2017 Maybe Happy Ending
2017 Altar Boyz
2019 Altar Boyz

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kevin Woo (케빈)". Han Cinema. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  2. ^ KBS World. U-KISS. March 13, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2008.
  3. ^ Song Woong-ki (March 30, 2010). "U-Kiss to bring back '80s kitsch". The Korea Herald. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "Emmanuel Woo". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Woo, Kevin (July 7, 2017). "What It Takes to Become a K-Pop Star: U-KISS Idol Kevin Woo Explains". Seventeen. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  6. ^ Arirang. Arirang. February 8, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2009.
  7. ^ Nate News. U-KISS become acting idols, 5 members to debut in drama. July 27, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  8. ^ MSN News. Alexander & Kevin chosen to be Arirang TV Music Show's MC's[permanent dead link]. August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010
  9. ^ oricon. JAMOSA, U-KISS First Collaboration. October 12, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  10. ^ musicman-net.com. JAMOSA+KEVIN&ELI(U-KISS), "Together" Selected as BeeTV's Theme Song. December 19, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  11. ^ @US_MCountdown. US_Mcountdown.
  12. ^ korea.com. U-Kiss releases a beautiful ballad, “Remember” Archived November 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "유키스 유닛 유비트, 오는 25일 대만서 첫 무대 '기대↑'". m.news.naver.com. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  14. ^ news.nate.com. "KPOP Ultimate Survival" U-KISS. April 22, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Kevin Woo to Leave MC Position on "After School Club" After 4 Years".
  17. ^ "[공식입장 전문] 유키스 측 "케빈, 계약종료로 팀 탈퇴..5인조 재정비"" (in Korean). Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  18. ^ Lee, Yoojin (July 23, 2018). "U-KISS 前멤버 케빈, 日대형기획사 계약 체결 "솔로가수로 도쿄돔 서겠다"" [Former U-KISS member Kevin signs contract with a large Japanese agency, “I will stand in Tokyo Dome as a solo singer”]. Sports Kyunghang (in Korean). Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Lee, Dagyeom (June 30, 2021). "케빈 미국데뷔, 아리아나 그란데 프로듀서 지원 사격" [Kevin Woo Debuts in America, Ariana Grande Producer Supports]. Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Macdonald, Joan (July 9, 2019). "Solo Artist Kevin Woo Has Seen K-pop Take Off From The Inside". Forbes. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Khouri, Samar (September 1, 2019). "Why K-Pop star Kevin Woo has eyes on the UAE". Gulf News. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  22. ^ Travis, Emlyn (September 6, 2019). "Kevin Woo On The First Song He Ever Wrote: 'It Gives Me a Better Connection While Performing'". PopCrush. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  23. ^ "KEVIN初ツアー「KEVIN FIRST TOUR 2019~COME ALIVE~」開催決定 [9/12更新]". PODA. May 23, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "James Lee and Kevin Woo Unleash Music Video for "Falling"". The Kraze. November 6, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  25. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (August 23, 2019). "Kevin Woo & James Lee Discuss Upcoming Joint Tour, Life After K-Pop". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  26. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (May 14, 2020). "'Live From Home' Charity Concert Spotlights Asian Artists & YouTubers For Coronavirus Relief". Forbes. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  27. ^ Leary, Edward (November 17, 2020). "Kevin Woo Shares His Emotional Achievements As A Solo Artist + Updates In Exclusive Interview". Kpop Starz. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  28. ^ a b MacDonald, Joan (October 9, 2020). "K-Pop Singer Kevin Woo Shares Why He Will Join Joy Ruckus Club Concert". Forbes. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  29. ^ Kim, Matt T.M. (March 3, 2021). [ign.com/news/169353/dead-by-daylight-collaborates-with-bts-producer-on-new-k-pop-themed-chapter "Dead by Daylight Collaborates With BTS Producer on New K-Pop-Themed Chapter"] Check |url= value (help). IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  30. ^ a b Vitagliano, Joe (July 1, 2021). "Kevin Woo Gets Personal On New Retro-Pop Bop, "Got It"". American Songwriter. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  31. ^ Pillay, Navin (July 5, 2021). "Kevin Woo Of U-KISS Has Conquered K-Pop, And Now He's Off To Hollywood". Harper's Bazaar Singapore. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  32. ^ "FC ENM Artist - Kevin Woo". FC ENM. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  33. ^ korea.com. Japan predicts luckiest Hallyu stars for 2012 Archived November 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. January 18, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  34. ^ "Make me/Out of my life". Oricon. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  35. ^ "2016 Orion Chart - July Week 2". Oricon Chart. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  36. ^ Murphy, Eryn. "James Lee and Kevin Woo Release 'Falling' Music Video". cheatsheet.com. Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved November 6, 2019.