Sunny (singer)

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For other people with the same name, see Sunny.
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Sunny
Sunny at Style Icon Asia 2016 02.jpg
Sunny at Style Icon Asia in March, 2016
Born (1989-05-15) May 15, 1989 (age 27)
Orange County, California, United States
Other names Lee Soon-kyu
Occupation
  • Singer
  • actress
Relatives Lee Soo-man (uncle)
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007–present
Labels S.M. Entertainment
Associated acts
Korean name
Hangul 이순규
Hanja 李純揆
Revised Romanization I Sun-gyu
McCune–Reischauer I Sun-kyu
Stage name
Hangul 써니
Revised Romanization Sseoni
McCune–Reischauer Ssŏni

Lee Soon-kyu (born May 15, 1989), known professionally as Sunny, is an American singer and actress currently based in South Korea. She is a member of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation. Throughout her career, Sunny has participated in numerous entertainment work including original soundtracks, television variety shows, musical acting and radio hosting.

Life and career[edit]

1989—2007: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Sunny was born on May 15, 1989, in Orange County, California.[1] Her family consists of her parents and two older sisters. Though years apart in age, Sunny and her sisters were known to have the same birthday together. Her father, Lee Soo-young, was also known to be the elder brother of SM Entertainment founder, Lee Soo-man. While Sunny was still an infant, her family moved to Kuwait, then moved again shortly after to South Korea, during the time of the Gulf War. As a result of her brief war experience, Sunny grew up being scared of loud noises. She was influenced to become a singer by her father, who was in a college band. In 1998, Sunny joined Starlight Entertainment and became a trainee for five years. She transferred to Starworld agency, where her father worked as a manager, and was to debut in a duo group called Sugar. The group, however, never came to fruition. In early 2007, singer Ayumi Lee convinced Sunny to audition and join SM Entertainment. She continued her training there and made her official debut as a member of Girls' Generation in August 2007.[2][3][4][1][5][6][7] The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.[8]

2008—present: Solo activities[edit]

Aside from Girls' Generation's activities, Sunny has participated in a number of side-projects. In early 2008, Sunny worked as a co-host of the Melon Chunji Radio with Super Junior's Sungmin.[9][10] In August 2008, she contributed a solo song, "You Don't Know About Love" for the SBS's drama Working Mom.[11] In 2009, Sunny released two songs—a solo track "Finally Now" for the interactive movie Story of Wine and a duet "It's Love" for the MBC's drama Heading to the Ground, with Girls' Generation's member Taeyeon.[12][13] During 2009-2010, Sunny became a co-host for MTV Korea television music program The M with SS501's Kim Hyung-jun and 2 am's Im Seulong.[14] She also joined the KBS2's variety show Invincible Youth along with Girls' Generation member Yuri. It was a reality program where a group of South Korean celebrities were brought together to work and experience the agricultural & rural life.[15] In March 2010, Sunny recorded "Your Doll" for the SBS's drama Oh! My Lady soundtrack—it became her first song to enter the Gaon Digital Chart, at number 88.[16][17] During 2011-2012, she continued on with her participation in KBS2's Invincible Youth 2.[18] She was praised by the director of the show as someone who has "intelligence", "great adaptability" and the ability to make other cast members get along well.[19]

In January 2012, stepping into the field of voice-over for the first time, she was featured in the Korean-dubbed version of animated film The Outback. She voiced a koala character named Miranda. Sunny found the recording process to be initially difficult, stating that because Miranda was such a "charismatic" and "strong" character, it was hard to express "with just [her] voice" as it would have been "a different story if [she] was showing the actions". With the help of the director, however, she was able to finally "grasp the character".[20] In March 2012, Sunny became a host for SBS MTV's television program Music Island.[21] During the year, she also recorded two duets—the first song is titled "I Love You, I Love You", with Brown Eyed Girls' member Miryo while the other one is titled "It's Me", with f(x)'s Luna for the SBS's drama To The Beautiful You.[22][23] The songs debuted at number 56 and 25 on the Gaon Digital Chart and at number 51 and 16 on Billboard's K-pop Hot 100 chart, respectively.[24][25][26][27]

Sunny performing "Singin' in the Rain" musical

During 2012-2013, Sunny was cast in her first musical, Catch Me If You Can, based on the true story and life of a con man named Frank Abagnale. The story was turned famous by the 2002 movie of the same name.[28] She played a character named Brenda, who is the girlfriend of the male lead. Her performance received favorable reviews. Shin Yeong-seon from The Chosun Ilbo noted on Sunny's ability to understand the character and praised her well-portrayal of Brenda's "exaggerated cuteness and flippant acting". Jang Kyungjin of 10asia enjoyed her singing, "While Sunny wasn't a member in her group who put her vocals forth, she showed her power through Brenda's 'Fly, Fly Away' with her clean, firm voice, showing her potential to the audience."[29][30] Sunny was nominated for the "Best New Actress" at the 6th Musical Awards.[31]

In June 2013, Sunny released the song "The 2nd Drawer" for the MBC's drama The Queen's Classroom.[32] It debuted at number 76 on K-pop Top 100 Chart.[33] In March 2014, Sunny participated in the Korean-dubbed version of the animated film Rio 2. She voiced Jewel, a female Spix's macaw. The director noted on her ability to not only deliver the lines, but also successfully expressed other sound effects, like breathing. In an interview, Sunny felt that the most appealing part of dubbing is the ability to go back to her childhood.[34] In June 2014, Sunny was cast in her second musical, Singin' in the Rain, based on the 1952 movie of the same name. Sunny played Kathy Selden, an aspiring actress.[35][36] In November 2014, her solo song, "First Kiss", was released as a part of musician Hwang Sung Je's Project Super Hero series.[37]

Between 2014-2015, she became a cast member of the SBS's reality show Roommate. The show featured a group of celebrities living together, sharing the house as well as household tasks.[38][39] During the same period, Sunny hosted the MBC radio show's FM Date. She contributed her own self-written logo song for the show and also won the "Rookie Radio DJ Award" at the year-end MBC Entertainment Awards.[40][41][42][43] In April 2015, Sunny's voice was featured on indie-band Roof Top House's debut single "Heart Throbbing".[44] The song managed to enter Gaon Digital Chart at number 89.[45] In August-October 2015, she was a co-host for the short-lived JTBC's variety show Serial Shopping Family.[46]

In March 2016, it was revealed that Sunny would be a celebrity judge in the new show, Vocal War: God's Voice. The purpose of the show is to create a one-on-one vocal battle between veteran singers in Korea and talented amateur vocalists.[47] Starting from June 2016, Sunny joined the main cast of the JTBC variety show Cheonhajangsa (천하장사), a show featuring various traditional markets.[48]

Discography[edit]

Soundtrack appearances and solo performances[edit]

Year Title Song Duration Artist
2007 SBS Thirty Thousand Miles in Search of My Son "Touch the Sky" 03:49 With Taeyeon, Jessica, Seohyun and Tiffany
2008 SBS Working Mom "You Don't Know About Love" 03:33 Solo
KBS Hong Gildong "The Little Boat (작은 배)" 03:27 With Taeyeon, Jessica, Seohyun and Tiffany
N/A "Haptic Motion" 01:31 With Jessica, Taeyeon and Seohyun
2009 IPTV Story of Wine "Finally Now" 04:11 Solo
MBC Heading to the Ground "It's Love" 04:15 Duet with Taeyeon
"Motion" 04:06 With Taeyeon, Jessica, Seohyun and Tiffany
N/A "S.E.O.U.L." 03:47 With Jessica, Taeyeon, Seohyun and Kyuhyun, Sungmin, Ryeowook, Donghae and Leeteuk of Super Junior
N/A "I Can't Bear Anymore (Bear Song)" 02:43 With Jessica, Taeyeon and Seohyun
2010 SBS Oh! My Lady "Your Doll" 03:49 Solo
N/A "Cabi Song" 03:19 With Jessica, Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, Yuri, Chansung, Junsu, Taecyeon
N/A "Cooky" 02:50 With Jessica, Tiffany and Seohyun
My Friend Haechi "Haechi Song" (해치송)[49] 03:26 With Taeyeon, Jessica, Tiffany and Seohyun
2012 Miryo A.K.A JoHoney "I Love You, I Love You" 04:10 Duet with Miryo
SBS To The Beautiful You "It's Me" 03:42 Duet with Luna
2013 MBC The Queen's Classroom "The 2nd Drawer" 03:46 Solo
SBS Gayo Daejun: Friendship Project "You Are A Miracle" 06:11 With Various Artists
2014 Make Your Move "Cheap Creeper" 03:01 With Jessica, Taeyeon, Tiffany & Seohyun
Hwang Sung Je Project Super Hero "First Kiss" 03:25 Solo
2015 Heart Throbbing "Heart Throbbing" 03:32 With Rooftop House Studio

Chart[edit]

Year Title Peak positions Album
KOR KOR
Gaon Billboard K-pop Hot 100
2010 "Your Doll" 88 SBS Oh! My Lady OST
2012
"I Love You, I Love You"
(Miryo feat. Sunny)
56 51 Miryo aka Johoney
"It's Me" (with Luna) 25 16 SBS To The Beautiful You OST[50]
2013 "The 2nd Drawer" 76 MBC The Queen's Classroom OST
2014 "First Kiss" Hwang Soun Je Project Superhero 3rd Line up
2015 "Heart Throbbing" (with Rooftop House Studio) 89 Heart Throbbing

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 The Outback Miranda Voice-over for the Korean-dubbed version
I AM. – SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden Herself Biographical film of SM Town[51]
2014 Rio 2 Jewel Voice-over for the Korean-dubbed version
2015 SMTown The Stage Herself Documentary film of SM Town[52]

Television dramas[edit]

Year Title Network Role Notes
2008 Unstoppable Marriage KBS2 Bulgwang-dong's Seven Princesses Gang Cameo
2009 Tae-hee, Hye-kyo, Ji-hyun! MBC Sunny Cameo
2011 Sazae-san: Special 3 Fuji TV Sunny Cameo

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Network Role Notes
2009–2010 The M MTV Korea Co-host with SS501's Kim Hyung-jun and 2AM's Im Seulong
Invincible Youth KBS2 Regular Cast with Yuri (Episode 1–32, 37, 38,51)
2011–2012 Invincible Youth 2 KBS2 Regular Cast with Hyoyeon (Episode 1–31)
2012 Music Island SBS MTV Main host
1 vs 100 KBS2 Contestant
2013 Real Men MBC Narrator with Seohyun
Grandpa Over Flowers 2 tvN Guest Judge Episode 9-11, 14
2014-2015 Roommate SBS Regular Cast Season 2
2015 Serial Shopping Family JTBC Main host with Park Myung Soo, Lee Young Ja, Park Ji Yoon and Park Won
2016 Vocal War: God's Voice SBS Celebrity Judge with Heo Youngji, Kangnam, April's Lee Jinsol, Hong Seok Chun, Kim Jimin, and Muzie
Star Advent Shandong TV Main host with Hyoyeon and Leeteuk
Weekly Idol MBC Every 1 Special MC Episode 232-233
Cheonhajangsa JTBC Regular Cast

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012–2013 Catch Me If You Can Brenda Strong Lead Role
2014 Singin' in the Rain Kathy Selden

Radio show[edit]

Year Title Notes
2008 Melon Chunji Radio Co-DJ with Super Junior's Sungmin
2014-2015 MBC FM4U's Sunny's FM Date Solo DJ

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Work Result Ref
2010 Mnet 20's Choice Awards Hot Female Multitainer Nominated
2012 The 6th Musical Awards Best New Actress Catch Me If You Can
2013 The 19th Korean Musical Awards
2014 MBC Entertainment Awards Rookie Radio DJ Award Sunny's FM Date Won [43]

References[edit]

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  52. ^ (Korean) 'SM타운' 공연실황 다큐, 8월13일 국내개봉 확정

External links[edit]