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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Onew at Dream Concert 2015.jpg
Onew at Dream Concert 2015
Born Lee Jin-ki (이진기)
(1989-12-14) December 14, 1989 (age 26)
Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Musical career
Years active 2008–present
Labels S.M. Entertainment
Associated acts
Stage name Onew
Hangul 온유
Hanja 溫流
Revised Romanization On-yu
McCune–Reischauer On-yu
Birth name
Hangul 이진기
Hanja 李珍基
Revised Romanization I Jin-gi
McCune–Reischauer I Chin-ki

Lee Jin-ki (born (1989-12-14)December 14, 1989[1]), better known by his stage name Onew, is a South Korean singer, actor and MC. He debuted as one of the lead vocalists of the South Korean boy group Shinee in May 2008.[2]

He began his acting career in 2010 with SBS's series Dr. Champ where he took the role of Park Ki-young, a doctor.[3] He also portrayed other minor roles in series like Athena: Goddess of War (2010), Oh My God x2 (2012)[4] and Pure Love (2013).[5] He is mostly known for his role of Baek Su in JTBC's sitcom Welcome to Royal Villa[6] and the cardiothoracic resident Lee Chi-hoon in the popular KBS2 drama Descendants of the Sun.[7]


2008–10: Career beginnings[edit]

Main article: Shinee

Onew was discovered at the 2006 S.M. Academy Casting. Onew received great appreciation from Lee Soo-man, SM Entertainment's founder, at Girls' Generation's debut showcase. Lee Soo-man noticed him and wanted to hear Onew sing during a one time on the spot audition. He signed the contract with SM the day after he auditioned.[8][9] In 2008, he was chosen as the leader of the group Shinee, and the 5-member boy group debuted on May 25, 2008 on SBS's Inkigayo.[2]

Shortly after debut, Onew contributed to singles for Lee Hyun-ji in 2008, for Vanilla LOVE and Vanilla Love Part 2.[10] In 2009, he was featured with Girls' Generation member Jessica for the song One Year Later in the Tell Me Your Wish mini-album.[11] The same year, he also sang a duet with Kim Yeon-woo for the song, The Name I Loved from the third mini album by Shinee, 2009, Year Of Us.[12]

2011–present: Master of ceremonies, acting debut and solo activities[edit]

In 2010, Onew tried his hands at songwriting and together with Minho, wrote the lyrics for the song, "Your Name" from Shinee's second studio album Lucifer.[13] In addition to music, Onew became an MC of two programs — KBS2's Yahaengsung (야행성, "Night Star")[14] which he co-hosted alongside Shin Dong-yup, Yoon Jong-shin, movie director Jang Hang Joon, and Leessang's Gil[15] and MBC's Show! Music Core.[16] Since his first job as an MC, Onew has gained experience through the years and was active as a presenter for different television networks and events like Dream Concert, SBS's Incheon K-Pop Concert and also Mnet's special event in Taiwan called Nihao Taiwan.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Onew starred in various musicals starting from 2010, debuting in the musical Hyeongjeneun Yonggamhaetda (형제는 용감했다, "Brothers were Brave") alongside singer Lee Ji-hoon.[23] He then starred in the Korean production of Rock of Ages playing the lead role, Drew.[24] He has also showcased his acting skills via television like having a cameo role as a clumsy doctor in the drama Dr. Champ. He appeared in the drama's final episode.[25] He also had cameo roles in the dramas Athena: Goddess of War, Oh My God x2,[26] Pure Love and for sitcom Royal Villa.[27] Also, Onew recorded a song titled In Your Eyes for the drama series To the Beautiful You. The song was released in the album To The Beautiful You OST Part 2 on August 22, 2012.[28] Onew also sang the soundtrack Moonlight for drama Miss Korea. The song was released on January 3, 2014.[29]

In January 14, 2014, his participation in the Borneo edition of the reality show Laws of the Jungle was confirmed.[30] He was also in the cast for the Brazil edition, but had to leave and be substituted because of schedule conflicts.[31] Additionally to his group activities and his job as a MC, Onew gained experience in radio hosting and took over shows like Kiss the Radio, a popular radio program aired on KBS Cool FM which is hosted by his labelmates Super Junior.[32][33] In 2015, Onew was chosen out of more than 2,000 people as the main lead of a new web drama, Dating was the Easiest.[34] The drama is adapted from a popular webtoon of the same title which revolves around the pure yet boisterous romance between a tiger spirit of the mountains and a high school girl. Onew was casted because of his unique analysis of the character and his determination whilst preparing for the auditions.[35]

In 2016, Onew was confirmed to become a part of Song Hye-kyo's and Song Joong-ki's drama Descendants of the Sun. He portrayed a young doctor who is a junior of Song's character, Lee Chi-hoon.[36][37] The drama became a huge success especially in China where the series reached more than 2 billion views on the Chinese streaming site iQiyi. In Korea, the drama became a massive hit as well, surpassing more than 30 percent viewership ratings nationwide.[38] Onew was awarded the "Newcomer Scene Stealer Award" at the 2016 Scene Stealer Festival for his role in Descendants of the Sun.[39] Onew was also confirmed for a new tvN program Eat, Sleep, Eat which serves local recipes through Southeast Asia.[40] On August 12, Onew and Lee Jin-ah released a duet, "Starry Night" as part of SM Station, a digital music project by S.M. Entertainment. It's a pop jazz song which is the work of numerous artists including Andreas Oberg, a Swedish guitarist and songwriter, and singer-composer Yoo Hee-yeol.[41]

Personal life[edit]

Onew underwent a vocal cord polyp removal and vocal fold mucosa reconstruction operation in June 2014, which made him unable to sing for a few months.[42] Kim Yeon-woo, a friend of Onew as well as his vocal coach revealed during the December 17 broadcast of MBC FM4U’s FM Date radio that Onew's voice had improved after the vocal cords surgery. He also said that Onew's vocal range "improved and he can make sounds comfortably too".[43]


Fans of Onew showed up to one of Onew's performances in "Rock of Ages" with 1.44 tons of rice. Onew donated the 1.44 tons of Dreame rice to help feed North Korean children, and according to a Dreame representative, the rice was delivered to an Incheon storehouse on 16 October 2010 and was sent to North Korea on the 22nd. Onew had also donated 770 kg of Dreame Rice to the Children in Need in South Korea in May 2010 when he was in the "Brothers are Brave" musical.[44] In 2016, fans of Onew donated roughly 1.2 million won (approximately $975) to the Korean Heart Association on his behalf.[45]


Main article: Shinee discography

Collaborations and Featurings[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
Gaon Chart
"Vanilla Love"

(with Lee Hyun-ji)

Kiss Me
"Vanilla Love Part 2"

(with Lee Hyun-ji)

Vanilla Love Part 2
"One Year Later"

(with Jessica)

Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)
"Starry Night"

(with Lee Jin-ah)

2016 47 non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.
The Gaon Digital Chart was launched in 2010.

Soundtrack Contributions[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
Gaon Chart
"In Your Eyes" 2012
To the Beautiful You OST
"Moonlight" 2014
Miss Korea OST
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Television dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2010 Dr. Champ Park Ki-young (cameo) SBS
Athena: Goddess of War Himself (cameo) SBS
2012 Oh My God x2 Himself (cameo) SBS
2013 Pure Love Choi Joon-young's cousin (cameo) KBS2
Welcome to Royal Villa [6] Baek Su JTBC
2016 Descendants of the Sun[37] Lee Chi-hoon KBS2

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Role
2010 Night Star KBS2 Host
2010-2011 Show! Music Core MBC Host
2014 Law of the Jungle SBS Main Cast (Borneo edition)
2016 Eat, Sleep, Eat tvN Host

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Other Notes
2010 Brothers Were Brave Joo-bong Korean musical
2010 Rock of Ages Drew Korean Ver.

Music Video Appearance[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2008 Vanilla Love Part 2 Lee Hyun-ji


Year Ceremony Award Nominated Work Result Ref
2015 2015 SBS Gayo Daejeon Best Leader 2015 Shinee Won [48]
2016 2016 Scene Stealer Festival Newcomer Scene Stealer Award (Male) Descendants of the Sun Won [39]


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  22. ^ "온유-토니안, '엠카운트다운 타이완' 2MC!" (in Korean). 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
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  24. ^ (Korean) 온유 “뮤지컬, 재밌어..샤이니 멤버도 격려해줘” (Onew: "Musicals are Fun...Please Also Encourage Shinee Members"). Newsen. September 16, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
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External links[edit]