Lee Gi-kwang

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Lee Gi-kwang
170819 이기광1.jpg
Gikwang in 2017
Native name 이기광
Born (1990-03-30) March 30, 1990 (age 28)
Gwangju, South Korea
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Gi-gwang
McCune–Reischauer Yi Kigwang

Lee Gi-kwang (Korean: 이기광; born March 30, 1990), known professionally as Gikwang or Kikwang, is a South Korean singer-songwriter and actor. He originally debuted as solo singer with the stage name AJ (Ace Junior), releasing his first mini album First Episode: A New Hero on April 4, 2009. In October 2009, he debuted as the main dancer, visual and a lead vocalist of boy group BEAST, which was renamed Highlight in February 2017.

He began his acting career with a supporting role in the popular television sitcom High Kick Through the Roof (2009–10) and had supporting roles in dramas My Princess (2011), Me Too, Flower! (2011), Mrs. Cop (2015), Monster (2016), and Circle (2017), He also became an MC for various shows such as Hot Brothers and Inkigayo.

Early life and career[edit]

Lee Gi-kwang was born on March 30, 1990[1] in Naju, South Korea. Gi-kwang found interest in hip hop and had particular liking to many classic hip hop acts. At first he was backed by his family to pursue a musical career but eventually he passed an audition and became a trainee. He was trained under JYP Entertainment for four years before being eliminated. He was asked by the former president of Cube Entertainment to join the agency without auditioning, making him the company's first trainee.

He was known as the solo singer AJ or Ace Junior when he debuted and released a mini-album First Episode: A New Hero on April 4, 2009. He made his debut on April 2, 2009 on Mnet M!Countdown.[2] He was dubbed by Korean media as the next Rain.[3] He met controversies when his name created dispute among netizens for having a similar name with Paran's AJ(Later became a U-KISS member). He now goes with his original name when he redebuted with Beast.[4] On June 17, 2009, AJ opened for Lady Gaga's Korean showcase.[5] Yoon Doo-joon, Yong Jun-hyung, Jang Hyun-seung and Yang Yo-seob participated as backup dancers for AJ before debuting in Beast.[6] AJ was the topic of a short-lived reality show, Diary of AJ, which was hosted by MTV. The show ran on two episodes on May 9, 2009 with a total of two episodes showcasing his Journey on his debut as AJ.

Debut with Beast and acting career[edit]

Six months after debuting as soloist, Gikwang was chosen to debut as member of Beast, originally known as B2ST, an acronym for "Boys 2 Search the Top". However, their name was changed to BEAST (acronym for "Boys of East Asia Standing Tall"). The group debuted in October 2009. Gikwang had an acting role as Kang Sae-ho on MBC's High Kick Through the Roof, which aired in 2009 and 2010.[7]

Gikwang was featured in K.Will's music video for the song, "Present",[8] and also appeared in Sunny Hill's "Midnight Circus" music video. He was selected as MC for MBC's Sunday Sunday Night segment Hot Brothers[9] and the KBS show Win Win.[10] He was also chosen as the model for the 'Ice Tea Tio' from DongSuh Foods.[11] Gi-kwang was the featured rapper on Ahn Jinkyung's "Love is Pathetic" from the mini album Be the Voice.[12] Yoon Doojoon, Gi-kwang and IU appeared as special hosts on Music Core on August 21, 2010.[13] On December 29, 2010, Gi-kwang was awarded with Popularity Award from the 2010 MBC Entertainment Awards.[14]

Lee in 2016

Gi-kwang, together with IU, were selected to be new MCs of Inkigayo in replacement of CNBlue's Jung Yonghwa from March 20, 2011. The two were paired with the existing MCs, 2AM's Jo Kwon, and f(x)'s Sulli. He was also chosen as the leading man in A Pink's music video, "I Don't Know".[15] Gikwang was featured on Brave Brothers' song "Break Up" alongside Electroboyz, as a part of Brave Brother's sixth project album on July 12, 2011.[16] He was cast as the comical role in the drama My Princess starring Song Seung-hun and Kim Tae-hee in 2011.[17] He also played Lee Ji-ah's patrol partner in 2011 drama Me Too, Flower!, where his character was Jo Ma-roo.

On February 8, 2012 Gikwang appeared in Ailee's debut music video, "Heaven". Gi-kwang, SNSD's Tiffany, and CNBlue's Yonghwa were also MC for SBS K-Pop Super Concert in America on November 10, 2012. He was an MC on December 14, 2012 along with Infinite's Woohyun, Moon Hee-jun, and Danny Ahn for 2012 Melon Music Awards. He had a role as Kyung Sook who is terminally ill with leukemia on KBS Drama Special My Friend is Still Alive in 2013. In 2014, he had an acting role as himself as the lead actor in 20's (Twenty Years Old). In August 2015, Gi-kwang returned to the small screen as Lee Se-won on SBS's Monday-Tuesday drama Mrs. Cop. His role was the youngest detective on the team along with Kim Hee-Ae as Choi Young-Jin, the captain of the team. In 2016, Gi-Kwang acted in Monster and Momin's Room. In 2017, Gi-Kwang acted as Ho Soo in the drama Circle: Two Worlds Connected.


Gikwang performing in Singapore at BEAST Ordinary Fanmeet 2015

Extended plays[edit]

  • First Episode: A New Hero (2009)
  • ONE (2017)

Songwriting credits[edit]

Year Album Artist Song Lyrics Music
Credited With Credited With
2009 Beast Is the B2ST BEAST "Beast Is the B2ST" Yes BEAST No Shin Sa Dong Tiger, Choi Gyu Seong
"Bad Girl" Yes BEAST, Lee Sang Ho, Shin Sa Dong Tiger No Lee Sang Ho, Shin Sa Dong Tiger
2010 My Story BEAST (Gikwang & Hyunseung) "Let It Snow" Yes Jang Hyun-seung No Choi Gyu Seong
2013 Thriller BtoB "Why" Yes Lim Hyunsik Yes Lim Hyunsik, Lee Minhyuk, Shin Peniel, Jung IlHoon
2014 Good Luck BEAST "History" Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Noday Yes Noday
Time "So Hot" Yes Noday Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Noday
2015 Ordinary "Oh Honey" Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Noday, Chloe Yes Noday, Chloe
2016 Highlight "Curious" Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Noday Yes Noday
"Lullaby" Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Noday, Chloe Yes Noday, Chloe
BEAST (Gikwang & Doojoon) "Baby It's You" Yes Noday Yes Noday
2017 Can You Feel It? HIGHLIGHT "Dangerous" Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Kwon Phillip Yes Kwon Phillip
ONE Gikwang "ONE" Yes Kim Tae-joo Yes Kim Tae-joo
"Misunderstand" Yes Noday, Kwon Philip Yes Noday, Kwon Philip
"Dream" Yes Kim Tae-sung, Joo Chanyang, Luizy Yes Kim Tae-sung, Joo Chanyang, Secret Weapon
"Look At Me Now" Yes Noday Yes Noday
"Only U" Yes Noday, Chole Yes Noday, Choles
"What Are U" Yes Noday, Chole Yes Noday, Chole
Celebrate HIGHLIGHT "Love Like This" Yes Yong Jun-hyung, Kim Tae-sung, Joo Chanyang Yes Kim Tae-sung, Joo Chanyang, Secret Weapon
2018 Shake You Up Rainz "Music Up" Yes Joo Chanyang Yes Kim Tae-sung, Joo Chanyang, Secret Weapon



Year Title Type Role
2012 Sammy Adventures 2 Movie Ricky
2013 My Friend Is Still Alive Drama Special (KBS) Kyeong-sook


Year Title Type Role
2009 High Kick Through the Roof TV Series (MBC) Kang Se Ho (강세호)
2011 My Princess TV Series (MBC) Geon-yi (건이)
Me Too, Flower! TV Series (MBC) Jo Ma Roo/ Pink Chicken
2014 20's (Twenty Years Old) Mobile Drama (tvN) Himself
2015 Mrs. Cop TV Series (SBS) Lee Se Won
2016 Monster TV Series (MBC) young Lee Gook-cheol/Kang Ki-tan (20s)
Momin's Room Web Drama (Naver TV Cast / OCN) Wonee
2017 Circle TV Series (tvN) Lee Ho Soo (이호수)

Reality shows[edit]

Year Title Network Role Notes
2009 Diary of AJ MTV Cast Himself as AJ

Variety shows[edit]

Year Network Title Role Note
2010—2012 MBC Hot Brothers Cast Himself
2017 tvN The Dynamic Duo 7 (공조7) Himself
2018 JTBC Why Not ? The Dancer Himself


Year Title Roles TV Network
2014 Style log Co-hosted along with Gayoon OnStyle
2017 10 Years Difference Co-hosted along with Sung Si-kyung tvN
2018 God of Football Co-hosted along with Jeong Jinwoon MBC


Korean tours[edit]

  • LEEGIKWANG Mini LIVE 2018 <ONE> - Blue Square I Market Hall, Seoul (January 27–28, 2018)[18]


Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2010 MBC Entertainment Awards Popularity Award[14] Hot Brothers Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor[19] My Princess Won
2016 I-MAGAZINE Fashion Face Award Year 2016 Asian Male N/A Won
2017 I-MAGAZINE Fashion Face Award Year 2017 Asian Male N/A Won


  1. ^ Mark Russell (April 29, 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1. 
  2. ^ "Former Wonder Girls member Hyunah supports AJ". Newsen (in Korean). June 5, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Singers Use New Unique PR Strategies". Korea Times. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  4. ^ "New Singer AJ finally changes name after same-name controversy". Newsen (in Korean). June 5, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "레이디가가 "한국가수 AJ, 무대 기대돼요" – 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 – 뉴스엔". Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ "이기광, "내 백댄서였던 비스트 멤버들…미안해" : 네이트 뉴스". Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Lee Kikwang "The end of 'High Kick' on the 18th...it's sad to part"". Star News (in Korean). March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ "BEAST's Lee Kikwang – UKISS's Dongho – MBLAQ's Thunder, Attention Explosion of the Confessions of Their Ideal Types". Newsen (in Korean). March 8, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Roof Kick Lee Gi kwang selected as MC for Sunday Night Hot Brothers". Star News (in Korean). March 4, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Kim Sungsoo, Jung Jaeyong, and Lee Ki Gwang, chosen as the new MC for the KBS show 'Win Win'". Osen. August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Lee KiKwang, chosen as the model for the Ice Tea Tio from DongSuh Foods". Newsis (in Korean). May 9, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ "BEAST's Lee Gi-kwang collaborates with Ahn Jinkyung… "We will be anticipating the avatar rap"". Asiae (in Korean). August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Yoon Doojoon, Lee Kikwang and IU to appear as special hosts on Music Core". Newsen (in Korean). August 18, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Beast's Lee Kikwang, "This is the American Dance"". Newsen (in Korean). December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Lee Kikwang appears in A Pink's teaser, the meeting of 'fairies' and 'beast'". Sports Today (in Korean). April 15, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  16. ^ "B2ST'S Kikwang to participate in Brave Brothers' new project". Newsen (in Korean). July 12, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Lee Kikwang joins the 'My Princess' production team!". Korean Kyungjae (in Korean). December 12, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Highlight's Lee Gikwang To Hold His First Ever Solo Concert". soompi. 2018-01-08. Retrieved 2018-01-12. 
  19. ^ Ko, Kyoung-seok (3 January 2011). "Ko Hyun-jung wins grand prize at SBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 

External links[edit]