Seohyun

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Not to be confused with Seolhyun.
This is a Korean name; the family name is Seo.
Seohyun
Seohyun at a fansigning in February 2017 02.jpg
Seohyun at a fansigning in February 2017
Native name 서주현
Born Seo Ju-hyun
(1991-06-28) June 28, 1991 (age 25)
Seoul, South Korea
Alma mater Dongguk University
Occupation
  • Singer
  • actress
Musical career
Genres K-pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007–present
Labels S.M. Entertainment
Associated acts
Korean name
Hangul
Revised Romanization Seo Ju-hyeon
McCune–Reischauer Sŏ Chu-hyŏn
Stage name
Hangul 서현
Revised Romanization Seohyeon
McCune–Reischauer Sŏhyŏn

Seo Ju-hyun (born June 28, 1991), known professionally as Seohyun, is a South Korean singer and actress. She debuted as a member of girl group Girls' Generation (and later its subgroup TTS) in August 2007, who went on to be one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea's most popular girl groups worldwide. Apart from her group's activities, she has established herself as an actress, notably through her participation in the original and Korean versions of stage musicals including Moon Embracing the Sun, Gone with the Wind and Mamma Mia. She also starred in the drama "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo". She debuted as a solo artist with her debut mini album, Don't Say No, on January 17, 2017, making her the third Girls' Generation member to debut as a solo artist.

Life and career[edit]

1991–2011: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Seohyun was born Seo Ju-hyun on June 28, 1991,[1] in Seoul, South Korea, and is the only child in her family. Her mother was a chairman at a piano school and Seohyun was taught how to play piano, as well as violin and traditional Korean drums in her early childhood. She also learned horseback riding and skating as a child. Her parents did not encourage her to become a celebrity, but Seohyun credited them as the ones who helped her choose her career path by letting her experience different things.[2][3]

As a fifth grader, Seohyun was discovered by a talent scout while riding in a subway train. She sang children's songs for her audition at S.M. Entertainment, and was accepted as a trainee.[3][4] Dana, Seohyun's former vocal instructor, noted she had been a stubborn student—someone who would answer politely after being told to correct a problem and then not change anything afterwards. Dana explained, "That kind of stubbornness is what makes up Girls' Generation's Seohyun's unique charm today".[5] Seohyun cited BoA, S.E.S and Fin.K.L. as her main influences to become a singer, expressing "I thought it was cool to show and communicate the emotions through songs".[6] In August 2007, Seohyun made her official debut as the youngest member of girl group Girls' Generation.[7] The group gained significant popularity after the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.[8] In a 2011 interview, Seohyun recalled her training days as "happy and heartwarming" memories.[9]

Seohyun's early solo work mostly involved songs recorded for side projects and original soundtracks. Although they did not achieve much commercial success; her duet titled "JjaLaJaJJa" with veteran singer Joo Hyun-mi earned a "Trot Music of the Year" nomination at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards.[10] In 2010-2011, Seohyun appeared in MBC's variety show We Got Married 2, alongside CNBLUE's Yonghwa. They played a make-believe couple, portraying what life would be like if they were married.[11] In addition, Seohyun was cast as voice actor for the Korean-dubbed version of animated film Despicable Me (2010) and its sequel Despicable Me 2 (2013), together with Taeyeon. She voiced the character Edith, who is known for her rebellious attitude.[12][13]

2012–2016: TTS and musical acting[edit]

In April 2012, a Girls' Generation subgroup named TTS was formed with Seohyun and fellow members Taeyeon and Tiffany. Their debut EP, Twinkle, met with much success and became the 8th highest selling album of the year in South Korea.[14][15][16] The subgroup went on to release two more EPs: Holler (2014) and Dear Santa (2015).[17][18] Besides contributing her vocals to Girls' Generation and TTS songs, Seohyun began to become more active in lyrics writing. She co-wrote the songs "Baby Maybe" and "XYZ" (I Got a Boy, 2013) and was credited as the sole lyricist for "Only U" (Holler, 2014) and "Dear Santa" (Dear Santa, 2015).[17][19][20]

"Even though you can't understand the other's language, and even though you don't look alike, you can become one. Although the language, food, and culture is different, you can connect and become one through music. And that happiness becomes larger when it is shared." - Seohyun[21]

In 2013, Seohyun's acting career began when she was cast in a small role in SBS's drama Passionate Love. She played Han Yu-rim, a veterinary student and first love of the male lead character, who passes away in a car accident. Director Bae Tae-sub said Seohyun's persona "perfectly paralleled that of her role" and "her understanding and expressiveness of the character exceeds those of a rookie actress".[22][23]

Seohyun, self-described as someone who likes both singing and acting, began to develop an interest in musical theatre. She named musical actress Ock Joo-hyun, who later became her mentor, as her main influence. Although she had wanted to be in a musical for a long time, she rejected casting offers because she felt unprepared.[24][25] In January 2014, her wish was fulfilled as she accepted her first musical acting role. Seohyun made her theatrical debut in the musical, Moon Embracing the Sun, which was adapted from the novel of the same name.[26] The musical is set against the backdrop of a Korean traditional palace. Seohyun played the lead role, Yeon-woo, the daughter of a noble family who has a love relationship with both the King and his brother. The musical had previously earned nine nominations at the 2013 Korea Musical Awards.[27]

Seohyun performing Gone with the Wind musical in 2015

In January 2015, Seohyun was cast in the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the Korean version of Autant en emporte le vent, a French musical based on Gone with the Wind.[28] She received encouraging review for her performance. Seon Mi-gyeong of OSEN said that while Seohyun's performance cannot surpass that of Bada, who shared the same role, her "fierce voice" complimented and successfully expressed an arrogant Scarlett O'Hara.[29] Kim Hyun-joong of Sports Chosun noted Seohyun's occasional "clumsy" acting, but compared her to Ock Joo-hyun during her rookie days and said that "her ability to bring emotion through song, the most important part of a musical, rivaled that of a veteran actor. Despite a short career, she endlessly showed us various colours and peculiar charms of a woman's life."[30]

From February–June 2016, Seohyun was cast in the Korean version of the musical Mamma Mia. She played a character named Sophie, a 20-year-old bride-to-be, who hopes to find out who her biological father is on her wedding day.[31][32] Kim Geum-yeong from CNB Journal commented on Seohyun's improvement from her prior musical performances, praising her "natural acting" and "daring side" while Park Jeong-hwan from News1 claimed Seohyun's performance made the musical "all the more entertaining".[33][34] Seohyun next played supporting roles in Chinese romantic film So I Married An Anti-fan and SBS's historical drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo; the latter earned her a Special Acting Award at the 2016 SBS Drama Awards.[35][36][37]

2017–present: Solo debut[edit]

In January 2017, Seohyun became the third Girls' Generation member to release a solo album with her debut extended play titled Don't Say No, which was released on January 17. Tamar Herman from Billboard noted the album presented a "new maturity" to the singer.[38] Don't Say No debuted atop the South Korean Gaon Album Chart, while the single of the same name earned Seohyun her first music show win at M Countdown on January 27. In the same month, she also starred as the female lead, a jewelry designer named Lee Ruby, in OnStyle's web-drama Ruby Ruby Love.[39] In February, Seohyun began hosting her own reality TV show How's It Like Living Alone, produced and broadcast by OnStyle. She is also going to hold a residency show titled "Love, Still – Seohyun", part of a series of residency shows by S.M. Entertainment artists, at the end of February.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Seohyun named former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as her life mentor and role model, stating that his book, at one point in time, had helped her endure hard times.[41] In 2013, as an effort to help less-fortunate students with their studies, she donated 100 million Korean won to Dongguk University.[42]

Seohyun graduated from Jeonju Arts High School in February 2010.[43] She went on to major in theatre acting and graduated from Dongguk University in August 2014, receiving an achievement award at the graduation ceremony.[44] Her fellow Girls' Generation member, Yoona, attended the same university.[45]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Seohyun discography

Extended plays[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Title Year Role Notes Ref
Despicable Me 2010 Edith (voice) Korean dub; suppoting role [12]
I AM. – SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden 2012 Herself Biographical film of SM Town [46]
Despicable Me 2 2013 Edith (voice) Korean dub; suppoting role [13]
My Brilliant Life 2014 Herself Cameo [47]
SMTown The Stage 2015 Herself Documentary film of SM Town [48]
So I Married An Anti-fan 2016 Irene Supporting role [35]

Television drama[edit]

Title Year Network Role Notes Ref
Kimcheed Radish Cubes 2007 MBC Herself Cameo
Unstoppable Marriage 2008 KBS Bulgwang-dong's Seven Princesses Gang Cameo
Passionate Love 2013 SBS Han Yoo-rim Supporting role [49]
The Producers 2015 KBS Herself Cameo [50]
Warm and Cozy MBC Hwang Yura Cameo [51]
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo 2016 SBS Woo-hee Supporting role [36]
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo MBC Hwan-hee Cameo [52]
Ruby Ruby Love 2017 OnStyle, Naver TV Lee Ruby Lead role [39]

Television shows[edit]

Title Year Network Role Notes
We Got Married (Season 2)
2010–11
MBC Regular cast with Yonghwa
Show! Music Core 2012–13 MBC Co-host with Taeyeon and Tiffany
King of Mask Singer
2017
MBC Contestant as "New Year New Bride Cackle" (episodes 95–96)[53]
What's It Like Living Alone OnStyle Host

Theater[edit]

Title Year Role Notes Ref
Moon Embracing the Sun 2014 Heo Yeon-woo Lead role [27]
Gone with the Wind 2015 Scarlett O'Hara Lead role [28]
Mamma Mia! 2016 Sophie Sheridan Lead role [31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Category Nominated Work Result Ref
2009 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Trot Music of the Year "JjaRaJaJja" (Shared with Joo Hyun-mi) Nominated [10]
2010 South Korea Ministry of Culture Recognition Award Herself Won [54]
MBC Entertainment Awards 2010 Most Popular Couple YongSeo (Shared with Jung Yong-hwa) Won [55]
2011 Mnet 20's Choice Awards Hot Campus Goddess Herself Nominated [56]
Mnet Media Awards Most Cute and Gorgeous Lady Nominated [57]
2013 Seoul International Drama Awards Best Song from a Drama "I'll Wait for You" Nominated [58]
2016 SBS Drama Awards Special Acting Award, Actress in a Fantasy Drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo Won [37]

Music program awards[edit]

M Countdown

Year Date Song
2017 January 26[59] "Don't Say No"

References[edit]

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External links[edit]