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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"[citation needed] due to her changing new look for different songs. [2][3]

Lee Jung-hyun
제19회 부천국제판타스틱영화제 폐막식 레드카펫 15.jpg
Lee Jung-hyun in 2015
Background information
Also known asAva, Hyony
Born (1980-02-07) February 7, 1980 (age 39)
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.[4][5]

In 2010, Lee regained her acting strides with the Chinese series Confucius, playing 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.[6][7] 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,[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] Lee then starred in the bowling film Split in 2016,[11] and war film The Battleship Island in 2017.[12][13][14] In 2019, Lee is scheduled to star in the romantic comedy film Shall We Do It Again.[15]

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, Ms. Charisma, Little Giant, and Queen of Change.[16]

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".[17]

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.[18] 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 trio of songs, "Crazy," "Vogue It Girl" and "Miro".[19] The music video "Crazy" was choreographed by Brian Friedman.[20] In September 2009, she was invited to open at Lady Gaga's concert in 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.[21][22][23]

Cultural ambassadorEdit

In August 2007, singer-actress Lee was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.[24]

On June 22, 2012, Lee was appointed as an honorary ambassador for the Korea-China Cultural Industry Conference, called CICON.[25][26]

Personal lifeEdit

Lee married a non-celebrity in a private ceremony in 2019.[3]

Covers of Lee Jung-hyun's songsEdit

Hong Kong singer Sammi Cheng has released and performed covers of several of her hits such as:

  • "Bakkwo 바꿔 Change" - "眉飛色舞 Radiant with Joy" (Mandarin) / "煞科 Finale" (Cantonese)
  • "Wa 와 Come" - "獨一無二 Unique" (Mandarin)/ "獨家試唱 Trying to Sing by Myself" (Cantonese)
  • "Nuh 너 You" - "天衣無縫 Impossible to Defeat" (Mandarin) /"神化 Apotheosis" (Cantonese)

Cheng's versions have separate, original (non-translated) lyrics sung in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Vietnamese singer Ngo Thanh Van remade "Nuh" in her debut CD, Playworld, under the name "The Colourless Heart" and "Dara Dara" in her 2nd album under the name "Mystery Of The Moon".

Taiwanese singer Evonne Hsu's "Lonely Ballet" (孤单芭蕾) is a cover of Lee's "Michyeo" (미쳐/Crazy).

Taiwanese singer Cyndi Wang's "Honey" is a cover of Lee's "Summer Dance".

Hong Kong singer Jordan Chan covered "I Love You Cheol Soo" in his album Exclusive Memory with track "每個女人都是美人" ("Every Woman is a Belle").

An Italian-Spanish group Bandidos has covered Lee's "Wa" for their Euro-techno single called "Vamos Amigos" which became a hit in Europe. However this brought a controversy since Bandidos made the cover without permission and also neglected to credit the original. "Wa"'s songwriter Choi Jun-yeong made an international lawsuit, with the group later on admitting that they plagiarized the original song.

From Lee's 1999 debut album "Let's Go to My Star," the track "I Love X" featuring Jo PD and South Korean singer Psy was re-released on his own debut album in 2001 Psy from the Psycho World! entitled "I Love Sex" - also featuring Jo PD but without Lee.

In Korea, Lee is known as "The Most Plagiarized Artist" for having many of her songs covered by international acts - in most instances without permission.[27]

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.[28]




Year Title Role
1996 A Petal Girl
1997 Maria and the Inn 18-year-old Maria (guest appearance)
1999 Scent of Love Im Sun-hee
2000 Harpy Song Soo-yeon
2011 Night Fishing Female shaman
2012 Juvenile Offender Jang Hyo-seung
2014 The Admiral: Roaring Currents Mrs. Jung
2015 Alice in Earnestland Jung Soo-nam
2016 Split Joo Hee-jin
2017 The Battleship Island Oh Mal-nyeon
The Running Actress Herself (cameo appearance)
2019 Shall We Do It Again Park Seon-young

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Role Network Notes
1996 Open Your Heart Yoo Seo-young
Seven Spoons Jo Jung-hye
1998 Legendary Ambition Lee Jung-hee
One Day Suddenly Eun-mi
2001 Beautiful Days Kim Se-na
2003 Beautiful Heart Cheng Hui
Chinese series
2006 Rondo Choi Yoon-hee
Japanese series
2008 The Great King, Sejong Yi-seon (later Sinbin Kim)
2010 Confucius Nanzi
Chinese series
2015 The Family Is Coming Na Joon-hee (Susan Johnson)

Video gamesEdit

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

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1996 34th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress
A Petal
Best New Actress Won
17th Blue Dragon Film Awards Won
16th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won
1997 Cine 21 Awards Won
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[29] 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 Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
Music Video of the Year
2000 Mnet Asian Music Awards[30][31] Best New Solo Artist Nominated
Korea Best Dresser Awards Best Dressed Female Singer
2001 10th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang (Main Prize)
"Going Crazy" & "Half"
16th Golden Disk Awards Best Female Solo Artist Nominated
KBS Song Festival Bonsang (Main Prize) Won
SBS Music Awards Top 10 Awards Won
KMTV Music Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) 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
KBS Song Festival Bonsang (Main Prize)
"Ari Ari"
SBS Music Awards Won
KMTV Music Awards[32] Artist of the Year (Main Prize) Nominated
2003 12th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang (Main Prize)
"Summer Dance"
KBS Song Festival Artist of the Year (Main Prize) Won
SBS Music Awards Bonsang (Main Prize) Nominated
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 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress
Juvenile Offender
56th Asia-Pacific Film Festival Best Actress Nominated
2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards Red Carpet Special Prize
2014 23rd Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actress
The Admiral: Roaring Currents
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Korea Culture and Tourism Industry Awards Hallyu Star Award
23rd SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special
The Family Is Coming
35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress
Alice in Earnestland
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards[33] Won
2016 11th Max Movie Awards Nominated
7th KOFRA Film Awards Nominated
3rd Wildflower Film Awards[34] Won
21st Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated
25th Buil Film Awards Nominated
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Nominated
2017 25th Korea Culture & Entertainment Awards Best Actress
The Battleship Island
6th Korea Film Actors Association Awards[35] Top Star Award Won
1st The Seoul Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
38th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
2018 23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards[36] Nominated


  1. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun, graduating in 9 years, Yoo Ji-tae "I've got my Master"". Hancinema. February 28, 2009.
  2. ^ "이정현, 3살 연하 전문의와 결혼 "아이 셋까지 낳고 싶어요"". (in Korean). 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  3. ^ a b 신연경. "이정현 결혼식, 고소영·손예진→이민정♥이병헌까지 하객 총출동 [MK체크] - 매일경제". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  4. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun returns to television in seven years". Broasia. December 20, 2007.
  5. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun to Join "King Sejong"". KBS World. February 22, 2008.
  6. ^ "Park Chan-wook collaborates on iPhone short to get theatrical launch". Screen Daily. January 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "'Arirang' making local premiere at digital film fest". The Korea Times. 16 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun to make big screen comeback in new Korean film". 10Asia. November 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "'Here Comes Family' PD Reveals Reasons Behind Casting Choices". Mwave. December 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "Alice Works Earnestly in Cinemas". Korean Film Biz Zone. August 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "'Split' bowls its way into hearts: The heartwarming drama tells refreshing tale of love for a sport". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 7, 2016.
  12. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun reduces weight to 80 pounds for her new movie". The Donga Ilbo. June 14, 2017.
  13. ^ "LEE Jung-hyun Boards BATTLESHIP ISLAND". Korean Film Biz Zone. March 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "Korean Romcom SHALL WE DO IT AGAIN Begins Shoot". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "['범죄소년' 이정현] '와'를 외치던 작은거인을 기억하시나요 - OBS경인TV" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  17. ^ Lee Jung-hyun, KBS World Artists Search
  18. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun 'Honored' to Sing 2008 Olympic Song". The Chosun Ilbo. February 9, 2007.
  19. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun Roars Back to Music Scene". KBS World. June 30, 2009.
  20. ^ "이정현, 강렬한 섹시 블랙 女전사 파격변신 '눈길'". Newsen (in Korean). May 11, 2009.
  21. ^ "Zombified Lee Jung-hyun premieres new single". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 23, 2013.
  22. ^ "Park Chan-wook directs video for Lee Jung-hyun". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 8, 2013.
  23. ^ "Lee Jung Hyun Demands Attention in Her Freaky MV for V" Archived 2013-07-28 at the Wayback Machine. enewsWorld, July 23, 2013.
  24. ^ Lee Hyo-won. "Lee Named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador." The Korea Times. August 23, 2007.
  25. ^ Lee Jung Hyun Honorary Ambassador CICON., VisitKorea. June 22, 2012
  26. ^ "Lee Jung-hyun Appointed Honorary Ambassador for CICON 2012". The Chosun Ilbo. June 22, 2012.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Anthrenz (April 29, 2007), Audition - Going Crazy ( Performed by Yuna ), retrieved 2017-02-26
  29. ^ "1999 Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived 2014-10-09 at the Wayback Machine. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  30. ^ "2000 MMF part 1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  31. ^ "2000 Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived 2014-08-03 at the Wayback Machine. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  32. ^ "2002 MMF part 1" Archived 2014-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. Mwave. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  33. ^ "ASSASSINATION Tops Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. November 27, 2015.
  34. ^ "ALIVE Takes Grand Prize at 3rd Wildflower Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. April 11, 2016.
  35. ^ "Top Star Awards for NA Moon-hee, LEE Jung-hyun, CHOI Min-shik and Hyun-bin". Korean Film Biz Zone. January 8, 2018.
  36. ^ "제23회 춘사영화제 5월18일 개최..홍상수·김민희 참석하나". Newsen (in Korean). May 3, 2018.

External linksEdit