Lee Gi-kwang

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Lee Gi-kwang
(Marie Claire Korea) BEAST is BACK! (3).jpg
Gikwang in 2016
Native name 이기광
Born (1990-03-30) March 30, 1990 (age 26)
Gwangju, South Korea
  • Singer
  • Dancer
  • Actor
  • Composer
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2008–present
Labels Cube Entertainment
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, dancer 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 the boy group Beast.

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) and Monster (2016). 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]

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.


Gikwang performing in Singapore at BEAST Ordinary Fanmeet 2015


Album # Album information Track listing
1st First Episode: A New Hero
  • Released: April 4, 2009
  • Length: 12:40
  • Language: Korean
  • Format: CD, digital
  • Label: Cube Entertainment
  1. "Intro" - 0:51
  2. "Dancing Shoes" - 3:11
  3. "2009" (Feat. Hyuna) - 2:07
  4. "Wipe the Tears " - 3:27
  5. "Dancing Shoes (Instrumental)" - 3:04



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)

Variety Shows[edit]

Year Title Type Role
2009 Diary of AJ TV Documentary (MTV) Himself as AJ
MTV B2ST TV Documentary (MTV) Himself
2010 MTV Beast Almighty TV Show (MTV) Himself
Idol Maid TV Show (MBC) Himself
Hot Brothers TV Show (MBC) Himself
Win Win TV Show (KBS) Himself
2010 Idol Star Athletics Championships TV Show (MBC) Himself
SHIN PD Variety Show TV Show (SBS) Himself
2011 Exciting Cube TV TV Show (Mnet Japan) Himself
School Variety TV Show (KBS) Himself
2012 Running Man EP 127 TV Show (SBS) Himself
Win Win TV Show (KBS2) Himself
Weekly Idol TV Show (MBC Every1) Himself
Invincible Youth 2 TV Show (KBS2) Himself
2013 Running Man EP 127 TV Show (SBS) Himself
Running Man EP 162 TV Show (SBS) Himself
2013 Idol Star Athletics Championships TV Show (MBC) Himself
Crackle Class TV Show (tvN) Himself
Weekly Idol TV Show (MBC Every1) Himself
Happy Together TV Show (KBS) Himself
Hello Counselor TV Show (MBC Every1) Himself
Showtime Burning the Beast TV Show (MBC Every1) Himself
Running Man EP 199 TV Show (SBS) Himself
Weekly Idol (MBC Every1) Himself
Hello Counselor (KBS) Himself
Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education TV Show (KBS2) Himself
Cackling Class TV Online (tvN) Himself
Style log TV Show (OnStyle) Himself
Family's Dignity Full House TV Show (KBS2) Himself
Law of the Jungle TV Show (SBS) Himself
Cool Kiz On The Block TV Show (KBS) Himself
Witch Hunt TV Online (JTBC) Himself
2014 Idol Star Athletics Championships TV Show (MBC) Himself
2015 Infinity Challenge TV Show (MBC) Himself
Happy Together TV Show (KBS2) Himself
2015 Idol Star Athletics Championships TV Show (MBC) Himself
One Night TV Appearance TV Show (SBS) Himself
New Life For Children TV Show (MBC) Himself
Same Bed Different Dreams Ep 27 TV Show (SBS) Himself
Weekly Idol TV Show (MBC Every1) Himself
2016 Weekly Idol TV Show (MBC Every1) Himself
Boomshakalaka TV Show (KBS2) Himself


Year Title Roles TV Network
2010 M! Countdown Christmas Special Co-Hosted along with Son Dong-woon & Yong Jun-hyung Mnet
2011 Inkigayo Co-Hosted along with IU SBS
2012 Inkigayo Special Co-Hosted along with Jung Yong-hwa & Tiffany SBS
Win Win Co-Hosted KBS2
SBS Kpop Concert in America Co-Hosted along with Jung Yong-hwa & IU SBS
MelOn Music Awards Co-Hosted along with Nam Woo-hyun & Moon Hee-joon & Danny Ahn MBC
2014 Style log Co-Hosted along with Gayoon OnStyle

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2010 "Present" K.Will
2011 "Midnight Circus" Sunny Hill
"I Don't Know" Apink
2012 "Heaven" Ailee


Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2010 MBC Entertainment Awards Popularity Award[14] Hot Brothers Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor My Princess 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. 

External links[edit]