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Seungri
Seungri 2016.png
Seungri at the premiere of Big Bang Made on June 28, 2016
Native name 이승현
Born Lee Seung-hyun
(1990-12-12) December 12, 1990 (age 27)
Gwangju, South Korea
Other names Seungri
Education Chung-Ang University
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • entrepreneur
  • CEO
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active 2006–present
Labels
Associated acts
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization I Seung-hyeon
McCune–Reischauer Yi Sŭnghyŏn

Lee Seung-hyun (Hangul: 이승현; born December 12, 1990),[1] better known by his stage name Seungri (Hangul: 승리, Victory) and V.I when performing in Japan,[2] is a South Korean singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. In the mid-2000s, Seungri rose to prominence as one of three vocalists and youngest member of the South Korean boy band Big Bang under YG Entertainment, which eventually became one of the best-selling digital group of all-time in Asia and one of the best-selling boy bands in the world.[3] With the release of the group's second studio album Remember (2008), in which the second single released, "Strong Baby", was performed solely by Seungri, he began to adopt a more mature image as an artist.

Seungri furthered this image with the release of his first extended play, V.V.I.P in 2011. The EP debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart and yielded two singles: "VVIP" and "What Can I Do" (Korean: 어쩌라고, Revised Romanization: Eojjeolago). The latter peaked at number seven on the Gaon Digital Chart, and the album sold over 50,000 copies. His second Korean EP Let's Talk About Love (2013) fared better, becoming his second number one album and selling over 80,000 copies. Let's Talk About Love was supported by "Gotta Talk to You" (Korean: 할말 있어요, Revised Romanization: Na Jigeum Halmal Isseoyo), which charted at number three on the Gaon Chart, and was later re-released in Japan as his first full Japanese studio album, containing previous materials from the two EPs recorded in the country's native language.

Making his theatrical debut with the musical Sonagi in 2008, Seungri went on to star in films such as Nineteen and Why Did You Come to My House?, both released in 2009. He branched into television with the Japanese drama Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo (2013) and the South Korean television series Angel Eyes (2014). In recent years, he's explored other ventures, including opening a dance academy, owning a nightclub and restaurant franchise, founding a record label, and investing in other businesses.

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early beginnings and debut with Big BangEdit

 
Seungri at the TV show Fast Forward in Thailand in December 2007

Born and raised in Gwangju, South Korea, Seungri was noted for his dancing skills growing up,[4] with the singer participating in the dance group II Hwa.[5] Hoping to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, Seungri appeared in survival program Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa, a reality television series to find the next Shinhwa. He was eventually eliminated in the ninth episode.[6][7] Following his appearance on the show, Seungri was scouted by YG Entertainment to audition for the new boy band, Big Bang, alongside five other members: T.O.P, Taeyang, G-Dragon, Daesung, and Hyun-seung. The formation of the group was documented on television.[8] Despite the initial plan of debuting six members, Seungri and Hyun-seung risked elimination due to their lack of stage presence and were given one final opportunity to impress Yang Hyun-suk, founder of YG Entertainment. While Seungri was picked to stay, Hyung-seung (who went on to debut with the boy band Beast) was dropped before the official debut.[9]

Following the release of several single albums, Big Bang's first album Big Bang Vol.1 - Since 2007 was a moderate success. Seungri also recorded his first solo song "The Next Day" (Korean: 다음날; Revised Romanization: Daeumnal) for the album. The group's breakthrough came with the release of their first extended play, Always (2007), which included the number one song "Lies" (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal). The song went on to top major Korean music charts for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks,[3] and won the group the Song of the Year award at the 9th Mnet Korean Music Festival.[4] Their following EPs followed its predecessor's footsteps: Hot Issue yielded "Last Farewell" (Korean: 마지막 인사; Revised Romanization: Majimak Insa) while Stand Up spawned "Day by Day" (Korean: 하루하루; Revised Romanization: Haru Haru); both singles were chart-toppers.[10][11] Seungri continued to hone his dancing skills by competing against bandmate Taeyang in several dance competitions, as well as against Super Junior's Eunhyuk, TVXQ's Yunho and Shinee's Taemin.[12] He also choreographs a large portion of Big Bang's dances.[13]

2008–2011: Solo career development, acting, and VVIPEdit

In 2008, members of Big Bang began branching out to develop their solo careers. Seungri became the first member of Big Bang to act in a musical with Sonagi in 2008. He also ventured into hosting, becoming a host for MBC's music program Show! Music Core alongside Daesung. After filming wrapped up, Seungri went back into the studio with Big Bang to record for their second Korean studio album, Remember (2008). The album was promoted with two singles: "Sunset Glow" (Korean: 붉은노을; Revised Romanization: Byulkeun Noeul) and "Strong Baby," a solo release by Seungri. In order to shed the "youngest member" image from Big Bang,[14] he promoted the single with a more mature look complete with a stylized dance.[15][16] He won his first triple crown for "Strong Baby" on SBS's live music show Inkigayo.

When promotional activities for Remember ended, Seungri returned to acting and starred in his first film Why Did You Come to My House?, playing the love interest of Kang Hye-jung.[17] He then starred in his second musical Shouting, alongside bandmate Daesung, who was unable to perform at the last minute due to a car accident.[18][19] The same year, he also starred in the film 19-Nineteen alongside fellow member T.O.P.[20]

Seungri's first extended play, VVIP, was released on January 20, 2011 with two singles: "VVIP" and "What Can I Do".[21] To establish an identity away from Big Bang through his music, Seungri involved himself in the production of the album, composing and writing six out of the seven songs.[22][23][24] "VVIP" and "What Can I Do" won a triple crown on Mnet's M! Countdown. Seungri also won the SBS Inkigayo Mutizen Award. Promotional activities were cut short in order for Seungri to focus on Big Bang's comeback. The same year, he was cast in the MBC drama Lights and Shadows, playing an aspiring singer from the country.[25]

2012–2014: Japanese promotions, scandal, and Let's Talk About LoveEdit

 
Seungri performing in 2012

In 2012, Seungri started his first Japanese promotions by appearing on variety shows, such as hosting a Japanese radio program entitled Big Bang’s All Night Nippon.[26] He was also chosen as the special MC on Fuji TV's Sakigake! Ongaku Banzuke Eight, where he interviewed celebrities.[27] He had his first Japanese show Seungchan's Complete Victory Declaration on Space Shower TV.[28] Seungri later appeared in the Nihon TV special drama Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Japanese broadcasting company, NTV.[29] The drama was based on the manga Kindaichi Case Files Neo SP 1: Hong Kong Kowloon Treasure Murder Case, and premiered in January 2013. It later won the Best Drama SP (Excellence Awards) at the Tokyo Drama Awards. He also became a regular cast of Music On! TV's program Count Down E.T, hosting the Men’s Bar Food section.[30]

Seungri's career took a setback when he became embroiled in a sex scandal with a Japanese woman. As a result, he stepped out of Big Bang's promotional activities for self-reflection.[31][32] He would revisit the scandal one year later on SBS talk show Incarnation, discussing how it helped him grow up and how fans began to view him more as an adult.[33]

Recording for Seungri's second Korean EP Let's Talk About Love took over two years, and the artist also involved himself with the production of the album.[34][35][36][37] The EP was released on August 19, 2013, debuting at number one on the Gaon Chart[38] and went on to sell over 70,000 copies.[39] He promoted the singles "Gotta Talk to You" and the eponymous title track.[40] In October of the same year, he released his first Japanese album, selling over 14,000 copies in its first day and topping the Oricon Charts.[41] The album contained songs from his previous albums, as well as the new song "The Feelings Painted in the Sky" (Japanese: 空に描く思い), which was later used as the theme song for Seungri's first Japanese television drama Yubikoi ~Kimini Okuru Message~.[42][43]

In September, Seungri joined Popular Women 100 as a co-host alongside comedian Hiroshi Yamazaki, becoming the first international celebrity to clinch a hosting spot on a regular cable show in Japan.[44]

From 2013 to 2014, Seungri starred in the Japanese drama Yubikoi ~Kimini Okuru Message~ - A Message Send To You.[45] He then took a supporting role in the Korean medical drama Angel Eyes alongside labelmate Ku Hye-sun, playing the role of a Korean-American teen with the dream of becoming an emergency rescue worker.[46][47]

2015–present: Focus on acting, solo comeback, and tourEdit

Though he toured extensively from 2015 to 2016 with his band to promote their third Korean album Made (2016),[105][106] Seungri also appeared as a professional judge on the Chinese TV program Girls Fighting in 2016, where he mentored trainees.[48] He also produced the song "36 Tricks of Love" for the show, a remake of the Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai's song under the same title. The song took the number one spot on the QQ Music and Weibo charts in China.[49] He later starred in the Japanese movie, High & Low: The Movie (2016), playing the son of a Korean mob boss.[50][51] The film was commercially successful, and placed second at the Japanese box office on its opening, grossing ¥668.3 million.[52]He also recorded the song "We Run Dis" with PKCZ for the soundtrack. In August 2016, he started filming for his first Chinese film Bonjour L'amour (also titled Love Only).[53] The movie was released on March 2, 2018.[54] Seungri also will star in YG and Netflix's new sitcom-variety show, YG Future Strategy Office.[55]

On May 2018, Seungri announced his first solo tour The Great Seungri, 12 years since his debut, with shows announced in South Korea and Japan, the tour to support his first studio album that is set to be release in early July.[56][57][58] Seungri released a collaboration single "Ignite", with K-391, Alan Walker and Julie Bergan, the song topped the Norwegian chart to two weeks.[59]

On July 20 2018, Seungri released his first korean studio album, The Great Seungri, which consists of 9 songs written and produced by him.

Other venturesEdit

Business venturesEdit

 
Seungri DJing in his night club in 2015

Seungri has helped establish two branches of a music and dance academy called "Plug In Music Academy," also known as "Seungri Academy". The dance academy is located in Gwangju, Daejeon, Mokpo, and Seoul. Students of the academy learn how to sing, dance, and act. Some of the past students of the academy include high-profile K-pop celebrities such as 2NE1's Minzy, Kara's Goo Hara, TVXQ's Yunho and B.A.P.'s Zelo.[60][61][62]

In 2014, Seungri started a café business. Purchasing a license for traditional Belgian waffles, he opened a waffle café And Here at Daehangno which he left to his mother to run.[63][62] Seungri opened his private bar called Monkey Museum night club in Changsha City, South Korea, in partnership with Luk Hing Entertainment.[64] He also founded a record label Natural High Record alongside other DJs.[65] In December 2016, he launched a Japanese ramen restaurant franchise called Aori Ramen in Seoul.[66] During 2017, the franchise expanded through Asia,[67] and in November, he announced that he will open the 15th branch in Kuala Lumpur.[68] In early 2017, he invested in the medical cosmetic brand Dr. Gloderm, acquiring 10% of the cosmetic company's shares.[69] In February 2018, Seungri opened a second club, Burning Sun in Seoul.[70] Seungri now has a company name for all his investments under YURI HOLDINGS.[71]

In 2018, Seungri was revealed to be collaborating with Liquid State, an electronic dance music label newly launched by Sony Music Entertainment and Tencent Music Entertainment. He would serve as the label's ambassador and be involved in music collaborations.[72] In June, Seungri become the CEO of YGX, a label under YG Entertainment, Seungri will work on recruiting talented hip-hop rookies and running entertainment businesses. The label company was merged with Seungri’s DJ label Natural High Record, it will also be in charge of HIGHGRND and a dance academy called YGX Academy.[73]

SportsEdit

In May 2015, FC MEN announced through their instagram that Seungri would be joining their celebrity soccer club. He was given the forward position and the number 11.[74]

Seungri, under the name Richard Lee, participated in his first jiu-jitsu match under the Japan Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation in 2017. He won two medals, silver medal in adult white open-weight class and bronze medal for adult white featherweight class. He also earned a black belt in taekwondo.[75][76][77]

PhilanthropyEdit

In 2015, Seungri joined label-mate Sean for a briquette charity. He had previously promised fans to deliver and donate 30,000 briquettes but donated a total of 130,000. He brought along notable celebrities to the charity, including F.T. Island's Choi Jong-hoon and Jung Joon-young of Drug Restaurant (formerly JJY).[78]

In December 2017, Seungri, along with 30 Aori Ramen employees and his father, delivered coal briquettes to low-income families for cooking and heating their homes.[79] He also donated 100 million won to global children welfare agency ChildFund Korea.[80]

Personal lifeEdit

After passing his college entrance exams, Seungri was accepted by Chung-Ang University and began his college education in the spring of 2010, along with Yuri and Sooyoung of Girls' Generation.[81] He dropped out of Chung-Ang University in 2012 after being placed on academic probation several times due to his demanding schedule with Big Bang,[82] opting instead to enroll at Gukje Digital University so he could take online classes and attend his schedules at the same time.[83]

Seungri is a polyglot; he speaks several languages including Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese and is currently learning Cantonese.[84][85]

DiscographyEdit

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Film Role
2009 Nineteen Park Min-seo
2009 Why Did You Come to My House? Park Ji-min
2016 Big Bang Made Himself
2016 High & Low: The Movie Li
2018 Love Only Winson / Yun Sheng

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Role Network
2010 Haru Cameo
2011 Lights and Shadows Ahn Jae-su (cameo, ep 9-10) MBC
2013 Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo (The Files of Young Kindaichi - Lost in Kowloon) Kim Yong-dong NTV
2013-2014 Yubikoi ~Kimini Okuru Message~ - A Message Send To You Han Seung-ho
2014 Angel Eyes Teddy Seo SBS

MusicalEdit

Year Title Role
2008 Sonagi
2009 Shouting! (소리쳐!)

Variety showEdit

Year Channel Title Role Other
2005 Arirang TV Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa Contestant
2008-2009 MBC Show! Music Core Co-host with Daesung
2010 Enjoy Today Host
2012 Space Shower TV Seung-chan’s Complete Victory Declaration Cast member Reality show
2013 Music On! TV Count Down E.T - Men’s Bar Food Regular cast
Fuji TV Popular Women 100 Co-host with Hiroshi Yamazaki
2016 Dragon TV Girls Fighting Instructor
2017 YouTube Red Run, BIGBANG Scout! Cast Member
2017-2018 JTBC TV MIXNINE Judge
2018 Netflix YG Future Strategy Office Main cast

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award-Giving Body Category Work Result
2009 3rd The Musical Awards Popularity Award[86] Himself Won
2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance - Male Solo[87] "Gotta Talk To U" Nominated

Music show winsEdit

SBS's InkigayoEdit

Year Date Song
2009 January 22 "Strong Baby"
February 5
February 19
2011
February 6 "What Can I Do"
February 13[88]

Mnet's M CountdownEdit

Year Date Song
2009 January 22 "Strong Baby"
February 5
February 19
February 26
2011 January 27[89] "V.V.I.P"
February 3 "What Can I Do"
February 10[90]

ToursEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit