Lee Seung-gi

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Lee Seung-gi
Lee Seung-gi at the premiere for "Love Forecast", 17 January 2015 03.jpg
In January 2015
Background information
Born (1987-01-13) January 13, 1987 (age 30)
Origin Seoul, South Korea
  • Singer
  • Actor
  • Host
  • Entertainer
  • Guitar
  • Piano
Years active

2004–2015 (Military service)

Labels Hook Entertainment
Website http://www.leeseunggi.com
Lee Seung-gi
Revised Romanization I Seunggi
McCune–Reischauer Ri Sŭnggi

Lee Seung-gi (Hangul이승기; Hanja李昇基; born January 13, 1987) is a South Korean singer, actor, host and entertainer.[1] Known as the "Ballad Prince", Lee has had numerous hit songs such as "Because You're My Woman", "Will You Marry Me", and "Return". He has garnered further recognition as an actor with leading roles in popular dramas such as Brilliant Legacy (2009), My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox (2010), and Gu Family Book (2013). He was a member of the first season of weekend variety show 1 Night 2 Days from November 2007 to February 2012, and the host of talk show Strong Heart from October 2009 to April 2012.

Lee's success as a singer, actor and host earned him the title "Triple Threat" entertainer.[2] He was first included in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list in 2010 placing 7th,[3] subsequently ranking 4th in 2011[4] and 6th in 2012 and 2015.[5][6]


Lee graduated from Dongguk University obtaining his degree in International Trade and Commerce on February 20, 2009 and received a Special Achievement Award during graduation. He then continued his studies obtaining two master's degrees, Trade Theory as well as Finance and Cultural Contents at Dongguk Graduate School.[7]


2004–present: As singer[edit]

Scouted by singer Lee Sun-hee, Lee trained for 2 years before debuting on June 5, 2004 at the age of 17. "Because You're My Girl", his debut song from his first album The Dream of a Moth, became a popular ballad which created a "liking older women" syndrome in South Korea.[8] With this song, he won the "Best Newcomer" award in various music awards ceremonies in 2004 such as the M.net KM Music Festival and Seoul Music Awards. In 2007, he also won the "Best Male Solo Artist" award at the M.net KM Music Festival with his song "White Lie" from his third album Story of Separation.[9]

At Yeosu Expo Pop Festival, 2012

Lee released a digital single titled "Will You Marry Me" in 2009, which became a hit in South Korea. With this single, he received the "Digital Single Bonsang" award in the 24th Golden Disk Awards.[10] The same year, he released his fourth album Shadow, which was a success and received 40,000 pre-order copies even before its release.[11][12]

In 2010, he recorded a duet version of his 2007 song "Smile Boy" with South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna, which became the official 2010 FIFA World Cup commercial song in South Korea.[13] He also received the "Digital Single Bonsang" award for the second consecutive time at the 25th Golden Disk Awards with his song "Love Taught Me To Drink".[14] This was followed by the release of his fifth album, Tonight in 2011, a departure from Lee's usual traditional ballads and encompasses more of a rock band-style sound and melodies.[15] The title song "Aren't We Friends" instantly topped online music charts upon release.[16]

On March 6, 2012, Lee made his debut in Japan with the release of his first Japanese album Time for Love (also translated as Alone in Love) and a single of the same title.[17] Both the album and singled ranked number one on the Oricon Daily Chart.[18][19] To celebrate his success, Lee held a fanmeeting at Tokyo Dome City Hall.[20] He held a concert at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, on June 1, 2012, three months after his debut.[21][22]

Back in South Korea the same year, Lee released a mini-album titled Forest.[23] The title song "Return" set a record for being number one for six consecutive weeks on Billboard's Korea K-Pop Hot 100.[24]

On June 10, 2015, Lee made his music comeback with his sixth album And... after a hiatus of two years and seven months.[25][26]

On January 21, 2016, Lee's agency Hook Entertainment announced that Lee will be enlisting on February 1. As a gift to fans, Lee also released a new track on January 21 at noon, titled "I Am Going to the Military".[27] On March 3, 2016, Lee's song "Meet Someone Like Me" was released. The single is the last song Lee recorded before joining the army, and was produced by Psy.[28]

2006–present: As actor[edit]

In 2005, Lee guest-starred in MBC's sitcom Nonstop 5. He then officially debuted as an actor in KBS's 2006 weekend drama The Infamous Chil Sisters.

He was then cast as the male lead in SBS's weekend drama Brilliant Legacy in 2009, co-starring Han Hyo-joo.[29] The drama maintained its top spot in viewer ratings throughout its run, with its final episode attaining a viewer rating of 47.1%.[30] The huge success boosted Lee's popularity as an actor and led to increased advertising offers for the actor.[31] With this drama, he received the "Excellence in Acting" award, the "Top 10 Stars" award and the "Best Couple" award with Han Hyo-joo at the 2009 SBS Drama Awards.[32]

This was followed by SBS's fantasy drama My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox in 2010, playing a stuntman wannabe cum university student.[33] His performance earned him his second "Excellence in Acting" award at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards.[34]

Lee then starred in MBC's action drama The King 2 Hearts (2012) opposite actress Ha Ji-won,[35] fantasy-historical drama Gu Family Book (2013) alongside Bae Suzy[36][37] and SBS's police drama You're All Surrounded (2014).[38] In 2015, Lee made his film debut with romantic comedy Love Forecast (also known as Today's Love) which co-stars Moon Chae-won.[39][40]

On July 20, 2015, Lee was cast in the historical film Marital Harmony with Shim Eun-kyung, which is directed by The Face Reader director Han Jae-rim.[41]

In 2017, Lee was cast in the upcoming fantasy drama Hwayugi, written by the Hong sisters. This marks his first project after enlistment.[42]

At KCON, 2014

2007–present: As host and entertainer[edit]

Lee was a permanent member of the first season of 1 Night 2 Days, a segment of KBS's weekend variety show Happy Sunday, from November 2007 to February 2012. Known by his nickname "Heodang", his appearance on the show shot him to fame in Korea and made him a household name.[43][44] In 2008, he received the "Best Popularity" award in the KBS Entertainment Awards due to his popularity with audience in 1 Night 2 Days. He also earned the "Top Excellence Host" award in the 2010 KBS Entertainment Awards and the "Daesang" award with the other cast members of the first season at the 2011 KBS Entertainment Awards.[45][46]

Lee took on a hosting role in SBS's Tuesday night talk show Strong Heart in October 2009, with Kang Ho-dong. It was recognized as the "Best Program" at the 2009 SBS Entertainment Awards and Lee was awarded the "Netizens' Popularity" award.[47][48] Lee was again recognized for his role in the talk show and received the "Top Excellence Host" award for two consecutive years at the 2010 and 2011 SBS Entertainment Awards.[49][50] In March 2012, Lee announced his departure from Strong Heart in order to focus on his singing career. He recorded his last episode on March 15, which was broadcast on April 3.[51]

Lee reunited with 1 Night 2 Days cast members and PD Na Young-seok in the travel-reality show New Journey to the West in 2015.[52][53]

In 2017, Lee was announced to be joining the cast of SBS variety show All the Butlers.[54]

In the media[edit]

Lee is known for his clean and positive image, which earned him the nickname of "Nation's umchina".[55] He is one of the most in-demand and popular commercial models and celebrity endorsers in South Korea.[56][57] He endorses a wide variety of products and services and consistently ranks high in the monthly endorser survey of the Korea Advertisers Association.[58][59]

On June 23, 2012, Lee was one of the torchbearers in the 2012 London Summer Olympics Torch Relay chosen by Samsung.[60][61] On October 30, 2012, the National Election Commission of South Korea appointed Lee as the Honorary Online Ambassador of the nation's campaign for a fair and clean presidential election.[62]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2014 it was revealed that Lee had been dating Yoona from the girl group Girls' Generation since September 2013.[63] On August 13, 2015, their two agencies confirmed that they ended their relationship due to their busy schedules but remain friends.[64]

Military service[edit]

On February 1, 2016, Lee began his 21 months of mandatory military service as active duty soldier, entering Nonsan Army Recruit Training Center in Chungcheongnam-do.[65] After training there for five weeks he was dispatched to his assigned role following the completion ceremony.[66] Lee was formally discharged on October 31, 2017 from the military at Jeungpyeong County in North Chungcheong Province where he was a member of the special forces (13th Special Forces Brigade 'Black Panther', Republic of Korea Army Special Warfare Command).[67][68]



Album # Album Information Track listing
1 The Dream of a Moth (나방의 꿈)
2 Crazy For You
3 Story of Separation (이별 이야기)
3.5 Unfinished Story (아직 못 다한 이야기)
  • Released: November 14, 2007
  • Label: Vitamin Entertainment
4 Shadow
4.5 Shadow (Repackage)
  • Released: January 19, 2010
  • Label: LOEN Entertainment
5 Tonight
  • Released: October 27, 2011
  • Label: LOEN Entertainment
5.5 Forest (숲)
  • Released: November 22, 2012
  • Label:LOEN Entertainment
6 And… (그리고…)
  • Released: June 10, 2015
  • Label:LOEN Entertainment

Cover albums[edit]

Album # Album Information Track listing
1 When A Man Loves A Woman (남자가 여자를 사랑할 때)
  • Released: September 6, 2006
  • Label: Vitamin Entertainment
2 When A Man Loves A Woman Vol.2 (남자가 여자를 사랑할 때 Vol.2)
  • Released: March 24, 2008
  • Label: Vitamin Entertainment

Japanese albums[edit]

Album # Album Information Track listing
1 恋愛時代

Time for Love

Live albums[edit]

  • Love – The 1st Concert / Released on April 6, 2007
  • Hope Concert in Seoul 2010 (Japan Version) / Released on October 28, 2011
  • Hope Concert in Seoul 2010 (Korean Version) / Released on December 15, 2011
  • Hope Concert in Seoul 2011 (Korean Version)
  • Japan First Concert in JAPAN 2012
  • Hope Concert in Seoul 2012 (Korean Version)
  • Japan Second Concert in JAPAN 2013
  • Hope Concert in Seoul 2013 (Korean Version)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Lee Seung-gi – The Best / Released on April 18, 2012


Released Title
July 21, 2004 Confession (고해) (Remake song)
May 19, 2008 Let's Go on a Vacation (여행을 떠나요) (Remake song)
June 18, 2009 Will You Marry Me (결혼해 줄래) (feat. Bizniz)
December 22, 2009 Like The Beginning, Just Like Then (처음처럼 그때처럼) (feat. Kang Min-kyung from Davichi)
June 1, 2010 Smile Boy (Rock ver.) (with Kim Yuna)
June 18, 2010 Smile Boy (Rock ver.) (with Kim Yuna)
August 4, 2010 Losing My Mind (정신이 나갔었나봐)
September 16, 2010 From Now on I Love You (지금부터 사랑해)
October 14, 2011 Time for Love (연애시대) (feat. Ra.D, narr. Han Hyo-joo)
May 26, 2013 Last Word (마지막 그 한마디)
January 21, 2016 I'm Going to the Military (나 군대 간다)
March 3, 2016 Meet Someone Like Me (그런 사람)

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Starring Featuring Clip
2004 Because You're My Girl (내 여자라니까) Kim Sa-rang
2004 Delete (삭제)
2006 Words That Are Hard To Say (하기 힘든 말) Nam Sang-mi
2006 Shape of Your Lips (입모양)
2006 Please (제발), Desire And Hope (원하고 원망하죠), Addio (아디오), Tears (눈물) Park Min-ji
2007 White Lie (착한 거짓말), Why... Are You Leaving (왜...가니) Wang Ji-hye
2008 I'll Give You All (다 줄꺼야)
2008 Let's Go on a Vacation (여행을 떠나요) 1 Night 2 Days
2009 Let's Break Up (우리 헤어지자) Lee Se-na
2010 Smile Boy (Rock ver.) Kim Yuna
2010 Losing My Mind (정신이 나갔었나봐) My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox
2010 From Now on I Love You (지금부터 사랑해) My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox
2011 Aren't We Friends (친구잖아)
2012 Time for Love (恋愛時代) Park Shin-hye
2012 Aren't We Friends (チングジャナ -友達だから-) Park Shin-hye, Joo Sang-wook
2012 Return (되돌리다) Park Gun-tae, Kim Yoo-jung
2012 An Invitation For Me (나에게 초대)
2012 Forest (숲)
2013 Last Word (마지막 그 한마디) Gu Family Book
2015 And Goodbye (그리고 안녕)
2016 Meet Someone Like Me (그런 사람)

Music programs[edit]

Year Song Program
2004 Because You're My Girl
2006 Words That Are Hard To Say
2007 White Lie
2008 I'll Give You All
2009 Let's Break Up
2011 Aren't We Friends
2012 Return



Year Title Role Notes
2015 Love Forecast Kang Joon-soo
2017 Marital Harmony Seo Do-yoon

Television series[edit]

Year Network Title Role Notes
2004–2005 MBC Nonstop 5 Lee Seung-gi
2006 KBS The Infamous Chil Sisters Hwang Tae-ja
2009 SBS Brilliant Legacy Sun Woo-hwan
2010 SBS My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox Cha Dae-woong
2011 MBC The Greatest Love Lee Seung-gi (Himself) Cameo – Episode 9
2012 MBC The King 2 Hearts Lee Jae-ha
2013 MBC Gu Family Book Choi Kang-chi
2014 SBS You're All Surrounded Eun Dae-gu/Kim Ji-yong
2015 KBS2 The Producers Lee Seung-gi (Himself) Cameo – Episode 6[70]
2017–2018 tvN A Korean Odyssey Son Oh-gong

Variety show[edit]

Year Network Title Notes
2004 SBS Good SundayX-Man Fixed guest
2006 KBS Happy SundayHeroine 6
2007–2012 Happy Sunday1 Night 2 Days Cast member with Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, Eun Ji-won, Kim C, MC Mong, Kim Jong-min, Uhm Tae-woong
2009–2012 SBS Strong Heart Co-host with Kang Ho-dong (2009–2011), Host (2011–2012)
2012 tvN The Romantic[71] Narration
2013 Sisters Over Flowers[72] Cast member
MBC Insects, Great Instinct Narration
2015 tvN New Journey to the West Cast member (Xuanzang) with Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, Eun Ji-won
2018 SBS All the Butlers Cast member

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Awards Category Song Result
2004 M.net KM Music Festival Best New Male Artist[73] Because You're My Girl Won
15th Seoul Music Awards Best Newcomer Won
SBS Music Awards Won
MBC Best 10 Singers Music Festival Won
MBC Entertainment Awards Special Singer Award Won
2006 M.net KM Music Festival Best Ballad Performance[74] Song – Words That Are Hard To Say Won
SBS Music Awards Bonsang Award Won
Korea Best Dresser Awards Singer Award Won
2007 M.net KM Music Festival Best Male Artist[75] Song – White Lie Won
2008 Korea Entertainment Arts Awards Best Male Singer (Ballad) Won
2009 Golden Disk Awards Digital Single Bonsang Award Song – Will You Marry Me Won
2010 Golden Disk Awards Digital Single Bonsang Award Song – Love Taught Me To Drink Won
MelOn Music Awards Top 10 Artists Award[76] Song – Losing My Mind Won
Special OST My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox Award[77] Won
2011 8th Asia Song Festival Korea's Representative Best Singer of Asia Award Won
2012 21st Seoul Music Awards Popularity Award[78] Song – Aren't We Friends Won
Bonsang Award Won
1st Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Singer of the Year Award (#1 in October 2011)[79] Song – Time for Love Won
2013 22nd Seoul Music Awards Popularity Award Song – Return Won
Bonsang Award Won
2nd Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Singer of the Year Award (#1 in December 2012) Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Vocal Performance – Male Won

Film and television[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 KBS Entertainment Awards Popularity Award 1 Night 2 Days Won
2009 M.net 20's Choice Awards Hot Male Drama Star Brilliant Legacy Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence in Acting (Special Planning Drama) Won
Best Couple Award with Han Hyo-joo Won
Top 10 Stars Award Won
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV category) Won
Best New Actor (TV) Nominated
Seoul International Drama Awards Netizens' Popularity Award (Korea)[80] Won
KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence MC Award (Show/Entertainment Division) 1 Night 2 Days Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Netizens' Popularity Award Strong Heart Won
Top Excellence MC Award Won
SBS Drama Awards Best Couple with Shin Min-a My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox Won
Top 10 Stars Award Won
Excellence in Acting (Drama Special) Won
2011 KBS Entertainment Awards Grand Award (with 1 Night 2 Days team) 1 Night 2 Days Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Netizens' Popularity Award Strong Heart Won
Top Excellence MC Award (Talk Show Division) Won
2012 6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Actor The King 2 Hearts Nominated
7th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actor Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
Best Couple Award (with Ha Ji-won) Nominated
2013 7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Star – Male Gu Family Book Nominated
6th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, actor Nominated
2nd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, actor Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries[81] Won
Popularity Award Won
Best Couple Award (with Suzy) Won
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV) Nominated
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards Outstanding Leading Actor Won
7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, actor You're All Surrounded Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Nominated
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated
Best Couple Award (with Go Ara) Nominated
2017 2nd Asia Artist Awards Best Welcome Award[82] N/A Won


Year Award Category
2009 Korea Advertiser Awards Model of the Year
2010 Korea Advertiser Awards Model of the Year[83]
Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Hallyu Merit Award[84]
2011 Savings' Day President Citation[85]
2014 5th Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Commendation[86]


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  82. ^ "EXO, Kim Hee-sun win big at 2017 Asia Artist Awards". Kpop Herald. November 16, 2017. 
  83. ^ "‘호이커플’ 이승기·신민아, 광고주가 뽑은 올해의 모델 선정" (in Korean) ISPLUS. October 13, 2010
  84. ^ "상복 많은 이승기 ‘올해도 파이팅~’" (in Korean) Newsen.com. January 31, 2011
  85. ^ "Lee Seung-gi, Ha Ji-won Among Top Savers This Year". The Chosun Ilbo. 
  86. ^ "Lee Seung Gi, Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, and EXO Receive the 2014 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award" Soompi. November 10, 2014

External links[edit]