Michelle Lee (singer)

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For other people named Michelle Lee, see Michelle Lee (disambiguation).
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Michelle Lee
Born (1991-09-09) September 9, 1991 (age 25)
Paju, South Korea
Alma mater Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts
  • Singer
  • music instructor
Years active 2011 - present
Known for K-pop Star (Season 1)
Musical career
Associated acts
  • SuPearls
  • Double K
Korean name
Hangul 이미쉘
Revised Romanization I Miswel
McCune–Reischauer Yi Miswel

Michelle Lee (이미셸; born September 9, 1991) is a South Korean singer. After successfully auditioning for K-pop Star Season 1 in 2011, she eventually was signed to YG Entertainment as part of a new girl group called SuPearls. However, after two years of training, the group was suddenly disbanded before they could debut, and Lee's contract was nullified.

She is now signed to DIMA Entertainment, the affiliate agency of her alma mater, the Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts.[1]


Early life[edit]

Michelle Lee was born September 9, 1991 in Paju, South Korea, to a Korean mother and African American father. She grew up in Paju with her older sister and mother, as her father returned to the United States prior to her birth following her parents' separation. She does not know her father.[2]

Since the age of five, Lee and her sister would listen to their mother's H.O.T and Toni Braxton cassette tapes while trying to match their voices to the pitch of the tune, occasionally even trying to learn the dance moves. However, like fellow Black-Korean musicians Insooni and Yoon Mi-rae, Lee faced constant discrimination for her biracial identity in school. Her debut single, "Without You", centers around the bullying she suffered.[3]

Lee admits to never have left South Korean soil, and occasionally struggles with English.[2]

2011-2012: Career beginnings, K-pop Star, and SuPearls[edit]

In 2011, she became a participant in the worldwide K-pop Star music audition/competition. She has been praised for her powerful voice, wide range, and mature singing skill.[4] She gathered early praise from the 3 judges who are also representatives of SM, YG, and JYP, and was recognized as a strong contender to win the contest along with Park Ji-min.[5][6]

During the group audition stages, the 4-person girl group of Michelle, Park Ji-min, Lee Seung-joo, and Lee Jung-mi drew rave reviews for their renditions of Girls' Generation's The Boys and Irene Cara's Fame, which resulted in all four members advancing to the next stage.[7][8]

After the show she was signed by YG Entertainment and was initially scheduled to debut as a member of the girlgroup Supearls along with Lee Jung Mi, Lee Seung Joo, and Lee Ha Yi (who replaced Ji-min Park, who signed with JYP at the end of the show). For about two years, the girls underwent training at YG and performed at various small venues.

2013-present: SuPearls' disbandment, joining DIMA Entertainment, and Solo debut[edit]

Although SuPearls were initially scheduled to debut in 2012 or 2013, on February 18, 2013, YG announced that the group has disbanded, and their contracts were nullified. It was assumed that the reason the group was disbanded was the unexpected success of Lee Hi as a solo artist (she debuted while undergoing training with SuPearls).[9][10]

On March 28, 2013, it was officially reported that she had signed with DIMA Entertainment and would officially begin training to debut as a solo artist.[1]

She was also featured on South Korean rapper Double K's single "Rewind" for his upcoming album. The music video and single were released on May 3, 2013.[11]

Her debut single, "Without You" was released on March 21, 2014 by DIMA Entertainment and LOEN Entertainment.[3] The music video for "Without You" features a young girl (portrayed by Egypt Yoona) writing racial slurs on a wall covered with graffiti. In some scenes, the child dabs her face with white powder in an attempt to give herself lighter skin. Upon discovering her music was posted on Melon, Lee's pent up emotions from childhood "just hit me at once and I just starting crying. I was on the phone with my older sister and we couldn't help ourselves, we just both started crying together."

2015: First Mini-Album "I Can Sing"[edit]

On August 4, Michelle released her first mini-album "I Can Sing". The album was primarily written by Michelle and once again was a personal message of strength to others.

2016: Tribe of Hip hop 2[edit]

From November 8, Michelle is participating in Tribe of Hip hop 2, and her performance earn her the moniker of Korean Missy Elliott. She is currently on SESESE House.


K-pop Star Tracks[edit]

Released Date Track Album
3/19/2012 If I Were a Boy SBS K-pop Star Top 8
3/25/2012 One Night Only SBS K-pop Star Top 7
4/1/2012 사진을 보다가 SBS K-pop Star Top 6
4/8/2012 U Just SBS K-pop Star Top 5

Solo Debut[edit]

"Without You" (2014)

"That's Okay" (2014)

"I Can Sing" (2015)



Date Title Role Network
10/4/2011-4/8/2012 K-pop Star [12] Herself SBS
8/11/2016-present Tribe of Hip Hop[13] Herself JTBC


  1. ^ a b http://www.allkpop.com/2013/04/k-pop-stars-michelle-lee-signs-with-dima-entertainment
  2. ^ a b http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140331001370
  3. ^ a b "(Teaser) Lee Michelle (이미쉘) _ Without you". 1theK. LOEN Entertainment. 
  4. ^ Kim (김), Young-whan (영환) (2011-12-26). 박진영, 이미쉘 극찬 "무릎꿇고 사과하고 싶다". Paran News (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  5. ^ "'K팝스타', 이제 진짜 시작이다". Chosun Daily(조선일보) (in Korean). 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  6. ^ Jang (장), Ji-min (지민) (2011-12-25). 이미쉘 `날 그만 잊어요` 심사위원 탄성 이끌어 `강력한 우승후보`. Paran News (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  7. ^ Park (박), So-Young (소영) (2012-02-10). "소녀시대, 'K팝스타' 수펄스 열창 듣고 "우리보다 잘해" 극찬". Paran News (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  8. ^ Kim (김), Hye-Jung (혜정) (2012-01-22). "'K팝스타' 수펄스 'Fame' 유례없는 극찬 속 '이미쉘 YG-나머지 JYP'". ReviewStar (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  9. ^ "YG Entertainment to debut SuPearls & new girl group before 2012 comes to a close". August 13, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ "'YG Entertainment revives Supearls'". YG Life Blog. dkpopnews. 2012-05-23. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bXoukcd56E#t=185
  12. ^ "K-PopStar". Daum. July 24, 2012. Retrieved Nov 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ JTBC Entertainment (2016-11-08), [풀버전] 진.짜.가. 나타났다!! 이미쉘 자작랩 'Queenz'♪ (리스펙) 힙합의 민족 4회, retrieved 2016-11-27 

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