Choi Soo-young

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Choi Soo-young
Choi Soo-young going to a Happy Together recording in July 2017.jpg
Choi Soo-young going to a Happy Together recording in July 2017
Native name 최수영
Born Choi Soo-young
(1990-02-10) February 10, 1990 (age 27)
Gwangju, Gyeonggi, South Korea
Alma mater Chung-Ang University
  • Singer
  • actress
  • songwriter
Musical career
Genres K-pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2002–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised Romanization Choe Su-yeong
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Suyŏng

Choi Soo-young (born February 10, 1990), better known by the mononym Sooyoung, is a South Korean singer and actress. She was a part of the short-lived Korean-Japanese singing duo, Route θ, during 2002 in Japan. After returning to South Korea in 2004, Sooyoung eventually became a member of girl group Girls' Generation in 2007. The group 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, Sooyoung has also starred in various television dramas such as The 3rd Hospital (2012), Dating Agency: Cyrano (2013), My Spring Days (2014) and 38 Revenue Collection Unit (2016).

Life and career[edit]

1990–2007: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Sooyoung was born in Gwangju, Gyeonggi, South Korea, on February 10, 1990.[1] She is the younger sister of Choi Soo-jin, who is a musical theatre actress.[2] Sooyoung was initially discovered through an S.M. Entertainment Open Audition when she was in fifth grade.[3] She later won first place at the 2002 Korea-Japan Ultra Idol Duo Audition and debuted in Japan as a member of the group Route θ.[4] The group released three singles before disbanding in 2003.[5] Sooyoung returned to S.M. Entertainment and eventually debuted in South Korea as a member of the girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007. The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.[6] Sooyoung has said in an interview that she was also interested in acting before debuting as a singer and had failed more than 70 auditions during her pre-debut days.[7]

2008–present: Acting roles and lyrics writing[edit]

Aside from Girls' Generation's activities, Sooyoung has participated in various music and acting projects. In the early days, her acting work mostly involved several small roles and guest appearances—these include KBS2's sitcom Unstoppable Marriage (2007),[8] romantic comedy film Hello, Schoolgirl (2008),[9] SBS's drama Oh! My Lady (2010),[10] SBS's Paradise Ranch (2011) and SBS's A Gentleman's Dignity (2012).[11][12] During this period, musically, she recorded two songs—one trot song titled "KKok" with Girls' Generation member Yuri for the SBS's drama Working Mom, while the other one, "Feeling Only You", was a collaboration with Girls' Generation member Tiffany and South Korean duo The Blue.[13][14] Throughout her career, besides contributing her vocal to Girls' Generation's songs, Sooyoung has explored into lyrics writing. She penned the lyrics for three songs: "How Great is Your Love" (2011),[15] "What Do I Do" (2016),[16] and "Sailing (0805)" (2016),[17] while co-writing the song "Baby Maybe" (2013).[18]

In September 2012, she landed her first major acting role in tvN's drama The 3rd Hospital. She played a cute and innocent violinist named Lee Eui Jin, who falls in love with one of the male leads.[19] She was praised by both co-actors Oh Ji Ho and Kim Seung-woo and the viewers were drawn to her emotional scene due to her natural display of emotion.[20][21][22] In May 2013, Sooyoung was cast in a lead role in tvN's drama, Dating Agency: Cyrano. It was a spin-off of the 2010 movie Cyrano Agency. She played a dating expert named Gong Min-young, who works at a dating agency helping people to find their love.[23] Park Ju-yeon from the Hankook Ilbo praised Sooyoung for her lively character portrayal and said that there was not any "overdone emotions commonly appear in acting newcomers".[24]

Sooyoung at a screening for 38 Revenue Collection Unit in June 2016

In September 2014, Sooyoung scored a lead role in MBC's drama, My Spring Days. Her character, Lee Bom Yi, is a terminally ill patient who gets a heart transplant; she meets her donor's husband, played by Kam Woo-sung, a widow with two kids who lost his wife in an accident.[25] This was a breakthrough performance for Sooyoung as she won the "Best Actress in a Miniseries" award at the 2014 MBC Drama Awards and the "Excellence Award for Actress" at the 2015 Korea Drama Awards.[26][27] She contributed a song to its soundtrack, titled "Wind Flower".[28] In 2015, Sooyoung starred as the female lead in KBS2's special drama Perfect Sense, which was produced by Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance to help raise public understanding of the disabled. She played a teacher named Ayeon, who is visually impaired.[29]

In June 2016, Sooyoung starred as the female lead alongside Ma Dong-seok and Seo In-guk in the OCN drama 38 Revenue Collection Unit.[30] In September 2016, she was cast in the upcoming medical drama Polyclinic Doctor.[31] In early August 2017, Sooyoung starred as television producer Lee Ahn in the JTBC web drama Someone You Might Know.[32] Later in August, she played the female lead in the MBC drama series Man Who Sets the Table.

Sooyoung left S.M. Entertainment in October 2017 and her future activities with Girls' Generation remains in discussion.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Since 2015, Sooyoung has held an annual charity auction event called "Beaming Effect", to raise money for finding a cure for retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that her father suffers from.[34][35][36]

Sooyoung graduated from JeongShin Women's High School in 2009.[37] She went on to major in film studies and graduated from Chung-Ang University in February 2016, receiving a lifetime achievement award at the graduation ceremony. Her fellow Girls' Generation member Kwon Yuri attended the same university.[38]

Sooyoung has been dating Jung Kyung-ho since 2013.[39]



Year Title Song Duration Artist
2002 Start "Start" 03:23 Duet with Malina Takahashi

as Route θ

"Kimi Ni Ae Ta Kara... (君に会えたから…)" 04:40
Waku Waku It's Love "Waku Waku It's Love (ワクワク)" 03:23
"Go Go Happy (明日はあしたの風が吹く)" 03:58
2003 Painting "Painting" 05:08
"Onna No Ko Magic (女の子マジック)" 04:30
2005 InuYasha "I Am" (Korean Version) 01:24 Solo
2008 SBS Working Mom "KKok (꼭)" 03:24 Duet with Kwon Yuri
2009 The First Memories "Feeling Only You (너만을 느끼며)" 03:26 With Tiffany and The Blue
2014 My Spring Days "Wind Flower (바람꽃)" 03:29 Solo



Title Year Role Other notes
Hello, Schoolgirl 2008 Jeong Da-jeong Supporting role
I AM. 2012 Herself Biographical film of SM Town[40]
SM Town the Stage 2015 Herself Documentary film of SM Town[41]

Television dramas[edit]

Title Year Network Role Notes
Unstoppable Marriage 2008 KBS Choi Soo-young Supporting role
Oh! My Lady 2010 SBS Herself Guest appearance; episode 7
Paradise Ranch 2011 Miss Soo Guest appearance; episode 3
A Gentleman's Dignity 2012 Herself Guest appearance; episode 5
The 3rd Hospital tvN Lee Eui-jin Lead role
Dating Agency: Cyrano 2013 Gong Min-young
My Spring Days 2014 MBC Lee Bom-yi
Perfect Sense 2016 KBS Jung Ah-yeon
38 Revenue Collection Unit OCN Cheon Sung-hee
Polyclinic Doctor 2017 TBA TBA
Someone You Might Know JTBC Lee Ahn
Man Who Sets the Table MBC Lee Roo-ri

Variety shows[edit]

Title Year Network Role
TV Entertainment Tonight 2012–14 SBS Presenter
Saturday Night Live Korea
tvN Host; season 9

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2012 Mnet 20's Choice Awards Best 20's Style N/A Nominated
KBS Music Awards Best Female Group Member N/A Nominated
2013 6th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actress
Dating Agency: Cyrano
6th Style Icon Awards Best K-Style Award
SBS Entertainment Awards New Rookie Award (MC Category)
TV Entertainment Tonight
2014 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries
My Spring Days
Best Couple Award Nominated[44]
2015 8th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Won[27]


  1. ^ Mark Russell (29 April 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1. 
  2. ^ "SNSD's Sooyoung and her sister love the same man on a TV series". StarNews. September 20, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "수영 "4일간 SM직원 4명에게 길거리캐스팅 됐다"". Newsen. August 28, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ "소녀시대 수영, VJ시절-일본유닛 '과거사진' 눈길" (in Korean). Naver. November 2, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Route0 Discography". Archived from the original on December 4, 2004. 
  6. ^ Kim, Do-yeun (November 2, 2011). "Girls' Generation featured on Yale School of Art website". Korea Times. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ Erika Kim (September 30, 2012). "SNSD′s Sooyoung Wants to Live Her Life in Comfort". eNewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "소녀시대 수영ㆍ유리, 3년전부터 연기준비" (in Korean). StarNews. November 3, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  9. ^ "소녀시대 수영, '순정만화'로 스크린 신고식" (in Korean). The Dong-a Ilbo. November 28, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ "'오마이 레이디' 소녀시대 3인방 제시카 효연 수영 '깜짝 등장'" (in Korean). Newsen. April 12, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
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  12. ^ "수영 '신사의 품격' 카메오 출연, 장동건도 얼린 소녀시대" (in Korean). Korea Economic Daily. June 7, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ "소녀시대 유리-수영 '워킹맘' OST 트로트 도전 화제" (in Korean). Newsen. August 8, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  14. ^ "더 블루, 티파니-수영과 함께 한 UCC 공개 '훈훈'" (in Korean). Newsen. May 12, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  15. ^ Sung So-young (October 19, 2011). "With new album, Girls’ Generation grows up". JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  16. ^ Pops in Seoul _ Tiffany(티파니) _ Interview _ Part 1 (news program). South Korea: Arirang on YouTube / Google Inc. May 23, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ Herman, Tamar (August 5, 2016). "Girls' Generation Celebrates 9th Anniversary With 'Sailing'". Billboard. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  18. ^ "소녀시대, 정규4집 'I Got a Boy'…수영ㆍ유리ㆍ서현 작사 참여, 태연ㆍ티파니 듀엣곡 수록" (in Korean). Korea Herald Corp. December 31, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  19. ^ Carla Sunwoo (August 31, 2012). "Sooyoung hopes to sing for her drama". JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ "The 3rd Hospital Interview" (in Korean). The Singles Magazine - September 2012 Issue. September 2012. 
  21. ^ "'제3병원' 수영, 물오른 눈물연기에 시청자도 놀랐다" (in Korean). SBS. October 11, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Girls' Generation's Sooyoung Receiving Recognition For Her Great Acting". Soompi. October 11, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ Lee Sun-min (May 24, 2013). "Cast gathers to hype "Cyrano"". JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  24. ^ Park Ju-yeon (May 29, 2013). "'시라노', 홀로서기 수영, 연기 이 정도였나?" (in Korean). Hankook Ilbo. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. 
  25. ^ Ock Hyun-ju (July 17, 2014). "Girls' Generation's Sooyoung to be heroine of upcoming drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  26. ^ a b "태연·써니, 수영 MBC연기대상 우수 연기상 축하" (in Korean). Star News. December 31, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "김수현vs주원, 2015 코리아드라마어워즈 대상 격돌" (in Korean). Star News. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  28. ^ "수영, '내생애 봄날' OST 참여..30일 '바람꽃' 공개" (in Korean). StarNews. October 30, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Insurer helps teenager better understand the disabled". The Korea Times. December 4, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  30. ^ "단독]서인국·수영·마동석 '38사기동대' 출연…제2의 '나쁜녀석들'" (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. January 18, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  31. ^ Choi Na-young (September 21, 2016). "소시 수영, 드라마 '폴리클닥터' 여주 발탁..'의사 변신'". Osen (in Korean). Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  32. ^ Kim So-yeon (August 1, 2017). "Sooyoung thinks of her boyfriend’s death while filming new drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  33. ^ "티파니·수영·서현, SM 떠난다…"소녀시대 해체는 안해"" [Tiffany, Sooyoung and Seohyun leave SM... "Girls' Generation will not disband"] (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  34. ^ Yoon Sarah (January 27, 2015). "SNSD'S Sooyoung shows love for RP patients". KpopHerald. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  35. ^ Jung Min-kyung (March 20, 2016). "SNSD Sooyoung holds charity auction". KpopHerald. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  36. ^ "수영 아버지 투병 망막색소변성증 어떤 질환? '후천성 3대실명원인'" (in Korean). Newsen. February 13, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  37. ^ "'고교 졸업' 소녀시대의 윤아-수영, "3월부터 캠퍼스에서 만나요"". The Chosun Ilbo. February 11, 2009. Archived from the original on July 17, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  38. ^ Kim Soo-hyang (February 10, 2016). "Stars get B.A. degrees from ChungAng Univ.". The Korea Herald. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Soo-young and Jung Kyung-ho Officially an Item". The Chosun Ilbo. 6 January 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  40. ^ "Documentary Shows Top K-Pop Singers Behind the Scenes". Chosun Ilbo. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  41. ^ (in Korean) 'SM타운' 공연실황 다큐, 8월13일 국내개봉 확정
  42. ^ "'2013 SIA' 수영-최진혁, '베스트 케이 스타일' 동반 수상" (in Korean). TVReport. October 24, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  43. ^ "SBS 연예대상 '신인상' 수영, 수상 인증샷 "영광의 신인상"" (in Korean). Hankooki. December 31, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  44. ^ "2014 MBC Drama Award Nominees for "Best Couple"". MBC (in Korean). December 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 

External links[edit]