Lee Gi-kwang

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.

Lee Ki-Kwang
Lee Ki-kwang.jpg
Born (1990-03-30) March 30, 1990 (age 25)
Gwangju, South Korea
Musical career
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Gi-gwang
McCune–Reischauer Yi Kigwang

Lee Gi-kwang (Korean: 이기광, Hanja: ; born on March 30, 1990) is a South Korean idol, singer, dancer and actor. He was a solo singer under Cube Entertainment, also known by his stage name as "Ace Junior" (AJ) when he debuted. He released his first Mini Album "First Episode A New Hero"[1][2] which features the works of the famous composer Brave Brothers. He is the main dancer, lead vocalist and visual of Beast.

Early life[edit]

Lee Gi-kwang was born on March 30, 1990[3] 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. However he got eliminated from the previous agency and was asked by the former president of his current agency to join the agency without auditioning making him the company's first trainee (and debuted under the stage name 'AJ'). 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.[4] He met controversies when his name created dispute among netizens for having a similar name with Paran’s AJ(Later became the new U-KISS member). He now goes with his original name when he redebuted with Beast.[5] He debuted as an actor through High Kick Through the Roof[6] and was also cast in a role for My Princess.[7] He also became an MC for different shows such as Hot Brothers,[8] Win Win[9] and SBS Inkigayo.


Debut: 2009[edit]

Lee Gi-kwang was trained under JYP Entertainment for four years before transferring to Cube Entertainment. He made his debut on April 2, 2009 on Mnet M!Countdown.[10] He was dubbed by Korean media as the next Rain.[11] On June 17, 2009, AJ opened for Lady Gaga's Korean showcase.[12]

Gi-kwang has now switched from a solo artist to a group member of Beast. The group debuted on October 16, 2009 on KBS Music Bank with their single "Bad Girl". He serves as the main dancer and lead vocalist in Beast. Band members Yoon Doo-joon, Yong Jun-hyung, Jang Hyun-seung and Yang Yo-seob were once backup dancers for Gi-kwang when he was still performing as AJ.[13] Ace Junior 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.


The name "AJ", which is common not only in Korea but also overseas, has created disputes among netizens since many expressed their dissatisfaction over him having the same name as Paran's AJ. Cube Entertainment responded by saying that AJ’s name is different from that of Paran AJ’s for his (Cube's AJ) name is short for ‘Ace Junior’. The company later announced that he would continue activities under a different name, but no changes were made until it was revealed that AJ would no longer continue activities, as he will have been preparing to debut as a member of Beast. Since the group's debut, he is known as Gi Kwang, or Kikwang.[14]


Beast (비스트, stylized as BEAST or B2ST) is a boy band from South Korea that consists of six members, under Cube Entertainment. Originally known as B2ST, an acronym for Boys 2 Search the Top. However, their name was changed to BEAST (Boys of East Asia Standing Tall). They released their first mini-album Beast Is The B2ST on October 14, 2009, and made their first live performance on KBS's Music Bank 2 days later. The group has released a total of 8 mini-albums, "Beast is the B2ST", "Shock of the New Era", "Mastermind", "Lights Go On Again", "Midnight Sun", "Good Luck", "Time", "Ordinary" and 2 full-length albums called "Fiction and Fact" and "Hard to Love How to Love".

2010 - present[edit]

After he was switched from a solo artist to a group member of Beast, their journey to debut was the topic of a reality show, MTV B2ST, which was hosted by MTV. Later, there's another Beast show - Beast Almighty, also hosted by MTV.


Gi-kwang had an acting role as Kang Sae-ho on MBC's "High Kick Through the Roof".[6] He was cast as the comical role in the drama My Princess starring Song Seung-hun and Kim Tae-hee on 2011.[7] He also played Lee Ji-ah's patrol partner in 2011 drama Me Too, Flower!, where his character was Jo Ma-roo. He also had an acting role as himself as the lead actor in "20's (Twenty Years Old)" and a role as Kyung Sook who is terminally ill with leukimia on KBS Drama Special "My Friend is Still Alive".

On August 3, 2015, Lee Gi-kwang made a comeback appearance on small screen as Lee Se-won on SBS's Monday-Tuesday Drama "Mrs.cop". His role was as the youngest detective on the team along with Kim Hee-Ae as Choi Young-Jin, the captain of the team.

MC Activity[edit]

He was selected as MC for MBC's Sunday Sunday Night segment Hot Brothers.[15] Gi-kwang was chosen as the new MC for the KBS show 'Win Win'.[16]

Yoon Doojoon, Gi-kwang and IU appeared as special hosts on Music Core on August 21, 2010.[17]

Gi-kwang, together with IU, were selected to be new MCs of Inkigayo in replacement of CNBlue’s Jung Yonghwa from 20 March. The two were paired with the existing MCs, 2AM’s Jo Kwon, and f(x)’s Sulli.

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 also being MC on December 14, 2012 along with Infinite's Woohyun, Moon Hee-jun, and Danny Ahn for 2012 Melon Music Awards


Gi-kwang was featured in K.Will's music video for the song, Present.[18]

Gi-kwang was featured in Ahn Jinkyung’s title song, ‘Love is Pathetic’ off of her second mini album ‘BE THE VOICE’. This will be his first project that he will be rapping in.[19]

Gi-kwang was featured in Sunny Hill's 'Midnight Circus'.

He was also chosen as the leading man in A Pink's MV, "I Don't Know".[20]

On July 12, 2011, it has been announced that Gi-kwang will be taking part in producer Brave Brother’s sixth project album, in a song called "Break Up" featuring Gi-kwang and Electro Boys. Fans were especially excited because this was Gi-kwang’s first solo song since his original debut days as ‘AJ‘ before he joined Beast.[21]

On February 8, 2012 Gi-kwang also appeared in Ailee's debut music video, "Heaven".


He was also chosen as the model for the ‘Ice Tea Tio’ from DongSuh Foods.[22] Gi-kwang will be doing CF filming of LG Tromm with model Lee Nayoung.[23]


On December 29, 2010, Gi-kwang was awarded with Popularity Award from the 2010 MBC Entertainment Awards.[24]



Album # Album information Tracklisting
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

Music video appearances[edit]

These are a collection of the different members' appearances in other artists' music videos as well as notable acting performances in music videos.

Year Song Title Artist Video
2010 Present K.Will starshipTV


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


Dramas and Sitcoms[edit]

Year Title Type Role
2009 High Kick Through the Roof TV Series (MBC) Kang Sae Ho (강세호)
2011 My Princess TV Series (MBC) Geon Lee (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) Lee Kook-Chul/Kang Ki-Tan (20s)


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
2010 Show! Music Core MBC Co-Hosted along with Yoon Doo-joon & IU
2011 Inkigayo SBS Co-Hosted along with Jo Kwon, Choi Sulli & IU

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
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

Commercials and endorsements[edit]

Year(s) Product Country Notes
2010 BBQ Chicken South Korea with Beast & Shin Se-kyung
2011 Ottogi Ramen South Korea with Beast
Clride.n South Korea with Beast & Kim Ji-won
Vito South Korea with Beast
A'PIEU South Korea with Yoon Doo-joon
Tao Kae Noi South Korea with Beast
2013 Shinsegae South Korea with Beast
Dunkin Donuts South Korea with Beast & DUN SUM COOL
Skoolooks South Korea with Beast & A Pink


Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2010 MBC Entertainment Awards Popularity Award[24] Hot Brothers Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor My Princess Won
Year Awards Category
2009 SBS Inkigayo Mutizen "Super Rookie"(May)


  1. ^ "원걸 前 멤버 현아 지원사격 ‘포스트 비’ AJ 2일 베일 벗는다 - 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 - 뉴스엔". Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  2. ^ "원걸 前 멤버 현아, AJ 랩피처링 지원사격 ‘컴백 신호탄’ - 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 - 뉴스엔". Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  3. ^ Mark Russell (29 April 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1. 
  4. ^ "Former Wonder Girls member Hyunah supports AJ". Newsen (in Korean). 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  5. ^ "New Singer AJ finally changes name after same-name controversy". Newsen (in Korean). 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Lee Kikwang "The end of 'High Kick' on the 18th...it's sad to part"". Star News (in Korean). 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  7. ^ a b "Lee Kikwang joins the 'My Princess' production team!". Korean Kyungjae (in Korean). 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  8. ^ "Roof Kick Lee Kikwang selected as MC for Sunday Night Hot Brothers". Star News (in Korean). 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  9. ^ "Kim Sungsoo, Jung Jaeyong, and Lee Kikwang, chosen as the new MC for the KBS show 'Win Win'". Osen (in Korean). 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  10. ^ "[포토엔]AJ, 팬들에게 윙크 살짝~ - 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 - 뉴스엔". Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  11. ^ "Singers Use New Unique PR Strategies". Korea Times. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  12. ^ "레이디가가 "한국가수 AJ, 무대 기대돼요" - 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 - 뉴스엔". Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  13. ^ "이기광, "내 백댄서였던 비스트 멤버들…미안해" : 네이트 뉴스". Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  14. ^ "‘동명논란’ 신인가수 AJ 결국 이름 변경 결정 "양측 모두 피해자" - 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 - 뉴스엔". Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  15. ^ "Roof Kick Lee Gi kwang selected as MC for Sunday Night Hot Brothers". Star News (in Korean). 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  16. ^ "Kim Sungsoo, Jung Jaeyong, and Lee Ki Gwang, chosen as the new MC for the KBS show 'Win Win'". Osen. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  17. ^ "Yoon Doojoon, Lee Kikwang and IU to appear as special hosts on Music Core". Newsen (in Korean). 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  18. ^ "BEAST's Lee Kikwang - UKISS's Dongho - MBLAQ's Thunder, Attention Explosion of the Confessions of Their Ideal Types". Newsen (in Korean). 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  19. ^ "BEAST’s Lee Gi-kwang collaborates with Ahn Jinkyung… "We will be anticipating the avatar rap"". Asiae (in Korean). 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  20. ^ "Lee Kikwang appears in A Pink's teaser, the meeting of 'fairies' and 'beast'". Sports Today (in Korean). 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  21. ^ "B2ST'S Kikwang to participate in Brave Brothers' new project". Newsen (in Korean). 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  22. ^ "Lee KiKwang, chosen as the model for the Ice Tea Tio from DongSuh Foods". Newsis (in Korean). 2010-05-09. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  23. ^ "Lee Kikwang Says "Lee NaYoung is My Ideal Type"". Newsen (in Korean). 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  24. ^ a b "Beast's Lee Kikwang, "This is the American Dance"". Newsen (in Korean). 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 

External links[edit]