Lee Tae-min

Lee Tae-min (born July 18, 1993), better known by the mononym Taemin, is a South Korean singer-songwriter, actor and dancer. He debuted at age 14 as a member of the group Shinee in May 2008, and his success and artistic impact have led him to be called the "Idol's Idol".[1][2] He began his acting career in 2009 with MBC's comedy Tae-Hee, Hye-Kyo, Ji-Hyun as Junsu. In 2019, he became one of the members of SM Entertainment's supergroup SuperM.

Lee Tae-min
2019 FW 서울패션위크 - 태민 (Taemin) 07.png
Lee at Seoul Fashion Week in March 2019
Born (1993-07-18) July 18, 1993 (age 27)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationMyongji University
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • actor
  • dancer
Musical career
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2008–present
Labels
Associated acts
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationI Tae-min
McCune–ReischauerI T'aemin
Websitetaemin.shinee.jp
Signature
Lee Tae Min signature.png

Lee began his solo career in 2014 with his first extended play, Ace. It peaked at number one on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart and its lead single "Danger" reached number 5 on the Gaon Weekly Digital Chart. His first studio album, Press It (2016),[3] charted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart.[4] In July 2016, Lee made his solo debut in Japan with the release of his second extended play, Sayonara Hitori.

In 2017, Lee released his second full Korean album, Move; the title track gained attention thanks to its distinctive choreography.[5] In 2018, Lee released his first Japanese studio album, Taemin, which coincided with his first tour in Japan, named Sirius. His third Korean studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again (2020), together with its lead singles "Criminal" and "Idea", was widely recognized by critics as one of the best K-pop releases of the year.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

CareerEdit

2008–2013: Career beginningsEdit

Lee Tae-min was born on July 18, 1993.[13] With a talent for singing and dancing, in 2008 he was chosen to debut as a member of Shinee at the age of 14. The group officially debuted on May 25, 2008, in the program SBS' Inkigayo.[14] Additionally to his work as a singer, Lee made his acting debut in 2009 in MBC's comedy "Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji Hyun" as Junsu.[15]

On September 19, 2012, Lee released his first OST, "U", for the drama To The Beautiful You.[16] On October 16, 2012 it was announced that Lee, alongside Super Junior's Eunhyuk and Super Junior-M's Henry, Girls' Generation's Hyoyeon, and Exo's Kai and Luhan would participate as a six-member dance team for the Veloster theme song, "Maxstep", the collaboration album between SM Entertainment and Hyundai. A video teaser of the song was shown at the PYL Younique Show on October 17, 2012.[17]

In April 2013, SM Entertainment revealed that Lee would be taking part in the reality variety show We Got Married with Son Na-eun as his partner, replacing the previous couple Kwanghee and Sunhwa.[18] In the same year, Lee made three-episode appearance on the drama Dating Agency: Cyrano as idol singer Ray/Yang Ho-yeol.[19] In June 2013, he featured in Super Junior-M's Henry solo song "Trap" alongside Super Junior's Kyuhyun.[20] In December of that year, he participated in the soundtrack of the series Prime Minister & I, "Footsteps", the first track to be previewed on the series at the end of its third episode, was composed and arranged by Kim Jung-bae with the vocals by himself.[21]

2014–2016: Ace, Press It and Sayonara HitoriEdit

 
Lee at the MBC Gayo Daejejeon on December 31, 2014.

On August 18, 2014, Lee made his solo debut with the release of his first extended play Ace.[22] The six-song EP peaked at number one on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart while its lead single "Danger" reached number five on the Gaon Weekly Digital Chart.[23] The music video for "Danger" was released on August 16—its choreography was created by American choreographer Ian Eastwood and SM's performance directing team BeatBurger. Lee traveled to Los Angeles to learn the routine.[24]

On February 3, 2015, Lee was confirmed for the cast of the first season of Match Made in Heaven Returns.[25] On April 14, 2015, Lee was also a cast member in JTBC's program Off to School alongside other celebrities. On June 1, 2015, he released the song "That Name" in collaboration with Jonghyun, for the soundtrack of KBS2's Who Are You: School 2015.[26] The song debuted at number 36 on the Gaon Digital Chart.[27]

Lee released his first full album Press It on February 23, 2016; the album contained a total of ten songs, including the lead single "Press Your Number". Bruno Mars, who is well known for his hit songs "Treasure" (2013) and "Marry You" (2011), participated in the song's production.[3] Lee told reporters at a media showcase hosted by fellow Shinee member Minho at the SMTOWN Coex Artium in Gangnam-gu, Seoul: "After my EP, I did perform with Shinee but I also spent a lot of time preparing my next solo album, […] I took a lot of private lessons for voice and dance, and looked over my past songs. I want to say that I’ve become a stronger performer."[28]

In June 2016, Lee's Japanese debut was announced with the mini album Sayonara Hitori, including a showcase on his 23rd birthday. The album was released on July 27 and included four new songs and the Japanese version of "Press Your Number".[29] In June 2016, Lee was confirmed for the cast of Mnet's dance program Hit the Stage.[30] He performed together with his dance partner Koharu Sugawara, who is the choreographer of his Japanese debut song "Sayonara Hitori".[31] He took first place in the second episode.[32]

2017–2018: Flame of Love, Move, and TaeminEdit

In July 2017, Lee held his first solo concert in Japan at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo[33] and released a new Japanese song, "Flame of Love", ahead of the concert,[34] which attracted 28,000 fans.[35] Lee held his first Korean concert, Off-Sick, at the end of August for three days with a total of 12,000 audience members.[36] Encore concerts of Off-Sick were announced on September 7 and took place on October 14 and 15 at Jamsil Gymnasium, which holds twice as many people from the previous hall.[37] The two-night shows brought out 20,000 fans.[38]

In August 2017, Lee's first Japanese drama, Final Life: Even If You Disappear Tomorrow,[39] was announced. The crime drama directed by Masatoshi Kurakata and Takeshi Maruyama is an original Japanese work of Amazon Prime Video and was released in September. It stars Lee and Shota Matsuda.[40] The soundtrack for the drama, "What's This Feeling" is also sung by Lee.[41]

Lee's second studio album, Move, was released in October 2017 and spawned the hit single "Move".[42] The album debuted at number two on the Gaon Album Chart and number three on the Billboard World Albums Chart.[43] On December 10, a repackaged edition of Move was released, under the title Move-ing. It added four new songs to the tracklist, including the lead single "Day and Night".[44] That same month, he was scheduled to perform at the annual KBS Song Festival, but pulled out a week after the death of fellow Shinee member Kim Jong-hyun.[45]

On November 5, 2018, Lee released the self-titled Taemin, his third overall and first Japanese studio album.[46]

2019: Want, Famous, SuperMEdit

Lee released his second Korean EP, Want, on February 11, 2019.[47] The choreography for the title song of the same name was created by Sugawara Koharu.[47] The EP ranked on various Billboard charts, including number four on World Albums, making it Lee's fifth entry to date, and number five on Heatseekers Albums, which was a new peak for the artist.[48]

On August 4, 2019, Lee digitally released his third Japanese EP Famous, with a physical release on August 28, 2019, through EMI Records Japan and Universal Music Japan.[49] The lead single and title track "Famous" was released on July 26, 2019, along with a music video.

In August 2019, Lee became a member of SuperM, a "K-pop supergroup" created by SM Entertainment in collaboration with Capitol Records. The group's promotions began in October and were aimed at the American market.[50][51] SuperM's self-titled debut EP was released on October 4, 2019 with lead single "Jopping".[52]

2020–present: Never Gonna Dance Again, Advice, and military serviceEdit

His third Korean studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again, was released in two parts, in September and November 2020.[53]

On April 19, 2021, Lee announced during his V Live that he would enlist for his mandatory military service on May 31, 2021.[54]

Before his enlistment, Lee released his third Korean EP, Advice, on May 18, 2021. The album features five songs, including the lead single of the same name.[55]

Style and influenceEdit

Lee is noted for his distinctive, intricate dancing style, which often incorporates elements of contemporary dance. His frequent use of androgynous fashion and heavy make-up, especially starting from his 2017 single "Move", has become one of his trademarks.[56]

I wanted to go beyond what K-pop typically is perceived as, and through 'MOVE' I was able to show a concept that’s more edgy, more powerful. Not only that, but regardless of the gender, I believe that all of the audience will be able to enjoy and listen to this as something different from most of what’s coming out in K-pop. (...) My aim was to find a middle ground, mixing both masculine and feminine movements into the choreography together.[57] - Lee on Move

The choreography to the song "Move", created by Japanese choreographer and Lee's frequent collaborator Koharu Sugawara, became viral in Korea, spurring many dance covers by both fans and celebrities. The phenomenon was dubbed "Move disease".[58][59]

Lee's discography is predominantly pop, R&B, with occasional influences of rock, hip-hop, trap and electro, and is notably darker in theme compared to his work with Shinee. His songs' concepts cover a wide range of topics, such as love, lust, self-discovery, philosophy and faith. His music videos, known for their sensual character, are often choreography focused, and frequently contain biblical references, particularly in "Want" and "Idea".[60][61]

Personal lifeEdit

In March 2011, Lee transferred from Chungdam High School to Hanlim Multi Art School to accommodate his hectic schedule during Shinee's Japanese advancement.[62] He graduated in February 2012, but was unable to attend the ceremony due to the band's activities.[63] Lee has been majoring in Film and Musicals at Myongji University since 2013.[64] He is Roman Catholic.[65]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albums

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2012 The Outback Johnny (voice-actor) Korean version
I Am Himself Biographical film of SM Town[66]
2013 The Miracle Kim Tan Short film
2015 SMTOWN The Stage Himself Documentary of SM Town[67]

Television dramasEdit

Year Title Role
2009 Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji Hyun Jun-su
2010 Athena: Goddess of War Himself
2011 Moon Night '90 Kim Sung-jae
High Kick! 3 Himself
2012 Salamander Guru and The Shadows Master of Disguise
2013 Dating Agency: Cyrano Yang Ho-Yeol alias Ray
2017 Final Life: Even If You Disappear Tomorrow Song Sion

Variety showsEdit

Year Title Notes
2010 Dream Team Main cast
2012 Immortal Songs 2 Contestant
2013–2014 We Got Married with Son Naeun
2015 Match Made in Heaven Returns Main cast
Off to School
2016 Hit the Stage Contestant - First Winner
2017 The Unit Mentor[68]
2018 Why Not? The Dancer Main cast
The Call Main cast (Season 1)

Reality showsEdit

Year Title Network
2017 the TAEMIN: Xtra cam V Live
2020 RARE TAEM YouTube
2020-2021 Taem-log 6v6

Musical theatreEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Goong Prince Lee Shin Main role

Concerts and toursEdit

HeadliningEdit

  • Taemin the 1st Stage Nippon Budokan (2017)[35]
  • Off-Sick (2017)[69]
  • TAEMIN Japan 1st Tour "SIRIUS" (2018)[70]
  • T1001101 (2019)[71]
  • TAEMIN ARENA TOUR 2019 ~X™️~(2019)[72]
  • Beyond LIVE - TAEMIN: Never Gonna Dance Again (2021)

Concert participationEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit