Lee Min-woo

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Lee Min-woo
Native name 이민우 (李玟雨)
Also known as M
Born (1979-07-28) 28 July 1979 (age 38)
Origin South Korea
Years active 1998–present
Labels SM Entertainment
Good Entertainment
M Rising Entertainment
Shinhwa Company
Liveworks Company
Associated acts Shinhwa
Website http://www.lworks.co.kr/
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Min-u
McCune–Reischauer Yi Minu

Lee Min-woo (hangul: 이민우; born 28 July 1979), also known mononymously credited as M as a solo artist, is a South Korean entertainer, known as a member of the South Korean boy band Shinhwa. Lee was the first Shinhwa member to debut as a solo artist in 2003, and has since released three studio albums.

In 2007, Lee set up his own agency, M Rising Entertainment, to manage his solo activities. Whilst he continued to perform as part of Shinhwa under Good Entertainment, until July 2010 where he became co-CEO with Eric Mun for Shinhwa activities. As of November 2012, he has signed with Liveworks Company.

Lee's agency confirmed in 2015 that he was in a relationship with model Go So Hyun who is 11 years his junior. The couple was revealed to have been together since July of the same year but unfortunately broke up due to busy work schedules causing the couple to drift apart.


1998: Debut with Shinhwa[edit]

While dancing for his group, Dicky Ducky, as a student at Jeonju Fine Arts School for the Everland dancing competition, Lee was scouted and was the fourth member to join boy band, Shinhwa. Although he started out as a rapper and a singer, he stopped rapping as Shinhwa continued to release albums. As a skilled dancer, he has choreographed some of Shinhwa's dances.

2003-2005: Solo debut[edit]

During the transition from SM Entertainment to Good Entertainment, Lee debut as solo artist in November 2003, under the stage name of "M", being the first Shinhwa member to do so, as well as the first idol to do solo while still being in a group. His first album, Un-Touch-Able, according to the January 2004 chart sold in excess of 100,000 copies,[1] Two lead tracks were released for promotion: "Just One Night", the lead track from the album is a jazzy slow groove song and "Oh Rain". Then in 2004, Lee reunited with Shinhwa to work on their first album with Good Entertainment, Brand New, released in August 2004.

During this time, Lee recorded and released a single, "If You...", in March 2005. Sales did not reach album levels, but the single managed to sell over 30 000 copies. Again, Lee heavily promoted the single, with many performances of the song "If You...", complete with special dance intros performances of other songs. As opposed to the sophisticated image from his first album, Lee promoted this single with a "handsome" image, as the song was a light pop song. However, when fellow Shinhwa member Shin Hye Sung released his solo debut, Lee stopped performing in order to avoid competing with him.

In October 2005, Lee released his second solo album, IInd Winds.[2] Initially released in two versions (including a limited "Lineage II" edition), the album's liner notes showed off a sexier Lee Minwoo, as his new muscular body was clearly displayed; there were many pictures of him in partial attire. Lee used the sexier image for his lead single "Bump!!!", which was a club-oriented dance hit. Complete with an intense video and heavily choreographed performances, the song pushed Lee to the top of the various network charts, and his album sold 80 000 copies in the month of September. To capitalize on this success, Good Entertainment (via EMI Korea, their distributor) released yet another version of the album. However, this one had a completely new cover and special bonus tracks; in addition, there was a bonus VCD. This "Girl Friend edition" was released as Lee moved onto his second single, "Girl Friend", a ballad about a lost love. Lee changed his image once again, displaying a rougher, yet sensitive, image. "Girl Friend" was fairly successful as well, allowing Lee to promote his album for over four months, a rarity in Korea's music industry. The album was ultimately a strong seller, placing 12th in MIAK's year-end charts with over 120,000 copies sold.

2006-2007: M Rising Entertainment and acting[edit]

Lee kicked off 2006 with his first solo concert, M's Girl Friend, on 14 and 15 January at 88 Gymnasium in Hwagok-dong. Where he performed his solo hits as well as cover versions of "Tonight" and "Cover Girl" by New Kids on the Block.[3] The concert was released on DVD in the summer. After which, Lee debut as an actor in Wontak's Angel, released in summer of 2006. Then for the remainder of the year he rejoined Shinhwa for the released of their 8th album State of the Art, and the associated promotion and Shinhwa 2006 Asia Tour: State of the Art concerts. He resumed his solo career at the end of 2006 with a promotional concert at Seoul Melon AX on 2 December,[4] followed by another concert in Shanghai on 4 December. His end of year activity was participation in new singer Sat's first single, released on 12 December.

In 2007, Lee set up his own agency, M Rising Entertainment, to manage his solo career, whilst he continued to perform as part of Shinhwa under Good Entertainment. In January 2007, Lee took part in the Hallyu Festival in Osaka which also featured bandmate Jun Jin, Kangta of H.O.T, SG Wannabe and actor Song Seung-heon at the Osaka Dome.[5]

Lee performed at American singer Christina Aguilera's Seoul concert on 24 June as part of her Back to Basics Tour.[6] Aguilera reportedly viewed video clips sent in by Korean artists, as she wanted to choose the best. The artists were viewed for their dancing and singing abilities, as well as album sales.[7] Ivy performed as the opening act for the first concert on 23 June, while Lee performed on the second day.[8][9][10]

In mid-July 2007, Lee release his third album Explore, which was in the R&B/dance style of his previous albums. He had composeed nine songs and the album debuted at #3 on the chart. Although he intended to release it in the U.S., with the U.S. via CJ Music and CJ Entertainment's global network,[11] it was released in Korea instead.

2008-2011: Mini album and military service[edit]

Lee's third album M Rizing, sold over 30,000 copies in 2008. Lee's first single from the album was call Stomp, where it was #1 for two consecutive days on an online chart. His second single, “The M Style” was also quite popular as well, climbing up the charts just as quickly. Though his songs manage to chart well, the album sales were not as strong as its two predecessors, with the album dropping off the Korean Monthly Chart rather quickly. Lee released his first mini-album, The Sentimental Reason in February 2008 to coincide with Valentine's Day and White Day. Giving only a limited 13,000 copies, it sold out in less than a month. The mini-album was successful enough for Lee to promote it with two singles, "Just One More Night" and "Believe In Love."....

In June 2009, Lee made a come back with mini album, Minnovation. He collaborated with American producer Outsidaz on title track, "Minnovation", which is infused with electronica and hip hop beats. In January 2010 it was reported that Minwoo was in a serious car accident on Christmas Eve, in which he sustained some serious injuries. He has since been discharged and is recovering at home. He then held M′s Suite Room concert in February.

On 25 February 2010, Lee enlisted for 24 months of mandatory military service, the last Shinhwa members to do so. He completed four weeks of basic training followed by non-active duty as a public service officer at Seoul Station. He was discharged on 2 March 2012.[12]

2012-2013: Shinhwa Company and comeback[edit]

On 1 July 2011, Lee became co-CEO, with Eric Mun, of Shinhwa Company, a joint venture agency for members Shinhwa to perform as a group. The Company manages the group as a whole, whilst members' individual activities are managed by their respective agencies.[13] Shinhwa has since made their comeback in March 2012, after a four-year hiatus. The group released their tenth studio album The Return on 23 March 2012,[14][15] launched their comeback concerts 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return throughout Asia[16][17] and their first exclusive variety program Shinhwa Broadcast premiered on 17 March 2012 on cable channel JTBC.[18]

In August 2012, Lee served on the judging panel of a Chinese singing-survival show Asian Wave, which was broadcast on Dragon Television from 5 September.[19] In September Lee along with bandmate Shin Hye-sung performed at the West Bank Music Festival in Shanghai from 30 September to 2 October, as K-Pop representatives along with other international as such as Michael Bolton in front of an audience of 100,000 people.[20][21]

In November 2012, he signed a management agency contract with Liveworks Company, who already manages bandmates Shin Hye-sung and Kim Dong-wan. Liveworks is to manage his solo activities indlucing album, concert and in partnership on producing songs and developing new talents.[22] Lee is to hold M Original Christmas Live concert on 23 and 24 December 2012. The 4,000 tickets were sold out in two minutes when they went on sell on 2 November.[23]

On 16 May 2013, Shinhwa released their eleventh studio album. The song was well liked and appreciated for its innovative "Vogue" dancing. Four of the songs; "That's Right" (그래; Geurae)", "New Me", "Hurricane" and "I Gave You" was written by Lee-Minwoo. He also joined Mnet′s dance survival show Dancing 9 as one of 'masters' for the team 'Red Wings'. The show also stars Girls′ Generation (SNSD)′s Hyoyeon and Yuri as 'masters' for the opposing team 'Blue Eye'.[24]

2014-2015: Mini album, 10th anniversary as solo artist and Shinhwa's 12th album[edit]

In January 2014, it was announced that Minwoo would be releasing a new mini album, in honor of his 10th anniversary as a solo artist. The album would be entitled "M+TEN" and would consist of 5 new tracks. The lead single is set to be a song entitled "Taxi". Stills from the music video have been released and his management team added of the song, "Minwoo did his best to prepare the many songs for his 10th solo anniversary album with special affection by directly selecting and recording the songs. Not only does 'Taxi', which tells of an episode that takes place in a taxi, have an addicting chorus but special performances and more have also been prepared for the song."[25]

On February 23, 2015, Shinhwa released their twelfth studio album WE.

2016: Shinhwa's 13th album Unchanging[edit]

In October 2016, Shinhwa announced their comeback plans for their 13th album, titled 'Unchanging'. They have scheduled domestic concerts from December 17–18. Their comeback plans also state that their broadcast promotion activities would begin after the album's part two release. On October 22, Shinhwa digitally released an early surprise song titled 'She Said'.


  • Un-Touch-Able (2003)
  • IInd Winds (2005)
  • Explore M (2007)
  • M Rizing (2008)


Film and television series[edit]

Year Title Notes
2000 Haeng Jin sitcom
2001 Nonstop sitcom
2005 Nonstop 5 sitcom
2006 WonTak's Angel film - aka Holy Daddy

Reality and variety shows[edit]

Year Title Network Role Notes
2012-2014 Shinhwa Broadcast JTBC Main Cast with Shinhwa (Episode 1-70)
2013-2015 Dancing 9 Mnet Main Cast Lee Min-woo as one of the "masters" for 'Red Wings'

(Season 1-3)

2016 King of Mask Singer MBC Contestant Lee Min-woo as Sanchoman of Passion Carbonara

(Episode 53-54)

Celebrity Bromance Naver TV Cast Cast with Jungkook of BTS (Season 8, Episode 35-39)


  • M Showcase: for 2nd album - September 2005
  • M's Girl Friend: first live concert - 14 and 15 January 2006 - 88 Gymnasium, Seoul
  • M Live Works Concert: Seoul (2, 3 December 2006); Osaka, Japan (28 March 2007); Tokyo, Japan (1 April 2007)
  • M Explore Concert in Seoul: 25, 26 August 2007
  • M Style: "HEY! Get Wild! Dance! Scream!" in Seoul 23, 24 and 25 December 2007
  • Explore M 2008: M Style Japan Live in Tokyo: 10, 11 January 2008
  • Wolf M Concert in Seoul: 16, 17 February 2008
  • Back to 'M' Concert in Seoul: 30, 31 May 2008
  • M Rizing Tour Step 1: Club Concert: 25 September 2008 (2 shows)
  • M Rizing Tour Step 2: Concerts in Tokyo: 17, 18 December 2008
  • M Rizing Tour Step 3: Adieu 2008 in Seoul: 31 December 2008 (2 shows)
  • M's Acoustic & Unplugged: 15 to 25 October 2009 at Chungmu Arts Hall[26]
  • M′s Suite Room concert - February 2010
  • M Original Christmas Live concert - 23, 24 December 2012


Years Awards
  • Buzz Award
  • MTV Music Award Japan "Best Buzz In Asia"
  • Channel V Thailand: Best Asian Artist
  • DongNam Hottrack music award (China)
  • The most favourite Asia artist chosen by the China citizen "Asia Star Family Love Concert Shanghai"

Music shows[edit]

Mnet M! Countdown[edit]

Year Date Song
2005 October 27 "Bump"

SBS Inkigayo[edit]

Year Date Song
2005 November 20 "Girlfriend"



  1. ^ "Album Sales For The Month Of January (2004)". Music Industry Association of Korea (in Korean). 2006-07-18. Archived from the original on 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  2. ^ Lee Yong-sung "Lee Min-woo comes back strong with new solo album" Korea Herald. 5 October 2005. Retrieved 2012-04-10
  3. ^ "Event Calendar: Concert: M's Girl Friend". Korea Herald. 24 December 2005. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  4. ^ "M Plans to Give Concert". KBS Global. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  5. ^ Lee, Yong-sung (25 January 2007). "Osaka concert features Korean Wave stars". Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  6. ^ "Aguilera to Hold Concert in Seoul June 23–24". KBS Global. 2006-07-18. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  7. ^ "신화 이민우(M) 크리스티나 아길레나의 남자로 낙점". Daum (in Korean). 2006-07-18. Archived from the original on 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Ivy to sing at Christina Aguilera's Seoul concert". Star East Asia Entertainment News. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  9. ^ "K-pop stars to open Aguilera's Seoul concerts". The Korea Herald. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2007-06-19. [dead link]
  10. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (25 June 2007). "Christina Aguilera Shows Off Impressive Vocals". Korea Times. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Singer M to Advance to US". KBS Global. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  12. ^ Choi, EunHwa "Lee Min Woo's Release on March 2 to Mark the Comeback of Shinhwa" Archived 2015-03-22 at the Wayback Machine. Mnet. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-10
  13. ^ "Shinhwa Form Their Own Agency" Chosun Ilbo. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-05
  14. ^ 신화, 섬뜩한 뱀파이어 변신…23일 10집 발매. Nate News (in Korean). 17 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  15. ^ "Shinhwa to release upcoming 10th album on March 23". 10 Asia. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  16. ^ Hong, Lucia (1 February 2012). "Shinhwa releases teaser video for upcoming concert". 10 Asia. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Suk, Monica (26 March 2012). "CONCERT REVIEW: Shinhwa: Reborn with The Return". 10 Asia. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  18. ^ Park, HyunMin (4 March 2012). "Shinhwa to have Shinhwa Broadcast". Mnet News. CJ E&M. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  19. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (22 August 2012). "Lee Min-woo is singing show judge". Joongang Daily. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  20. ^ Park, HyunMin (27 September 2012). "Shinhwa′s Shin Hye Sung and Lee Min Woo to Sing in Chinese Rock Festival Alongside Michael Bolton". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  21. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (28 September 2012). "Shinhwa boys get Shanghai invite". Joongang Daily. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  22. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (12 November 2012). "Shinhwa's Lee Min Woo Partners Up with Liveworks Company". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  23. ^ Choi, EunHwa (5 November 2012). "Shinhwa Lee Min Woo′s Concert Sells Out in Two Minutes". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  25. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2014/01/shinhwas-minwoo-m-to-release-10th-solo-anniversary-album-m-ten#axzz2rg4JDAfH
  26. ^ "Event Calendar: October 2009" Korea Herald. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-10
  27. ^ "2005 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  28. ^ "2007 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  29. ^ The Music Trend#Mutizen Song Winners

External links[edit]