Lee Jong-hyun (born May 15, 1990) is a South Korean musician, singer-songwriter and actor. He was the ex-lead guitarist and vocalist of South Korean rock band CNBLUE. He made his acting debut in an omnibus movie Acoustic in 2010, followed by his television debut in the Korean drama A Gentleman's Dignity in 2012. He appeared in television dramas Orange Marmalade (2015), Lingerie Girls’ Generation (2017) and Evergreen (2018).
Lee at MOKO
|Born||May 15, 1990|
Busan, South Korea
|Revised Romanization||I Jong-hyeon|
In August 2019, Lee departed CNBLUE after the backlash over a private direct message towards a YouTuber, and amidst allegations of him viewing illicit videos and having inappropriate sexual conversations degrading women in the Jung Joon-young KakaoTalk chatrooms, a part of Burning Sun scandal.
Life and careerEdit
Lee Jong-hyun was born on May 15, 1990, in Busan, South Korea. His family consists of his parents and two older sisters. He lived in Busan before his family moved to Japan when he was four years old. His family moved back to Busan and he finished his elementary school and middle school there.
The talent scouter from FNC Music (currently known as FNC Entertainment) who visited Busan to see Jung, came across Lee in the street, and suggested him to audition at the company. On his way to his audition, he met his current fellow CNBLUE member Jung at the Seoul Station. They then met Kang Min-hyuk, also a current fellow member of CNBLUE, at FNC Music where they auditioned. Eventually, only the three of them passed the auditions and Lee began training in bass technology at FNC Academy.
Before Lee embarked on his musical career, he was a judo athlete who won a gold medal in a judo championship amongst athletes in his hometown when he was in high school. However, he decided to give up on sports upon realizing that this was not the field that he would excel in after losing in a match in just a few seconds. He then started to focus on music. At first, he learned singing, then piano. Then, upon watching English singer-songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton playing the guitar, he was inspired to learn to play the guitar.
Lee debuted with CNBLUE in South Korea on January 14, 2010 with their lead single "I'm a Loner". Before their Korean debut, they debuted as an indie band, with Lee being the leader, in Japan in August 2009. Jung Yong-hwa then took over his place following the band's Korean debut. They made their major debut in Japan in October 2011.
Lee, together with Jung, composed many of the band's released songs, such as "Blind Love", "Lie", "Rain of Blessing", "Kimio", "My Miracle", "Come On", "No More", "These Days" etc., which all gained positive feedback. "Come On" ranked number 5 on Oricon's Weekly singles chart while "Blind Love" ranked number 4. "Get Away", one of his compositions, was used as the ending theme song for the Japanese broadcast of American TV series Gossip Girl.
Lee released his first solo single "My Love" in 2012, as part of the soundtrack for SBS drama A Gentleman's Dignity, which he starred in. The song was written by Lee himself. "My Love" debuted at number four on the Gaon Digital Chart. It eventually became the 34th best-selling song in South Korea that year with 2,187,150 digital downloads. The song earned Lee five award nominations, ultimately winning "Best OST" at the 2013 Seoul Music Awards.
In December 2013, Lee and his fellow label-mate Juniel formed a duo called "Romantic J" and released a digital single album titled "Love Falls". Inspired by the movie Music and Lyrics, the song was compose by Lee, with lyrics written by Juniel. The single peaked at #27 on the Melon Chart. The duo subsequently promoted the song through Mnet's M Countdown and SBS MTV's The Show.
On August 2, 2015, Lee held his first solo fan meeting in Japan at the Tokyo International Forum and met with 10,000 fans.
Lee made his solo debut in July 2016, with the studio album Sparkling Night. The album debuted at number seven on the weekly Oricon Albums Chart and number nine on Billboard Japan magazine's Hot Albums, eventually selling 13,529 copies. Lee then embarked on the "Welcome to Sparkling Night" tour, his first series of solo concerts. The first two concerts took place from August 9–10 at the Osaka International Convention Center in Osaka, followed by a concert on August 13 at the Nagoya Congress Center in Aichi, and two final concerts from August 17–18 at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo.
On May 27, 2012, Lee made his small screen debut in SBS weekend drama A Gentleman's Dignity. He earned positive reception for his debut role and won the "New Star" award at the year-end SBS Drama Awards.
In May 2015, Lee starred in the fantasy high-school drama Orange Marmalade, alongside labelmate Seolhyun from AOA, where he plays a vampire. He also joined the fourth season of the Korean reality show We Got Married, pairing with actress Gong Seung-yeon. Shortly after, he reunited with Gong in the youth historical drama My Only Love Song.
In 2017, he starred in the teen drama Lingerie Girls’ Generation in which he played a former gangster of Daegu who turned to be a kindhearted local handy man. The same year, he was cast in the Japanese film Ikiru Machi, which is about the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Controversy and departureEdit
Inside trading of stocksEdit
In June 2016, Lee and fellow CNBLUE member Jung Yong-hwa were accused of insider trading of FNC stocks based on information that their label, (FNC Entertainment), was signing popular comedian, host, and television personality Yoo Jae-suk. While Jung was acquitted of all charges, Lee was fined. Lee apologized and stated that he bought the stocks without verifying the information, but once he realized legal issues could result from the purchase, he held onto the stocks.
Group chat roomsEdit
On March 12, 2019 Lee's agency issued a statement that Lee was not connected to alleged chat rooms and sexual activities, which Jung Joon-young was part of. However, on March 14, it was reported that Lee was involved in the Burning Sun scandal with Jung in a one-to-one chatroom where Jung had shared sexual hidden camera footages of himself as Lee engaged in "inappropriate sexual conversations, and inappropriate conversations degrading women". On March 15, 2019, Lee admitted that he watched sex videos shared by Jung and he had made disparaging remarks about the women filmed. Investigation is still ongoing. In August 2019, Lee departed CNBLUE after the backlash over inappropriate messages he sent to a YouTuber, which brought renewed attention to the Burning Sun issue.
The proceeds collected from "LEE JONG HYUN Solo Concert in Japan - METROPOLIS" which was held in June 2018 were donated for the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Kumamoto Earthquake through the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Mandatory Military ServiceEdit
Lee enlisted in his military service in August 2018.
Lee was officially discharged from his military service on March 25, 2020.
|2012||SBS||A Gentleman's Dignity||Collin Black|
|2013||KBS2||Drama Special – Adolescence Medley||Yang Yeong-woong||Cameo, Ep 2-3|
|2014||LINE TV||One Sunny Day||Couple guy||Cameo, Ep 4 & 8|
|2015||KBS2||Orange Marmalade||Han Si-hoo|
|2017||NAVER TVcast, Netflix||My Only Love Song||On Dal|
|KBS2||Lingerie Girls’ Generation||Joo Young-choon|
|2010||Acoustic||Kim Seong-won||segment: Bakery Attack|
|2015||We Got Married||MBC||Cast member (with Gong Seung-yeon)|
|Fluttering India||KBS||Cast member (with Changmin, Kyuhyun, Min-ho, Suho and Sung-kyu)|
|Cool Kiz on the Block||KBS||Ep.125: The Tenth Sport, Judo (2015.10.20)|
|2016||Battle trip||KBS||Ep.10: "The Real Men's Trip" with Joonyoung & Taejoon,|
|2017||King of Mask Singer||MBC||Contestant as "All Together Cube One Wheel" (Episodes 101–102)|
|Law of the Jungle||SBS||Season 34, Cook Islands with Kim Byung-man, JB (Got7), Solbin (Laboum)|
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|2010||"High Fly" (with Kang Min-hyuk)||102||—||Acoustic OST|
|2012||내 사랑아 ("My Love")||4||2||
||A Gentleman's Dignity OST 2|
|2013||사랑이 내려 ("Love Falls") (with Juniel)||27||52||
||Romantic J: Winter Special Digital Single Album|
|2014||사실은 말야 ("Young Love") (with Melody Day)||76||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
Note – Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 Chart was established in August 2011. Releases before this date have no chart data.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|1st Solo Concert in Japan ～Welcome to SPARKLING NIGHT～ Live at Tokyo International Forum||13||24||
Song writing and production creditsEdit
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2012||5th Korea Drama Awards||Best OST||"My Love" (A Gentleman's Dignity OST)||Nominated|||
|14th Mnet Asian Music Awards||Nominated|||
|4th MelOn Music Awards||TStore Best Song||Nominated|||
|SBS Drama Awards||New Star Award||A Gentleman's Dignity||Won|||
|2013||22nd Seoul Music Awards||Best OST||"My Love" (A Gentleman's Dignity OST)||Won|||
- Herman, Tamar (August 28, 2019). "Lee Jong Hyun Departs K-Pop Group Cnblue Following Chatroom Controversy". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- Mark Russell (April 29, 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1.
- "CN Blue song gets on 'Gossip Girl'". Korea JoongAng Daily. April 26, 2012.
- "CN Blue's Lee Jong-hyun sees single success". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 18, 2012.
- 2012년 Download Chart. Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "Psy Wins at the ′Seoul Music Awards′ Despite Absence". enewsWorld. February 1, 2013.
- "CN Blue's Lee Jong Hyun and Juniel to Release Duet Album". enewsWorld. December 2, 2013.
- オリコン週間 CDアルバムランキング 2016年07月25日～2016年07月31日. Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
- "Billboard Japan Hot 100". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Hankyu Hanshin Holdings. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
- オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」 －CD・ブルーレイ・DVD・書籍・コミック－. Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- イ・ジョンヒョン(from CNBLUE)、ソロアルバムヴィジュアル一挙公開＆東名阪でソロコンサート今夏開催. Musicman-NET (in Japanese). F.B.Communications, Magnet Company. June 15, 2016.
- イ・ジョンヒョン（from CNBLUE） ソロアルバムのヴィジュアルを公開、ソロライブ3公演も開催. Excite (in Japanese). Excite Japan Company. June 15, 2016.
- "Acoustic (12)". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- "CNBLUE Lee Jong-hyun shoots 1st scene for new SBS TV series" Archived November 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine 10 Asia. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "[Interview] Lee Jong Hyun Changed His Mind about Acting through 'A Gentleman's Dignity'". enewsWorld. August 4, 2012.
- "CNBLUE's Lee Warms to TV Acting Role After Initial Stage Fright". The Chosun Ilbo. August 11, 2012.
- "Seolhyun, Jonghyun to star in vampire high school drama". Kpop Herald. May 12, 2015.
- Hwang, Hye-jin (March 3, 2015). "Ye Won-Henry and Lee Jong Hyun-Gong Seung Yeon Couples to Begin We Got Married Life on March 14". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Sung, So-young (March 4, 2015). "2 new couples join Married". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- "Lee Jong-hyun and Gong Seung-yeon to leave 'We Got Married'". Kpop Herald. August 18, 2015.
- "'우결'커플 이종현X공승연, 드라마로 재회…'꿀케미' 기대". Osen (in Korean). September 20, 2016.
- "Lee Jong-hyun and Bona cast for KBS drama "Lingerie Girls' Generation"". Hancinema. August 10, 2017.
- "CNBLUE LEE Jong-hyun Cast in Japanese Movie IKIRU MACHI". Korean Film Biz Zone. May 23, 2017.
- "Lee Jong-hyun joins "That Man Oh Soo", Cupid of love". Hancinema. Hankyung. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- "Modern-day Cupid's heart to be pierced". Kpop Herald. March 1, 2018.
- "CNBLUE′s Jung Yong Hwa Found Innocent of Insider Trading While Lee Jong Hyun Charged Fines". Mwave. July 1, 2016.
- Kim Min-ji (March 12, 2019). "[공식입장] FNC 측 "이종현·최종훈 이번 사건 관련 無… 단순 친분"". News 1 (in Korean).
- "CNBLUE's Lee Jong Hyun and Jung Joon Young reportedly shared hidden cam footage in chatroom". SBS Australia. March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Kelly, Emma (March 15, 2019). "CNBLUE's Lee Jong-hyun admits to watching 'inappropriate videos' in celebrity chatroom". Metro. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Dong, Sun-hwa (March 15, 2019). "[FULL TEXT] Dirty talks among K-pop stars reconstructed". Korea Times. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "CNBLUE's Lee Jong-hyun admits to watching 'inappropriate videos' in celebrity chatroom". The Straits Times. March 15, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "BJ 박민정 "이종현 '뱃살' 메시지 불쾌감 느껴"→이종현 씨엔블루 '탈퇴' [전문]". Hankyung. August 29, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- "CNBLUE's Lee Jong Hyun becomes final member to enlist in military". SBS Australia. July 31, 2018.
- "SUJU Kyuhyun, TVXQ's Max Changmin, SHINee's Minho and More to Head to India for New Variety Show". enewsWorld. January 30, 2015.
- Han Ah-reum (March 12, 2017). "'복면가왕' 큐브한바퀴의 정체는 씨엔블루 종현..충격 반전". Star News (in Korean).
- "SBS 측 "'정글의 법칙' 특급 라인업 완성…김병만의 의지" (공식입장)" (in Korean). Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- "SPARKLING NIGHT(初回限定盤)". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- 月間 CDアルバムランキング 2018年01月度 [CD album monthly ranking of January 2018] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- "Gaon Singles Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart.
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- "Gaon Chart 2014 week 34". Gaon Chart (in Korean).
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- "イ・ジョンヒョン / 作品 / DVD". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon Inc. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "イ・ジョンヒョン / 作品 / Blu-ray". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon Inc. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "2016 Oricon Chart – December Week 1". Oricon. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "CNBLUE′s Lee Jong Hyun Shares Thoughts on Working on Ailee′s Album". enewsWorld. September 30, 2015.
- "CNBLUE′s Lee Jong Hyun Reveals He Wrote ′Hero′ for His Father". enewsWorld. September 17, 2015.
- "CN Blue′s ′Blind Love′ Kills Charts in Japan for a Month". enewsWorld. May 23, 2013.
- Kim, Sung-hee (October 3, 2012). "'해품달' 린, 코리아드라마어워즈 최고 OST 수상". Star News (in Korean). Retrieved November 14, 2012.
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