Lee Hong-gi

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Not to be confused with Ki Hong Lee.
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Lee Hong-gi
FTISLAND in Paris, La Cigale, 16.JPG
Lee Hong-gi in Paris, 2015
Background information
Born (1990-03-02) March 2, 1990 (age 25)[1]
Gwangju, Gyeonggi, South Korea
Genres Rock, pop, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer, actor, songwriter, composer
Years active 2002–present
Labels FNC Entertainment
AI Entertainment Inc. (Japan)
Warner Music (Japan)
Associated acts F.T. Island
Website Official website

Korean name
Hangul 이홍기
Revised Romanization I Hong-gi
McCune–Reischauer Yi Hong-ki

Lee Hong-gi (Hangul이홍기; pronounced [iː hoŋɡiː ]; Japanese:イ•ホンギ) often credited as Hong-gi or HongKi, is a South Korean idol singer best known for his singing abilities and being the main vocalist of the Korean pop/rock band F.T. Island. He is also an actor, songwriter, composer and fashion designer. Lee released his first solo mini album FM302 in Korea on 18 November and will make his Japanese debut as well with AM302 on 9 December.

Acting career[edit]

Before Lee Hong-ki debuted as a singer with the band FT Island, he was a child actor, making his acting debut in 2002 in the KBS2 TV series Magic Kid Masuri as Masuri's friend.[2] This sitcom gained popularity among elementary school students. He was also featured in Kkangsooni, where he played the character of Eo Soo-bong, and sang for the sitcom's OST.

In 2008, he was offered the lead role in Master of Study, the Korean adaptation of Japanese drama Dragon Zakura. Master of Study should have aired in the beginning of 2009 but due to preproduction difficulties, the drama was postponed to the beginning of 2010 which led FNC Entertainment to refuse Lee's role because of his busy schedule with FT Island.

Lee then played Lysander in a Korean musical theatre version of A Midsummer Night's Dream,[2] where he showcased his singing, acting and dancing skills. In 2009, after a five-year break, he made his acting comeback and took the role of the quirky but loveable drummer Jeremy in You're Beautiful.[3] To promote the drama, he also contributed solo tracks to the OST, such as "Promise" and "Still/As Ever."[4] He received a New Star Award at the 2009 SBS Drama Awards for his performance. You're Beautiful recorded modest ratings in South Korea, but it became an international success and with it, Lee's worldwide popularity increased.

In April 2011, Lee starred in the TBS Japanese drama Muscle Girl! opposite Yui Ichikawa.[5] This was followed by a 90-minute Korean-Japanese co-production titled Noriko Goes to Seoul, in which he played a young aspiring singer who meets an older woman (Takashima Reiko) who inspires him through hardships to achieve his dream.[6]

In June 2013, he made his big screen debut in the movie Rockin' on Heaven's Door (Korean title: Passionate Goodbye), with Baek Jin-hee, in which Lee portrayed as a rebellious music star who is sent to work in a hospice.[7][8]

Lee began filming Bride of the Century with Yang Jin-sung. He went on a four-week rest after he dislocated his shoulder and suffered facial fractures during December 2013.[9][10] He resumed shooting in January 2014, and the drama aired that February.[11][12]

Lee also starred in SBS Modern Farmer (TV series) alongside Park Min-woo (actor), Lee Ha-nui, and others. The drama aired from the 18th of October 2014 to the 21st of December 2014, at 20:40 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Music career[edit]

Lee in 2012

In 2007, Lee debuted in the band F.T. Island as the lead singer. He can also rap and beatbox.

Lee decided to pursue a career in singing after he starred in Kkangsooni, for which he sang a song for the soundtrack. At the end of the drama, he performed the song live on stage. He was 13 years old at that time. Impressed by his powerful vocal ability, a few people approached him, not wishing to waste his talent for singing. Then-fledgling label company FNC Entertainment Music signed Lee and fully trained him to become the lead singer of F.T. Island.

During the 2008 SBS Gayo Daejeon, due to F.T. Island's extremely tight concert schedule, Lee became sick and lost his voice due to exhaustion. After the performance, he collapsed and was hospitalized on December 30 for a few days through the New Year.[13][14]

Because of the incident, FNC Entertainment decided to make a subgroup of F.T. Island, called FT Triple, which consisted of just 3 out of the 5 members in the band (without Lee and fellow band member Song Seung-hyun). FT Triple was formed to prevent Lee from over-straining his voice and to allow him to rest for a few minutes while on stage or during a concert. Another reason for the existence of this subgroup is due to Lee's tight schedule with variety shows, filming, recording and other individual activities. The band has sometimes performed in shows without him.

In recent years, Lee has also begun composing music, contributing the songs "Black Chocolate" and "Orange Sky" to F.T. Island's Japanese album Rated FT, as well as the title track "Memory" and the song "Always With You" on F.T. Island's Korean mini-album Thanks To, and "Siren" from their latest album The Mood.[15][16] He also composed Japanese songs 'On My Way,' 'Just Please' and 'Born to be a Rock n Roller.'[17][18]

He also sang "I'm Saying," the chart-topping main theme song of the drama The Heirs.

Lee also sang "When Love Comes" which is the ost of the drama Modern Farmer.

On 21 May, Dal Shabet's official YouTube channel uploaded a video titled Joker in Rock Version. The video was a collaboration with Lee and Subin (singer) singing Joker in rock version.[19] It was believed that the two decided on a collaboration when Lee and Subin met on Hello Counselor.

Personal life[edit]

Lee Hong-gi in Paris in 2015 at La Cigale

Lee was enrolled in Kyunghee University studying theatre and film.[2] His hobbies include listening to music, playing soccer, cooking and nail art.[2]

Nail art is a creative activity that draws pictures or designs on fingernails. Lee was obsessed with nail art since 2010, but only publicly shown it in 2013. It was also revealed that previous f(x) (band)'s member Sulli inspired Lee to pursue a nail art career. His desires and passion for nail art was getting noticed as it was rare for a male idol to opt for nail art. However, Lee continued to explore nail art and had his nails painted as his hobby.

I want to break the stereotype that it's weird for men to get nail art.

— Lee Hong-gi

(a quote to reporters during an interview)

Lee's passion for nail art went on to the next level as he produced his first book, titled Lee Hong-gi's Nail Book, where it features various nail art techniques and designs. It was sold at a fast rate showing the public's support for nail art on men. It was also a collaborative book between Lee and nail artist Kim Soo Jung. The nail art book also topped Japan's Tower Record for the pre-order category in both Korea and Japan respectively.[20][21] His nail art was very successful as he has also won several awards for it. For example, Lee won the Best's Man's Nail Art Award in 2013, making him to first foreigner to win this award, which was held in Japan and also in 2015, Lee won the same award - Best's Man Nail Art Award as well, but he was unable to the attend the ceremony due to solo projects and tours, but instead thanked the fans for their continuous support through a video recording.[22]

Lee started his own fashion brand 'Skullhong' in June 2014. He designs accessories, jewelry and various nail products.[23] Skullhong is centred in Korea, and has since garnered popular support due to Lee's personal designs and phrases, like nail rings that are made of gold or silver, and catchy phrases like "Doesn't Matter". New fashionable items are regularly updated in about once a month with Lee personally designing them.

HONGSTARGRAM, a travel book was personally dedicated to fans as a travel book to capture the different moments of Lee during his first solo trip to different countries. Pictures such as him sight-seeing in China, and even his morning looks were also shown in the travel book.




Soundtrack contributions[edit]

Year Film/Drama/Movie Song's Title
2004 Kangsooni OST To My Friend
2007 Unstoppable Marriage OST Lately I
2009 You're Beautiful OST Still,
2011 Heartstrings OST Even If It's Not Necessary
2013 The Heirs OST I'm saying
Rockin' on Heaven's Door OST Jump,
2014 Bride of the Century OST Words I Have Yet To Say
Modern Farmer OST When Love Comes,
Do Or Die

Songwriting credits[edit]

Album Song
Rated-FT[15] Black Chocolate
Orange Sky
Thanks to[15] Memory
Always With You
The Mood[16] Siren
Uncharted Future[24] Born To Be Rock’N Roller
New Page On My Way
I Will Intro
Do You Know Why?
To The Light


Television drama[edit]

Year Network Title Role Notes
2002 EBS TV Original Fairytale: Bicycle Thief Educational TV series
KBS2 Magic Kid Masuri Masuri's friend Main cast
2004 EBS There's Light at the Tip of My Fingernails
EBS Kkangsooni Eo Soo-bong Educational TV series
MBC Freezing Point Hwan-yi Supporting role
2005 EBS Flower Butterfly and Sunflower Educational TV series
EBS Winter Child Educational TV series
2008 KBS2 Unstoppable Marriage Hwang Sa-baek's friend Cameo, Ep. 62
SBS On Air himself Cameo, Ep. 1
2009 SBS Style himself Cameo, Ep. 6
SBS You're Beautiful Jeremy Main cast
2010 MBC More Charming By the Day chicken delivery guy Cameo, Ep. 111
SBS My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox Jeremy Cameo, Ep. 16
2011 TBS Muscle Girl! Yoo Ji-ho Lead role
KBS2 Noriko Goes to Seoul Kim Min-ha Lead role
2013 tvN Cheongdam-dong 111 himself Reality show
2014 TV Chosun Bride of the Century Choi Kang-joo Lead role
SBS Modern Farmer Lee Min-ki Lead role


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Rockin' on Heaven's Door Choong-ui Lead role
2014 How to Steal a Dog Seok-gu Supporting role

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2008 Family Outing SBS Guest (Ep. 13 & 14)
Happy Shares Company SBS Guest
Good Daddy SBS Cast member
2009 Inkigayo SBS Regular MC
Mnet Scandal Idol Show Mnet
2010 100 Points Out of 100 aka Oh! My School KBS2 Cast member (Ep. 1 - Ep. 12)
Running Man SBS Guest (Ep. 9)
Hot Brothers MBC Guest (Ep. 35)
Let's Go Dream Team! Season 2 KBS2 Guest (Ep. 15, 20, & 104)
2011 Immortal Songs 2 KBS2 Guest
Quiz to Change the World MBC Guest (Ep. 109 with bandmate Jonghun)
Weekly Idol MBC Guest (Ep. 15 with F.T. Island members)
2012 Weekly Idol MBC Guest (Ep. 34 with F.T. Island members)
Hello Counselor KBS2 Guest
2013 We Got Married Global Edition MBC Cast member (with Fujii Mina)
Hello Counselor KBS2 Guest
2014 Cheongdam-dong 111 tvN Reality show
In Bed With Boss JTBC Guest (Ep. 6 & 7)
2015 Witch Hunt JTBC Guest
Golden Fishery aka Radio Star MBC Guest
Running Man (TV series) SBS Guest (Ep. 242)
Mask Singer JTBC Guest
Hello Counselor KBS2 Guest (Ep. 221 with bandmate Jonghun)
Weekly Idol MBC Every 1 Guest (Ep. 196 with F.T. Island members)
A Look At Myself Cast Member (with F.T. Island members)
Happy Together KBS2 Guest (with Fujii Mina)
Cultwo Show SBS Power FM Guest
Non-Summit JTBC Guest
King of Mask Singer MBC Panel Judge
Saturday Night Live Korea tvN Guest

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 A Midsummer Night's Dream Lysander Main role
2014 Vampire[25] Dracula Main role


Year Title
2013 Lee Hong-gi's Nail Art[26]
2014 Hongstargram

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2009 17th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards[2] Top 10 Singers N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards[2] New Star Award You're Beautiful Won
2010 16th Korean Entertainment Arts Awards[2] Best Male Singer N/A Won
2013 27th Golden Disk Awards InStyle Fashionista Award[27] N/A Won
2014 9th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Drama OST I'm Saying Nominated
16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival Best OST by a Male Artist Nominated

Music Programs[edit]

The Show[edit]

Year Date Song
2015 November 24 "Insensible"


Year Date Song
2015 November 29 "Insensible"


  1. ^ Mark Russell (29 April 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "F.T. Island". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  3. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (27 October 2009). "A.N.JELL actors brighten up Minamishineyo". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Lee Hong Ki Sings You’re Beautiful’s "Still" In Mandarin". Soompi. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  5. ^ "Ichikawa Yui and F.T. Island's Lee Hong-gi at the press conference for Muscle Girl". Tokyo Hive. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  6. ^ Hong, Lucia (10 August 2011). "FTIsland's Lee Hong-ki to star in upcoming KBS one-act drama". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  7. ^ Hong, Lucia (30 July 2012). "FTIsland Lee Hong-ki to make big screen debut". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  8. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (24 May 2013). "Not all is grim when the reaper pays a visit". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  9. ^ Lee, Sun-min (17 December 2013). "Lee Hong-ki injured on ice". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  10. ^ Hwang, Hye-jin (10 January 2014). "FT Island's Lee Hong Gi Resumes Drama Filming After Injury". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  11. ^ Lee, Na-rae (19 February 2014). "FT Island's Lee Hong Gi Chooses Yang Jin Seong Over Park Shin Hye as Ideal Type". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  12. ^ Han, Ji-hee (20 February 2014). "Interview: Bride of the Century Lee Hong-Ki – Yang Jin-Sung". Get It K. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  13. ^ 이홍기 실수, 컨디션 안좋아 병원 치료 (in Korean). New Daily. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  14. ^ "FT Island’s Lee Hong Gi Wants to Erase His Infamous Voice Cracking Performance Forever". CJ E&M enewsWorld. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  15. ^ a b c "FT Island to release EP". Korea Herald. 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  16. ^ a b "FT Island Beats miss A and Trouble Maker to Top Weekly Sales Chart". Soompi. 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  18. ^ kpopstarz.com 5.30.14"Band FTISLAND New Japan Album 'NEW PAGE' Tops Japan Ring Tone Chart"
  19. ^ http://www.dkpopnews.net/2015/05/subin-and-lee-hongkis-flawless-rock.html
  20. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2013/07/ft-island-hongkis-nail-book-climbs-to-the-top-of-japans-tower-record-pre-order-chart
  21. ^ http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/35729/20130726/lee-hong-ki-interview-for-nail-book.htm
  22. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2013/11/ft-islands-hongki-wins-the-best-mens-nails-award-at-japans-nail-queen-2013
  23. ^ "FTISLAND’s Lee Hong Ki Launches Website for His Fashion Brand "Skull Hong"". Soompi. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  24. ^ "FT Island to Release 13th Japanese Single in April". Mwave. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  25. ^ "FTISLAND’s Lee Hong Ki to Star as Dracula in New Musical "Vampire"". Soompi. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2015-01-20. 
  26. ^ "FT Island boy publishes nail art book". Korea JoongAng Daily. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  27. ^ "Winners from the 27th Golden Disk Awards (Day 2)". Allkpop. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 

External links[edit]