Sandara Park in 2019
|Born||November 12, 1984|
Busan, South Korea
|Revised Romanization||Bak Sandara|
Sandara Park (Korean: 박산다라; born November 12, 1984), also known by her stage name Dara (Korean: 다라), is a South Korean singer, actress and television presenter. She rose to fame in the Philippines as a contestant on the talent show Star Circle Quest in 2004, after which she had a successful acting and singing career before returning to South Korea in 2007. She made her South Korean debut in 2009 as a member of the K-pop group 2NE1, which went on to become one of the best-selling girl groups of all time before their disbandment in 2016.
Park is one of the most popular South Korean celebrities in the Philippines, where she is known by fans as the Pambansang Krung-Krung (National Crazy Personality). She is considered an influential figure in the Korean Wave, and has been called the "BoA of the Philippines", in reference to South Korean singer BoA who also experienced great success abroad.
In 2004, Park released her first EP, Sandara, which sold over 100,000 physical copies, making it the only album by a South Korean artist to be certified platinum by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry. She acted in several Philippine films between 2004 and 2007, including Bcuz of U, for which she won the award for Best New Actress the 21st PMPC Star Award for Movies.
In 2009, Park debuted as a member of 2NE1 with the single "Fire", which immediately catapulted the group to fame. She also released her first Korean single, "Kiss", featuring fellow 2NE1 member CL, in 2009. The group's hiatus beginning in 2014 allowed Park to focus on her television career, co-hosting the South Korean variety show Two Yoo Project Sugar Man, and appearing as a judge on the Philippine talent show Pinoy Boyband Superstar. She also acted in several web series, including Dr. Ian (2016), for which she won Best Actress at a Korean web festival.
Following 2NE1's disbandment at the end of 2016, Park renewed her contract with YG Entertainment.
Sandara Park was born on November 12, 1984, in Busan, South Korea. Her unusual three-syllable given name means "wise and clever" and is based on the childhood nickname of 7th century general Gim Yu-sin. She has two siblings: Thunder, who is a former member of K-pop boy group MBLAQ, and a younger sister named Durami.
Park's family moved to Daegu in 1993. However, Park's father was unable to make ends meet, and the family moved to the Philippines in hopes of rebuilding his career in 1994. According to Park, she was initially lonely in the Philippines because she wasn't fluent in Filipino, the national language, and her pronunciation of the language was not good. She later said she worked hard to correct her pronunciation in hopes of one day becoming a celebrity, which was a dream she had harbored since hearing K-pop boy band Seo Taiji and Boys in 1992.
2004–2013: Star Circle Quest, Philippine success and 2NE1
In 2004, Park met Filipina actress Pauleen Luna, who encouraged Park to audition for Star Circle Quest, a talent search television program on ABS-CBN. Over the course of the season, Park escaped elimination several times, and reached the final ten contestants. During the last elimination round, Park received approximately half a million text votes and finished in second place, behind Hero Angeles.
After the show, Park signed a contract with ABS-CBN subsidiary, Star Magic. In 2004, she starred in her first film, the romantic comedy Bcuz of U, opposite Hero Angeles. For her performance, Park won Best New Actress at the 21st PMPC Star Award for Movies. Park and Hero Angeles collaborated again for the 2005 movie Can This Be Love, which reportedly grossed almost 100 million pesos. Her third movie was 2006's D' Lucky Ones, in which she was paired with Star Circle Quest alumnus, Joseph Bitangcol. In the same year, her fourth, Super Noypi, was shown in December and was an official entry in the 32nd Metro Manila Film Festival.
Park also embarked on a music career in the Philippines that led to the release of her self-titled six-track album, Sandara, which included the novelty dance hit "In or Out", a song that parodied her experiences on Star Circle Quest. The album ultimately sold over 100,000 physical copies, making it the only album by a South Korean artist to be certified platinum by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry.
Park left the Filipino show business and returned to South Korea with her family in 2007, as she was not offered to renew her contract with Star Magic. Shortly after, she signed a contract with YG Entertainment, whose CEO Yang Hyun-suk had scouted her back in 2004 after she appeared on a KBS documentary.
Park took on the stage name Dara, and together with Bom, CL and Minzy, debuted as K-pop girl group 2NE1 in 2009. The group collaborated with label-mates Big Bang for the promotional single "Lollipop", before officially debuting with their first single "Fire". That same year, the group released their first EP, 2NE1, and achieved significant success with the hit single "I Don't Care", which won the Song of the Year award at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
Park also made her solo Korean debut in 2009. She was featured on the single "Hello" from Big Bang member G-Dragon's album Heartbreaker, and later released her first solo single, "Kiss", which featured fellow 2NE1 member CL as a rapper. The song was used in a video promoting Cass Beer, which Park starred in alongside actor Lee Min-ho. The video became popular for a kissing scene between the two performers, and the single topped South Korean music charts. Park again teamed up with a Big Bang member in 2010, when she made an appearance as the female lead in Taeyang's "I Need A Girl" music video.
During this era, 2NE1 continued to release hit albums and songs, including "I Am the Best" (2011) which topped charts in South Korea and made the group the second South Korean artists after Psy to top the U.S. Billboard World Digital Songs chart.
As a result of 2NE1's growing fame, Park's earlier Philippine movies Bcuz of U, Can This Be Love, and D' Lucky Ones were screened in South Korea in 2012.
2014–2015: Return to the Philippines, renewed acting and Sugar Man
In May 2014, ABS-CBN announced that Park would be a guest on Pinoy Big Brother, which set off a social media frenzy, dominating both the Philippines and worldwide Twitter trending topics. She guest starred on the show on May 15, and later appeared as a celebrity house-guest in the telecast, All In Über, during its live episode. Park also appeared on Gandang Gabi, Vice!, one of the most popular talk shows in the Philippines hosted by Vice Ganda.
Back in South Korea, Park replaced close friend Yoo In-na as a DJ for her Let's Crank Up the Volume radio program from May to June due to scheduling clashes. Later in the year, Park made a surprise cameo appearance as a top actress in the last episode of the highly rated Korean drama My Love from the Star.[unreliable source?]
On November 12, 2014 BeFunny Studios made an unannounced release of a three-part mini web series starring The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun and Park, titled What's eating Steven Yeun.[better source needed] Park played the role of Steven Yeun's American girlfriend who is left behind as her boyfriend pursues a career in "Mokbang", a popular Korean internet broadcast where generally attractive people paid to eat in front of a webcam. The comedy sketch went viral, and reached over a million views in the few days after release.[unreliable source?]
In 2015, seven years after her last acting role, Park returned to the small screen through the web-drama Dr. Ian, starring alongside Kim Young-kwang. Expectations were high as the series featured Park in her first leading role since returning to South Korea, coupled with the involvement of director Kwon Hyeok-chan (Secret Garden, Master's Sun). The series enjoyed global popularity, not only in Korea but also in the United States, Taiwan, and Thailand, surpassing 500,000 views within three days of its broadcasting. Park became the first actress to win the "Best Actress" award at the K-web festival for her performance.
The same month, Park featured in label-mate Jinusean's stage for their single "Tell Me", on You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook.[better source needed] Her natural performance impressed the group which led to a second collaboration, where Park featured on their "Tell Me One More Time" comeback stage in place of the original singer, Jang Hana, on KBS2's Music Bank on May 1.[better source needed]
Park then took on her second leading role in We Broke Up, a web-drama based upon a web-toon of the same name.[unreliable source?] She played the role of Noh Woo-ri, an optimistic and bright girl preparing to get a job. Premiering in June, the series was a success, becoming the fourth most watched web-drama on Naver with 16 million views. Due to the positive reception, the cast held a personal 'mini concert' on August 17.[better source needed] Park also made cameo appearances in the television series The Producers, playing a fictional 2 Days & 1 Night variety program cast member alongside her We Broke Up co-star Kang Seung-yoon.
On September 15, 2015 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'. Though not as successful on the global market as her previous web-dramas, Park received acting recognition and earned her another nomination for "Best Actress" in the 2016 K-web festival, making her the first idol-turned-actress to be nominated for the award in succeeding years.
Park later joined JTBC variety show Sugar Man from 2015 to 2016, alongside Yoo Jae-suk, You Hee-yeol, and Kim Eana as a co-host.[better source needed] The first episode was broadcast on October 20. The production team stated, "We think that Sandara Park has a unique strength that encompasses the emotions of the younger generation and the memories of the older generation. We predict she will actively radiate new, never-before-seen charms." Through her involvement as YG Entertainment's public relations director, artists such as Akmu, Winner, iKon, and Lee Hi were able to perform on the show, and during an episode for which she wasn't present, friend and fellow actress Yoo In-na replaced her.
2016–present: Judging, 2NE1's disbandment, domestic film debut, and first solo concert
Park started the year 2016 with a special appearance in the MBC drama One More Happy Ending, as a beloved but spoiled star of a popular girl group. The producer of the drama expressed the difficulty of casting an actress who could play the role, as the character's beauty was meant to overshadow characters played by actresses like Yoo In-na, Jang Na-ra, Yoo Da-in, and Seo In-young. It was because of Yoo In-na that they came in contact and the matter was resolved. Park also participated in the promotional single "Loving U" as part of the drama's soundtrack.[unreliable source?] Park was officially promoted from being YG Entertainment's public relations head to director. Park then joined the judging panel of ABS-CBN's reality singing competition show Pinoy Boyband Superstar, alongside Filipino top stars Yeng Constantino, Vice Ganda, and Aga Muhlach. The show is based on the format created by Simon Cowell and was first shown in U.S. through La Banda. The show premiered on September 10, and became the most watched weekend program, and the second highest program in television viewership nationwide. As the show was still filming the day after 2NE1 announced their disbandment, Park became the first member to respond after the event by way of handing a handwritten letter in English to fans on November 26, 2016, and allowing them to upload the contents on her behalf. YG also revealed that Park and CL had signed solo contracts, hinting at the departure of Park Bom from the company.
In 2017, Park became the host of OnStyle's beauty program Get It Beauty, alongside Honey Lee and Gugudan's Kim Se-jeong. Park then starred alongside Han Jae-suk in her domestic debut film One Step. Billed as the Korean remake of Begin Again, she portrayed Si-hyun, 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. The film premiered in South Korea on April 6, 2017, and opened on May 10, in the Philippines. She received acting praise from its director, Jeon Jae-hong, who noted that she only had one retake during the filming process due to her professionalism. Park participated in another OnStyle project titled Relationship Appeal, where she reviewed trending topics and travel to popular tourist spots. Controversy arose when rude remarks directed at Park were made during MBC's SeMoBang: All Broadcasting in the World collaboration segment with Piki Pictures mobile variety team 'This is Real'. The concept was for the MCs to 'overhear' the constructive criticism of everyday netizens (picked by the 'This is Real' team) by separating the two groups with a thin wall. Viewers who watched the program criticized the teams selection and expressed discomfort with the remarks as they were believed to be personal attacks made in a subjective way. Piki Pictures issued an apology soon after and MBC deleted the video featuring the incident. Park closed the year by performing 2NE1's past hits in a solo headlining concert, one year after the band's disbandment.
Park scored her first mainstream big screen role in the film adaption of the popular webtoon Cheese in the Trap as the heroine's best friend, Jang Bo-ra. The film premiered exclusively in CGV theatres on March 14, and placed among the top five at the weekend box office. This was followed by a leading role in an indie Vampire action film directed by Lee Won Jun, titled 107th Year of Night, which went on to win the category “Foreign Suspense Thriller Award” at the 2018 International Horror Hotel Festival for the Short Film Division at Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.. The year also continued Park's increased regular appearances on television with Mimi Shop,[unreliable source?] Borrowing Trouble, and MBC's Real Man 300.
In January 2019, Park served as a special guest and support act for labelmate Seungri on his Hong Kong and Manila tour dates for The Great Seungri tour. During that month, Park became a permanent co-host for the all-female talk show Video Star. Park reunited with former 2NE1 bandmate Park Bom as a featured artist for her single, "Spring", which was released on March 13. Park also became a judge and advisor in Stage K, a K-pop challenge variety television show, which premiered in April 2019.
In 2020, Park made her musical debut through the stage adaptation of the (tvN) drama Another Oh Hae-young,  and is set to cameo in the melodrama Shall We Have Dinner Together as a patient seeking physiological help to remedy her eating habits.
Public image and legacy
Sandara Park is credited as one of the leading figures in the 'Reverse-Hallyu' Wave. She is dubbed the 'BoA of the Philippines' by Korean fans due to the similar success between the two, as BoA was the first Korean artist to break through the Japanese market. She holds the national title of 'Pambansang Krung Krung ng Pilipinas' (The Philippines' national crazy or unique personality) given to her by Filipino fans, and her popularity in the region is likened to comedian Yoo Jae-suk's fame in South Korea.
In popular culture, Sandara is the icon of "baby-face" amongst celebrities and the public, which is an individual who looks younger than their actual age. Despite being born in the early 80s, Sandara is known to top and beat other competitors in surveys, often with a large gap between their ages, thus earning herself the nickname "vampire" for her youthful skin and look. She is noted for having the ideal facial proportions, called "the golden ratio" by plastic surgeons. 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 poreless face. In 2012, she was announced to be one of the most beautiful women of her time (1980s).
Park 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. Labeled a pioneer of unconventional trends, her 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. In particular, her 2012 look, for which she had shaved a portion of her trademark locks for the promotional single "I Love You", attracted massive media attention and initially garnered mixed reactions, but was nonetheless praised for its shock factor and contradictory styling to the typical girl-group 'look'. The style is considered to be her most noteworthy transformation.
Park is one of the most in-demand faces in both the Philippines and South Korea, having appeared in many TV commercials and print ads over the course of her career. Park's huge popularity led to her instantly signing many Philippine and foreign endorsement deals ranging from personal care and food products to everyday items at the end of the competition. Her first endorsement was for Dong-A pens. Along with other Star Circle Quest finalists, Park modeled for and endorsed BNY Jeans in 2004. She served as the face for Tekki Asian Classic Noodles, and helped promote Canon, a Japanese camera brand looking to solidify their power in the Philippines. She endorsed Confident feminine napkins, and Rejoice shampoo as well. In addition to the shampoo's advertisements, Park also contributed a single to go along with the brand. Park also campaigned for Maxi-Peel with Kristine Hermosa. Following the revival of her career as a member of 2NE1, Sandara endorsed high-profile local brands without the group. In 2009, she became the endorsement model for Oriental Brewery's Cass beer series, one of Korea's most famous alcoholic beverages, alongside actor Lee Min-ho. To help promote the beer, an accompanying music video and song was released to nationwide attention.
While promoting alongside 2NE1 for an endorsement deal with Mitsubishi's subsidiary Nikon Corporation, Park was solely chosen to become their main model for their new Nikon Coolpix p300 camera. Dongkook Kim, brand manager of Nikon Korea, stated that signing her would increase their products "attractiveness", and motivate buyers to purchase their items. After her campaign debuted, the company reported a massive increase in sales that put them only behind Samsung, the largest business conglomerate in South Korea, for the year of 2012. The company named the camera after her, going by the official name of "Sandara Digicam". Park is also well known for endorsing makeup brands. Despite having already worked with Etude House in 2010 alongside her group, the makeup brand sought to continue with her for an additional two years with the belief that her image would be a "good influence" to potential buyers. Over the course of her endorsement with Etude, the brand was able to compete with popular local makeup companies and were launched to international success. An umbrella called 'Sweet Bunny' was made available online and in stores to be given to buyers who paid for a certain number of items. The limited special not only increased Etude House's sales, but also attracted a foreign consumer base who, moments after Park was seen holding the item, visited the South Korean stores specifically to purchase the umbrella, where it was bought in every color. In a week, Etude House sold over 40,000 of the umbrellas, ultimately selling out the product. A representative described the reactions of the public as "surprising". The makeup brand won several web awards for their achievements in marketing, services and makeup as well.
In 2013, Sandara became the new makeup model for Clio, a well-established makeup company founded in 1993. Immediately after, sites recorded increased sales and her 'bloody series' makeup became a top-seller. The following year, the company's mascara, Salon de Cara, was launched with Park as its model and sold out 130,000 units of its initial stock nationwide in three weeks. The mascara went on to sell a record-breaking 300,000 units in the months following. A fan-signing event was held on November 14 as a thank-you to the buyers. Clio then closed the year with four awards, three of which were modeled by Park.
In 2015, Park joined the likes of supermodels Cara Delevingne, Sean O'Pry, and fashion model/TV personality Kendall Jenner as Penshoppe's ambassador. The following year, Park and G-Dragon were chosen as exclusive models for the cosmetic brand Moonshot, launched previously by YG Plus in 2014, a subsidiary company of YG Entertainment. Days after launching products released in their namesake, the product was sold out and required immediate restocking. A representative of Moonshot noted that it was the first time their products left stores at such a high rate and that the overall reservations had gone up substantially. In June, Park became the new endorser for American shampoo brand Head & Shoulders.
Park regularly volunteers for label-mate Sean's annual briquette charity event every New Year's Eve.
In November 2013, Dara and her brother lent their support for the campaign effort "WEGENERATION" to help the devastated survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Having long considered the Philippines their second home after spending their childhood there, the Park siblings responded to the desperate situation by collaborating with both "WEGENERATION" and charity organization "World Share" to launch an online emergency aid fundraising system. By January, they raised 3 million won (₱116,721) for survivors.
In 2016, she provided her services to Purme Foundation Children's Rehabilitation Hospital, donating gifts given to her by fans over the years to the children.
During a promotional visit with 2NE1, Park was caught in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. Feeling unwell, Park had remained on the 34th floor of the hotel she and her members were staying in when the earthquake hit. She managed to contact CL using the hotel phone, prompting her to walk up several flights of stairs to rescue her. Assisted by a staff member, they walked down 34 flights and were relocated to a safer location. They were included in Fuse's list of '14 Female Friendships In Music' because of the story.
As the lead artist
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Sales||Album|
|"In Or Out"||2004||—||1||N/A||Sandara|
|"Walang Sabit"||2005||—||1||Sandara reissue|
|"Ang Ganda Ko"||2006||—||1|
|"Kiss" (feat. CL)||2009||5||—||N/A||To Anyone|
As a featured artist
|"Hello" (G-Dragon featuring Sandara Park)||2009||144||*||Heartbreaker|
|"Spring" (Park Bom featuring Sandara Park)||2019||3||2||Spring|
|"Love Love Love" (Epik High feat. Dara)||2016||—||—||The Best of Epik High - Show Must Go On & On|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Sales||Album|
|"Two of Us" (with Kang Seung-yoon)||2015||—||N/A||We Broke Up OST|
|"We Broke Up" (with Kang Seung-yoon)|
|"Always For You" (Angels feat. Dara,
Jang Na-ra, Yoo Da-in, Yoo In-na, Seo In-young
|2016||—||N/A||One More Happy Ending OST|
|"Song of Memory" (with Han Jae-suk)||2017||—||One Step OST|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
|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|
|2017||My Ex and Whys||Herself/cameo||Star Cinema|
|2018||Cheese in the Trap||Jang Bo-ra||Mountain Movement Story|
|107th Year of Night||Jay||YG K Plus|
|SCQ Reload: Ok Ako!||Sandara Soh||Main cast|
|Maalaala Mo Kaya: Scrapbook||Herself||Lead role|
|2005||Voltes V Evolution||Megumi Oka/Jamie Robinson||Hero||Voice-dubbed|
|2006||Your Song: Everything You Do||Herself||ABS-CBN||Lead role|
|Komiks Presents: Machete||Mara||Lead role|
|Crazy for You||Ara||Supporting role|
|Abt Ur Luv||Betina||Cameo|
|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/
|We Broke Up||Noh Woo-ri||CJ E&M||Lead role|
|The Producers||Herself||KBS2||Cameo (episodes 4, 5, 12)|
|Missing Korea||Ri Yeon-hwa||KBS||Lead role|
|2016||One More Happy Ending||Goo Seul-ah||MBC||Cameo (episode 1)|
|2020||Dinner Mate||Herself as patient||SBS||Cameo|
|2004||My Name is Sandara Park||Herself||KBS|
|2004||Star Circle Quest||Contestant||ABS-CBN||First Runner-up|
|2014||Pinoy Big Brother||Celebrity Guest||ABS-CBN|
|2014||Gandang Gabi, Vice!||Celebrity Guest||ABS-CBN|
|2015–2016||Two Yoo Project Sugar Man||Host||JTBC||with You Hee-yeol, Yoo Jae-suk and Kim Eana|
|2016||Pinoy Boyband Superstar||Judge||ABS-CBN|
|2016||It's Showtime (TV program)||Celebrity Guest Player||ABS-CBN|
|2017||Get It Beauty||Host||OnStyle||with Honey Lee, Lee Se-young and Kim Se-jeong|
|Living Together in Empty Room||Cast member||MBC||Episodes 12–20, with Jo Se-ho and P. O|
|Relationship Appeal||Main cast||OnStyle||with Lee Hi and Lee Su-hyun[unreliable source?]|
|2017–2018||All Broadcasting in the World||Fixed Cast||MBC||with Lee Kyung-kyu, Park Myeong-su, Joo Sang-wook, Lee Soo-kyung and Henry Lau|
|2018||Mimi Shop||Cast member||JTBC||with Tony An, Cheetah, Kim Jin-kyung and Shin So-yul|
|Borrow Trouble||with Eunhyuk, JR, Joon Park and DinDin|
|Real Man 300||MBC||"Special Warfare School" edition|
|2019–present||Video Star||Host||MBC Every 1||Episodes 130–present, with Park Na-rae, Kim Sook and Park So-hyun|
|Stage K||Judge/mentor||JTBC||with Jun Hyun-moo, Joon Park, Eun Ji-won and Kim Yu-bin|
Awards and nominations
|2005||21st PMPC Star Awards for Movies||Best New Actress||Bcuz of U||Won|
|Golden Screen TV Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
(Musical or Comedy)
|Can This Be Love||Nominated|
|2010||TVCF Advertisement Awards||CF Model of the Year||Nikon||Nominated|
|Philippines Kpop Convention||Hottest Female Star||N/A||Won|
|2011||TVCF Advertisement Awards||CF Model of the Year||Etude House||Nominated|
|Philippines Kpop Convention||Hottest Female Star||N/A||Won|
|2015||KWeb Festival||Best Actress||Dr. Ian||Won|
|2017||MBC Entertainment Awards||Best Artist Award||Insolent Housemates
All Broadcasting Around The World
|Best Couple Award||Insolent Housemates||Nominated|
|2018||ELLE's Style Awards||Trend Entertainer Award||N/A||Won|
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- This article contains quotations from 2NE1 at the Generasia, which is available under a Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)[permanent dead link] license.
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