Lee Jung-hyun

Lee Jung-hyun (born February 7, 1980), also known by her occasional stage name Ava, is a South Korean pop singer and actress. She was first recognized for her acting abilities with award-winning role in her first film and has been solidified as one of the top international acts from South Korea with her illustrious singing career. She has been known as "the Techno Queen" as she introduced the techno music genre to Korea.[citation needed] Lee is also known as "The Queen of Transformation"[2][3] due to her changing new look for different songs. She is known as one of the first artists who introduced Korean Wave (Hallyu) to China and caused a sensation.[4][5]

Lee Jung-hyun
Lee Jung-hyun in 2018
Lee Jung-hyun in 2018
Background information
Also known asAva, Hyony
Born (1980-02-07) February 7, 1980 (age 40)
Gimje, North Jeolla Province, South Korea
GenresK-pop, Eurodance, techno, trance, electropop
Occupation(s)Singer, actress
Years active1996–present
LabelsBanana Culture
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Jeong-hyeon
McCune–ReischauerYi Chŏnghyŏn


As actressEdit

Lee Jung-hyun made her acting debut at the age of 16 in A Petal in 1996, which won her 'Best New Actress' at the 34th Grand Bell Awards, 17th Blue Dragon Film Awards and 16th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards. The film tells the story of a girl who experienced the Gwangju uprising at the age of 15, and its effect on her life in later years. Since 1996, Lee has had numerous acting roles with projects in South Korea, Japan and China.[6][7]

In 2010, Lee regained her acting strides with the Chinese series Confucius, playing the role of Nanzi. In 2011, Lee portrayed a shaman in Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong's award-winning fantasy short film Night Fishing, which was shot entirely on an iPhone.[8][9] Night Fishing won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at 2011 Berlin International Film Festival. In 2012, Lee portrayed a single mother in the coming-of-age film Juvenile Offender,[10] which won Best Feature at the Tokyo International Film Festival. She was next cast in the 2014 period blockbuster The Admiral: Roaring Currents, as the sole female character in the main cast. Lee returned to television in the SBS' drama The Family is Coming.[11]

In 2015, Lee starred in black comedy film Alice in Earnestland, which won her 'Best Actress' at the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards & 3rd Wildflower Film Awards.[12] Lee then starred in the bowling film Split in 2016,[13] and war film The Battleship Island in 2017.[14][15][16] In 2019, Lee is scheduled to star in the romantic comedy film Shall We Do It Again.[17]

In 2020, Lee is set to star in the zombie film Peninsula.[18]

As singerEdit

After debuting with an award-winning acting performance, Lee etched her singing career by introducing techno genre to the K-Pop scene and her ever-reinventing styles for each and every song. Lee assumes a unique persona for each release, such as a mermaid, Barbie doll, tribal queen, soldier, Korean folk dancer, belly dancer, or princess of the sea. She has garnered many nicknames over the years, including Techno Queen of Korea, Queen of Performance Art, Ms. Charisma, Little Giant, and Queen of Change.[19][20]

Before releasing her first solo music she featured as a guest vocalist on the Jo PD single "Fever", also appearing in the music video. She also appeared in the music video for Goofy's "The Rule of the Game".[21]

Her early work is techno-style dance music. Her first single, Wa (와, "Come") topped the Korean charts for three weeks, while her second, Bakkwo (바꿔, "Change") won awards for Best Song and Most Broadcast Song. These two songs in particular were covered by artists throughout Asia and Europe. Many of her earlier songs are sung in an angry mood, from the perspective of a rejected lover. These two singles firmly established Lee as one of the top Korean singers who successfully gained popularity throughout Asia with her strong colorful performances.

Lee released Japanese versions of her early hits Wa and Heaven in December 2004. The single ranked #26 on Oricon chart in Week 3 of January 2005. Heaven was a theme song for the Korean drama Beautiful Days. The drama became widely popular in Japan. On December 31, 2004, Lee was invited to perform Heaven and Wa-come on- and participate at the 55th edition of Kōhaku Uta Gassen, an annual New Year's Eve live music show. In 2006, she released her first Japanese album, This is Hyony.

Lee was the first foreigner to participate in singing the Beijing Olympic 2008 Theme Song.[22] In 2008, she released her first Mandarin album with title single "Love Me".

With her fifth album, Passion, she switched to a Latin-influenced sound, complete with Spanish Guitar and flamenco-style tap dance.

In May 2009, she released her first Korean mini album Avaholic, featuring a trio of songs, "Crazy," "Vogue It Girl" and "Miro".[23] The music video "Crazy" was choreographed by Brian Friedman.[24] In September 2009, she was invited to open at Lady Gaga's The Fame Ball Tour in Club Answer, Seoul, South Korea. In December 2009, Lee sung her first ballad for the soundtrack of the Korean TV drama Iris. The song, "How Can I Hold Back Tears," takes her to the ballad genre for the first time in her over 10-year singing career.

In 2010, her seventh album was released on May 11, 2010 with the title song, "Suspicious Man." In this title single's music video, Lee once again showed her dynamic performance range by introducing a vengeful assassin with a short blonde do. The seventh album was entitled, "007th."

In 2013, she released her single entitled "V", featuring Jin Goo in a music video directed by Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong, with whom she'd previously worked on Night Fishing.[25][26][27]

Cultural ambassadorEdit

In August 2007, singer-actress Lee was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.[28]

On June 22, 2012, Lee was appointed as an honorary ambassador for the Korea-China Cultural Industry Conference, called CICON.[29][30]

Personal lifeEdit

Lee married an orthopedic doctor in a private ceremony in 2019.[31][32] During her appearance on Stars' Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant, her husband, whose face was censored due to privacy concerns, was dubbed as "Baby".

In music arcade gamesEdit

Lee's music has been featured in rhythm games. "Wa" and "Bakkwo" were included in the Korean dance game "Let's Dance". These songs were also featured in the Korean releases of Dance Dance Revolution 3rdMix, as well as the Dance Dance Revolution 4thMix games. Also, "Nuh" (Trance Mix) was featured in EZ2Dancer.

Her song "Come On!" is featured in the Pump It Up NX Absolute dance machine, both a short Chinese version and the full song version appearing in it.

Currently, "I'll Give", "Going Crazy" and other songs are featured on Audition, an online dance-rhythm game.[33]







Year English title Original title Role Notes
1996 A Petal 꽃잎 Girl
1997 Maria and the Inn 마리아와 여인숙 18-year-old Maria Guest appearance
1999 Scent of Love 침향 Im Sun-hee
2000 Harpy 하피 Song Soo-yeon
2011 Night Fishing 파란만장 Female shaman
2012 Juvenile Offender 범죄소년 Jang Hyo-seung
2014 The Admiral: Roaring Currents 명량 Mrs. Jung
2015 Alice in Earnestland 성실한 나라의 앨리스 Jung Soo-nam
2016 Split 스플릿 Joo Hee-jin
2017 The Battleship Island 군함도 Oh Mal-nyeon
The Running Actress 여배우는 오늘도 Herself Cameo appearance
2019 Shall We Do It Again 두번할까요 Park Seon-young
2020 Peninsula 반도 Min-jeong

Television seriesEdit

Year English title Original title Role Network Notes
1996 Open Your Heart 가슴을 열어라 Yoo Seo-young
Seven Spoons 일곱개의 숟가락 Jo Jung-hye
1998 Legendary Ambition 야망의 전설 Lee Jung-hee
One Day Suddenly 어느날 갑자기 Eun-mi
2001 Beautiful Days 아름다운 날들 Kim Se-na
2003 Beautiful Heart 美麗心靈 Cheng Hui
Chinese series
2006 Rondo 輪舞曲 Choi Yoon-hee
Japanese series
2008 The Great King, Sejong 대왕 세종 Yi-seon (later Sinbin Kim)
2010 Confucius 孔子 Nanzi
Chinese series
2015 The Family Is Coming 떴다! 패밀리 Na Joon-hee (Susan Johnson)
2019 - present Stars' Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant 신상출시 편스토랑 Herself[34]
Episode 8 - present

Video gamesEdit

  • 2001: Tomak: Save the Earth, a Love Story

Awards and nominationsEdit

Acting AwardsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1996 17th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress A Petal Won
34th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated
Best New Actress Won
16th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won
1997 Cine 21 Awards Won
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Juvenile Offender Nominated
56th Asia-Pacific Film Festival Best Actress Nominated
2014 23rd Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actress The Admiral: Roaring Currents Nominated
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Supporting Actress (Film) Nominated
23rd SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special The Family Is Coming Nominated
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards[35] Best Leading Actress Alice in Earnestland Won
35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Nominated
2016 11th Max Movie Awards Nominated
7th KOFRA Film Awards Nominated
3rd Wildflower Film Awards[36] Won
21st Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated
25th Buil Film Awards Nominated
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
2017 25th Korea Culture & Entertainment Awards Best Actress The Battleship Island Won
6th Korea Film Actors Association Awards[37] Top Star Award Won
38th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1st The Seoul Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
2018 23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards[38] Nominated
Faro Island Film Festival Nominated
20th Asian Film Critics Association Awards Nominated

Music awardsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 8th Seoul Music Awards Best New Artist
14th Golden Disk Awards Won
KMTV Music Awards Won
KBS Song Festival Won
MBC Top 10 Artists Awards Won
Top 10 Awards Won
SBS Music Awards New Solo Artist Won
1999 Mnet Asian Music Awards[39] Best New Solo Artist Won
Best Dance Performance Won
2000 9th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang (Main Prize)
"You" & "Peace"
15th Golden Disk Awards Won
KBS Song Festival Won
SBS Music Awards Top 10 Awards Won
KMTV Music Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Won
Music Video of the Year
2000 Mnet Asian Music Awards[40][41] Best New Solo Artist Nominated
Korea Best Dresser Awards Best Dressed Female Singer
2001 10th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang (Main Prize)
"Going Crazy" & "Half"
KBS Song Festival Won
16th Golden Disk Awards Best Female Solo Artist Nominated
SBS Music Awards Top 10 Awards Won
KMTV Music Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Won
2002 10th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards New Generation Artist
2002 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance Nominated
17th Golden Disk Awards Popularity Award
KMTV Music Awards[42] Artist of the Year (Main Prize)
"Ari Ari"
KBS Song Festival Bonsang (Main Prize) Won
SBS Music Awards Won
2003 12th Seoul Music Awards
"Summer Dance"
SBS Music Awards Nominated
KBS Song Festival Artist of the Year (Main Prize) Won
2003 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance Nominated
2005 13th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Hallyu All Star Award
2006 China Fashion Awards Korean Artist of the Year Won
2012 6th Huading Awards Best International Artist Won
2013 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards Red Carpet Special Prize Won
2015 Korea Culture and Tourism Industry Awards Hallyu Star Award Won


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  2. ^ "'변신여왕' 이정현, 이번엔 '정열의 세뇨리따'". Sports Chosun (in Korean). 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  3. ^ Yoon, Ilsang. "컨셉의 여왕, 이정현" (in Korean). Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  4. ^ Kim, Ji-soo (2013-08-01). "Lee back as 'zombie' bride". The Korea Rimes. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  5. ^ Kim, Ki dong (2017-07-09). "[중국사람 이야기 18] 한류 이야기 ③ 가수 이정현의 '중국 성공' 비결은 '궁상각치우'". OhmyNews (in Korean). Retrieved 2020-07-21.
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  8. ^ "Park Chan-wook collaborates on iPhone short to get theatrical launch". Screen Daily. January 11, 2011.
  9. ^ "'Arirang' making local premiere at digital film fest". The Korea Times. 16 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun to make big screen comeback in new Korean film". 10Asia. November 22, 2011.
  11. ^ "'Here Comes Family' PD Reveals Reasons Behind Casting Choices". Mwave. December 30, 2014.
  12. ^ "Alice Works Earnestly in Cinemas". Korean Film Biz Zone. August 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "'Split' bowls its way into hearts: The heartwarming drama tells refreshing tale of love for a sport". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 7, 2016.
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  15. ^ "LEE Jung-hyun Boards BATTLESHIP ISLAND". Korean Film Biz Zone. March 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun doesn't shy away from a challenge : The singer and actor is open to all projects, no matter the budget". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 26, 2017.
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  18. ^ "'Peninsula' is coming this summer". Korea JoongAng Daily. February 29, 2020.
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  31. ^ "이정현, 3살 연하 전문의와 결혼 "아이 셋까지 낳고 싶어요"". hankyung.com (in Korean). 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  32. ^ 신연경. "이정현 결혼식, 고소영·손예진→이민정♥이병헌까지 하객 총출동 [MK체크] - 매일경제". mk.co.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-04-29.
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External linksEdit