Lee Gi-kwang

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Lee Gi-kwang
170819 이기광1.jpg
Gikwang in 2017
Born (1990-03-30) March 30, 1990 (age 32)
Gwangju, South Korea
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Musical career
Years active2008–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Gi-gwang
McCune–ReischauerYi 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), Circle (2017), and Lovely Horribly (2018), 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] and dubbed by Korean media as the next Rain.[3] However he met controversies when his name created dispute among netizens for having a similar name with Paran's AJ (who later became a U-KISS member). He now goes with his original name when he re-debuted with Beast.[4] On June 17, 2009, AJ opened for Lady Gaga's Korean showcase.[5] Fellow Beast members 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 also featured in 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.


2009–2016: Debut with Beast and solo activities[edit]

Six months after debuting as soloist, Gi-kwang 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.[7] Gi-kwang made his acting debut in the MBC sitcom High Kick Through the Roof, which aired in 2009 and 2010.[8]

In 2010, Gi-kwang featured in K.Will's music video for the song, "Present".[9] He was also selected as the MC for MBC's Sunday Sunday Night segment Hot Brothers[10] and the KBS talk show Win Win.[11] In May, Gi-kwang was chosen as the model for the 'Ice Tea Tio' from DongSuh Foods.[12] In August, Gi-kwang featured on Ahn Jinkyung's single "Love is Pathetic" from the mini album Be the Voice as a rapper.[13] He, Yoon Doojoon and IU appeared as special hosts on Music Core on August 21, 2010.[14] On December 29, Gi-kwang was awarded with Popularity Award from the 2010 MBC Entertainment Awards.[15]

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.[16] He was also chosen as the leading man in A Pink's music video, "I Don't Know"[17] Sunny Hill's music video for "Midnight Circus". In July, Gi-kwang was featured on Brave Brothers' song "Break Up" alongside Electroboyz, as a part of Brave Brother's sixth project album on July 12, 2011.[18]

Also in 2011, Gi-kwang was cast in the romantic comedy drama My Princess starring Song Seung-hun and Kim Tae-hee;[19] and played Lee Ji-ah's patrol partner in the drama Me Too, Flower!.[20] Gi-kwang won the Best New Actor award at the SBS Drama Awards for his performance in My Princess.[21]

On February 8, 2012 Gi-kwang appeared in Ailee's debut music video, "Heaven".[22] Gi-kwang also hosted SBS K-Pop Super Concert in America on November 10 alongside Tiffany Hwang and Jung Yong-hwa and Melon Music Awards with Infinite's Woohyun, Moon Hee-jun, and Danny Ahn.[23]

In 2013, Gi-kwang had a role as a terminally ill patient with leukemia on KBS Drama Special My Friend is Still Alive.[24] In 2014, he starred in the mobile drama 20's (Twenty Years Old).[25]

In 2015, Gi-kwang was cast in SBS's drama Mrs. Cop as the youngest detective on the team.[26][27] He next starred as the younger version of Kang Ji-hwan's character in the 2016 MBC drama Monster,[28] and the web drama Momin's Room.[29]

2017–present: Return to solo music career[edit]

In September 2017, Gi-kwang returned as a soloist with his first mini album One. The lead single was a future R&B single titled "What You Like".[30] Gi-kwang reportedly participated in 6 out of 8 tracks on the album.[31] He held his first solo concert Lee Gikwang Mini Live 2018 One in January 2018.[32]

Also in 2017, Gi-kwang was cast in tvN's science fiction drama Circle.[33] In 2018, Gi-kwang was cast in KBS' horror romance drama Lovely Horribly.[34]

On April 18, 2019, Gi-kwang began his mandatory military service as a conscripted police officer.[35] He was discharged on November 18, 2020. [36]


Gikwang performing in Singapore at BEAST Ordinary Fanmeet 2015

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
First Episode: A New Hero
Track listing
  1. "Intro" – 0:51
  2. "Dancing Shoes" – 3:11
  3. "2009" (featuring Hyuna) – 2:07
  4. "Wipe the Tears" – 3:27
  5. "Dancing Shoes (Instrumental)" – 3:04
ONE 5 171


"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak
"Dancing Shoes" 2009 N/A First Episode: A New Hero
"Wipe the tears"
"What You Like" 2017 51 ONE
"Dreaming(ft. Luizy)" 2018 N/A ONE
"D.C.Y.E" 2019 N/A I
"Lonely (Feat. Jiselle)" N/A I
"Nothing" N/A Goodbye with a Smile(웃으며 인사해)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak
Sales Album
"Love Is Pathetic" (with An Jin-kyung) 2010 31 N/A Be the Voice
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Title Year Peak
Sales Album
"Let It Snow" (with Hyunseung) 2010 87 N/A My Story
"Should I Hug or Not" (with Doojoon, Junhyung) 2011 16 Shinsa Dong Tiger Project: Supermarket – The Half
"Break Up" (with Brave Brothers, Electro Boys) 34 Non-album single
"Yesterday" (with Dynamic BLACK) 2012 9
"Baby It's You" (with Doojoon) 2016 66 Highlight
"Just Trust Me (오빠만 믿어)" (with Park Hyun-bin, Lizzy, Park Kwanghyun) 2017 N/A Fantastic Duo 2
"Dazzling Dazzling (샤방샤방)" (with Park Hyun-bin)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Music videos[edit]

Year Title
2009 "Dancing Shoes"
"Wipe the Tears"
2017 "What You Like"
2019 "D.C.Y.E/Don't Close Your Eyes"
"Lonely (Feat. Jiselle)"

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, Chloe Yes Noday, Chloe
"What Are U" Yes Noday, Chloe Yes Noday, Chloe
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
Outro HIGHLIGHT "Leave Me Alone" (Junhyung & Gikwang) Yes Yong Jun-hyung Yes Good Life
2021 The Blowing HIGHLIGHT "NOT THE END" Yes Joo Chanyang, Lavin Yes Joo Chanyang, Lavin
"Hey Yeah" Yes Kim Sooyoon, Moon Kim Yes Kim Tae-sung, Moon Kim, NOD, Ahn Seong-chan, Kim Yong-shin
2022 Daydream HIGHLIGHT "Night Fog" Yes Noday Yes Noday, Riskypizza
"Don't Leave" Yes VO3E, Kim Jeung-jung, ZNEE Yes VO3E, Frederik Jyll
"PLAY" Yes Sooyoon Yes Big Sancho, Moon Kim, Kim So-ming
"Whatever" Yes NOD, Park Sol, Gyuberlake Yes NOD, Park Sol, Gyuberlake, Moon Kim
"Classic" Yes Noday, Gyuberlake Yes Noday, Gyuberlake, WONJUN



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012 A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape from Paradise Ricky voice-dubbing [49]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Ref.
2009 High Kick Through the Roof Kang Se-ho [8]
2011 My Princess Geon-yi [19]
Me Too, Flower! Jo Ma-roo / Pink Chicken [20]
2013 My Friend Is Still Alive Kyeong-sook [24]
2014 20's (Twenty Years Old) Gi-kwang [25]
2015 Mrs. Cop Lee Se-won [26]
2016 Monster young Lee Gook-cheol / Kang Ki-tan (20s) [28]
Momin's Room Wonee [29]
2017 Circle Lee Ho-soo [33]
2018 Lovely Horribly Lee Sung-joong [34]

Television shows[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2009 Diary of AJ Cast Member
2010–2012 Hot Brothers [10]
2011 Inkigayo Host [16]
2011–2012 Win Win [11]
2014 Style Log with Gayoon and Do Sang-woo [50]
2017 The Dynamic Duo 7 Cast member [51]
Love 10 Host with Sung Si-kyung [52]
2018 Why Not?: The Dancer Cast member [53]
God of Football Host with Jeong Jin-woon [54]
Battle Trip Contestant with Doojoon (Episode 81-82) [55]
Dancing High Dance coach [56]
2020 Idol Wonderland Host [57]
2021 Brad PT & GYM Carry with Kim Sook and Lee Hyun-yi [58]

Web shows[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2021 MuzieKwang Company Host fake documentary entertainment [59]
Soldier Idol Camp Cast Member [60]

Radio show[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2022–present Gikwang's Song Plaza DJ March 14, 2022–present [61]


Year Title Notes Ref.
2022 KCON 2022 Premiere Special MC; May 7, 2022 – May 8, 2022 [62]


Korean tours[edit]

  • LEEGIKWANG Mini LIVE 2018 <ONE> - Blue Square I Market Hall, Seoul (January 27–28, 2018)
  • LEEGIKWANG LIVE 2019 [I] - Blue Square I Market Hall, Seoul (March 23-24, 2019)

Japan tours[edit]

  • LEEGIKWANG Mini LIVE 2018 <ONE> in Japan - Mynavi BLITZ Akasaka, Tokyo (July 22, 2018)
  • LEEGIKWANG LIVE 2019 [I] in Japan - Toyosu PIT by Team Smile, Tokyo (13 April, 2019)

Taiwan tours[edit]

  • LEEGIKWANG LIVE 2019 [I] in Taiwan - Taiwan TICC Hall, Taipei (30 March, 2019)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Nominee / Work Result Ref.
I-Magazine Fashion Face Award 2016 Asian Male Lee Gi-kwang Won
2017 Won
KBS Drama Awards 2018 Best New Actor Lovely Horribly Nominated
MBC Drama Awards 2011 My Princess Won [21]
MBC Entertainment Awards 2010 Popularity Award Hot Brothers Won [63]


  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. ^ "My name… BEAST – Part 2". TenAsia. November 27, 2009.
  8. ^ a b "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ a b "Roof Kick Lee Gi kwang selected as MC for Sunday Night Hot Brothers". Star News (in Korean). March 4, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "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.
  12. ^ "Lee KiKwang, chosen as the model for the Ice Tea Tio from DongSuh Foods". Newsis (in Korean). May 9, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "Yoon Doojoon, Lee Kikwang and IU to appear as special hosts on Music Core". Newsen (in Korean). August 18, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "Beast's Lee Kikwang, "This is the American Dance"". Newsen (in Korean). December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  16. ^ a b "아이유·이기광, '인기가요' MC발탁..정용화 하차". Nate (in Korean). March 9, 2011.
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  21. ^ a b Ko, Kyoung-seok (January 3, 2011). "Ko Hyun-jung wins grand prize at SBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  22. ^ "BEAST Lee Ki Kwang Appears on Ailee's "Heaven" Music Video". Soompi. February 27, 2012.
  23. ^ "[PHOTO] INFINITE Woo-hyun, BEAST Lee Gi-kwang Team Up to Host the 2012 Melon Music Awards". TenAsia. December 14, 2012.
  24. ^ a b "'드라마스페셜' 이기광 "내 연기, 손발이 오글거려 보기 힘들었다"". Xports News (in Korean). June 10, 2013.
  25. ^ a b "BEAST Lee Gi-kwang, Lee Dain to Turn Adorable in Mobile Drama". TenAsia. December 10, 2013.
  26. ^ a b "Lee Gi-kwang to appear in 'Mrs. Cop'". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 9, 2015.
  27. ^ "'Mrs. Cop' releases behind-the-scenes of Lee Gi-kwang". Kpop Herald. August 23, 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Lee Gi-kwang gets part in upcoming drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. January 22, 2016.
  29. ^ a b "이기광·백성현, OCN '모민의 방' 주연". Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). October 25, 2016.
  30. ^ "Returning to the Music Industry as Lee Gikwang from 'Junior'". MSN. BNT News. September 4, 2017.
  31. ^ "'A lot of my opinions went into my solo album': Lee Gi-kwang". Kpop Herald. August 23, 2017.
  32. ^ "[공식] 이기광, 데뷔 9년만에 첫 단독 콘서트 개최…새해 활동 시작". Xports News (in Korean). January 8, 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Alien sci-fi drama 'Circle' enjoys fandom". The Korea Times. June 18, 2017.
  34. ^ a b "Lee Gi-kwang Confirmed for "Lovely Horribly"". Hancinema. June 5, 2018.
  35. ^ "Update: Highlight's Lee Gikwang Enlists In The Military + Gifts Fans With "Nothing" MV". Soompi. April 18, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  36. ^ 이정호|기자|. "하이라이트 이기광, 오늘(18일) 의경 만기 전역 "기다려준 팬들 감사"". n.news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  37. ^ Gaon Album Chart
  38. ^ "Oricon Chart". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  39. ^ Cumulative sales for "ONE (Album)":
  40. ^ a b オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」 -CD・ブルーレイ・DVD・書籍・コミック-. Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  41. ^ Charted songs:
  42. ^ Cumulative Sales for What You Like:
  43. ^ Charted songs:
  44. ^ Charted songs:
  45. ^ Cumulative Sales for Should I Hug or Not:
  46. ^ Cumulative sales for "Break Up:
  47. ^ Cumulative sales for "Yesterday:
  48. ^ Cumulative sales for "Baby It's You":
  49. ^ "BEAST's Lee Gi-kwang says "great thing about voice-dubbing is hiding behind screen"". TenAsia. July 26, 2012.
  50. ^ "Lee Gi-kwang, Gayoon enjoy shopping together". Kpop Herald. December 15, 2014.
  51. ^ ""은지원 권혁수 이기광 합류"...tvN 새 예능 '공조7' 라인업 완성". Herald Corporation (in Korean). February 16, 2017.
  52. ^ "'10살차이' 이기광 "학창시절 여자친구에 도시락 조공"". Sports Chosun (in Korean). February 8, 2017.
  53. ^ "D-DAY '더 댄서' 은혁X기광X태민, 와이낫 어벤져스 탄생 비화 공개(Ft. 밀당태민)". imbc (in Korean). May 5, 2018.
  54. ^ "공식입장] '축구의 신' 6월3일 첫방…'체육돌' 이기광x정진운, 첫 MC 호흡". News1 (in Korean). June 1, 2018.
  55. ^ "HIGHLIGHT Yoon Dujun & Lee Gi Kwang in Manchester, England! [Battle Trip]". KBSWORLD. March 16, 2018.
  56. ^ "'Dancing High' ready to welcome dancers". Kpop Herald. July 16, 2018.
  57. ^ "하이라이트 이기광, '아이돌 원더랜드' MC 발탁…전역 첫 활동". m.isplus.joins.com. October 28, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  58. ^ Hwang Hye-jin (September 13, 2021). "[단독]김숙X이현이X이기광, 운동예능으로 뭉친다 '브래드PT&GYM캐리' MC" [[Exclusive] Kim Sook X Lee Hyun Yi X Kik Kwang unite through sports entertainment 'Brad PT&GYM Carry' MC]. Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved September 13, 2021 – via Naver.
  59. ^ Kang Kyung-rok (August 16, 2021). "하이라이트 이기광, '뮤지광 컴퍼니' 출연…예능감 '기대 UP" [Highlight Lee Gi-kwang to appear in ‘Mujikwang Company’… Sense of entertainment ‘Expectation UP’]. Edaily (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  60. ^ Jung Hee-yeon (December 1, 2021). "이진호·온유·이기광 '군필돌 캠프' 입소" [Lee Jin-ho, Onew, and Ki-kwang enlist at the 'Military Idol Camp] (in Korean). Sports Donga. Retrieved December 1, 2021 – via Naver.
  61. ^ Lee Nam-kyung (March 3, 2022). "이기광 DJ발탁, '가요광장' 정은지 후임 확정…3월 14일 첫방(공식)" [Lee Gi-kwang as DJ, ‘Gayo Plaza’ Jung Eun-ji’s successor confirmed… March 14 first broadcast (official)] (in Korean). MBN. Retrieved March 3, 2022 – via Naver.
  62. ^ Yoo Byung-chul (April 22, 2022). "하이라이트 이기광, 3회 연속 '케이콘' 무대 오른다…스페셜 MC 낙점" [Highlight's Lee Gi-kwang to step up on 'KCON' for the third time in a row... Special MC score] (in Korean). Korea Economy TV. Retrieved April 23, 2022 – via Naver.
  63. ^ "Kang Ho-dong scores grand prize at SBS Entertainment Awards". Ten Asia. December 31, 2010.

External links[edit]