Sandara Park

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Park.
Sandara Park
Sandara Park at „Etude Pink Concert“ 01.jpeg
Native name 박산다라
Born Park Sandara
(1984-11-12) November 12, 1984 (age 31)
Busan, South Korea
Other names Dara, Sandy, Santokki, Darabbit
Relatives Thunder (young brother)
Musical career
Years active 2004–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised Romanization Bak Sandara
McCune–Reischauer Pak Sandara

Sandara "Dara" Park (born November 12, 1984[1]), is a South Korean singer, dancer, actress, model, and host. Born in Busan, South Korea, she later moved to the Philippines at the age of 10 where she rose to fame on ABS-CBN's talent search Star Circle Quest. While there, she released a string of movies such as the 3 part film Bcuz Of U (2004), Can This Be Love (2005) and D' Lucky Ones. The release of the self-titled extended play (EP) Sandara, which contained the hit-single 'In Or Out' describing her struggles and uncertainties while participating in the show, cemented her place as a star in 2004. The following EP's, Walang Sabit and Ang Ganda Ko, were as equally successful.

After the completion of her activities, she returned to her birth home in 2007 and signed with South Korean entertainment company, YG Entertainment with the initial intention of continuing her career as an actress. Instead, she became a member of the South Korean girl group 2NE1 and debuted as the 'soft vocal' and visual of the quartet. The group is estimated to have sold more than 65 million digital singles worldwide and are the best-selling digital girl-group in South Korea. They are the only group to have won all Grand Prizes at the MAMA Awards and are tied with EXO for having the second most Daesang's at the said award show. In 2009, she released her first digital single "Kiss" in South Korea and it was included as the 9th track in 2NE1's first studio album To Anyone in 2010.

Following the hiatus of 2NE1 in late 2014, Park reentered the acting scene and took part in the growing trend of web-dramas, starring in back-to-back dramas Dr. Ian, We Broke Up, and Missing You all in 2015. She won a 'Best Actress' award at the K-wave festival for her portrayal as the shy Lee So Dam in Dr. Ian. She currently works as a fixed host on Sugar Man. Her younger brother, Park Sang-Hyun, better known as Cheondung, is a former member of boy band MBLAQ.[2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Dara was born in Busan, South Korea. When she was 10 years old, her family moved to the Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines to start a trading business.[4][5]

In 2004, during one of her school activities, she met Pauleen Luna, a former talent of ABS-CBN Corporation Channel 2's Talent Center. Luna encouraged Park to audition for Star Circle Quest, a reality-based talent search television program.[6] Over the course of the season, she escaped elimination several times, and reached the final ten contestants.[6] Her Korean ethnicity resulted in some trouble with the daily exercises set by the panel of Filipino judges. During the last elimination round (in which only five people advanced), Park received approximately half a million text votes. She eventually finished in second place behind Hero Angeles.[7]

Park joined ABS-CBN's entertainment stable called Star Magic in the wake of her success in the show, with her projects ranging from commercial endorsements to television appearances. She starred in her first movie Bcuz Of U (2004), a three-story movie.[8][9] She acted alongside Hero Angeles, Kristine Hermosa and Heart Evangelista. Park won "Best New Actress", her first acting award, in the 21st Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards.[10] Park and Angeles launched their first solo movie, Can This Be Love (2005) which reportedly grossed almost 100 million pesos.[10][11] Park was also nominated for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Musical or Comedy)" at the 2006 Golden Screen Awards.[12] Her third movie in the country was D' Lucky Ones (2006) wherein she was paired with co-SCQ alumnus, Joseph Bitangcol due to Angeles' decision to retire from show business.[10][13] In the same year, her fourth and last movie Super Noypi was shown in Christmas 2006 and was an official entry into the 32nd Metro Manila Film Festival.[14] The success of Park in the Philippines lead her to star in a drama series. One was Krystala, a fantasy series with Judy Ann Santos.[15] She also acted in various series Crazy For You (2006) and Abt Ur Luv (2006) and television specials My Name is Sandara Park (2004) and SCQ Reload: OK Ako! (2004).

Park also embarked on a musical career that led to the release of her self-titled six-track album that contained the novelty dance hit "In or Out", a song that parodied her experiences on Star Circle Quest.[16]

In December 2004, YG Entertainment's Yang Hyun Suk offered Park workshop classes in South Korea after seeing the KBS Documentary My Name Is Sandara Park.[17] In March 2005, Park went ahead with the workshops, putting her career in the Philippines on hold. After six months, she resumed work in the Philippines, starring in several movies. She left the Philippines show business industry permanently and returned to South Korea with her family on August 1, 2007.[18] YG Entertainment announced the following day that Park had signed a contract with them.[19]


Main article: 2NE1
2NE1 is one of the most successful girl-groups hailing from South Korea and are amongst the few who are internationally acknowledged by critics.

The group's name was initially announced as "21"; however, due to the discovery of a singer with the same name, the group was renamed "2NE1", which "NE" is the abbreviation of "New Evolution". Sandara was placed in 2NE1, alongside Bom, Minzy and CL.[20]

The group collaborated with label-mate senior Big Bang for the song "Lollipop". 2NE1 debuted in SBS's The Music Trend on May 17, 2009 where they performed their digital single "Fire" produced by Teddy Park of 1TYM. With the release of their self-titled mini-album, the group started the promotions of their title track "I Don’t Care". Their mini album hit the no. 3 spot at the Hanteo's "Best-selling Album of 2009" with over 100,000 copies sold.

After a short hiatus, the group released a surprise single "Follow Me"[21] that took number one for the week of February 13.[22] The single was used as a theme song for Samsung Corby Folder.[23]

In October of the same year, 2NE1 returned with their first full-length debut studio album To Anyone,[24] which was released on September 9, 2010. Promotions started with the simultaneous showcase of the three title tracks of the album, "Clap Your Hands", "Go Away" and "Can't Nobody". Following those promotions, another song "It Hurts (Slow)"[25][26] was released on October 31 for Halloween. The album garnered huge success and 2NE1 won an overall 11 times on various music shows from their promotions.[27] The album went on to sell over 150,000 copies.

Later career[edit]

2008-2009: The Return of Iljimae and solo single[edit]

Before her debut, she was cast in a minor role for the TV drama, The Return of Iljimae as Rie in 2008. Later, she appeared as the love interest of label mate T.O.P, one of the members of Big Bang, in Gummy's music video for "I'm Sorry".

In 2009, Park was featured on G-Dragon's solo album Heartbreaker, with their song entitled "Hello". They performed together a couple of times on music events, shows, and also during G-Dragon's two-day solo concert entitled Shine A Light in December 2009. Park later released a solo song of her own and was the first among the members of 2NE1 to do so. Entitled "Kiss", the song was produced by Teddy Park and was featured in Park's first commercial for Oriental Brewery's Cass Beer series alongside K-Drama actor Lee Min Ho. The song also featured fellow member CL as a rapper and peaked at #5 on the Gaon Chart.[citation needed]

2010-2012: I Need A Girl and promotion[edit]

In July 2010, Park was featured as the female lead in Taeyang's "I Need A Girl" music video. Due to the specific lyrics in the song such as “a girl who looks better in pants than a skirt” and “she is old but looks young”, Yang told her she was the only candidate for the role. Two versions were made for the music video.

Attesting to her popularity, Park was promoted to the Communications Director of 2NE1. In order to make her promotion official, YG Entertainment gave Park her own Certificate of Appointment.

On June 27, 2012, Park's Philippine Movies were shown in Korea. The films "Bcuz of U", "The Lucky Ones", and "Can This Be Love" were shown on the said date on Korea's Home Choice and SK Broadband.

2014: Return to the Philippines, My Love from the Star and What's eating Steven Yeun[edit]

On May 14, 2014, Sandara Park entered the Big Brother house as a celebrity houseguest during the live episode of Pinoy Big Brother: All In Über.

In the last episode of the highly rated Korean drama My Love from the Star, Sandara made a surprise cameo appearance playing a Top Actress.[28]

On November 12, 2014, BeFunny Studios released a 3-part mini web series starring The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun and Sandara Park titled "What's eating Steven Yeun".[29] Sandara played the role of Steven Yeun's girlfriend in this hilarious comedy sketch about the popular Korean internet craze called "Mokbang". Mokbang broadcasts are online broadcasts where people who are usually attractive eat in front of a webcam and get paid for it. The skit reached over a million views just a few days after release.[30]

2015: Web-Dramas and Sugar Man[edit]

Park returned to the screen with the web-drama "Dr. Ian", starring alongside rising star Kim Young-kwang.[31] The series was a moderate success but earned her the “Best Actress” award at the K-web festival, a newly founded awards show geared solely towards internet bases dramas. She was the first recipient of the honor.[32]

Park followed it by starring in her second leading role of the year in We Broke Up, another web-drama based upon a web-toon of the same name.[33] She played the role of Noh Woori, a character described as an optimistic and bright female preparing to get a job. Premiering in June, the series was a runaway success,[34] becoming the 4th most watched series by attracting more than 11 million clicks on Naver alone. In total, it has garnered more than 16 million views. The series was also invited to be screened at the 21st Geneva International Film Festival, making it the first web based drama to do so since it's meteoric rise in popularity.[35]

In the midst of the drama's airing, Park made cameo appearances as herself in the episodes 4-5, and 12 of the hit television series The Producers, playing a fictional 2 days and 1 night variety program cast member along with her ‘We Broke Up’ co-star Kang Seungyoon.[36][37] Her performance as a fictionalized, snooty version of herself was praised and drew positive responses from viewers.

On September 15, Park was cast opposite Goong star Kim Jeong Hoon in 'Missing Korea', a romantic-comedy set in the fictional year of 2020, in which the North and South are working towards unification through non-governmental exchanges and economic cooperation, leading to the first-ever ′North-South Joint Miss Korea Pageant.′[38] The series was well-received and Park was noted and highly praised for her rapidly improved acting.

Park later joined the JTCB variety show 'Two Yoo Project - Sugar Man' alongside Yoo Jae Suk, Yoo Hee Yeol, and Kim Eana as a host. The show aims to seek out once-popular singers, recreate their songs, and make it a hit once more in the present day. The first episode was officially broadcast on October 20.

2016: One More Happy Ending and Begin Again[edit]

Park started the off year with a cameo in the MBC drama "One More Happy Ending".[39] Revolving around the lives of a once-popular first generation girl group called Angels, Park played the role of Goo Seul-Ah, one of the members who was popular during the group′s heyday and was responsible for the groups breakup due to her bad attitude. Now a popular actress today, her character continued to wreck havoc when she stole away one of the members fiancee. Being a part of a popular group herself, the production team for the drama stated that they felt that not only was she the best candidate for the role, her innocent and mature image made her a perfect fit.[40]

Park next big project will be a Korean film remake of Begin Again. She will play a convenience store part-timer who seeks out a mysterious melody she hears every night in her dreams, and meets the producer of an Internet broadcasting program who tries to help her find out the music.[41][38]

Public image and legacy[edit]

Sandara Park is credited as one of the leading figures in the term 'Reverse-Hallyu' Wave. During her stay in the Philippines, her popularity was so incredible that if one did not know the name Sandara Park, they were considered to be a non-citizen or a foreigner. Sandara was also dubbed the 'BoA of the Philippines' by Korean fans due to the similar success between the two, as Boa was the first Korean to break through the Japanese market. [42] She holds the national title of 'Pambansang krungkrung ng Pilipinas' (The Philippines' national weird or unique personality) given to her by her Filipino fans.[41]


Sandara is considered to be one of the icons for modern-day South Korean beauty.[43][44]

Following the success of her stint on Star Circle Quest, Sandara endorsed many brands up until her return to South Korea. After signing with Nikon Korea to endorse their cameras in 2011, the company reported an increase in sales that put them at a firm No. 2 spot in the market with a 23% share, trailing behind only Samsung in 2012. [45] In 2011, Sandara signed with Etude House to promote their brand for two more additional years after previously endorsing it with 2NE1 (2010). Under her, the brand saw continued success since launching in 2009 and won several web awards for their achievements in marketing, services and makeup.[46][47] In 2013, Sandara became the new makeup model for Clio, a well-established makeup company founded in 1993.[48] Immediately after, sites recorded increased sales and her 'bloody series' makeup became a top-seller.[49] The following year, the company's new mascara, Salon de Cara, was launched with Sandara as it's model and sold out 130,000 units of it's initial stock nationwide in only three weeks.[50] The mascara went on to sell a record-breaking 300,000 units in the months following. A fansigning event was held on the 14 of November as a thank you to the buyers.[51] Clio then closed the year with 4 awards, 3 of which were modeled by Sandara.[52] In 2015, Sandara joined the likes of supermodels Cara Delevingne, Sean O'Pry, and fashion model/tv personality Kendall Jenner as Penshoppe's ambassador.[41] The following year, Sandara was chosen as an exclusive model for the cosmetic brand Moonshot launched by YG Plus in 2014, a subsidiary company of YG Entertainment.[44] G-Dragon will be marketing the brand alongside her.


In popular culture, Sandara is the icon of 'baby-face' amongst celebrities and the public, which is a term used to describe an individual who looks younger than their years.[53] Despite being born in the early 80's, Sandara is known to top and beat other competitors in survey's, often with a large gap between their ages, thus earning herself the nickname 'Vampire' for her youthful skin and look.[54][55] She is noted for having the ideal facial proportions, called 'the golden ratio', which is a 1:1:0.8 measurement of the face by plastic surgeons.[56] Attesting to the quality of her skin, she was described to be a popular choice for both advertisers and consumers, who would be drawn to her clear and seemingly pore-less face. In 2012, she was announced to be one of the most beautiful women of her time (80's).[57]


Sandara features some of the most iconic and memorable styles in the Korean Industry, ranging from her signature tail lilt eye make-up, to her bold hair styles and clothing.[58] Labeled a pioneer of unconventional trends, Sandara first appearance in Lollipop sporting her 'Palm-tree' hairstyle became the most famous and widely parodied style in 2009 and remains an iconic piece in K-pop. [59][60][61]

Personal life[edit]

Aside from her native Korean, Sandara is also fluent in Tagalog and English languages due to her residency in the Philippines. She also speaks Chinese and Japanese, both on conversational level.

During a promotional visit with 2NE1, Sandara was caught in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011.[62][63] Saying that she felt unwell, Sandara had remained on the 34th floor of the hotel she and her members were staying at, while the others moved to the 31st floor without her knowledge to prepare for their debut that was supposed to take place the next day. She stated “Usually when I’m scared or hurt, I try to withstand it, but at the time, I felt the need to live, so I crawled on the floor, screaming for help. But it turned out that I was the only one on the floor.” Being on one of the topmost floors, she experienced severe shaking and said that the building walls cracked and felt her body would fly out of the building at several points. Frightened for her life, she called 2NE1's leader and friend CL, and, surprisingly, connected with her, prompting the leader to walk up several flights of stairs despite the earthquake to rescue Sandara while the rest of their party evacuated. Together, along with a staff member, they walked down all 34 flights and were relocated to a safer location. CL explained her actions by stating "If I die, I die, and if I had to die, I thought it would be better to die with my member. It seemed the right thing to do.” She received praise for both her initial actions and for her response about the incident. [64] They were included in FUSE's list of '14 Female Friendships In Music' because of the story. [65]


For the discography of 2NE1, see 2NE1 discography.

Extended plays[edit]

Year Title[citation needed] Label
2004 Sandara Star Records
Walang Sabit
2006 Ang Ganda Ko


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
Philippines[citation needed]
2004 "In Or Out" 1 Sandara
2005 "Walang Sabit" 1 Sandara: Walang Sabit
2006 "Ang Ganda Ko" 1 Sandara: Ang Ganda Ko
Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2009 "Kiss" (feat. CL) 5 To Anyone
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Featured singles[edit]

Year Title Peak positions Album
2009 "Hello" (G-Dragon feat. Sandara Park) 144 Heartbreaker
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.



Year Title Role Film Production
2004 Volta Herself/Cameo Star Cinema
Bcuz of U April
2005 Can This Be Love Daisy
2006 D' Lucky Ones Lucky Girl/Anna
Super Noypi Michie Rapisora Regal Films
2009 Girlfriends Herself/Cameo with 2NE1 Next Entertainment World
2016 Echo (에코) TBA TBA


Year Title Role Network Notes
2004 Krystala Kim ABS-CBN Supporting Role
SCQ Reload: Ok Ako! Sandara Soh Main Cast
Maalaala Mo Kaya: Scrapbook Herself Lead Role
2006 Your Song: Everything You Do Herself Lead Role
Komiks Presents: Machete Mara Lead Role
Crazy for You Ara Supporting Role
2007 Dalawang Tisoy Kim Chee RPN Supporting Role
2009 The Return of Iljimae Rie MBC Supporting Role
Style Herself SBS Cameo with 2NE1 (Episode 6)
2014 My Love from the Star Herself/Top Actress Cameo (Episode 21)
What’s Eating Steven Yeun? Herself Be FUNNY Studios Lead Role
2015 Dr. Ian Lee So Dam Naver TV Cast/
Lead Role
Web Drama
We Broke Up Noh Woori CJ E&M Lead Role
Web Drama
The Producers Herself KBS2 Cameo (Episode 4, 5 & 12)
Missing Korea Ri Yon Hwa KBS Lead Role
Web Drama
2016 One More Happy Ending Goo Seul-A MBC Cameo/Special Appearance

Variety show[edit]

Variety show
Year Title Role Network Notes
2009 Strong Heart Guest SBS Episode 2
Family Outing Guest SBS Episode 72 & 73
2010 Strong Heart Guest SBS Episode 49 & 50
2012 Strong Heart Guest SBS Episode 123 & 124
2013 Running Man Guest SBS Episode 156
2014 Running Man Guest SBS Episode 195
2015-present Sugar Man MC JTBC Host
2015 Happy Together Guest KBS Episode 429

Lifestyle/Beauty show[edit]

Variety show
Year Title Role Network Notes
2014 Get It Beauty Guest OnStyle Episode 22
2015 Tasty Road Guest O'live TV Episode 25

MV appearances[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and Nominations
Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2005 21st PMPC Star Awards for Movies Best New Actress Bcuz Of U Won
PARI Double Platinum Award Sandara (Self-Titled Album) Won
Golden Screen TV Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Musical or Comedy) Can This Be Love Nominated
2006 Best Actress N/A Nominated
2013 Arirang: Showbiz Korea No. 1 Most Beautiful Idol Girl Group Member N/A Won
2014 Arirang: Showbiz Korea No. 1 Stars Who Will Maintain Their Youthful Features N/A Won
2015 KWeb Festival Best Actress Dr. Ian Won


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